Your Guide To The Rock’s Complete Arm-Building Routine For ‘Black Adam’ - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Your Guide To The Rock’s Complete Arm-Building Routine For ‘Black Adam’

Dave Rienzi, the strength coach behind Dwayne Johnson’s impressive physique, shares the arm workout that helped the actor get in superhero shape.

Hollywood has gifted us many an impressive transformation, taking regular guys and turning them into the next superhero with the kind of biceps that would make Batman blush. But where most give up such changes to their lifestyle and fitness routine as soon as production wraps, the same can’t be said for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The man might be one of Hollywood’s most bankable movie stars, but he also happens to be a fitness guru of sorts, with a social media presence that will motivate anyone to wake up and get ‘er done. 

Though Johnson is an actor known for always being in perpetually jacked shape, bulking up for his latest role in Black Adam role required another level of commitment entirely. If he was in Beast Mode before, he broke through that wall and created another dimension. To embody the physicality of the superhero, Johnson packed on more muscle than ever before which, given his long-standing history of epic transformations, is a pretty extraordinary achievement. Who knew there was more muscle that could be added to an already larger-than-life frame? 

But while the rest of us can only peruse his Instagram feed and aspire to one day have the kind of courage of conviction and determination to hit the gym with such intensity and consistency, thankfully Johnson’s strength coach is sharing his secrets. Dave Rienzi, the man behind such a physique, has finally given fans a glimpse into the challenging routine that helped Johnson create those epic gains, particularly when it comes to his arms. 

In a new Instagram video, Rienzi shared: “The objective for the build phase was to build just lean muscle. We weren’t bulking up, we weren’t packing on tons of pounds. So that meant bringing the intensity to another level, and these were some of the hardest workouts DJ has ever done.”

To begin, Rienzi targeted the triceps with rope pushdowns, telling viewers: “You’re going to want to really squeeze at the bottom of repetition, with 30 seconds of rest between sets.” This is then followed by dumbbell skull crushers, where he advises extending the arms further back in order to keep that tension on the triceps. He breaks the sets of 12 here into 4 reps with 3-second negatives, 4 with alternating static holds and the other 4 as simple, regular reps. 

Next comes dual cable pushdowns, where Rienzi has the Rock alternate between an underhand and overhand grip, followed by dumbbell kickbacks with 2-second holds. After 90 seconds of rest, Rienzi moves onto biceps, kicking off with barbell curls. “Focus on pausing at the top of each rep,” he explains. “Starting out of the gate, you’re going to get a crazy pump.”

After that comes dumbbell concentration curls, with 4 reps with 3-second negatives, 4 with 3-second holds, and 4 with traditional form. To end the workout, Rienzi had Johnson do a tri-set of incline dumbbell curls, incline hammer curls, and EZ bar slide curls. As he explains, finishing in this way doesn’t just torch the arms to see some serious gains, it also allows you to hit both the biceps and triceps. 

Check out the full workout below and give it a crack the next time you head to the gym. Just know that you might be struggling to use your arms the day after. 

The Rock’s Black Adam Arm Workout

Rope pushdowns (4 x 20)
Dumbbell skull crushers (4 x 12)
Dual cable pushdowns (4 x 10)
Barbell curls (4 x 20)
Dumbbell concentration curls (4 x 12)
Tri-set: incline dumbbell curls, incline hammer curls, EZ bar spider curls (4 x 8 of each)

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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