When Dwayne Johnson decided to take on the role of the Greek demigod Hercules, he knew his intense workout regimen was going to need an equally impressive meal plan. 

"For 'Hercules,' I went for the demigod look: big and mean," he told Bodybuilder.com "When you're playing a character like the son of Zeus, you only get one shot. The intensity of the training was definitely up, as was the volume of training. I really wanted to make it the definitive version of Hercules."

To further transform his body, Johnson embarked on a 22-week "12 Labors" diet that included 7-meals-per-day loaded with large amounts of protein, carbs and fats.

"Generally, I eat six or seven times a day," he said. "It's about getting enough protein to aid lean muscle growth, and everything is very precisely measured depending on what targets I'm looking to hit for that day. Lots of protein, good carbs, and veggies. Nutrition is so important, it can't be stressed enough."

Johnson recently posted his meal plan to his Instagram account, writing: "Our training is key, but diet is crucial. Here's my diet I did every day for 6 months while shooting #HERCULESMovie A ton of calories, cause I had to support my 2xs a day training and 12hr shooting days. Plus I only had one crack at making HERCULES EPIC so I committed. Adjust the diet to your personal goals and have fun. Nemean Lion blood is optional."

Of course, eating all this food won't translate into any amount of good unless you also hit the gym. For Johnson, that meant rising at 4AM, throwing on the headphones, and lifting, lifting, lifting. 

"Working out anchors my day," he explains. "For me, training is my meditation, my yoga, hiking, biking, therapy all rolled into one. I love it. Generally, I'm always shooting or preparing to shoot for something, so that's why I like keeping my conditioning in a certain zone. But even if I wasn't it would launch my day. It makes me feels good."

"Hercules" slashes into theaters on July 25th. 

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Dwayne Johnson details his epic 7-meals 'Hercules' diet
Actor says he followed this meal plan for a full 22 weeks to capture the bulging look of the son of Zeus.