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Meet the athlete: Michael Wagner

Since Michael Wagner completed his first training at RSC Inzing in 2000, he, as he says himself, "could no longer live without wrestling and spent his childhood instead of in the sandpit throwing his opponents on the mat in a fair fight. Since then he has been able to celebrate numerous national and international successes, for example he came third at the European Championships, won seven World Cup medals and has already been national champion five times. Now, 17 years later, he is constantly preparing for his big goal, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. In the following interview he tells you what he has already experienced along the way, how he got into wrestling in the first place and how the Phantom training mask has changed the way he prepares for the demands of his sport.

How did you get into wrestling? Isn't that rather less common as a sport?

Michael Wagner: I come from a community of 4000 people. A kind of small "Gallic village" and wrestling has always had a kind of tradition in our place, each of the locals has been in one of the wrestling clubs as a child. There were regular demonstrations in elementary school, I watched them once when I was 8 years old. Since I wanted to spend more time with my friends, who were all already in the wrestling club, I also joined.

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How did it go for you then?

Michael Wagner: Of course, I went regularly to club training and that's how I discovered my love for this sport. I've also had a lot of strength since I was a child, which was an advantage for me. In 2006, I was able to draw attention to myself with my first Austrian junior championship title and other successes, and that's how I ended up on the junior national team.


How can one imagine the time that followed?

Michael Wagner: Of course it was all very demanding. We trained seven times a week at the sports school, went to the training camp and whatever was part of it. But it was great fun. You live for your sport.


After that came...?

Michael Wagner: The army. I was also in competitive sports. During this time I also did most of my coaching training. However, I then had the misfortune of not being extended and fell out of the system completely, had no sponsors or other support on the sporting side. While I continued to train at a pro level, compete and stay in the sport, it wasn't an easy time.

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You're now in the police's elite sports group. How did you get there?

Michael Wagner: At the time, I was lucky that the squad was being re-advertised at the very time when I was so up in the air. That doesn't happen that often. I was then able to prevail there as one of nine against applicants from all over Austria. That was my “rescue” back then, so to speak.


Does this mean that you can now combine sport and work well?

Michael Wagner: Without any exaggeration, the police are great employers. Mainly I can focus on wrestling and go through the training at the same time.


You fight in the professional field, so there isn't much time besides training, do you still have other hobbies?

Michael Wagner: If it can be installed, I am someone who loves to go on vacation. Just put your feet up and do nothing at all, just relax. My girlfriend and I complement each other very well, we're a great team when it comes to things like that.

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What would you consider your greatest achievement so far?

Michael Wagner: The 2nd place at the World Cup was mega for me. And then in the same year also the 1st place at the World Cup in Spain.


And your biggest defeat or low?

Michael Wagner: That was definitely the end for me in the army. I had no idea how to proceed. I also had various infections and injuries, fell out of all systems and had no support. Luckily that's different now, also thanks to Phantom Athletics .
But I fought for a long time, those were tough weeks.

However, I would also describe having overcome this time as a great success for me. A time like that makes you mentally stronger, you know nothing breaks you down that easily


What's your next big goal?

Michael Wagner: First of all, of course, the World Cup, which is just around the corner, so to speak. But that's actually just another milestone on the way to my big goal, the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

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What is your motivation tip?

Michael Wagner: Pursue your goals, do everything to achieve them, even if it takes effort.

And: "fight4success". That's something we wrestlers all have in common. You fight from a young age, you put that on your life at some point. Don't give up and stand up for your dreams, come what may.


Are you currently in the very last phase before the World Cup?

Michael Wagner: Yes, that's why my training workload was extremely reduced, especially this week. Now it's just a matter of being fit in Paris.


How else can you imagine a regular training week with you?

Michael Wagner: It's always quite different, depending on whether I'm on a course. In the preparatory phase, I usually train twice a day, with one day off per week. I usually do one workout at medium or low intensity, and then I do the other at high intensity.


How did you become aware of the Phantom training mask back then?

Michael Wagner: I have had a special relationship with Phantom Athletics for a long time since they accepted me into their athletic team. That was almost unbelievable for me. There really isn't anything like that in my sport. As a result, I have been supported by them with equipment for a long time.

When the idea for the development of the Phantom training mask came up internally at Phantom Athletics , I was brought on board to actively work on the development.
Together with other athletes we have tested countless prototypes, discarded, improved and so on...
In the end, the current Phatom training mask came out, as everyone knows today and I have stayed true to it ever since and have included it in my training.

And how's the training going with her?

Michael Wagner: Although I've been training with it since day 1, it always pushes me to my limits. I'm someone who likes to test myself, but even today I still think to myself "That's pretty tough", especially at level 4 I often have the feeling: "I'm about to be snapped off". However, I also notice today, after over 2 years of training with the Phantom training mask, still improvements.


How did you initially go about increasing the intensity?

Michael Wagner: I'm someone who's good at torturing myself, so I started at level 3, mostly running with her at first, and then went the last few meters up to 4.


What's your favorite workout with her?

Michael Wagner: As I said, I use them very intensively for running training, otherwise jumping rope, training with battle ropes and similar functional fitness things.

What was your "hardest" experience with the Phantom Training Mask?

Michael Wagner: That was while running. I have my regular round through a piece of forest with us. The finale is quite steep up a mountain. Otherwise I'm always up to level 3 and that was quite demanding. This time, however, I really wanted to know, so I set it to 4 shortly beforehand and then ran up there. The whole time I had to really force myself not to put my fingers on the PRS and my head kept pounding, "Now it's going to blow my mind". But it was cool to go through with it anyway.


How many times a week do you train with it?

Michael Wagner: This also depends on the training phase and what kind of training I do for it. Especially when running and fitness training.


The mask is for me...?

Michael Wagner: ...a very interesting tool that helped me to increase and intensify my training again.


Would you say you could benefit from the Phantom training mask in wrestling?

Michael Wagner: In any case. Above all, the psychological strength that you gain is enormous. In wrestling there are always oxygen shortages where you think you're running out of air. On the other hand, I was able to achieve much deeper breathing.

It must also be said here that it was always difficult for me to breathe when doing sports, since I actually have a congenitally reduced lung volume. That is something that is now a thing of the past.

In addition, my regeneration has become more efficient, I am fit again quickly even after high-intensity demands. It helps me perform better, which is why it's an ideal match for me.

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Did the Phantom training mask also help you with regard to the World Cup?

Michael Wagner: iI'm at the best level of fitness I've ever had. Of course, I trained extremely hard and a lot for this, but the mask certainly played its part.


If you too want to improve your physical and mental abilities in order to push your body to peak athletic performance, you should take a look at our Phantom training mask!



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