Owner of the biggest Crossfit box in Austria, several times World Champion in Powerlifting, Crossfit coach & Nutrition coach, Roland Prager was born in December 26, 1978. He is 1,85cm (6,0″) and weights 95kg (210Lbs).
When I met Roland I noticed he is not only a strong man, very “shiva” but also a sympathetic big smile guy. Straight to the point, and very carrying about his new baby; the 1000m2 Crossfit box. I have to say I enjoy very much his trainings/WOD’s I really have fun when he coaches, every time I get a little bit afraid but I manage to handle it…
A goal oriented one and kinda do what he wants, for sure he knows what he is doing when it comes to be fit & strong 😉
Here is what Roland shared with LIVE HEALTHILY EVER AFTER:
AF: Please introduce yourself…
RP: I’m Roland, I owe a crossfit in Vienna, I know Angie because she is doing Mobility workshops at our gym.
I read your bio and I know you started as teenager with powerlifting, basketball and american football…how was the journey as an athlete going from one sport to the other?
RP: Actually, I grew up seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger and Silvester Stallone in television, and it was like out of those to guys or Michael Jordan, I tried to be like Michael Jordan but I soon discovered that I had no real talent for playing basketball, so when I was about 15 I started to do some regular bodybuilding stuff that you’ve seen in some magazines and at the same time my basketball career went from been very intense to be sometimes just playing with friends, not taking it to serious anymore and it was just by coincidence I discovered in the street where I lived, a gym where powerlifters were, I didn’t know powerlifting, I only knew bodybuilding but I went there and I watched them, there were some young guys; even younger than me, they were really strong and I decided: Ok that’s what I am going to Do.
Actually I told them: I gonna be the strongest man on the world, which didn’t quit work out, but some success was there for me, powerlifting was my first love.
In Austria I was number one; I didn’t have any body to train with, I didn’t have people supporting me or putting some pressure, challenging me in Austria, for the USA guys, Swedish or Finnish guys…they were better than me, they had some company; 5,6,7 guys almost the same level, training together pushing them.
I was working on my own and it was very hard because you always have to push yourself, nobody else is saying: “Com’ on…” I was like OK I have to DO it. And I said ok, it’s enough. Even for my relationship it was very challenging.
I had to eat 9 times a day, and I was eating, eating, eating…sleeping, eating, eating, eating…working out, eating, eating, eating, and it was everything I did. When I was in holidays;
My first thing was: Is there a gym? To workout there.
Second thing was: OK after breakfast, there should be some place near where I can buy some food, then should be lunch & should be a snack & I should be able to go and workout.
AF: How many years were like that?
About 12 years, that I spent my time like that, I really forced myself to eat that much and workout on been just STRONG, really it was only about been STRONG, nothing else, only to be really strong,
In 2008-2009 I said ok, I want to do something else I loved to watch american football and in Austria is not that big, so I went to clubs and I was weighting more that 130kgs, I was very strong, they said ok you can play, so I played football one and a half years.
Actually, it was the first time I discovered the strength training was monumental; every cut, every movement you take it was like “ahhh” this hurts and this hurts, I was not flexible enough, I was not smooth enough, I was very stiff, a lot of power but not really moving well.
After that I quit, I couldn’t play any longer because I was really afraid that been over 30, I will get in some serious injury for nothing, I did not get any money or nothing it was just for fun. I said ok, that’s enough, then I started the nutrition coach and also the fitness trainer seminars and I found out that maybe been lighter, not having that much body weight would be quite an advantage for normal life and I dropped down, it was not really hard, from eating 9-10 times a day and cutting it to 4 or 3 times I lost the first 20 kilos really fast.
THEN I FOUND CROSSFIT
First of all I found Crossfit football like the prowler, the sleds; and I thought I loved! I loved it! I kinda worked with this and after that I thought ok let’s try it. The workouts were so hard, I couldn’t finish them I was always destroyed and I found a lot of movements I couldn’t do not because they were to heavy but because my body not been able to get into the required position; overhead squats, at the beginning, even the strict press… I was almost unable to do the lockout position so I said ok, let’s combine it, let’s do some sports and do something more for my health, do more flexibility I even read a lot of thing about paleo foods and stuff like this. Which as you know I am not really into a strict diet, but I like to know the things, It is always good to know what people think about certain things and why and why not. So at least I know what I am doing wrong if you put it in this way.
So for the last one and a half – two years I am doing Crossfit and I am focusing and getting ready for next year Crossfit Open. You can do the workouts, everybody around the world, you just register and can do five workouts; my region will be Europe; in additional you can do the regionals and can compete for the Crossfit Games. My big goal would be getting to the regionals I know I cannot come to the Games because as hard I am training, the movements are still… I am not a complete athlete, some mobility exercise I cannot do. I think I can do very good in some workouts and I will be very bad in some others but as I watch this year open results I think that the regionals are possible. That is my big goal.
AF: How does it work to get into the regionals?
RP: First stage they open, everybody does it at home, you register at certain point of the year they send the workout, and this one stands there for 4 days, and you post the results, you need a judge for that, tape the workout and send it. And afterwards the best 50 get into the Games.
AF: Now tell us about the box…
RP: Our gym, we own the biggest Crossfit box even in Austria, even one of the biggest in Europe. we try to keep it simple, not to put to much into it just the floor, 2 big recks for the muscle-ups and the pull-ups. One thing I am very proud of is that we have the chance to do some prowler work on the back, not many gyms have it, we are still developing, I think the Crossfit community is still growing here, in America is almost like a religion community, everybody know everybody, who is in another or same box and if you need help they come by, and do some BBQ and stuff like that, I think it is beginning in Austria…This is the thing I like about Crossfit, you have like groups for some competition, and to sheer you up. I think is more fun that going to the gym.
AF:…your personal weekly workout?
RP: It’s very hard to put it in a real written, because I workout what my body tells me to do, it is between one workout and sometimes is 5 workouts a day…Normally I do 6 days a week, most of the time I give myself a day to recover. The only thing I try to do is not to do really long workouts I mean to workout one or one and a half hours I think it is to much for the body. You will drop down the energy level, you will not be productive so, I try it to keep it one hour. That’s it.
AF: One workout tip:
RP: What I would recommend to do, it doesn’t matter what kind of Sport you do. Always try to workout in your weaknesses and as a kind of motivation for yourself also put one of your strong movements or strong parts of your sport into the same workout. You have to go thru the one thing you don’t like to get to the point you really like. And, this will help you to work harder and get there.
AF: How do you balance your lifestyle:
RP: Actually at the moment I still try to figure out how to get everything done because been a gym owner it takes time and nerves. I am still trying to be an athlete; it takes a lot of focus, and finding the time to prepare your meals and at least eat good food, also, takes a lot of time so I only try to accept been tired; sometimes I don’t accept it then, I keep pushing. Now I am learning to accept been tired, I think it is important for me to come home and let it be, everything else can be done tomorrow, give yourself some rest. Try to be fit the next day and not over do it.
RP: Every time I see somebody doing Crossfit or seen somebody do some amazing workout. It is unbelievable what the person can do. It inspires me when I think this is it, this is the boundary and seen other person proves you wrong (believe system) Seen somebody keep going working out 1000 burpees and not slowing down, not giving up, seen his face saying
I CAN DO IT
This is inspiring, seen what people can do, I mean you cannot keep track with everybody but
YOU CAN ALWAYS TRY HARDER
AF: How are your daily intakes like…
RP: I don’t have a real diet plan, I always try to have twice a day fruits and vegetables with my meals. I try to eat more protein than carbs but actually I don’t keep track of it so I don’t know if I am on the right side with proteins or carbs. I am kinda addicted to sweets, so every day is a battling against to have some chocolate, I really try to choose the best time to eat chocolate or not.
AF: Your fav recipe…
RP: Actually I am a cook, that is what I learned but a common chef. What I like to cook is steak with some eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, first cook the bacon to have the taste of the grease. Scramble your eggs; add tomatoes, avocado, parsley, sour cream and tabasco, and some cheese on the top of it.
AF: Weight loss best tip…
RP: Stop eating between meals, focus on question yourself am I done? Or I really need more. It is the first advice, cut everything in between meals because you don’t recognize what you are eating. If you ask the people what were the meals of their day, they would quick answer what they had for breakfast, lunch or dinner. That’s what they know but if you keep asking them a lot of times they start to remember the extras. Even your body don’t recognize it.
As well when you eat and you are finish and you know there is some more in the kitchen, remain seated, wait for 5 to 10 minutes, ask yourself am I really hungry or is it just because I know there is something more out there and I want to get it now, if you feel like ok today I want more, you take it but somedays you will say ok, thank you I am done.
AF: Tip for creating a healthy lifestyle…
RP: Regulate the amount of stress, what ever it is, if you work in the fitness business or as a coach, or If you have a regular 9 to 5 office job, and you don’t own the company and get extra stress, you won’t get more money for that. Take care of yourself and the office, arrange your private life in a way that doesn’t stress you.
MOVING IS THE BEST WAY TO LOOSE SOME STRESS
The people that come to Crossfit ask me, how many times do I have to come to see some changes and I always telling there is no right way to do, there is not correct to do 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 workouts whatever if you do 3 workouts and you enjoy it then it is correct. If you force yourself to go, think oh I have to go, you are wasting money then that is putting more stress in your life and that is not a way to start a healthy life.
If you want to train with Roland Prager, you can find him at his box: