T Nation

Hollywood Action Hero Measurements


Let me start with some disclaimers. This is not a hate thread. I'm not sure I'm a "fan" of anyone, but the "Rock" seems like a good guy. And he's a relatively decent actor for his roles (action genre).

I was reading an article in my local paper today about a number of actors beefing up to play superhero parts - a departure from the Toby Maguire era. One actor mentioned was the Rock for his last role opposite Vin Diesel. He claimed he got up to 280 with a 54" chest and 23" arms. Now...

the 54" chest is certainly reasonable (and utterly believable), especially at 280. Shit, I just lost 25lbs in the last 6 months and just measured my chest @ 52" (@ about 237lbs.). So 54 sounds utterly reasonable, if not a tad small at 280lbs? But...23" arms WITH a 54" chest? Am I missing something here? The bodyweight certainly sounds about right for 23" guns, but that chest measurement is throwing me off. And yes, I am skeptical about claimed 23" bicep measurements of a lean arm, outside of BB with the customary AAS use.

Exaggeration or bad journalism?

Interestingly, some of the actors were denying AAS use (to be expected for public relations and legal reasons but I'm not sure anyone other than the Rock has a physique approaching one that would require AAS, but when you factor in the relatively short amount of time they prepare for a role...it makes you wonder. One guy packed on a claimed 30lbs of lean mass for a role. How the fuck long have most of us worked for 30lbs of lean mass?!). This isn't a "Rock is on AAS" thread. I don't care. The Rock looks fucking great, as do these other guys playing these recent roles. It's not an AAS thread.

I'm just really thrown the fuck off by this 54/23 claim - it seems...off. I'm not a "measurement" guy, or a BB so I really don't know how to evaluate the claim or proportions. I'm curious as to informed opinions about the seeming disparity.


I dont know if they're actually 23" arms.... but The Rock works out at my gym and his arms are big



They arent 23 and he was never 280.

280!! He's like 6 ft tall.


He's tall as shit right? Like 6'8 or something. I could believe 280, but not 23" arms.

And the media report these numbers because they don't have any point of reference to know if its believable or not because they don't follow pro bb. There was an article on this forums where some reporter wrote that an NFL player was squatting 1400 lbs.


Is it true the rock can bench 3 plates like no tomorrow?


uh rocks 6'4


I think he's actually around 6.3 or 6.4. I used to eat at his favorite italian place in Miami and the owner said I was "bigger" (then) - my lawyer asked him - (@ about 275) but he was a little taller (I'm 6.1). If he's got Jordans hangin form those shoulders, he's got some big fucking arms, but as I said, I'm skeptical. We aint talking Magnussun here or someone like that.


He looks great... but 23 lean and not a BB is fucking huge. But who knows. It wasn't so much the 23 claim that threw me (but I am skeptical), it was the 23 claim with the relatively small 54 chest that has me wondering.


Dude, he was at my gym just tonight and told me they are 22". So ya they (reporter) probably rounded it up.


Yeah 23 is crazy huge... the rock was a standout college football player and was doing his WWE thing so he definitely has some great genetics so it is possible (especially with some assistance)

I'm a big fan of The Rock. I'm sure the claims were a bit blown out of proportion by the reporters though.

I dont know how you saw at your gym cause I actually just dropped him off after our workout today... soooooo ummm yeah lol


Yeah, I doubt they're 23"....it's just that thing where reporters and the celeb being interviewed agree to embellish or whatnot.
Like when someone says they studied swrodsmanship under a ninja for 3 months to get ready for some movie. What really happened is a guy that does know swordsmanship taught them the exact moves they'd need to mimic for whatever scene.
Or someone saying they ran 7 miles a day getting ready for a role, or ate only cans of tuna and an apple. They only ran 3 miles twice blah blah.

Remember that supposed daily caloric intake of swimmer Michale Phelps?


I was initially thinking the same thing but 23 is such a random damn number.


Dude - even pro bodybuilders inflate their measurments. It's been going on forever....

Vince Gironda once busted out the tape measure in a room full of people to check Frank Zane's claims of a 20 inch arm. Also asked him to get on the scale when he claimed an inflated bodyweight...lol...

No way does the Rock have 23 inch arms. However, whatever his measurements are, the guy has a GREAT physique,


23? Gulp:


I think most weight gain claims connected with movie transformations are fluff. They never shoot big budget Hollywood movies in sequence and you can often see changes in the actor's physique from scene to scene. The "shirtless" scenes are usually shot last.

Hugh Jackman joined the first X Men movie over a month after filming started because the original choice for Wolverine (Dougray Scott) had to drop out at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts. The cage fight was one of the last scenes he did on the film.

If the actor is still gaining size during the production, how do they come up with a round figure for weight gained when it's purely a visual pursuit anyway? The actual weight gain only matters to generate publicity and it seems the magic number always falls at 20lbs.

There are exceptions where the actor is trying to look intimidating (Ed Norton in American History X; Tom Hardy in Bronson), but usually aesthetics are the goal (e.g. Ryan Reynolds).


I understand this but I was referencing the actors cast into these new superhero roles, such as the guy playing Ahnold's old role in Conan (I think that's the name of the movie). Claimed 35lb lean mass increase, denied steroids. He's about 6.4 so he certainly has the frame for such a gain, but how quickly? He's pretty lean too - visible abs.


So was I. The underlying principles are the same for these types of movies.

I'd say the figure is hyperbole. Jason Momoa wasn't a bag of bones to begin with, and from what I hear the initial brief was for him to gain 10lbs before shooting began over the six weeks leading up to the start of production.

Here's the trailer (you get a good look at him towards the end):

Chris Hemsworth had 10 months of training for Thor and he is said to have gained a comparatively modest 20lbs. I always take these figures with a pinch of salt because the actors don't attain the required amount of mass then start filming; they train as they go for the most part. They may only hit the desired look quite late in production, so there really is no way they can issue a press release saying 'X' actor gained 'X' amount of muscle for 'X' role, because it's an ongoing pursuit.

That's why my last post extends to Jason Momoa as well.

Edit: they also said Robert Downey Jr. gained 20lbs for Iron Man...




Saw a vid somewhere of him as a freshman at Miami where he was throwing 3 plates around like an empty bar. Wouldn't be surprised if he's stronger now. And, no his arms aren't 23", but he's still jacked as fuck. Like SkyNett said, people inflate their stats all of the time, especially in the entertainment industry.