Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is pretty well-known for sharing clips of his giant workouts on social media, filming himself getting his pump on in his well-equipped home gym (a.k.a. the “Iron Paradise”) and explaining his overall approach to training. In a new video from his Saturday chest and back routine on Instagram, Johnson offers a look at the seated chest press technique he uses to end the workout strong.
“Great chest finisher closing out my chest training today,” he writes. “Alternating 20 reps per arm with controlled negatives, then dual reps to fatigue with 3 second negatives… Great one today. Worked hard. Raised the bar.” He goes on to explain that he trains chest and back together, and “concentrate[s] on quality, controlled reps for an intense pump as well as bringing the volume down since they’re not major body parts to not overwork.”
Slow, controlled reps have been an integral part of Johnson’s training routine for a while now, and he’s spoken about its benefits before: specifically, how lowering the tempo on the negative portion of each repetition increases the time that the muscle spends under tension, which in turn enables him to achieve a higher quality of concentric contraction. It’s a simple but highly effective way to get the absolute most bang for your buck out of every rep.
Usually, this would mean lifting lighter for a greater number of reps (in other words, training smarter, not necessarily harder). In this instance, however, it looks like The Rock is loading more weight as it’s a lower-volume set.
This article was first published on Men’s Health US.