Here’s What Happens When A Regular Human Tries The Rock’s Hercules Diet

therock's Instagram
therock’s Instagram

It’s widely known that The Rock undertook an incredible diet and fitness plan for his role as Hercules, sustaining the remarkable regiment for six months. As a fan of his and in anticipation of the movie, I decided to attempt said diet for a single day. I am five inches shorter, about 90 pounds lighter and immeasurable amounts less beastly than Dwayne Johnson, but I figured I’d try this just for the halibut (this diet features halibut in 2 of the 7 meals).

Most of the food used in this process (used different oatmeal, added some fresh asparagus)
Most of the groceries purchased for the diet (used different oatmeal, added some fresh asparagus, etc.).

MEAL 1: 10 oz. Filet with 4 egg whites & 5 oz. oatmeal.

Typically I love breakfast foods at non-breakfast times. The 7pm breakfast for dinner, the 2am post social gathering breakfast – anytime other than mornings. Despite my personal preference, I woke early to get this party started.

Steak + egg whites? Not a problem – devoured those like a savage. When shopping the previous night for ingredients, I couldn’t decide between oatmeal and Cream of Wheat, so I played a game of ‘Dwayne Johnson, Paper, Scissors’ with a friend to decide. Oatmeal won, and today I learned that five ounces of it is so much more than I imagined. Go ahead, take a moment, close your eyes and picture five ounces of oatmeal… Got it? K, now multiply that by at least two, because I promise it’s more than you initially pictured. Anyway, I ate the oversized serving of oatmeal whilst making eyes at a box of Froot Loops, and the first meal has officially been conquered.

MEAL 2: 8 oz. Chicken, 2 cups white rice, 1 cup broccoli.

Remember how I said five ounces of oatmeal is more than you’d think? Well two cups of rice is 52 times what you’d envision (see below). The chicken and broccoli were eaten hastily, but I was forced to leisurely scoop massive forkfuls of what felt like infinite rice into my mouth, completely dreading the fact that another 2 cups would be required in meal three. I’m going to attempt a workout along with these meals as The Rock did, but I kind of feel like a soggy garbage bag left out in the sun on a hot summer day, so I can’t make any promises.

Here’s What Happens When A Regular Human Tries The Rock’s Hercules Diet


I put on my shorts & running shoes, fully prepared to engage in physical activity, but first I wanted to look at what The Rock had done for his fitness. I went to Google it, one thing led to another and an hour later I woke up with my laptop resting on my freshly bloated stomach. The impromptu nap likely didn’t burn too many calories, but I was sluggish and accepted the fact that I’d fallen victim to the itis. It’s fine though; I worked out extra the previous day in anticipation of a potential food coma. In other words, working out is off the table, and meal number three is on it. I have no idea how I’ll finish this. There’s no way this experiment doesn’t end with me screaming “I am Hercules!” from a toilet seat.

MEAL 3: 8 oz. Halibut, 2 cups white rice, 1 cup asparagus.

Dwayne? Can I call you Dwayne? I feel like I should be able to at this point. I just had one question – WHY EAT AN ENTIRE PANDA EXPRESS’ WORTH OF WHITE RICE DAILY? It’s honestly concerning because years ago I dropped my Blackberry in water, then immediately submerged it in a bowl of rice and it was fully functional shortly thereafter. Why, you ask? Because rice absorbs all of the liquid. If I continue eating this rice, how will I have any spare moisture in my body, Dwayne? Bodies need moisture, Dwayne.

The fullness is real, I’m picking up the pieces of asparagus and forcing them down which, if you want a visual aid, resembles Simba eating bugs in The Lion King.

The Lion King (Two-Disc Platinum Edition)
The Lion King (Two-Disc Platinum Edition)

Meal three is officially down, but I currently feel like Violet Beauregarde, just black instead of blue. I’m going to roll my body to the nearest piece of cushiony furniture, where I will lie and ponder why exactly I’m attempting this.

MEAL 4: 8 oz. Chicken, 12 oz. baked potato, 1 cup broccoli.

It’s funny that Dwayne always posed the question “Do you smell what The Rock is cookin’?” because he didn’t cook any of this stuff – his personal chef did. I think the aspect of this diet I underestimated most was having to cook all of this food. Prepping the meals in advance would’ve made this significantly easier, but there’s no looking back now. It’s worth noting that for the first time I’m feeling uncertain if I’ll be able to complete this. There’s baked potato creeping up the back of my throat and I don’t see how three more meals can be crammed into my already swollen body.

MEAL 5: 8 oz. Halibut, 1 ½ cups white rice, 1 cup asparagus.

I know it’s poor manners, but I’m in physical pain and resting my people’s elbows on the table while I eat. This is rock bottom. I’m tired of how all of these foods taste and it hasn’t even been a single full day, so my admiration for The Rock has reached new heights.

It’s slightly depressing realizing just how subpar to Dwayne I am at discipline. I mean, I had a sneaking suspicion him & I weren’t too physically similar going into this, but the fact that I’m feeling ill trying to complete a diet he did for six months further confirms it. This final 1 ½ cups of rice is out to finish me, but I will conquer it – just like Hercules slaying the Nemean lion. Yes, I compared killing a lion with your bare hands to eating rice three times in a day.

MEAL 6: 8 oz. Filet, 9 oz. baked potato, salad.

The salad is somewhat exciting just because it’s different from all of the other stuff up to this point. So far today has been such a know-your-role-and-stay-in-your-lane-you-average-person type experience. I’m also reminded of my regular-ness by the sinkful of dirty dishes I’ve created, which I’m not thrilled about. Y’know, Dwayne may have lifted more weights and done more cardio while on this diet, but at least he didn’t have to cook halibut, microwave frozen vegetables and scrub crusty pans. Anyway, this is hands down, bellies out the fullest I’ve ever been in life, ever.

MEAL 7: 30 grams casein protein, 10 egg whites, scrambled with onions, peppers and mushrooms.

Keep in mind that I woke at 5am to begin this and it’s 11pm now. I had to space the meals out to avoid dying or whatever. Surprisingly I made quick work of the pre-made protein shake. It was chocolate flavored and frankly, I was all about putting anything in my mouth that wasn’t rice or broccoli. That being said, my stomach is definitely at max capacity.

All that’s left is the last part of the last meal. The final boss. The 10 egg whites. The very food I began the day with is now back to ruin me. F-ck you, egg whites, no weapon formed against me shall prosper. I’m slowly but surely getting ‘em down, channeling my inner Bruce Bogtrotter.

Matilda (Special Edition)
Matilda (Special Edition)

I know exactly how that young man felt finishing off a massive chocolate cake, but this isn’t a delicious dessert, it’s the straight-to-DVD form of eggs. I ate a scoop. Another scoop. A couple more, and then… I stopped. Anti-climatic, I know, but my stomach has felt like it could legitimately explode since meal four, and here, on the brink of glory, I found myself unable to eat anymore of this massive scramble.

All I wanted to do was experience 24 hours in the herculean life of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but I couldn’t. Did I just waste an entire day force-feeding myself for nothing? Maybe, possibly, perhaps, probably, absolutely – but at least I can move on with life convinced that I’m only a plate of egg whites & a two-hour workout every day for six months away from having what it takes to be Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” Johnson. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go recover in time to start my intense nacho & Icee diet when I watch HerculesThought Catalog Logo Mark

image – IGN Youtube

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