John Cena Workout Routine

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Wrestler, actor, rapper, pianist, it seems like anything that John Cena decides he wants to do…he dominates (well, perhaps not the pianist part).

Cena is famously known for being a professional wrestler and action movie star. Both roles require an aesthetically pleasing body, but also one that can survive and thrive under the intense physical strain that both careers entail.

In this article we’ll be taking a look at John Cena’s workout routine, and the theory behind why he trains the way he  does.

John Cena’s Training Philosophy

We have scoured the internet for articles and interviews that give us hints as to what his program is, as well as watching videos of his workouts on YouTube. For a long period of time, wrestlers trained in a very similar way to bodybuilders. This isn’t particularly surprising when you see some JACKED physiques in wrestling, such as Cena, Lesnar, Dwayne Johnson and Triple H.

From studying his videos, Cena appears to perform pyramid sets for the compound lifts. A warmup set (which incidentally is heavier than most people’s max) of ten reps on bench press, followed by progressively heavier weights and lower reps. Pyramid sets are a truly effective way to increase your strength and power.

During interviews, Cena has mentioned that he follows a five-day training split. Bear in mind that this would not include the training he’d be doing for wrestling, nor would it include any choreography for films.

John Cena’s Workout Routine

john cena workout

Here is the 5 day split John Cena used to build one of the most impressive physiques in wrestling and Hollywood.

John used this workout to add 24 pounds of muscle in 7 months.

Day 1: Legs and Calves

  • Seated calf raises 10 x 20-10
  • Standing calf raises 4 x 25 (bodyweight only)
  • Standing single leg curls 4 x 20-25
  • Leg presses 5 x 20
  • Leg ext 4 x 15
  • Squats 4 x 10
  • Hack squats 3 x 15 supersetted with single leg extensions 3 x 10

Day 2: Chest

  • Incline machine press 5 x 20
  • Incline barbell press 5 x 20
  • Machine flies 3 x 15
  • Cable flies 3 x 15
  • Bench 3 x 10

Day 3: Arms

  • Preacher curls 5 x 12
  • Standing barbell curl 3 x 10-12
  • Seated dumbbell curl 3 x 10-12
  • Standing cable curl 3-4 x 12
  • Rope pressdowns 3 x 20 supersetted with single-arm cable pressdowns 3 x 10
  • Lying tricep extension 6 x failure
  • Overhead cambered ext 3 x 20
  • Seated barbell extension 3 x 20
  • Dips 4 x failure

Day 4: Shoulders

  • Rear delt machine flies 5 x 20
  • Machine overhead press 5 x 20
  • Machine side laterals 5 x 20
  • Seated military 3 x 10
  • Dumbbell laterals 3 x 12
  • Standing barbell press 3 x 10

Day 5: Back

  • Lat pulldowns 5 x 20
  • Bent barbell rows 5 x 12-20
  • One arm dumbbell rows 5 x 12-20
  • Deadlifts 4 x 8-15
  • High rows 4 x 20
  • Pullups 4 x failure
  • Shrugs 5 x 20

John Cena Workout Notes

  • John Cena performs 1 set of 60 crunches at the end of each training day.
  • John Cena focus on the use of high volume and “the pump” to build muscle.
  • John Cena stated that this workout helped him gain 24 pounds of muscle in only 7 months.

Summary

John Cena follows a high frequency workout program, training 5 days a week. This is a grueling schedule, considering he’d be training for wrestling on top of this. He does an insane amount of volume during his workouts, completing as many as 34 sets on arm day.

He also hits high rep ranges, doing as many as 20 reps to maximize the pump and increase time under tension. This is more of a bodybuilding training style, compared to that of a powerlifter or strongman.

This workout routine is just a glimpse into the work ethic of a man who became a wrestling and movie legend.

What do you think of John Cena’s workout routine? If you give it a try, let us know how you get on in the comments below. 

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Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw is the original founder of Muscle and Brawn, an experienced powerlifter with over 31 years experience pumping iron. During competition he’s recorded a 602.5lb squat, 672.5lb deadlift and a 382.5lb bench press.

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