On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
There is no harder working man in the entertainment industry than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Maybe his good friend Kevin Hart comes close to matching Johnson’s prolific output, but that’s about it. Over the past 12 months, Johnson has:
- starred in megahits Hobbs & Shaw and Jumanji: The Next Level
- launched his own tequila brand Teremana
- created new products as part of his partnership with fitness apparel brand Under Armour
- produced, created, hosted and/or starred in a variety of TV projects including HBO’s Ballers and NBC’s Titan Games
During this time he’s travelled the globe multiple times and also spends a generous amount of time engaging with his social media followers — 191 million on Instagram, 14.7 million on Twitter. But for the busiest actor in Hollywood; all the crazy success, frantic schedules and multitude of projects is anchored by his daily workout routine.
With a typical wake up time of 3.30am, Johnson is one of those rare people who don’t need as much sleep, he usually gets three to five hours per night. “I love putting in that hard work as early as possible to get my day started off on the right foot, mentally and physically,” he told Bodybuilding.
While this sounds an insanely low amount of hours for sleep, Johnson revealed that being awake and having time to himself was more important than sleep.
“The only thing that’s regimented is I have to wake up before the sun gets up, and I have my two hours alone when no one else is up and the house is quiet,” he told Variety in a 2017 profile. “I often sacrifice two hours of sleep just so I can have the quiet two hours that I need before the whole house wakes up, including the animals.”
Having time to himself and his daily workout are the two anchors in his life. “I need the mental time in the beginning, and the next thing is my training time. Those are my two anchors, and once I’m able to anchor myself, I’m able to go to work, and then I get in my pickup truck and drive to set. I’m able to work 10, 12, 14 hours if I know that I’ve centered and anchored my day in the beginning.”
Johnson starts off his day with morning cardio, he’ll jog outside or get on the elliptical cross trainer for 30 to 50 minutes after having his coffee. After that he’ll have his breakfast.
Diet-wise, I generally eat five meals a day. I’m very prepared and organized, and everything is planned out in advance. It’s all measured depending on what I’m training to achieve. Usually I start off my day with some dead cow and oatmeal for breakfast. The other staples in my diet include chicken, steak fillets, egg whites, oatmeal, broccoli, halibut, rice, asparagus, baked potato, leafy salads, peppers, mushrooms, and onions, and then also some casein protein.Train Like Dwayne ”The Rock” Johnson! | Bodybuilding.com
For most of the week, Johnson will stick to his meal plan, eating healthy 5 to 7 times a day, but usually on Sundays, he’ll break off and have his legendary cheat meals which have been well documented on Instagram. Ranging from pancakes and ice cream, burgers and fries to huge plates of sushi and cheesecake with cookies, The Rock recently admitted to Food & Wine’s Executive Wine Editor, Ray Isle, that his cheat meals can hit 5,000 to 6,000 calories.
Following his breakfast, Johnson will get his workout in for the day. It doesn’t matter whether he’s in Shanghai promoting the latest instalment to the Jumanji franchise or at home in Florida, training is a non-negotaible in Johnson’s daily routine.
Thanks to his portable “Iron Paradise” — 45,000 pounds of gym equipment that gets assembled at every location by his crew — Johnson is able to get his workout in, no matter where he is in the world.
“No matter how many hours I’ve flown, no matter how many miles I’ve traveled, regardless of what country it is, the first thing I need to do to get ready for the work day is I gotta find the gym,” he said in an Instagram video, revealing that working out helped him with combating jeg lag.
“I need to find my local Iron Paradise. This, working out every day, is my anchor. Life is so crazy and busy for me, and for you guys too, like we’re on this treadmill that just doesn’t stop and continues to go, so I do need working out to anchor my day. It helps me balance myself.”
On his training routine, he told Bodybuilding, “I work out six days a week, and usually in the morning. But depending on my schedule, I may also train in the evening. But I definitely prefer the morning. With the iron, I separate body parts: legs, back, shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps. I mix up dumbbells, cables, barbells, and machines.”
“My workout is constantly changing and adapting, but for the most part, I do 4 sets of 12 reps with a 60-90-second rest. I don’t play around in the gym. I always aim to be the hardest worker, and I make sure I clang and I bang to the best of my ability.”
An example leg day routine for Johnson, as described by his strength and conditioning coach Dave Rienzi, includes: hip thrusts, leg presses, safety bar squat with chains, and walking lunges. All up, a typical leg day workout takes about 90 minutes, including warms up sets, foam rolling, and mobility work.
“Because he’s an actor and he’s an action star, and his roles are very physical, I can’t structure out programs that are too taxing on his nervous system,” Rienzi told Men’s Health. “If he’s squatting 500, 600 pounds, obviously that’d be very taxing on his nervous system and his adrenals and he wouldn’t be able to perform properly on-screen.”
When asked by Variety about how many days he took off per year, Johnson answered, “to be honest with you, I really don’t have time off,” he admitted. “I have pockets of time, like I had four days off after we wrapped Skyscraper in Vancouver to the time I had to get back for press, but there are no stretches of time.”
Johnson credits his legendary work ethic to being inspired by his dad, Rocky Johnson, who was a Canadian professional wrestler. “Every morning my dad was up at 5 a.m.,” Johnson told Muscle & Fitness. “He’d have his coffee and then hit the gym, regardless of whether he was at home or on the road.”
Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success.The Rock’s best advice for success | Fortune
Before you go…
Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.