If you're at all familiar with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, you're bound to know that any conversation, no matter how brief, that involves him has to mention fitness and working out. Those Herculean muscles didn't beef themselves up, after all. Nor were they built in a day. They're the result of a fitness quest that spans over three decades, starting at the age of 14 (Johnson is 45 years old). If that doesn't inspire you, we don't know what will.
Today, while promoting Under Armour, the sportswear label he endorses, The Rock shared an emotional story about how his fitness journey started, and what has kept him going, for the better part of the last 30 years - one that's seen him become an eight-time World Wrestling Federation champion, in addition to the dozens of international wrestling awards he has accumulated over his career.
The Rock spoke about his family being evicted off the island of Hawaii with nowhere to live at the age of 14, and how the experience shaped his future and thoughts.
"I made a promise to myself that I'd do everything I could to make sure my family never got evicted again. And at 14 the only thing I knew I had control over was my effort, so I got my ass to the one place I could give that effort - the gym. I know it may seem f****d up psychologically, but every day I still train in the gym and operate my business like I'm getting evicted and my back's up against the wall. Not ashamed of it, because it's who I am. My DNA... I've never won a Super Bowl or a Gold Medal. And I'm not a pro athlete. But I am the hardest worker in the room."
For our big @underarmour commercial, they asked me if the back of my new hoodie should read “Wrestling out of Memphis” since that’s where I started my grind at 24yrs old. I said, no it should read, “Wrestling out of Hawaii” since my grind actually started when we were evicted off the island with no where to live when I was 14yrs old. I made a promise to myself that I’d do everything I could to make sure my family never got evicted again. And at 14 the only thing I knew I had control over was my effort, so I got my ass to the one place I could give that effort — the gym. I know it may seem fucked up psychologically, but every day I still train in the gym and operate my business like I’m getting evicted and my back’s up against the wall. Not ashamed of it, because it’s who I am. My DNA. You guys are gonna like this new Under Armour campaign. I’ve never won a Super Bowl or a Gold Medal. And I’m not a pro athlete. But I am the hardest worker in the room. #DNA #AlwaysWrestlingOutOfHawaii #WillFindsAWay
Now you know the story behind those bulging biceps. And triceps. And abs. Basically, any and every set of muscles that ripple through The Rock's body.
The Rock's following when it comes to all things fitness is so dedicated and so hooked that even photographs of his pre-workout drinks manage to get over a million likes! True story, it actually happened yesterday.
Want to know what the star in Dwayne Johnson's ever-expanding repository of fitness drinks is? Water, two scoops mandarin flavored Carnigen, two scoops GlycoJect, one cup of Colombian coffee, with an espresso thrown on top for a bit of a kick and a "secret sauce". The secret sauce is clearly humour, since he later mentioned that the secret ingredient is coagulated dragon's blood. While we have great faith in The Rock's abilities to do absolutely anything he sets his heart upon, we're almost certain dragons are beyond even his reach.
I’ve been known to make some amazing drinks🍹but this Saturday night pre-workout drink might be a new star on my roster. Water, two scoops mandarin flavored Carnigen, two scoops GlycoJect, one cup of Colombian coffee and an Espresso thrown on top of that for the kick.. and a lil’ secret sauce. Tomorrow I shoot our new @underarmour commercial so I’m coming in hot and on point. And the “secret sauce” is floating in the middle of this drink - which is coagulated Dragon’s blood. Last training session before the big shoot. Here we go. #HardestWorkersInTheRoom #NoDragonWasHarmedTonight
A day before that, he posted a photograph working out on a seriously scary looking contraption. In The Rock's own words, it is his gym's contemporary version of a medieval torture device. Gulp.
Dwayne Johnson has a history of peppering fitness motivation with humour. Like this one time when he pointed out that his knee looked like he was smuggling a human head, right after he spoke about finding the will to work out after a tough day. Hey, this time, The Rock practically gave us permission to stare at his legs. Who are we to argue?
Then there was this time when he made us go 'Awww' by stopping a shoot and workout session to take selfies with his agent Brad Slater's son, Jackson. The fact that we got a glimpse of his hulking biceps doesn't hurt either.
Love these shots of me and my good buddy Jackson Slater - the only one I’ll stop the entire photo shoot for to take selfies 😉. Son of @bslater9 & @travelkara8. He asked me, “Rock when I become an adult can I come and workout in your gym?” I said, “Absolutely Jackie, when you become an adult you BETTER workout here” When he smiled huge it was game over for me. That smile is what it’s all about. Alright, the big, brown, tattooed Willy Wonka’s gotta get back to work. #ProjectRock #UnderArmour #ChaseGreatnessCollection #PhotoShoot #WestCoastIronParadise 💪🏾
Last month, The Rock was photographed training his medulla oblongata. Thanks him, we will now never forget that it's that part of the spine that continues into the brain, containing control centres for the heart and lungs. We have to say, looking at this photo, our medulla oblongata decided to do strange, jumpy things to our hearts. (This might not be scientifically accurate, but you get the drift)
There was also this one time when Johnson showed us what his warm-up face looks like. While we won't exactly call it "sexy" (his words), it's definitely an expression we tend to mirror before our own workouts.
Geographical restrictions are clearly no match for The Rock's will to train. While on a world tour to promote Jumanji, we got to see him work out in Beijing...
And even just before boarding a flight to France.
Workhorse movin. Solid leg training prior my flight to France. Good to break thru some personal barriers seeing improvements. Over my career I’ve had 5 knee surgeries, Achilles rupture, emergency triple hernia surgery and tore my quad and adductor off my pelvis. Fun stuff. It’s why my leg training is always my most important. And I’m 💯 positive just one of my legs is 3xs bigger than @kevinhart4real. #HardestWorkersInTheRoom #BloodSweatRespect #ProjectRockComments
It's tough to imagine that after five knee surgeries, a rupture in the Achilles heel, emergency triple hernia surgery and tearing his quad and adductor off the pelvis, this is how The Rock still manages to train and look. We hope you learned something from his dedication to fitness. Or at least ogled at all the fantastic display of strength to your heart's content.