As a kid I was obsessed with wrestling, me and my mates would fight for hours pretending to be our favourite wrestlers of that particular time! Me and my dad would sit and watch the Pay Per Views until stupid o’clock in the morning just to see the show! My friends and I also used to sit on the Playstation for hours playing the wrestling video games as well. Choke slam, body slam, suplex and piledriver were words which frequently appeared across the screen as our eyes remained stuck to the screen. The catch line we were most fond of was ‘’you suck!’’ because this was all the rage and we would often relay this to one another in jest, however ‘Angle Slam’ is perhaps the most relevant to this interview today because I have with me the awesome Kurt Angle! To say this is an honour and privilege would be a gross understatement! Olympic Gold Medallist, WWE SuperStar and now TNA Impact superstar describe just a few of the immensely impressive stats on Angle’s CV! Whether you love wrestling, have never watched it or cannot stand is irrelevant. Unlike a lot of pro wrestlers, Kurt is a real athlete with real ability hence the Gold medals! Therefore the advice he offers on training, nutrition and supplementation should be taken with great notice! FitMag readers, brace yourself as we step into the ring with the one and only Kurt Angle!
Kurt, I still cannot believe I am interviewing one of my all time favourite wrestlers! I would also like to thank you so much on behalf of MonsterSupplements.com for this unique opportunity.
It is my pleasure, thank you so much for having me!
To get the ball rolling Kurt let’s talk about your background as a wrestler. In 1996 you were wrestling as an amateur in the Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, Georgia. It was at this point you achieved your Gold Medal and really kicked your career off. Can you tell us how you took your first steps into professional wrestling?
When I was wrestling as an amateur my old school wrestling coaches would tell me not to watch pro wrestling saying things like ‘don’t watch that stuff it isn’t real’ so initially I was never really into pro wrestling. Right after the Olympics I was offered a major professional contract which I didn’t really believe at the time and my agent ripped it up as he felt it was all one sided. Then in 1998 I was watching WWF (WWE) and I thought these guys were in great shape. Guys like ‘The Rock’, ‘Stone Cold Steve Austin’, ‘The Undertaker’ and ‘Triple H’ were all on stage tearing it up and I felt I could do this too! With that in mind I went to the trials and I picked it up very very quickly. Triple H in fact said ‘Kurt Angle is like nobody else’ because I just took to it, the techniques, the psychology and everything else just came to me so quick. In 10 months of starting with the WWF (WWE) I won my first title! Nobody had ever done anything like that before and I even blew myself away. It wasn’t until the day of the show that they told me I was going to win the world title! That was my introduction and beginning into professional wrestling.
As a ‘real life’ champion you must have that competitive edge, did you always strive to be number 1?
I always used to read the magazines and see what ranking I was. Little did I know the rankings were purely based on how many times you had won the title, which in professional wrestling means nothing. I would always say to myself ‘why am I number 3 or, number 2 or number 8?’ It was then I found the ‘real’ official rankings which base it on technique and ability and this has been running for seven years. Shawn Michaels has won it 3 times, Randy Orton once and myself 3 times as well!
You enjoyed a long and successful career with the WWE but then you left for TNA Impact. Can you talk us through that point in your life?
Basically, there were some personal issues for me at the WWE and I was going nuts!!! The thing is the whole roster at the WWE is so competitive, that is the nature of the company and things just weren’t working for me. At this point I really needed some time out which thankfully Vince McMahon granted me which he didn’t have to because I still had 6 years on my contract. To this day I am totally grateful to Vince for letting me go; the guy isn’t a jerk like a lot people think he has a huge heart! The very next day after leaving the WWE I signed with TNA Impact on the basis I had 4 months to take some time out and recover. At this point in my life I had just come off my pain killer medication having suffered 3 broken necks in the last 24 months and I felt with being on the road all the time I was burning myself out which is why I needed this time off!
How do you find TNA Impact?
Man I love TNA, the company is awesome and we are all so close. Compared to the other company we just have more synergy and a better relationship. This is why the TNA product is so good because we work well together instead of constantly trying to out do one another. When I made my surprise debut at ‘Bound for Glory’ I loved it and I have enjoyed it ever since! I enjoy working for Dixie Carter and TNA, Dixie is a great individual and a very entrepreneurial business person to work for. I plan to continue with TNA for sometime into the future.
By now our readers will have a real insight to the kind of life you have lived meaning you are constantly on the move, on the road and working flat out! It must be so hard to keep in shape and stay on top of your nutrition. How important is nutrition in your eyes for yourself and for athletes in general?
Very recently in fact I have begun to focus on my nutrition in a major way! After deciding to enter the 2012 Olympic wrestling trials I began to eat cleaner to gradually get my weight down to the weight limit for the trials which are in 8 months time. However due to the fact I have been training so hard I have dropped 38lbs in 3 months so I am 2lbs inside the limit already! This isn’t great because I want to keep my strength high so I am taking on some cheat food to help keep my weight up.
That’s crazy; you were lean before so what exactly does your nutrition plan look like?
That’s right! My body fat is down to 3.5% right now! As well as eating clean I have been using my own product, Ultra-Fibre DX which is a very innovative fibre supplement designed to aid in digestion, help regulate your body and promote better nutrient uptake and nutrient utilisation. I couldn’t believe the results of this product as my blood pressure greatly improved and dropped from around 130/89 to 100/64 and when I my Doctor saw this he said you don’t get anyone over 40 with blood pressure this low! My cholesterol dropped from 199 to 140 so obviously my Doctor uses it as well! In regards to my diet here is a typical day for me right now –
Breakfast – 50g protein mixed with 1 scoop of Ultra-Fibre DX (10 gram fiber), in water.
Mid Morning – 2 chicken breasts, brown rice and vegetables (i.e. Angle Foods Gold Chicken & Rice)
Lunch – ‘Angle Foods’ Pizza
Afternoon – 50g protein mixed with 1 scoop of Ultra-Fibre DX in water and 60g oatmeal
Snack – Natur’ Diet Biscotti cookie.
Evening – 8oz sirloin steak, sweet potato and vegetables
Night time – ‘Angle Foods’ Pizza
Because my body is in such high gear with training and with the use of the Ultra Fiber DX I have to have a few cheat foods occasionally to keep my weight up because I still have 8 months before my Olympic trials. On the whole I don’t eat junk though and I like to stick to quality clean foods all the time. I’m a big believer in health on the inside as well as the outside as I believe everyone should be!
Like a lot of athletes your diet is rich in protein, fats and carbohydrates but it also has a lot of fibre! Talk us through the importance of fibre!
Fibre is very much overlooked; people don’t tend to care so much about it. Although it is a ‘carbohydrate’ it is a fibrous carbohydrate therefore it doesn’t digest or cause insulin spikes like other carbohydrates do. Fiber should have its own column in my opinion. It is so important to promote healthy insides, nutrient utilisation and proper digestion. Our product was actually born in Germany where it was used to help sufferers of Diabetes type 1 and 2, enabling some patients to come off their medication! It works and it works well! My diet has about 300g of protein, 200g of complex carbohydrates, 75g of fibre and about the same level of fats.
For those who don’t know, what is ‘Angle Foods Pizza’?
It is literally a pizza which has had the dough content replaced by our Ultra-Fibre DX product and we have also added quality ingredients to increase the protein content to 30g per serving whilst keeping the carbohydrates at 30g and increasing the fibre content to 15g! This is our biggest seller because Pizza is so popular in the States!
Mmmm, I could use that when I diet! Kurt whilst we are on the subject of supplementation, just how important are supplements in your opinion as an elite athlete?
Supplements are vital to all athletes and I think that everybody to a degree should use some form of supplementation. There are three key areas to maximising your health and that is training, nutrition and supplementation. For beginners and youngsters in particular I would strongly advise they use a high quality protein or a multi-blend protein (Whey, Soy and Casinate), multi-vitamin and a fiber product. After this you can branch out to creatine, arginine products, pre-workout formulas and so on!
In regards to training can you tell us what has worked best for you Kurt and why?
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of wrestlers make God bless them is doing what is called ‘maintenance training’. This basically means doing moderate repetitions, moderate weight and moderate intensity. This doesn’t enable you to gain strength or power and in fact it actually makes you weaker! I have always lifted heavy right up to the Olympics and ever since. This is why I am strong, powerful and explosive in the ring. Wrestlers feel that this may hold their ‘in ring’ fitness back but it won’t because this is why we train for hours in the ring as well. Lifting heavy weight to gain strength and power and wrestling to improve your conditioning are two separate things!
Great! Do you feel, having come up through the sport as a kid into a man that wrestling, MMA, weight training and the diet and lifestyle that goes with it is a healthy way for youngsters to go?
For sure, I think that everyone should have a system in place where they train, follow a nutritious diet and use health benefitting supplementation. It instils discipline into you; gives you a healthier body and this should help remain healthy in the long run! Sometimes youngsters are tempted to take two, three or even five times the amount of recommended dosages on supplements which could possibly have consequences on their health later on in life. This isn’t something you should be doing and as long as you follow the right dosages I think it is a perfectly healthy lifestyle! Right now every man wants his son to be an MMA fighter which is why the uptake in wrestling is at an all time high compared to the last 18 years!
Kurt I would really like to wish you the very best of luck with your preparation for the 2012 Olympic trials and your TNA career. We also hope to see your products over in the UK soon, they look awesome! Once again, thank you so much for joining us today!
My pleasure Adam, thank you so much for this opportunity.
FitMag readers I hope you have learnt a lot from this interview. Kurt is a true legend not only in the wrestling world, but also athletics in general. This guy has so much experience which is why you should listen to what he has to say! To learn more about Kurt’s products head to www.barndadnutrition.com and www.kurtanglefoods.com and www.guiltbusterpizza.com