Since switching to kickboxing, he has fought 35 professional fights, became intercontinental champion three times and world champion twice again. Hats off! We meet the martial artist we sponsor after his fitness training at the MTM Gym in Berlin and talk to him about the effects of his strict diets, why martial arts isn't everything and why the current training plan is like a vacation.

Johanna: When was the time when you knew that you wanted to do martial arts and do it professionally?
Enrico: I started doing martial arts when I was 10/11. Before that I played basketball, but only as a hobby on the street. It has to be said that I was bullied and teased as a child and my mother then tried to enroll me in Kung Fu - but it wasn't for me at all. (laughs)

At some point I went to karate lessons on my own. At the same time, I started delivering newspapers because that was how I earned the money. Apparently I was relatively talented back then and started fighting after about two years of training. I then became Berlin champion, then German champion and later European champion. When I was 17/18 I went to world championships for the first time and soon afterwards I became world champion in karate.

In the following years I was often invited to Russia as a professional and there was briefly the idea of ​​going to Japan, but I was advised that I should rather take up kickboxing - you could even earn a bit of money that way. So I kind of stumbled from one thing to the other. This is also where I met Ralf, my current trainer, and together we have fought 30 to 40 professional fights so far.

I've always done martial arts on the side. I never really wanted to do it professionally, despite the fact that I received many offers, for example from Golden Glory in Holland. But I never felt the need to focus my whole life on that.

Johanna: Sure, I can understand that. You can never guarantee that you will be able to compete at 100%...for example like now, because unfortunately your arm is broken and you have to take a break. Are there any plans you have for next year?
Enrico: I have a lot of offers from various organizers and my title defense is still pending - so something will definitely happen.

Johanna: How long can you “postpone” defending your title if the world champion is unable to compete due to illness?
Enrico: Theoretically, you have one year to defend your title - the title is then vacant for the time being. But I don't keep all of my belts tight either. (laughs) If he's fought out and there's a good successor, that's fine with me too. I can then challenge him again.

Johanna: Of course, your sport requires a certain amount of discipline: in training but also in nutrition - because you always have to move in one weight class. Does the whole training schedule sometimes annoy or stress you out?
Enrico: I have lived with the sport for over 20 years now; it's just part of me. I currently have a “holiday training plan” so to speak – training just 4 times a week is almost relaxing for me. For others that would probably be super stressful. (laughs) Immediately before a competition I train twice a day, five days a week, so it's very relaxed at the moment and I still stay in shape.

Johanna: You changed a few things a few weeks ago: in your training, diet, from a medical perspective and also with the help of our supplements. Why?
Enrico: We noticed that some balances just weren't there for me. For over 20 years you have followed one trend, then the other - low carb, vegan etc.. All diets are always tough and especially when you are in weight classes, you make sure that you are as close to the edge as possible Weight class moves. In fact, everyone does it that way. The aim is always to go into the fight as heavily, strongly, quickly and energetically as possible. In order to keep up with the others, you follow all the trends. This is not always beneficial for the body and health. To be honest, I've made quite a loss here over the past few years - without all the professional support of supplements and balanced training plans.

Johanna: So you didn't supplement your diet at all before our cooperation?
Enrico: No, almost not at all. During my karate days, I didn't even do weight training. I thought: To get a harder hit, I just have to hit harder. (laughs) I've only been doing explicit fitness training for martial arts for five or six years. Because I met Max from MTM, a lot of things changed again. Above all, of course, he also stopped taking supplements, which I hadn't had before.

Johanna: An optimal supply of nutrients is exactly what ensures that the body does not suffer and is well positioned even during hard, intensive training. Especially when the body is in a state of emergency and needs to regenerate optimally...
Enrico: Yes. It may actually be that through the years of not paying explicit attention to diet and nutrients, my bones have become so thin that it was only a matter of time before one of them broke.

Johanna: Clear. Every diet predicts a deficiency - and that is exactly what we want to prevent...
Do you currently have a morning routine?
Enrico: First get up – my two children usually throw me out of bed. Then I change the little one and dress both of them. Sometimes I even find the button on the coffee machine (laughs). I drink it while the children are briefly painting something. Then it goes out. On the way I grab something for breakfast – whatever the nutrition plan allows. Then it's off to the first training session.

Johanna: What is your personal “One thing for optimal performance”?
Enrico: Good question. I believe self-confidence and inspiration. If I have both, I can achieve a lot and in the long term. If I miss that, I get this lack of motivation and then I ask myself: why am I even doing this? When I know why, have a goal or a vision, then I can function optimally.

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