How Zac Efron got in shape for Baywatch
Okay, I don’t know about you, but my heart skipped a beat yesterday when Ellen Degeneres shared a boomerang of heartthrob Zac Efron flashing his 28-ab-pack. I mean, cue the heart eye emoji!
Unsurprisingly, the clip went viral, and has racked up nearly 15 million views.
But if you’re thinking those abs are just a result of a quick keto run, you are very wrong. In fact, if you’ve been stalking Zac-attack’s Instagram over the years, you’d know that he worked his ass off to achieve his Baywatch body he now calls ‘unrealistic’ and ‘too big’, and has since continued to maintain a more achievable chiselled bod since shooting the film in 2016.
Here’s exactly how hunky Zac went from Troy Bolton to jacked Matt Brody.
If you thought Beyoncé’s pre-Coachella diet sounded tough, know that Efron’s Baywatch diet was 100 times harder.
The 31-year-old actor started out with following a strict “whole-food diet” meal plan created by his personal trainer, Patrick Murphy, which helped him shred 5 per cent body fat in just 12 short weeks.
“Zac stayed away from all highly refined, processed foods. No flour products whatsoever,” Murphy explained in an interview with Men’s Journal.
“So he could have quinoa, but not quinoa crackers. He could have brown rice, but not brown-rice pasta. Same with fruit. He could have an apple, but not apple juice.”
This is the food that was on his nutrition plan shopping list:
- Turkey breast
- Pork loin
- Egg whites
- Brown rice
High fibre food
He also had to drink a minimum of three litres of water a day, and was sometimes allowed one cheat meal per week.
Then, in the very lead up to shooting for the movie, Efron’s diet when from insane to I-N-S-A-N-E. The High School Musical star went zero carbs for nine days straight to get rid of any sub-cutaneous water (a little trick to look extra ripped).
“9 days of absolutely zero carbs & sugar,” he posted on Twitter. “Only organic grass fed/free range protein and organic leafy greens. This lead too…”
To maintain his physique over the years, Efron has continued to stick to a clean and lean diet.
“Lately, the most important thing I’ve learned in terms of diet is to stay away from processed foods and stick to organic as much as you can,” he said in an interview with Men’s Fitness.
“I am a firm believer in not eating chemicals and really try to isolate where your food is coming from. Try to keep it healthy, organic and unprocessed.”
His exercise routine
Murphy had three months to get Zac in tip-top shape, so majority of Efron’s days were spent working out.
“With Zac, I helped him create positive adaptations for perfect posture and alignment, all the while going through a very high-intensity program,” Murphy told Men’s Journal.
“He went through a lot of two-a-days. I’d put him through a serious weight-training workout, then he’d do lifeguard training for two or three hours, or bike for about 30 miles [48km]. His output is just amazing. Paired with the super-clean diet I’d put him through, it was a win-win.”
Since prepping for Baywatch, Efron has learnt to adapt his training regime depending on the film roles he’s working on.
“The more you learn, the more your workouts evolve and change,” he told Men’s Fitness.
“A couple of years ago I was trained by a military guy. I trained strictly to put on size with some Navy Seals and heavy powerlifting moves and I started to notice I was getting more injuries.”
Nowadays, it involves a lot of plyometrics and isometrics: “I’ve slowly changed my workouts to include a lot more plyometrics and isometrics. I stretch nearly as much as I workout these days.
“Cardio is good too. I do a lot of cardio.”