Jelle Hoste

2x Belgium CrossFit Champion

Below is our interview with Jelle Hoste, winner of the national CrossFit championships in Belgium in 2020 and 2021, and CytoLED athlete. We go into his athletic history, how he got into CrossFit, and what his experience has been with full-body red light therapy so far.

CytoLED: Hi Jelle, could you introduce yourself a bit more, and tell us about your history in CrossFit?

Jelle Hoste: Hello, I’m Jelle Hoste, 26 years old and living in Belgium. Sports have been a big part of my life. It started with soccer, fitness and running. But the biggest part of my life was judo for sure, where I also managed to win some national titles. Six years ago I tried CrossFit as a part of my training and I fell in love with the sport ever since. Only 1 month later I was already doing my first competition. I didn’t finish where I wanted and this made me so hungry to get stronger, faster and fitter. Now we are here… Almost my whole life is dedicated to the sport now. Also, I’m lucky to have a girlfriend who supported me during all of these journeys so far.

CytoLED: We understand that a big part of being an athlete is taking your recovery just as seriously as you do your training. What are some of your top tips for optimal recovery from competitions and rigorous training?

Jelle Hoste: I ignored the recovery game for too long to be honest. I was not so focused on a diet, going to bed late, waking up early to get my morning sessions in and didn’t do my mobility work often. Although I was doing tons of training. Over time I searched for help with my diet which allowed me to lose some weight and maintain my power. It also raised my energy levels and improved my recovery. The pandemic forced me to do my job as an IT-consultant full-time from home. This allowed me to sleep every night around 9 hours and this had a noticeable effect on my training. I can handle more volume, feel less sore, get less injuries and so on. Ever since I’ve read the quote: “There is no such thing as overtraining, there is only under-recovering” I keep this in mind at all times and make decisions accordingly.

CytoLED: How important is sleep for your recovery? Are there specific things you implement to optimize your sleep quality?

Jelle Hoste: It’s the foundation of everything. You can eat and train well, but with only four hours of sleep you’re not going to last long. So as an athlete I would recommend at least 8 hours of sleep. Also, try to create some habits to improve your “sleep hygiene”: going to bed every day at the same hour, waking up at the same hour, get sunlight as a first thing in the morning and avoid blue lights after 6pm. Probably nothing new for most of you, but only applying these things consistently will maximize the positive effects.

CytoLED: What does a typical day of eating look like for you?

Jelle Hoste: I typically have 3 big meals a day and 2 snacks (at 10am and 4pm). This is pretty much the same every day. On rest days I reduce my carb intake a bit, as I do absolutely nothing that day. On days where I have my morning session before work I jump right into the workout and have breakfast after. I try to have a higher carb intake the night before to have energy during that early session.

Jelle using the CytoLED Pentaplex device

CytoLED: What got you interested in red light therapy?

Jelle Hoste: My coach Manu had been using it already for 2 years before me and was very excited about it. As I said earlier, I thought it was all about training at the beginning, so I was not interested. But when I had the feeling that I was doing finally everything “right” in terms of recovery I tried to optimize it even more with seeking out for new things which included giving the red light a shot, finally.

CytoLED: What benefits have you noticed from using your CytoLED device?

Jelle Hoste: I feel that it speeds up my recovery. Not only in terms of soreness in the muscles, but also little injuries and inflammation here and there go away much faster. It helps me to sleep better and to relax the muscles. I’m lucky to have the Pentaplex for almost a year now which basically covers my whole body 😊.

CytoLED: How have you incorporated red light therapy into your workout/training routine?

Jelle Hoste: I incorporated it into my morning routine. It’s the first thing I do after waking up. It creates a moment to reflect at the beginning of the day, in front of the device. On high volume days I use it twice a day. Where I target the parts of my body that took the most damage that day, to relax the body.

CytoLED: Would you recommend red light therapy to other CrossFit athletes?

Jelle Hoste: I recommend it a lot to people. I find that it boosts my recovery and provides a number of benefits, as mentioned above. Even with serious injuries, but I also tell people that the device will not replace a good doctor or physio. It will be a good combo though! Also I only recommend it to athletes who "are doing everything right already” in terms of recovery. I explain to them that it will not compensate for a bad diet, tons of alcohol or nights with 4 hours of sleep. And when I recommend red light devices it is from CytoLED. I partnered up with them because they deliver proven quality devices. Yes you can buy a 40€ lamp on Amazon, but you will have nowhere near the same effects. Buy nice or buy twice 😉

CytoLED: How do you envision your future in sports? Any concrete plans?

Jelle Hoste: I don’t have hard goals for myself. I will just continue putting in the work and I’m sure good things will follow. Doing my absolute best in the quarter finals of the CrossFit Games this weekend and planning the rest of the season according to the outcome.

CytoLED: If there is any piece of advice you could give to yourself 10 years ago, what would it be?

Jelle Hoste: Find a good coach, let yourself be assisted by professionals. Don't think you will be the exception who can out-train a bad diet and bad sleep, unlike everyone else. Listen to your body, because training volume is worth nothing if you can’t recover from it.

To find out more about Jelle, check out his website and Instagram profile @jellehoste