The Rock Hercules Workout: The 12 Labors Of Hercules

The Rock Hercules Workout

The Rock Hercules Workout is designed to transform Dwayne Johnson into Hercules. The Rock Hercules workout is a 6 day routine that hits only his legs twice. By far, the funniest part of The Rock Hercules workout is that he constantly shouts “Focus” throughout the Instagram posts you’ll find below. The Rock Hercules workout was 6 months of weight training, diet and conditioning.

The-Rock-Hercules

The Rock Hercules Workout is based on the information he reveals on his Twitter and Instagram feeds, as well as, information from his workouts with bodybuilder, friend and coach: George Farah. The Rock Hercules workout for Hercules: The Thracian Wars uses a 6 days on/1 day off routine to get him ready for the 12 Labors of Hercules.

the-rock-hercules-arms-and-legs-workout

The Rock Hercules Workout Monday Routine – Chest

The Rock Hercules Workout Monday Routine starts with early morning cardio, before his first meal. After eating, The Rock Hercules workout focuses on his chest today. The Rock also does some ab work for Hercules three times per week.

  • 50 min Cardio on Elliptical: 5 min warm up / 40 min steady pace / 5 min cool-down
  • 1 hour Weightlifting Routine: (Chest Day)

A June 15th tweet from The Rock says:

Rollin out of bed. AM cardio on an empty stomach. Lets do 40min steady state w/ average heart rate of 135-150.

The-Rock-Hercules-Workout-Chest-Dumbbells

Exercise
Sets
Reps
Rest
Notes
Data
Incline Dumbbell Fly410-1260 secs
Dumbbell Incline press6-60 secs Pyramid sets See Below
Chest Flys w/Dumbbells6-60 secs Pyramid sets See Below
Dumbbell Bench Press410-1260 secs
Cable Flys3failure0 secsSupersetSSet #1
Dips Until Failure3failure60 secsSupersetSSet #2
Double Crunches32530 secs
Rope Crunches4200 secsSupersetSSet #1
Leg Raises42030 secsSupersetSSet #2

Detailed Tutorials of the Monday workout:

Monday – Chest & Abs

  1. Incline Dumbbell Fly 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  2. Dumbbell Incline press 6 sets Pyramid
  3. Chest Flys with Dumbbells 6 sets Pyramid
  4. Dumbbell Bench press  4 sets of 10-12 reps
  5. Cable Flys (Standing Both Arms)* (Rock on Instagram)
  6. Superset each set of Cable Flys with Dips Until Failure (Rock on Instagram)
  7. Double Crunches (3 sets x25)
  8. Rope Crunches (4 sets x20)
  9. Leg Raises (4 sets x20, superset with Exercise #8)

Here’s The Rock Hercules incline press workout via a June 25th Instagram. Based on a July 15th Instagram, we know The Rock starts off the week with a chest workout.  The Rock wanted to be leaner and meaner for Hercules. So, his workout and diet changed a tiny bit. The Rock diet for Hercules is still very similar to Pain & Gain. Here is The Rock Hercules workout finisher for chest day:

Kicking off week w/ destroying chest. Try closing your workout w/ this finisher: Super setting dips w/ cable crossovers. 3 sets. Rep range til failure. Last thing you want is a pigeon chest.. #GetToWork

The Rock Hercules workout starts with a chest workout every week. He follows that up with a leg workout, and does 2 leg workouts per week. You need big legs to pull off the 12 Labors of Hercules. The chest and legs are the two most prominent areas of the body that The Rock focused on for Hercules. The Rock Hercules workout for chest day sees the Rock work his way up to 40kg dumbbells. For the cable flys and dips, go to failure for 3 sets.

The Rock Hercules workout uses a pyramid for the Dumbbell Incline Press and Chest Flys. For The Rock Hercules workout, you pyramid up in weight each set. A pyramid routine aims for maximum muscle gains through progressive overload. This type of pyramid workout allows The Rock to challenge himself each rep. The Rock tries to start his pyramid sets around 12 reps, and end doing at least 6 reps. The 8-12 rep range is ideal for muscle building, while 6 at a heavy weight is best for strength.

The Dumbbell Incline Pyramid example (pounds = per dumbbell, so one is in each hand):

  • Set 1: 75 pounds x 12 reps
  • Set 2: 85 pounds x 10-12 reps
  • Set 3: 95 pounds x 8-10 reps
  • Set 4: 105 pounds x 6-8 reps
  • Set 5: 115 pounds x 6-8 reps
  • Set 6: 120 pounds x 6 reps
the-rock-workout-chest-cable-flys

The Rock Workout Doing Cable Flys

The Rock workout uses a treadmill, elliptical, or stair climber on most days. He tweeted a pic showing all three in his home gym. Still, The Rock switches it up a bit from time to time. Dwayne Johnson says about his cardio workouts:

I do steady state cardio for about 45 to 50 minutes at my home gym. Or, I might hit the road out in the neighborhood. And then, I’ll go train.

The Rock Hercules Workout Tuesday Routine – Legs

The Rock Hercules Workout Tuesday Routine starts with early morning cardio, before his first meal. After eating, The Rock Hercules workout focuses on legs today. You need big legs to perform the 12 Labors of Hercules, so The Rock truly focused on them for Hercules. According to reports, this is the only major body part the Rock worked twice per week.

  • 50 min Cardio on Elliptical: 5 min warm up / 40 min steady pace / 5 min cool-down
  • 1 hour Weightlifting Routine: (High Volume Legs Day)

While filming Hercules, The Rock would often have to get up at 4:30 AM to do cardio. The Rock starts his day with cardio, then does his weight training. An August 25th tweet from The Rock says:

It may be that WTF? hour, but you gotta set the tempo for the work week. 4:30am. Budapest. AM cardio starts now…

The-Rock-Hercules-Workout-Legs2

Tuesday Workout:
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Rest
Notes
Data
Seated Leg Presses32560 secs end with TripleDrop set
Smith Machine Lunges3failure60 secs
Lying Leg Curls31560 secs
Walking Lunges3200 secsSupersetSSet #1
Leg Extensions31560 secsSupersetSSet #2
Romanian Deadlifts31560 secs
Leg Abductor31530 secs
Single-Leg Calf Raise32530 secs
Single Leg-Press 32530 secs Dumbbells
Seated Calf Raises32530 secs

Detailed Tutorials of the Tuesday workout:

Tuesday – Legs Day

  1. Seated Leg Presses (3 x 25 reps-triple drop set on 3rd and final set)
  2. Smith Machine Lunges (One-legged)  3 sets, Reps: to failure
  3. Lying Leg Curls (3 x 15 reps)
  4. Walking Lunges (3 x 20 reps w/ dumbbells, 10 reps each leg)
  5. Superset (no rest in between) #4 with Leg Extensions
  6. Romanian Deadlifts
  7. Leg Abductor
  8. Leg Press Single-Leg Calf Raise (3 x25 reps)
  9. Single Leg-Press Standing w/ Dumbbells (3 x25 reps)
  10. Seated Calf Raises (3 x25 reps)

The Rock did have to look a bit leaner, so his leg training was higher volume. On Instagram, The Rock shares some clips doing legs from his workout.  Unless otherwise mentioned, The Rock likes to continue to use the Pyramid Routine, where he goes up in weight each set. For legs, The Rock Hercules workout usually does 3 sets of 15, where the 3rd set is your heaviest.The Rock says about his legs workout for Hercules:

Leg Press. 2 warm up sets. 3 working sets. 50 reps per set. Triple drop set for 3rd and final set. Yes, this sh$% is designed to burn. Badly. One legged hack squat machine lunge. Slow tempo: 2 seconds down, 2 second pause at the bottom of movement, 2 seconds up. Rep Range: Failure.

See The Rock Instagram Leg Presses for a picture of The Rock workout in action. The Rock also calls the Smith Leg Machines Lunges: (one legged hack squat lunges). For the Smith Machine Lunges, The Rock Hercules workout uses a slow tempo 2 seconds down, 2 seconds pause at the bottom, 2 seconds up routine. He joked on a July 19th Instagram that under no condition should you stare at a stranger while doing the Leg Abductor.

Here is an Instagram of The Rock Hercules workout doing Leg Presses. The Rock says that Tuesday is his heavy volume (higher reps / lower weight) legs day. He does 25 reps on Leg Press on Tuesday with higher weight, then does 50 reps with lower weight on Friday. The Rock tweeted that his quad/leg finisher workout routine includes:

Quad workout finisher try super setting walkin’ lunges w/leg extensions. #LegDay #WalkinTheGreenMile

(Source: The Rock Twitter)

the-rock-legs-workout-routine

The Rock Workout Doing Smith Machine Lunges

The Rock had a knee injury in college while playing at Miami, so he avoids squats. The Rock uses Seated Leg Presses, Lying Leg Curls and Smith Machine Lunges instead.

After a grueling leg workout, The Rock tweeted:

Bad to the bone & tough to the tendon. And my a$$ kicked from high intensity leg training. #QuadzillaBringsIt

The Rock Hercules Workout Wednesday Routine – Arms & Abs

The Rock Hercules Workout Wednesday Routine starts with early morning cardio, before his first meal. After eating, The Rock Hercules workout focuses on arms and abs.

  • 50 min Cardio on Elliptical: 5 min warm up / 40 min steady pace / 5 min cool-down
  • 1 hour Weightlifting Routine: (Arms & Abs Day)

the-rock-hercules-arms-workout

Wednesday Workout:
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Rest
Notes
Data
Triceps Push-downs 31260 secsNormal Grip
Triceps Push-downs31260 secsNarrow Grip
Tricep Skullcrushers31560 secs
Bicep Curls3-48-1260 secsBarbell
Preacher Curls3-48-1260 secsMachine
Dumbbell Hammer Curls3-48-1260 secsAlternating
Double Crunches32530 secs
Rope Crunches4200 secs SupersetSSet #1
Leg Raises42030 secs SupersetSSet #2

Detailed Tutorials of the Wednesday workout:

Wednesday – Arms & Abs Day

  1. Triceps Push-downs (Normal Grip)
  2. Triceps Push-downs (Narrow Grip)
  3. Lying Tricep Skullcrushers
  4. Barbell Bicep Curls
  5. Preacher Curls (machine)
  6. Dumbbell Hammer Curls (alternating)
  7. Double Crunches (3 sets x25)
  8. Rope Crunches (4 sets x20)
  9. Leg Raises (4 sets x20, superset with Exercise #8)

The Rock does a lot of isolation movements on Arms day for Hercules. Dwayne Johnson uses (his trainer’s method) George Farrah’s method of high reps for arms. (Watch the video!) This is where you start out with one set of 15 reps to “Get the Pump.” Then, you just do 3-4 sets in the 8-12 rep range. The Rock’s trainer, George Farah, has him focus on form each rep. For each exercise (#1-#6) on arms day, use the following:

  • Get the Pump: 1 set x15 reps
  • Work it Out: 3-4 sets x 8-12 reps

George Farah, Dwayne Johnson’s trainer, says that your biceps and triceps are small muscles. Thus, it’s not about blowing them up with a lot of weight. Instead, you want to get the pump:

You can’t really use heavy weight after your arms are so blown up. People are mistaken sometimes. What you need to do is get more volume, more blood. The more reps you do in that region, the bigger you’re gonna get.

A July 12th Instagram from The Rock about his Hercules workout admits that ab work is hard for him to do. The Rock had a hernia injury in early 2013, so working his abs for Hercules can get tough. Still, Instagram shows he does Supersets of rope crunches / leg raises for 4 sets of 25-30 reps.

The Rock Hercules Workout Thursday Routine – Back

The Rock Hercules Workout Monday Routine starts with early morning cardio, before his first meal. After eating, The Rock Hercules workout focuses on back today. Because The Rock also does Calf Raises 3 times per week, he does them on Thursdays after his back routine.

  • 50 min Cardio on Elliptical: 5 min warm up / 40 min steady pace / 5 min cool-down
  • 1 hour Weightlifting Routine: (Back Day)

The-Rock-Hercules-Transformation

Thursday Workout:
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Rest
Notes
Data
Pullups412-1560 secsWide Grip 2x drop set
Lat pull-downs412-1560 secsWide Grip 2x drop set
Dumbbell Rows412-1560 secs 2x drop set
Seated Pulley Rows412-1560 secs 2x drop set
Lat Pulldowns412-1560 secsNormal Grip2x drop set
Barbell Shrugs42060 secs
Single-Leg Calf Raise32530 secs
Single Leg-Press 32530 secsDumbbells
Seated Calf Raises32530 secs

Detailed Tutorials of the Thursday workout:

Thursday – Back Day

  1. Pullups (Wide Grip) Superset, do 4 sets 12-15 reps
  2. Superset exercise #1 with Lat pull-downs (Wide Grip)
  3. Dumbbell Rows
  4. Seated Pulley Rows
  5. Lat Pulldowns (Normal Grip)
  6. Barbell Shrugs (4 sets x20)
  7. Leg Press Single-Leg Calf Raise (3 x25 reps)
  8. Single Leg-Press Standing w/ Dumbbells (3 x25 reps)
  9. Seated Calf raises (3 x25 reps)

For back training do 4 sets of 15+ reps. Each final set add a 2x drop set. This means at the end of every exercise (#1-#6) you do another set at a lower weight. Then, you do another set at an even lower weight. Find a weight where you can still get in at least 8 solid reps. For the shrugs, jump up to doing 4 sets of 20 reps. Then do a dropset 2x like all the other exercises. Squeeze at the top.

On August 26th 2013, The Rock sent out an Instagram of himself doing the (Wide Grip) Pullups and (Wide Grip) Pulldowns Superset.

Like usual, he’s shouting the word #Focus, while getting bigger in the gym. The Rock Instagram says:

I heard Miley was twerkin’ at the VMA’s, but I’m here in Budapest filming HERCULES – it’s 6am – Im hittin’ the iron – and a brotha ain’t got time for that shit. Opening exercise: Superset wide grip pull ups w/ wide grip pull downs. 4 sets. 12-15 reps. Shout FOCUS to anyone in the gym this early & look like a complete lunatic. Smilin’ is always optional. #Focus

The-Rock-Hercules-Workout-Back-&-Arms

On July 31st, 2013, The Rock Hercules workout shows his routine as dumbbell rows, seated pulley rows, and normal grip lat pulldowns. The Rock also says about back training for the Hercules movie:

Slab training (back). High volume. 4 sets. 15+ reps. Every final set is a 2x drop set. Remember to randomly shout “FOCUS” & scare the sh*t outta people. End workout with a maniac flex & brush that dirt off your shoulders.

The Rock Hercules workout sometimes uses an opener of Wide Grip Pullups into Cable Pulldowns (Superset). Do 5 sets of this superset. Watch the July 16 video of The Rock Hercules workout on Instagram of this superset:

The purpose of starting out your back workout, according to The Rock, is that it gets blood to your lats, is a great warmup before destroying them, and gets your lats on fire.

The-Rock-Hercules-Cardio-machines-workout

The Rock workout uses a treadmill, elliptical, or stair climber on most days. He tweeted a pic showing all three in his home gym. Still, The Rock switches it up a bit from time to time. Dwayne Johnson says about his cardio workouts:

I do steady state cardio for about 45 to 50 minutes at my home gym. Or, I might hit the road out in the neighborhood. And then, I’ll go train.

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Chris Davis is focused on bringing you the most popular information on celebrity and athlete workouts. His goal is to make you stronger. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google.

  • Michael

    Hi Chris

    Is the workouts correct because the first day says chest/shoulders but is chest an abs and on the back day there are calf exercises. Also what is a drop set 2x.

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Thanks-I’ve fixed it to say “Chest & Abs.” The Rock says he does abs 3 times per week and calf raises on the other 3 days. So, you alternate between the two each workout. The reason that The Rock Hercules workout incorporates so many calf exercises is because of his trainer’s theory that you really need to work them often to get them bigger. (Lifting a small muscle often is better than lifting it really heavy and immediately being fatigued).

      Drop sets are where you continue an exercise by lowering the amount of weight you’re using. Say you were using 40 lbs. dumbbells for an exercise. The first drop set, you would drop down to 35 pounds and go till failure. After a minute, do a 2nd drop set with 30 pound dumbbells, again going to failure. Drop sets allow you to reach maximum muscle fatigue by allowing you to keep going, when normally you would have quit much earlier.

  • Mario

    Hi thanx for the post I weigh 390 and looking to loose weight is this diet of for me since I’m already big

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Yes, the Rock Hercules diet is meant to help you lose weight and gain muscle. You may have to make some modifications to make it work for you. Reduce the amount of calories in the lean protein, so that you’re only eating .7g-1g of protein per pound of your lean body weight. (We don’t count our body fat when calculating how much protein to eat per day).

      Instead of white rice, which is high on the glycemic index, I suggest brown rice. Brown rice has more fiber. If you’re still gaining weight with brown rice, I would even suggest something like quinoa instead. You may also not need 7 meals per day, if your activity levels don’t match The Rock Hercules activity levels.

      The key to losing weight is that 50 minutes of cardio first thing in the morning. I know getting up and doing cardio first thing in the morning is tough. But, that is the key to this workout. Your body burns more fat first thing in the morning, than any other time. Research a “pre-workout” supplement if you need added motivation to train first thing in the morning. Start slow, progress each week!

  • Mavine

    whats weight should i play for chest first if i weigh 68 kilo ( 149 lbs) …and how much protein shall i take ?…….

    Watting for ur response … thank you in advance

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      I answered the first part of your question on the other Rock workout.

      Tailor your diet by eating the right amount of protein for your bodyweight. You always want to eat your protein combined with a starchy vegetable and a fibrous vegetable. Find out how much protein is right for you.

      Guidelines for eating the proper amount of protein, while bodybuilding, are that you should eat 1.8 grams of protein per kg, or .8 grams of protein per pound. Note that these guidelines are for lean body mass, don’t include excess fat you may have in your lean bodyweight calculations.

      So, a 100 (kg) person (of lean bodyweight) should be eating 180 grams of protein. A 100 (pound) person should be eating 80 grams of protein. Eating 7 meals a day, a 100 (kg) person would want to eat 25 grams of protein per meal. Eating 7 meals a day, a 100 (pound) person would want to eat 12 grams of protein per meal.

  • Mavine

    Furthermore , i have trained for about 3 months …but my chest doesnt seem bigger , and i just want to know how to play it properly.

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      70%-80% of your body composition is diet. If you’re training hard, but not following the Rock Hercules diet, then you’re not going to gain. Make sure the diet you consume is just as important as your weight training.

  • Dolly

    Hey Chris,

    I am a female in my late twenties. I am looking to loose fat and weight and build strength & endurance. I was considering Animal Cuts as my pre workout thermogenic and Animal Pak as my multivitamin. Animal Pak has some Creatine(amino acid complex) in it so should I take it post workout or should I take Creatine separately after my protein shake. Will the Animal brand be good for a female, I am aiming for a good athletic and high intensity training but not bulking up.

    Thanks

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Yea, you can’t go wrong with the Animal Brand. I use Animal Pak and Animal Pump. I haven’t tried Animal Cuts, because I love the taste and feeling I get from Cellucor’s C4 (Strawberry Margarita). But, it does look like Animal Cuts has some good stuff in it. I’m not to keen on the green coffee extract, but otherwise it looks great.

      Animal Pump- Of all the supplements I’ve tried, Animal Pump has given me the best results. This is the one that has creatine, NO Blast and BCAA’s. You take it 30-45 minutes before a workout. Your ability to perform will totally be enhanced with this product. I totally feel stronger, and I am certain I lift more with this product. This has your daily serving of creatine. I like taking it pre-workout, because I feel so much stronger. Don’t take the whole package, try half at first.

      Animal Pak- This is the multivitamin. I take it right now, but only once every few days. You don’t get any benefit from taking more than just the vitamins you need. Animal Pak is way beyond the dose you need. So, I only take half a pack, instead of the 2 suggested. You could do the same, and if you really wanna read the label to compare it vs. this article: Vitamins: Too Much of a Good Thing.

      Don’t worry about supplements bulking you up. They will only help you with the goals you describe. Bulking up will only happen if you’re constantly eating protein and carbs (like the Rock Hercules diet does). Bulking up happens from overfeeding your body. Experiment with these supplements to find that range where you feel great, but aren’t overdoing it on the vitamins. Good Luck!

  • http://www.popworkouts.com/the-rock-hercules-workout/2/ Rob S

    Chris,
    Just wanted to say thanks for your previous Rock workout & diet routine. I did it for 3 months last year and it kicked my a$$! I definitely saw results last time so I wanted to tackle the Rock’s Hercules routine for the next 3-4 months.
    A couple of questions regarding the leg day routine.
    1.The Instagram pics/vids show the Rock doing both abductors & adductors. I’m assuming those are done on both days? (Only abductors are shown in the routine on your site).
    2. What do Romanian Deadlifts work? Are they the same as straight-legged Deadlifts?
    3. If Saturday’s routine is the heavier leg day, should the reps decrease?
    4. Unless otherwise specified, a pyramid system is used (lighter weight to heavier weight), is this a 6-set pyramid like chest or a 3-set pyramid?
    5. Is doing hack-lunges & then later walking lunges a little redundant?
    6. On shoulder day, are those 4 sets a pyramid also, or whatever weight that can be used for 10-12 reps?
    7. On back day, what’s the difference between wide-grip Pulldowns and normal-grip Pulldowns? Are normal-grip narrow or reverse grip?
    8. What’s the drop-set 2x?

    Thanks again for all of your hard work and dedication.

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Hi Rob!

      I’m glad you’re back for Part 2: The Rock Hercules workout. Some aspects you’ll find the same, while there are some twists. As you can see, I dedicated a lengthy amount of time to translating everything The Rock has said on Twitter/Instagram into the Hercules workout.

      1. I only saw him doing abductors. The Rock tore his adductor 2-3 months before training for the Hercules movie. Good catch, I’ll have to add adductors to the workout.

      2. Romanian deadlifts stretch your hamstrings a bit more. It’s more with the hips and less with the back. Instead of having straight knees, you bend them a tiny bit. The link there is to a video that explains the exercise. The Rock really wanted to work his legs every way he could to become the Hercules he envisioned. This exercise helps build bigger hamstrings. But, if you’re more comfortable with stiff-legged, feel free to stick to them.

      3. It makes sense that you would drop down in reps for the heavier day. Go ahead and do that. However, my hands are tied because I can only rely on what The Rock has posted on Twitter about his leg workouts. He hasn’t told us if his reps go down on Saturday (just that he lifts heavier to finish off the week strong). He did say that Tuesday is more “high frequency” so we could easily infer that the reps go down on Saturday. But, until I have a tangible source I’m going to stick to what he posted. Hopefully, we’ll learn more as he begins talking about the workout to promote his movie, Hercules. Go ahead and lower reps for Saturday, as it makes sense.

      4. Not sure which exercise you’re referencing. I think: Stick the the 6-set pyramid like chest.

      5. I agree this sounds a bit redundant. But, The Rock really wanted his workout to be about the 12 Labors of Hercules. The Rock envisioned Hercules having massive legs due to all the work during his 12 Labors. Therefore, The Rock is going to do everything he can (except squats due to a college injury) to work his legs. From a technical perspective, use the hack-lunges to go real heavy. Then, the walking lunges are more of a ‘finisher’ to make sure you’ve exhausted every bit of muscle fiber in your legs.

      6. No pyramids on shoulder day. Just whatever weight you can lift 10-12 till failure. What I’ve learned from The Rock workouts is that he works the large muscle groups of his body with heavier and heavier weight. This challenges those large muscle groups, along with the supporting muscle groups to exhaustion. It takes awhile to get there. With the smaller muscle groups, The Rock likes to lift lighter, but do more sets.

      7. Since you’re a graduate of The Rock workout, it’s as simple as sticking to what you did there. Yes, normal grip is that narrow grip you use. So, do the wide-grip pulldowns, and then the narrow-grip pulldowns. This will work the higher, and then the lower, parts of your lats.

      8. 2x Drop set means to do two sets at lower weights. This is where you finish the exercise, then move down to a lower weight. Go to failure at a lower weight. Then, drop to an even lower weight. Don’t rest until the end.

      Appreciate the feedback! I’ll continue to monitor The Rock’s Twitter/Instagram, as well as, any magazines that talk about his workout for Hercules. If anyone sees anything, as well, feel free to update us.

      • http://www.popworkouts.com/the-rock-hercules-workout/2/ Rob

        Awesome! Thanks Chris.

        Could you answer a couple of the dieting questions too?

        What kind of beef cut is steak fillet? Do you think having it twice a day is too much red meat?

        What’s your opinion on white rice? Is there a benefit vs. brown rice? How about baked potato vs. sweet potato?

        Any other fish besides halibut?

        Thanks man.

        • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

          Steak fillet is usually tenderloin. You will often see it sold as sirloin. Technically, it is a cut without the bone. You just want to make sure it is lean meat that you’re eating (not a fatty section). Eating red meat twice a day in the short term is fine. If you’re doing this as a 3 month program to get in the best shape of your life, you’re fine. Dieting this way longer term may have some more considerations.

          Brown rice is better than white rice. Sweet potato is better than baked potato. In both cases, the darker colored pigments tell you the carbs are better for you. The darker the pigment, the lower the GI. The lower the GI, the better the carb is at keeping at off your body. Opt for the darker colors to lose weight. I was surprised The Rock is eating white rice for Hercules. Maybe he needed more energy, more quickly. If you feel you need more energy, and your body reacts ok to white carbs, then go for it. This may require some experimentation, and is up to the individual.

          It’s hard to find good fish these days. In addition to halibut, your best choices are fresh tuna and wild salmon. Most fish being sold these days is farmed. Farmed fish are exposed to more toxins, and have way less omega 3s. I get my fish (via Trader Joes), but I realize not everyone lives next to one. Depending on where you live, it may be hard to find a good place that sells wild fish. You really have to look on the label. I once bought wild tilapia, only to read the fine print that it came from China. I don’t trust that it was actually wild (or healthy) if it came from China. So, the key is to do some research on where to buy the best fish in your area. Cod, tuna, halibut, and salmon are the best choices.

          Brown rice has more nutrition in it’s outer kernel that white rice. Brown rice has selenium (for cell protection) and Magnesium (for healthy muscle, bones, and recovery). I also take ZMA to help recover from tough workouts. I know that white rice and baked potatoes taste better, but that is because your body is conditioned to desire the easiest to obtain (but fat promoting) calories.

          Fish is amazing because of the omega 3s. This is a heart-healthy, brain-healthy fat that is missing from most Western diets. Because animals are now raised on corn and soy (often GMO), instead of grass, we no longer get omega 3s from eating meat. This is an aspect of why you see so much memory and heart disease occurring in Western cultures. Eating more omega 3-rich foods will get your blood pumping faster, your mood better, and your focus more intense for the 12 Labors of Hercules in front of you.

          • Rob S

            OK Chris, thanks.

            I do my cardio on an empty stomach (only take my BCAAs) from 5am-6am. However, I can’t lift weights until 9am. Think I should eat right after cardio & then again at 8:30 just prior to hitting the iron? Or just once somewhere in between.

            I also eat at 10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:00pm, and 10:00pm.

            Tons of food, but I didn’t know if eating right after cardio was a good thing or is it better to wait a little.

            Thanks

            • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

              Yes, eat a half hour after cardio. That will line up perfectly. 6:30 and 8:30 are the right times. If you’re gaining too much, consider dropping the 10:00PM meal. Also, I found a really cool tool that measures BMR/caloric intake. Put in your age, height, and weight, then find your BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate).

              Use your BMR to calculate your Harris Benedict caloric intake. This tells you how many calories you need to maintain your body weight. Multiply your maintenance caloric intake by 15% (1.15) if you want to gain weight. Multiply your maintenance caloric intake by (.85) if you want to lose weight.

  • Dwayne

    Hey there for fat loss you say the best is to do cardio in the morning before breakfast. Will this depress your muscle loss? Could you eat some protein breakfast wait 1 hour then do cardio and weights? Or could you do cardio then hilts lifting weights take. BCAA to aid in muscle retention? If you don’t follow his diet will u end up losing fat or just muscle cheers!

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Yes, the best time to do cardio is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Your body is more likely to burn fat, as there’s not a readily available supply of glycogen. You want to take a BCAA supplement to make sure that your body doesn’t break down muscle.

      The Rock would often eat after doing cardio. Then, he would do weights. Bodybuilders often do their early morning cardio, eat a few meals, then workout with weights in the early afternoon. This is the ideal schedule. But, our busy lives often prevent us from having all day to train. When the Rock was filming Hercules, he had to get everything done in the morning.

      I’m not sure how eating a protein breakfast first will affect you. I suggest trying it The Rock’s way of training for a few weeks. If you don’t like it, then try it your way. Find what is best for your body. If you don’t follow The Rock’s diet, then your body composition will be the result of whatever it is you eat. You don’t have to eat as much as The Rock, but I suggest embracing it for a few weeks to see how it works for you.

  • Jay

    Hey Chris,

    Just three questions.

    1. The third set for leg presses requires drop set 3x, right?
    2. EACH back workout after the first superset requires a drop set 2x?
    3. Not sure if it was a typo, but is the pull up to pull down superset, 4 or 5 sets?

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      1. Yes, I should add the drop set 3x into the description. I though just adding the quote would allow users who know what drop sets are to pick up on it. But, I should definitely make it more clear for everyone.

      2. Yes, each exercise requires a drop set. The back is a huge muscle group, so you want the last set of each exercise to be followed with a drop set 2x.

      3. No typo that I’m aware of. 4 sets based on The Rock’s twitter post. Thanks for the questions. It helps me to know where to make things more clear. I will update the workout a bit based on your comments.

  • Preben Olsen

    Can we add drop set x2 on the last set of each exercise , when you train the other musclegroup as well?

    Please answer!

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Yes, you can do drop sets on the last set of any exercise you want. Mostly, it just comes down to how much time you have in the gym. Experiment with drop sets on exercises where you feel “you still have some left in the tank” and want to do more.

      It is best to do drop sets on compound exercises (where you’re working multiple muscle groups) or the larger muscle groups. For example, The Rock Hercules workout does most of his drop sets on back day. This is because the back is your 2nd largest muscle group, and it takes a lot to get a good workout there.

      • Preben Olsen

        Thank you answering!
        Does the rock do cardio in the morning, because he want to burn fat?

        • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

          Yes, The Rock does his cardio in the morning. Early morning cardio, on an empty stomach, is the best way to burn fat. When you sleep, your body converts fat into fatty acids that power your brain and vital functions. So, if you do cardio right away, you burn those fatty acids. Doing cardio later in the day, after you’ve ate, is harder to burn fat. Your body will first use the glucose from all the food you have ate.

  • Jesper nilson

    Do you have a good bodyweight program for strength?

    I haven’t a gym membership, so i want a good bodyweight program, to get some muscle and get a little bit more shredded?

    Can you please help me with that?

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      The most popular at-home programs are P90X, Insanity and BodyBeast. If you’re looking for a free, bodyweight program then check out the Bodyweight 12 Minute Upper Body Routine. Use 2 stable surfaces at home, if you don’t want to buy a dip equalizer for that chest workout. Also, I’m planning on uploading more bodyweight workouts this month, so stay tuned for that!

  • Mark

    I can only workout in the afternoons. Would it be best to do cardio before or after lifting?

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      I would emphasize that it’s important to work out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, if you want to optimize fat burning. It has really worked for me. You end up burning more fatty acids than glycogen, which speeds up fat burning.

      But, if you’re gonna workout in the afternoon, then do your lifting followed by cardio. Your cardio should involve more HIIT than low-interval training. Make sure to eat carbs/protein 30 min before your workout. Drink a shake or take BCAA’s pre and post-workout.

  • Jesper nilson

    Thank you for good answers, i really looking forward to the new bodyweight programs.

  • Cameron Manesh

    Is there a reason why The Rock works out one body part per week vs a routine where he could couple chest + bic, repeating every third day (72 hrs rest). I am comparing this with Arnold Schwarzenegger who took 48 hour rest periods during Mr. Olympia training and 72 hour rest training between body parts otherwise. Do I understand correctly that The Rock only works out a body part once per week only?

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      For Hercules, The Rock focused on his legs. Legs are the only thing he trains more than once per week. He does a heavier workout on Tuesday, then a higher frequency workout on Saturday to finish them off. He also works his calves on multiple days.

      The reason he uses this split is that his goal was to look like Hercules. For The Rock, this means having strong enough legs to perform the 12 Labors. You may be interested in the workout The Rock used for Pain & Gain, which has a more traditional split.

  • Mike

    does he do shoulders I didn’t see one for that?

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Yes, The Rock Hercules Workouts uses Thursdays for shoulders. Navigate to Pg. 2 (orange buttons around the middle of any page) to check it out!

  • micheal

    is that workout good for me?iam still 15 years old and i want to get taller.so if this workout would affect my growth pls tell me.thx

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Only your doctor can tell you for sure. But, 15 is the age I started lifting. I was 5’9. 3 years later, I was 6’2. So, my growth plates were fine. Stick to the rep range of 12-15 reps.

      Make sure you use proper form. Dropping a weight directly on your growth plates is the only major concern I can think of. If you’re really worried, then stick to bodyweight exercises. But, the data shows that weightlifting is fine once people hit the age range of 9-12.

  • zoghby

    Hi i am from your fans chris davis and thanks for the workout.
    i want to ask you a question has no relation to this workout.
    i was working out fine for like 3 years and i had the inspiration and motivation to keep up.
    but now i have no inspiration ,working out and reading about muscles is now very boring to me only thinking that i am going to work out makes me feel sick. i am i have not workout for 3 months till now and iam really in complete destruction even my diet is like only 3 meals a day and i dont care what is in this meals.
    so please help me if you can and if you can t then fine i know its not your job.thanks for everything.

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Write down your Top #3 goals in life.

      If improving your body isn’t on that list, then maybe there are more important things going on. If you do want to improve your body, then it sounds like you’re just lacking motivation. That’s something we all go through, especially this time of year.

      I suggest taking a pre-workout. I take Cellucor C4 Extreme (Strawberry Margarita or Watermelon). It motivates me to get out of bed, drink something powerful, and head to the gym. Get your cardio/weights done first thing in the morning. It will make you feel better, and then you have the rest of the day to dedicate to your other goals.

  • Nicholas avery

    Is it a long time to the bodyweight program coming out on this page ?

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      I will be putting up more soon. This week or next. They won’t be on this page. Check the Home Page for the latest bodyweight workouts. Also, you can navigate to the bodyweight workouts page.

  • http://www.popworkouts.com/the-rock-hercules-workout/ Montral

    Chris,

    I may have overlooked it, but I cannot find The Rock’s diet plan for Hercules. Thanks in advance for you help.

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      The Hercules diet plan is on page 2. There’s an orange button below the pic of the treadmill that can get you there.

  • Noah

    Hey Chris I have a question according to George Farah the most carbs to eat a day is 300grams or 400 grams. But I’ve heard from other trainers that you multiply your total amount of protein intake by 2. Also would 7 meals be appropriate or would 6 be okay?

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      6 meals is okay, as long as you’re getting the calories you need. The best place to start is to use the formulas that nutritionists use. To figure out exactly how many calories a person needs, calculate your BMR. Learn more about how to calculate your daily requirement for calories and BMR here. Once you know your BMR, you can use the Harris Benedict Equation to determine your caloric intake.

      It takes into account your BMR and how active of a lifestyle you have. The goal of all this is to know how many calories you need to maintain your weight. Once you know how many calories you need, you can increase this by 15% to gain weight.

  • Noah

    I weigh 200 pounds and for protein intake 1.5 x200 is 300 for protein a day. And 300×2 is 600 carvs a day. Think it is too many carbs?

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Yes, it sounds like too much. Don’t double your carbs unless you really need the energy. Take a look at what Hugh Jackman’s trainer for The Wolverine says about diet here.

  • Mario

    Hey I was wondering if there was a supplement stack that you reccomend

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      For a Supplement stack, I use:
      Hydrolyzed Whey Protein-Optimum Nutrition is a good brand
      Pre-workout: Try Animal Pump or Cellucor C4 Extreme
      BCAA’s: Animal’s brand or Musclepharm 3:2:1 (8 pill serving kinda sucks)
      Multivitamins- I love Animal Pack (not every day, just when you feel run down, or split them in half)
      Cutting: Animal Cuts

      Less important:
      ZMA-This is something that Hugh Jackman’s trainer has his clients take. It helps you sleep like a baby and recover faster.

      As you can see, I really like the Animal Brand. This is because it doesn’t have sucralose, which can screw with your fat-burning hormones. Most powders you buy have sucralose on the label, so I’m starting to shy away from anything that isn’t in pill form. With the Animal Brand, everything is in pill form, so your body isn’t getting all those fake sweeteners.

      • Mario

        How do u feel about creatine and when is the best time to take it, picked up some zma today btw

        • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

          Creatine is great! Animal Pump and other Pre-workouts have creatine in them. That’s how I get mine. Feel free to take Animal Pump or get creatine in pure form. Follow the directions on the label to cycle it effectively.

          You got ZMA? Nice! You’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time! Let me know how it works for you.

          • Mario

            Thnx for your replys Chris and for the post. Call me crazy but does zma affect your dreams in anyway?????

            • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

              Haha yes! Deep sleep equals crazy dreams. It’s wonderful how taking something that replenishes the vitamins you lose during tough workouts can help you so much. I can always sleep well, which allows the body to recover from tough workouts, when taking ZMA.

  • Jorge Aguilar

    Hey Chris, if I were to follow one of the Rock’s routines, since he does cardio before he lifts would it be dangerous to use a pre-workout at the time of cardio? I’m thinking in terms of getting your heart rate to ridiculously high because of the pre-workout and the caffeine etc etc. if you could clear that up for me, thanks!

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      I suggest doing the opposite. Lifting then doing cardio. The pre-workout gives you more benefit while lifting anyway. Don’t worry too much about your heart rate. Just have fun, and run at a decent pace. The Rock aims for 130, and he’s in his 40′s. So, if your heart rate is a little high, that’s ok. I worried about that too, but lifting first eased my concerns.

  • davis jr

    is this workout to gain muscle mass

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Yes, this workout and diet are all about gaining muscle mass. Working out hard each day, followed by a diet tailored toward recovery and protein, is the key.

  • dinga

    Does he only do the first set of 15 reps for arms or is it for all muscle groups?

    • http://www.popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Just arms. The idea is that the biceps and triceps are small muscles. According to The Rock’s trainer, you want to get as much blood as you can into them, in order to get them bigger.

  • Jeremy

    He didn’t do this for 12 weeks straight did he? He had to switch it up a little otherwise the body would have got used to it

    • http://popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      I’m sure he varied it up from time to time. But, these are the major exercises he posted on Twitter/Instagram.

  • Jeremy

    Oh ok I got ya thanks… What would you recommend to take with a PH? I have a cycle support, multi, and fish oils, then a serm for after, anything else you recommend? I’m 25 years old so going to test a PH for once

    • http://popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      I suggest eating real foods instead of a pH balancer. Follow the advice here on Balancing Act: Why pH is crucial to Health. In it, the doctor talks about eating things like spinach, sweet potatoes, almonds, etc. Also, try to make sure to drink alkaline water, or at least water that has gone through reverse osmosis. I don’t know about serm, but this page my help you on post cycle therapy.

      Supplements to try:
      BCAA’s: Take 5g before/after a workout for better recovery
      Pre-workout: Animal Pump (makes you lift more) or Cellucor C4 Extreme (fires you up)
      Yes Ultimate EFA’s Parent Essential Oils (better than fish oil)

  • Jeremy

    I meant I’m taking a pro hormone

    • http://popworkouts.com Chris Davis

      Gotcha, try the 3 things I mentioned and let me know how it goes.