Zac Efron: His Workout Routine and Diet for "Baywatch"

You have the ability to achieve the results that Zac Efron achieved with his workout routine. Are you up for the challenge?
Zac Efron: His Workout Routine and Diet for "Baywatch"
Leonardo Biolatto

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Leonardo Biolatto.

Last update: 30 September, 2022

The movie Baywatch centers on two lifeguards who must stop criminals who threaten the beach where they work. One of those lifeguards is played by Zac Efron, who had to apply a strict workout routine for the body that his character required.

The first step the performer took was to select one of the best-certified fitness trainers in Los Angeles. His name is Murphy, and he really tested Zac’s physical limits.

The effective and intense workouts employed by Murphy have served as motivation for many people to follow the routine he devised for the actor. We’d like to invite you to learn the most relevant details so you can discover that you, too, with the follow-up of a professional, can be at his level.

The methodology for Zac Efron’s workout

The methodology used by Efron’s trainer was based on a philosophy of constant change. Different types of movements were added, such as hiking, cycling, full-body workouts, obstacle courses, stability, and balance. There were also strength and power exercises.

The constantly changing approach to the workouts and their demanding nature ensured that the actor’s level of physical activity did not stagnate. In fact, the trainer’s goal was always to modify the actor’s movements on a daily basis.

He did this, and Zac’s response was positive, as he was able to adapt to each change in the routines. The repetition plans were frequently adjusted, adding cardio, bodybuilding, and circuits. Supersets were also not left out.

Intense and prolonged workouts

Intensity is a word that describes the characteristic of Zac Efron’s workouts very well. If you don’t include a warm-up in the count, he often performed around 700 reps.

For you to be able to replicate this, you’re going to be subject to your current physical condition. If you’re a beginner, start with two rounds of an activity, then progress to three. Then, when you feel like a fitness expert, you can practice four rounds per exercise.

Remember that the idea is not to compare yourself to the actor, as he had the resources and time to achieve the goals. So, pay close attention to the following guide.

Zac Efron's training involves cycling
It wasn’t all weights and weights in Efron’s routine. There was also hiking and cycling so as not to lose agility and endurance.

Train your full body with drop sets

This technique involves a set in conventional form, but without resting when you’re done. What you will do is decrease the weight and continue with another set until your muscles can’t take it anymore.

It’s very important that you reduce the rest time between sets as much as possible. This is an effective way to gain muscle.

Perform 10 reps of lateral raises with 20-pound dumbbells, for example, and then 20 reps of the same movement, but with 10 pounds to get to the full drop set.

Dynamic stretching

This can be represented by several exercises that allow you to prepare your body for sports. Their main objective is to increase the body temperature, increase your heart rate, and get your blood to flow faster.

Some specific exercises that the trainer programmed for Zac Efron are those that we’re going to tell you about below. See if they could complete them!

1. Wall presses

Stand with your hands shoulder-width apart in front of a wall. Then, perform a push-up with your arms and bring your chest close to the wall. It’s kind of like a traditional push-up, with the difference that you won’t be lying on the floor.

2. Reverse lunges

To do these, you must stand with your feet hip-width apart. Then, you move back your left foot and lower the knee of that leg very close to the ground.

At the bottom of the movement, you have to rotate your torso over your right leg. Now, turn towards the center of your body, press your right foot into the floor and move your left leg forward to return to the starting point.

3. Leg swings

Leg swings are performed standing next to the wall so you can keep your balance by supporting yourself with your hands. You put your feet hip-width apart, hold one foot on the floor and swing the other leg back and forth. The idea is that you can interchange legs in the routine.

4. Hip stretches

To do this, you have to stretch your hips by twisting your torso. Stand with your feet together, then direct your left foot about three steps back.

Continuing to place your right hand on your hip, you begin to twist your torso until you feel a hip stretch from that side with your left arm elevated. Then, switch and try the other side.

5. Climbers

This is a slightly complex exercise that mixes the isometric plank with knee raises. It involves intense aerobic work.

You start lying on the floor face down, resting your hands on it, in a plank position. From that position, you alternate bending your knees, bringing them forward as close to your opposite elbow as possible. Lift your right knee toward your left elbow under your body and then your left knee toward your right elbow.

6. Jump squats

Your starting position should be in a squat position, then you have to rise explosively by jumping into the air. You have to control your breathing to endure the maximum number of repetitions. Here, you work a lot of muscles and raise your heart rate.

7. The bridge

Lie on your back on the floor, with your forearms and feet touching the surface. Start lifting your groin area towards the ceiling so that you feel the tension through your glutes at the top of the movement. The more lifts you perform, the better results you will get.

Zac Efron's training
The gluteal bridge is optimal for the hips. It can be performed with your own weight or by adding a load.

Diet was also key in Zac Efron’s Baywatch transformation

Diet was part of Zac Efron’s workout. He placed special emphasis on whole foods.

The actor ate brown rice, but not brown rice pasta. He ate apples, but not bottled apple juice. And he ate quinoa, which is ideal for weight control because of its high fiber content, although he avoided cookies made from this pseudo-grain.

Murphy also devised a flour-free diet while requiring the actor to consume 90% of whole grain foods in a month. He had the possibility of three free meals in the same period. He could eat anything during those meals without having to stick to his diet rules.

Recommendations for you to replicate Zac Efron’s training

The most important thing is that you understand that all the training that the actor experienced can be adapted to your reality, both physically and economically. This can serve as a model for you to create your own workout plan.

The more intense version of this workout increases the risk of injury.

That’s why you have to build your goals based on how you want to feel, not how you want to look. The physical aspect is important, but it should not be the focus.

Start by performing 10 repetitions with each exercise, and as your body gains endurance, you can double the number. It may not be easy to follow this plan, but with consistency, it’s possible to achieve the same results as Zac.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Costa B, Ferreira M, Gantois P, Kassiano W, Paes S, Lima-Junior D, Cyrino E, Fortes L. Efecto agudo de los sistemas Drop-Set, tradicionale y piramidales en el entrenamiento de resistencia sobre el rendimiento neuromuscular en adultos entrenados. Revista de investigación de fuerza y acondicionamiento. 2021; 35 (4): 991-996.
  • Viñuela M, Vera A, Colomer D, Márquez G, Romero S. Efecto de 12 sesiones de un entrenamiento interválico de alta intensidad sobre la composición corporal en adultos jóvenes. Revista nutrición hospitalaria. 2016; 33 (3): 272.
  • Comité Nacional de Medicina del Deporte Infantojuvenil. Entrenamiento de la fuerza en niños y adolescentes: beneficios, riesgos y recomendaciones. Revista archivos argentinos de pediatría. 2018; 116 (6): 82-91.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.