Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s strength coach shared three key tips for maxing out your strength in the gym, which the Rock himself said he includes in his training.
When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson hit his mid-40s, he started changing his gym tactics.“The wear and tear in the joints, it catches up with you,” he says. This coincided with one of Johnson’s most significant undertakings yet since becoming the global icon known as The Rock: And not just any comic book figure—one tough enough to be played by the biggest man in movies.
This year, Johnson turned 50 (which we discussed with him, among other topics, ). To keep the icon in antihero shape for his role in Black Adam without putting him in danger of overtraining or injury, Rienzi implements these four strategies in his routine.
The Rock is 50 years old, but his fitness regimen is as tough as they come. Here are 4 top techniques to keep him swole.
Johnson doesn’t want to train ultra-heavy, so he makes lighter loads challenging. He’ll often do a set of an isolation moves (say, a chest cable fly), then immediately follow up with a compound move (say, a bench press). The iso move leaves his chest fatigued, making the compound move harder, even with a moderate weight.
2. Do Glutes for Days
“We really prioritize training the posterior chain,” says Rienzi. Johnson does Romanian deadlifts 2 or 3 times weekly in order to attack his back muscles, glutes, and hamstrings. Glute muscles help protect the lower back—and keep him explosive.
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3. Squat Late
Most lifters do squats early in their workout. Johnson often does them as the last move of leg day. That means his leg muscles are already burned out from other lifts (like those Romanian deadlifts!), so he can tax his quads and hamstrings with a moderate weight.
4. Slow. It. Down.
During at least 2 moves in every workout, Johnson concentrates on time under tension. He’ll grab a moderate weight for, say, a biceps curl, then curl up, squeeze his biceps, and slowly lower the weight for 4 seconds. “Thirty-five-pound dumbbell curls with a 4- second negative for 10 reps is a brutal exercise,” Rienzi says. Do 3 to 4 sets. Enjoy the burn.
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