The Rock Workout | Athletic Muscle

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has long been known for his killer physique and macho persona. From his earliest days as a WWE wrestler to the last decade he’s spent starring in movies and television shows (in 2022, Black Adam will be his next superhero film), many men aspire to build muscle and look like the real-life Hercules he has become.

Learn all about his killer workout program in this article.

What Is The Rock Workout?

The Rock’s workout program is as follows:

Chest Workout

  • Dumbbell bench press | 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Flat bench cable fly | 3 sets to failure
  • Barbell bench press | 4 sets of 10-12 reps
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  • Incline dumbbell press | 5 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Low cable crossover | 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Barbell incline bench press | 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Legs Workout

  • Leg press or hack squat | 4 sets of 25
  • Barbell walking lunge | 4 sets of 25
  • Leg extension | 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Seated leg curl | 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Smith machine calf raise | 3 sets to failure
  • Thigh abductor | 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Barbell lunge (on Smith machine) | 3 sets of 20 reps

Abs and Arms Workout

  • Barbell curl | 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Hammer curl | 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Spider curl or preacher curls | 4 sets to failure
  • Triceps pushdown | 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Dips | 3 sets to failure
  • Hanging leg raise | 4 sets of 20 reps
  • Rope crunch | 4 sets of 20 reps
  • Russian twist | 4 sets of 20 reps

Back Workout

  • Lat pulldown | 4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Barbell deadlift or romanian deadlift | 4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Barbell shrug | 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Pull-​​up (wide grip) | 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Hyperextension (back extension) | 4 sets of 15 reps
  • one-​​arm dumbbell row / bent-over barbell row | 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Inverted row | 3 sets to failure

Shoulders Workout

  • Dumbbell shoulder press | 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell front raise | 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell side raise | 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Standing military press | 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Reverse fly | 3 sets of 10-15 reps

The Rock has long been an advocate of bodybuilding style workouts. 

Why Should You Do The Rock Workout?

There’s an old adage about being successful: dress for the job you want, not the one you have. If Dwayne Johnson is the pinnacle of physiques for many men, and that’s what you aspire to look like, shouldn’t you do everything you can to model the type of hard work he’s done?

What Equipment Is Needed for The Rock Workout?

Let’s just say you’re probably going to need a gym membership to complete The Rock workout. You’ll need access to dumbbells, barbells, and plenty of gym equipment like a pull-up and dip-bar, leg press machine, and more.

Common Mistakes When Doing The Rock Workout

Here are some things to consider about technique, as well as beginner mistakes you may make when following The Rock’s workout plan.

1. Not Learning Technique

With over 40 exercises listed throughout the week in a typical Dwayne Johnson workout plan, it’d be hard to review each exercise individually. That said, users of the workout plan should carefully practice each movement and research any that seem challenging or unclear before attempting. 

Fortunately, most are on machines which can help you prevent injuring yourself.

2. Doubling Up Workout Days

As much as anything else, The Rock’s workout routine is an investment of your time. It’ll take six to seven hours in the gym per week (at least) to get all the work done, which may prompt some users to want to superset or double up workout days. Try to avoid this and hit one muscle group per day if possible.

In this video, The Rock outlines how he builds one of the key muscles to his physique, his biceps:

3. Mixing and Matching Workouts

The Rock workout is meant to stand alone. Due to the high volume of the program, you won’t want to add much more in or combine it with other strength training routines. Try following it for six to eight weeks with a two-week ramp up period to start before assessing your fitness gains.

Get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of water, and avoid stress. You’ll need to give this program everything you’ve got.

4. Not Hitting Your Nutrition Goals Everyday

Your body is going to be craving protein on this workout, and you’ll struggle to make gains or make it through the workouts without enough fuel. With so much strength training, you’ll want to hit your protein, carbs, and fat goals each day, as well as your overall calorie goals. Take at least a protein supplement or two (whey and casein protein are great options) if you have trouble eating 150+ grams per day.

making the right nutritional choices and getting enough protein can make or break your transformation

5. Not Being Patient for Results

The Rock started training when he was in his teens. This year he’ll turn 50, meaning he’s got over three decades of training in the books already. You won’t look like the Rock right away, so take your time and enjoy the process. Train hard and let the mirror dictate your results.

The Rock Workout: How Many Times Per Week?

The Rock workout is five days per week. You can stagger this however you like. Most people either train Monday-Friday and rest on weekends or give themselves a day off in the middle of the week.

The Rock is also well known for his cut physique and his ability to maintain a very low (under 10 percent) body fat percentage. Whether you’re a beginner or already quite muscular, you may want to consider adding in a few days of light cardio (20 to 30 minutes of walking, light jogging, or elliptical work) to help shed extra body fat. You can do light cardio on rest days, but don’t overdo it.

Did You Know?

The Rock’s home gym, which he nicknamed, “Iron Paradise,” travels with him when he’s on the road shooting films or fulfilling other obligations. In a 2017 Instagram post, The Rock describes how his crew transports more than 40,000 pounds of iron with him when he’s traveling. Talk about a commitment to staying fit.

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