The Miz seems to have it all. He’s on television all the time, has plenty of cash, is married to the beautiful Maryse, and is also the father of two wonderful daughters. If you suffer from a touch of the old “green-eyed monster,” now is the time to look away, but if you are inspired by hard-work and dogged determination, you can’t find a better example than this guy.
Now 40 years young and pumped for his new “WWE 24” documentary, The Miz has revealed a highlight-reel-worthy body transformation. Muscle & Fitness sat down with the outspoken overachiever to learn more about the motivations and methods behind his recent gym gains while delving into his storied career.
A Miz-torical Perspective
When Michael Mizanin first signed with WWE back in 2004, he was dismissed early on by old-school members of the locker room because of his background in reality television, where he’d been one the most memorable faces on MTV’s The Real World. “This doesn’t happen anymore, businesses evolve, but back then people thought that I would think I could beat everyone up because of a previous character that I played on TV, but it just wasn’t like that,” says The Miz. “I was walking on eggshells. I got kicked out of locker rooms. In the documentary, for the first time, I tell this story in depth. I used the negativity to generate something positive in my life.”
Over time, The Miz proved those grizzled pro wrestling veterans wrong, and went on to become one of Vince McMahon’s most reliable performers. Having accrued more than 20 years on the road, the “Most Must See” wrestler hasn’t missed any significant ring time due to injury, reaping the rewards of his phenomenal staying power by winning a multitude of titles.
The Miz’s list of accomplishments is vast, and includes winning the Intercontinental championship on eight occasions and the WWE championship twice. It’s never wise to underestimate a man that once pinned John Cena in the main event of WrestleMania 27, while suffering from a concussion (albeit with more than a little help from The Rock).
Now, still very much in his prime, The Miz has intensified his relationship with health and fitness, illustrating that any time is a good time to hold ourselves accountable and make positive lifestyle changes. “I’m 40 now, and it’s not so easy to shed the pounds,” says Miz. “It’s not as easy to gain muscle any more. Now I have to work double-time from when I was 25. When the new year comes, I always start a new training plan for WrestleMania. This year I really locked it in.”
His inspiring mental and physical transformation also comes at a time when the awesome one is commanding the spotlight greater than ever before. In addition to his can’t-miss performances on Monday Night Raw, and a successful fly on the wall reality series featuring Maryse and family (Miz & Mrs airs Monday nights after Raw on USA Network), The Miz’s WWE 24 documentary will also premiere Sunday on Peacock in the U.S,. and on the WWE Network everywhere else. Maryse also trains with The Miz, and schools him through challenging stretching and mobility sessions. “In the gym, my wife works harder than anybody,” he says.
WWE 24: The Miz, tracks his transition from a young man living in Parma, OH, idolizing the Ultimate Warrior, to appearing in The Real World, Tough Enough, and fulfilling his ambitions to become a legitimate WWE Superstar. “I got to see a preview of the documentary, and afterwards I was in awe”, says Miz. “That was the first interview I’ve done where I was 100% Mike Mizanin … just a regular guy. Sometimes I blur the lines between The Miz and Mike Mizanin. You see clips in this documentary that I didn’t even know that they had!”
The Miz has resculpted his physique and dropped 14 pounds in approximately three months by working with professional coaches and nutritionists to tweak his training. He went down to 206 pounds from 220, by increasing his weight-training sessions to four days per week and working to a plan designed by Matt Blank. He also opted to go gluten free, dairy free, and soy free with help from The Paleo Chef, Mary Shenouda, making sure that he still received the healthy balance of nutrients and sustained energy required for banging heads in the wrestling ring.
“Mary had me on 2,700 calories per day,” says The Miz. “Fifty percent is protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fat.” He weighed himself on a weekly basis to track what was happening with his weight, so they could check on progress. The Miz wanted to get lean and see his abs, and understood that intense commitment would be required.
The Miz admits that he’s never been a big fan of the gym, but keeping to this new routine and seeing the results has lit a fire in him to maintain good habits. “I do three days of cardio,” says Miz. “Cardio meaning that I’m on a treadmill at a 10-degree incline at 3 MPH. I would also do 20 minutes at a time using a jump rope with 90 seconds on the rope and then 30 seconds off, and repeat, at a good pace. I’m not saying I flew through this thing, but it’s a fat burner!”
Like many people, he often skipped leg day in the past, but Blank motivated him to power through the things that he hates, for the good of his new routine. “Matt loves squats!” says Miz. “For burning fat, getting bigger, everything revolves around squats. But I also perform on live television, so we had to make sure my legs were not too sore from leg day. So, we did leg day on a Tuesday or Wednesday (to give recovery time for wrestling on Monday Night Raw). I also did leg Romanian deadlifts and Matt would vary the different types of lunges that I did. I cannot stand leg day, but I know how important it is. Leg day is the most important day.”
Fit at 40
The results speak for themselves. In an industry where pro wrestlers regularly compete into their 50’s and beyond, The Miz is still a spring chicken at 40. So, as The Miz reflects on a Hall of Fame-worthy career by watching the new WWE 24 documentary, how long does WWE’s A-lister want to keep treading the ring boards? “As long as my body holds up, and honestly
I feel better than ever before” says Miz. “I’ll do this for as long it’s fun. Honestly, I’ve never had more fun in my life, and you talk about motivation, my tag-team partner John Morrison has abs that you can grate cheese on! I can’t wait to see him blossom into the main event-caliber superstar that I know, and he knows, that he is. He’s a great motivation for me to get my ass to the gym.”
Now that’s “awesome!”