John Cena Workout Routine & Diet Plan

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: June 21, 2024
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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He's the face that runs the place, and the only thing that works harder than the WWE megastar is the workout routine John Cena follows to stay in shape.

As a trainer and fan of the wrestler, I wanted to understand how John Cena maintains an aesthetic and powerful physique.

So, after a week of research, watching his fights, and delving into WWE training principles, I've unearthed John Cena's workout and diet plan.

Let's dive right in.

Quick Summary

  • John Cena's workout examples are seated calf raises, leg presses, squats, single-leg extensions, bench presses, preacher curls, rope press downs, triceps dips, and pull-ups.
  • Cena's exercises can be grouped into back workouts, shoulder workouts, arms workouts, chest workouts, and leg exercises.
  • Cena prioritizes a strong pre-workout mentality, which, according to research from Ranganathan et al., helps build strength.
  • Cena advises anyone who tries his exercises to always start low on reps and gradually increase them with time.

John Cena Stats

  • Date of birth: April 23, 1977
  • Height: 5’11’ (180 cm)
  • Weight: 250 lbs (113 kgs)
  • Chest: 50 in (127 cm)
  • Waist: 36 in (91 cm)
  • Biceps: 19 in (48 cm)

What Is John Cena's Workout Routine?

portrait image of john cena

John Cena's workout routine is a five-day split with low-frequency training using several sets and reps once a week, all focused on particular muscle groups.

That was his peak. Cena now follows a four-day split.

Here's what his peak workout routine looks like.

"I work out four times a week. The day I can't handle four times a week, we'll go down to three. It's not too complicated."

- John Cena

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by John Cena (@johncenaoffiicial)

Day 1: Legs and Calves

shirtless man in a leg press position

Cena performed two calf exercises, followed by six leg exercises:

  • Seated calf raises: 10 sets of 10–20 reps
  • Standing bodyweight calf raise: 4 sets of 25 reps
  • Standing single leg curl: 4 sets of 20–25 reps
  • Leg press: 5 sets of 20 reps
  • Leg extension: 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Squat: 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Hack squat: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Single-leg extension: 3 sets of 10 reps

Crunches: 60 reps at the end of training

Day 2: Chest

man working out with a barbell in a bench

Here's what Cena's chest workout comprised:

  • Incline machine press: 3–4 sets of 20 reps
  • Incline bench press: 3–4 sets of 20 reps
  • Pec dec: 3–4 sets of 15 reps
  • Cable crossovers: 3–4 of 15 reps
  • Bench press: 3 sets of 10 reps

Crunches: 60 reps at the end of training

Day 3: Arms

man using dumbbell curls in a gym

Cena began his arm workout with the following bicep exercises:

  • Preacher curls: 5 sets of 12 reps
  • Standing barbell curl: 3 sets of 10–12 reps
  • Seated dumbbell curl: 3 sets of 10–12 reps
  • Standing cable curl: 3 sets of 12 reps

The WWE star then followed up with the following tricep workout:

  • Rope pressdown: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Single-arm cable pressdown: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Lying tricep extension: 6 sets AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
  • Overhead EZ bar extension: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Seated barbell tricep extension: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Tricep dip: 4 sets maximum reps

Crunches: 60 reps at the end of training

Day 4: Shoulders

man in a lateral raise position

Cena didn't take shoulder day lightly. The following exercises were key in his bulging shoulders:

  • Rear delt machine flyes: 5 sets of 20 reps
  • Machine overhead press: 5 sets of 20 reps
  • Machine lateral raise: 5 sets of 20 reps
  • Seated overhead press: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Dumbbell lateral raise: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Military press: 3 sets of 10 reps

Crunches: 60 reps at the end of training

Day 5: Back

man doing lat pulldowns

John Cena built a powerful back with the following exercises:

  • Lat pulldowns: 5 sets of 20 reps
  • Barbell rows: 5 sets of 12–20 reps
  • One-arm dumbbell rows: 5 sets of 12–20 reps
  • Deadlifts: 4 sets of 8–15 reps
  • High pulls: 4 sets of 20 reps
  • Pull-ups: 4 sets maximum reps
  • Barbell shrugs: 5 sets of 20 reps

Crunches: 60 reps at the end of training

Workout Principles

john cena carrying a heavy barbell

John Cena's success in the gym goes beyond physical strength; it's deeply rooted in his psychological resilience and mental fortitude.

And I don't say that lightly; it's backed by research. A 2004 study by Ranganathan et al. found that having positive mental power may improve strength gains [1].

His approach to training involves a strong mental game: he focuses on setting realistic goals and maintaining a positive mindset, even in the face of challenges.

Cena's philosophy is about pushing limits while maintaining a clear focus on his objectives, whether it's preparing for a wrestling match or a movie role.

John Cena Diet Plan

different types of vegetables on plates

John Cena eats as seriously as he trains.

Here's what a day of eating might look like for the WWE Champ:

  • Meal 1: Oatmeal with applesauce and raisins, two whole eggs, and six egg whites
  • Meal 2: Protein bar
  • Meal 3: Brown rice with vegetables and two chicken breasts
  • Meal 4: Whole wheat pita bread with tuna
  • Meal 5: Banana and a whey protein shake
  • Meal 6: Pasta or brown rice, vegetables, salad with chicken or fish
  • Meal 7: Low-fat cottage cheese along with a casein protein shake

Diet Principles

John Cena is a bulky man, and as such, he has to eat a lot to maintain and build muscle.

If you take a look at John Cena's diet plan, you'll notice that the WWE superstar is eating significantly more than your average of three square meals a day. It's a lot of calories and a superhero amount of protein.

A recent review in Frontiers in Nutrition suggested that consuming more calories (and, I'd like to add, clean calories) might be beneficial to muscle growth [2].

As part of his diet plan, John Cena eats a balanced combination of brown rice and vegetables to fuel his weight training and professional wrestling career.

His Supplement Stack

While I haven't found anything specific about John Cena's supplement stack (probably because he's not public about it), our dietician recommended the following supplements based on Cena's diet:

  • Whey protein powder
  • Creatine
  • BCAAs
  • Multivitamins

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4836564/
  2. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2019.00131/full
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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