Workout Routines

John Cena's 6-week workout program to build more size and strength

Build a body like "The Prototype"—and blow away your old maxes—in six weeks.

by
John Cena Bench Press
Per Bernal
Per Bernal
Duration 45
Exercises 3-8
Equipment Yes

John Cena isn’t as strong as he looks. He’s stronger.

Working alongside longtime friend and trainer Rob MacIntyre, Cena has shifted away from the bodybuilding training he grew up with to focus more on pure strength gains—allowing him to keep aesthetic muscles while improving his athleticism and resistance to injury.

The workouts that follow are Cena's actual routine, modified only slightly for less experienced lifters. Follow the program, and you can break your old records in six weeks and reap the muscle gains that come from lifting bigger weights.

Directions

The 10-time WWE champ and two-time World Heavyweight champ tries to hit a new max on his main lifts every six weeks.

Each week, you’ll work up to a certain percentage of your max on the snatch and power clean. If these lifts are new to you, just make a conservative guess as to what your max might be. Warm up with low-rep sets and gradually add weight until you reach a challenging load you can handle with perfect form for the required reps. Do not go to failure—leave a rep or two “in the tank” until Week 6, when you will test your strength. Rest as long as you need between all sets.

Perform exercises marked with letters (A, B, and sometimes C) in circuit fashion—complete one set for each in order, resting as needed between sets. Repeat until all sets for the circuit are complete. The remaining exercises are done as straight sets.

The squat, front squat, and bench press will not require percentages. Simply work up to the heaviest load you can handle for the prescribed sets and reps. See tables for sets and reps schemes below.

Sets and reps for squat, front squat, and bench press:

Week 1 3 sets of 8 reps
Week 2 3 sets of 6 reps
Week 3 3 sets of 5 reps
Week 4 4 sets of 3 reps
Week 5 3 sets of 2 reps
Week 6 Test your max
 

Sets and reps for snatch and power clean:

Week 1 4 sets of 3 reps at 75%
Week 2 4 sets of 3 reps at 80%
Week 3 4 sets of 2 reps at 83%
Week 4 4 sets of 2 reps at 85%
Week 5 2 sets of 2 at 90%, then 3 sets of 1 at 95%
Week 6 Test your max
 

John Cena's Workout Program Day 1 workout: Legs

Exercise 1.

Squat You'll need: Squat Rack How to
Squat thumbnail
-- sets
* See table for sets and reps reps
As needed rest

Exercise 2.

Front Squat You'll need: Barbell How to
Front Squat thumbnail
-- sets
* See table for sets and reps reps
As needed rest

Exercise 3.

Leg Curl You'll need: Swiss Ball How to
Leg Curl  thumbnail
3 sets
6 reps
As needed rest

John Cena's Workout Program Day 2 workout: Chest, back, and arms

Exercise 1.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
-- sets
* See table for sets and reps reps
As needed rest

Exercise 2.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
8 sets
1 reps
As needed rest
Pause at the bottom of each rep for two seconds. Press back up. Perform as singles.

Exercise 3A.

Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Row thumbnail
4 sets
Weeks 1-3: 8; Weeks 4-6: 5 reps
As needed rest

Exercise 3B.

Incline Dumbbell Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Incline Dumbbell Press thumbnail
4 sets
Weeks 1-3: 8; Weeks 4-6: 5 reps
As needed rest

Exercise 4A.

Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Exercise: How to do an Eccentric Pullup thumbnail
3 sets
Weeks 1-3: AMRAP; Weeks 4-6: 5 reps
As needed rest

Exercise 4B.

Cable pullover You'll need: Cable Machine How to
Cable pullover 2 thumbnail
3 sets
10-12 reps
As needed rest

John Cena's Workout Program Day 3 workout: Leg power-up

Exercise 1.

Snatch You'll need: Barbell How to
Snatch thumbnail
-- sets
* See table for sets and reps reps
As needed rest

Exercise 2.

Power Clean You'll need: Barbell How to
Power Clean thumbnail
-- sets
* See table for sets and reps reps
As needed rest

Exercise 3.

Front Squat You'll need: Barbell How to
Front Squat thumbnail
-- sets
* See table for sets and reps reps
As needed rest

John Cena's Workout Program Day 4 workout: Chest, arms, back, shoulders

Exercise 1.

Push Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Push Press thumbnail
3 sets
Weeks 1-3: 5; Weeks 4-6: 3 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2.

Close-Grip Bench Press You'll need: Bench How to
Close-grip Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
Weeks 1-3: 5; Weeks 4-6: 3 reps
As needed rest

Exercise 3A.

Lying Dumbbell Skull Crusher You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Lying Dumbbell Skull Crusher  thumbnail
4 sets
6 reps
As needed rest

Exercise 3B.

Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Lateral Raise thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
As needed rest

Exercise 3C.

Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
As needed rest

Exercise 4A.

Bradford Press You'll need: Barbell How to
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
8 reps
As needed rest

Exercise 4B.

Reverse Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
Reverse Curl  thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4C.

Shrug You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Shrug thumbnail
4 sets
Weeks 1-3: 6; Weeks 4-6: 12 reps
As needed rest
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