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Dwayne Johnson's
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Hercules Workout

Dwayne Johnson's Rock-Hard Hercules Workout And Diet Plan

To play the son of Zeus in the upcoming blockbuster ''Hercules,'' Dwayne ''The Rock'' Johnson took his training to an entirely new level. In this interview, the movie icon reveals how you can build the body of a demigod.

After watching Hercules" in theaters on July 25, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson wants you to come away with one thing on your mind: that you've just witnessed the biggest, meanest, baddest and, more importantly, most definitive version of Hercules ever seen on the big screen.

For the majority of Hollywood's action stars, the task of realistically portraying an ancient Greek demigod would be more challenging than combining all 12 labors the mythical son of Zeus had to undertake. Many have tried in the past, and many have failed. Even for Johnson, with 260 pounds of muscle already clinging to his massive 6-foot-5 frame, it would prove no mean feat.

But after spending the majority of his life in the gym training to be a professional football player, world-renowned pro wrestler, and one of Hollywood's highest-ever grossing movie stars, it was a labor he had all the weapons to overcome.

Here, in his own words, Johnson reveals how he obtained the skin-stretching muscle he needed for his starring role as Hercules, and explains why nutrition is the most important facet of getting big.

Herculean Effort

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. That's why he was Hollywood's highest-grossing movie star of 2013, with his four films pulling in $1.3 billion at the box office.

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.

"For different roles my condition and training and diet does alter," Johnson states. "Depending on the role, it will really dictate the type of training I do. For 'Hercules,' it was a 22-week diet, while for 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' it was about a 14-week diet, and for 'Pain & Gain' I wanted to come out looking bulky, big, and dangerous, so we adjusted accordingly.

"When you're playing a character like the son of Zeus, you only get one shot."

"For 'Hercules,' I went for the demigod look: big and mean. When you're playing a character like the son of Zeus, you only get one shot. The intensity of the training was definitely up, as was the volume of training. I really wanted to make it the definitive version of Hercules. We wanted to make it darker in tone and we based it off Steve Moore and Admira Wijaya's 'Hercules: The Thracian Wars' graphic novel, which is pretty dark."

He adds: "And then the intensity of preparation for the movies depends on the role. The training, nutrition, fight choreography, weapons training, and stunt planning are all altered accordingly. I always go in committed and try to make it the best it can be. For 'Hercules,' I wanted to respect the mythology, or with "Fast & Furious," I wanted to respect this massive franchise. For the G.I. Joe movies, it was similar because it's already an established brand and already an established character. You've got to look the part."

To look the part for "Hercules," Johnson elevated his training significantly, using a six-days-on, one-day-off schedule for six months to help him bulk up. At the beginning of each morning, Johnson would complete a 50-minute cardio session before working on a specific body part depending on what day it was, with his legs being the only muscle group that received more than one workout per week.

"I start working out pretty early, around 4 a.m. When I'm filming, I do cardio and I lift before going to set. I train about six days a week, and even when I'm not filming I get up between 3 and 5 a.m. just to train. I love training when the sun is coming up because it allows me to put on my headphones and step off the crazy treadmill that is everyone's life. I have my headphones on and I'm listening to my music, and I'm 100 percent focused. There's no wasted time or effort when it comes to me and the weights.

"I work out for about 90 minutes, or maybe an hour and 45 minutes. When I hit the gym, I'm coming! I train hard, I come to kick ass—clanging and banging. With something like "Hercules," I was in costume and make-up for a few hours before shooting, so I'd have to get in the workout early."

And while other actors may slack off with their training schedules once they've got a movie in the can, Johnson is among the minority of people who is in the gym all year round.

"Working out anchors my day," he says. "For me, training is my meditation, my yoga, hiking, biking, therapy all rolled into one. I love it. Generally, I'm always shooting or preparing to shoot for something, so that's why I like keeping my conditioning in a certain zone. But even if I wasn't it would launch my day. It makes me feels good."

TWEET THIS ARTICLE: Wonder how @TheRock built the body of Hercules? Find out how and build your own.

A Feast For the Gods

Although Johnson will be the first to tell you his vigorous training sessions have helped him get where he needs to be physically, he also follows an incredibly strict diet before and during filming.

But once again he felt he needed to up his game for "Hercules," so Johnson and his nutrition team created his "12 Labors" diet, filled with large amounts of protein, carbs and fats, to make sure he was in the best shape of his life.

"Generally, I eat six or seven times a day," he says. "It's about getting enough protein to aid lean muscle growth, and everything is very precisely measured depending on what targets I'm looking to hit for that day. Lots of protein, good carbs, and veggies. Nutrition is so important, it can't be stressed enough.

"For 'Hercules,' it was a 22-week diet, full on. I'd eat a bunch of egg whites, filet mignon, chicken, fish, oatmeal, broccoli, asparagus, a baked potato, cream of rice, salad and complex carbs. All of this measured and weighed."

"'I'd eat a bunch of egg whites, filet mignon, chicken, fish, oatmeal, broccoli, asparagus, a baked potato, cream of rice, salad, and complex carbs.'"

He adds: "It was 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 then also a multitude of multivitamins. Then I had glutamine, branched-chain amino acids, chondroitin, and one protein shake a day, which I drank after training."

After years of playing football and being a wrestler in the WWE, Johnson has had his fair share of injuries, and now at 41 years of age it's become even more difficult to get into top-notch physical shape without his body falling apart.

"When I hit 40, I really began to start training smarter," he states with a chuckle. "I've always tried to educate myself on my nutrition, about supplements, what I'm eating, when I'm eating, exercises, calories, and so on. Eventually I hired an awesome conditioning coach who helped me.

"He helped me prepare for a variety of these roles, and in between roles, hitting different things. And when we get into our 40s, all of a sudden we start feeling aches and pains. I take glucosamine and chondroitin for my poor joints."

Role Of A Lifetime

With his dedication to fitness and nutrition second to none among Hollywood actors, Johnson has firmly cemented himself as, literally and figuratively, the biggest action hero in the world.

And even though he's dazzled on the big screen as Roadblock in "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and Luke Hobbs in the "Fast and Furious" franchise, Johnson believes that playing Hercules is not only the biggest role of his career, but a dream come true.

"When I first broke into movies, Hercules was one of the projects I had in the back of my mind," he recalls. "I always thought, 'Man, I would love to do that one day.' And I always wanted to play a dramatic Hercules, a guy who's survived in barren lands and who is haunted, in a way. Here's a man who has to accept and embrace his own myth.

"This was definitely a passion project for me, and I rocked the leather loincloth like a badass with his battle club. And that damn loincloth, there can be mishaps if you know what I mean--when you're swinging about," he laughs. "I'm really happy with what we've accomplished with 'Hercules.' We put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this movie."

Clanging And Banging With Dwayne Johnson

To prepare himself for the role of Hercules, Johnson took on a six-month training schedule which would have challenged the most dedicated athletes and bodybuilders. TRAIN and Bodybuilding.com offer you an outline of Johnson's workout regimen. Remember to do an hour of cardio before you hit the weights.

Monday: Chest
Tuesday: Legs
Wednesday: Abs And Arms
Thursday: Back
Friday: Shoulders
Saturday: Legs
Sunday: Rest Day

Can You Smell What The Rock Is Cookin'?

Although Johnson didn't have anything in his diet quite like the blood of the Nemean lion Hercules had to kill, that didn't stop him from taking on the tough "12 Labors" diet, which included several protein-packed meals that helped him portray his character's legendary strength on screen.

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
Meal 6
Meal 7

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Marcozr1

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Marcozr1

i wonder if this is his real workout

Article Rated:
May 16, 2014 6:16pm | report
 
skinny2buff6

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skinny2buff6

I think it is the general idea of what he does. But who really follows a routine perfect? When I get a good pump and workout going I will toss in a few extra sets. Or maybe I'll be unhappy with how my calves are so I will throw some exercises in on a random day

May 19, 2014 11:19am | report
Gunite

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Gunite

Wednesday, arms day....lol

May 16, 2014 7:31pm | report
 
jay96sportster

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jay96sportster

Everyday is arms day!

Jun 3, 2014 9:40am | report
wademan99

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wademan99

His chest plate is too small for his muscle size. haha. fail

May 16, 2014 9:29pm | report
 
Unquit8239

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Unquit8239

back in the day they couldn't custom fit every chest guard, they're just trying to show that

May 18, 2014 2:54pm | report
jruby55

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jruby55

I see more and more comments switching to white rice, is this better for muscle gain over brown rice. What is the advantages of either over another?

May 16, 2014 10:14pm | report
 
Leo855

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Leo855

If I had to guess, it might be for the reason that white rice has less fiber. People on a bulking diet might not want a lot of fiber because it might make it harder for them to eat more food later on, due to it's satiating qualities. Aside from that, no real difference in terms of muscle gain.
I'm not a nutritionist, of course. This is my unprofessional opinion.

May 17, 2014 8:15am | report
ricardogonz01

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ricardogonz01

the only difference is the fiber content, the key to getting muscle when it comes to nutrition is a caloric surplus despite of the food sources, of course you want to eat as much nutrient dense foods as you can for overall health but at the end of the day brown rice and white are the same, just a simple carb source. just my opinion as a lifter

May 18, 2014 9:19pm | report
hitman79

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hitman79

Like the others said. The only significant difference would be a few grams of fiber. So if you prefer white rice and are getting a good amount of fiber from other sources go for the white rice/bread etc.

May 19, 2014 7:02pm | report
kandorean

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kandorean

This is so funny, I had never seen so much bro science together!!

Jul 1, 2014 4:08pm | report
jruby55

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jruby55

I see more and more comments switching to white rice, is this better for muscle gain over brown rice. What is the advantages of either over another?

May 16, 2014 10:18pm | report
 
mikexcore

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mikexcore

White rice is good right after a workout because it digests faster to fill your broken down muscles. You would eat brown rice any other time of day for a longer sustained energy supply.

May 17, 2014 8:20am | report
dangap

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dangap

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This^^^^

May 19, 2014 8:53pm | report
Devega333

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Devega333

I've been eating white rice since I was kid(asian) so I have to say go for it, it'll fill up and satisfy your stomach nice.

Aug 11, 2014 12:27am | report
jalewin23

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jalewin23

No squats?

May 16, 2014 10:27pm | report
 
helmers

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helmers

he's torn his ACL twice thats why he doesn't squat

May 17, 2014 8:16am | report
gskurski

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gskurski

I was wondering the same thing. I've seen other Rock leg workouts and they never seem to include squats. Avoid them due to the injury makes sense. Also needing to hit legs twice a week without them.

May 19, 2014 9:11am | report
Miido

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Miido

6 meals containing meats... How many grams of protein would that be? Too ******* much.

May 17, 2014 6:09am | report
 
mikexcore

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mikexcore

I bet his ash hole hates him

May 17, 2014 8:21am | report
kyleD12345

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kyleD12345

Must be doing something right.

May 17, 2014 7:43am | report
 
dul

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dul

Plus a little steroids...(no offence...)

May 17, 2014 9:05am | report
 
samerym

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samerym

Of course! Why is it that only bodybuilders get accused of this? Why not accuse Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Ken Griffy Jr., or even friggin' Eminem? Stop this garbage!

May 17, 2014 2:01pm | report
MarMarHoopStar

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MarMarHoopStar

@samerym wtf, all the athletes you just named aren't hella big lol. And they all get tested for the shiet.
Duh..

May 18, 2014 9:46am | report
MarMarHoopStar

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MarMarHoopStar

@samerym wtf, all the athletes you just named aren't hella big lol. And they all get tested for the shiet.
Duh..

May 18, 2014 9:46am | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 120 Comments

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