For Dwayne Johnson, workouts just as crucial as eating and sleeping

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By Cindy Pearlman | Big Picture News Inc.

The actor formerly known as the Rock has a healthy attitude … about everything.

You can ask Dwayne Johnson about any topic under the sunand he will come up with a quick answer and a wide smile.

His trademark eyebrow-arching move? “It’s captivating, isn’t it?” he says in a voice that makes it sound like he’s trying out for a period drama.

His bad food habits? “Oh, when I was broke and young, let’s just say that I ate a little bit of fried chicken. Those bite-sized pieces.You are what you eat – and I wasn’t feeling very good when I ate those kinds of meals.”

So, he only eats clean now? “I’ve been known to have a slice of pizza with my daughter,” Johnson says. “You have to give yourself a break and enjoy life, but then you get right back on your healthy eating plan.”

That’s why the star of the new earthquake drama “San Andreas” is lean, mean and clean when it comes to his food plan these days. “I realize that there are a lot of people who don’t want to look like me,” he says. “But it can’t hurt to get rid of the sugars and bad fats in your life and base your diet on lean proteins and healthy vegetables.”

How does Johnson maintain that body for his screen body of work? He credits several smaller meals a day where he gets rid of hunger and fuels his body for intense workouts. “You get out of your body what you put in,” he says. “If you eat lean protein and vegetables, you have the energy. That energy fuels you to do things with your life including go to the gym. You don’t feel sluggish and tired because bad eating is making you want to take a nap.”

Dwayne Johnson attends a “San Andreas” premiere with daughter Simone (left) and his mother, Ata Johnson. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Dwayne Johnson attends a “San Andreas” premiere with daughter Simone (left) and his mother, Ata Johnson. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

His gym routine can be upward of six days a week when he’s training for an action movie. But he doesn’t stop training when the film is wrapped. “You can’t ignore your body,” he says. “You don’t want to wait until your body tells you that something is wrong. It’s about being proactive. That’s why I tell people to fit time to go to the gym into your daily plan … just like you would eating, sleeping and working.

“Exercise is going to keep you here for a long, long time. It’s also great to reduce your stress levels. And if you’re a parent, it’s something wonderful you can do for your children to make sure you’re here for them,” said the father of 13-year-old Simone Johnson.

What does he do on those days when he just doesn’t feel like hitting the weight room?

“I remind myself that there is no substitute for hard work. And working out is hard work. You might not like every minute of that gym time. I do like it. But I can pretty much say that most of us leave the gym saying, ‘I’m really glad I made the effort today,’ ” he says.

“San Andreas” showcases Johnson as an action star. “I like when the training is challenging. It’s always fun to do cardio at 4 in the morning before you go to work. But I have to do it,” he says. “I’ve worked out as early as 3 a.m. during a shoot because missing the workout isn’t an option.

“If my call time is at 7 a.m., I back up my day four hours, get up, train, do cardio, have breakfast and hit the weights.

“I call it my usual clanging and banging,” he says, adding, “There are some days where I’ve worked out twice before anyone is up.”

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