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I tried The Rock's hardcore workout routine for 7 days and have never felt more exhausted

After just one week of working out like The Rock, I'm ready for a break

the rock training

If there's one A-lister who's renowned for their epic workout routine and even more epic food intake, it's Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.

 MORE: The Rock shares shocking side effect of his training regime

The 49-year old is famed not only for his high profile wrestling career, but his acting career too, starring in blockbuster titles including Jumanji, Fast and Furious, Baywatch and Hercules. If you're familiar with any of these films, you'll know that Dwayne Johnson tends to play a ripped, heroic hunk (yes, I am swooning). To get in such good shape requires big-time gym dedication.


WATCH: The Rock trains hard for his film roles

So, in the name of work, I decided to give Dwayne Johnson's workout routine a try. Just to flag, Dwayne weighs around 18.5 stone and is 6ft 4 in height. Whereas I am a 9 stone, 5ft 9 female, so naturally, I wasn't going to be lifting similar weights when it came to the resistance-based elements.

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What is Dwayne Johnson's workout routine?

Dwayne is famously big on 'splits', working different muscle groups on different days of the week.

Oh, and before each workout in the below plan he does an hour of cardio. Cool, OK. I can get to grips with this.

I decided to try this out; just one hardcore week of The Rock workouts.

My thoughts? In all honesty, it doesn't look too different to my usual setup of cardio and weights, however I don't tend to do so many reps.

As a personal trainer myself, I often encourage those who are blessed with time to focus on splits as a way to ensure all muscles in the body are hit at some point in the week.

Here is a typical week of training like Dwayne Johnson. If you're unsure of several of the moves, a quick Google can help clarify things.

Dwayne also shows off his weightlifting skills in this video

The Rock shows off his lifting prowess

Day 1: Legs

●     Running 30-50 minutes

●     Barbell Walking Lunge – 4 sets x 25 reps

●     Leg Press – 4 sets x 25 reps

●     Leg Extensions – 3 sets x 20 reps

●     Barbell Squats – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Hack Squats – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Romanian Deadlift – 4 sets x 10 reps

●     Seated Leg Curls – 3 sets x 20 reps

●     Thigh Abductor – 4 set x 12 reps

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READ: The Rock's decadent 'cheat meals' are big enough to feed a family

Day 2: Back

●     Running 30-50 minutes

●     Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Bent-Over Barbell Row – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     One Arm Dumbbell Row – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Barbell Deadlift – 3 sets x 10 reps

●     Pull-Ups – 3 sets

●     Dumbbell Shrug – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Inverted Row – 3 sets

●     Hyperextension – 4 sets x 12 reps


The Rock works out each muscle individually for his impressive physique

Day 3: Shoulders

●     Running 30-50 minutes

●     Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Standing Military Press – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Front Dumbbell Raise – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Side Lateral Raise – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Reverse Machine Flyes – 4 sets x 15 reps

●     Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise – 4 sets x 12 reps

MORE: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson films in his immaculate garden

Day 4: Arms/Abs

●     Running 30-50 minutes

●     Dumbbell Bicep Curl – 4 sets x 15 reps

●     Hammer Curls – 4 sets x 15 reps

●     Spider Curl – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Triceps Pushdown – 4 sets x 15 reps

●     Overhead Triceps – 3 sets x 15 reps

●     Hanging Leg Raise – 4 sets x 20 reps

●     Rope Crunch – 4 sets x 20 reps

●     Russian Twist – 4 sets x 20 reps

READ: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson shares unbelievable gym selfie

Day 5: Legs

●     Running 30-50 minutes

●     Barbell Walking Lunge – 4 sets x 25 reps

●     Leg Press – 4 sets x 25 reps

●     Leg Extension – 3 sets x 20 reps

●     Barbell Squat – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Hack Squat – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Romanian Deadlift – 4 sets x 10 reps

●     Seated Leg Curl – 3 sets x 20 reps

●     Thigh Abductor – 4 sets x 12 reps

MORE: Strictly body envy! How the professionals get their incredible bodies

Day 6: Chest

●     Running 30-50 minutes

●     Barbell Bench Press, medium grip – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Incline Dumbbell Press – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Dumbbell Bench Press – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Flat Bench Cable Flyes – 4 sets x 15 reps

●     Incline Hammer Curls – 4 sets x 12 reps

●     Dips, Chest Version – 4 sets x 10-12 reps

the rock white shirt© Photo: Rex

The Rock finally rests on day seven 

Day 7: Rest day

How many workouts does The Rock do a day?

Judging by his workout routine for Hercules, it seems as though Dwayne does one epic workout each day, however it's divided into different segments.

He trains six days a week, with his seventh day typically (but not always) devoted to his infamous cheat meals. Just a casual #cheatmealsunday.

Not familiar with The Rock’s cheat meals? Oh boy are you in for a treat. Just look at this.

He also seems to devour a plate of homemade cookies during every cheat meal. Alongside a shot of tequila, naturally. Well, he is the founder of a tequila brand after all.

He’s also famed for his infamous Rock toast. I'm sure it's named after him rather than the fact it actually looks like a boulder, but my word does it look good. My waistline cries but my tastebuds rejoice.

Aside from the cheat meals, day-to-day Dwayne packs in a staggering five to seven high protein meals, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. An example of his everyday meal looks a little like this: 10 oz steak, three baked potatoes, eight asparagus tips and one glass of orange juice

How many hours per day does The Rock workout?

If my research is correct, Dwayne seems to devote a good three or so hours to exercise. Lucky I don't have a job or anything…

Dwayne is also known to work out at obscure hours, if his Instagram is anything to go by.

the rock midnight workout© Photo: Instagram

The Rock said he 'burns the midnight oil' in the gym, working out at 12:30am

Half midnight? Are you kidding me? Unfortunately, (or fortunately actually) my gym shuts at 9 pm and doesn't open again till 6.30 am. Oh. What a shame. With my body stretched and prepped, here's what happened when I trained like Dwayne Johnson for one week…

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Day 1

I opted for Dwayne's leg workout and headed to my favourite gym; Fitness First Cottons at London Bridge.

Personally, leg days are my favourite, although I had a feeling my mentality might shift slightly after doing Dwayne's insane lower body session.

I ran for 50 minutes at a pretty solid pace on the treadmill and then jumped straight into Dwayne's exercises.

READ: How to get rid of back fat: your ultimate guide, from causes of back fat to the best exercises

Normally, from a PT perspective, I would always recommend doing the strength element before the cardio, as you don’t want to tire the muscles out before moving onto weights; the aim is to be as strong as possible!

However, in the name of work, I did my cardio first and then my weights. I did regret doing this on an empty stomach and I could feel my legs getting wobbly towards the end of the workout due to a lack of fuel but all in all, a well-rounded workout that I thoroughly enjoyed!


Weights after cardio can be tiring!

Day 2

Wow. waking up with quads like flames was not something I expected. Lucky I don’t have to go on a run or anything…oh wait, I do. 

Today I chose to go for Dwayne's shoulder workout. I ran for 40 minutes, then grabbed some dumbbells and a barbell. The workout itself was fine… in fact, dare I say, it was quite 'easy'.

Oh Lucy, how naive you are….

the rock work out trial

Working out like The Rock is exhausting! 

Day 3

Today I genuinely feel as though someone has run a truck over my upper body. I am in utter agony, and I immediately reach for my Theragun (a vibrating massage machine, essentially) to ease the pain in my upper back.

theragun image

Theragun Mini, £185.42, Amazon


I'm also ravenous as soon as I wake up today; usually I can go till about 10 or 11 until breakfast hunger pangs kick in, but it's 7 am and I need feeding!

I've only done two days of Dwayne's workouts but the fact that I am lifting more weights than usual could definitely be a factor in today's big appetite.

Today I opted for another run followed by Dwayne's back workout. I actually rarely train my back, so it was actually very enjoyable mixing up my moves, although pull-ups are a real weakness of mine and I did skimp on these a little.

READ: J.Lo's trainer reveals her incredible body-toning workout routine - and you can do it at home

Day 4

The pain of that day one leg workout is finally easing (yes muscle soreness can take a while to heal!), so I decided to go and do Dwayne's leg day again.

I know this kinda defeats the point of following his weekly workout routine to a tee, however training my chest just filled me with dread and I actually didn't want to sit in the weights room surrounded by huge grunting men, as was the case when I headed to the gym on a Thursday lunchtime.


The weights room can be intimidating!

Plus, I love a leg workout. I increased my weights a little this time, whilst wincing at the thought of how my pins would feel tomorrow morning.

Day 5

Glutes. On. Fire. However, it's a good feeling when your butt feels peachy. Today I opted for arms and abs, with the whole run and weight workout being wrapped up in just under two hours. That's long enough for me I reckon.

The hanging leg raises killed me off slightly, as by then, my arms were in tatters, so gripping onto a pole was excruciating.

Day 6

Hey ho hey ho, it's back to the gym we go. Today I ran for 45 minutes then took on the chest workout that I'd previously skipped.

in gym

To train like The Rock, you need to be in the gym. A lot.

Needless to say, my chest isn't my strongest element so I did every move with the lightest of weights. I still felt the resistance, but I really, really wanted to swerve any aches the next day. If you've ever felt aching muscles after doing chest-based exercises, you'll know what I mean.

Day 7

Just like Dwayne, I decided to rest today. He usually has an epic cheat meal on his rest day…I actually decided to just go out for three big meals that were all relatively 'healthy' just monstrously large. As for his plate of cookies, I wasn't prepared to follow suit as I'd quite like to not end this week feeling like a stuffed whale. Although believe me, I was very tempted.

What did I learn from training like Dwayne Johnson for one week?

Muscles need FOOD

It's no wonder Dwayne Johnson eats a shed load of meals each day. His five to seven meals a day are a far cry from my three-meals-a-day routine (with snacks, obviously), however, all this muscle training left me very hungry.

I'm well aware that food is fuel, but I didn't really understand just how much fuel might be needed for this amount of weightlifting.

I can also see why Dwayne focuses so heavily on protein. After all, protein helps muscles repair and grow; it also helps to keep us fuller for longer, so can help curb those cravings that kick in every day, around 3pm.

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Splits are great

I tend to work different muscle groups on different days generally, but Dwayne's plan really did break the muscles down. I have never trained my back and arms on separate days; instead, focusing on the two during one upper body training session.

So, here I was, whacking out endless reps and really honing in on certain areas of the body (and oh boy was I feeling it the next day), but because each day was different, the body part that was hurting, was able to rest and recuperate. It meant I never overworked any muscles and could basically just keep going. Hoorah!

READ: I tried Adele's extreme three-workouts-a-day regime – and the results might surprise you

Rest days are key

It's hard to get across just how important rest days are. But they really, really are the time when your body actually recovers and repairs.

I've had clients who really despise rest days, however it's vital you take at least a day a week to step away from the gym. I found during this week that a routine focused heavily on weightlifting really did make me desperate for the rest day and I went back to my normal routine after a week of Dwayne Johnson workouts, far stronger.

People, embrace the rest day and enjoy the chill time!

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I will totally continue to train like this

Hand on heart, I loved this week. Muscle pain aside (my legs and arms are still throbbing), the workout routine was totally up my street. I will absolutely continue to split my weight-lifting a little more rigidly and I will definitely be incorporating more upper body work into my week. I tend to shy away from it, but this week, I had a real balance between lower and upper. Dwayne, you're an inspiration!

Warning: Do not try this at home! We advise consulting a personal trainer if you're keen to incorporate elements of The Rock's fitness into your weekly regime.

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