The Truth About Following the Rock's Workout Plan

April 14th 2017

Danielle DeCourcey

Tell the truth. You saw Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in the latest "Fast & Furious" sequel last weekend, and now you're on his Instagram account scrolling for longer than you would like to admit.

We get it. Maybe you're just looking for some interesting visuals, or maybe you're inspired by his formidable frame and you want his workout plan.


A post shared by therock (@therock) on

The 44-year-old has gained more than 82 million Instagram followers, thanks in large part to posts about his intense workout routine. He recently stepped up his training even more to prepare for his role as Luke Hobbs in the "Fate of the Furious," the eighth edition of the "Fast" franchise.


A post shared by therock (@therock) on

During his training he was eating 6,000 calories daily, according to Business Insider, which is triple the amount suggested by the USDA.



So is it actually possible for other humans to look like The Rock?

ATTN: asked fitness and nutritional experts about Johnson's workout and his high-calorie training diet. The answers provide some important things to think about before anyone attempts his training program.

Here are three things to know about the The Rock's training for "The Fate of the Furious."

1. Not even The Rock trains like this all the time.



A post shared by therock (@therock) on


"No one does that everyday of their life," said David Ellis, a registered dietician and a member of the American Society for Nutrition. He's also a member and former president of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association. Ellis said that Johnson is pushing his body for a certain window of time before a movie or event, when he needs to have a certain look.

"He attacks a gain training window for a movie, like an off-season workout for athletes, maybe over 10-12 weeks," Ellis told ATTN: via email. "While shooting a movie, it’s like in-season maintenance workouts with some possible adjustments on his meals that work around shooting schedules."


A post shared by therock (@therock) on

Ellis said that a 6,000 calorie a day diet is comparable to a college or professional athlete's diet when training twice a day.

Some studies suggest that eating a massive, high calorie diet like Johnson's could pose a risk to people with unhealthy or stressed kidneys.

"A range of 22-25 kcals per pound of body weight is a 'two-a-days' feed rate for an athlete doing a bunch of work," Ellis said. "That would put [Johnson] in that 6,000 kcals per day window, and if he is healthy, probably not going to be an issue for his kidneys, assuming he stays hydrated and is not taking a bunch of meds that could add to organ stress."


A post shared by therock (@therock) on

Kassandra Holder, a certified physical education teacher in Connecticut, said people should understand 6,000 calories is probably too much for them.

"If the average Joe or Joanne at the gym did their basic workout all while eating 6,000 calories a day the outcome would not be good," she said. "Anyone can consume that many calories throughout the day via small meals. However, if you are not burning and using the food energy you consume it will turn into fat."

She also noted that athletes who are eating high-calorie diets are choosing high-quality food, not junk food.

"Many times you see articles of athletes eating 3,000 calories of food a day, and the images used to represent those calories are donuts and other fast-food," she said. "When in reality, whey protein shakes, brown rice, baked chicken and vegetables end up being the staple meals for people training."

2. If you try to lift too much weight, too early, you will hurt yourself.


A post shared by therock (@therock) on

Trying to lift weights too far beyond your current ability could be a recipe for disaster.

"The risk for injury is incredibly high when performing exercise routines that are not at your current level of intensity," Holder said. "Lifting too much weight at any time in your training can result in muscle strains and pulls if the pressure is too much on the power lifts. You can even be left with a broken bone." Injuries also slow down progress in the weight room.

"You must consider that once you injure yourself, you end up needing to rest and take time off." she said. "If that happens the result is coming back to your workout routine even further behind because while resting you can not develop and grow that muscle." She said that people looking to lift heavier weights should build up to their goal gradually.

Ellis cautioned that too much of a focus on building muscle too quickly can lead to unhealthy choices like steroid use. "Sadly, many that go for big changes in body composition might fall prey to taking short cuts to make gains," he said. A 2013 analysis by Massachusetts doctors estimated that between 2.9 and 4 million people between 13 to 50 years old have used anabolic steroids at some point.

3. This level of fitness is basically a job. In fact, for The Rock it actually is his job.


A post shared by therock (@therock) on

Ellis encouraged everyone to reach for their best physical shape at least once.

"Being in really good shape at least once in your life is a great idea for every able body," he said. "It gives you a measuring stick for life to see how you measure up in the face of life's demands." However, he acknowledged that Johnson and other Hollywood actors have professional goals that motivate their workouts.

"Former athletes and entertainers like [Dwayne Johnson] have plenty of incentive to keep investing in their health and net body composition compared to most folks who start a family," he said. Holder said that anyone could probably look like Johnson, with the very important caveat that they quit their job.

"An average person if they wanted to quit their day job and live at the gym could totally and completely train to get to The Rock’s fitness level," she said. "Key word being 'quit.' In order to workout as much as The Rock you must be able to dedicate time for your body to rest, and for anyone to try and jump on his level without months to years of training would be impossible."

RELATED: The Rock Opens Up About His Depression On 'Master Class'