When you're an athlete-turned-actor who already has a physique idolized by millions around the world, you might think it would be easy to rest on your laurels. Not so with Dwayne Johnson. If there's one thing life has taught the former national championship-winning footballer, it's that you only get what you're willing to put in. That's why he dedicates so much of his time and energy to making sure he's at his physical peak when he steps onto the movie set.
Start building your chest to his legendary proportions with these tips and principles that'll help you make the most of every session.
Maintenance Is For Pussies
Now 42, Johnson swears he’s not past it. In fact, he believes he’s not even near it. “I don’t train to maintain, I train to progress,” he says. Regardless of how good you already are, you can always get better and you should train like it. Science agrees: as men get older, your muscles have greater maturity and memory, so you can make incredible gains. But take note of any post-workout pain. “When your body speaks to you, you’re smart to listen to it.”
Rock Your Metabolism
Cardio might be boring, but for Johnson impending nudity is motivation enough. “When you’re going to be in a loin-cloth, it changes your training,” he says. Your swim shorts might cover a bit more, but his cardio will work for you. “I do 30-35min of cardio every morning. I wake up, have some coffee then jump on the elliptical trainer. I’ll slam about 1L of water before breakfast.” Exercising on empty increases your fat burning by 20%. Let the losers snooze.
Lift Heavy Then Go Home
Johnson admits that his on-screen success isn’t all down to him. “I have an amazing team, a great strength and diet coach,” he says. “But money doesn’t fall out of the sky – that shit’s expensive. There was a time I was dick-broke. But there are fundamental principles that will lead you in the right direction. Train hard and heavy; train basic and dirty.” Johnson adds: “Go hardcore, balls to the wall every time you work out. Then leave it all in the gym.”
Balanced Meals Are Key
For Johnson, its all about hard work, discipline, and balance. "I had carbs with every meal, so there was always a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Then part of my daily regime was my glucosamine and a multitude of multivitamins. Then I had glutamine, branched-chain amino acids, and one protein shake which I drank after training."
Take Cheat Day To New Levels
For Hercules, Johnson trained twice a day, six days a week for the best part of two years. It’s fair to say he earned his cheat days, and the theory of cheating is very real. The American Journal of Physiology reports a high-kcal meal boosts leptin by 30%, regulating hunger for 24hr. “I approach cheat meals like tequila,” he adds. “I used to go bottle to lips, but now I sip. Well, now and then I go bottle to lips. You’ve got to.”
Try Out The Rock's Chest Workout (60 secs rest between sets)
- Incline barbell bench press
Sets: 4 / Reps: 12 / 10 / 8 / 6
- Dumbbell bench press
Sets: 4 / Reps: 12
- Seated dumbbell shoulder press
Sets: 4 / Reps: 12
- Flat dumbbell flye
Sets: 3 / Reps: 12
- Cable crossover
Sets: 3 / Reps: 15
Sets: 3 / Reps: To Failure
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