Bodybuilder and YouTuber Will Tennyson has experimented with a wide range of workouts and diets, trying out the exercise regiments and meal plans of some of the world’s fittest people, including Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, World’s Strongest Man champion Brian Shaw, the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali, and Ironman triathlete Nick Bare. In his most recent video, Tennyson turns his attention to one of the swolest—not to mention booked-and-busiest—movie stars on the planet, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and sets himself the challenge of following the actor’s strict morning routine.
This starts with a 4 a.m. wakeup call; a high bar to clear right off the bat. “Getting up at this time really makes you feel like you have your life figured out,” says Tennyson. “I don’t, but it really feels that way.”
Johnson usually begins his day with 30 to 50 minutes of cardio, usually either jogging or on the elliptical machine, and Tennyson opts for an early morning run. “I was waiting for the runner’s high the entire time, and it didn’t show up,” he says. He then spends some time meditating, which he describes as “the ultimate challenge of not falling asleep,” before heading out for a hearty breakfast of steak and eggs with watermelon and toast.
Once he is all fueled up, it’s time for Johnson’s giant back day workout, which consists of:
- wide-grip lat pulldowns (4 sets of 12)
- bent over barbell rows (4 sets of 12)
- one-armed dumbbell row (4 sets of 12)
- barbell deadlift (3 sets of 10)
- pullups (3 sets)
- dumbbell shrugs (4 sets of 12)
- inverted row (3 sets)
- hyperextensions (4 sets of 12)
After a post-workout shake (made with an apple, creatine, protein powder, electrolytes, and carbohydrate powder) and a cold shower, Tennyson gets on with the rest of his day—and finds that rather than being exhausted, the intense start to his day has energized him.
“My productivity is just kind of overwhelming right now,” he says. “I got all the work done I needed to do today, started stuff for tomorrow, and the beautiful thing about it is, it’s only 1 o’clock in the afternoon… I already have all my steps for the day. I was thinking by this time of day I’d be very tired and it would hit me, but nope!”
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.
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