Duane Johnson, AKA The Rock, Looks Better Slim Instead of Bulky

February 26, 2008

I was reading a post on a bodybuilding forum today where a bunch of guys were ripping on The Rock (Duane Johnson) for slimming down. They said he looks like a wimp now and that his legs are too small compared to his upper body, etc. This shows you how clueless and out of touch the bodybuilding forums are getting. The funny thing is that The Rock is still much more physically impressive at a lighter weight than most of these pudgy guys.
the rock duane johnson loses weight
[The Rock is an example of a “naturally big guy” who has slimmed down. He is slim and toned in respect to his larger frame. He is the ideal role model for the bigger guys out there.]

Pictured Below, What the Rock Used to Look Like

The Rock used to be a massive 270 pounds at the height of 6’3″. That is a big man! He had the typical “Professional Wrestler Build”…massive traps, huge legs butt and hips, no neck, and drooping pecs. This is a terrible and sloppy look. This is excessive muscle at its worst and women don’t enjoy this look for the most part. I am guessing that 95% of the fans of this type of wrestling are males around the age of 15-27. This is roughly the same demographics as the “hardcore” bodybuilding forums. Coincidence? I think not!

duane johnson
[This is what he looked like at his heaviest weight. Notice how his face looks pudgy and he has that “big-waist no-neck” look?]

Duane Has Lost 40-50 Pounds Since Retiring from Wrestling!

Rumor has it that Duane now weighs around 225 pounds. That is still big, but not for his large frame. At 6’3″ someone with a small frame who is slim and toned is typically around 180-190 pounds (I’m an example of this)…someone with a medium frame would be 190-210…a large frame guy would be 210-225 pounds. This is the typical weight range someone at 6’3″ would naturally have if they were in top condition without excessive muscle. The Rock looks outstanding these days!

the rock loses weight
[Duane can wear hip and funky clothes now that he is slim. He would look like a “tool” tying to pull this off at 275 pounds. Heck…he probably couldn’t even fit into the jeans!]

Being Slim is a Great Look for Him

He doesn’t impress the 15-27 year old male bodybuilding wannabe’s anymore. They like his old look better. When he was 275 pounds, I’m sure he could squat more and bench a ton! He probably was significantly stronger in the gym. I’m sure his arms were 3-4 inches bigger and his legs were a good 5-6 inches bigger around. These guys simply can’t imagine why anyone would slim down and drop muscle on purpose! You would think that this was a crime if you visited some of these forums! It’s all about “Lift Big or Go Home” in those places.

the rock wwe
[Yes, believe it or not some guys think that this is a better look! Yeah…seriously!]

The Rock is Another Example of How the “Big Look” is Dying

Who are the big action stars in Hollywood right now? I would say Matt Damon, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Daniel Craig, Will Smith…the list goes on. How many of these guys are big, massive guys? The answer is NONE of these guys are big bulky guys. I know this is a recurring theme on my site, but there really isn’t any benefit to excessive muscle. An exception would be a lineman in the NFL.

There Are Too Many Negatives With Excessive Muscle

Excessive muscle slows you down to where even simple tasks like walking up a few flights of stairs make you out of breath. You can’t fit into nice clothes. To maintain that amount of muscle you have to ingest an unhealthy amount of protein…which tears up your digestive system and gives you gas, etc. There are simply too many negatives for people to strive for this look anymore. If you are big, follow The Rock’s lead and slim down. I guarantee that you will like the way you look and feel at a lighter weight!

Warning: You may lose a bit of respect amongst the “hardcore” when they see you hitting cardio hard instead of living in the free weight room. You will probably lose a bit of strength, etc. This is a small price to pay for feeling healthier and attracting more women!

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

admin March 1, 2008 at 7:52 pm


Happy leap day to you as well! Yeah…The Rock looks way better now.


I think this diet would work well for someone to go from overweight to about an average level of body fat. If you want exceptional tone, then this probably wouldn’t do the trick. That being said, I’m a HUGE fan of Tim Ferriss and love his book, The 4 Hour Work Week. He seems like a great guy who lives an amazing lifestyle.


KK did an amazing job of answering your question. Thanks KK (yet Another model who reads this site…all the readers of this site are “really, really ridiculously good looking” as Zoolander would say).

I’m 6’3″ and look my best at 180-185. I would say you would look great hovering around 170. Make sure you read KK’s comments however. Ask KK some questions…what a great source of info!

It looks like you got your question in while I was writing this comment. An Abercrombie model is probably closer to 175…depending upon bone structure…they have a little more muscle than the European models.



James March 1, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Rusty, thanks man seriously… I think I will go with 170 as my ideal, sounds like it is a great “balance” between European Vogue and American buff jock. Awaiting your reply, KK and Rusty seriously man this site is an incredible resource I learned so much for free; Props to you!

Steve P March 1, 2008 at 9:48 pm


I think Duane Johnson has been reading your blog…! He looks so much healthier (and no longer cheezy) at a slimmer build, but still obviously in great shape. Jennifer must be right, I bet he can do a lot more pull-ups now. I wonder if he’s upset his ass is no longer the size of a Buick now he’s squatting less..?

I saw him on a British chat show last night, he comes across as a really intelligent and charming guy who knows a lot about physical training. He has chosen the healthiest lifestyle option of looking slim and toned now he no longer needs the excessively muscular physique after retiring from wrestling.

Stephen March 2, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Hi Rusty

i came across your site a few months ago and i cant stay away from it. Im 22 now and i wen tthrough that want to be massive phase and i was starting to think differently when i first came across your site and after reading i have changed my mind completely, i cant even imagine why i wanted ot look big and bulky.

Luckily a combination of lifting big, not training regularly due to college and being naturally slim has resulted in having the type of body you endorse on this site. Big coincidence i guess.
Anyway i just want to work on my muscle tone and getting even leaner.

And yes the rock looks so much better leaner, as you say in another article being lean makes your face look better and it is working wonders for him.


admin March 2, 2008 at 4:11 pm


Thanks buddy…I appreciate the steady comments I’ve been receiving from the posts. Those of us who blog like two things:

1) Comments from people when we post. We like to know that there are readers reading our posts. If you learn something on any blog you visit, leave a comment even if it isn’t a question.

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Shameless plug: To subscribe, enter your e-mail address in the upper right hand corner and click “subscribe”. You will only get e-mails when I make a new post (3-4 times per week).

Steve P,

I wouldn’t be surprised if a few celebrities have reached this site. I’m all over Google for a gazillion “fitness” terms. They are people too, who cruise the web to find info and entertainment. I would love it if Duane read my blog, but that would be a stretch. He looks great now and does seem like a very intelligent and better yet, humble guy.


I wish I could go back in time and speak to myself when I was in college. All the regular fit looking guys were the ones meeting the most women. I did okay with girls back then, but would have met quite a few more if I didn’t look like an obsessed bodybuilder wannabe. The look to aim for is “looking good, without looking like you are trying to look good” (Dave Navarro). Focus on getting lean and slim with nice abs. Your face will look better, your social life will be better, and you will feel better. Honestly, I see nothing but positives. Let the other guys compete with each other in the free weight room…you will “kick their butt” in the real world, so to speak.

Have a great one!


James March 2, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Rusty, one observation I made is guys who are too buff look “generic” if that makes sense. It really ruins a look if you happen to be a naturally handsome guy but are too big, it kind of takes away from your natural good looks and makes you “just another big doofus”, does that make sense?

Ron March 2, 2008 at 7:55 pm

He does look better. Now if only he could land some decent roles!

karie March 3, 2008 at 11:24 am

love the article. i’m not sure if this is the place to put this but as a women i have gained a lot of muscle from the advice of all the fitness magazines. i’m now larger muscle size then i would like to be. i like the look of being thin and toned. i’m very lean but my muscles are to bulky for my liking. any chance you will write an article geared toward women lifting weights? or have you done so and i over looked it? any types on what i should do now?

admin March 3, 2008 at 12:55 pm


That actually makes a lot of sense! Great way of wording what happens when someone gets too massive.


Common! You didn’t like “Walking Tall”? Me neither!


What you need to applies to the guys as well. Make sure you don’t lift with too much volume. A high volume of sets and reps builds bigger muscles. Lift fewer sets for fewer reps and then spend a lot of time in the cardio section of the gym. For someone who is trying to lose muscle bulk this is even more important. Also…it is even more important to do this under a calorie deficit if you want to slim down.

Hope that helps!


bernardo March 4, 2008 at 9:02 pm

hi rusty,

i think the rock looks great, and in hollywood you need to look better. and of course with the exception of the governor. may i ask what kind of routine the rock is using. thanks

KK March 5, 2008 at 11:12 pm


in those days at 6’2 I was usually around 180 ripped; I have a medium sized ecto-mesomorphic frame. I looked thin wearing clothes, but when I took off my shirt clients could see that I was very toned. Remember, you add about 10lbs. in photos/film. So, Mark Vanderloo (my old roomate) was a toothpick in person but in photos looked much more muscular. If you want to do A&F type stuff, I would say stay between 175-180. Clients hate it when you don’t fit in the clothes. However, in Miami you could be more buff and do swimsuits. The pay is generally between $1250-$1500/day for catalog. For magazine/editorial you make $150-$250/day. Of course, you need to do editorial to get more catalog! If your plan does not involve Europe, then LA is much more of a commercial market, lots of commercials but very little print. The only big client I used to get booked for in LA was Macy’s out of San Fran. The agencies I suggest in LA for your type of look would be LA Models and Ford. Hope this helps a little… Peace.

Matt March 7, 2008 at 1:15 am


As someone who is a similar build to yourself (6’4″ 195 lbs., but after reading your posts about having defined abs and a chisled face, figuring that 180-185 would be optimal) I was wondering if you have figured out what brands of clothing tend to fit us tall and thin guys the best? In my experience United Colors of Benneton clothing fits by far the best of any brands I’ve tried.

Also a question for you or maybe KK – Any suggestions on how to give modeling a shot? I have had many people over the years tell me that I should be a model but because I’m not very familiar with the business and I don’t live in a big city I’ve never tried. I would definetely want to shed those last 10 lbs. or so first. I would guess my look would fit into the European category as everyone describes it as “different”. Also is 6’4″ 185lbs a reasonable size or just too big?

All responses are appreciated and thanks again Rusty for the great blog. This site has become my “one stop shop” for all my fitness info.


admin March 8, 2008 at 3:44 am


I’m not sure what the Rock does for a workout. He looks great. I have to assume that he has added a decent amount of cardio.


Great advice to give to James. That is extremely helpful. Very few people get to ask detailed questions to a person who has seen it all in the industry.
Mark Vanderloo
[Here’s a picture of KK’s old roommate Mark Vanderloo, in case you don’t recognize his name. You think ladies find slim guys like this attractive? Dumb question!]


KK is definitely the guy to ask about modeling. I don’t have any experience at all in modeling. As far as clothes go. I have a hard time finding jeans that are long enough. I find that slim boot cut Guess Jeans are long enough. They aren’t ridiculously overpriced.

I like http://www.buckle.com. You can find a wide variety of premium jeans that don’t cost $300+. You can get a pretty decent pair of funky straight leg designer jeans for $100-$120. All sort of washes, etc. Pretty decent fitted button up shirts for tall athletic guys as well. Express for Men has good stuff, but not as fitted for guys who are in really good shape. Abercrombie is great for Board Shorts or Long cargo shorts. Urban Outfitters is good for the Emo look, but not good “going out” wear for the evenings. But again…if I chose just one store for tall guys in great shape, it would have to be Buckle…they have stuff tailored for guys who are in exceptionally good shape. Great for guys who are a regular height as well.

Hope that helps,


James March 8, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Hey KK thanks man, so if you were 6’2 180 did you model designer fashion and walk down the runway or did you do more editorial/ fitness type stuff? I always find it interesting how the standard for fashion models is supposedly 140-165 pounds but the “top models” all seem to be 170-180.

Matt, I really like Banana Republic as a store in general and they have tall sizes in a lot of shirts that really work well for me, I’m 6’1 so kind of between average and tall but I have a long torso (wear long size suits) and long arms. A medium from Banana in tall length works perfect for me.

Rusty, just wanted to let you know I just subscribed, keep up the awesome site!

admin March 9, 2008 at 9:13 pm


Thanks for subscribing!

A Shameless Plug:
For those of you who get a lot out of reading this blog, consider “subscribing”…it is free and you basically get an e-mail whenever I make a new post. All you have to do is go to the upper right hand corner of my site and enter your e-mail address and click “subscribe”.

Blog owners like me measure our success to a certain extent by the number of subscribers we have. It would be greatly appreciated.


Sujeli March 13, 2008 at 11:52 am

I loved The Rock then and I love him even more now (if that’s possible!). He looks incredible! He’s gorgeous, healthy, has a great personality and I totally agree that he’s a great role model for not over doing the muscle. Did I mention how gorgeous he is?

The Rock’s #1 fan

admin March 14, 2008 at 3:25 am


Yep, The Rock is cool as hell. Sounds like everyone likes this guy.


James April 1, 2008 at 11:37 am

hey Rusty
i agree with you the lean GQ look is the way to go thats what am trying to do now. Am a netural big guy most ppl would say but i feel like i wanna get smaller but its takeing forever 4 me. Today am going to start the jump rope program that i saw on ur site. and when it comes to my diet am going to start the warrior diet am 5 10 and weight is 210 what would u saw should be my apporiate size.,

RockStar June 9, 2008 at 12:06 am

Here is a link to the Rock’s workout routine as described by Men’s Health magazine:


Odin July 21, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Do you take any supplements like creatine? or just whey? Or none?

adam July 23, 2008 at 8:59 pm

I would love to meet the rock Daune Johnson I have friend who looks just like him can be his clone or double

Ray December 8, 2008 at 4:42 pm

What guys like you seem to forget is impressing the ladies isn’t the only reason guys work out. It’s to achieve personal goals and sometimes if someone notices your work, even more so if it’a a guy who understands bodybuilding, it’s a compliment. It’s secondly not fair to say that girls don’t care about the big look. Plenty do. Plenty of girls pack up clubs that the “juiceheads” stay at. I’m not suggesting taking performance enhancing drugs. I’m against them, never have tried, and never will. But stop speaking for everyone. Soem people tend to do that and tend to say things like “You don’t have to be big, and the big look is out and you don’t have to lift that much weight and bla” Speak for yourself. it IS important to some one how much they bench. It doesn’t make you a “MEAThead” and it doesn’t put you in a young or immature crowd. I am 31 years old and understand it. It’s about mental well being. Now I personally think the Rock looks great now. However, I thought he looked great big too. I am more impressed by him than other wrestlers because of his athletic ability. People want to see big. He may look great now but it is more impressive to see a guy whose 6’4″ 275 than a guy that IS 6 4 225. It just is.

BigDan April 8, 2009 at 10:38 pm

I can’t believe this was the first article I found when I typed in “the rock looks slimmer” It is a great article and very easing to my mind. In High School I was a skinny cross country runner, picked on I was 6’4 180lbs when I graduated. It constantly haunted me, I watched the rock and just though,man, If I was that big no one would mess with me. I dedicated myself to the gym starting in 2002, seeing slow gains at first, I was consistent, 5-6 days in the gym pounding away, lifting more, eating more. Finally in 2004 I got up to 235, this was when I was givin the name “Big” Dan. But I desired to be like triple H, the Rock, and Hogan, the larger than life guys. Big just wasnt big enough. I got a raw bench press of 525 pounds, no shirt, no steroids…raw. I deadlifted 605 with no straps. My weight was 280 at my biggest, I look and still do look just like the rock, literally, Ill send you a pic!

My current weight is 270, I have the exactl look of him in his peak and I tell you, you cannot find clothes. I wear a 4X shirt, a 54 long suit with a 40 pant . YOu cannot wear fashionable clothes, you have to shop at big and tall, and you are deemed a meathead. Guys are scared of you and think its cool, but women much rather look at a lean cut muscular guy than a bulked up scary guy! The rock now looks great. I am going to work my weigh down to about 240 or 230 so I can feel faster, leaner, and fit into clothes…great article thank you!

JR May 19, 2009 at 8:28 pm

“If ya smelllllllll…what the Rock……is….cookin!”


WAWA June 19, 2009 at 1:11 pm

The Rock looks great! Dont change a thing! Hes more sexy this way i think.

Frank July 16, 2009 at 4:35 pm

HI . I just read your comment regard the excerpt from the 2003 Mens Journal.. Would anyone happen to have acopy of this please?

Jimiray April 2, 2010 at 3:46 am

I do martial arts, judo and taekwondo. would i be better heavier or lighter? must i sacrifice strength for speed and better looks? i am really confused. Please help. is there a way i can enjoy both? perhaps with kettlebell? btw , i think the rock looks better now, esp in the movie with that little girl, cant remember..

Danny November 18, 2010 at 1:32 am

Bruce Lee was extremely strong, as strong he could be I’d venture to say and still he had a low BMI, a light weight and a small figure.
You don’t need to be heavy to be strong.

hero April 5, 2011 at 12:04 am

the rock is back……….. candy asses

Mark - Look Sharp Fitness April 24, 2011 at 9:03 am

It really is ashame that so many young males fall into the “I need to get as huge as possible” look. Since I myself am only 15, I have many friends who are already asking how they can get bigger and bigger and I keep telling them that it isn’t the way to go.

They will just laugh at me and tell me that the girls love huge muscles. I have never really told them the truth that girls don’t love the meat-head look. I will let them find that out on their own and then I will be the one laughing when I get all the girls 🙂

Ryan LEblanc April 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

Well i seen Fast Five lastnite and the rock looked huge! His arms are massive bug he doesnt look bulky. I think he contrated mostly on his arms to prepare for the film

Delano Atlantic City May 29, 2011 at 1:31 am

I feel he is still a rock, regardless what size it is, any rock thrown at you will hurt, if thrown hard enough. Duane is a good rock so he’s not tryin to hurt anyone, and he look better lighter to me, but it’s not about me it’s about him, if he like it, then we should like it.
He has a great personality and respect for all, so let all love and respect him, he’s a good role model. You go rock, rock this place.

Fashionable Clothing October 30, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I love Rock. But I’m sad that he is not fighting in wrestlemania 🙁

Becky January 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

If I remember rightly The Rock bulked up before Fast 5 due to his preperations to return to WWE, as he is going back to wrestle again for a while. And even though he looks good slimmed down, he looks REALLY good bulked up. But at least he doesnt look like he did when he first started his WWF career, that was just too much.

James June 9, 2012 at 3:24 am

What a stupid article. Doing pansy cardio exercises so you can fit into nice clothes and attract more women?

Get a life where your opinion of yourself doesn’t depend on how others perceive you

nick June 21, 2012 at 2:41 am

rusty your work is brilliant! u deserve an oscar! i better do some w ork noww, iv been logged in for a h.lolo

Travis June 30, 2012 at 8:38 pm

You hit the nail on the head about Rock’s transformation, too me this is the ideal look of a man,and at his weight these days, the hardcore bodybuilding fanboys are too damn dumb to realize he is far from being at a skinny and wimpy size. You don’t have to weigh 275 to 350 pounds to be strong, you don’t have to be a no-neck,midget headed,ugly fuck,to bodyslam and throw people around. Vince McMahon (The Rocks old employer) is a pudgy, muscle bound freak himself, at 6’2 235 lbs, he thrives on the human male looking like apes

DC July 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I would have to agree with being all muscle at a less weight (200-225 pound frame) instead of being combined muscle with bulk and fat (260+ pound frame). I myself feel underweight, but I know I am all lean muscle (6’2″ 180 pounds) and could take down my friends who outweigh me by 30+ pounds because they are alot of fat with less muscle. The rock looks better slim and I think that Arnold looked his best in the movie Commando. The only person I think that actually looks good at a big size would be Bill Goldberg. In his later years in wrestling and acting roles he looked perfect at a big size still because he is the definition of all muscle and power while not looking too ridiculously muscle bound or pudgy. Something just doesn’t sit right with me when thinking of a small Goldberg. Interesting points here, respect them as they are individual opinions.

stan October 23, 2012 at 9:22 am

he probably is slimming down now , because at an older age working out is tougher , so to prevent becoming fat hes slimming down

Jack November 12, 2012 at 2:00 am

What a ridiculous article. As someone else has said in the comments section, stop trying to speak for everyone. I’m 20, dating a 27-year-old, and she fucking loves the big look. It makes the age gap pretty much void because it doesn’t look like she’s dating a skinny youngster.

As someone who is naturally big, hitting the gym and getting into bodybuilding definitely helped me in terms of self-esteem, confidence, and it opens up a whole other world, as well as giving me something to do when I’m not in university and don’t want to sit on my ass all day like a lot of people do.

If a guy wants to be big, let him be big. In my experience, it’ll be better for him than your advice of getting slim so you can fit into your girl jeans from Hot Topic and brag to girls about your sensitive side.

Jay December 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I agree with you on the vast majority of this article; however, your comment about unhealthy amounts of protein is invalid. Recently, took many studies have come out showing there are very few if any unhealthy side effects with high protein diets (unless the individual is eating above their caloric baseline). There was also another study that showed no difference in long term kidney disease between groups that consumed low protein and normal protein amounts. Which pretty much busts the use of the Brenner Hypothesis showing that protein is “bad”. Furthermore, the research I am currently reviewing shows that raising protein to 1.5g/kg in clinical populations during hypocaloric/low calorie diets has a fat free mass sparing effect. There is some thought that athletes with some muscle mass may even want to go higher than this. This would be a useful strategy for the vast majority of the patrons on this website. I see what you are saying with the high protein potentially being dangerous, if high fatty sources of protein are being consumed. Do not be so generic when you bash protein..most people would do better eating more lean protein and cutting their carb intake back a tad.

Nick April 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm

He’s huge again, every bit as big as he was before, but far more ripped up, and 9/10 women I talk to think he’s the hottest thing in pro wrestling next that dude with the alpha jaw, John Cena…who has more muscle than the Rock does lol. This is yet another example of an ignorant post that sounds like someone small trying to convince themselves that big muscles mean shit, so they don’t worry as much about not having them. So if a bigger person wears the same clothes as a smaller person, they’re a tool? That makes sense. Maybe you want them to walk around naked? Wtf. Next, apparently you haven’t actually watched one of the Rock’s matches, as he had no issues with endurance. Much like many other bigger wrestlers, football players, etc.(really – how ignorant are you?). I’m 275lbs at 17% bodyfat, and I ingest about 175 grams of protein a day, which is probably more than I actually need to continue gaining, but hardly unhealthy. Finally…gas? Are you kidding? So that’s a terrible negative to eating high protein levels, but when it comes from eating plenty of fruits and vegetables(which it will, far more so than some protein powder), you’re ok with that gas?
Stop talking. The world’s overall I.Q. drops with each ignorant comment you utter.

Rakib May 11, 2013 at 8:37 am

I don’t know much about bodybuilding but i like the way he looks.

Mike Mac July 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Nick I don’t know who you are, but you talk a lot of sense fella!

You Mr Spock’d it!

You can’t argue with logic!

The joker who wrote this article wasn’t looking at any facts just his own jaded opinion, of what is, or isn’t attractive. Granted a well conditioned balanced muscular form is far more attractive than one that is just large and bulky, but that’s a bit like saying you’ll look better and br fitter if you lose body fat weight. Its a no brainer! As your aesthetics and golden ratio adjusts accordingly, you will naturally look more pleasing to the eye anyway.

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