Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson didn’t begin his life with major social or financial advantages. As fans of his NBC sitcom Young Rock know, his dad was an itinerant pro wrestler.
The family struggled with money, moved constantly, and Johnson himself has repeatedly admitted to having a dysfunctional childhood and to dealing with a certain amount of depression. Yet today he’s one of the biggest action stars ever and at 49 is in absurdly good physical condition. It’s also hard to remember the last time The Rock tried something that wasn’t a runaway success.
So when Johnson offers advice on better living as he does in the sweaty post-workout video above, he’s always worth a listen, because he is clearly doing something right. Just click play.
The Rock’s caption for the video summarizes his point:
That Sunday philosophy/
If you can carve out just a little time on Sunday to put some work in.
Nothing crazy, just a lil’ sweat equity.
It’ll sharpen your tools and give you the mental edge for success the rest of the week.
“Be willing to put in the work today, that they won’t. So you can accomplish tomorrow, what they can’t.”
Set your Sunday edge and then go wreck your cheat meals.
There’s nothing necessarily new about what he says here; fans of The Rock have long known just how hard he grinds. But if Dwayne Johnson has a knack for anything, he has a knack for selling a potentially attainable ideal.
Yes, at 6’4″ or so with a mesomorphic build that gives him the undeniable “genetically gifted” physique guys love to whine about on bodybuilding forums, The Rock might not seem all that relatable for some — but here he’s not trying to put out a “how to be The Rock” motivational message, he’s talking about basic mental toughness and discipline, which is something The Rock seems to truly believe anyone can acquire.
It’s true that — as Inside Hook’s Tanner Garrity notes — Johnson’s “‘no days off’ [philosophy] is somewhat fraught — it frames wellness as a competition or race, instead of a personal pursuit, where recovery and rest are absolutely essential for avoiding injury or burnout.”
The Rock is aware, though, and he makes that clear by reminding viewers of another special thing about his Sundays: The epic cheat meal.
So if you pay close attention, you realize The Rock is giving a primer on how he has approached his life, always forging ahead and ensuring he’s the hardest worker in any room, and he’s also admitting it doesn’t work for everyone. And that he’s human, too, and enjoys the license he gives himself each Sunday to tuck away a few thousand carb-heavy calories he will otherwise avoid throughout the week.
The takeaway here is that for Dwayne Johnson, sometimes discipline is as simple as relentless application. Just keep doing the thing.
But also treat yourself, because it’s hard work, and if you get that Sunday run or HIIT routine in no matter what, make sure the epic cheat meal is ready to go when you’re done.