John Cena’s Body Double Shares His Training Secrets - Men's Health Magazine Australia

John Cena’s Body Double Shares His Training Secrets

“Create a game plan. Don’t go in blind and just try to wing it.”

Much like The Rock, John Cena is a man known for his perpetually jacked body. Where other actors might engage in a gruelling fitness regime for a month or two simply to bulk up for a role, such gym routines are a lifestyle for Cena, who has made a name for himself as an action star. And for those who have been watching Peacemaker, the new Suicide Squad spinoff series on HBO Max, it’s likely you would have been watching in awe at the athleticism and sheer toughness of Cena on screen. The man flips, falls, fistfights and jumps from balcony to balcony while escaping the police as his character attempts to pursue peace “at any cost.” 

Of course, while Cena himself doesn’t rely on CGI to inflate his muscles, he does have a little help in the stunt department for such action sequences. Turns out the former WWE champion isn’t the one doing all the flipping and jumping – rather, that’s the work of his stunt double, Spencer Thomas. Thomas has served as stuntman for Cena for nine films, commercials and the more recent Peacemaker. 

Having started out as a junior college fullback, Thomas soon discovered a passion for stunt work and progressed from throwing himself down the stairs in student films to jumping off double-decker buses in London for Fast 9. How did things take off for him? Well, as Thomas will tell you, it’s all thanks to Cena who got Thomas to speak up about his goals. 

“At first, I felt that stuntmen are behind the scenes, and actors don’t want to know you or don’t care to know you. I was wrong, at least about John,” he told Men’s Health US. “He was actually genuinely interested in me and what I was doing and the sacrifices I was making to make the movies. So it definitely taught me to kind of be a little more outspoken.”

Thomas added, “It kind of taught me, don’t be shy about what you want. Go after what you want, attack it, and make it yours.”

When it comes to training to match Cena’s physique, Thomas admits that Cena is “straight mass and power.” Cena is said to favour triceps, super-heavy skull crushers “for hours on end probably every day.” Thomas adds, “He also sticks to the old-school powerlifting mentality: Every time I see him in the gym, he’s doing heavy squats, deadlifts, and row machines.”

To keep up with Cena, Thomas also focuses on triceps and forearms. “It’s something I focus on three times per week. I also had to correct my posture: John always has this great posture where he’s very upright with his head held high and his shoulders rolled back. He loves the rowing machine, so his shoulders are naturally rotated backward due to his back workouts. My shoulders are naturally rolled forwards due to all the chest workouts I do.”

“Now I’ve almost completely quit doing chest workouts, and started to focus much more on my back to try and correct my posture, You’ll rarely catch me on a bench press unless I’m trying to show off,” he said. 

And when it comes to doing a scene on set, Thomas admits he do 50 diamond push-ups to hit the triceps, before finding a table or chair to complete a rear press for triceps to get them pumped. “It’s funny because you watch all these guys on TV, and they all look jacked, but they’re doing some kind of warmup before they go on camera. It’s hard to walk around with a pump all the time – to look like that all the time,” says Thomas. “But John Cena and The Rock are very rare forms of people that can look like that 24/7. For most of us, it’s kind of just one of those things that you do beforehand, before that photo.”

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