Unless you've been in a cave for the last decade or so, you may remember The Rock, a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson, as a popular, extremely charismatic wrestler in the last golden age of the WWE. Coming from a football playing background and being the son of the famous "Rocky Johnson," another pro-wrestler who was a big deal. That was a while ago. After a very successful gig hosting Saturday Night Live, he exploded. Starting off with small-budget action movies and a couple of serious dramas, he's permanently moved into the stratosphere and has become everyone's favorite dude and is reportedly even considering a move into politics. At the same time, he's gotten so massive, it makes his previous self look tiny.
He looks like a superhero, a real-life one. For all the work other actors and stars have had to do to look like the comic book characters they play, The Rock always looks like one, even though he hasn't actually played one yet. I mean, the Fast and Furious movies are, at this point, better Avengers movies than the Avengers movies, but they're not technically superhero movies just yet. The Rock looks like he popped out of the pages of some comic exclusively about him. He is a combination of muscle, lean, and cut abs and has a surprising level of agility and nimbleness. It's a ridiculous amount of work, though. His diet, routine, schedule, and attitude are all those of someone who doesn't like having a day off. Below, you'll find 15 of the things that create such a ridiculous human being.
15 He Aims For An Absurd Protein Volume
The obvious place to start is to wonder how much protein this guy eats. It’s the most vital component of building and maintaining the mountain of muscle that The Rock is. So, it won’t surprise you that it is a lot. Since he did Hercules in 2014, where he got his routine down cold, he eats seven times a day. A standard day involves a half a kilo of chicken, a half a kilo of halibut, and a half a kilo of steak spread over the first six meals, along with four egg whites for breakfast and ten for his final meal. Oh, and 30 grams of protein powder at the end of the day, you know, just for recovery. The most amazing part is how precise all this must be. After all, any excess protein is just turned into carbs, and so it has to be just the right amount to make sure he’s making use of it
14 He Eats More Veggies Than Anyone Else
You have to eat your veggies. Every kid knows this, for internal health, digestion, and for all the valuable vitamins and minerals they contain. So, it wouldn’t surprise you that someone as lean as The Rock eats a whole lot. It may surprise you, just a little, to know just how much. Over the aforementioned seven meals of the day, he eats two cups of broccoli and asparagus. The same foods your mom had to trick you into eating, he downs by the cup full. Along with this, just to fill in the gaps between his intake, he also gulps down vitamins, including glucosamine for joints, glutamine for protein absorption, BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) for recovery and Chondroitin, also for joints. Oh, and multi-vitamins, just in case there’s anything he missed.
13 His Carb Consumption Is Out Of Control
You do need carbs. Too much, obviously, can quickly turn to body fat, but if you’re not having enough, you can’t process protein. And not processing protein is something that The Rock simply cannot allow to happen. It’s all complex carbs so it’s not like The Rock scarfs down white bread; it’s rice and potatoes. Good, healthy stuff that is full of complex carbohydrates to help keep his body going. The amazing thing is, once again, the sheer volume. In a single day, The Rock will consume 21 ounces of baked potatoes (well over half a kilo in metric) and, no lie, five and a half cups of white rice. Usually, 1 cup is enough to feed a couple of people. He eats five times that every single day, and that’s only one half of his carb intake.
12 He Consumes 5,000 Calories A Day
All of this adds up to a truly absurd amount of food. You can express by weight or number of meals or however you'd like, but the simplest way to get a sense of just how much he eats is calories. By calorie count, that’s 5,000 a day, every day. To put that amount in perspective, 2,000 is roughly enough for an average man to maintain their current weight. Even those aiming to put on weight are comfortable around 2,200. Women are advised to average around 1,800 for weight maintenance. Essentially, the Rock eats roughly as much in a given day as an average couple, with enough left over to feed their kid.
11 The Rock Starts His Day With Some 4 AM Cardio
You probably don’t think of The Rock as a cardio guy. Again, he’s roughly the same size as a tractor, and tractors take a lot of energy to move. The Rock does do cardio, though— a lot of it. If you’ve ever used his app, The Rock Clock, you know that he starts the day around four in the morning and heads to the gym for a 30-50-minute run. For a lot of people, even fit people, that would probably be enough for the day. Not for The Rock, though. He likes to switch it up and sometimes he’s on the elliptical, sometimes on a stationary bike, and other times he’s actually on the road, but he always gets his workouts in. He needs to vary it to keep some pressure off his knees. Jogging, especially if you’re big (no one can say that The Rock isn’t big) can be hard on the knees. Also, The Rock’s workout is only just starting.
10 He Is Pretty Much Always Lifting Weights
The Rock is a very strong man. He looks like a cartoon version of himself. A big part of this is his gruelilng weight routine. His numbers are pretty hard to pin down, though a 30-pound dumbbell lateral raise is nothing to sneeze at. You get hints of how much he lifts, like two 100 pound dumbbells being near him while being interviewed, or noticing how many plates are on the machines in his Instagram videos, but people who ask him how much he benches get the dismissive answer that a silly question deserves. The impressive part is that his routine involves 4x12 sets, with only a minute or so to recover in between. It’s the frequency you’d expect from a beginner, but the Rock is doing it with a serious amount of weight. A quick look at his workout videos shows that he lives by the motto “if the ain't bending, you’re just pretending” as the barbell actually curves from the amount of weight at each end.
9 He Throws Around Extremely Heavy Kettlebells
The Rock also does a lot of work with the kettlebell. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a lump of metal or concrete with a handle. It’s a simple design with a huge number of training applications. It was one of the secret weapons of the feared Soviet Olympic wrestlers during the cold war. It specifically gives a massive benefit to things like core strength and grip strength. You swing it around, controlling it as much as moving it, and your whole body ends up working. One of the unexpected consequences of the Berlin Wall coming down was the kettlebell becoming a common feature of Western gyms. You’ve probably seen them for sale, with a weight in the single digits and a lot of warnings on any proposed workout. The Rock doesn’t do it like that. He slings a 75lb (34 kilo) kettlebell around with the sort of confidence and ease a normal person might rearrange cushions.
8 His Fight Training For Films Is Gruelling And Intense
The end point of all this exercise, The Rock is filming movies. It’s not about just looking good. The Rock also does a whole lot of fight training. And he does it while still being absolutely massive. There’s a story from back in the day, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was set to be in Conan the Barbarian, fresh of his last bodybuilding win, he was so massive that he couldn’t do any of the sword fighting choreography. He was literally musclebound. The Rock hasn’t had that happen, and doesn’t want it to. It’s remarkable how nimble and agile he’s continually shown himself to be in fight scenes. I honestly thought there had to be some kind of trick when he kickflipped to his feet in Fast Five, but no, he can actually do that. According to him, his favorite sparring partner in film is Jason Statham, who he describes as not acting in the fight scenes.
7 He Transports A Gym With Him All Around The World
The Rock is on the road all the time, and has an intensive, specific workout routine. He’s not going to be able to just go for a jog or do some pushups. He’s not happy unless he’s lifting the equivalent of a small car or a mid-sized family. And so, he’s worked out how to keep it up no matter where he is. For starters, he’s got gyms all over the country, mostly private, high-end gyms that are filled with similarly driven people. Sometimes he has several gyms in the one city to keep his commuting time down. Secondly, movie sets have gyms attached, since most actors and actresses like to stay in shape, though you have to wonder how his co-stars feel working out alongside him. Lastly, if all that doesn’t work, there’s an 18-wheeler absolutely laden with gym equipment that follows him around, to make sure he’s always got equipment on hand.
6 He Prioritizes His Fitness Regardless Of His Busy Schedule
He needs all of this since he never ever stops working. Sure, his workout routine is horrifying, involving two to three workouts a day, but that’s not where his day stops. No sooner has he put the weights back on the shelf, he's immediately off to a movie set, or a tv set, or a business meeting. Maybe he meets with a director or checks some scripts. He’ll do press for one movie while prepping for another. He’ll be doing motion capture for a WWE video game and then jump over to do voice work before going and learning the fight choreography and stunt work for yet another project. And he still finds time to go back to pro-wrestling every now and then, which is a demanding, time-intensive job on its own.
5 He Works Out Around A Jam-Packed Movie Schedule
And it’s not just his personal schedule that’s insane, remember that The Rock is making movies constantly. I mean, in 2017, he had three movies come out, two of them were lead roles, in addition to a full season of his show Ballers, which is about footballers living in Miami. 2016 was a quiet year, with only two movies, but 2015 had four, and 2013 had five. A good chunk of these films are demanding, big-budget movies, filled with stunts and action sequences. These aren’t cameos, they’re usually leading roles. The Rock runs out of one movie set, straight to another, with his 18-wheeler full of work out equipment trailing behind.
4 The Rock Has An Intense (And Expensive) Skincare Routine
A key part of any movie star’s routine is skincare. Even on the rare occasion when The Rock isn’t posing for the cover of a movie or workout magazine, he still looks like he has someone following him around, photoshopping him. It turns out, it’s not an accident. Yes, it could be part of it is his freakish genetics, but he also looks after his skin. He uses a cheap cream cleanser (Neutrogena, in case you wanted to know, it runs about five dollars a bottle) but he spends much more on face cream. He swears by Lancer or La Mer, which run for, well, a lot more. La Mer is about $85 a jar, but Lancer is even more, easily running to $125 or even $175 for their fancier lines. It’s hard to say it doesn’t work though. As others have pointed out, The Rock looks younger now than he did when he was 17.
3 He Chooses His Clothing Carefully To Show Off His Physique
All this work on looking like the best version of himself wouldn’t be worth much if he wears the wrong clothes. After all, clothing that’s too loose can throw off proportion, while the wrong kind of tight clothing can undo all your hard work. Brandon Routh, who played Superman in 2006, got into crazy shape, but had it all smashed down by the lycra of the costume. And so the Rock chooses his clothing as carefully as everything else. His proclivity for Under Armour is well known, since their fabrics make him look, somehow, even bigger. But he also picks his track suits and has his suits tailored to make sure he’s showing off the perfect V-shape of his torso. It’s little more than framing, but the Rock is as careful to pick it correctly as he is to pick every other aspect of how he presents himself.
2 His Cheat Days Are Out Of This World
Somehow, it wouldn’t be right to finish this article without mentioning his cheat days. Even someone as insane as The Rock doesn’t work out in between plates of halibut every day of the week. He only does that six days a week. He takes the seventh for rest, recovery, and allowing himself to have something a bit fancier. He goes big, though because, of course, he does. Trawling through his Instagram reveals massive plates of sushi, enough for a whole family, right next to a plate of rice and meat. Other times, he’ll whip up a stack of chocolate chip pancakes drowning in maple syrup, or a whole plate of cookies bigger than someone’s head. The most amazing was eight slices of French toast topped with what looks like a quarter of a huge apple pie. The Rock is even terrifying when he’s resting.
1 He Always Maintains A Positive And Upbeat Attitude
I started this article thinking that The Rock’s routine was ridiculous. That it was a combination of vanity and flagellation through exercise. But, the more you read about it, and the more you watch him, he wins you over. Because of course, he does, he’s a movie star, that’s his job. He’s charming as hell. If he wasn’t, we wouldn’t be talking about him, but it’s more than that. Nothing about his drive or dedication seems false. He really does believe in getting up early and driving himself hard all day. As much as The Rock seems like a living cartoon character who escaped into our world, it doesn’t seem to be anything constructed about it. He really is a super-positive, driven guy who loves to jump from project to project. The most amazing part of all the accounts of him exercising is that he seems to be doing it himself. He’s not being pushed by a trainer, it honestly all seems to come from him.