Dwayne Johnson’s Pain & Gain Training Split

Johnson hits the gym six days per week, usually focusing on one body part per day. At 45, he’s a seasoned, instinctive trainer. “I go by feel,” he says, and notes that when he’s in the gym it’s all business. “I have my headphones on. I’m listening to my music. I’m 100% focused. There’s no wasted time and no wasted effort when it comes to me and the weights.” And The Rock’s favorite body part? Legs, which is why he leaves them for Saturday when he has extra time to train them. 

SEE ALSO: Train Like The Rock: Dwayne Johnson’s Shoulder Routine

  • 6 days on/1 day off rotation
  • Train Biceps and triceps the same day
  • Prefers 3 sets per exercise to the more traditional 4
  • Trains calves 3 times per week

Dwayne Johnson’s workout is always evolving as he constantly tweaks it and tries new things. Typically, though, he likes to hit big muscle groups once a week and smaller muscles (biceps, triceps and calves) twice. For each set he starts with relatively high reps, about 15, and does fewer reps as he progresses to heavier weight. He performs a drop set on the last set of nearly every exercise. Rest periods are short (30–60 seconds) to maintain his conditioning. The following is a typical shoulder workout; it takes about 1 3⁄4 hours from start to finish.

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Jog for 10 minute on the football field in the unforgiving Miami sun, a normal sun is OK too. Start these internal- and external-rotation exercises with five-pound dumbbells.

Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press 3-5 10-15
Dumbbell or Barbell Front Raise 3-4 10-15
Lateral Raise    3-4 10-15
Bent-Over Lateral Raise or Reverse Pec-Deck Flye 3-4 10-15
Lateral Raise   3-4 20-25
Barbell Shrug 3-4 8-10
Heavy Dumbbell Shrug 3-4 10-12 (No drop set)


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