Unveiling the Secrets of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Workout Regime

the rock workout regime and diet plan learn more about the rock's pyramid schemes and giant sets discover his 1 week training program and see if it works for you

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a global personality whose stature, both literally and metaphorically, is truly impressive.

Reputedly standing between 6’3″ and 6’5″ (depending on various sources) and weighing between 260 to 270 pounds, he is undeniably a force to be reckoned with. Not only is The Rock recognized for his size, but his reputation as one of the most industrious individuals in both the professional arena and the fitness world is unparalleled.

At the enviable age of 51, he continues to maintain a phenomenal physique, often cited as the pinnacle of physical fitness by many men worldwide. Thankfully, through his active presence on social media, Dwayne Johnson provides us with a unique insight into his intensive workout regimen.

Let’s find out what the Rock’s been training!

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: A Snapshot Of His Journey

Born in 1972, Dwayne Johnson began captivating audiences as a professional wrestler in the WWF and WWE. His charismatic personality and natural ability to resonate with spectators quickly elevated him to crowd favorite status.

Leveraging this popularity, he made a splash in the entertainment world by hosting Saturday Night Live in 2000. This significant move kick-started his acting career and he began to ascend the metaphorical staircase of Hollywood.

the rock workout regime and diet plan learn more about the rock's pyramid schemes and giant sets discover his 1 week training program and see if it works for you

Today, he is widely recognized as a blockbuster superstar, featured in some of the most successful contemporary movies. As his acting career took off, his remarkable physique also caught the public’s attention, garnering him a distinct reputation in fitness circles. Presently, The Rock holds a significant position in the fitness industry.

There’s a wealth of information to delve into regarding Dwayne, which we’ll explore further in the article. But first, let’s delve into his workout routines!

Interpreting The Rock’s Workout Regime: A Rundown

When it comes to workout regimes, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is notable for his robust 6-day workout split. We’ve designed an interpretive 6-day routine that combines various elements of his rigorous workout routine.

Our plan encourages you to work on each muscle group twice a week, with the exception of shoulders, arms, and abs. These groups receive adequate training via any compound lift. It’s crucial to keep in mind that our version is a diluted incarnation of The Rock’s original workout program, fully aware that many of us can’t devote a substantial portion of our day to gym sessions.

In essence, our 6-day split workout plan integrates The Rock’s preferred strategies, exercises, and principles. This efficient plan is designed to produce impressive results without the need for spending endless hours sweating it out in the gym.

It’s worth mentioning that The Rock’s workout program regularly features two prevalent training methods:

  • Pyramid Schemes
  • Giant Sets

Our crafted program will integrate these two methodologies to vary the stimulus of your training. Let’s dive in and unpack the details!

The Rock’s Week 1 Training Program: A Closer Look

As you explore these workout sessions, you’ll quickly discover that The Rock is a big fan of giant sets.

To execute these, you’ll cycle through each exercise in the set one after the other, allowing for a brief rest of approximately 30-45 seconds between each exercise. Once you’ve completed a set, take a longer respite, ideally somewhere between 1 minute to 1 minute and 30 seconds, before embarking on the set again.

Upon completion of your initial week, you’re expected to modify the rep schemes for a majority of the stand-alone exercises. Observe the rep schemes marked with parenthesis beside them. These figures represent the reps for the subsequent weeks 2, 3, and 4.

the rock workout regime and diet plan learn more about the rock's pyramid schemes and giant sets discover his 1 week training program and see if it works for you
Images courtesy of The Rock’s Instagram

Feel free to exercise some creativity with the angles of the exercises and the equipment you use. For instance, opt for failure incline hammer curls as an alternative to traditional hammer curls. Or swap out a cable lateral raise for a dumbbell raise. Consider a single leg hack squat as a substitute for the conventional hack squat. Adapt this regimen to suit your personal objectives!

When you reach the 5th week, you’ll revert back to 12 reps, although with less weight. Remember to keep track of your weight as you’ll aim to increase it in the next cycle.

Monday (Back Day):

ExerciseSetsReps
Bent Over Row412, 10, 8, and 6 reps
T-Bar Row (Medium Grip)412, 10, 8, and 6 reps
Barbell Front Shrug412 (10, 8, 6)
Giant Set:

Lat Pulldown

Single Arm Lat Pulldown

Seated Cable Row (Wide Grip)

Seated Cable Row (Neutral Grip)

315 (per exercise)
the rock workout regime and diet plan learn more about the rock's pyramid schemes and giant sets discover his 1 week training program and see if it works for you
Images courtesy of The Rock’s Instagram

Tuesday (Leg Day)

ExerciseSetsReps
Safety Squat Bar Squat412, 10, 8, and 6 reps
Romanian Deadlift412, 10, 8, and 6 reps
Hack Squat412 (10, 8, 6)
Giant Set:

Belt Squat

Leg Extension

Leg Curl

Barbell Walking Lunge

315 (per exercise)
the rock workout regime and diet plan learn more about the rock's pyramid schemes and giant sets discover his 1 week training program and see if it works for you
Images courtesy of The Rock’s Instagram

Wednesday (Chest Day)

ExerciseSetsReps
Incline Bench Press412, 10, 8, and 6 reps
Swiss Bar Bench Press 412, 10, 8, and 6 reps
Dips412 (10, 8, 6)
Giant Set:

DB Cable Fly

DB Pullover

Cable Fly (Downward Angle)

Cable Fly (Upward Angle)

310 (per exercise)
the rock workout regime and diet plan learn more about the rock's pyramid schemes and giant sets discover his 1 week training program and see if it works for you
Images courtesy of The Rock’s Instagram

Thursday (Shoulders, Arms, & Abs Day):

ExerciseSets/RoundsReps
Standing Military Press412, 10, 8, and 6 reps
Shoulder Giant Set:

Cable Side Lateral

Raise Face Pull

38-12 reps
Biceps Giant Set:

Preacher Curls

Hammer Curls

EZ Bar Curls

38-12 reps
Triceps Giant Set:

Triceps Pushdowns

Skull Crushers

Overhead Triceps Extensions

38-12 reps
Abs Giant Set:

Hanging Leg Raises

Rope Crunch

Russian Twist

Flutter Kick

315-20 (per exercise)
Biceps 21 (Finisher)1To Failure
the rock workout regime and diet plan learn more about the rock's pyramid schemes and giant sets discover his 1 week training program and see if it works for you
Images courtesy of The Rock’s Instagram

Friday (Back & Chest)

ExerciseSetsReps
Incline Barbell Bench Press412, 10, 8, and 6 reps
Bent Over Row412, 10, 8, and 6 reps
Giant Set:

DB Chest Press

Decline Push Up

Close Grip Bench

Press Dips (To Failure)

315 (per exercise)
Giant Set:

Lat Pulldown

Single Arm Lat Pulldown

Reverse DB Raise

315 (per exercise)
Finisher:

Push Ups

Chin Ups

1To Failure
the rock workout regime and diet plan learn more about the rock's pyramid schemes and giant sets discover his 1 week training program and see if it works for you
Images courtesy of The Rock’s Instagram

Saturday (Leg Day)

ExerciseSetsReps
Hip Thrusts412 reps
Leg Press412 reps
Walking Lunges325 (weighted as necessary)
Giant Set:

Seated Calf Raise

Thigh Abductor

Standing Leg Raise

325 (per exercise)
Belt Squat (Finisher)315-25 (complete sets to failure)
the rock workout regime and diet plan learn more about the rock's pyramid schemes and giant sets discover his 1 week training program and see if it works for you
Images courtesy of The Rock’s Instagram

Sunday (Rest Day):

Even Dwayne needs a rest day. Make sure you support muscle recovery by taking a full day to let those muscles grow!

See Also:

7 Things To Know About The Rock’s Training Style

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s approach to workout and fitness is as diverse as his career. Rather than sticking to a single training regimen, he chooses to blend various workout splits, rep schemes and exercise selections to optimize his training. However, certain distinctive attributes can be noticed in his training methodology.

The Rock’s commitment to his workout routine is evident – he is known for working out six days a week, reserving the seventh day for his infamous cheat day. Despite his demanding lifestyle, his exercise routine remains unwavering and consistent.

Images courtesy of The Rock’s Instagram

Johnson’s commitment to fitness is so extensive that he travels with his own gym, aptly named Iron Paradise. This isn’t just a few dumbbells and a Bow-Flex we are talking about – his mobile gym boasts over 40,000 pounds of weight, enabling him to maintain his intense workout routine on the go.

His daily fitness regimen begins with 30 to 60 minutes of cardio. Following this, he ensures to have a hearty breakfast to energize himself for the forthcoming 1.5 hours of weight lifting. These training sessions are always carried out at full throttle.

Here are seven more intriguing details about Johnson’s workout routine:

Embracing Fasted Cardio: A Staple In The Rock’s Routine

Challenging the common misconception that cardio harms muscle gains, John likes to include a considerable amount of cardio into his daily workout, ranging between 30 to 60 minutes.

Whether or not he truly loves it is a mystery, however, it is undoubtedly an integral part of his overall fitness routine. An interesting fact about his cardio sessions is that he prefers doing them on an empty stomach – it’s a technique referred to as ‘fasted cardio,’ known to help rev up metabolism.

What makes us especially appreciate his workout regime is his immense dedication to cardio. Nowadays, many fitness influencers paint a negative image of cardio, thereby saturating the fitness industry with misleading notions. But, in contradiction to this trend, The Rock stands tall, proving yet again that cardio is indeed beneficial and not detrimental.

High-Volume Training: A Key Component Of Dwayne Johnson’s Workout Routine

the rock workout regime and diet plan learn more about the rock's pyramid schemes and giant sets discover his 1 week training program and see if it works for you
Images courtesy of The Rock’s Instagram

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s training program primarily focuses on muscle hypertrophy, the process which leads to an increase in the size of muscle cells, for all muscle groups. This isn’t to imply that he isn’t strong, but his training is largely designed to sharpen his physique for various roles.

Johnson genuinely enjoys the challenge and rush that comes with training, but he also speaks about how he tweaks his training to prepare his body differently for the diverse roles he encounters. This suggests he aims to adjust his physique, which is primarily achieved by building muscle mass.

As we’ve often discussed, volume acts as the main driver of muscle hypertrophy, a fact that is clearly seen in his programs. His exercise routines commonly prescribe a variety of exercises with a rep scheme of 4 sets x 15 reps, 4 sets x 20 reps, or even 4 sets x 25 reps. Another key part of Johnson’s routine is the frequent use of “giant sets,” which involve performing 3 or 4 exercises consecutively.

Unlocking The Secret: The Rock’s Multi-Angle Approach To Workouts

By simply browsing through his Instagram profile, you can quickly observe that The Rock strategically varies his workout angles to efficiently stimulate a muscle group, target different muscles, and achieve a refined muscular definition.

For instance, while performing his chest workout, he may organize one of his colossal sets in the following way:

  • Bench Press: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Dips (Chest version): 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Incline dumbbell press: 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Flat bench cable flyes: 3 sets x 12 reps

Adapting Exercises: The Rock’s Approach To Routine Variation

Furthermore, The Rock is known for incorporating a vast array of exercises into his fitness program. As he has stated previously, he tends to vary his workout regimen more frequently than his dietary plan.

To clarify, this doesn’t mean that he endorses the “muscle confusion” concept that is often misunderstood. Rather, he appreciates and understands the significance of incorporating variety into his fitness routine.

Utilizing Pyramid Routines: A Key Strategy In The Rock’s Workout

One of Dwayne Johnson’s preferred strategies involves an assortment of repetition arrangements, displaying his constant refining and adjustment of his training regime. Among his favored techniques is what’s termed a ‘pyramid routine’.

Images courtesy of The Rock’s Instagram

A pyramid routine essentially provides a format of periodization, where the load and rep scheme are modified across an array of sets. Commencing the workout with a lighter weight, Dwayne performs more reps initially. Subsequently, he increases the weight and decreases the number of reps.

To illustrate, a pyramid routine set for the leg press might appear as follows:

  • (500 lbs) x 15 reps
  • (475 lbs) x 12 reps
  • (450 lbs) x 10 reps
  • (575 lbs) x 8 reps

In addition, Dwayne employs a small variation in his weekly workout routine. Instead of adjusting the weight during each set, he maintains the same load throughout. The following week, he increases this load.

For example:

  • 4 sets x 15 reps (500 lbs)
  • 4 sets x 12 reps (475 lbs)
  • 4 sets x 10 reps (450 lbs)
  • 4 sets x 8 reps (425 lbs)
  • 4 sets x 15 reps (525 lbs)

After completing a four-week cycle, Dwayne jumps back to performing 8 reps, but with an increased weight load. This method illustrates a fundamental form of periodization training, a technique that we are particularly fond of.

Adjusting the weight and repetition scheme is crucial as it effectively engages all training variables and provides a workout firmly grounded in scientific principles.

Decoding Dwayne’s Go-To Moves: The Rock’s Preferred Exercises

Without a doubt, The Rock performs numerous exercises without really specifying any as his favorite. That being said, his workout regime seems to prominently feature traditional weight lifting using a significant amount of free weights.

  • Barbell walking lunge
  • Leg Press
  • Belt Squats
  • Barbell Row
  • One Arm Dumbbell Row
  • Dumbbell Shrug

Interestingly, Dwayne does not include barbell squats or deadlifts in his workout regimen. When you trawl through his posts on squats, you’ll find that he actually prefers to perform squats using a safety squat bar (SSB). SSB squats are fantastic for your leg workout, offering unique benefits. So, if you hope to train like Dwayne, remember you may not be doing barbell squats.

Dwayne’s Distaste For Deadlifts: A Unique Take On Training

Images courtesy of The Rock’s Instagram

While traditional deadlifts aren’t included in his training routine, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson does execute Romanian deadlifts. He has expressly stated that he steers clear of performing back squats and deadlifts, citing safety reasons.

In contrast, his leg workout regime encompasses various other types of exercises, which include but are not limited to:

Please note that this is a personal preference, and this exercise routine might not suit everyone. Always consult with a professional trainer or coach to establish a workout routine that is safe and effective for your fitness goals.

  • Leg press
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Hack squat
  • Seated leg curls
  • Lunges

The particular exercise that Dwayne is known to frequently perform is the pit squat, also known as belt squats. This movement is an excellent choice when aiming to train the legs, mainly because it relieves pressure on the lower back. Hence, it is the perfect choice for adding volume to your workout while also minimizing the risk of injury.

Fueling The Force: Insight Into Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Nutritional Plan

To sustain this intense regimen, Dwayne ingests a significant number of calories. According to The Rock himself, his daily intake can range anywhere between 5,000 to 7,000 calories, depending on the specific needs of his roles. Fortunately, he doesn’t consume all these calories in one sitting but breaks it down into 5 or 7 meals scattered throughout the day.

The Rock has a broad palette for different foods. However, if you’re aiming to mimic his diet, there are some staple bodybuilder foods that should be included in your “Rock-inspired diet plan”. These include:

  • Oatmeal
  • Rice Medley
  • Fish (specifically cod)
  • Chicken
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Steak
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Egg Whites

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is known for consuming copious amounts of whey and casein protein to help achieve his protein targets. Drinking protein shakes consistently is a common strategy for those aiming to reach fitness goals.

Besides his well-balanced diet, it’s safe to assume that The Rock benefits from numerous other supplements to support his remarkable physique. While we aren’t certain about the specifics of what he uses, or its legality, we do know some supplements can surely aid you in your quest for a better physique.

Three supplements that have proven to be beneficial are whey protein, pre-workout, and creatine. This combination of supplements can help you build muscle, gain strength, recover swiftly, and intensify your training sessions. Have a look at our most recommended supplement stack below!

Indulging With Purpose: Breakdown Of The Rock’s Cheat Day Diet

Images courtesy of The Rock’s Instagram

Arguably more renowned than his strenuous workout routine are The Rock’s legendary cheat meals, which he indulges in on his rest days. Known for regularly sharing these indulgent feasts with his social media followers, Johnson underscores that these indulgences are well-earned rewards. Some of the delectables he enjoys most on these days include:

  • Sushi
  • Pan seared peanut butter pancakes
  • An array of mouth-watering cookies and cakes
  • Delicious, cheesy pizza
  • Juicy hamburgers

These mammoth meals can sum up to a staggering 4,000 to 7,000 calories each! Added together, it’s not rare for him to consume more than 10,000 calories during his cheat days.

Considerations Before Embracing The Rock’s Cheat Day Diet: Why It Might Not Be For You

Embarking on the indulgent journey of ‘The Rock’s’ cheat day diet might seem enticing but remember, it isn’t for everyone, especially those new to bodybuilding and healthy eating habits. High discipline levels are essential to ensure the occasional cheat day doesn’t become a regular occurrence.

If you’re just starting to familiarize yourself with balanced eating habits, a cheat day could potentially lead you astray, hindering your progress rather than aiding it.

Also, it’s crucial to keep in mind that most individuals don’t have the luxury of overconsuming calories like Dwayne Johnson does. His towering stature and intense daily training sessions that last up to four hours allow him to literally burn through calories, which might explain why he doesn’t seem to put on weight.

Too Many Calories

Consider this – Johnson’s typical daily calorie intake of 5,000 to 7,000 calories might actually put him in a calorie deficit given his rigorous routine. This means that after six consecutive days of potentially being in a deficit, indulging in a high calorie cheat day is somewhat balanced out.

For the average person who isn’t spending four hours each day in intense exercise, this kind of diet can lead to weight gain. And, not the desired kind of muscle gain that comes from body recomposition, but rather, it’s the unwanted packing-on-the-pounds type of weight gain.

For instance, if your maintenance calorie intake is 3,000 per day, and you decide to consume 10,000 calories on your cheat day (Sunday), you’ll be in a caloric surplus of 7,000 calories. That’s equivalent to a weight gain of two pounds of fat.

Before you consider digging into a cheat meal worth 4,000 calories, factor in these considerations. It’s not about entirely avoiding cheat meals or cheat days. It’s about preventing a single day of indulgence from undoing all your hard work. Moderation is the key.

Let’s remember this, while Dwayne Johnson’s commitment to his routine is remarkable and even inspiring, you don’t have to mirror it exactly to be successful in your fitness journey. Each person’s body, needs, and capacity are different, and it’s crucial to be mindful of that.

The most important thing is consistency. Show up for yourself, keep putting in the work, and you’ll reach your goals. You may not end up looking precisely like ‘The Rock,’ but you’ll be the best version of yourself, and that’s all that truly matters.

The Rock’s Fitness Philosophy: Persistence Pays Off!

Dwayne Johnson’s exceptional dedication is the primary catalyst behind his phenomenal success both inside and outside the gym. As we’ve underscored before, the individual who consistently shows up for their workouts holds the upper hand in nine out of ten situations.

Just like Dwayne, you too need to stay dedicated to your fitness goals. Commit to consistently putting in hard work at the gym week after week. While this commitment does not guarantee that you’ll have an exact physique like Dwayne Johnson, we can assure you it will lead you closer to your personal fitness milestones.

You may not mirror ‘The Rock’, but you’ll undeniably look and feel your best.

Back to TheHealthySupps page

References

  1. J Strength Cond Res. (2009) – Comparison of different rowing exercises: trunk muscle activation and lumbar spine motion, load, and stiffness. 2009 Mar;23(2):350-8. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181942019.
  2. Phys Ther Sport. (2013) – A randomized trial to consider the effect of Romanian deadlift exercise on the development of lumbar extension strength. 2013 Aug;14(3):139-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2012.04.001. Epub 2012 Aug 16.
  3. Int J Exerc Sci. (2020) -Effects of Horizontal and Incline Bench Press on Neuromuscular Adaptations in Untrained Young Men.2020; 13(6): 859–872. Published online 2020 Aug 1.
  4. Eva V. Osilla, Anthony O. Safadi, Sandeep Sharma. (2022) – Calories. StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan.
    2022 Sep 12.