The Rock Used This Epic Workout to Sculpt His Chest for Black Adam Shirtless Scenes

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Dave Rienzi, the strength and conditioning coach who helped Henry Cavill build lean muscle while getting into monster-hunting shape for The Witcher, recently worked with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on the superhero movie Black Adam, and has been offering insight over on his Instagram into the rigorous training plan they used to pack on even more gains to his already massive frame.

“Remember, there’s no padding in the suit; that’s his physique, and that physique we had to hold the entire film,” he says. “DJ had to commit to being as uncomfortable as possible while still delivering an incredible performance.”

Rienzi’s most recent video focuses on the exercises they used to ensure that Johnson’s chest stayed adequately and consistently huge during filming, as his shirtless scenes in the movie were filmed several weeks apart. “Most of the work I do with DJ is remote,” he says, “but when he has a shirtless scene I’m on set the entire day, because the physique fluctuates from hour to hour and meal to meal, and it’s crucial for me to be monitoring that leading up to the shirtless scenes.”

Diet was another hugely important part of the “villain mode” preparation routine: while Johnson usually stays strict with his meals throughout the week and then goes all-out on cheat day, Rienzi had to scale those indulgences all the way back. “At this point in the process there are no cheat meals,” he says. “We want to keep the sodium intake limited so that he doesn’t retain any excess water.”

The Rock’s Black Adam chest workout:

  • 4 x 12 seated cable flys (4 x 3-second negatives, 4 x 3-second static holds, 4 x regular reps)
  • 4 x 20 flat dumbbell bench press
  • 4 x 12 incline Smith machine bench press (with 2-second holds at bottom)
  • 3 x tri-sets: 8 x flat dumbbell flys, 8 dumbbell bench press, dips to failure

“This workout is designed to build that balanced, well-developed superhero chest,” Rienzi explains. “My favorite part is how the tri-set finisher takes the pump to a whole new level.”

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