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Why don't elite soldiers and Navy SEALs have physiques like Dwayne Johnson or Vin Diesel?

Dwayne Johnson is obviously someone who, when it comes to working out, is concerned with the power element.

In a soldier you really want good cardio, endurance and athleticism. Being constantly active and drug free (no steroids) means you’ll struggle to get up to a Dwayne Johnson physique.

Elite soldiers tend to have more athletic builds because their training is endurance training. The army doesn’t care if you can bench 300lbs. It does care if you can hike through the jungle with 70lbs gear on your back. Anyone who does endurance training can tell you that focusing on that aspect isn’t the way to bulk up. Your typical cyclist is more likely to pass basic training than your typical weightlifting body builder. Have you ever seen a really bulked up bodybuilder? They kinda struggle to move properly. Of all the words you’d use, agile isn’t one of them.

This is Robert O’Neill

If you showed me this picture and I didn’t know better, I’d guess this is a motivational speaker, a televangelist, a businessman…pretty much every career besides what he is: the navy SEAL who shot Bin Laden. Jocko Willink is I think the most bulky muscular SEAL I’ve seen…

He’s still clearly not as big as Dwayne Johnson. Willink is probably as muscular as one could hope to get while on a strict military regimen. This is closer to peak physical condition than Dwayne Johnson. Someone like Willink can stay on his feet for longer, run for longer and faster, weather harsher conditions, adapt to the environment better, etc. Could Johnson win an arm wrestle? Maybe. But you don’t win wars with arm wrestling or weight lifting. You win wars with guys who can walk through a jungle or a desert with 70lbs gear on their back for hours at a time and handle the pressure of a firefight.

I’ll also add that soldiers get three square, fairly nutritious meals every day. A lot of actors these days live on boiled chicken and vegetables. Carbs are gone, dairy’s out, sugar is a no-no. Trust me, you don’t want an army of malnourished soldiers just so they can look like The Rock. You can stand in front of a green screen on a sugar free, carbs free diet. You can’t execute a night time raid on a terrorist complex one day, parachute out of a plane into the water the next day and then go on a five mile run on a diet of boiled chicken and vegetables. When not on deployment, soldiers eat pretty standard food (some red meat, toast, eggs, potatoes, burgers & hotdogs). Soldiers are still regular people not interested in starring in upcoming movies. Plenty of soldiers eat doughnuts, ice cream, cheeseburgers, just like normal people. On deployment it’s a bit of a different story with MREs but these MREs are designed to give soldiers energy and sufficient calories and vitamins. The goal isn’t weight loss or muscle definition, the goal is nutrition.

The Hollywood ripped bodies you see are mostly edited in photoshop and are the result of hours every day in the gym with weights on top of which they intentionally dehydrate themselves to look more ripped. Soldiers aren’t going to sacrifice endurance for physique and they aren’t going to dehydrate themselves to look more Hollywood.


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