This Dwayne Johnson workout will build BIG ARMS and get anyone Baywatch body-ready

Want to have arms as big as Dwayne Johnson's? You can get shredded if you follow this GRUELLING workout plan

Dwayne Johnson workout
(Image credit: Under Armour / Dwayne Johnson)

'Tis the season to get beachbody ready! And who else to look for inspiration than Baywatch-star Dwayne Johnson, The Rock himself, who's as large as a semi truck with tree-trunk arms. Dwayne is towering figure: he is 6 feet 5 inches (196 cm) tall, weighs around 260 lbs (118 kg) and has been bodybuilding for the last couple of decades, at least. Knowing all this, it's no surprise that the 'get as big as Dwayne Johnson workout' is not for the faint-hearted.

For the unacquainted, the Dwayne Johnson exercise plan might sound a bit too hardcore. Not because it uses specialised exercises for the workouts but because of its volume: going from not working out at all to working as much as The Rock did to get even bigger for Baywatch can be intimidating, to say the least. However, it is not impossible to scale the workout down to decrease intensity, at least first.

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Dwayne Johnson Baywatch workout The Rock workout

(Image credit: Under Armour / Dwayne Johnson)

As well as being punishingly difficult, Dwayne Johnson's Baywatch workout also requires a lot of equipment, and is ideally performed a gym. Dwayne must have a massive home gym, considering he is one of the highest paid actors in the world,  but for mere mortals like us, accessing all the equipment needed for this Baywatch workout might be a bit of a stretch, now that gyms are closed in most countries.

Looking at the list of exercises, you might need a barbell and weight plates, a power rack, a weight bench, dumbbells, a pull up bar and maybe even a multi-gym for all the cable exercises. If you haven't got any of these, we would recommend getting at least a pair adjustable dumbbells, such as the excellent Bowflex Selecttech 1090 Dumbbell, and a decent weight bench like the Mirafit M1 Folding Weight Bench

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Fuel your muscle growth right

The old gym mantra 'eat right to gain right' still applies and if you really want to build muscle, you will need to supply your body the right macronutrients, especially protein. Protein should be supplied from a variety of sources, including lean meat, eggs, nuts, leafy green vegetables, tofu, etc.

A quick and convenient way to add extra protein to your diet is to have some protein powder (well, protein shake made from powder and water), protein bar or jerky in between meals and after workouts. For 'hard gainers', mass gainer supplements can also come in handy as these contain a lot of calories, carbs and protein in a liquid form, making it easier to consume.

Don't forget to warm up before the workout and stretch afterwards. Massage guns can help battering workout pain away, especially after leg day.

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Baywatch workout day 1: Legs

The first leg day of the week consists of the following exercises:

  1. Barbell Walking Lunge – 4 sets, 25 reps
  2. Leg Press – 4 sets, 25 reps
  3. Leg Extensions – 3 sets, 20 reps
  4. Barbell Squat – 4 sets, 12 reps
  5. Hack Squat – 4 sets, 12 reps
  6. Single Leg Hack Squat – 4 sets, 12 reps
  7. Romanian Deadlift – 4 sets, 10 reps
  8. Seated Leg Curl – 3 sets, 20 reps
  9. Thigh Abductor – 4 sets, 12 reps

This is probably the most gym machine-heavy day of the Baywatch workout. Even people with a semi-decent home gym setup haven't got a leg press or a leg extension machine. Even without the machine-related exercises, this leg day is super intense. We recommend doing barbell back squats, barbell front squats, Romanian deadlift and barbell lunges at home. That should be more than enough.

Dwayne Johnson Baywatch workout The Rock workout

(Image credit: Under Armour / Dwayne Johnson)

Baywatch workout day 2: Back

On back day, the intensity is cranked up even more:

  1. Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown – 4 sets, 12 reps
  2. Bent Over Barbell Row – 4 sets, 12 reps
  3. One-Arm Dumbbell Row – 4 sets, 12 reps
  4. Barbell Deadlift – 3 sets, 10 reps
  5. Pull-ups – 3 sets, to failure
  6. Dumbbell Shrug – 4 sets, 12 reps
  7. Inverted Row – 3 sets, to failure
  8. Hyperextensions (Back) – 4 sets, 12 reps

Much like on leg day, some of these exercises are pretty much impossible to recreate at home in a meaningful way, unless you have a high-end multi-gym in your possession. That said, most of the exercise can be done at home using gym equipment such as pull up bars and the best suspension trainers (e.g inverted rows). 

We recommend being extra careful on back day, especially during heavy lifts, as incorrect form can result in injuries, especially in the lower back area. Wearing a weight lifting belt can help alleviate some of the pressure on the lower back during deadlifts but it definitely doesn't mean you shouldn't focus on perfect form during each rep. More on the subject here: how to deadlift correctly

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Dwayne Johnson Baywatch workout The Rock workout

(Image credit: Under Armour / Dwayne Johnson)

Baywatch workout day 3: Shoulders

Shoulders are the ultimate t-shirt muscles: most people will notice your shoulders being wider, even if you are wearing clothes, unlike the biceps that only looks good after you worked out. These were the shoulder exercise Dwayne Johnson used to build delt definition:

  1. Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 4 sets, 12 reps
  2. Standing Military Press – 4 sets, 12 reps
  3. Front Dumbbell Raise – 4 sets, 12 reps
  4. Side Lateral Raise – 4 sets, 12 reps
  5. Reverse Machine Flyes – 4 sets, 15 reps
  6. Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise – 4 sets, 12 reps

These are pretty the shoulder exercises you should ever do, in a sequence. Apart from the reverse machine flyes, the rest of the exercise can be performed using the humble dumbbell.

Dwayne Johnson Baywatch workout The Rock workout

(Image credit: Under Armour / Dwayne Johnson)

Baywatch workout day 4: Arms and abs

Who doesn't like a good arms and abs workout? 

  1. Dumbbell Bicep Curl – 4 sets, 15 reps
  2. Hammer Curls – 4 sets, 15 reps
  3. Spider Curl – 4 sets, to failure
  4. Triceps Pushdown – 4 sets, 15 reps
  5. Overhead Tricep Extension – 3 sets, 15 reps
  6. Hanging Leg Raise – 4 sets, 20 reps
  7. Cable Crunch – 4 sets, 20 reps
  8. Russian Twist – 4 sets, 20 rep

Apart from the triceps pushdown and the cable crunch, the rest of the arms and abs exercises should be easy to perform at home. You can try doing cable pushdowns using resistance bands and instead of cable crunches, do hardstyle planks.

Baywatch workout day 5: Legs (again)

Second leg day! This is essentially the same as day 1 of the baywatch workout:

  • Barbell Walking Lunge – 4 sets, 25 reps
  • Leg Press – 4 sets, 25 reps
  • Leg Extensions – 3 sets, 20 reps
  • Barbell Squat – 4 sets, 12 reps
  • Hack Squat – 4 sets, 12 reps
  • Single Leg Hack Squat – 4 sets, 12 reps
  • Romanian Deadlift – 4 sets, 10 reps
  • Seated Leg Curl – 3 sets, 20 reps
  • Thigh Abductor – 4 sets, 12 reps

Dwayne Johnson Baywatch workout

(Image credit: Dwayne Johnson / Facebook)

Baywatch workout day 6: Chest

Finally, it's time to work on the pecs! Most people would want to start with this day, probably, but if The Rock does two leg days a week and only one chest day, you should do the same.

  • Barbell Bench Press – Medium Grip – 4 sets, 12 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Press – 4 sets, 12 reps
  • Dumbbell Bench Press – 4 sets, 12 reps
  • Flat Bench Cable Flyes – 4 sets, to failure
  • Incline Hammer Curls – 4 sets, 12 reps
  • Chest Dips – 4 sets, to failure

You'll find all the classic pecs exercises here, including the barbell bench press  and some bodyweight moves too, such as the chest dip.Instead of cable flyes, you can perform dumbbell flyes instead, if you haven't got two cable machines at home. And you don't.

Baywatch workout day 7: rest

On the seventh day, have a well-earned rest day. You've earned it!

Get Fit for 2021!

This is part of T3's Fit for 2021 programme, which will be running throughout January. We aim to bring you tips on diet, lifestyle and exercise that will help you shape up for what is certain to be a difficult year. One thing we can guarantee: it WILL be better than last year. And hopefully we'll help you get the most out of it. 

Matt Kollat
Matt Kollat

Matt is T3's very own fitness and nutrition writer. In his free time, he swims, runs, cycles and tries various resistance training workouts so he can ramble about them to people who aren't really interested in fitness.