Athlete Spotlight: Martin Wildauer
Hi Martin, thanks for taking some time to talk to Starting Strongman, please introduce yourself to our readers.
My Name is Martin Wildauer (born 27 November 1987) and I live in Tirol, Austria. I work for the government in building permissions in my hometown and my hobbies are swimming, hiking, and working with wood but my greatest passion is strength sports – Strongman, Powerlifting and some Bavarian Stonelifting (a traditional strength event in Bavaria where the goal is to lift a heavy stone – starting at 254kg/559lbs – 1 meter/3.28ft high). I am 7x Austria‘s Strongest Man, World’s Strongest Man finalist, current leader of the well known Strongman Champions League, winner oft he SCL Portugal 2014 and winner of the Giants Live in Finland 2011. I am also the current world record holder in the Bavarian Stonelift.
What is your height, weight, athletic background, best lifts and accomplishments?
I am 190cm tall (6’3”) and my bodyweight is around 140 to 145 kg. (308-319lbs)
My best lifts are 300kg (660lb) squat, 220kg (484lbs) bench press and 420kg (924lb) deadlift – all raw, of course.
My best lifts in Strongman are 180kg (396lb) Log, 220kg (484lb) Stone for reps, 115kg(253lb) dumbbell and 400kg(880lb) frame carry for 30m (98.4ft). I guess I have a really strong grip and of course my back is strong as well.
I think my best results in Strongman were:
World’s Strongest Man Finalist 12th Place
1st Place Strongman Champions League Portugal 2014
1st Place Giants Live Finland 2011
7x Austria‘s Strongest Man
some World Records in the Car deadlift and the all time World Record in the Bavarian Stonelift.
I remember a few years back seeing you post videos on Message Boards of some really heavy deadlifts and being impressed. What would be some advice to give our readers on improving their deadlift?
I think one of the most important things in strength sports is to be patient. All paths lead to Rome, but you have to follow your way and your training system to be successful. My philosophy is less is more and to be flexible.
In my case, I hate fixed training routines or diets, which tells me what I have to do in percentages or when I have to do it. I just use an easy routine and in each training I take an event or an exercise I like to do or I have to train for the next competition. For example, I do not do deadlifts every week. I do many variations like racklifts from different heights or some deficit lifts. I also sometimes do heavy Romanian deadlifts as a main exercise.
How did you find your way into competing in Strongman and who are the people that inspired you to pursue strength?
Heinz Ollesch (12 times Germany’s Strongest Man) was the biggest force who showed me the way to the Strongman sport. He saw me at my first Bavarian Stonelifting competition and wrote me via some Strengh-Forum that he would like to help me improve my lifts etc.
So that’s how everything started and now we are really good friends and training events together, when I am not competing. He is really an awesome guy and one of my big idols in the sport and as a person. I am very thankful that he helped me get into the strongman sport and gave me tons of advice.
Being most of our readers are in the United States how do you feel competing in Strongman in Austria and Europe is different than it is here in America?
I don’t think there is a big difference between here and the USA. Probably in America the people are a little bit more interested in Strongman and athletes are better known because of the World’s Strongest Man and some other shows are broadcasted.
The rest is the same everywhere and that’s what makes the Strongman sport so special to me. Strongman is a big family and it doesn’t matter if you are new or a rookie. You always feel welcome in this big brotherhood.
What do you feel needs to happen with Strongman for it to grow as a sport?
I think the TV, newspapers, etc. must put more power into it, otherwise it’s hard to get known and to get sponsors for the shows. At each competition there are lots of people and they really enjoy the sport, but a lot of people don’t know about the sport or when it takes place or where. But I think it’s getting slowly better now with social medias and youtube.
You made your first Worlds Strongest Man Finals and are currently leading the Strongman Champions League in points so you are really coming into your own. What are you doing to keep progressing? What events are you working on to be more competitive?
Yes, so far this year looks pretty good for me and I am really proud of my results. It was always a dream of mine to compete in World’s Strongest Man. Now that I made it to the finals, it mades me really happy. My second dream was to win an SCL competition and maybe become the leader. So it is really amazing when dreams become true in a very short time.
I don’t think I’m doing anything different than I did before. I just adjusted a few little parts in my training. For years I thought I must train like other guys are training and have some fixed routine and everything, but now I know this does not work for me. I have found my own way now and it’s working well. I don’t have a fixed routine, I don’t have a fixed meal-plan, I don’t use percentages for calculating my training weights, I don’t have some fixed exercises in training, etc. All I do is train heavy and the exercises I want to train or I have to train for the next competition and, of course, I try to eat a lot to gain some weight.
What are your goals for the next year and lifetime?
To be honest I don’t know because to win the nationals, to compete internationally, to compete in the WSM, to make the final once, to win an SCL and a Giants Live competition were my goals in my sports career. Now I’ve achieved all my goals in a very short time. I guess maybe I can do more than I thought I was able to do.
That gives me a lot of motivation and I know I have to reach for some bigger goals now and improve myself constantly.
One big dream I still have is to compete once in the Arnold’s Classic and meet the Austrian Legend Arnold Schwarzenegger in person. That would be really awesome – the two Austrian Oaks in on picture. ☺ That’s the first and biggest goal on my list!
What advice would you give for people new to Strongman?
Be patient, believe in yourself, and consistently work on yourself. Listen to the tips and tricks of the experienced strongmen. Feed off their knowledge and experience and give everything a try, but then decide for yourself what works best for you. Test everything out and be opened minded to try new things. What works for me doesn’t mean it will work for you. Every body is different and reacts differently to certain training.
Never force anything because your health should always be the priority. If you’re the strongest man in the world and you injure yourself, it all comes to an end. Your health should always be your priority. Train smarter not harder.
Thanks for the interview! If our readers would like to get a hold of you or follow your training how can they connect with you on social media?