Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson's Black Adam Workout

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the fittest stars over 50 in Hollywood.... For that matter, he's one of the fittest celebrities of any age. Which, seems to help bolster his popularity. He has nearly 340 million followers on Instagram.  To put that into perspective, the entire population of the United States is roughly 330 million. So, globally, the Rock has garnered more followers as there are citizens of the US! He is the most followed actor on IG. That's not only a lot of eyeballs, but that's also a lot of influence.

So, when the Rock, who's now over 50, divulges the secrets of his workouts, it's a given that a lot of people are going to be paying attention. It's also expected that many of them – both young and old - are likely going to follow – or, at least try to follow -  his workout. This puts him in a unique position. He's got to be careful with the examples he sets to prevent some numb skull from killing themselves, while at the same time the workout has to be effective.  Raging through straight sets of 500 pound benchpresses might look impressive when the Rock does them, but depicting such folly on social media is going to lead to more torn pecs than swole pecs among the wide-eyed, star struck, nubies in the gym who want to know what his training split looks like and how exactly he's getting in shape for his first superhero movie – Black Adam

The same goes for the over 50 guys who's doctor just told them they have to quit smoking, cut back their alcohol consumption, lose 40 pounds, and do something physical – such as join a gym, lift weights and do cardio or they're going to die. Many of them are also following the Rock to help motivate their over 50 fitness, while influencing good habits such as eating “clean” and taking age related nutrients

At the end of the day, when you've become a figure as iconic and influential as the Rock, you have to manage almost everything you do, because, inevitably, your fans are going to want to emulate you. Or, at least try. When it comes to a gym that can ultimately lead to someone getting hurt. So, if you have as many people looking up to you as does the Rock, you can be fairly sure the content he releases has been vetted. Chances are pretty good that if the Rock publishes his workout, it's going to, by default, be both safe and effective. 

Another factor that affects the Rock's training is the role he's preparing for.  This may cause him to want to focus on varying degrees of condition or size or both. For his role in Black Adam, The Rock has said repeatedly on social media that he wants the physique we see on screen this time  to "raise the bar." If you've seen any of his Fast and Furious films, you know that's a pretty strong statement. 

However, regardless of how he couches his workouts for particularly roles, The Rock pretty much sticks to working out 6 days a week, for about three – four hours a day. A recent article in Men's Health, says that the Rock starts each day with some cardio when he's prepping for a role. 

His workouts hit specific body parts on specific days, for example: biceps and back on Mondays.. Chest and triceps on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Shoulders on Wednesdays. Thursdays he hits biceps and back once again, utilizing forced reps, negatives, supersets, and giant sets.  Back and biceps are trained on Fridays again, and legs on Saturdays.

This kind of full body assault is extremely taxing, especially for anyone over 50. It's quite possible that the Rock  would seek to care of his body with an array of nutrients and natural anti-inflammatories

He follows classic bodybuilding routines, with tons of volume and isolation work designed to hit major muscle groups and individual muscles from every angle. If you check The Rock's Instagram posts containing his Black Adam workout prep, you can cobble together some idea of what his training week might look like.


Workout 1: Back

1-Arm Lat Pulldown
3 sets x 15 reps
Johnson uses a Hammer machine with independent handles for each hand to isolate each side of his back. If you don’t have a similar machine, you can do a one-armed cable pulldown.

Reverse-Grip Cable Pulldown
5 sets x 12 reps
Rest 30 seconds between sets.
Grip the bar with your palms facing you (supine).

One-Arm Dumbbell Row
3 sets x 12 reps
Pause at the top of each rep for 2 seconds.

“Charles Glass-Style” Hammer High Row
4 sets x 12 reps
In a Charles Glass-style high row, hold the dumbbells in front of your waist in a prone grip (so your palms face you) and raise them to chest height.

Superset: 4 sets x 12 reps
A. Wide-Grip Cable Rows (Use pulldown bar)
B. Rope pullovers
Rest 45 seconds between supersets.

Back (Hyper)extensions w/ Hands Behind Head: 3 sets x 15 reps
Be sure to go slowly on this move. Don’t go too far past a neutral spine—your lower back will get a perfectly good workout without flinging your torso up.

Dumbbell Shrugs
4 sets x 20 reps


Workout 2: Chest

Standing Cable Fly
7 sets x 15 reps
Rest 30 seconds between sets.

Incline Fly 4 sets x 12 reps

Note: Johnson uses a Star Trac machine, which makes sure that the resistance is coming from a consistent angle. You can simulate this on an incline bench with cables: Set up the bench at an incline, and then angle the cables so they’re perpendicular to your torso.

One-Arm Incline Press (alternating from full extension)
3 sets x 10 reps
Note: Johnson uses a Hammer Strength incline press machine, but you can simulate with dumbbells, cables, or a similar machine that allows one-armed presses.

Flat Dumbbell Press (palms facing each other)
3 sets x 12 reps

Chest Superset: 4 sets
A. Flat Dumbbell Fly (12 reps)
B. Pushups to failure
Rest 45 secs between supersets.


Workout 3: Legs

Barbell Glute Bridge
4 sets x 12 reps (hold last rep for 10 seconds)

Single-Leg Leg Extension
3 sets x 20 reps

Leg Press
4 sets x 25 reps
Rest 90 seconds between sets.

Walking Lunges
3 sets x 24 reps

Vertical Leg Press
3 sets x 20 reps
Rest 60 seconds between sets.

Single-Leg Lying Leg Curls
4 sets x 15 reps
If your gym doesn’t have a lying leg curl machine, you can substitute with a standard seated leg curl.

Glute-Ham Raises
4 sets x 8–12 reps

Dwayne Johnson’s “Inside Iron Paradise” Workout


Workout 4: Chest/Triceps


Hammer Strength Incline Press
4 sets x 8–12 reps

Incline Dumbbell Fly 3 sets x 8–10 reps

Hammer Strength Flat Press
3 sets x 8–12 reps

Flat Dumbbell Press (palms facing each other)
3 sets x 8–12 reps
Do 3 partial reps at the end of the last two sets.

Dips With Weighted Chains
3 sets to failure
Do 5 partial reps at the end of every set.



Reverse-Grip Pushdowns
7 sets x 8–12 reps
Use a cambered bar (aka the angled bar, rather than a straight bar).
Grip the bar underhand (supine), so your palms are facing the ceiling at the start of the set.

Skull Crushers
3 sets x 8–12 reps

Machine Dips
3 sets x 8–12 reps

Overhead Triceps Extension With Rope
7 sets x 8–12 reps
Johnson does this exercise with the pulley behind his head.


Workout 5: Back/Biceps


V-Bar Lat Pulldown
4 sets x 8–12 reps

Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row
4 sets x 8–12 reps
Use a cambered bar. Grab the bar with an underhand (supine) grip.
Hold the bar for 2 seconds at your bellybutton for the last 4 reps

1-Arm Dumbbell Row to Lower Hip
2 sets x 8–12 reps

1-Arm Dumbbell Row to Upper Ribcage
2 sets x 8–12 reps

Low Cable Row
3 sets x 8–10 reps
Use a V-bar

Superset: 7 sets of 8–10 reps
A. Lat Pulldowns
Johnson pulls the bar behind his neck, but be careful with this motion—it can cause some stress in your shoulder joints. Make sure you have excellent shoulder mobility before attempting a behind-the-neck pull.
B. Back Extensions (do last 3 sets to failure)


Low Cable Curls
7 sets x 8–12 reps
Use the cambered bar (not the straight bar).
Rest 30 seconds between sets.

Machine Preacher Curls
3 sets x 8–12 reps
Do 4 partial reps at the end of the last 2 sets

Front Double Bicep Curls
3 sets x 10–15 reps
Johnson does these on a cable machine using the high pulley, but you can substitute with dumbbells if needed.

Preacher Curls
3 sets x 8–12 reps
Johnson does this on a preacher curl bench using the cable machine, but you can substitute with dumbbells if needed.