6 Week Hercules Workout - Build A Powerful, Commanding & Functional Physique

Brad Borland
Written By: Brad Borland
July 7th, 2014
Updated: June 13th, 2020
Categories: Workouts Celebrity
120.9K Reads
Are you ready to go to war? Brad Borland presents a six week program designed to conquer your goals. It's time to build a god-like body and have the strength-levels to back it up.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Full Body
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration6 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout60-75 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Recommended Supps
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

Brad Borland is a strength & conditioning specialist, cancer survivor and the founder of WorkoutLab.

Hercules: The Thracian Wars tells the incredible story of the infamous son of Zeus and the challenges he faced solidifying himself as a mythological legend. Replete with the skills for battle and mountains of muscle and strength to boot, Hercules was well-suited to exist in such a world of lore.

A similar comparison can be made of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s prep for the role. No stranger to social media, The Rock took to Twitter and Instagram detailing, motivating and firing up his fans during his grueling 5am training sessions each and every day. “Focus” was a term often stressed keeping his fans on their toes as well as on the weights.

You can’t help but get motivated to the nth degree by both Hercules and the real life Rock smashing the weights and some heads. If you’ve followed the first Hercules Workout at all you know what it takes to build real, brutal muscle, quickly. By now you’ve built an impressive physique of raw muscle and strength with that program. Now it’s time to continue on your saga with more mass in mind, but with a slight shift.

Not only will you build more muscle mass with this Hercules-inspired workout, you will now challenge your mettle by refining that mass a bit accomplishing more muscularity and a brutal calorie burn.

The New Rules of War

Enough with the formalities, let’s get to work on your Hercules physique in the making. The “keep it simple” mantra will still apply here – complication equals frustration and you have more important things to worry about, like surviving the program.

Multi-joint, compound movements are also still in full force as the absolute best mass builders around. These moves give you the biggest bang for your buck packing on the mass quickly and efficiently while not wasting any of your time in the gym. Some single-joint moves will be implemented, but they will be basic in nature. No biceps pose cable curls here.

  1. This program will have you training in two, three week phases. The first is heavy, brutal and will lay the foundation for what is to come. The second phase will have you working in a higher rep range, but that is no excuse to go light. If you’ve done the first Hercules program you know how you will need to push yourself.
  2. You will train three days per week such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday or any other combination. Just be sure these specific training days are on nonconsecutive days.
  3. In weeks 4-6, two days per week you will perform a high-intensity conditioning workout. This will help keep your metabolism ramped up and unveil all that muscle you’ve built.
  4. Always execute proper form and technique. Leave your ego at the front door of the gym and use weights you can actually handle. Heaving up too much weight you have no business lifting is a surefire recipe for disaster.
  5. Another essential requirement for this program is the warm-up. Priming the body for the work to come is imperative for long-term success. Without a proper warm-up injury isn’t just a thought, it can become a quick and unwelcome reality.
  6. Try the program for six weeks or repeat it again for your own twelve weeks of labor with a week off or low intensity between.

Hercules - Dwayne Johnson

The New Six Week Hercules Muscle and Strength Program

As stated earlier, this six week program will have you training to add muscle for three days per week and a metabolic conditioning primer two days per week in weeks 4-6. You will hit it hard and heavy the first three weeks and then for the second three weeks your reps will increase along with the pace. The key is to stay consistent and plow through the program. Try increasing the amount you use or reps each session gradually with good form and technique. Time to go to war!

Dynamic Warm-Up

Perform the following warm-up prior to each session to prep the body and raise body temperature for the work ahead. This will be in addition to your body part-specific warm-up sets.

Do one or two rounds of:

  • Push-ups – 15 reps
  • Prisoner squats – 15 reps
  • Inverted row – 15 reps
  • Burpees – 15 reps
  • Hanging leg raises – 15 reps

Weeks 1-3

For the first three weeks you will alternate between each exercise pairing. Not necessarily a superset per se but for example: You will do a set of one exercise, rest and then a set of the other exercise and then rest again. Keep alternating between the two moves and rest after each set and then move on to the next pairing.

Session 1
Weeks 1-3
Exercise Warm Up Sets Work Sets Rest (Sec)
Alternate sets of:      
Partial deadlift 2x12 3x5-8 60
Lying leg curl 2x12 3x5-8 60
Alternate sets of:      
Flat bench barbell press 2x12 3x5 60
Barbell row 2x12 3x5 60
Alternate sets of:      
Dumbbell side lateral   3x5 60
Dumbbell shrug   3x5 60
Alternate sets of:      
Barbell curl   3x5 60
Lying barbell triceps extension   3x5 60
3-way incline board sit-up and standing calf raise   3x20, 3x5-8  
Session 2
Weeks 1-3
Exercise Warm Up Sets Work Sets Rest (Sec)
Alternate sets of:      
Barbell back squat 2x12 3x5-8 60
Dumbbell Stiff Leg deadlift 2x12 3x5-8 60
Alternate sets of:      
Incline bench dumbbell press 2x12 3x5-8 60
Two-arm dumbbell row 2x12 3x5-8 60
Alternate sets of:      
Standing military press   3x5-8 60
Single leg calf raise   3x5-8 60
Alternate sets of:      
Standing dumbbell hammer curl   3x5-8 60
Parallel bar dip   3x5-8 60
Hanging leg raise and crunch   3x20  
Session 3
Weeks 1-3
Exercise Warm Up Sets Work Sets Rest (Sec)
Alternate sets of:      
Leg press 2x12 3x5-8 60
Barbell RDL or Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 2x12 3x5-8 60
Alternate sets of:      
Flat bench dumbbell press 2x12 3x5-8 60
Neutral grip pull-up 2x12 3x5-8 60
Alternate sets of:      
Seated dumbbell shoulder press   3x5-8 60
Dumbbell upright row   3x5-8 60
Alternate sets of:      
Standing dumbbell curl   3x5-8 60
Close-grip bench press   3x5-8 60
Bicycle crunch and seated calf raise   3x20, 3x5-8  

Hercules - Dwayne Johnson

Weeks 4-6

For the second three weeks you will perform more superset-style workouts. The difference here from the alternating sets will boil-down to rest periods. No rest will be taken during supersets. You can either rest one minute after each superset is completed or, for a more intense workout, wait until all supersets are done for the particular pair of exercises and then rest one minute.

Session 1
Weeks 4-6
Exercise Warm Up Sets Work Sets Rest (Sec)
Barbell front squat 2x12 3x10-12 -
Dumbbell reverse lunge 2x12 3x10-12 60
Incline bench barbell press 2x12 3x10-12 -
Wide-grip pull-up 2x12 3x10-12 60
Wide-grip barbell upright row   3x10-12 -
Arnold press   3x10-12 60
Incline dumbbell curl   3x10-12 -
Lying dumbbell extension   3x10-12 60
Hanging leg raise and seated calf raise   3x20, 3x10-12  
Session 2
Weeks 4-6
Exercise Warm Up Sets Work Sets Rest (Sec)
Barbell deadlift 2x12 3x10-12 -
Seated leg curl 2x12 3x10-12 60
Flat bench dumbbell press 2x12 3x10-12 -
Barbell row 2x12 3x10-12 60
Standing dumbbell lateral raise   3x10-12 -
Front plate raise   3x10-12 60
Reverse-grip barbell curl   3x10-12 -
Parallel bar dips   3x10-12 60
3-way sit-up and single leg calf raise   3x20, 3x10-12  
Session 3
Weeks 4-6
Exercise Warm Up Sets Work Sets Rest (Sec)
Bulgarian split squat 2x12 3x10-12 -
Dumbbell Stiff Leg deadlift 2x12 3x10-12 60
Incline bench dumbbell press or incline Hammer Strength press 2x12 3x10-12 -
Inverted row 2x12 3x10-12 60
Standing barbell shoulder press   3x10-12 -
Bent-over dumbbell lateral   3x10-12 60
Barbell spider curl   3x10-12 -
Dumbbell over triceps extension   3x10-12 60
Crunch and standing calf raise   3x20, 3x10-12  

Conditioning days

Two days per week in weeks 4-6 you will perform the following conditioning day.

The mode of cardio will be your choice such as treadmill, elliptical machine, bike, sprints, swimming, sled, kettlebells, etc. or any combination.

30 minutes of HIIT-style training: 5 minute warm-up, 30 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity for a total of 14 intervals then 4 minutes of cool-down.

Posted on: Thu, 09/16/2021 - 02:39

Hi! I'm planning to start this program. Do I understand correctly that Phase 1 is more for strength and Phase 2 is for muscle building?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 10/04/2021 - 21:25

Hey Mark, that is correct.

aamast khan
Posted on: Fri, 08/14/2015 - 20:16

hey brad i m impressed by ur workout routine n i want to know that can i perform diz workout routine after 1 years gap cuz on monday m goin to tak my beast mode on....n what kind of supplement do i require to have for this routine i thot mass gainer,whey n glutamine vil b helpful wid diz routine whats iz ur thought abt it

Posted on: Wed, 02/18/2015 - 14:24

This isn't Dwayne Johnsons Routine at all-
1.The Rock ate 6000 calories Aday.
He also did 50 minuetes of STEADY STATE cardio not 14 min of HIIT . I don't know the rocks exact routine by heart but know this isn't it at all go visit Popworkouts.com for his real routine

Posted on: Wed, 02/18/2015 - 15:40

Yep, we've pretty much established the fact that Brad's workouts are not the actual ones used by the actors in these movies.

Posted on: Sat, 12/13/2014 - 15:05

Hey brad could you post Joe Manganiello"s workout ? :D

Posted on: Wed, 02/18/2015 - 15:29

Ha, good one. :)

Shubham Mishra
Posted on: Sun, 10/05/2014 - 10:34

Hi Brad,
I have been an avid follower of your articles here at M&S. Love your approach! I will start training tomorrow after a layoff of over six months and this is the workout I will follow.... going to take it easy with the weights though. Three cheers to you from India and keep up the good work!!
p.s : really loved the calf article on workoutlab man!!

Posted on: Fri, 09/19/2014 - 09:52

You are all morons. Sounds like none of you knows anything about training.

Posted on: Wed, 08/20/2014 - 11:06

Guys, this may not be the exact same workout as Dwayne Johnson but what works for him might not work for you. For example, I believe that he has knee problems so he stays away from barbell squats. But if the conditions are right for you to squat 95% of trainers and coaches in the world would recommend you get under a bar as research proves compound movements like that are best for packing on muscle and improving hormone function such as testosterone and GH. I'm not trying to start an arguement but the protocol Brad laid out for us could give anybody great results because it resorts back to the basics. It may not be exactly Dwayne's hercules workout but it is geared towards the same goal, building muscle and strength. I did the first Hercules program for nine weeks and experienced great gains and I'm really looking forward to starting this program in the fall. Thanks again guys.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 08/21/2014 - 09:02

Thanks, Marc. Couldn't said it better myself. I am glad you got such great gains from the first program. This one will definitely be a great challenge.

You get the point of the article. It is inspired by Hercules, so more power to you!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 08/03/2014 - 10:19

Can't we all just get along? Just as Steve said, we are here to inspire people to get out and train. I challenge you to give both Hercules workouts a try. If you can't because of creative opinions, then so be it. I just know that the programs I write will and do help people reach there goals.

I write articles like this because people get pumped up and inspired with a themed article. It's fun to imagine yourself as a superhero or mythical character crushing the weights in the gym and building a strong, powerful physique. If a little movie inspiration offends you this much, simply go to my author page and find many more programs to try:


As always, thanks for reading and happy lifting!

Posted on: Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:51

if this isn't the official dwayne johnson workout then why is it placed in the celebrity workout category? agree with others that its confusing.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 07/29/2014 - 12:35

We place celebrity and theme-based workouts in the same category.

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 08:19

Utter BS. Can't stand it when trainers deliberately misrepresent programs as the ones used by celebrities to prepare for a movie role. The actors used customized training and nutrition protocols designed specifically for them. The only thing this article has in common with the program used by Dwayne Johnson is that there were weights involved.

Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 09:31

Hi Augie,
No where in the article do I deliberately say this is the exact Rock workout. Take the time to read the entire article. Thanks for visiting and good luck with your goals.

Posted on: Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:48

Steve, that's like including fine print in a legal disclaimer that a product doesn't do what it says it does. This workout references the first one that Brad wrote. And if you google "dwayne johnson hercules workout" you'll find a link to called called "Dwayne Johnson Hercules Workout: Build Raw Muscle And Strength". That makes it very easy to get the wrong impression that this is the authentic training program used by Johnson in the movie. In fact, one member even asks Brad "is that the real hercules workout?" and Brad chose to ignore it.

Nothing has changed with sequel workout and IMO it detracts to a trainer's credibility when they write movie/actor "Inspired" programs knowing that its misleading.

Posted on: Tue, 07/29/2014 - 09:13

Augie you are starting to look foolish. "Inspired" is pretty cut and dried. Let it go.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 07/29/2014 - 09:17

We do not try to deliberately mislead folks here at M&S. I work hard with the authors to provide quality workouts and information that assist people in reaching their goals.

We do everything within our power to inspire and motivate folks to exercise. Different people are motivated by different things. Many folks will be motivated to lift and hit the gym after seeing Hercules. Our job at M&S is not to judge what motivates people to lift, but to help them regardless of where they find motivation.

This is not a misleading action. We are all motivated in different ways. We want to see everyone succeed regardless of what motivates them.

You are making a conscious choice to view us in a cynical manner. Neither myself or Brad would ever try to mislead anyone. We are both in this industry to help folks. Brad is a cancer survivor and outside my work at M&S I am a coach. We both understand that motivation is critical. It's imperative to find a person's motivation and foster it.

Posted on: Wed, 07/30/2014 - 23:27

Not saying you're deliberately trying to mislead people. But that doesn't mean that these workouts aren't misleading. Look at the other people here and in the first Dwayne Johnson/Hercules program that had to ask if these workout were authentic or post comments to let others know that they weren't. And I agree with the comment posted earlier, when list a workout as "6 Week Dwayne Johnson Hercules Workout" then you know that people are expecting it to be legit.

Posted on: Wed, 08/27/2014 - 08:02

Whether misleading or not, you made a choice to come to this website and make your cynical views. here's a idea if you dont like dont do it.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/28/2014 - 09:06

"Not only will you build more muscle mass with this Hercules-inspired workout"

^ The word inspired implies that this is not the Rock's workout. This workout is inspired by the movie. It was never positioned as Dwayne Johnson's workout.

Posted on: Sun, 07/27/2014 - 15:27

Brad, I read the entire article and nowhere does it state that this isn't a Rock workout. But that's the implication when you post these programs using references to the Hercules movie and Dwayne Johnson. Scroll up and you'll see that someone else already commented about this not being an official program for Johnson. This happens all the time when a superhero movie comes out. Trainers post programs implying that this is the same training that's used by the actor to get their physique in hopes that people will jump on board. It doesn't matter if it's Dwayne Johnson (Hercules), Brad Pitt (Troy), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America), etc., if it's not the official training program used by the actor then at least stipulate this so you're not misleading the readers.

Posted on: Tue, 07/29/2014 - 13:05

I disagree. Title of these workouts clearly state 6 Week Dwayne Johnson Hercules Workout and Hercules Workout: Build Raw Muscle And Strength. That's definitely misleading whether it's intentional or not. If these aren't the genuine workouts then make it clear with a disclaimer so people don't get confused.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 10:57

The article doesn't say this is the Rock's workout. It's a Hercules-inspired program designed to help lifters achieve the goals of size and functional strength,

Posted on: Sun, 07/13/2014 - 10:38

The Rock posted his work out on instagram and this isn't it.

Posted on: Thu, 07/10/2014 - 00:35

Do we perform the dynamic warm-up for weeks 4-6 as we do for weeks 1-3?

Posted on: Thu, 07/10/2014 - 14:00

Hi Nathan,

Posted on: Sun, 07/13/2014 - 10:39

or you can follow the rock on istagram and get the real workout he did