Can you achieve the Rock’s physique all natural without steroids?

Hello to the natural bodybuilders out there. I am not particularly a big fan of making articles pointing out whether someone is natural or not. The reason for this article about the movie star the Rock is because it is important if you are starting your fitness journey to know where you set your goals. To know what you can achieve naturally or not – and where your standards can/should be.

A lot of individuals will set their goals too high and have wrong expectations while others will have their standards too low about what they can achieve naturally and not reach their true potential!

Who is the Rock?

Unless you have been leaving under a rock (lol), you should know who the Rock is. The Rock, known as Dwayne Johnson is a movie star and a former WWE competitor. His dad was himself a bodybuilder who competed for the WWE.

The rock's dad
The Rock’s dad and his impressive chest!

This article is not a biography and I do not think this is what you came for. Although, it is good to point out some of the Rock’s personality traits to describe him.

The Rock is a charismatic man and is competitive by nature. 

His career with the WWE has shown us that he is also a very entertaining dude. All in one, these characteristics have shown us today that he is a successful man (if you take it from what society defines as successful).

the rock's wwe
The Rock’s impressive frame

Is the Rock natural or on steroids?

The Rock would probably say “It doesn’t matter what you think!”.

The Rock’s favourite quote: “It doesn’t matter what you think!”

But for this article and for the well-being of our fellow natty bros, we need to know whether or not Dwayne Johnson known as the Rock is natural or not. This will prevent us from setting unrealistic body transformation goals.

The answer is that the Rock is not natural. In the past he has admitted having used steroids and from experience – it is pretty easy to tell that the Rock is or has been on steroids.

Can you achieve the Rock’s physique naturally?

Sure, the Rock is not natural, but does it mean you cannot reach his physique naturally?

I believe the Rock’s physique is too massive to what’s achievable at a natural level. His size his huge!

the rock flexing
The Rock flexin’

Believing you can reach this type of physique while staying natural would be setting unrealistic goals and putting too much pressure on yourself. It’s easy to develop symptoms of bigorexia/body-dysmorphia or be tempted to use performance-enhancing drugs when expectations are too high.

Why it makes more sense for the Rock to use steroids than the average gym goer

When we talk about the Rock, we are talking about a movie star and someone who has been competing for the WWE. His choice to take steroids in my opinion makes more sense than for the average gym-goer. 

the rock movie star
The Rock is a movie star

Nowadays what we can see is a massive rise of steroid use in the fitness industry and as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say, there are now complete newbies and amateurs who have not even gymed for a couple of years, already using anabolic substances. 

That is to say that there is no point following the Rock footsteps. If I had the chance to be an actor myself, I would probably personally not touch PEDs, but I can understand that this decision will taken by a famous actor.

Although you can’t reach the Rock’s physique naturally, there are things you can learn from him

The Rock training tips

  • The Rock in an interview for mentioned that he likes to train as hard as possible early mornings. This gets him prepared for the day and puts him in the right state of mind from the get-go.
  • The Rock believes in lifting heavy weights, you can’t get bigger if you aren’t lifting heavier overtime.
  • The Rock trains 6 times a week – although you might want to say it is easier if using performance-enhancing drugs, working out 6 days a week is also totally possible for a natural bodybuilder! No excuses!
  • Dwayne Johnson advises his followers to always have a plan when going to the gym. Indeed, as mentioned in this article, it is important to know what you are going to do and have a session plan.

How to get closer to the Rock’s body shape naturally?

Although you will not be able to build a similar physique to the Rock naturally, you can train to look closer to this type of physique, if that is your goal, your inspiration.

The Rock body analysis

The Rock’ body shape will have certainly been influenced by the use of PEDs, mostly for his traps and shoulders as an example. But we will try and not consider this in the work-out examples below.

The Rock’s chest

His dad definitely had a massive chest, and the Rock’s chest is good but not as good as his shoulders. You can tell from a young age that the Rock had a very wide frame.

the rock shoulders young

The Rock’s shoulders

The Rock’s shoulders are pretty insane. Although the use of performance-enhancing drugs are known to help out areas like traps and shoulders – the Rock already had a wide frame and big shoulders when younger.

The Rock’s back

The Rock has got a thick and wide back. His wide frame has also been beneficial to help him have a wide back.

the rock back

His traps are huge and this is certainly helped by the use of PEDs. Although, we will see that there is also a way to get huge traps as a natural bodybuilder!

The Rock’s abs

The Rock’s abs are not very visible. Either his genetics are not very good or he did not develop them at a young age. I cannot find pictures of him ripped at a young age. It’s only in is 40s that he started showing shirtless pictures of him – well ripped. While his abs are showing, they’re not popping out and don’t seem to be very symmetrical.

the rock abs

The Rock’s arms

The Rock’s arms are pretty huge. He has between long and short biceps which is a good position to be in. While his biceps are pretty thick, they also show a decent peak.

the rock arms

His triceps seem to be of a good size but it is hard to see on the pictures.

The Rock’s legs

The Rock’s legs are of a decent size compared to the rest of his body. His calves are neither too short or long, they’re in between.

the rock legs

How to train to “look like” the Rock?

To look like the Rock, we will do a split routine putting emphasis on the shoulders and back.

Monday: Chest

Tuesday: Back/Shoulders

Wednesday: Biceps/Triceps

Thursday: abs

Friday: Back/shoulders

Saturday: rest

Sunday: Legs/abs

In this routine, we will do a big chest session on Monday. We want a bigger chest but that is not our priority.

On Tuesday, we will work on what we want the most, some big shoulders and a big back. In our back exercises, we will include some deadlifts which will be complimentary to working on our legs as we only have one day dedicated to legs on Sundays.

On Wednesday, we are working on our arms, we will try and get a good session in. This should help us develop our arms in harmony with the rest of the body. Note that your biceps will already be working out quite a lot on the back days with exercises like pull ups which will then be more than enough. We will also include some close grip bench press when doing triceps so we are slightly working on our chest which makes it like a small second chest session.

On Thursday, you can do some abs but also take the day to enjoy some rest which will be well deserved.

On Friday, we are back with the back and shoulder workout which will be very similar to the one we have done on Tuesday. We are sticking to very similar exercises so we can specialise and improve quicker.

On Saturday, we are resting again. It is important to have a rest day after the back day for your legs day.

On Sunday, we are doing legs and abs.

Here is how the program can look like:


Bench-press: 5×5


Inclined chest flies:4×10-15


Deadlift: 4×6

Pronated Pull-ups: 4×6-8

Upper row: 4×25-30

Sitted barbell military press: 5×5

Lateral Raises: 5×15-20

Rear delts raises: 3×15-20


Inclined curls in superset with skull crushes: 6×8-10

Supinated pull-up in superset with close grip bench: 5×6-8

Hammer curls in superset with dips: 4×6-8


Crunches: 4×10-15

Leg raises: 3×10-15


Deadlift: 4×6-8

Pronated Pull-ups: 4×6-8

Shoulder dumbell presses: 4×6-8

Upper rows: giant sets 3×100 repetitions (see the article on doing 100 repetition sets)

Lateral raises: 6×12-15

Rear delts raises: 3×20-25

Saturday: rest


Squat: 5×5 + 1 set max reps

Bulgarian split squats: 4×8-10

Romanian deadlift: 4×12-15

Calves raises: 3×8-10 + 3×20-25


Only do this type of program if you are in between an intermediate and advanced level. If you want to do this type of workout being a beginner, you will have to drastically lower the amount of volume. Please feel free to leave a comment so I can help you with these.