“The Rock” Endured a Brutal Giant Sets Leg Workout, Ending With Leg-Shaking Belted Squats

the rock's leg workout
Image via Instagram @therock

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared the ending of his giant sets leg workout, which ended with a gruesome set of belted squats. 

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gave a glimpse to his viewers into what it looks like to undergo a late-night leg workout for him. He did giant sets (we’ll dive into later) and ended his workout with 15-20 reps of belt squats. 

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the most prominent A-list celebrities in the world. He’s amassed over 360 million followers on Instagram and shares his workouts with his audience. Of course, his breakthrough into fame sparked from his WWE career. He then transitioned into acting and has been headlined in prominent roles, the most recent significant role being Black Adam, where Johnson played a jacked superhero. He had to build massive quads for this part, showing everyone an example of how intensive his leg workout would get. 

In addition, late last year, he joined NFL superstar Aaron Donald for a workout — they destroyed a one-arm dumbbell row superset on a back day. And recently, he went to Instagram to upload a short clip of the ending of his brutal leg workout filled with giant sets.

Giant Sets of Belted Squats 


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A post shared by Dwayne Johnson (@therock)

On Instagram “The Rock” wrote:

“Late night grind.


4 giant sets ending with 15-20 reps (or til failure) of belt squats.

Giant sets = 4 rounds of 4 exercises back to back w/ no rest between exercises.

Rest period between sets no more than 90 seconds.

Push yourself for a 3-5 count negative and always control the weight.

Burn is incredible.

Legs completely on 🔥

Give yourself a silent 👏🏾 at the end 🤣”

“The Rock’s” Leg Workout

As the name implies, belted squats are a squat variation utilizing a machine and wearing a belt to support the weight. As standard squats, belted squats are a good lower body movement that targets your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. But this movement is less demanding on your lower back than barbell squats (1). Moreover, it places less straight on your knees. 


  • They’re easier on your back. 
  • This exercise works the same muscles as standard squats.
  • It’s safer for lifters who have injured their trunk musculature. 
  • This exercise is safer than barbell squats. 

Now, although they have their advantages compared to barbell squats, they also come short compared to the king of all exercises. The belted squats don’t engage your ab muscles as much. They also don’t activate your glutes to the same extent. 


  • They don’t engage your core as much. 
  • This exercise has less glute activation.

How to Do

Start by loading the belt squat machine with your desired weight. Then stand in front of the machine and strap the belt attached to the machine around your waist. Position your feet wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed slightly out. Reach for the lever and release the weight from its lock. Now, you’re ready to perform the movement. As you would with a standard squat, slowly squat down as low as you can — aiming to make your thighs and knee joint form a 90-degree angle or slightly past that (while holding onto the bar in front for support). Finally, extend your legs to return to the starting position. Lastly, lock the weight back in place with the lever. 

What Are Giant Sets in “The Rock’s” Leg Workout? 

According to “The Rock,” giant sets are 4 rounds of 4 exercises back to back without any rest between exercises — the rest period between sets is not more than 90 seconds. Like supersets and circuits, giant sets increase the intensity of your workouts and allow you to spend less time in the gym and still complete an effective workout. 

Giant sets are akin to supersets but more. Supersets are performing two exercises back to back with no rest between. But giant sets are more like a mini circuit (but less cardio-based) where you perform multiple movements consecutively without rest. After you’ve completed the four exercises, you can rest before the next set. 

Giant sets can be done within the same muscle group (like “The Rock’s workout) or different muscle groups. For example, you can giant set dumbbell goblet squats (legs), cable lat pull downs (back), cable fly (chest), and dumbbell curls (biceps) for a full-body workout. 


  • Giant sets increase the intensity of your workouts. 
  • They shorten your workouts. 
  • They add variety to your workouts. 
  • Giant sets improve your conditioning. 

“The Rock’s” Nutrition

the rock's leg workout nutrition

Of course, besides the intense workouts “The Rock” performs consistently, he has a high-calorie protein diet to support all his muscle mass. He’s known for incorporating regular epic cheat meals that consist of multiple burgers and fries, and even tequila — Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) athlete Brandon Lirio tried to devour double “The Rock’s” cheat meal that was made up of two double-double burgers and two orders of fries and Termana Blanco and Reposado tequila. 

In addition, fitness influencer Will Tennyson tried to survive “The Rock’s” insane cheat meals for 30 days. He tried to have five different of Johnson’s cheat meals every Sunday for five weeks:

  • Cheat Meal 1: Pineapple coconut pancakes topped with blueberry jam, peanut butter, and maple syrup with 500 calories of almond butter on top
  • Cheat Meal 2: 20 oz ribeye, 1 lb baked potato, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
  • Cheat Meal 3: In-N-Out 2 double-doubles and 2 servings of fries
  • Cheat Meal 4: 7 rolls of sushi
  • Cheat Meal 5: Sugar train (an assortment of sweets)

Final Word

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s physique has helped him with his success. It was important for WWE and has landed him big roles to configure into an action-figure icon on the silver screen. And to build his physique to where it’s at requires years of intense workouts. 

Recently, “The Rock” shared a brutal ending to his leg workout, consisting of giant sets and belted squats. Belted squats are perfect lower-body exercises to build strength and power while placing less strain on your body. Doing squats on a machine is the safer alternative to barbell squats and gives your body another angle to work with and shock your body. 

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  1. Joseph, L., Reilly, J., Sweezey, K., Waugh, R., Carlson, L. A., & Lawrence, M. A. (2020). Activity of Trunk and Lower Extremity Musculature: Comparison Between Parallel Back Squats and Belt Squats. Journal of human kinetics, 72, 223–228. https://doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2019-0126
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.