We all know the fundamentals to getting in shape — eat smart and work out. But a lot of us have yet to come up with a surefire way to work them into our everyday routines. Many people simply count their calories or start jogging. Others go a bit more extreme.

As one family man approached middle age, he realized he needed to shed some pounds. Rather than try out one of the popular diets, however, he dove headfirst into an extreme fitness plan, developed by one of the most athletic individuals on Earth, and saw surprising results…

As his 37th birthday rolled around, Mark Webster sensed that he needed a change. He had a loving family and a number of successful business ventures, including a booking service that he sold to Groupon. Still, Mark felt one piece of his life was inadequate.

Facebook / Mark Webster

Himself. Mark stayed in fantastic shape throughout his 20s, but he let himself go after becoming a dad. Though he’d improved in the past couple years, Mark wanted to really kickstart his fitness. If only he could find some inspiration.

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In early 2016, Mark came across some details about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. That wasn’t unusual, as Dwayne was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. But Mark learned about the electrifying man’s intense workout and diet routine.

Mark took a long, hard look at himself in the mirror. He was no Dwayne Johnson, that was for sure. But maybe, he figured, if he borrowed some of the actor’s rules and habits, he could take the dramatic physical leap he was looking for?

Rocking for 30 Days

Doctors gave Mark the green light to follow in The Rock’s footsteps. Dr. David L. Katz of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center explained, “It’s intense — but that can be a good thing.” As long as Mark knew what he was getting into, he would be okay.

Knowing that taking on too much at once would break him, Mark made himself a promise: he would follow the Rock’s intense routine for 30 days, no exceptions. It was a tremendous plan — but would it be too hard to execute?

It began immediately the next morning, as Mark awoke to his new daily alarm set at 5 am. He groggily rolled out of bed, knowing he wouldn’t be getting back under the sheets until 10 pm, 17 hours later. Next, Mark had to hit the gym.

Every morning for the next month would start with a serious workout. While Mark reviewed the list of exercises he would go through, it occurred to him that his body was going to feel very, very sore.

Rocking for 30 Days

Each session began with almost an hour of high-effort cardio. As if that weren’t enough, Mark followed his cardio with up to 90 minutes of lifting, with each day targeting a different muscle group. 

But Dwayne Johnson didn’t build up his massive biceps solely by pumping iron. To develop that kind of muscle mass, he had to fuel his body with the proper amount of nutrients. Essentially, that came down to eating a ton of food.

If Mark initially thought that eating a lot sounded like the perfect diet, he soon got a reality check. Though Mark’s food intake was high, his plan limited him to bland, healthy food. For example, dinner was a plate of plain cod and steamed vegetables…

Rocking for 30 Days

…over and over again! Mark watched as his kitchen turned into an assembly line while he prepared massive batches of food that would make up the seven meals he ate each day. Even then, Mark’s menu wasn’t complete.

Rocking for 30 Days

Before his early bedtime each night, Mark had to down a large whey protein shake. From the first post-workout bite to the final slurp, he took in 5,000 calories every day! Honestly, Mark had doubts as to whether he could keep this up.

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Aside from getting sick of fish, the diet drained Mark’s bank account pretty quickly. The cod — which was the main ingredient of most meals — cost $7 per pound.

This was of course no problem for Dwayne’s movie star money, even though he ate about 821 pounds of cod every year. Mark, on the other hand, really had to sacrifice to make it work.

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Nevertheless, Mark kept eating his cod calories and setting personal records in the weight room. Like with any commitment, he could think of a thousand reasons why he should quit. But deep down, he knew sticking to it would make him a better man.

At long last, the 30th day of Mark’s Rock routine approached. He eagerly awaited the chance to gorge on some junk food, and to sleep until a decent hour. But what he really looked forward to was the chance to analyze his final results.

Rocking for 30 Days

While Mark didn’t bulk up anywhere near the level of Dwayne Johnson, which was fine, but he did manage to simultaneously slim down and pack on a ton of lean muscle. He wasn’t the only one to notice the big improvement either.

Rocking for 30 Days

As Mark chronicled his fitness journey online, The Rock himself heard about the plan! He never expected some Average Joe to follow his grueling regimen, so he congratulated Mark for coming such a long way.

As thrilled as Mark was to hear from Dwayne Johnson, his biggest supporters were his family. Mark felt incredibly grateful to earn himself a happier and healthier life with his wife and daughter for years to come. That fact made him feel like a real action hero.

Facebook / Mark Webster