Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Complete Workout Routine and Diet Plan - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Complete Workout Routine and Diet Plan

Megastar actor and former pro-wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s physique helped him take over Hollywood. Here’s how The Rock maintains his blockbuster body.

Dwayne Johnson might be the worlds most recognisable movie star. With the A-lister’s films grossing over $15 Billion worldwide, he’s one of the highest grossing actors of all time, and in 2016 he was named the world’s highest paid actor. We’ve seen actors’ bulk up for roles before, but Johnson’s acting career has been highlighted by his truly impressive figure. With the leading man portraying a bevy of high-octane action characters, its essential for him to maintain mass and stay fit.

While he clearly wasn’t slacking off before, Johnson recently took his fitness to the next level in preparation for his upcoming movie ‘Black Adam’, packing on more muscle than ever before in what he said was the “Hardest undertaking of my entire career physically and mentally. Worth every second.” So just how does the 50-year-old continue to keep himself in peak condition? There aren’t many who push themselves as hard as Dwayne Johnson in the gym, and when it comes to dieting, the trick is “Don’t cheat yourselves – treat yourselves, my friends.”

The Rock’s Workout Plan

The Rock doesn’t work out in just any old gym, Johnson mostly uses his huge Miami home gym known as ‘The Iron Paradise’ and when he’s away from home, he has a crew set up a portable gym with literal tonnes of equipment so that he never misses a workout.

While his weekly plan changes depending on upcoming roles and the specific look he needs, Johnson has kept to a fairly regular routine in preparation for Black Adam. Johnson begins every day with an hour long fast-paced cardio session to get a good sweat on and wake up his muscles before hitting the gym later in the day.

Johnson starts the week by working back and biceps, on Tuesday he’ll hit shoulders, followed by a gruelling ab and upper body workout on Wednesday, Thursdays he gives his back and biceps another challenge, Fridays are for chest and triceps and finally, he ends the week with a punishing leg session, which he calls “the hardest workout” of them all. Sundays are reserved for a rest/cheat day, when there’s no limit to how many calories Johnson can consume.

A typical week:

Monday – Back and biceps

Tuesday – Shoulders

Wednesday – Upper body and abs

Thursday – Back and biceps

Friday – Chest and triceps

Saturday – Legs

Sunday – Rest/cheat day

Johnson has emphasised the benefits of using “giant sets”, because sometimes packing two exercises together for a superset just isn’t enough. Johnson tries to spend as little time resting throughout his entire workout as possible to increase volume and notch up the burn.

Back and Biceps

Now that we know the Rock’s workout schedule, it’s time to find out which exercises and techniques he uses to optimise his growth and maintain his A-list physique, starting with his back and biceps workout. Johnson works out the muscle groups together and does so twice a week. The back portion of the workout is basically one long superset, or giant set, with minimal rest, which is a good way to raise the intensity of a workout and fit a big session into a smaller timeframe. As Johnson explained “My entire back workout consists of all supersets, so there is a lot of blood and volume being pumped into the muscle, and then I’ll transition to biceps.”

The Rock’s back and biceps workout:

• Pullups (4 sets to failure)

• Single-arm dumbbell rows (4 sets of 12 on each side)

• Hammer strength double-arm rows (4 sets of 12)

• Lat pulldowns (4 sets of 12)

• Cable rows (4 drop sets to failure)

• Shoulder shrugs with dumbbells (4 sets of 12)

• Back hyperextensions (4 sets of 12)

• Dumbbell curls (4 sets of 15)

• Hammer curls (4 sets of 15)

• Preacher curls (4 sets of 15)

Johnson recently showed off his preacher curl form on Instagram. Preacher curls are a great exercise to build bigger biceps because they limit natural momentum, isolating your arms and forcing your biceps to work without the help of your shoulders and core.


The Rock outlined the focus of his midweek shoulder workout in preparation for Black Adam on Instagram, “This particular workout for shoulders is designed to maximise the blood volume right out of the gate and also make sure that the rep range is still in a place where we’re still fine-tuning all the etching and all the detail of the muscle,” he said.

The Rock’s shoulder workout:

• Shoulder press (4 sets of 12)

• Seated dumbbell shoulder press (4 sets of 12)

• Standing dumbbell lateral fly’s (4 sets of 12)

• Single-arm cable lateral raises (4 sets of 12 on each side)

• Reverse dumbbell fly’s (4 sets of 12)

• Bent over dumbbell lateral raise (4 sets of 12)


Abs are an often-forgotten aspect of a complete training regimen, not for The Rock. Johnson recently shared a gruelling ab workout with NFL star and “brotha in grind”, Aaron Donald.

The Rock’s ab workout:

• Rope crunch (3 sets of 20)

• Russian twist (3 sets of 20)

• Hanging leg raises (3 sets of 20)

• Ab wheel rollouts (3 sets to failure)

• Double Crunches (3 sets of 25)

• Reverse Crunches (3 sets of 25)

Johnson usually pairs his ab workout with a multifaceted upper body workout to round out the session and keep the rest of his body burning after an ab-torching.

Chest and Triceps

Johnson utilises a chest and triceps workout with less volume, but just as much intensity by yet again capitalising on giant sets.  

The Rock’s chest and triceps workout:

• Dumbbell fly’s (3 sets of 10)

• Chest press (3 sets of 10)

• Incline dumbbell press (3 sets of 10)

• Chest dips (3 sets to failure)

• Tricep pushdowns (3 sets of 15)

• Tricep overhead extension with rope (3 sets of 15)

• Skull crushers (3 sets of 12)

The chest half of the workout is comprised of one giant set, featuring four exercises. The tricep half is also a giant set, with three exercises targeting the different heads of the tricep for a balanced workout.


The Rock’s leg workout is the hardest of them all, and he saves it for the end of the week. He takes giant sets to the next level, with slow reps at the end of sets to maximise time under tension.

The Rock’s leg workout:

• Leg press (4 sets of 25)

• Walking lunges with barbell, chains, or dumbbells (4 sets, 25 steps)

• Vertical leg press (4 sets of 25)

• Pit shark sumo squats (4 sets of 15)

• Hamstring curls (4 sets of 12)

• Standing calf raises (4 sets of 50)

Johnson says he likes to use a two-legged leg press, allowing him to alternate which side he targets. Working with chains during lunges for added resistance is essential, giving you more bang for your buck in an already difficult exercise.

The Rock’s Diet Plan

Most people wouldn’t last a day on the Rock’s 6,000-calorie diet and his well-documented once a week cheat day is the stuff of legend. Johnson often says the says the key to cheat meals is “Don’t cheat yourself, treat yourself.” Here’s what the Rock eats to stay rock solid.

Johnson revealed his daily diet and how its adapted over the years to Delish. These days he doesn’t eat quite as much as he used to at the height of his wrestling career, “I was eating many pounds of food per day including a lot of cod,” he said. “At that time, I was eating anywhere between 6,000 to 8,000 calories a day.” Johnson’s diet would still challenge even the most audacious of eaters, he now has around 6 meals a day.

The Rock’s Six Meal a Day Diet:

Breakfast – The Rock starts the day with a bowl of oatmeal topped with berries and nuts, along with a side of buffalo and eggs.

Second breakfast – After a morning workout, he’ll have some chicken with rice or another fast-acting carb to aid digestion.

Lunch – A typical lunch is made up of chicken, buffalo or salmon with rice and a side of greens.

Second lunch and dinner – Second lunch and dinner are the same as lunch, but Johnson usually alternates between chicken, buffalo and salmon for protein.

Supper – The Rock likes to end the day with an extra meal consisting of protein, carbs and greens to pack in some extra calories before bed.

Johnson also drinks enough water to drown a fish to stay hydrated between workouts, anywhere from 8 to 11 litres a day.

Cheat Day

The Rock reserves every Sunday for a cheat day. He regulalry posts his massive cheat meals on social media, a testament to the benefits of treating yourself. Johnson recently shared a breakfast cheat meal, featuring an omelette made of 12 eggs, turkey bacon, a side of cornbread muffins, a stack of coconut banana pancakes and a tray of Hawaiian breakfast biscuits.

The Rock’s favourite cheat meal is his homemade coconut banana pancakes, which he tops with peanut butter and maple syrup. He described the meal on Instagram as “My weekly ‘experience’. Enjoy your cheat meals, my friends – you’ve earned them.”

By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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