There’s no denying that the High School Musical alum, Zac Efron, has one of the best physiques in Hollywood, and he sure as heck has worked hard for it. For his role starring alongside Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in 2017’s Baywatch, Efron embraced a life of hitting gruelling workouts twice daily and going “virtually carb-free” to create a physique that, even four years later, continues to redefine the archetypal Hollywood transformation.
The actor’s lean, wiry and muscular beach body was one of the film’s hottest points of discussion, and still is an aspiration for many. So, how did the Disney star achieve this unbelievably muscular frame?
This living room-friendly workout is one session that Efron would use to blast fat and carve his Baywatch physique. And each workout proves that you don’t need a room full of home gym equipment to get a sweat on.
Under the watchful eye of his trainer, Patrick Murphy, Efron would often practise a potent mix of bodyweight exercises to reduce his fat and build lean, functional muscle to achieve what was required of his character in the 2017 release—an ex-Olympic swimmer-turned-lifeguard.
Efron explained in a statement that a typical workout could include “20 alternating jump lunges in one place, 20 jump squats, 60 mountain climbers, power push-ups, followed by a run up five flights of stairs, then one-leg squat hops using a TRX rope.” The actor would then rest for one minute and repeat the circuit twice more to finish over 1,000 reps once the workout had wrapped.
If you want to create your own sun-and-sand-worthy physique, you need to try this training plan from the gorgeous actor’s trainer. “Patrick’s training was confusing at first... I just thought I was showing up to lift weights and get a deeper six pack (which is hard enough already),” Efron wrote in a statement.
“But rather than the typical bodybuilding type of movements I had become accustomed to, Patrick pushed me to my ‘functional‘ limits with a very multifaceted style: strength, explosiveness, fast paced, calculated, diverse and gut-wrenching workouts. It was fun… you never know what he’s going to throw at you the next day,” Efron added.
Ready to give Zac Efron’s Baywatch fat-blasting workout a go? If you don’t have access to a staircase on the daily, you can even swap the stair drills for single-unders with a skipping rope, and work for three total rounds, as mentioned below.
20 alternating lunges (each leg)
20 jump squats
60 mountain climbers
20 plyometric press-ups, clap-ups or standard press-ups
20 single-leg squats or 40 air squats
150 single-unders with a skipping rope
Now no stranger to altering his physical appearance for a role, Efron has since admitted that, for regular guys, a physique like his in Baywatch is anything but a realistic goal.
Following such a strict workout and diet regime is no joke, and oftentimes not even realistic, which is why Efron has steered people away from blindly aping celebrity routines on various occasions. The actor—whose most recent screen credits include Netflix’s The Greatest Beer Run Ever, the Ted Bundy film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile and the sci-fi horror Amazon movie, Firestarter—has repeatedly spoken publicly on how he “nearly lost his mind” due to the intense diet and workout plan he had to adhere to for achieving those kinds of dramatic results.
Discussing his roid-free exercise regime in a previous interview with Ellen DeGeneres, the actor remarked, “That’s too big... for guys, that’s unrealistic. I’m telling you. I got very big and buff for that movie, but I don’t want people to think that’s the best way to be. Like, be your size… I don’t want to glamorise this.“
Another time, on First We Feast’s popular Hot Ones show back in 2020, Efron said, “That  was actually a really important time to do Baywatch, because I realised that when I was done with that movie, I don’t ever want to be in that good a shape again,” he said.
“Really, it’s like, it was so hard. You’re working with no wiggle-room. You’ve got water under your skin which you’re worrying about making your six-pack into a four-pack.” And, he’s right, just as Hugh Jackman did for Wolverine and Henry Cavill for The Witcher, water retention can be manipulated before a shirtless scene to make an actor appear leaner and considerably more shredded, which is not always sustainable.
“It’s just stupid. It’s not real. I’m happy that it worked and that it got me through it. I may do it again if it was something worthwhile, but I would wait until it gets to that,” Efron continued in the Hot Ones interview.
He also gave some great parting advice for any guy looking to improve his lifestyle and realign his priorities. “Take care of your heart, take care of your brain. You’re good.” We hear you, Zac!