Dr. John Jaquish is joined by National Level NPC Bodybuilder Mike Wozny to talk about testosterone use, variable resistance, and other topics. Learn why Mike stopped lifting weights and what the bodybuilding community can learn from scientific studies that are widely disregarded by the fitness industry.
Dr. John Jaquish: Mike Wozny is here and we’re gonna talk about bodybuilders and what bodybuilders need to learn that they haven’t learned yet. And a lot of things that get published in research, a lot of things that are common knowledge with academia don’t end up always getting to the people who are trying to make results happen in the gym. Gyms are not really incentivized to give people results, they typically just give people access or selling personal training and they don’t really care what you do and even if you’re being ineffective and that’s too bad, because there’s certainly more effective approaches than people are doing now. One of the things I regularly say is, if regular weightlifting and cardio for weight loss works so well, where are all the fit people?
Mike Wozny: Right.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, pretty much everybody with impressive physique has a supplement contract.
Mike Wozny: Yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: And it just shows you how rare that is, it’s really rare to be in great shape. And a lot of people should be in great shape, millions of people should be in great shape, but they’re going about doing it wrong. So let’s talk about
Mike, your journey, when you started moving away from weights.
Mike Wozny: Moving away from weights, I guess it really started four years ago when I was getting desperate ‘cause I hadn’t competed at that point in around four years because of a knee injury that kept egging me from squatting.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah.
Mike Wozny: A quadricep tendon issue, I had hurt it and every time I would rehabilitate it and working my way up again, I eventually just would start swelling up and there was nothing… I felt absolutely defeated and the funny thing is, that’s when Phil Hernan had met you and I had this small interaction with you and you talked about balance and the bands. And then I started paying attention to the band thing, ‘cause back when I was younger, all bands were these surgical tubing things that we used to pump up-
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, bands used to be a joke. Or they’re great for rehab, like an outward rotation movement where you just outwardly rotate. So just to rebuild your rotator cuff from surgery or something.
Mike Wozny: Yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah.
Mike Wozny: Exactly. And I had a lot of shoulder issues from obviously bench pressing, most guys that have shoulder issues, it’s from bench pressing.
Dr. John Jaquish: And they’re not doing anything wrong, that’s just what bench pressing does to your shoulders.
Mike Wozny: Correct, yeah. You get most load in the stretch position and it eventually is gonna tear ’em up. Started adding bands to my lifts and I remember I was training this one girl and I had her doing lateral raises with light dumbbells. And then I would put this band around her wrists and her delts just started growing. And they actually got remarkably and we started adding bands to bench press. They started adding bands. I started doing double leg work on a balance and that caused my hips to engage properly. I started using my abductors, the adductors, the glutes that, you know, everything came in together and it held everything in a place where in order to balance perfectly, I had to do a perfect squat. You know, I couldn’t put a load forward. I didn’t have my-
Dr. John Jaquish: Exercise on an unseeable surface, and you’re gonna fire everything.
Mike Wozny: Yeah. Everything was just equally tuned in and my joints weren’t getting, there was no pain. So then I started working deeper and deeper and deeper. And then I started adding a band over my shoulders. Well eventually what I would start doing is, going back to squatting, then I would get set back again.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, sure.
Mike Wozny: I kind of had thought competing was gonna be the end of it all for me, it was done. I was getting older, screw it, and I was open to still training guys, but I was working these long hours in these weld shops and I was training. I was still going to the gym, but my legs, I would just do what I could. And it was always a depressing thing, but it was well over a year ago now I started doing single leg work and just adding bands to it. And all these guys are telling me, oh, I’ve worked with those bands, they don’t do anything. But they never really just worked with bands and kept doing it.
Dr. John Jaquish: They didn’t really give a shot. They threw a band on something they were doing and-
Mike Wozny: Yeah, they throw it on the weight. You throw it on a weight and then, people talk about how that gets you between plateaus. Well that’s because the muscles pushing harder through the whole movement, and it’s gonna hyper trophy more and it gets stronger. It’s not strengthening the end of the movement, it’s strengthening the muscle altogether, it’s one muscle,
Dr. John Jaquish: Well, you fire more tissue when you’re in your stronger range.
Mike Wozny: Yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: I mean, it’s not like-
Mike Wozny: All these guys are talking about how you’re creating this kinetic energy. It’ll throw it at the end or whatever you’re strengthening the end of your movement or whatever. I’m like-
Dr. John Jaquish: True, and there’s-
Mike Wozny: In the muscle period, your maximum, the amount you can go lift is going up and so obviously knew Phil Hern very well.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, one of my really good friends.
Mike Wozny: I trusted him completely. He never steered me wrong. And he had been doing the band pretty much that’s it for the last, I’m gonna say three years.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, that’s how long we were working on that.
Mike Wozny: And he trained Cedric McMillan with bands and, Cedric was very impressed with it.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. I got some great pictures on the website and Cedric using the X3 .
Mike Wozny: Okay, yeah, yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: Now he graduated to the X3.
Mike Wozny: Okay . And then he had introduced me just briefly to another guy, you and I had actually discussed earlier and all these guys look great and they’re just using these bands and I’m like, okay, well, I’m gonna give it a try. And I actually got a lot of backlash. I couldn’t believe the amount of people that just thought I was completely stupid. I had friends getting hold of me, are you’re not body building anymore? I’m just wondering what avenue you’re going down. And I said, well, I hurt so bad. And I’m willing to try anything, you know?
Dr. John Jaquish: Right.
Mike Wozny: If Phil believes that even though he might be crazy at the moment, he’s never steered me wrong, and Phil’s not stupid by any means.
Dr. John Jaquish: And as we found out, Phil was never crazy. And he’s actually brilliant because he can speak out the right thing to do.
Mike Wozny: And then so I’m doing the single leg work, adding bands. And then Phil finally said, “Mike,” it was about a year ago. He said, “You’re not gonna know what bands do “unless you just use them.”
Dr. John Jaquish: Only.
Mike Wozny: Yeah. Just do ’em, I’m like, okay, screw it. I started using just bands and finding different ways. And what he did was he said, “Mike, “you’re scientific, you like to dig in.” He said, “Try a bunch of stuff and get back to me “and see what you come up with.” Well, I’m doing all this crazy balancing and putting bands on everything and rigging ’em all over the gym and trying this and that and whatever. And then I’m starting to figure ’em out in my head, and I’m thinking, okay, so let’s say a really easy thing to remember, I think it was a curl. And it you’d start out with a weight, like say a barbell curve. And when you start out, you’s see you got 80 pounds there with a barbell curl. And as you come up, it’s 80 pounds right out of the hole. And then actually after you pass halfway up, because it’s static, resistance and gravity, you start to lose, you know, and then you have to bend-
Dr. John Jaquish: When you approach the fully contracted position the way it actually goes down because the lever arm is becoming closer to the origin.
Mike Wozny: And the weird part is, in your head you don’t feel this weight in your hand. So you kind of, at first it’s weird. But then I started noticing less paying attention to the weight, I started paying attention to the way my muscle felt.
Dr. John Jaquish: That’s right, ‘cause you don’t have a weight to drop.
Mike Wozny: Yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: You start to focus on the muscle .
Mike Wozny: You start, and it’s 20 pounds of resistance. And it’s kind of funny feeling at first.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah.
Mike Wozny: But as you come up, it gets to the point where it’s dumb to a dead stop and it is the hardest contraction you’ve ever felt in your entire life. And guys would tell me, oh yeah, you can get a real good pump with that, but it ain’t gonna build any muscle. And I started thinking, well, resistance is resistance.
Dr. John Jaquish: Muscle doesn’t know what you’re contracting.
Mike Wozny: My muscle doesn’t have a fricking clue what’s going on there. And not only that is it wasn’t limited to a linear plane and gravity pulling it straight down. This stuff could go all over the place. So the stability of it was, pretty soon your whole, you’re stabilizing to stay in it and then your muscle is getting detached.
Dr. John Jaquish: And then the more stabilization requiring for growth hormone gets upregulated. It all kind of dovetails together all the principles we’ve been talking about when you go to fatigue using a strong level of variable resistance.
Mike Wozny: Correct, yep. And I started thinking about it and every rep would get a little shorter, you know what I mean? I started thinking, well, rep ranges don’t matter as much anymore because when you use a set load, when you fail at the top, you’re definitely not gonna get it out of the bottom. It’s done. Then at that point, you’d have to drop a weight and then do a drop set.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right, and then that discontinues the contraction, blood starts rushing in to recover the muscle. And you really don’t have the benefit, you have no hypoxic benefit. You’re not gonna change your myostatin levels. I mean, basically your drop set just like everything up.
Mike Wozny: Yeah. Even it does create a better pump. And they’ve proven that the pump lowers myostatin. Obviously, ‘cause it’s hitting the ceiling of that muscle, stretching it. And it’s like, well, we’re gonna have to expand. But so let’s say at the first rep that you hit this wall at 100 pounds and pretty soon it’s 99 pounds, and it’s 98.6 pounds and as you come up, you recruit all these fibers, you’re recruiting fibers into the contraction rather than just out of the bottom, right?
So all these fibers, they get contracted and then they start failing from the strongest. And pretty soon you’re getting about halfway, and the most static holds, you’re just holding the weight that you can normally lift, but you can pull against it. It’s like you’re hitting a wall. It’s frustrating for a lot of people ‘cause they don’t understand the-
Dr. John Jaquish: It definitely feels different. When developing the X3, I definitely had the same, it’s funny ‘cause I get by the trolls that were like, oh, weight lifting, I like the way it feels or whatever. And I’m like, ugh, I guess results don’t matter. But I get it because when I develop my prototype-
Mike Wozny: It feels formal.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, because you like seeing that big amount of iron moving around on a bench. I remember the first time I did 225 for repetitions, it was like, wow. I really liked seeing that weight move, I felt cool. I was like, that’s something, I’d never done that before. And then when you’re just using banding exclusively, I mean, those of you would have trouble picturing this. So if I’ve got banding hooked here and then wrapped around my back, let’s say I go to 20 repetitions with 550 pounds and then I can’t get there anymore. Well then, and this is what Mike’s talking about. Then you start shortening up the reference. So you’re dealing with less weight because you’re not stretching the band as far. So you’re dealing with less weight here.
So now I’m doing repetitions with 300 pounds, and then I can’t get there anymore. And then I’m doing repetitions with 200 pounds. And then at the end I can only do this. Like just maybe an inch of movement, but you have fatigued every range of motion and every fiber within the muscle, and that is something you will never do with a weight. It cannot happen.
So when I talk about variable resistance and, people get wrapped up and like, well how much weight is that? Like, okay, it’s 550 because I just give people a point of reference, but that not the point, so not the point. But they’re kind of halfway right. Because, and I’m gonna reference two studies and we’ll put this in the show notes, there’s a Fry in 2010 and Linamo in 2005, two different studies that showed that the amount of testosterone activity that you have in your body has very little to do with how much testosterone you have cosing through your body. It has to do with how many receptor sites are open and looking for that testosterone.
Mike Wozny: The testosterone levels are irrelevant if you don’t activate the receptors.
Dr. John Jaquish: That’s right. That’s right, yeah. You can have all kinds of testosterone system even exogenously and it’s not gonna do what you think it’s gonna do unless you’re putting the heavy load on the body. What we’re talking about right now is a superior strategy, heavy, it’s not heavy as in, on a bar it’s strategy to get the most force through the muscle and that’s gonna trigger the growth, the most force and the most fatigue is going to trigger the maximum amount of growth.
So here’s an interesting observation. I’ve been a testosterone replacement therapy patient since I was 28, I had some testicular damage, and rugby, just a bad rugby hit. And then what I noticed was I had a prescription for what seemed like a normal, I didn’t have any point of reference. So it seemed like a normal dose.
And then as soon as I developed the X3 , I’d been taking TRT for years and years and lifting for years and years. So from basically 28 to 39, I put on maybe a couple pounds of muscle. The best thing that happened with testosterone was I felt a lot more calm. I had like a little anxiety before that-
Mike Wozny: Just the wellbeing.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, just wellbeing. The reason I first noticed was I was having heart palpitations and they were like, oh, your cardiac muscle is really weak. And I was like, what are you talking about? I run like 80 minutes, just sprint, stop, sprint, stop, in a rugby game. Like my heart is dynamite. And they’re like, eh, no, like your cardiac muscle is underdeveloped.
So that’s how I knew I had to get a prescription for a testosterone, and then when I did, I saw almost no muscular benefit, but then here’s the weird thing. So I started using variable resistancee at very high ratio, variable resistance, which is what X3 is. So as I was developing the X3 , I go in for additional blood work and my physician would say, your free testosterone is almost zero.
Mike Wozny: You’re using it.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. And I did not know about these two studies at that moment. And so I’m like, that’s weird. So he is like, well, we’re gonna up your dose because I mean, I don’t know where it’s going, but disappearing. And so he raised it up a little bit and sure enough, six months later he needed to raise it up again, and sure enough six months later… I’ve never had to take any sort of counter measure from my TRT like a lot of guys, they have to do an antiestrogen or aromatase inhibitor or something like that.
Mike Wozny: Well, cause you’re using it.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. ‘Cause the muscles using it and I know the muscles using it. And so like, I gave this interview for this national geographic documentary. And because what I had to say was not controversial enough, they cut it, which is just… I’m actually giving some useful information here. The other shit in this documentary, I don’t know.
But it was really funny because it’s like, if people administer, if people who are, let’s say not TRT, but using performance enhancing drugs, if they proceeded with this logic, I believe there could be somebody who’s like a Mr. Olympia looking guy who may actually not need to take nearly the amount of stuff that people do.
Mike Wozny: Well, I completely agree.
Dr. John Jaquish: Because you’re matching the hormone with the use. You actually have a way to track it. It’s free to .
Mike Wozny: What I have found John is, testosterone doesn’t cause you to directly just get big. There’s a lot of guys that walk around with a lot of body hair and a deep voice, and they don’t have a lot of muscle.
Dr. John Jaquish: Most, actually, most who use testosterone exogenously.
Mike Wozny: It’s causing that constant activation of the muscles. And a lot of times with weights, we stagnate so quick because the tendon gets as strong as the muscle. But when you’re causing damage to that tendon, eventually it limits your progress. And then you’re not getting that contraction where it’s that load increases all the way to the very bitter end and it’s activating those receptors.
So same thing since, obviously it was different body building when I was younger, took steroids. And then I came off of them when I was 29 years old. And my natural levels were 54 nanograms per mil.
Dr. John Jaquish: Absolutely.
Mike Wozny: And the guy calls me, Mike, that’s like a woman. I’m like, well, no wonder my girlfriend thinks I’m cheating on her. ‘Cause I wasn’t sleeping with her. You’re really pretty but that’s about it, you know? So obviously then I went on HRT and for years I had taken 300 milligrams a week. Recently I made a post telling everybody I’m microdosing, I’m taking 20 milligrams a day of this testosterone, six days a week. So it comes to 120 milligrams a week, and I’m holding all kinds of muscle.
Dr. John Jaquish: That’s real smooth. I like it, a lot.
Mike Wozny: Obviously I’m a little flat right now ‘cause of, not eating for three days, but you can look the pictures up. I’ve been documenting training. What I’ve looked like through this whole just using bands and I’m getting away with basically taking less than most guys do HRT-wise and seeing better results. There’s a lot of guys that take so much shit, they’re like, oh, he’s probably full of shit. I’m like, you try it. Like try it.
Dr. John Jaquish: Most of what people take is just completely wasted. Doesn’t go and do what you think it’s doing. If your body doesn’t have the receptor for it, it’s not being used, you’re not growing, but you’re just causing side effects and all kinds of things.
Mike Wozny: But what I’ve noticed is, what the larger doses of steroids seem to do is the bro split everybody talks about. If you’re doing the once a week training, all that stimulus and that doing 12 fricking sets in a day and not training it for a week, then I guess because you’re taking so much shit, you can recover from that ridiculous amount of volume.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah.
Mike Wozny: You don’t shrink as fast because your protein synthesis is up, you don’t have the protein breakdown, you would naturally and the cortisols down. So you don’t shrink by the time you get to that next dose, I should say, the next time you work that muscle. But if you know how to work that muscle very efficiently, multiple times a week, you’re stimulating it constantly. You don’t need to worry about the atrophy effect because you’re hitting it before it happens.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right.
Mike Wozny: Yeah, it makes absolute sense.
Mike Wozny: Yeah, so these large doses seem to help a guy hold his size, but it’s not necessary if you changed your training with the variable resistance, the higher frequency, max stimulus, least amount of damage. The more times you can train a muscle, stimulate it and recover and do it again, the better off you’re gonna be.
Dr. John Jaquish: We’ll cover this in another show. But one of the things that Mike and I were talking about over the past couple weeks was soreness and tearing a muscle and muscle damage. It’s the opposite of what a lot of people think. A lot of people think you actually do small tears in the muscle and then it recovers and grows. No small tears in the muscle actually ensure that you do not grow. And it is only when you do not create micro tears that you do grow. So they are inversely related. The more damage you do, the muscle, the less you’re gonna grow.
And I would say the last it’s really funny between high school and the time I was 40, I probably gained other than puberty and shit, just growing up, I might have gained 10 pounds of muscle in that huge period of time. After turning 40, I’ve gained 60 pounds of muscle, which is not supposed to be a thing. Like you turn 40 and everybody’s like, well-
Mike Wozny: It’s all downhill.
Dr. John Jaquish: You got all muscular or not. And it’s too late for you. Yeah, that’s not true.
Mike Wozny: That’s beautiful. As you use the testosterone and you can add more, you’re not gonna get side effects, you’re using it, but you’re gonna gain muscle.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah.
Mike Wozny: It’s the wave of the future here, it is very exciting, it’s very exciting.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, it is exciting. It’s gonna be safer for everybody. One of the problems with body building that never makes it, because the problems with diuretics are much bigger. One of the biggest problems body building has, is 300 pound people who are lean, because 300 pounds of muscle is putting a lot more stress on the human heart than being a 300 pound fat guy. Because the 300 pound fat guy, that extra body fat is not drawing blood. It doesn’t have a demand. It’s not vascular. So form just-
Mike Wozny: 800 horse engine with a two barrel carburetor.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. Not a lot of people are gonna get that.
Mike Wozny: Fuel pump.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I like car analogies, but not everybody is a car guy. I often say when a lot of performance enhancing drug users they’ll be able to affect the muscle, but they’re not affecting the tendons and ligaments at the same rate. ‘Cause we haven’t figured out how to anabolic ally enhance tendons and ligaments from a biochemical exogenous standpoint.
You see a lot of body growers with extreme muscularity, but it’s like putting a formula one engine in like a Prius. You blow the wheels right off the car as soon as you hit the accelerator because-
Mike Wozny: Strong enough to rip yourself apart.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, yeah. You don’t have the tendons and ligaments, that’s another thing that variable resistance does when you’re loading towards the end, closer to lockout, that will actually grow tendons and ligaments. But when you’re lifting weight, you’re gonna pick a weight that you can handle back here, which will never really affect the tendons and ligaments because it’s just not heavy enough.
Mike Wozny: It’s gonna cause micro tears in the tendon, and the tendons take a lot longer to heal-
Dr. John Jaquish: And you said it earlier, and that builds scar tissue. And then the scar tissue will have you rip your tricep, your pack. And that’s why seasoned guys who bench press, who’ve been doing heavy bench press for a long time. All of a sudden they rip their pack doing something that they’ve been doing for years. They’re not going for a PR, they’re just benching. Why did I rip my pack? Well, because every time you’re benching, you’re creating cumulative damage. So let’s break that cycle, let’s have you use a high ratio variable resistance, and then you’re gonna do great. And you’re not gonna have any of the downsides.
Mike Wozny: Yeah, I knew a guy that did that once with his bicep. You always curl a lot of weight and he was putting a radiator hose on a truck and his bicep popped off just trying to put a hose on the radiator. It’s like-
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, he was probably just an awkward angle not even really stressing his bicep. Right, it’s ‘cause there’s scar tissue everywhere. And I’m guessing that guy’s not lifting heavy now.
Mike Wozny: No.
Dr. John Jaquish: Well he could use variable resistance with great proficiency.
Mike Wozny: Yeah. I’ve got a lot of friends that, lifted with me when we were kids and they still like hobby wise, they like to work out in the garage or whatnot, that have been following me. And they’ve been ordering X3. I got one guy that said it’s Wozni voodoo band magic. His body doesn’t hurt anymore. His term makes me laugh ‘cause he’s like, yeah, Wozni and his voodoo band magic. He goes, Mike, I realize that-
Dr. John Jaquish: He could band, he’s right. It’s like everybody that I tell to start training this way, or the X3 users, they’re like, I just can’t understand apparently really is the simple?
Mike Wozny: It’s silly.
Dr. John Jaquish: It’s only challenging because there’s so much that we were all taught. And it’s not that those things were wrong. When I wrote this book, when I wrote “Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time ,” this title is to get your attention.
Mike Wozny: Correct.
Dr. John Jaquish: And if I had called it like, you know, the variable resistance method or something like that, who would’ve bought that? I sold a hundred thousand copies of that book pretty much instantly because people were like, oh, fuck this guy, I wanna read this so I can discredit him. And then they read it and they’re like, really gotta rethink my training.
Mike Wozny: You’ve been the Charlie Sheen of weightlifting for a minute.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, I kind did.
Mike Wozny: And then when it started working, then you weren’t a bad guy anymore.
Dr. John Jaquish: No, no, no. It’s okay, the guys that think I’m a bad guy, it’s the fact that I wrote the book and everybody started talking about it. I mean keep in mind, it was difficult for me to cross into fitness because I was always in medical device. Osteostrong was a technology that I invented and it’s to treat bone density and boy, people with bone density challenges are typically postmenopausal women. They’re not really even online talking about that much.
Mike Wozny: Right.
Dr. John Jaquish: I really didn’t have much of an online presence. So I really kinda had to kick everybody in the nuts to get their attention. And that was really what the book was about. But there’s 260 scientific references, no, 250 scientific references, 260 pages. Yeah, and it tells the whole story of everything we’re talking about.
But we’re gonna wrap this one up and we’re gonna keep doing these and really focus on what bodybuilders need to be more successful and to have longer careers and even treat body building as like a longevity thing. ‘Cause right now the way people approach it, it’s a self-destructive thing. And we want people to be able to be fit and healthy and happy, up until they’re elderly. That’s the mission.
Mike Wozny: No, can’t look amazing for being 65, 70 years old.
Dr. John Jaquish: Absolutely. Right. There’s people there’s anomalies that have had that happen to them.
Mike Wozny: Just pulled it off, yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right, but we’re gonna have it so that everybody can be like that.
Mike Wozny: Right, right.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yep, awesome Mike. It s a good show. We’re gonna do it again real soon.
Mike Wozny: Okay, thanks.
Optimize your health through science