If being The Rock was easy, everybody would do it.
A guy named Mark Webster tried it. And thanks to FiveThirtyEight, it’s confirmed that living like Dwayne Johnson is extremely expensive, difficult and awesome.
Walt Hickey described Webster as “just a normal self-employed guy who’s tried to get in shape over the past couple of years.” He heard about The Rock’s diet—which includes over seven meals and 5,000 calories a day, as well as over one-third of a ton of cod a year—and decided to give it a go for a month.
Here’s what Hickey wrote about the burden of finances and time:
Based on the data Webster sent me — scrupulously compiled over the course of this exercise — he spent a total of $1,262 on food. That’s about $42 per day, including $18 worth of cod.
So it costs a lot of money to eat like The Rock, but it also takes time. Every two or three days, Webster said, he spent an hour and a half on food prep. He got a break partway through the challenge when he realized the seafood store would just steam-cook the cod on the spot for no charge. Still, making 30 pounds of food every three days is probably the worst part of the process, he said.
The diet didn’t throw Webster’s job off, but he said eating meals during meetings wasn’t uncommon.
By the end of the month, Webster had gone from 206 pounds to 207—but that wasn’t all. Webster said:
My arms have gotten a little bigger, the upper parts of my legs have gotten bigger, and I’ve gotten leaner, which is again totally unexpected. I feel amazing. I’m 37, I get little aches and pains all the time; I have none of those anymore. I feel better than I did before I was doing this. My resting heart rate has dropped by like four beats per minute over the past month. I feel fantastic.
Webster documented his journey to become a People's Champ on his blog here. After getting doubted by Johnson early on, this guy deserves a tip of the cap:
Uh oh. This kinda only works if you train 2xs a day, work 14hrs on set and are half Samoan/half Black. And cuss. 😂💯 https://t.co/eZ1kySsoub— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 23, 2016
The sentiment would surely be mutual. Webster gained a unique insight into the demanding yet rewarding lifestyle of The Rock:
That dude works really really hard. This is what this guy does; this is his livelihood, the fact that he looks like this and trains like this every day of his life while making his movies, being on set 14 hours — that kind of discipline to me is absolutely amazing. To me this is less about "Can I look like him?" and more about "Can I work as hard as this dude?"
[Twitter, h/t FiveThirtyEight]