The Rock Chest Workout Routine That Will Bulk Up You Pecs

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: February 11, 2024
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As a personal fitness and strength coach, I'm always looking for new workout ideas to give my clients a varied training routine to get them into the best shape possible.

And there are generally not many people better than Dwayne The Rock Johnson to model such training plans on. So, our team spent a few weeks researching The Rock workout routines that we could find in interviews and social media posts he shared.

And it turns out that his chest workout day was one of the toughest we've encountered.

Let's take a look at The Rock's chest workout routine.

His Stats

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

What Does Dwayne Johnson Do for Chest?

Chest of Dwayne The Rock Johnson

Dwayne Johnson has one entire day dedicated to a chest workout routine that keeps his upper body chiseled like a Roman gladiator.

And it all comes down to proper form on every single rep to maximize the body movement.

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

We'll start The Rock's chest workout routine with the incline bench press. But instead of using a barbell, we'll do this set using dumbbells to add a bit more range of motion [1].

Set the bench up at a 45-degree angle and pick a weight that you can do up to 12 reps with. You'll be doing at least three sets, and with every set, you increase the weight load and decrease the reps.

When I first tried The Rock's chest workout, the incline dumbbell bench press was a game-changer for me. Using dumbbells instead of a barbell really helped me enhance my range of motion.

Dumbbell Flys

Set your bench to a horizontal position and grab hold of some dumbbells.

This chest exercise is all about maximizing your range of motion while only bringing the dumbbells down to the height of your shoulders. 

Keep your arms as straight as possible, even if that means picking smaller dumbbells. It's all about the best possible form with The Rock chest exercises.

And just like with the bench press above, plan to increase the load with each set.

I recall the first time I incorporated dumbbell flys into my routine. It was a challenge at first, especially keeping my arms straight, but over time, I noticed a significant improvement in my chest's strength and appearance.

And to get even more out of this routine, I suggest that you add a quality pre-workout supplements for men to your diet.

Weighted Dips

A person doing a weighted dips

Here's a great compound exercise that, according to a study in the National Library of Medicine, is great for a chest, triceps, and upper back workout [2].

Start by doing 12 to 15 regular dips without a weight plate to see what your full range of motion is.

Then strap on weight and decrease the reps, but still keep the full range of motion, so don't be a hero by hanging huge plates from your shoulders.

This exercise not only enhanced my chest muscles but also significantly improved my triceps and upper back strength.

Barbell Bench Press

This is where Dwayne Johnson can show off his immense strength. At this stage, you should be fully pumped up and ready to take your chest day to the next level.

I recommend setting up the back in a flat position and starting the exercise with a lower weight to make sure you get the bar right down to your chest.

Then add more plates with each set and gradually reduce the reps down to just eight in a set.

And make sure that the last rep in the exercise burns.

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

A man doing decline dumbbell bench press exercise

To get those perfectly shaped pecs, you'll also need to focus on the lower portion of the muscles, and the dumbbell press is an ideal way to do this.

If you haven't done this before, then limit the decline angle to 20%, and make sure you keep the great form on every single rep.

Seated Pec Deck Machine

And we'll end The Rock's chest workout routine with the seated pec machine.

I find it's often underrated with bodybuilders, but it allows you to maintain a safe and slow movement, even with a heavy weight load setting.

Stick to less than 12 reps and gradually reduce the reps with each set as you increase the load.

The seated pec deck machine was the perfect finisher for my chest days. It allowed me to focus on slow, controlled movements, even with increasing weights.

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"Success at anything will always come down to this: focus and effort. And we control both."

- Dwayne Johnson

Nutritional Aspects for Chest Development

The Rock knows that building a well-defined chest isn't just about rigorous workouts. It's equally about what you fuel your body with.

Here are the nutritional aspects that help him have a defined chest and enhance the effectiveness of his workout routine:

  • Protein: After a strenuous chest workout, your muscles need protein to heal and grow stronger. Including a variety of protein sources in your diet, such as lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, and plant-based options like beans and lentils, ensures that your muscles receive the necessary amino acids to rebuild and develop.
  • Carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables provide a sustained energy release, helping you power through your chest training sessions.
  • Healthy fats: According to another study in the National Library of Medicine, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, nuts, and seeds, can aid in reducing inflammation and muscle soreness, facilitating quicker recovery [3].
  • Micronutrients: Magnesium and potassium aid in muscle contraction and relaxation, while antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables help combat exercise-induced oxidative stress.

References:

  1. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/dumbbell-bench-presses
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4592763/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4030645/
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