Entering the ring with his signature salute that signifies his respect for the American army and fans, John Cena is one of the finest and most successful wrestlers. The professional wrestler cum actor, TV personality, rapper, and philanthropist is loved and hated in equal measures because of his antics in the ring and perceived favoritism by WWE.
However, away from the WWE politics, John Cena is hailed for his herculean physique, which leaves ladies drooling and men envying him. The 16-time World Wrestling Champion follows one of the most brutal and gut-busting workout regimes and a strict diet.
Most people are amazed by his perfectly toned and ripped body. If you have wondered how Cena attained such a physique, you’ve come to the right place. This piece breaks down Cena’s diet and training routine. But first, let’s look at his background.
Who is John Cena?
John Felix Anthony Cena hails from a small town known as West Newbury near Boston in the US. The second born in a family of five siblings, Cena had a bright and crazy childhood that he likes to talk about in most of his interviews.
Born on April 23, 1977, John Cena was an energetic and outgoing kid. However, everything changed in his adolescence when he became a victim of bullying due to his dress code and difficulties in expression. Since age twelve, Cena has used exercise as therapy for the psychological abuse he was going through.
After spending three years working on a weight bench gifted to him for Christmas by his parents, John decided to join a local gym when he was fifteen. He later joined Springfield College in Massachusetts and studied Exercise Physiology and Human Anatomy. In college, John Cena’s love for sports continued to blossom to the extent that he represented the school in American Football and even became the school captain.
However, Cena quit the sport and moved to California to follow his body-building passion. He joined Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, California, where he met a friend who introduced him to Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW) courses, the predecessors to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). John Cena got his first chance to wrestle and won the first title at UPW in 2000.
John Cena caught the eye of the WWE management and was presented with a contract in 2001. He made his debut against Kurt Angle but lost even after dominating him for the entire match. He won the 2005 WrestleMania against Canadian wrestler Adam Copeland, popular known as “Edge.” In his 20-year wrestling career, he went on to win:
- 25 WWE championships
- 16 world champion
- Triple “Superstar” of the year
- Team completion four times
John Cena released his hip hop album You Can’t See Me in 2005 and sold over 143,000 copies in the first week. He also ventured into acting, starring in various movies, including The Marine, Legendary, Bumblebee, Blockers, and 12 Round. He would later establish himself as a writer through the Elbow Grease book series, which became New York Times best seller.
Cena is also a philanthropist who supports kids’ charity activities. Cena stands six feet one inch tall and weighs 251 lbs. But how did John get such a body and stay in such a tip-top shape through the years?
Before we get into the regiment, check out some of his training:
John Cena Workout Routine
Before he started working out, John Cena was measly 120 pounds. However, due to his unwavering passion for body building and immensurable grease in the gym, he forged a bulky physique and now weighs around 241 pounds.
During his time as a wrestler, his workout regimen was hypertrophic and voluminous. In short, it focused more on size than strength and athleticism.
However, in recent years, John Cena has moved away from hypertrophic training and opted for strength training based on lower reps and sets with heavier loads.
A typical weekly workout routine for John Cena involves a 5-day split and 2 rest days. He exercises all the main body parts throughout the week. The wrestler cum actor loads weight progressively, trying to beat his 1-rep max every two weeks.
For perfect abs, Cena incorporates a single set of crunches after every day of training. Additionally, warm-ups are an integral part of his routine to avoid injuries.
John Cena’s Weekly Workout Routine
Day 1: Calves and Legs
- 10 sets of seated calf raises – 10-20 reps
- 4 sets of standup calf raise- 25 reps
- 5 sets of leg press – 20 reps
- 4 sets of standing one leg curl – 20-25 reps
- 4 sets of squats – 10 reps
- 4 sets leg extension – 15 reps
DAY 2: Chest Exercises
- 4 sets of inclining bench press -20 reps
- 3-4 sets of incline machine press – 20 reps
- 3 sets of cable crossovers – 15 reps
- 3-4 sets of peck deck – 15 reps
- 3 sets bench press – 10 reps
Day 3: Arms Training
- 3 sets of standing barbell curl – 10-12 reps
- 3 sets of standing cable curl – 12 reps
- 3 sets seated dumbbell curl -10-12 reps
- 3 sets of single arm cable pushdown – 10 reps
- 3 sets of rope press down – 20 reps
- 3 sets of overhead EZ bar extension – 20 reps
- 6 sets of lying triceps extension until failure
- 4 sets of triceps dip until failure
- 3 set seated barbell extension – 20 reps
Day 4: Shoulder Exercises
- 5 sets of machine overhead press – 20 reps
- 3 sets seated overhead press – 10 reps
- 5 sets rear delta cable flyes – 20 reps
- 3 sets military press – 10 press
- 3 dumbbell lateral raise – 12 reps
- 5 sets machine lateral raise – 20 reps
Day 5: Back Exercises
- 5 sets of barbell rows – 12-20 reps
- 4 sets of deadlifts – 8-15 reps
- 5 sets of lat pulldown – 20 reps
- 5 sets of one arm dumbbell row – 12-20 reps
- 4 sets of high pulls – 20 reps
- 4 sets of pull-ups to failure
- 4 sets of barbell shrug – 20 reps
Day 6 and 7: Resting
Cena rests for two days a week.
John Cena Diet Plan
John Cena does a lot of strenuous exercises every week. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that he eats an average of 7 meals daily. The disclaimer is that John Cena’s diet is somewhat bland and not appealing to many people. However, you can switch it up and include tantalizing delicacies as long as they are healthy.
Men’s Health refers to his diet regimen as heavy on protein and light on flavor. Cena’s 7-meal diet boasts an estimated 65 grams of fat, 290 grams of protein, 450 grams of carbs, and 3600 calories. The diet is designed to help replenish the nutrients and energy lost during the grueling workout sessions.
John Cena Diet Principles
- He prefers a healthy diet high in lean proteins and low in simple carbohydrates.
- He avoids junk food. Junk food makes you weak since it doesn’t supply the required nutrients.
- His diet is rich in complex carbohydrates, like peanut butter, which provides him with energy and facilitates healthy fat burning.
- He eats at least seven meals per day. Although this seems like a lot of food, John Cena does many demanding exercises that require him to fuel up throughout the day. Every meal is nutritionally balanced to supply the necessary nutrients.
- Supplements also help fill nutrient gaps left by food. To stay healthy while working out and replenish lost nutrients, Cena uses various dietary supplements.
John Cena’s Daily Meal Plan
- Oatmeal with apple sauce and raisins
- Two whole eggs
- Six egg whites
- Four scrambled eggs
- Swiss cheese
- Sautéed vegetables
- Protein bar
- Whey protein and two cups of water
- Brown rice
- Two chicken breast
- Vegetables or salad
- Whole wheat pita bread
- whey protein and two cups of water
- Protein bar
- Brown rice or pasta
- Chicken or fish
- Vegetables or salad
- Casein protein shake
- Low fat cottage cheese
John Cena also drinks lots of water to facilitate digestion and stay hydrated.
What to Eat
Knowing what you eat and the quantity is integral to John Cena’s diet. Foods in his meal plan include:
- Brown Rice
- Protein shake
What to Avoid
Although cravings may at times get out of hand, he keeps them in control and avoids the following foods:
- Junk food
- Fried food
- Refined sugar
- Artificial flavors
- Chemical additives
John Cena’s Supplements
Along with his 7-meal diet, Cena also relies on various supplements to cover his nutritional needs. Although he doesn’t advocate for dietary supplements, he uses the following:
- BCAAS – These are branched amino acids that help in recovery and weight loss too
- Whey protein – For enhanced performance and repair of lean muscles
- Multi-vitamins – Since getting all vitamins from food is near impossible. However, you take a single vitamin supplement to cater to all your vitamin needs.
John Cena’s workout routine and diet are not for the faint-hearted. But if you want an incredible physique like this professional wrestler and actor, you must be ready to endure the brutal and nerve-wracking regime. Conversely, you must follow the strict high-carbohydrate and lean protein diet plan.
Don’t envy John Cena’s body without taking any action. Set up your body for success by working out, resting, and eating healthy, just like this adept wrestler, actor, and writer.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.