The Rock Shows That You’re Not Too Strong for the Smith Machine

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson just shared a look at his most recent chest and back workout at his Iron Paradise home gym in an Instagram post, demonstrating his form on the incline bench press using a Smith machine.

“Good ‘mental inventory’ day after a crazy busy week. Man I needed it,” he wrote. “Smith machine incline I do towards the end of my chest workout when my chest is fatigued. Not too heavy. 275LBS.”

“Be mindful as to how far you bring the weight down to mitigate that stress on your shoulders,” he added. “I had complete shoulder reconstruction surgery – you don’t want that fun pain in your life, so take my advice… Focused, slow & controlled. 3 second negatives. Intense and controlled.”

Johnson is right here: it’s wise not to overload your shoulders while working out on a Smith machine, as your shoulders don’t have as much freedom to work in their natural arc. Keep the weight on the lighter side, and focus on getting a good pump. Additionally, by slowing down his reps, he is increasing the muscles’ time under tension and maximizing the eccentric contraction, ensuring that every single rep is as effective as possible.

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Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.

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