Zac Efron caused quite the splash in 2017’s Baywatch movie alongside The Rock, thanks to his incredibly ripped physique. But how did Zac Efron get ripped so fast?

We have the facts behind how he used diet and exercise to prepare for one of his hottest roles yet - check out our tips and tricks below.

Zac Efron's Baywatch Workout Routine Revealed

With only 12 weeks to prepare for shooting Baywatch, Zac Efron turned to personal trainer to the stars Patrick Murphy.[1]

Murphy has worked for 20 years, training Hollywood legends such as Cameron Diaz, Keanu Reeves, and Olivia Wilde.

With such a short timeline, Murphy put Zac through his paces, using an ever-shifting training routine, a strictly whole foods diet, and using techniques like supersetting to get fast results.

No two workouts were ever the same, with some days involving cardio training, balance training, or even lifeguard training.

This evolving routine worked, as Zac Efron had an estimated five percent body fat when it came time to film Baywatch.

But what exactly did one of these workouts look like? We have a sample below.

Monday: Back and Biceps

Exercises

Sets

Reps

Rest

Straight Arm Pulldown

3

8-12

0 sec

Ab Rollout

3

8-12

60 Sec

Seated Cable Row

3

8-12

0 Sec

Suspended Row

3

8-12

60 Sec

Neutral Grip Pullup

3

8-12

0 Sec

Lat Pulldown From Knees

3

8-12

60 Sec

Chin-Up

3

8-12

0 Sec

Dumbbell Biceps Curl

3

8-12

60 Sec

Tuesday: Legs

Exercises

Sets

Reps

Rest

Leg Press

3

8-12

0 sec

Suspension Squat Jump With Straps

3

8-12

60 sec

Swiss Ball Hip Extension

3

8-12

0 sec

Swiss Ball Leg Curl

3

8-12

60 sec

Reverse Walking Lunge

3

8-12

0 sec

Mountain Climber on Sliders

3

8-12

60 sec

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

3

8-12

0 sec

Kick Butts

3

8-12

60 sec

Unstable Single-Leg Calf Raise With Dumbbells

3

8-12

0 sec

Single-Leg Squat Hop With Straps

3

8-12

60 sec

Related Article: Best Leg Press Machines

Wednesday: Chest, Shoulders, and Arms

Exercises

Sets

Reps

Rest

Front Raise Dumbbell Squat

3

8-12

0 sec

Cross-Body Cable Raise

3

8-12

60 sec

Dumbbell Floor Press

3

8-12

0 sec

Push-Up

3

8-12

60 sec

Incline Dumbbell Press

3

8-12

0 sec

Dumbbell Overhead Press

3

8-12

60 sec

Chest Cable Fly

3

8-12

0 sec

Bosu Ball Plyo Push UP

3

8-12

60 sec

Single-Arm Cable Pushdown

3

8-12

0 sec

Thursday: Upper Body

Exercises

Sets

Reps

On a Steep Grade: Jog / Run / Jog

1

2/6/2 Min

Dumbbell Bench Press

5

20

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

5

20

Bar Dips

5

20

Repeat Strength Training Circuit #1

1

2/6/2 Min

On a Steep Grade: Sprint / Jog

10 min

30/30 sec

Dumbbell Bench Press

5

20

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

5

20

Tricep Extensions

5

20

Repeat Strength Training Circuit #2

1

2/6/2 Min

On A Steep Grade: Jog / Run / Jog

1

2/6/2 Min

Ab Crunches

4

20

Bosu Ball Knee Tucks

4

20

Forearm Planks

3

Hold 30 Secs

Repeat Core/Abs Circuit

2

20

Friday: Lower Body

Exercises

Sets

Reps

Jump Rope

1

10 min

Forward Lunge with Dumbbell Bicep

3

20

Squat Thrust

3

20

Squat Press

4

20

Repeat Strength Training Circuit

1


Sprint / Jog

10 min

30/30 Sec

Squat Thrust

3

20

Squat Press

4

20

Repeat Strength Training Circuit #2

1

2 Times

Jog / Run

1

2/5 min

V-Ups

4

20

Bicycle Crunches

4

20

Twisting Plank

5

20

Repeat Core/Abs Circuit

1

180

Related Article: Best V Up Alternatives

Weekend: Rest

As you can see, this is quite the pumped up routine.

While it is tempting to follow this exactly in the hunt for Baywatch abs, it is important to remember that this is an extreme plan that was done as part of Zac Efron’s career with resources most people do not have.

We do not recommend this as a healthy or sustainable way to get washboard abs or achieve your fitness goals.

Work with qualified professionals to create a custom meal and workout plan for yourself, taking inspiration from Efron’s training.

If you are not ready to take this on physically, slowly work your way up, being mindful of your body and diet.

Zac Efron working out

Who Is Zac Efron? - His Rise From Disney Stardom

Born in 1987 in San Luis Obispo, California, Zac Efron had a normal childhood growing up.

He joined The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville theatre and took up singing lessons before being recommended to an agent by his drama teacher.

Once he got an agent, Zac got small roles in various television series, including shows like Firefly, the ER, and The Guardian.

However, it was starring in the iconic Disney movie High School Musical that cemented him as a millennial icon and teen heartthrob.

Star Zac Efron used this franchise fame to star in other hit movies, including 17 Again, Hairspray, The Greatest Showman, and Baywatch.

Recently, Zac Efron has also used his fame to seek out other enterprises, including his own production company Ninjas Runnin’ Wild and a YouTube channel.

Current Body Stats

For celebrities like Zac Efron who train for roles throughout their careers, their body stats regularly change over time.

This is just a snapshot of Efron’s body in recent memory and can fluctuate.

Stat

Measurement

Height

5’8”

Weight

155-170

Age

39

Biceps

16 inches

Waist

34 inches

Chest

44 inches

Zac Efron in a Blue Shirt Standing on the Beach Holding a Football

Zac Efron’s Exercise and Workout Principles

While training for Baywatch, Zac Efron’s full body workouts were full of ever-changing strength and cardio moves designed for speed and agility training alongside building lean muscle mass.

Efron’s trainer, Patrick Murphy, had him on ever-evolving workout routines involving full-body workouts like hiking, obstacle course training, lifeguarding, powerlifting or weightlifting.

This constant challenge meant that Efron never plateaued and could focus on maximizing fat loss and muscular endurance.

Some weeks, Zac Efron used a three-day split or drew inspiration from other workout ideas to focus on losing weight or focusing on his shoulders, chest, and arms.

To burn calories was the name of the game while ensuring Efron's body got enough essential nutrients to fuel those insane rep schemes.

Zac Efron before and during his Baywatch body

Accomplishments & Awards (Biggest Achievements)

Accomplishments

Zac Efron on stage with an award

Zac Efron proves that actors can do more than just build illustrious acting careers.

Not one to be satisfied with just acting or working out, Zac has used his resources and fame to chase new business ideas.

In 2010, Efron founded the production company Ninjas Runnin’ Wild[2], which helped aid some of the films he starred in.

He also started a YouTube channel in 2014 for an inside look into his life.[3]

His channel runs two regular series, Off The Grid and Gym Time, in which he spends time with his brother in the wilderness and trains with other celebs like Nina Dobrev.

This channel currently has nearly 1.5 million subscribers and an inconsistent upload schedule.

Awards

Zac Efron has been in the acting business since the early 2000s and has had plenty of time to horde awards. Here are some awards he has won since the start of his career.

Awarding Body

Movie

Award

Year

Teen Choice Awards

High School Musical

Choice Male Hottie

2007

MTV Movie Awards

Hairspray

Best Breakthrough Performance

2008

MTV Movie Awards

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Best Male Performance

2009

Nickelodeon Australian Kids’ Choice Awards

17 Again

Fave Movie Star

2009

Teen Choice Awards

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Choice Music/Dance Movie Actor

2009

Teen Choice Awards

The Lucky One

Choice Drama Movie Actor

2012

Peoples’ Choice Awards

Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor

Feature 3

2013

MTV Movie Awards

That Awkward Moment

Best Shirtless Performance

2014

MTV Movie Awards

Neighbors

Best On-Screen Duo

2015

CinemaCon

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Comedy Star of the Year

2016

Teen Choice Awards

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Choice Comedy Movie Actor

2016

Teen Choice Awards

Baywatch

Choice Comedy Movie Actor

2017

Teen Choice Awards

The Greatest Showman

Choice Drama Movie Actor

2018

Daytime Emmy Awards

Down To Earth With Zac Efron

Outstanding Daytime Program Host

2021

Zac Efron’s Diet At A Glance

When following such a hardcore workout routine, you need more calories to fuel your body.

To get off on the right foot, you need to rest and eat well. Other key elements of Zac Efron’s workout plan in terms of his diet plan include:

  • All-organic whole food diet
  • Regular diet tweaking every two weeks - change caloric intake and macro ratio
  • Loading up on water for a minimum of 100 ounces per day

Each of these diet plan elements, alongside a hardcore six-pack workout and a strict deadline, ensured that Zac Efron became a high endurance machine.

The Baywatch diet does not leave much wiggle room but does allow for three ‘refeed’ or cheat meals a month.

But what counts as whole food in Efron’s diet? Besides avoiding processed foods and flour, Zac Efron could eat the following:

  • Lean Proteins
    Lean cuts were a key element of Zac’s goal to gain muscle mass. He preferred getting his lean protein from meats such as chicken breast, turkey breast, pork loin, egg whites, fish, and steak.
  • Whole Grains
    Whole grains and complex carbs were other vital aspects of Efron’s diet. Foods that helped fuel those workouts include quinoa, brown rice, oats, and sweet potatoes.
  • Healthy Fats
    Healthy fats are another vital macro that could be gotten from seeds, nuts, and avocados.
  • High-Fiber Fruits and Vegetables
    There are plenty of high-fiber fruits out there that helped Zac Efron get those essential nutrients, including apples, pears, and berries. In terms of vegetables, Efron made leafy greens and other vegetables a high priority on his to-eat list.

What To Go For

  • Whole Grains
  • Sweet Potato
  • Brown Rice
  • Lean Proteins
  • Broccoli

What To Avoid

  • White Bread
  • Candies
  • Refined Sugars

What Supplements Does Zac Efron Take?

Thanks to his well-rounded diet, Zac Efron had a solid base to fuel his everyday workouts. However, his trainer made sure that he had unflavored whey protein shakes on hand.

He made a point of finding the purest whey protein supplement possible to minimize unnecessary sugars or carbs.

Related Article: Protein Vs BCAA Supplements


Zac Efron Workout Routine FAQs

What is Zac Efron’s body fat percentage?

Efron’s trainer has told the press that he reached just five percent body fat while pursuing his Baywatch body. Clearly, his dedication to the role and workout paid off.

How many calories did Zac Efron eat a day for Baywatch?

It is unknown exactly how many calories Zac Efron’s Baywatch diet entailed, but we do know that the number of calories and macro ratios changed every two weeks to keep him engaged and from plateauing. To shred fat, it is vital to create what’s known as a calorie deficit or to take in at least 500 calories less than you usually do each day while also working out.

How long has Zac Efron been vegan?

Zac Efron mentioned experimenting with veganism back in a 2018 Teen Vogue interview, but it is unknown if he has fully committed to the lifestyle.[4]

What was Zac Efron’s lowest weight?

As a celebrity who trains for roles as part of his job, Zac's body stats tend to fluctuate regularly. That being said, the lowest weight estimate we have is 155 pounds with a rough maximum of 170 pounds.

Conclusion

As you can see, the training for Baywatch was intense and brutal. It is not for the faint of heart.

In fact, Efron has since stated that putting his body under that much pressure "just isn't real" and that he doesn't "ever want to be in that good of shape again."[5]

With this in mind, we recommend taking inspiration from Zac Efron’s workout and slowly building yourself up to more intense routines.

Working with qualified professionals and ensuring that you eat, sleep, and rest properly alongside a routine should help you see results.

Be mindful of your body and remain committed - you’ll be ready to show off at the beach soon enough.

References:

1.https://murphyfitness.com/#:~:text=to%20main%20content-,An%20extremely%20successful%20and%20respected%20personal%20trainer%2C%20Patrick%20Murphy%20is,Keanu%20Reeves%2C%20and%20Ruby%20Rose.
2. https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?companies=co0308755
3. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMfXZdevOn81h0Nqotrwl9A
4. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/zac-efron-shares-his-grooming-routine-and-life-advice
5. https://metro.co.uk/2020/04/04/zac-efron-doesnt-ever-want-ripped-baywatch-just-not-real-12509265/

Paul J

Paul J

Paul J is is an ex-professional footballer who has seen a gym or two and is an expert at knowing what is required for home gym setups. When he isn’t testing out products for his readers, he’s usually going for a run in the park or out for coffee.