South Florida action star Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, plays a bodybuilding criminal in the motion picture, "Pain and Gain." The meathead fest, featuring a trio of steroid-using personal trainers in Miami during the 1990s, is a truthy tragicomedy that's often disturbing and sometimes hilarious. (Co-star Mark Wahlberg seems to be in "roid rage" throughout the movie.)
Johnson plays an ex-con who worked out nonstop behind bars, so the actor decided to become more muscular for the role. As Johnson says, "I wanted to come out looking bulky, big and dangerous."
Johnson has always been muscular: He played football at the University of Miami and started his entertainment career in wrestling. He said he supplements his intense workouts with lots of sports-nutrition products — but no more steroids.
Q: What's your workout routine?
A: I do steady-state cardio for about 35 to 40 minutes at my home gym. Or I might hit the road out in the neighborhood. And then I'll go train.
Q: You mean lift weights?
A: Yeah, as in lifting, as in clanging and banging.
Q: Did you change up your workouts for "Pain and Gain"? You look bigger.
A: I did. Bulked up for this, added 10 to 15 pounds for this. I was coming off [shooting] a movie called "G.I. Joe" and was a lot leaner and in different condition. But this character spent a lot of time in prison. As we know, prison life — aside from not being pretty — there is no diet and the food is terrible. But you do get guys in prison who train as much as they possibly can all day and eat as much as they can. So the look I wanted was bulkier, not as lean, and come out looking bulky, big and dangerous.
Q: Besides for your career, why do you keep fit?
A: It anchors my day. And for me, training is my meditation, my yoga, hiking, biking all rolled into one. Wake up early in the morning, generally around 4 o'clock, and I'll do my cardio on an empty stomach. Stretch, have a big breakfast, and then I'll go train. I'm generally always shooting or preparing to shoot for something, so that's why I like keeping my conditioning in a certain zone.
Q: How's your body now that you're 40?
A: When we get in our 40s, all of a sudden we start feeling aches and pains. I take glucosamine and chondroitin [for my joints].
Q: Do you smoke or have any other health vices?
A: No smoking. I enjoy a drink every once in a while.
Q: What's your typical daily diet?
A: I have a great diet and conditioning coach and we prepare me for these roles, and even when I'm not preparing for a role. It's a very specific diet. I'll give you an example: I eat about six meals a day. Always a balance. I have carbs with every meal, so there's always a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. My breakfast, for this particular role, was a 10-ounce filet mignon. Red meat. With two whole eggs and two cups of oatmeal. The rest consisted of fish and chicken throughout the day. My carb sources are all complex carbs, so they'll be sweet potato, oatmeal. I love white rice.
Q: How much protein do you get daily?
A: Sixty grams of protein per meal, seven times a day.
Q: Take any vitamins or sports-nutrition products?
A: Part of my daily regime is my glucosamine and, of course, a multitude of multivitamins. Branched-chain amino acids, glutamine, of course protein. I have one protein shake a day, and that is immediately after my training.
Q: You've admitted using steroids when you were younger. Have you taken them since?
A: I tried it when I was 18. At that time, we didn't know what we were doing. Had no idea. Didn't see any results. They were orals [not injections], and as far as we knew, we were probably taking Tylenol.
Q: Are a lot of guys in bodybuilding still using steroids today?
A: In the world of bodybuilding and the culture of bodybuilding, yes, of course it's prevalent. In the world of sports, professional sports: prevalent. Amateur sports: prevalent. More today than [in the '90s]? I have no idea.
Q: Do you have any advice for South Florida residents looking to get fit?
A: You gotta take that first step. It's scary. Sometimes, you think, "Holy s---, I'm too far gone to make a difference." But you gotta take that first step, have faith in the first step, have a plan. Taking that first step applies to all of us, by the way, whether we're in good shape, not good shape, whatever change we want to make lifestyle-wise, body-wise, health-wise, training-wise. You gotta take that first step, and you gotta be willing to put in the work, and it can be done. We've seen it over the years, and we'll continue to see it with many people down here in South Florida. I've seen them and witnessed and trained with them, and they've had these incredible transitions.
Residence: South Florida
Height/weight: 6 feet, 4 inches; 255 pounds
Occupation: ActorCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun