A Strongman and Strength Coach Tried The Rock’s Leg Day Workout

Strongman trainer and YouTuber Joey Szatmary has previously attempted some pretty hardcore workouts, including the notorious ‘Litvinov Workout’ and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s classic chest and back workout. For his most recent stunt session, he’s attempting to complete Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s grueling leg day workout, which the actor used to prepare for his Black Adam role and outlined for his fans on Instagram.

The workout includes leg extensions/leg curls, a compound pressing movement, chain lunges, pit shark squats, and barbell squats. All of these exercises are performed in giant sets, which means that Szatmary will perform all of them consecutively, only resting at the end of a round.

Szatmary starts out by doing some pre-fatiguing with leg extensions and hamstring curls. He does 3 sets of 20 to 25 reps of both movements.

“The reason we want to pre-fatigue is basically for better mind-muscle connection,” says Szatmary. “If we fatigue that muscle ahead of time, we’re going to be more aware of the muscle we’re using, and you’re really going to get that burn.” He notes that he typically doesn’t use pre-fatigue reps as a strength athlete, since he wants to conserve as much energy as possible to push as much weight as he can during his performance-targeted training. But The Rock’s routine is focused on building muscle like a bodybuilder, so that mind-muscle connection is more important than the amount of weight he can lift.

To finish warming up, he does some walking lunges and light barbell squats. Then he gets to the workout.

“I am going to speculate that he’s doing this for hypertrophy purposes, so for me, I’m going to try to keep everything above 10 reps,” he says, meaning he will be doing 50 reps per set. He also will attempt to get through three rounds.

He starts with the leg extensions.

“Feeling pretty good, my legs are nice and warm from that pre-fatigue,” he says.

Next, he sets up for chain lunges.

“I am an alpha male right now! I hope they don’t hit my crotch,” he says. “I feel like a Scorpion King! No pain, no gain.”

After the set, he says he’s “starting to sweat a bit… starting to walk a little funny. Oh man, these legs are getting pumped!”

He sets up for the pit shark squats, which he’s modified with the equipment he has on hand by wrapping a chain around his waist and attaching weight plates. He sets himself up between two wood boxes and gets to it.

“Folks, do not try this at home… it’s a little dangerous,” he says.

He rounds out the set with barbell squats using a Duffalo bar.

“That was one round. We have two more to go…and I’ll probably take 4 minutes rest between. I need that. That’s brutal, man. Heart rate is through the roof,” he says.

He shows off his legs so far, and says, “these things are pumped, man.”

He gets to Round 2, and ups his weight.

“I once heard The Rock say, ‘Mama didn’t raise no bitch.’ You gotta nut up or shut up,” he says.

He finishes all three rounds, calling the session a “doozy.” To recap: Szatmary worked through 120 reps, mostly focused on the quads. He ends the workout with hamstring curls and calf raises (which he says he never does). He aims for 15 to 20 reps for 3 sets of each move, just to emphasize the aesthetic effect of the workout.

“Hopefully I made Father Dwayne proud of my leg obliteration session,” he says.

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