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The Rock Back Workout - Train Like Dwayne Johnson

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: August 2, 2022

Dwayne The Rock Johnson spent an entire wrestling career showing off his huge upper body muscles. And if you look at old photos of him in the ring, it's obvious that his back muscles are extremely well defined.

To come up with new back workout ideas, I spent some time with the team researching interviews, social media posts, and YouTube videos where Dwayne Johnson shares details about his workouts.

Here's what we've put together to help you gain more muscle definition in your back.

Quick Summary

  • Dwayne The Rock Johnson has gained a reputation for having an exceptional workout routine for every single part of his body.
  • By gradually increasing the weights for sets and reducing the reps, he increases the intensity and strain on every single muscle.
  • Getting your back workout routine perfectly lined up requires the right combination of isolation and compound exercises.

The Rock's Stats

  • Born: May 2, 1972
  • Height: 6' 2”
  • Weight: 262 lbs
  • Chest: 50 Inches
  • Waist: 35 Inches
  • Biceps: 23 Inches

Train Your Back Like Dwayne Johnson

The Rock showing his back and doing pull ups

If you want to exercise like Dwayne Johnson, then you have to make sure that the last rep of each set brings on a significant amount of burn.

And with this back workout, you'll definitely start struggling as you progress through the sets.

Seated Cable Rows

To get started, let's head for the cable machine and adjust it to a seated row setup. It's one of my favorite compound exercises for the back as it will engage multiple muscle groups [1].

I also find it's easier on the spine than the bent-over row, so keep that in mind if you have back trouble.

Aim for a maximum of 12 reps and increase the load for each set while decreasing the reps. 

Deadlifts

Pick a realistic weight and practice the movement with a personal trainer to make sure you keep your back perfectly straight. It's one back workout where you can't afford to make mistakes, but the rewards for the lower back area are excellent.

Lying Back Flyes

Grab a couple of dumbbells and head for a flat bench. Lay down on your chest with your chin at the top of the bench and the dumbbells on the ground on each side of the bench.

With just a slight bend on your elbows, start the upward movement slowly and bring the dumbbells up to shoulder height. You'll definitely feel this in your shoulder blades on the last rep.

Wide-Grip Pull-Ups

The Rock doing wide grip pull ups

If you can do more than 15 to 20 wide-grip pull-ups, then get a weighted vest to add more strain and keep the reps down.

Set yourself up with your hands more than shoulder-width apart and palms facing away from you.

Also, don't speed up this exercise. Slow and steady will increase time under tension for better results [2].

Cable Crossovers

You're heading back to the cable crossover machine, and you'll need to find the two cables that allow you to pull them in opposite directions towards each other.

It's important to make sure your initial setup puts some strain on your muscles before you start.

With your arms crossed in front of your body, pull each cable perpendicular to your body until your hands reach shoulder height.

Battle Ropes

A man holding battle ropes

Next up comes one of those workout options that people either love or hate.

Either way, there's no denying that the battle rope is a great way to build up muscle in your lats and shoulders, and when you push yourself to failure on each set, then you'll see some excellent results for your fitness levels as well.

Lat Pulldown

And the final cable machine exercise is some work for your upper back and shoulders.

Set up a wide lat pulldown bar for your height and grip it with your palms facing forwards. Pull the bar down below your chin and hold it there for two seconds to increase tension.

And as with all the other exercise routines above, you'll be adding more weight after each set.

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"Success isn't overnight. It's when every day, you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up."

- Dwayne Johnson.

Start Sculpting Your Back Like The Rock

Training to look even remotely like Dwayne The Rock Johnson will take a huge amount of dedication. And you'll need to be able to put up with a lot of muscle soreness as you push yourself closer to failure each time.

And to be able to push yourself harder and gain more muscle and fitness in less time, you should also consider taking a men's pre-workout supplement.

These are nothing like illegal performance boosters but can give you enough of a boost to get more out of every trip to the gym.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5744434/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3285070/

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