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Meet the athlete: Mario Paonessa

With water as his true element, our athlete Mario attracted attention not least in 2016 and 2017 at the World Rowing Cups. Not surprising, since he was born on the Italian coast near Naples and has always had a special connection to the sea. But let's let it speak for itself, here it is.

How did you get into rowing?

I discovered this sport at the age of 9. Since I've always had a great weakness for boats and especially the sea, it was a perfect fit.

Then what?

I started training in Naples and then later made it into the “Fiamme Gialle” (Italian Police Sports Promotion Group), where I was already able to celebrate my first major successes.

What is a typical training week like for you?

It depends on the season, on average I have 13 units per week, plus minus.

That probably doesn't leave much time for other hobbies?

Yes, that's right, there simply isn't enough time for that. But as soon as I have half a day off, I immediately go underwater fishing, which is one of my other great passions alongside rowing.

Your regeneration strategy to endure such a hard program?

Over the years in sport, you learn to adapt to such a high workload, in particular it is almost fundamental in my sport to always give everything and to go beyond your own limits. However, good nutrition and taking care of yourself also go a long way.

how do you motivate yourself

I like to use various imagination techniques. For example, I close my eyes and focus on my goals, which allows me to push myself to my limits and beyond.

What do you see as your greatest achievement?

That was definitely the 2017 bronze medal at the World Championship in Florida. Years of dedication paid off.

And your biggest defeat?

Missing 3rd place by just a few tenths of a second at the London Olympics was pretty much my biggest sporting disappointment. But that gave me the strength to start again. Stronger than ever.

How did you come to the Phantom training mask?

I saw them on social networks and got curious. That's why I informed myself and started to see the potential that it offers me to develop even more intensively in sport.

What was your first impression?

Very positive. The Phantom Training Mask combines a "catchy" look with an almost-not-there feel, it's that light and comfortable.

What happened then?

I gradually started to train with it, first only in the gym, then also when rowing myself. Of course it wasn't easy at first, but I got used to it step by step. Little by little, through anaerobic rowing training, I noticed how extremely it supports me in redefining my personal limits.

How many times a week do you train with the Phantom training mask?

I usually use them for 4-5 training sessions.

What was your "most extreme" experience with the Phantom Training Mask?

In my sport, running is a fundamental form of training. Intense mountain runs with the Phantom Training Mask are quite an "extreme" experience for me.

Did you also notice mental improvements?

Definitely, very clearly. The Phantom Training Mask induces a strong breathing effort, which is why training under such conditions gives me great benefits for my mental endurance and stamina. It's about just never giving up.

Could the Phantom training mask also contribute to your success at the World Rowing Championship 2017 and the World Rowing Cup in the same year?

The mask accompanied me in almost all of my training sessions in 2017, so I firmly believe that it has given me a significant training and performance advantage.

Your message to all critics of the Phantom training mask?

For a true "top-level" athlete, it can become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to further improve their performance over time. However, the “Maschera Phantom ” has enabled me to become faster and more powerful than ever before.

What are your next big goals?my next destination?

The World Rowing Championship 2018 in Plovdiv. Of course I want to seamlessly build on my current successes!!

If you, like Mario, 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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