How TCK Dwayne Johnson Rocks Health and Culture

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 05: Dwayne Johnson attends the 2018 LA Family Housing Awards at The Lot in West Hollywood on April 5, 2018 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is currently the highest paid actor in Hollywood, but his upbringing made his accomplishments no easy feat.

Cross Cultural Beginnings

Dwayne Johnson, The Rock, Ata Johnson
Dwayne Johnson and his mother Ata Johnson. Photo by Barry King/WireImage, courtesy of Getty Images.

Growing up, Dwayne Johnson and his parents traveled and moved around constantly. While he was born in California, the family relocated to New Zealand, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Florida. The Third Culture Kid‘s life has revolved around growth and learning. Johnson’s father is a black Nova Scotian wrestler, while his mother is Samoan. This multi-cultural identity is rare, especially in the United States. In the 2017 census, the number of Americans who identified as both “Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander” and “Black or African American” was only 50,308. This is less than 0.1 percent of the total population.

Feminine influence has also been significant to Johnson’s life. Johnson is a self described feminist, who has partly credited his success to being surrounded by strong women. In this respect, Johnson offers a unique and valuable perspective to the health and media world. 

Growing up, Johnson learned the importance of balancing both health and a career. As Johnson’s family lived with little money, he turned to sports as a feasible future.

Life-Long Athlete

Johnson is known for his acting career at this point in his life. However, acting wasn’t always his dream. During his time at the University of Miami, Johnson had aspirations of making it to the NFL.

Johnson played on the defensive line while playing for the Hurricanes, but he was replaced early in his collegiate career. According to Richard Johnson of, Johnson’s NFL dreams were snuffed out by another defensive lineman who became a household name as well.

In the article, Johnson talks about how Warren Sapp switched from being a tight end for the Hurricanes to the defensive line. This is where Johnson’s football career began to falter.

According to the article, Sapp and Johnson went back and forth about Sapp taking the starting spot from Johnson on the defensive line.

“I went down and sat in the D-lineman room… and Dewey [Johnson’s UM nickname] walks in and says, ‘ What are you doing here?’ I looked at him and said, ‘I’m here for your job, b—h,” said Sapp.

Johnson responded by saying, “Like true defensive linemen would do, full of ego, especially down at Miami because we all talked trash, I said, ‘Well, you ain’t taking my spot… Then about six months later, he took my spot.’”

While many believe that his football career was cut short by injuries, Johnson credits Sapp with him not making it into the NFL.

“…I didn’t make it to the NFL because of one man. That’s Warren Sapp.” Johnson said.

Dwayne Johnson, The Rock, Wrestler
World Wrestling Federation’s Wrestler Rock Poses June 12, 2000 In Los Angeles, Ca. (Photo By Getty Images)

After football, Johnson went into professional wrestling for the WWE. Much like his father, WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson, he had a lot of success in the ring.

According to his profile on, Johnson has accumulated eight WWE WrestleMania championships since his debut in 1996. He faced off against some of the biggest names in the sport like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and Triple H. After several years in professional wrestling, he was offered starring roles in Hollywood, adding him to the A-list of celebrities.  

Can You Smell What The Rock is Cooking?

Known for his sculpted physique, The Rock follows a strict regimen of clean eating and exercise to maintain his toned appearance. The athlete-turned-actor admits it’s “all about hard work, discipline and balance.”

The six-foot-five actor’s diet is packed with lean protein, grains and vegetables to build muscle. He told that “egg whites, filet mignon, chicken, fish, oatmeal, broccoli, asparagus, a baked potato, cream of rice, salad and complex carbs” were his diet staples while preparing for his role in Hercules.

“I had carbs with every meal, so there was always a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats,” Johnson explained.

Although the TCK follows a structured diet, he indulges in over-the-top cheat meals. The star devours piles of banana pancakes, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, pizza or sushi when quenching cravings.

Chum Tran, a personal trainer, expressed that allowing yourself a cheat day is essential for living a healthy lifestyle. She believes that depriving your body from your most loved foods can make you miserable or cause you to lose motivation. Tran claims that fitness goals must be realistic, which means developing a system that works for you.

Taking Health to the Extreme

“I train about six days a week, and even when I’m not filming I get up between 3 and 5 a.m. just to train. I love training when the sun is coming up because it allows me to put on my headphones and step off the crazy treadmill that is everyone’s life,” Johnson shared. He continued, “There’s no wasted time or effort when it comes to me and the weights.”

The Rock works out for at least 90 minutes a day, six days a week.

His normal routine consists of cardio and weightlifting. Johnson takes his training to the next level and constantly pushes his physical limits. Despite frequently traveling for his career, The Rock makes exercising a priority.

Nichole Cruz, a lifelong athlete and fitness professional, stressed the importance of staying motivated with a global lifestyle. She revealed, “I’m often jetlagged, exhausted, sore and simply drained from travel by the time I get to my destination. The easiest thing to do would be to skip my exercise and blame it on my exhaustion. It’s extremely important to get my body moving.”

Working out also keeps The Rock’s mental health in check. In an interview with The Express, Johnson describes his previous battle with depression.

Physical activity helps Johnson gain a positive outlook on life. He exclaimed, “Working out anchors my day. For me, training is my meditation, my yoga, hiking, biking, therapy all rolled into one. I love it.”

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1 comment

  1. Dwayne Johnson is one of those really amazing role models for athletes, kids, and entertainers. He’s just an overall good person and this article has enlighten my point of view about him. I now realize a lot of his success can be credited to his past as a third culture kid, as well as his feminist influences in his life. As for the way this article is written, I really love the use of subheadings. It makes the story flow really well.

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