Today we’re in the gym with The Rock and he LOVES training legs.
Rarely have I seen someone so giddy with excitement at the prospect of pain. Show him a new twist on an old exercise that’d make most people puke and he gets a little twinkle in his eye like a kid with a new toy.
Then again, you don’t achieve an incredible physical transformation like his by taking it easy in the weights room…
Back in 2002 when he starred in The Scorpion King, The Rock was an athletically gifted WWE Superstar perhaps better known for his fast mouth than his physique, but what we see nowadays is an entirely different package. He looks like he’s carved from stone, with the kind of lean size not a million miles away from the classic 1980s bodybuilding era.
Heck, it’s not an understatement to say that, at 50 years old, The Rock is in the best shape of his life!
So today we are going to smash one of his favorite leg workouts. This workout is part of a bigger program he’s used time and time again to create the huge results we’ve all seen on screen; Pain & Gain, Hobbs & Shaw, San Andreas, Central Intelligence, and most recently Jumanji: The Next Level.
Let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
Leg Day With The Rock
If you’re going to train like The Rock, you need to think like The Rock.
“I’ve always had an affinity for leg day.
I deliberately keep it back for Saturday, as a kind of sick and twisted treat for myself to look forward to all week long!”– Dwayne Johnson
People are often floored when the try his training style because they were expecting an entirely different session.
You see, most people expect they’re gonna be pumping super heavy weights and knocking out maxes… and this is not how he trains at all! In fact he rarely shoots for a max lift, and prefers using higher reps and lighter weights to carve his physique.
So why is this the case?
Well, high rep sets can be just as effective as low rep sets in terms of hypertrophy (muscle growth) but they have the added advantage of placing far less stress on the joints and provide a smaller workload for the central nervous system. That’s a big thumbs up for someone who regularly works 17 hour days and trains almost every day, because it allows for faster recovery and significantly lower risk of injury. Speaking of which, we must also take Dwayne’s WWE career into consideration; he racked up multiple injuries back in the wrestling days (3 lower back disc ruptures, ruptured achilles tendon, torn abdomen, torn abductor, torn quadriceps, hernia, 4 knee surgeries). By using a tried and tested combination of higher reps, lighter weights and perfect form (he’s a massive stickler for perfect form!) The Rock can continue looking awesome for movie roles.
The Rock’s Leg Workout
In case you can’t see the image above, here’s a written version.
1) BOX SQUAT x20
2) LEG PRESS x25, x20, x18, x16, x25/25
*** After the last set of 25 we remove a little weight and head straight into a x25 rep burnout set.
3) SMITH MACHINE LUNGES x16 each leg
4) LYING LEG CURL x12, x10, x8, x6/12
*** After the final set remove a little weight and head straight into a x12 rep burnout set.
5) SMITH MACHINE CALF RAISE x16, x16, x16, x16, x16, x16/20
*** After the final set remove a little weight and head straight into a x20 rep burnout set.
The Rock Leg Workout: Russ’ Quick Tips
Pay particular attention to the first exercise on today’s card.
Rocky does box squats instead of regular squats because his knees are battered. This is a great substitute exercise because it’s safer, and I wish I saw more people doing it in gyms.
But it’s also much more than that.
The extra weight you can load onto bar has been shown to produce much more force when driving out of the hole (vs regular squats), making the bxo squat a great muscle building exercise in it’s own right. (1)
Also, you can see that three out of five exercises have burnout sets.
That means that after completion of the final set of an exercise we reduce the weight by about 30% and carry on performing reps until our legs, as the name suggests, burn out. The only rest you receive between the end of your set and the start of the burnout set is however long it takes you to change the weight. When you hit this technique correctly, you won’t even want to look at another leg exercise for a week!
That wraps up today’s workout.
Go give The Rock leg workout a try, and jump on my free email list for more training tips straight outta my gym.
- McBride J. M., et al. Comparison Of Kinetic Variables And Muscle Activity During A Squat Vs. A Box Squat. J Strength Cond Res (2010).
Who Is Russ Howe PTI?
As featured in Men’s Fitness magazine and voted in the world’s top 50 fat loss coaches by HuffPost, Russ is among the UK’s most subscribed personal trainers with 105,223 men and women receiving his free weekly fitness tips e-mail.
In the gym, clients range from busy parents, to models, to athletes and actresses. Russ also worked alongside the UK government for 8 years in a venture combating childhood obesity in England.
Outside of the gym, he’s a proud Dad to three young lads.
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