By Imy Brighty-Potts, PA
From wrestling ace to Hollywood superstar, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s career is pretty impressive – despite once finding himself broke as a failed football player (after playing at college, he was reportedly dropped by his football team in the mid-Nineties).
Whether you know him for his ‘People’s Elbow’ wrestling move or 2010 comedy The Tooth Fairy, there’s one thing everybody associates The Rock with… He is absolutely stacked! Ripped. Super strong.
But how, at 50 years old – the beefed up actor celebrates the milestone birthday on May 2nd – does he do it?
With much of his career revolving around his physique, it’s fair to say he has become very good at focusing on his body. Some film roles have called for huge muscle gain, and as one of the best wrestlers in history, he has had to apply himself to altering his physique to fit his brand.
Technically, I wake up @4am every day and I’m training by 5am.
One day we’ll have to bang on some iron together.
The world’s strongest man, boxer, actor etc and the big, brown, bald, tattooed guy who’s only famous for wearing a fanny pack.
Keep kickin’ ass brother 💪🏾 https://t.co/nqXzUXIA1Q
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 2, 2022
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father, wrestling was very much in Johnson’s blood – and the ability to develop into a powerhouse of a human probably has some genetic components too. But, there’s no doubt a lot of hard work goes into looking like The Rock – and his training regime is extreme to say the least.
According to Gaspari Nutrition, Johnson’s weekly workout routine sounds heavy going. Starting each workout with a 30-50-minute run – on the treadmill or outdoors, depending where he is – he then works on isolated muscle groups on different days, which according to the internet looks like this: Day one is legs, day two is back, day three is shoulders, day four is arms/abs, day five is legs again, day six is chest.
On a leg day, he does a variety of exercises, with a huge number of reps spread across a few sets. These include walking lunges, leg press, a variety of squats, and he deadlifts a lot.
When working out his back, Johnson focuses heavily on pull downs, rows and deadlifts, with the same quantities of reps and sets. He does three sets of pull-ups – and there is a lot of him to pull up as he reportedly weighs approximately 118kg (around 18.5 stones).
To build his enormous shoulders, The Rock focuses heavily on push exercises, like military presses and dumbbell raises, while for his arms he does a variety or bicep curls in varying styles to really build those muscles.
And of course, he doesn’t forget his core. He uses Russian twists and leg raises to get that iconic rock-solid mid-section.
After six days of this, Johnson then has a rest day on day seven, which anyone would need after all of that. According to Georgie Spurling, PT and founder of The GS Method, “rest days are as important as the actual workout. Rest is critical for your muscles to repair properly, for your body to reset and your hormone levels to balance out,” the fitness pro explains.
All of this exercise requires a monumental amount of food. According to Men’s Health, The Rock enjoys (or rather tolerates) five to seven meals a day. He has shared in the past that calories wise, he can often total around 7,000 a day, mostly in lean protein and complex carbohydrates.
He favours meats like bison and chicken as well as cod, and might start his day with porridge, eggs and sometimes even a meaty protein hit first thing. He hits the gym after breakfast and then follows that up with a fast-acting carb and some chicken – because what else do you eat midmorning?
And it must start to get pretty boring for Johnson, as he then typically eats chicken, rice (or another carb) and vegetables for lunch too. He might repeat this a couple more times through the afternoon, and then maybe have some casein powder (a protein found in milk) and get a hit of micronutrients with more vegetables.
But even The Rock lets loose from strict regimes every now and then – and he’s gained huge online popularity for sharing his epic, belly-busting ‘cheat’ meals.
The Rock also loves tequila and has his own tequila brand, so often indulges in his fave tipple on cheat days too. He can also eat several huge pizzas in a sitting, platter upon platter of sushi, and huge brioche loaves of French toast. What he restricts in the week, he certainly makes up for on cheat days, still managing to have a body like a finely-tuned machine.
From lifting (lots of) heavy weights and waking up at the crack of dawn, to devouring massive meals and packing in a ton of calories, getting a body like The Rock’s certainly doesn’t happen by magic!