Here comes a real power woman. Careless comments should be avoided with her if you don't want to be on the mat in a fraction of a second. Because our Phantom athlete is ready to climb to the top of the ring sport. After an extremely successful time in the junior division, she continued her triumphs in the U23 division and tirelessly pursues her big goal of the Olympics. But now: free the ring for Martina Kuenz!!!
Not only is wrestling a less popular and common sport than other sports, but it's also not the typical "women's sport". How did you come to this?
Martina Kuenz: I started wrestling when I was 11 years old. At that time, various sports were presented in physical education classes in elementary school, with the possibility of trying them out, including wrestling. In the fighting games there I even beat most of the guys, which is why everyone said I had to come to the club for training. And I've stuck with it ever since.
How did it go from there?
Martina Kuenz: At some point I had my first beginner's tournaments, then in 2009 my first assignment in the youth national team, in 2010 I was able to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games. In the years that followed, further successes were added, including various European and World Cup medals, the Vice European Champion title in 2016, and 5th place at the 2017 World Championships in Paris.
How was your sporting promotion during this time?
Martina Kuenz: In order to be able to fully concentrate on my training and sport, I decided to go to the sports school. This enabled me to optimally combine education and training. After that I was in the sports promotion group of the army for four years. I've been in the police sports group since September 1st.
What about other hobbies with this high expenditure of time?
Martina Kuenz: This is of course difficult, since the training workload is indeed very high. However, that doesn't particularly bother me, I'm passionate about my sport.
What does a typical training week look like for you?
Martina Kuenz: It always depends on the time, whether it's the competition period, the pre-season or the post-season. At the moment I train daily on the mat, especially technique, strength twice a week as a supplementary training, and endurance in the form of HIT sets on 3 days.
How is your regeneration going with this high level of stress?
Saturday is my recovery day, when I try to calm down a bit and catch up on sleep, sometimes just doing nothing.
how do you motivate yourself
Martina Kuenz: In wrestling it is extremely important to always be 100% engaged. If you're having a bad day doing other sports, it's usually not that bad, just slow down a little. Here, however, there is an immediate hit on the cover as soon as you lose your focus. So I can't be unmotivated at all.
It's all a bit stressful at the moment because I've been doing professional league fights for a Polish club for a while and of course I'm striving to win there, to do my best. However, I'm very happy about that. Otherwise, the off-season in recent years has always been a time when I had to recover from various injuries. For the first time in a long time I can train effectively in this phase. In addition, the fights in the Polish league offer me the opportunity to gain experience.
Your biggest success so far?
Martina Kuenz: For me, those were definitely the U23 titles and 5th place in Paris. It's true that all the successes in the junior area were nice, but that was all still a junior area.
And your biggest defeat, your biggest low?
Martina Kuenz: I was very successful in the cadet field, even though I had to struggle with injuries again and again, winning title after title. In the last year in this class I had to have an operation on my cruciate ligament after the end of the season. Although I was back on the mat quickly afterwards, I wasn't able to build on my previous successes during the 3-year junior phase. That was extremely hard and aroused massive self-doubt in me, I questioned myself and my ability. Real fears about the future were theres.
How did you get over this time?
Martina Kuenz: Of course, I continued anyway. And as soon as I was out of the junior division, things went great again and the successes came back.
Is there anything you could learn from it?
Martina Kuenz: In terms of winning, these sections were perhaps “empty years”, but I see them more as “apprenticeship years”. As a result, I was able to achieve extreme development, also in terms of strength. We analyzed a lot and put a stronger focus on strength training and implemented it right away on the mat. This also enabled me to improve in all other areas.
I was able to gain a lot of experience in dealing with pressure. I often had too much respect for my opponents, that inhibited me, was a hindrance. Often I was in the fight and almost waited for her to unleash her full strength and bring me to the mat. But nothing came. This enabled me to trust myself right from the start, to trust myself because I know that anyone can be beaten. I don't need to have feared opponents. I did what was possible and necessary, so why should she be better?
Does this also correspond to your attitude towards life?
Martina Kuenz: As a matter of fact. I'm a competitive type, I need the challenge and grow from it.
How did you find out about the Phantom training mask?
Martina Kuenz: My colleague on the national team, Michael Wagner, had been in contact with Phantom Athletics for a long time and trained with them. I was very interested and therefore asked them if I could test them.
What were your first thoughts when you held them in your hands?
Martina Kuenz: I have to try that immediately.
How do you remember your first training session?
Martina Kuenz: I had already done my regular training that day, so I went running with it. At that time, intensity 1 was enough for me (laughs).
How did you proceed then?
Martina Kuenz: As a result, together with my trainer, I planned how I could best integrate them “intelligently” into my training.
How many times a week do you train with her and what kind of training?
Martina Kuenz: I am currently using them 2-3 times a week, primarily for HIT training, with or without equipment, wrestling specific etc. However, I would like to test soon how I can benefit from wearing them during round breaks in training bouts and thus the afterload to increase as a result of the combat round.
What I also really like to use them for is when I still have some strength after training, so that I can really exert myself again when climbing or skipping rope.
What was your most "extreme" experience with the Phantom Training Mask?
Martina Kuenz: That was recently in HIT training with devices. Especially with later laps and high intensities, it quickly gets pretty intense.
Do you also notice mental improvements?
Martina Kuenz: In any case. By getting used to performing well under difficult conditions, you learn to hold out even better when things get tough. When things get tough in training, I often think to myself: “Come on, step on the gas. Be glad you don't have a mask on now."
It also gives me a real self-confidence boost. It's like taping before a boxing match. When I put on the Phantom training mask, close the Velcro, adjust everything again, it's like a signal that I'm giving my body. Then he knows, from now on it's called "Beastmode".
The Phantom training mask mask is for me...?
Martina Kuenz: ... a great tool to work even more on myself and achieve success.
Your message to everyone who doubts its effectiveness?
Martina Kuenz: I know how well it works from my own experience, as well as from contacts with numerous other top athletes. At some point we all hit a plateau, no matter how hard we train. Then the Phantom training mask is an effective and simple way to set new training stimuli and make progress again.
The "best" comment you've heard regarding the Phantom Training Mask?
Martina Kuenz: Darth Vader. But I know what she brings me.
The new colors make it even more interesting. I immediately put my own together, with a bright pink sleeve and neon body, I like it colorful.
Although I thought it was extremely cool in black and it was a real eye-catcher, people are now looking at it even more. For us girls in particular, the opportunity to put together your own mask with PHANTOMiD is really great.
Do you already have your next big goal in mind?
Martina Kuenz: There are still a few fights left in the Polish league, from which I want to come out unbeaten, also to create a good reputation for myself for the next few years. In the foreground, however, I look at the big, international tournaments and of course the Olympics are still at the top.