Before’n’After Interview #34 – Martin Gratzer

Before'n'After Interview #34 – Martin Gratzer

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your everyday life

MG: I am 31 years old, grew up in beautiful Carinthia and full-time manage a branch of an Austrian bank in Vienna. In the last 15 years I have practiced shot put as a competitive sport and won the Austrian state championships 12 times during this time. I work part-time as a personal trainer and am in the process of pursuing this again after the end of my competitive sports career. It's just fun for me to support motivated competitive athletes and amateur athletes to improve their physical condition and achieve their goals. And with a good system, it's not really difficult if the motivation is there.

How did you come across the Before'n'After program?

MG: I became aware of Wolfgang in 2009 and have been working with him since 2010. During this time I flew to Stuttgart every 4-8 weeks and had very good success with his programs in terms of shot put. Among other things, I set a new personal best indoors. Having decided to give up the ball after the final indoor season of 2012/13, I was looking for a new challenge. And it was found quickly. I wanted to lower my body fat percentage to below 10% and see what is possible. Wolfgang was again clearly the first point of contact.

What motivated you to start and follow the program?

MG: Since I now have a little more time for my part-time job as a personal trainer after doing athletics as a competitive sport and would like to expand that, my number one priority is to set a good example for my clients - walk the talk and practice what you do preache Therefore, it was time to "shed" the now useless ballast, my weight, and get in shape. In addition, I hoped that through the cooperation with Wolfgang and the seminars that I attended with him and that I can strongly recommend to everyone , I would acquire new and, above all, applicable knowledge in order to achieve the same success with my customers.

How did your sleep develop during the program?

MG: My sleep wasn't bad at all, I had no problem falling asleep or staying asleep. The quality then improved again significantly. And I'm even fitter in the morning.

How did your energy level develop during the program?

MG: My energy level is not comparable to before. Before, I needed a lot of caffeine to be able to cope with the everyday workload of 60 hours of work and 6 training units and was exhausted every evening. Today I drink coffee more for pleasure and significantly less - 6-8 became 0-2 cups a day.

What was the biggest change for you?

MG: The most difficult thing at the beginning was definitely the complete abstinence from caffeine to get the adrenal glands back in order. Otherwise, the minor changes in diet weren't really difficult for me, since I've stuck to the basic structure for a long time - 80%.

What has changed in your training and diet in the last 4.5 months compared to the 2 years before that with Wolfgang?

MG: All in all, there were many small, individual changes. Shot put was eliminated, but one more strength training session, the repetitions were still generally below 8, weightlifting exercises such as snatches and cleans were almost completely eliminated. What surprised me was that we didn't do any programs with shortened breaks like German Body Comp. The biggest difference in training was probably the focus away from explosive power towards functional hypertrophy. When it came to nutrition, there were primarily minor changes, so I had to take a little more time to prepare my meals, especially at breakfast, my quick-quick variants from before were no longer possible. One of the most individual changes was that my post-workout shake, which I always drank in the previous years, was eliminated in these 4.5 months. Wolfgang's explanation for this made sense. And the successes now clearly speak for it.

What's your favorite breakfast?

MG: Quite simply, a good pepper steak with nuts and tomatoes. And at the weekend, I also like pancakes made from gluten-free flour and a mountain of berries.

How often and for how long did you train?

MG: In the last 2 years it was 3 strength units and 2-3 shot put units per week, in the last 4.5 months it was only 4 strength units, each about 1 hour. And there were 2 phases of 3 weeks each in which I also did 2 sprint workouts per week.

What is your favorite exercise?

MG: All kinds of squats! Of course, as a shot putter, the LH incline press was also my thing (note: with a best of 165kg for 3 repetitions).

Have you also done endurance training to lose fat?

MG: I've never been a fan of endurance training and here my opinion coincides 100% with Wolfgang's opinion. Endurance training is not very helpful, let alone necessary, for body fat reduction. And can even have negative effects that we want to avoid at all costs. The two phases with the sprint workouts also pushed the progress forward significantly.

What is the reaction of your environment to the change in the last few months?

MG: The response was 100% positive. Many say I look years younger now and I feel the same way! (unfortunately the hair didn't grow anymore)

And what happens now?

MG: My plan is to consolidate my body fat by around 10%, significantly increase my maximum leg strength and pack on some muscle mass. For next year, the body fat should then be reduced by a good bit. Otherwise, I plan to attend further seminars with Wolfgang. In order to then offer this very successful concept in Austria for the first time.

More information about Martin is also available at

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