Exercise Scientist Breaks Down the Good (and the Unsafe) parts of Zac Efron’s Training

When it comes to achieving the chiseled, beach-ready physique Zac Efron showcased in the movie “Baywatch,” many fans and fitness enthusiasts are eager to learn the secrets behind such a transformation.

That ‘Baywatch’ look, I don’t know if that’s really attainable. There’s just too little water in the skin. Like, it’s fake; it looks CGI’d. And that required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to achieve. So I don’t need to do that. I much prefer to have an extra, you know, two to three percent body fat.

Zac Efron

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Dr. Mike Israetel, an esteemed exercise science professor, took to the task of dissecting Efron’s workout routine, as designed by trainer Patrick Murphy, to offer a critical perspective on its effectiveness, safety, and practicality.

With an overall rating of 7 out of 10, Dr. Mike’s review sheds light on the positives, negatives, and neutral aspects of the regimen, providing a comprehensive evaluation for those looking to emulate or understand the star’s fitness journey.

Positive Aspects of the Workout

One of the standout positives identified by Dr. Mike involves the use of supersets, which combine two exercises back-to-back without rest.

This approach not only maximizes time efficiency for those with busy schedules but also enhances calorie burn, making it a compelling strategy for intense training within limited time frames.

Furthermore, the inclusion of dynamic warm-ups—though with some reservations about specific stretches—was noted for its potential benefits in promoting blood flow and preparing the body for weight training.

Criticisms and Concerns

However, the workout routine is not without its critiques. Dr. Mike highlights several areas of concern, particularly around the choice of exercises and training methodologies.

The use of unstable surfaces, such as Bosu balls, was criticized for not being conducive to maximizing muscle growth and posing risks to individuals with joint issues.

Additionally, certain exercise variations, including single-leg lateral raises and the limited range of motion in floor presses, were deemed inefficient for hypertrophy training.

The emphasis on irrelevant cues, such as “keeping the abs in” during exercises that do not require such focus, and the inefficient allocation of time to isolated rear delt exercises were also called into question.

Moreover, the review sternly addresses the health risks associated with using diuretics to achieve extreme leanness, underscoring the potential dangers of such practices.

Neutral Observations

On a neutral note, Dr. Mike discusses intermittent fasting and the organic food debate.

While acknowledging that intermittent fasting can be a viable dietary approach for some, the review clarifies that it is not ideal for everyone, emphasizing the importance of tailoring diet plans to individual needs and goals.

Similarly, the perception that organic food is inherently healthier than processed food is debunked, with Dr. Mike advocating for a diet centered around minimally processed whole foods, regardless of their organic label.

Detailed Critique

Delving deeper into the critique, the review meticulously examines the warm-up routines and exercise selection, pointing out inefficiencies and suggesting more effective alternatives.

The analysis of supersets and their application further highlights the need for strategic pairings to optimize muscle rest and performance. Additionally, the dietary considerations discussed, including

Efron’s reliance on intermittent fasting and organic foods, are scrutinized for their role in achieving the desired physique and their broader implications on health and wellness.

Concluding Remarks

In conclusion, Dr. Mike Israetel’s review of Zac Efron’s “Baywatch” workout offers a balanced view, acknowledging the routine’s strengths while drawing attention to its shortcomings.

The critique serves as a reminder of the importance of evidence-based exercise science over celebrity-driven fitness trends, advocating for a sensible and health-focused approach to training and diet.

While the allure of achieving a “Baywatch body” may be strong, this review underscores the necessity of prioritizing safety, effectiveness, and individual health above all.

I started to develop insomnia, and I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time. Something about that experience burned me out. I had a really hard time recentering. Ultimately they chalked it up to taking way too many diuretics for way too long, and it messed something up.

Zac Efron


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