The Rock’s Leg Day - Dwayne Johnson Workout, Sets, and Reps 

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
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I don’t think a week goes by where, as a personal trainer and performance coach, someone doesn’t ask me how to achieve a body like Dwayne The Rock Johnson.

So, over the past couple of years, I’ve put together dedicated workout routines for different parts of the body.

For this post, I’m going to focus on a leg day routine, which is possibly one of the toughest out of all of them.

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

Dwayne Johnson Leg Workout

A comparison of The Rock's leg

I recommend this brutal leg training with a 20-minute warmup, including some core work. Since Dwayne has suffered a torn quadriceps, this is a vital part of his training.

Mental toughness and resilience, akin to The Rock's renowned determination, play a pivotal role in overcoming the challenges of intense leg-day workouts and pushing one's limits for better results.

Related: The Rock's Home Gym: Tour Through Iron Paradise

Leg Extensions

In my coaching sessions, I emphasize the importance of setting up the leg extension machine correctly, ensuring comfort and safety. Based on your strength, which I assess for my clients, aim for 8–12 reps per set, gradually increasing the weight.

But remember, you need to add weight after every set, so don’t pile on too much from the start.

In his own words, he recommends doing “​​Slow, intense, controlled reps with multi-second negatives - increasing weight every set.”

Leg Press Machine

The leg press is a great way to continue warming up your body before you do squats. Get into the starting position with your feet shoulder-width apart and pressed firmly on the footplate.

Keep the movement slow and steady, and don’t rush it. You will also be adding weight after each set and completing 8–10 reps. 

And make sure that the last rep burns.


Romanian Deadlifts

A person doing a romanian deadlift

From my coaching experience, I find Romanian Deadlifts to be an excellent preparatory exercise for squats. Start with your hands on the Olympic bar and knees slightly bent, a technique I often demonstrate to my clients for optimal form.

Then slowly raise the bar while keeping your back straight. Once you get to the top position, slowly lower the bar down again and bend your knees.

But don’t bring it all the way down; instead, hold it just above the ground for two seconds.

Back Squats

This is one of the best compound exercises for your legs, as noted in the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine research [1].

Set up the squat rack for your height and strength.

Then bring your body underneath the bar and rest it on your shoulders.

The idea is to squat down as far as you can to activate every muscle in your legs.

Repeat the squats for 8–12 reps.

Lying Leg Curls

You’re heading back to the leg machine to do some lying leg curls. This is a great way to do a hamstring isolation exercise. Set up the gym equipment to get into a comfortable starting position.

Perform the movement slowly to add more time under tension, as shown in the study published in the Journal of Physiology [2]. Make adjustments depending on your fitness and strength levels, and make sure you complete 8–12 reps per set in this workout.

Calf Raises

Calf Raises exercise

In my experience, dedicating time to each calf muscle during raises is crucial. I advise using a solid block or step, as I do with my clients, to enhance the range of motion and effectiveness of the exercise.

You can do the calf raise with dumbbells or a barbell and aim to do about 15-20 reps in each set.

You can also adjust your toes to point inward or outward to further add targeted strain.

Weighted Glute Bridge

And finally, glute abductions with a barbell will add some targeted strain to your buttocks.

Be careful with your back, and make sure you keep a neutral curve on your spine. And to spice things up some more, try doing some single-leg glute drives.

One other thing I would suggest is adding a rest exercise between sets. Keep a jump rope handy to make sure your legs remain loose.

Dwayne Johnson also does some giant sets, where he goes for 15-20 reps in the last set of a workout to bring on some additional burn.

Related articles:

"Truth is, over the years I've actually learned to train HARDER. But, in order to train harder, I had to learn how to train SMARTER."

- Dwayne Johnson

The Rock’s Stats

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


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