Physical fitness and the WWE go hand in hand. Superstars are not only required to possess the willingness to fly around the ring, they must also look the part. The league wants its wrestlers to have massive frames built with bulky muscles. Even their chubbier wrestlers are expected to exhibit great signs of strength. In short: the WWE wants its superstars to look like the last person you’d ever want to get into a fistfight with. That’s what sells the tickets.
It’s no coincidence that many of today’s WWE superstars have been brought up from bodybuilding backgrounds. Building up a repertoire of fancy wrestling moves or a fleshed out wrestling character is only half the battle. The other half takes place behind the scenes at the gym, and it’s where the legends separate themselves from the superstars that eventually fade away into history.
Whether you’re here looking for some workouts of your own, or you’re simply wondering about the amount of physical exertion it takes to become a WWE superstar, this list is designed for you. We’ve scoured through the workout routines of WWE superstars and picked out the most grueling we could find. Read on for ten WWE employees with the most demanding workouts.
While no longer with the WWE, Batista still submits himself to daily workouts and training. After all, he is still heavily involved in the UFC, another contact fighting sport. Taking care of his body has simply been a facet of his life for a long time. He was even well-known as a bodybuilder prior to joining the WWE. As we all know, he’d go on to find success in the league and eventually earn several championship belts.
Batista’s workout routine is one reason why he’s become so successful. He divides his plan into three days out of the week, each focusing on a different group of muscles on the body. For example, a leg day would consist of calf raises, leg curls, squats, leg presses, and leg extensions. Each exercise consists of up to four sets, all with the intent on developing as much muscle mass as possible.
9. Triple H
Triple H has led such a storied WWE career he’s considered to be WWE royalty. He’s even contributed to other rising superstars’ success, including the previous entry on this list Batista. Triple H has won thirteen world championships, and his contributions extend beyond the ring. He’s now the Chief Operating Officer of the WWE.
Of course, Triple H put a lot of work into the workout aspect of his career as well. He’s even released some of his workouts to the public through avenues like Men’s Fitness. They feature grueling chest and back routines including presses, extensions and rows of various types. Mix this in with up to 45 minutes of cardiovascular training and you have quite the intense workout.
8. Vince McMahon
Think that older men aren’t physically fit? Think again. The CEO of the WWE is perhaps one of the most obvious examples to prove that notion wrong. McMahon maintains an unbelievable physique when considering his age, and is actually able to make it into the gym up to four times a week in between his management duties.
McMahon’s workouts are typically focused on the chest, though obviously he pays attention to all his muscle groupings. An example workout would include 5 sets of barbell bench presses, 3 sets of incline presses, 3 sets of cable press downs, 3 sets on the dip machine, and 3 sets on the Pec-Deck flye machine. Each set can be as many as 12 reps in total, making McMahon a workout warrior who rivals many of his superstar employees.
7. Steve Austin
Steve Austin was the epitome of defiant. His in your face, couldn’t care less what you think style is what made him so immensely popular during his time involved with the WWE. He was a trademark character during the famous Attitude Era, and seemingly trounced anyone in the way of his path to wrestling glory.
It seems Austin attacked the weights at the gym with the same trademark tenacity that made him so successful. It doesn’t matter how difficult the workout, Austin will take it on and improve upon himself. His workouts are typically four days out of the week. They eschew the idea of high rep lifting and instead focus on heavier weights. It’s a bodybuilding mentality that helped him develop a hulking frame. His preferred exercises include: squats, deadlifts, barbell shrugs, and dumbbell shrugs. Each of these come in at around 5 sets of up to 6 or so repetitions.
Though perhaps not the most successful wrestler on this list, Ryback certainly has found some success at his local gym. His determination and aggressive approach to his exercise has helped him cultivate a winning body bulging with muscle mass. It’s for this reason that he’s made our top ten list.
Ryback’s workout, as any good workout should, also tacks on a conscientious approach towards his diet. He rarely indulges in anything but the healthiest of foods, but still manages to eat about 8 times each day. In terms of actual workout, Ryback prefers a high repetition oriented approach. He goes to the gym Monday through Friday, with each day focusing on muscle groups like the chest, shoulders, biceps, back, and legs. Each workout includes 4 sets of various exercises, each containing up to 25 repetitions.
5. Randy Orton
Orton doesn’t necessarily have the beefiest of bods. In fact, he qualifies as one of the more lean wrestlers in the WWE. At the same time, the guy is no slouch in the gym. In fact, he’s quite the opposite. Orton is an ex-Marine with movie star good looks, so it makes sense that he puts a lot of effort into maintaining his physical appearance. His workout routine is surprisingly demanding as a result.
Orton has a set of three different exercises for each individual body part, and five for each leg. His strategy involves a constant revolving door of exercises every three weeks in order to avoid his muscle growth plateauing. Orton will do exercises including several variations of rows, presses, extensions, raises and curls, all until failure.
Like other superstars on this list, Cesaro’s sports origin resides in a separate league entirely. He grew up loving the sport of rugby, and eventually became a European professional rugby player. That is, until he was banned for excessive aggression. It is this aggression that he’s managed to translate into his WWE performances. It’s also bled into his training sessions whenever he works out, and is a large contributor to how brutal his training regimen can be.
Cesaro doesn’t have time for any excuses when it comes to physical fitness. He cannot stand slip-ups in the nutrition department, for example. There is no such thing as an “I can eat this junk food just this once” instance in his mind. He also can’t accept laziness in the gym. Every day, Cesaro is at the gym building up a routine. His workouts typically focus around squats, deadlifts, and various forms of presses.
3. John Cena
It’s fair to say that exercise has been a major influence for Cena for the majority of his life. In fact, the surging superstar was heavily involved in the field before even signing with the WWE. He attended Springfield College in Massachusetts, majoring in exercise physiology. Afterwards, Cena immediately began training as a bodybuilder.
Cena’s workout ranks in the top three due to his advanced understanding of the craft. Cena designs his workouts to maximize muscle build up, and expertly manages his diet in tandem with his efforts in the gym. The more common elements of his workout include: seated calf raises, squats, barbell bench presses, barbell curls, military press, and the triceps dip. Like many wrestlers, Cena rotates the targeted body muscle group depending on the day, and heads to the gym five days out of the week.
2. The Rock
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson earns the number two spot on our list for reasons outside of the WWE. Johnson’s life has seemingly been spent entirely in the gym. Growing up, he was focused on football, and often worked out in an effort to go professional in the sport. He later turned to professional wrestling which, as you should have picked up by now, requires an extra level of dedication in terms of working out. On top of that, Johnson’s blossoming acting career forces him to dedicate even more time to lifting and exercising.
Take his movie Hercules for example. During his role, Johnson went on a 22 week diet coupled with a strict regimen of six days of training per week. The workout itself was near impossible, with Johnson waking up as early as 3 a.m. to begin lifting. When your livelihood revolves around being as muscular as possible, an extra level of dedication is needed to ensure you continue to perform, whether it’s inside of a wrestling ring or on the big screen.
1. Brock Lesnar
Take one look at Lesnar and you’ll immediately recognize why he’s on top of our list. The man is absolutely massive, and we wonder how anyone musters up enough courage to step into the ring against him. The hulking brute has been involved with professional wrestling ever since he signed with the WWE back in 2000, but has been involved in the workout room for much longer.
Lesnar says he trains twice a day for four days out of the week. He divides his training into morning and night sessions, with one focused on fight training and tweaking his technique while the other is geared towards improving his body. His training cycles between six weeks of power and four weeks of conditioning. While lifting, his exercises of choice are the bench press, incline dumbbell press, dumbbell flyes, triceps pushdowns, and skullcrushers. These usually come in sets of anywhere up to 6, each consisting of about 10 repetitions. His approach has earned him an insane amount of body mass, and an impressive wrestling career to boot.