No one could ever accuse Dwayne Johnson of skipping leg day. The wrestler turned film star turned tequila connoisseur boasts a monstrous set of quads, built in his enviable Iron Paradise home gym, and the 50-year-old has now shared a sneak peak at how he crafts his mammoth thighs.
In a post on Instagram, his 345 million-strong following were treated to a clip of him performing tempo sumo squats. To make this already-challenging movement even more testing, he threw a 100lb (45kg) dumbbell into the mix for good measure. It’s the last part of a four-move monster set he uses to smoke his lower body at the end of a leg session.
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Similar to a superset, a monster set is a series of exercises performed back to back. However, rather than pairing two exercises, a monster set sees you double this workload by combining four movements. This approach allows you to quickly accumulate plenty of volume and fatigue the targeted muscles at the end of your workout.
The four exercises in Johnson’s leg-day finisher are the leg press, hack squat, chain lunge and dumbbell sumo squat.
The Instagram post focuses on the last exercise, with The Rock using the tempo weight training technique to increase the difficulty of the move. He takes three seconds for the negative or eccentric phase (where you lower the dumbbell to the ground), then a one-second pause at the bottom of the rep before standing up explosively.
To make things even more testing, the dumbbell doesn’t touch the floor throughout the set. Johnson also recommends leaning forwards slightly and holding the dumbbell with just your fingertips to challenge and develop your grip.
All exercises are performed one after the other, with a rest period after the sumo squats. To end his leg day, Johnson performed five rounds in total. He gives no guidance on the number of reps you should perform for each exercise, but if your goal is hypertrophy we recommend using a light-medium weight and performing eight to 12 reps of each movement. As a guide, you should be hitting failure as you approach the final few reps of the sumo squats.
So, if you’ve got a heavy leg day planned and fancy adding a finisher to put the nail in the coffin of your previously DOMS-free pins, this monster set is definitely up to the task.
To sign off, we’ll leave you with The Rock’s parting words of wisdom: “It’s a bitch. Give it a shot. Have fun.”
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