Zac Efron Workout Routine – How to Build a Baywatch Body

Now that the beach season is over in most places, it’s time to start training your body for the following summer! After all, this is the only approach that can guarantee long-time effects. Gradual and consistent training. 

And what can be a better beach body routine than the one actors from Baywatch use? So whether you are a fan of the old series or not, 2016 brought us a new movie with lots of body goals for fitness enthusiasts. And while The Rock had been the muscle icon for a long time, a young romantic heartthrob impressed us with a shredded transformation. 

Zac Efron has been in good shape throughout his whole career. However, Baywatch marked certain expectations that the actor fully met. In the span of 12 weeks, he fully transformed into a shredded lifeguard. I’ve researched the man’s workout and diet plan so you can try the transformation yourself! 

So, we’ve all seen Zac Efron’s insane workout transformation – talk about dedication, right? Well, turns out his net worth is on a pretty impressive journey too, thanks to his acting gigs and other ventures that are giving those muscles a run for their money.

Now, let’s take a look at the initial material and the impressive results.

Zac Efron’s Baywatch Body

zac efron workout
@zacefron, Zac Efron’s official Instagram page

Before filming Baywatch, Zac Efron was already fit and took home awards for the best “shirtless performance” and was crowned “Hottest Hunk.” This is an impressive form to start working with. 

At the time, Efron had more of a lean body type. But during Baywatch filming, the actor could stand on his own near The Rock. 

Reportedly, Zac Efron put on around 10 pounds of pure muscle mass before filming Baywatch. The actor had a challenging 12-week training plan. During the whole time, he didn’t measure for more than 10% body fat and lowered it to only 5% at the end of the program. His personal trainer adopted a popular approach in recent years of working “with what you have” without adding fat mass beforehand as it was popular in the past. As proved by Zac Efron and his trainer, the balanced approach without the bulk/cut swings is effective.

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Note that the result highly depends on your initial form. The intensity should be regulated accordingly as well. You may not have a physique like Zac Efron’s before (or after), but the results of the training will show the individual growth of your strength and “shreddedness. “

Speaking of personal coaches, Zac’s achievements are the results of a meticulously composed regime of the celebrity trainer! 

Who Is Zac Efron’s Personal Trainer? 

Training with a personal coach is always better than choosing a program on our own. Unfortunately, we are not all superstars with the budget for it. Thus, let me introduce to you Zac Efron’s trainer and his credentials. After all, we cannot take up a program just by anybody; we need a professional regime to follow. 

Patrick Murphy, a coach working with Efron, is truly a celebrity trainer. He’s worked with Keanu Reeves, Ruby Rose, Alexandra Daddario, Olivia Wilde, Jason Segel, Jennifer Lawrence, and many others. 

Over the years, he’s learned to train actors for various roles and give them various body shapes. Thus, I truly believe this is a professional you can trust. 

What Is Zac Efron’s Workout Routine? 

zac efron workout routine
@zacefron, Zac Efron’s official Instagram page

According to the numerous interviews of Murphy’s, Eforn’s was a complex one tailored to his needs throughout the whole 12-week period. Zac “never done the same workout twice.” 

Murphy mentions the following combination of exercises:  

Efron’s ‘Baywatch’ movie training program involved an ever-changing approach, involving full-body workouts, two-day splits, three-day splits, power training, strength training, stability and balance training, lifeguard training, hiking, biking, obstacle course training, and more.

Zac’s workout routine was dynamic and ever-changing. This brings certain complications to our wish to follow his training routine. 

Luckily, the primary three-day body split routine is available to us! It focused on the following split: 

  • back and biceps
  • legs 
  • shoulders, chest, arms 

At the base of the routine are supersets. Doing two exercises back to back with little to no time in-between is a great way to add a bit of cardio training to the strength routine. Lately, many celebrities have focused on supersets when preparing for roles. You can also check Gal Gadot’s workout or the Superman Henry Cavill’s workout routines to check other supersets implemented. 

The routine that was revealed online is the following. 

3-Day Split Routine 

1 Day. Back and Biceps

2 Day. Rest 

3 Day. Legs

4 Day. Rest 

5 Day. Arms, Chest, and Shoulders 

6 Day. Rest 

7 Day. Either rest or cardio training

Plus, each of these starts with an intensive cardio warm-up and includes core exercises either before or at the end of a session. 

Remember that this routine is not for beginners as it is. But that doesn’t mean you cannot try it. You have several alternatives of how to tailor it to your level: 

  • work with bodyweight instead of dumbbells and other weights 
  • lower the number of reps or sets
  • rest in-between supersets for 120-180 seconds. 

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Back and Biceps Day 

Set 1. a) straight-arm pulldown b) ab rollout – (8-12 reps each, 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Set 2. a) seated cable row b) suspended row – (8-12 reps each, 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Set 3. a) neutral-grip pullup b) lat pulldown from knees – (8-12 reps each, 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Set 4. a) chin up b) dumbbell biceps curl – (8-12 reps each, 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Legs Day 

Set 1. a) leg pres b) suspension squat jump – (8-12 reps press, 20 reps squat; 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Set 2. a) swiss ball hip extension b) swiss ball leg curl – (8-12 reps extension, 20 reps curl; 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Set 3. a) reverse walking lunge b) mountain climber on sliders – (8-12 reps each side lunge, 20 reps climbers; 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Set 4. a) dumbbell Romanian deadlift b) kick butts – (8-12 reps deadlift, 20 reps kicks; 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Set 5. a) unstable single-leg calf raise b) suspension trainer single-leg squat hop – (8-12 reps each side calf raise, 20 reps each side squat hops; 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Arms, Chest, Shoulders Day 

zac efron baywatch workout
@zacefron, Zac Efron’s official Instagram page

Set 1. a) dumbbell squat front raise b) cross-body cable raise – (8-12 reps each, 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Set 2. a) dumbbell floor press b) pushup – (8-12 reps each, 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Set 3. a) incline dumbbell press b) dumbbell overhead press – (8-12 reps each, 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Set 4. a) chest cable press b) Bosu plyo pushup – (8-12 reps each, 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Set 5. a) single-arm pushdown b) single-arm curl – (8-12 reps each side, 3 sets, no rest) 

Rest 60 seconds 

Post-Baywatch Work 

After the release of the iconic lifeguard franchise, Zac continued his fitness journey. This time focusing on other approaches to diversify the challenging routine by Murphy. 

This time, the actor worked with his friend, a trainer as well, Johnny Fortana. Zac shares with us his training in a video with a celebrity guest, Nina Dobrev. 

If you want to peach up your booty and shred the abs for the next beach season, you can follow this simple Efron’s full-body routine as well. 

  1. Band walks (20 steps, 2 sets)
  2. Butterflies (20 times, 2 sets)
  3. Pigeon slides (10 times each leg, 3 sets) 
  4. Plank Slides (20 times, 2 sets) 
  5. Kettlebell halos (5 times, 3 sets) 
  6. Side bends (15 times each side, 3 sets)
  7. Superset: a)sleds b)hollow body (30 secs, 3 sets)

The detailed instructions on how to do each exercise can b found in this video: 

What Is Zac Efron’s diet? 

No training would bring such impressive results as we see in Baywatch without the proper diet. 

Zac Efron kept to a wholefood diet with a strictly calculated carbs/protein/fats ratio. Partick Murphy controlled the ratio personally and changed it every two weeks to keep up with Zac’s body changes. 

Of course, the ideal case would be to visit a professional nutrition expert and work on a balanced diet plan with them. However, I know how expensive that may be depending on where you live. 

Nevertheless, you can still drastically improve your diet to support the training plan by doing some research yourself and taking the actor’s experience into account. 

zac efron diet
@zacefron, Zac Efron’s official Instagram page

According to Zac Efron’s diet, the first rule is to stay away from processed, refined foods. That may be challenging in the modern days when our lives are hectic, but you need to find the time to cook your food for this. It’s also a sure way to keep control over the macros.

The standard division of macros for shredding is 40% protein / 30% carbs / 30% fats. Dedicated health calculators online and apps will help you estimate the numbers from all your meals. 

An essential part of Efron’s diet was lean meats due to their high protein content. Among the allowed meats are: 

  • chicken 
  • turkey 
  • beef lamb
  • veal 

Also, pack up proteins from eggs and fish. Though the latter is not lean, fish contains lots of healthy fats, plus Omega that boosts your immunity. 

Plus, Murphy added whey protein shakes as a regular snack to supplement the protein intake! Many celebrity coaches prefer the whey varieties of protein powder, noting their effectiveness. 

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Pack up on greens and non-starchy vegetables as much as you can! A salad should be your constant companion throughout the day. This, and drinking plenty of water, especially on the training days! The standard recommended eight glasses of water are far from enough on the days of extensive training. 

Is Zac Efron’s Workout Effective? 

zac efron training
@zacefron, Zac Efron’s official Instagram page

If you keep to the training and diet I’ve mentioned earlier, you’ll undoubtedly get positive results. But consistency and hard work should be your motto for the upcoming 12 weeks. 

Zac Efron’s workout routine is aimed at building muscles without adding up fat. It means that the calorie intake should be only slightly more than calorie expenditure. Remember that Murphy did not mean to bulk. This regime will bring positive results to everybody in terms of strength and fitness well-being. However, people with a lower body fat percentage will notice better results visually. 

If you are slim and want to tone up, build muscle definition, feel free to eat in a slight calorie surplus and opt for more repetition with lighter weight for hypertrophy. 

If your body fat percentage is noticeably higher than you’d like, slight calorie deficit and strength training are for (fewer reps, heavier weights). 

This sums up Zac Efron’s training regime he used to bulks up for filming Baywatch. Plus, you get a sneak peek at how the actor trains to maintain that lifeguard body. 

In only 12 weeks, he’s done an incredible job in transforming his body. This is the dedication and work ethic we all should strive for. Such accomplishments mean that a human body is capable of more than we can imagine. And if you adopt the routine with consistency and utmost dedication, I’m sure you can compete for the Extra Lifeguard role in the Baywatch sequel. 


Irene’s fitness journey began in 2017 with attending classes to improve her health and researching the anatomy of working out. After years of investigating trendy and “up and coming” fitness regimes, she is ready to share the tips and advice she’s learned from athletes and expert trainers of the field.