The Rock (a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson): he’s the beast of all beasts. His bulging traps are arguably bigger than the Great Wall Of China and, as for his pecs, he’s at LEAST a D-cup. Yup, he’s pretty much a real-life Hulk. As someone whose nickname is The Little One, The Rock's rippling muscle mass intrigues me intensely. Spurred on by a recent viewing of The Rock classic, Tooth Fairy, I decided to take action and attempt to bulk up my diminutive stature like my hero, Dwayne.
How does he maintain such a physique? A Google search tells me The Rock eats seven meals a day (or 5000 calories) combined with two-and-a-half-hours of exercise. I was curious. What would happen if I adapted his lifestyle for a week? There was only one way to find out.
At 1.96m tall, the WWE superstar weighs in at 118kg. So, for the sake of the experiment, I decided to eat HALF of what he eats. To paint a picture for you, I’m 25yo, female, European-descent, 53kg and a staggering 1.58m tall. Nevertheless, it was challenge accepted as I decided to channel my inner Rock for a week(ish). Here’s what went down.
I leave the supermarket armed with two days of food—including 1kg of fish. How is this going to fit in my belly?
I return to the supermarket. I’ve forgotten egg whites. I can’t make my five egg-white omelette without eggs.
I settle down for my last supper. I hadn’t really planned for this moment. I find myself eating a cheese toastie—not that I’m complaining or anything. I finish this off with several squares of chocolate. It’d be rude not to, right?
It’s taken more than an hour, but I have prepped two days’ worth of food. I feel as though I’ve been in the kitchen for days. The kitchen smells like fish. I smell like fish. Everything smells like fish. Perhaps this is what The Rock was referring to when he says, “Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?”. Spoiler alert: It’s fish.
That’s my alarm going off. What the actual eff? What is life?
The gym is shut. My 24/7 access card doesn’t appear to be working. Shame on me for being a normal human-being who usually trains at a more reasonable hour. However, this cardio ain’t gonna do itself. I decide to walk around the block—in the dark, might I add—before the gym opens.
Annnnd I’m in! There are so many people here. Have they not heard of sleep? Apparently not. I’ve got 35 minutes of cardio to go. I make a beeline for the treadmill and get my run on. I managed to get a 6km run in. Life’s great.
I head to my car for meal numero uno: 140g fish, a hard-boiled egg and one cup of porridge. I don’t have a microwave in my car so I have no option but to eat this cold. One mouthful of fish and I’m gagging. I think I’m going to vomit. It tastes as bad as it smells—if not worse. It’s meal number one, on day number one and I’ve already hit rock bottom (pun intended). I can’t do a week of this shit. “Do it for a day, Natasha,” I tell myself. I eat half my meal and throw the rest in a nearby bin—container included.
Feeling somewhat defeated, I head back to the gym. It’s time for an-hour-and-a-half of weight-training. I decide to focus on legs—it’s apparently The Rock’s favourite body part to train. I squat. I lunge. I do leg press, leg extensions and leg curls. My legs burn but do I give up? No way, José. Instead, I listen to three of my favourite gym songs: Fergalicious (Fergie), Survivor (Destiny’s Child) and Moment 4 Life (Nicki Minaj). My music taste rules, I know.
The end is in sight! I can’t lift weights no more. I retreat to the treadmill for my final ten minutes. I put Netsky’s Come Alive on repeat, set the speed to 10km/h and boost it. I am The Rock. Hear me roar!
Workout done and dusted, I arrive at the office keen for meal number two: 115g fish, 170g sweet potato and half a cup of veges (broccoli, carrot and beans). I have never been more thankful for a microwave after this morning’s encounter with cold fish. The meal is bearable—just.
My colleague arrives. “Did I leave dog food out?” she asks. Nope, that’s just my breakfast you can smell.
How is it time for meal number three already? I’ve already had two meals today! I’m grateful there’s no fish in sight for this one. I pick away at my meal. I manage to get the 115g of chicken down along with the half cup of veges. I tap out halfway through the cup of rice. I’m so full. How does The Rock eat DOUBLE this?!
I research The Rock at work. I discover he hasn’t eaten candy since 1989. I wasn’t even alive in 1989.
It’s time for meal number four: 115g fish, one cup of rice and half a cup of veges. I can’t eat. No. No. No. I hate food. I pretend to lose track of time and ‘forget’ to eat.
It’s almost time for my fifth (read: fourth) meal of the day. I’m in no way ready for another meal. I clutch my pot belly and decide to get some fresh air with a walk (read: waddle) around the block.
Okay, I can do this. Meal number five, let’s go! I settle down for 115g of steak, 170g potato and a ‘spinach salad’. I didn’t know what The Rock meant by a spinach salad so I’ve opted for a handful of baby spinach leaves. It’s weird to be eating steak and ‘tatties for afternoon tea. I love steak though—I could get used to this.
Meal number six involves yet more fish—140g of it, to be exact—as well as a cup of rice and salad. There’s no way my belly can handle any more food. I conveniently ‘forget’ about this meal too. My bad.
It’s time for the seventh (my fifth) and final meal of the day. I’m pleased to see this meal doesn’t involve fish, potatoes or rice. I make a five egg-white omelette with half a cup of veges through it (onion, capsicum and mushroom). It actually tastes nice. I’ve survived to tell the tale.
Call me a quitter, but I decided a day was enough for me. However, I wanted to keep somewhat at it. For the following six days, I trained for one to two hours and ate smaller portions of the same food—fish excluded. I allowed myself to have one cheat meal (a key lime pie) as well as a homemade meal at my boyfriend’s parents’ house—I didn’t want to be “that person”. Once the week was up, I wasn’t even phased about eating sugar-laden food again—I’d grown to love cold porridge. My energy levels had increased, my skin was clear and I was smashing it at the gym. I did, however, miss eating fruit, spicy food and the social aspect of sharing a meal. Mad respect to you Dwayne, but your lifestyle ain’t for me.
Want more? Check out I Quit Sugar For A Week And This Is What Happened.