Zac Efron's Ridiculous 'Baywatch' Shoulder Workout

Credit: Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett

Zac Efron may have been blessed with undeniably good genetics, but make no mistake: The lean physique he showcases in Baywatch has been earned.

“I have been training actors for 20 years and I have never seen anything quite like his work ethic,” says Efron’s trainer Patrick Murphy. “He was crushing two sessions a day, doing lifeguard courses, and then going on 20-mile bike rides. There is a laser focus he has about his training. On top of that, I never once heard him groan about doing another rep.”

The average preparation time for Hollywood training usually lands somewhere around four to six weeks, but Efron started the work eight months before the cameras were on. Murphy created a constantly evolving program that featured lots of supersetting (two exercises back to back), functional movements, dramatic tempo changes, and a purely whole-food diet.

"Patrick's training was confusing at first,” Efron says. “He pushed me to my limits with a very multifaceted style: strength, explosiveness, fast-paced, calculated, diverse, and gut-wrenching workouts. It was fun.”

For Efron, who has always been fairly fit, the personal goal was to be able to stand up against his massive co-star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who holds a massive size advantage against the younger actor. Since outgunning him wasn’t going to be an option to compete onscreen, their plan was to get Efron as shredded as possible. “The body inspiration was Bruce Lee,” Murphy says. “Our goal was to make it so you just couldn’t stop staring at him.” Mission accomplished.

But their goals weren’t purely aesthetic. “The mission was to have him super agile, stabilized, and strong,” Murphy says. “I had to bring out my whole toolbox to bring this to fruition. Not only did we want him to look like a superhero, but we wanted him to be able to move like one.”

Sample Workout: Shoulders

(All exercises performed standing)

Warm-Up

Circuit 1

Complete 3 supersets, performing both exercises back-to-back before 45-60 second rest. Perform the 2nd round with a 4-second rep tempo.

Circuit 2

Complete 3 supersets, performing both exercises back-to-back before 45-60 second rest. Perform the 2nd round with a 4-second rep tempo.

Circuit 3

Complete 3 supersets, performing both exercises back-to-back before 45-60 second rest. Perform the 2nd round with a 4-second rep tempo.

Get the whole Baywatch program from Patrick Murphy here.