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At our April 2014 cover shoot with John Cena, Cesaro squatted 495 pounds for five sets — seriously. The wrestling superstar boasts considerable strength and endurance, so naturally, the M&F team tracked him down for an exclusive interview about his intense regimen.
M&F: Was it hard to break into WWE from Switzerland?
Cesaro: It wasn’t easy. I started training about 15 years ago. At the time, pro wrestling was not that popular there. It was really difficult to earn match experience so I’d have to drive four to five hours for bouts in Germany just to get out there in front of crowds. I wrestled all over the world, including Japan, before I signed with WWE.
M&F: You travel about 300 days a year. How do you keep up?
Cesaro: The key to success is endurance. You have to be strong throughout the entire match. That takes great stamina. In terms of the quantity of matches… we have no off-season, no holidays. We have to stay in our best shape all year round. Whatever happens I always try to make sure I get at least three to four sessions in per week. A typical gym session will last around 11⁄2 hours. But I’m not happy to just maintain. I’m getting stronger all the time.
M&F: The Cesaro Spin [pictured] is a real crowd pleaser. How did you build that strength?
Cesaro: I guess there are lots of ways. We had a great strength coach here in WWE who was an Olympic weight-lifter. I’m also a believer in func-tional training to meet my goals, so I do a lot of body-weight exercises.
M&F: Many fans are excited to see your technical style.
Cesaro: I love the technical style, whether it’s European or lucha libre. A lot of people associate Mexican wrestling with high flying, but it’s very technical, too. The American style isn’t as technical, so I feel I bring something different.
M&F: Some Superstars, most notably The Rock, have made it big in Hollywood. Would you want to try acting?
Cesaro: Well, at the moment, I have wrestling on my mind, but of course I would be open if the right offer or role came along. WWE has a studio and makes movies also. I think wrestlers are a natural fit for television and movie roles. When you consider we have to do all our own stunts, promos, and tell a story in the ring with passion, wrestlers are well suited for roles in TV and movies… I think maybe I would make a good Bond villain!