Never a guy to be quiet or reserved in the weight room, The Rock took his lower body workout routine to the next level and threw down the sartorial gauntlet for gym bros everywhere in a Memorial Day Instagram workout video. That’s right: Dwayne Johnson rocked a pair of leggings in the Iron Paradise, sans shorts.
Johnson posted a clip of his brutal lower body finisher, weighted walking lunges, which he takes on carrying two sets of heavy chains (one of his favorite workout accessories) that combined to weigh 100 pounds. Dave Rienzi, Johnson’s strength and conditioning coach, broke down a leg day workout for us earlier this year and told us that their programming typically calls for a loaded unilateral movement to close out the routine. “We’re aiming for muscular exhaustion here,” Rienzi said of the finisher. “I’m not trying to load up where he’s lunging an insane amount of weight and he’s only doing 12 steps. We’re going in the other direction here.”
Johnson starts lunging with both chains draped around his chest. After 10 steps, he drops one set of the 50 pound links, then he takes another 10 steps and loses the other. He finishes out with no weight on his shoulders, but the high number of reps makes even unloaded lunges challenging.
The finisher is tough enough—but fellow gigantic human and workout warrior JJ Watt was the first to point out that Johnson was pulling a “bold move” with the no shorts, just tights flex. “Its like “suns out, guns out” for leg day! 😂” Watt commented on the post. Of course, another commenter was quick to follow up with a more fitting mantra: Suns out, buns out.
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This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Johnson skip the shorts with leggings; you only have to go back as far as this March to see him rocking the utilitarian look in one of his workout videos. But he might not have garnered as much attention then because he was performing seated cable rows, with his substantial… assets seated firmly on the machine’s seat.
Why is the tights-only look such a big deal, even to seasoned workout pros like JJ Watt? The skin-tight pants are comfortable, and Johnson was clearly able to move exactly how he wanted with them on. But when I wrote about how men should feel confident about wearing tights and nothing else in the weight room, we received some positive responses—along with a cascade of negative feedback. Dudes are turned off by the thought of exposing so much of their bodies in public, which is a fair concern. The look isn’t for everyone, and no one should be forced to step out of their comfort zone.
But the real concern is if you’re more comfortable without shorts, but you don’t feel confident enough to step out in just the tights because of the feedback you’ve seen online and received in real life situations. If that’s the case, use Johnson as an inspiration to wear whatever you want—you could even tuck a towel into the front of your waistband if it helps you to feel less exposed, like he did here. You can grab his exact leggings here, from his Under Armour Project Rock collection.
Johnson didn’t reply to any of the comments on his own video, so we don’t know his exact thoughts on the topic. Given what we know about him, though, The Rock would probably be the first one clapping you on the back and telling you that as long as you’re putting in the work, it shouldn’t matter what anyone thinks of how you look.
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