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How Did Zac Efron Get Ready For Baywatch?

How Did Zac Efron Get Ready For Baywatch?

If you’ve been keeping up with movies in the past couple years, you’ll have noticed that Zac Efron is everywhere. His days of being the teen pop icon from High School Musical are now only memories, as he is now better known for his athletic, lean physique seen in numerous hit summer films. Most recently, he’s starring in Baywatch, alongside well-known actor and bodybuilder, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

To play this role well, Efron needed to build muscle and maintain his shredded build for months while shooting the movie. If you’re looking for some inspiration when designing your next pre-beach season program, Zac’s routine may be exactly what you’re looking for. In this article, I’ll go over each aspect of his program, including detailed coverage of his diet and training, so you’re able to learn exactly what you need to do to get jacked for the summer, just in time for the local lifeguard job openings!

zac efron baywatch workout

Zac Efron Diet Plan

The first thing to remember  when it comes to building the body you want is: 80% of the work is done in the kitchen. As shown by the impressiveness of his physique, Efron is no stranger to this sentiment. While shooting Baywatch, his diet was meticulous. For Zac to get as lean as he is, his trainer prescribed him an “all-organic whole-food diet” and Efron, himself, has shown us through social media that his regimen was incredibly strict and contained very few carbs.

This means the fuel he needed to build muscle was coming from a lot of lean proteins and healthy fats, and the few carbs, from complex sources. To get as lean as him with the same diet, you would want to be eating foods such as chicken, turkey, and pork loins for your protein sources, as well as red meats, avocados, and nuts for the fats. For carbs, you would want to stick to the brown ones: brown rice, quinoa, and oats. This is only a small selection of choices; however, and it’s important to build a diet around foods that you like because the key to losing weight is having a sustainable diet that you can hold over a long period of time that also meets your individual nutrient and calorie goals.

It’s also important to remember the 80/20 rule. While training with the Rock, who’s famous for his mega cheat days, Zac Efron allowed himself to indulge, but sparingly. By doing this, he was able to crush any cravings he may have had and sustain the diet over the long run. By upping his carbs on certain days, he would be able to keep his metabolism in check and keep his weight down. If you’re going to utilize cheat meals, though, it’s important to not let them get out of hand. If you are careless, they can easily throw off your weight loss progress for a period of time, so my rule of thumb is to shoot for just above maintenance calories on “off” days, while still getting enough required nutrients. I also do HIIT on those days to revert some of the negative effects, if I end up eating more than I’m supposed to.

Efron maintained a low-carb nutrition plan with small diet breaks every now and then, meaning he was able to keep his body lean and muscular for the months required to shoot Baywatch.

zac efron baywatch workout

Zac Efron Baywatch Workout

Going hand-in-hand with nutrition, Efron’s training plan going into Baywatch was equally as hardcore. For Zac, who lives a busy lifestyle, it’s important that he is able to workout in a fairly short amount of time. Because of this, Zac would work out at the very beginning of the day, sometimes as early as 4:30am, with Dwayne Johnson as his training partner so they could push each other to work out as hard as they could.

In addition, Zac’s trainer designed a program built around supersets so that he was able to be as efficient as possible with his time. By doing supersets, Zac could get a bit of cardiovascular activity in, as well as getting increased muscle pumps from the shorter rest times, which would lead to more muscle being built. The program, itself, follows an almost traditional 3-day pull-push-legs split, with back and bi’s one day, legs the next, and chest, shoulders, and more arms the last. Here it is below!


Day 1

3 Sets of 8-12 Reps for all Exercises

Day 2

3 sets of 8-12 Reps for First Exercise in Superset (Each Side)

3 Sets of 20 Reps for Second Exercise in Superset (Each Side)

Day 3

3 Sets of 8-12 Reps for all Exercises

Straight-Arm Pulldown

Ab-Wheel Rollout

60 Seconds Rest

Leg Press

Suspension Squat Jump

60 Seconds Rest

Dumbbell Front Raise

Crossbody Cable Raise

60 Seconds Rest

Seated Cable Row

Suspended Row

60 Seconds Rest

Swiss Ball Hip Extension

Swiss Ball Leg Curl

60 Seconds Rest

Dumbbell Floor Press


60 Seconds Rest

Neutral-Grip Pull-Up

Lat Pulldown from Knees

60 Seconds Rest

Reverse Walking Lunge

Mountain Climbers on Sliders

60 Seconds Rest

Incline Dumbbell Press

Dumbbell Overhead Press

60 Seconds Rest


Dumbbell Biceps Curl

60 Seconds Rest

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

Kick Butts Jumps

60 Seconds Rest

Cable Chest Press

Bosu Plyo Push-Ups

60 Seconds Rest

Unstable Single-Leg Calf Raise

Suspension Trainer Single-Leg Squat Hop

60 Seconds Rest

Single-Arm Pushdown

Single-Arm Bicep Curl

60 Seconds Rest

For cardio, Zac liked to step outside the gym, often going on hikes, walks, and bike rides and playing sports such as soccer and basketball too. Since this program is a PPL, rest days are best taken after you’ve completed either 1 cycle or 2, depending on how much recovery you need. Because Efron followed an energetic workout routine, hitting abs frequently, and throwing in a lot of fun cardio activities on the side, he was able to use the nutritious foods he ate in the kitchen to fuel his body and add on pounds of lean mass.

zac efron baywatch workout

Take Home Message

If you’re looking to add on some extra muscle and cut fat for the upcoming beach season, Zac Efron’s Baywatch routine may be a good starting point for you! When training, it’s important to remember that everybody has different genetics so while you can follow Zac’s training and diet down to the dot, you may have a different yield than him because everybody’s body is unique and responds differently to certain exercises. To get a shredded beach-bod, you need to pay attention to what works best for you and do more of that.

Regardless of the individual, however, the tenants Efron follows are almost universal. By eating a high-protein, low-carb diet in a caloric deficit, and engaging in an intense full-body split, you will be able to get cut while still maintaining, and even building some lean mass. With this in mind, Zac Efron’s program can be a great stepping stone in building the physique you need to be the hottest lifeguard of the summer, and you can see the results of the program yourself in theaters on May 26 for the release of Baywatch.

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Jake Bolling

Jake Bolling

Writer and expert

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