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Meet Coach Manfred: Health & Fitness Enthusiast, Minimalist, Entrepreneur

coaches Oct 26, 2022
Meet Coach Manfred: Health & Fitness Enthusiast, Minimalist, Entrepreneur

In this series, we are presenting one by one all of the coaches of the Live better, not perfect team. You can find the whole team on our About page. Today we’ll introduce coach Manfred, a health & fitness enthusiast, minimalist, and entrepreneur.


What Does Manfred Bring to the Table?

As an IT professional, Manfred has been very successful in selling enterprise software. But Manfred's passion is, and always has been fitness and sports. A couple of years ago he completely started to re-orientate his life towards health and fitness and the things that really matter for happiness.

He holds various health and fitness certifications, such as sports and exercise nutrition, and is a certified Kettlebell Specialist. He has participated in numerous competitions and sports projects, including martial arts, weightlifting, CrossFit, obstacle races, high-altitude alpinism, and motorbiking. He is a book author and currently builds his camper van embracing minimalism.

Manfred's mission is to help busy people to change their lives through practical, actionable health and fitness advice.


Credentials And Achievements


Manfred is 42 years old and sports, health and performance play an essential role in his life. All his life he has been engaged in sports and reached at least intermediary level in the following: (beach) volleyball, tennis, basketball, snowboarding, skiing, Thai boxing, wing chun kung fu, alpinism, running, Crossfit, powerlifting, or archery. 

Especially for the last 10 years he has been researching and experimenting methodologically around topics of health, nutrition, fitness and well-being. His motivation was to optimize his life to become fitter, healthier and also more athletic. He wanted to find ways to incorporate habits into his life that make it easy to pursue a fitness-oriented lifestyle without being a full-time sports professional.

Our bodies are fascinating and it’s fascinating how we can influence our bodies if we set the right measures. Manfred figured that what’s useful for him, may be useful for others, too. That’s why he created a model and published it on his website. He also managed to publish it as a best-selling book called From Healthy to Athletic: How to Master the 4 Ingredients to Superior Fitness.

He completed a wide range of competitions, sports projects and courses including: several Spartan and Legion races and other obstacle races, several sailing regattas, marathons (full and half), Wing Chun Kung Fu practitioner certification, Thai boxing in Thailand, the ascent of Grossglockner (Austria’s highest mountain), the ascent of Mont Blanc du Tacul (Chamonix, France), Aneto (highest mountain in the Pyrenees, Spain), several ice climbing and glacier courses, Krav Maga courses, knife fighting courses, Kali stick fighting courses, Ghost fighting, Enduro offroad motorbike courses, Kettlebell courses, or the Heracles strength competition at the Arnold Classics. He is a certified Kettlebell instructor and certified Sports and Exercise Nutrition coach by Precision Nutrition.



Manfred’s Story

Manfred was not always a health and fitness coach. Let’s find out more.


The Rat Race

Manfred is from Austria. The typical cultural and societal perception of success in the Austrian middle class is that you have to be a good student in school, have good grades, get a university degree, work in a big company, get married, have kids, have a big garden, two cars and go on expensive vacations. And this is pretty much what Manfred also followed -- at least for the first 30 years of his life. In that regard, he was “successful.” Super ambitiously he got several university degrees (PhD in Computer Science, and an MBA), studied abroad, got a good IT job, lived in London, was a team leader, and married. 

Sounds all great. But…

He was not happy.

Something was missing. 


The Escape From The Rat Race

His passion always has been fitness and sports. In his corporate world, he totally lost focus on this and was always stressed, had to travel a lot, slept badly, and ate shit food. 

So, gradually he started to re-orient himself to focus on things that really matter with the sole purpose of becoming happier -- authentically happier. He totally shifted his priorities. What’s the point of earning a lot of money, which you spend on many things, which means you need to work more to get more money to be able to afford those things. This is the rat race we are all in nowadays. And it’s toxic.

It was at this time when Manfred came across the Happiness Formula published by Dilbert creator Scott Adams in his book "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big." The formula goes as follows:

Happiness =  Health + Freedom

This is exactly what Manfred started to focus on and is still doing so to this day. He decided that his purpose in life is to be constantly maximizing happiness for himself and the people around him.


The New Direction And Consequences

Let’s take a look at what the three elements of the Happiness Formula changed in Manfred’s life.

Freedom for Manfred means that he is able to do what he wants, when he wants, and where he wants. A key part of this is to achieve financial freedom. Of course, we all need some sort of income to afford our lifestyle. But Manfred wants to do his own thing and not depend on an employer. More on this a little later.

Health is crucial. Freedom without being healthy to actually be able to enjoy this freedom will not make anyone happy. Happiness without health is possible but it's very hard. That's why Manfred makes a healthy lifestyle a non-negotiable priority.

Finally, happiness is the combination of health and freedom. 

And then there are lots of other aspects that may not be clearly attributable to health or freedom but they still make us happy like spending time with friends, learning something new, going on a trip, enjoying the beauty of a beach, or having a BBQ. These things fall into a general happiness bucket. A very good model to describe this is our Live better, not perfect Well-Being Triangle


Mottos He Lives By


We present a couple of mottos that Manfred lives by. Mottos are a useful tool, which can help in difficult situations to make the right decisions. They can almost serve as a compass to stay on track true to one’s values.


“This Is the Line”

This quote was coined by Sir Dave Brailsford. Brailsford became head of the British Cycling team in 2002. Before that, the team had basically no record of success. Brailsford was the mastermind of turning this around. Under his leadership, they won eight gold medals at three Olympics among many other successes. Today the British Cycling team is one of the most successful in the world. 

Of course, such a turnaround has many elements but at the core, the team had an amazing culture and one motivational motto. This could be found everywhere and when the going got tough, they used to remind themselves about:

This is the line. 

The line between winning and losing. Between failure and success. Between good and great. Between dreaming and believing. Between convention and innovation. Between head and heart. 
It is a fine line.
 It challenges everything we do. 
And we ride it every day.

This motto and its story had an impact on Manfred. So, he made it his own, too. He follows a similar principle and recalls it in his mind in tough situations. To make it more graphic, Manfred tattooed a line that goes from his hand along his left arm and shoulder all the way to his neck. 


“No Matter What Happens, Don’t Forget Your Manners”

This one is actually made up by Manfred, but influenced strongly by his upbringing and especially by his grandmother. She had to endure a lot and go through a lot of adversity (two world wars…). Compared to this, a lot of our current first-world “problems” are a joke. For her, it was always very important to follow good, ethical values like being honest, polite, helpful, faithful, or working hard. 

No matter what happens, don’t forget your manners! In a stressful situation, don’t lose your composure. Problems are solved more effectively with a calm head. 


“Who Works a Lot, Needs to Eat a Lot”

This is another famous quote by Manfred’s grandmother. This may not be 100% serious but indeed nutrition is important, which is one of the key elements of the whole Live better, not perfect program. In order to have our bodies function well and for long, we need to fuel them properly. This also includes the one or the other treat from time to time. This is important for happiness and it’s all about balance. We can allow ourselves to indulge sometimes. Life is not a prison.


Other More or Less Interesting Stuff About Manfred

In this section, we give some more details about areas that go beyond our typical health and well-being topics. We believe this helps to learn more about other interests of our coaches and the person they are.


Minimalism and Happiness

As we described above, when Manfred escaped the rat race, he re-oriented his priorities. Essentially that meant focusing much less on material things and societal perception and pressure. But he started to focus on what really makes us happy (see the Happiness Formula). 

In order to be happy, you don’t need much: health, good food, good weather, exercise, good people around you, and meaningful occupations. Do you really need a TV and Netflix? If you live in a nice location, do you really need to go on an expensive vacation?

This is when Manfred got really interested in the concept of minimalism and “tiny living”. He is currently converting a camper van and will then most of the time live in the van while traveling Europe. 

A little earlier we wrote about freedom. A key component of freedom is financial freedom. This can be achieved by creating and selling services (see next section) and investments that then deliver a passive income. Manfred still works in IT but this is strongly reduced and as soon as the other projects deliver enough income to finance his frugal lifestyle, he will switch completely.

Manfred made several passive income generating investments including almond farming, solar energy for emerging markets, wines, livestock, motorcycles, and classic stock and crypto. He writes about these ideas and investments on his blog Join the Ride: Maximize Happiness.


Entrepreneur and Creator


Manfred was a shareholder of a small Barcelona-based IT startup that got successfully acquired. He worked at that company and helped grow it by contributing to strategy and execution. During this period he learned a lot of hard- and soft skills about building and growing businesses. 

Soon after, Manfred launched his fitness business and is involved in several joint ventures including a tiny house investment network or camper van conversions.

His key focus currently as a coach and co-creator of Live better, not perfect, is to create and deliver the best possible service for our members and to grow the community. 


Get In Touch

The best way to get in touch with Manfred is to ping him on Instagram @4legsfitness. He’s always eager to have fruitful discussions about any of the topics covered in this article.


 Do you also want to strive for optimal well-being? Then discover our awesome community of individuals aiming to Live better, not perfect.

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