Currently out in theaters is Pain & Gain, an action-crime film that features part-time WWE Superstar The Rock in the role of a born-again Christian, sober ex-con who gets caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes “terribly wrong.” For the role of a massive, sadistic bodybuilder, the multi-time wrestling champion added twelve to fifteen pounds of muscle to push his 6-foot-4 frame to over 250 pounds.
Courtesy of USA Today, here is an approximation of Johnson’s seven-meals-a-day diet plan, which combined with an intensive workout regime, he followed for sixteen weeks to prepare for the role, as well as to maintain his sizable look through the filming process.
Meal one: ten-ounce beef fillet, two cups of oatmeal, two-egg omelet.
Meal two: eight ounces of cod, twelve ounces of sweet potatoes, one cup of steamed vegetables (onions, peppers, mushrooms).
Meal three: eight ounces of chicken, two cups of white rice, one cup of vegetables.
Meal four: eight ounces of cod, two cups of rice, one cup of vegetables.
Meal five: eight ounces of steak, twelve ounces of baked potato fries, one salad.
Meal six: ten ounces of cod, two more cups of rice, one salad.
Meal seven: thirty grams of casein protein powder, ten-egg-white omelet, one cup of vegetables, one tablespoon of Omega-3 fish oil.
Regarding the diet, Johnson noted, “There’s a right way and a wrong way to bulk up for a film. The wrong way is to eat as much garbage as you can for weeks on end, which actors have the tendency of doing. It’s unhealthy and puts an incredible amount of stress on your body, joints, tendons and digestive system. The right way is to bulk up with good complex carbs and protein/fat sources.”
Though Johnson portrays a drug-fueled character, the actor/wrestler insists he did not utilize steroids to achieve his hulking physique for the role.
“Oh, no,” Johnson responded when asked directly by USA Today in an interview published this week whether he used steroids to get big for the role. He then looked at castmate Mark Wahlberg and said, “How about you? You did all kinds.”
“What?” Wahlberg said, snapping to attention. “Steroids? No. I don’t (mess) with those.”
Johnson, however, did acknowledge experimenting with steroids while playing football at the University of Miami.
“We didn’t know what we were taking or if anything worked,” he said.