Perth athlete spotlight: Jono Dunlop

For Perth CrossFit athlete and Owner and Programmer of North Bound CrossFit and Good Vibes Training, Jono Dunlop, the secret to success on the gym floor is knowing your weaknesses and mastering your mind.

And whatever the father of one is doing, it’s working, with Dunlop taking out the Men’s RX division by eight points at the recent RFX Summer Showdown competition.

Dunlop originally signed up to the RFX competition to measure his training progress and identify his weaknesses prior to the CrossFit Open season. Coming away with the win, he says, was a completely unexpected surprise.

‘I was really nervous, as I knew most the workouts wouldn’t suit me, besides the handstand walk one,’ says Jono.

‘I don’t think there is any standout reason for why I came away with the win. The group of guys I was competing against were amazing and we all fought for it in every event. I guess I just got lucky that there was no trail run in this competition!’

Dunlop

Training in the lead up to the comp focused on powerlifting and weightlifting movements, rather than conditioning, he says.

‘I had only just finished a 12-week strength focus the week of RFX. So it wasn’t ideal, but it’s what I needed to do for my own growth as an athlete,’ he adds.  

Perth FitFam sat down with Dunlop to get a greater insight into his training, nutrition and recovery, and his top tips for aspiring athletes going into the CrossFit Open in March.

A Perth CrossFit athlete doing a workout and snatching a barbell

What does an ‘average’ week of training look like for you?

I would say my main focus with training is to work on what I suck at, and to learn to enjoy doing that every single day. 

On average, I train twice per day, five to six days per week. Whether I focus on strength or conditioning depends on the timing of the season. At the moment, I’m doing a lot of conditioning outside of working on my weakest movements. 

What’s your nutrition philosophy?

My nutrition has been a fun lesson to learn over the past 12–18 months. I have been working with Become Sports Nutrition, but the biggest lesson has been centred on how much athletes need to eat. I hate eating – I find it very time consuming and I am the slowest eater in the world, so I resort to smoothies and shakes most of the day.

How do you support your recovery?

My recovery is a huge priority for me, particularly because I prefer higher volume training programs. The best way to describe my recovery is that I focus on what you need to do to not die. So, in order of priority: breathing > nutrition > sleep > hot/cold > body work (stretching, massage, chiropractic etc.).

What are your greatest training strengths and weaknesses?

I have a genuine fear of not progressing. I also get frustrated easily and I need to learn to control those emotions when the hard days come.

My greatest strength would be my mindset that nothing is easily earned, and I don’t want it to come easy. I want to fight and work hard for success. I think this kind of thinking originates from wanting to set a good example for my boy. 

Your best piece of advice for young, aspiring athletes?

  1. Be hyper-focused on mastering the basics.
  2. Be relentless, but learn to enjoy being relentless in the pursuit of success.

How did you first discover the sport of CrossFit?

I actually found CrossFit via YouTube, shortly after becoming a Personal Trainer. Two friends who were into it took me under their wing and showed me the ropes. I loved it and continue to love it. I would say it’s the challenge of learning daily that keeps me hooked. It’s a sport that can never be mastered and that makes it exciting.  

How did you first get into the health and fitness industry?

I have always played sports, including AFL, soccer, swimming and little athletics when I was growing up. After needing surgery on both my legs, I discovered cycling as part of my rehab, which I loved. I still love it! 

After returning from a church mission trip, I decided I really wanted to have a crack at CrossFit. My wife, Hannah, and I then sold our 24/7 gym and moved to Yanchep to start North Bound CrossFit. And here we are: living an awesome life, while chasing dreams and spending every other moment together as a family. 

What do you love about the Perth fitness community?

The WA community is epic! I was talking to a friend about this the other day and how we were both so nervous about meeting the athletes at our first local competition. But it turns out that everyone was there to push themselves, while  still wanting to see other people succeed too. WA may be ‘small’ in the CrossFit world, but we’re 100 per cent growing as a community and as competitors too – and we’re doing it together!

What’s next for you?

The 2021 CrossFit season! I’ll keep my specific goals to myself and those closest to me for now. I still can’t wait to compete at the local comps here in WA. They’re awesome comps and I’m proud to be a part of this community!

Missed the RFX Summer Showdown competition held January 29? Catch up on the results.

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