The Rock was recently interviewed by Muscle and Fitness.
Being trained by his father:
“Every morning my dad was up at 5 a.m. He’d have his coffee and then hit the gym, regardless of whether he was at home or on the road. Other dads took their kids to the playground. Mine took me to the gym, and the gyms he took me to were very hardcore. Weight rooms, really. But it was important bonding time for us, and it was there that I learned at a very young age that there’s no substitute for hard work. My dad and the other wrestlers would train for hours and hours every morning, just like all of the top bodybuilding stars of the day—Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Frank Zane, Albert Beckles. It was all he knew, and it was all I knew back then. And it worked.”
Changing his life:
“I was ballin’. I was going to be the only freshman to play. Then, on the very last day of practice with pads I completely dislocated my shoulder. It was an awful dislocation. That night I was having a complete reconstruction of my shoulder. I went from being on top of the world to in the dumps at 18. He says to me, ‘I’d like you to come back to school early.’ I ask, ‘How early?’ and he says, ‘In a couple of days.’ So I come back to school, and he was so pissed. He and my defensive line coach charged hard on me. They grilled me. ‘How can you do this? You embarrassed us! You embarrassed the team! You were in a leadership position, and now you have a 0.7 GPA because you f–ked off and left!’? They said, ‘Here’s what’s gonna happen. From now on, you are under academic probation. You are on the verge of having your scholarship pulled. You will attend every class. Then, when you’re done with class, you will go straight to the gym and attend every team meeting, and you will sit on the sidelines at every practice. But here’s the key: In order to get into the football building, you will have to get signatures from every one of your professors every day saying that you attended class.’? I did everything they told me to do and turned it around. Eventually I became the academic captain, and by my junior year I was pre-season All-America on a couple of lists. I did what had to be done.”