Discovering that Zac Efron is actually beating Baywatch co-star and wrestling legend Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at physical challenges has left a lot of us wondering: How in the hell did he do it?! He's come a long way since his High School Musical days, that's for sure, and over the last 10 years we've seen him morph from a skinny teenager into a buff movie star. But how?!
It turns out that in preparation for his ripped role as lifeguard Matt Brody, Efron has been throwing himself into a demanding diet and exercise regimen, including swimming, tire shrugging and grueling obstacle courses. Yes, it sounds seriously intense, but if you're going to star in a movie with The Rock, upping your fitness game is sort of mandatory.
If you're after a set of Efron abs to call your own, then you're in for a pretty tough ride. Not only is Zac spending insane amounts of time at the gym, he's also had to give up pretty much all of the foods that most of us love. Even so, it looks like he's more than making up for it on his cheat days:
The actor first sang his way into our hearts a decade ago as jock-turned-musical-maestro Troy Bolton in Disney's smash-hit trilogy High School Musical. Watch a clip from the movie that kick-started his career below:
Troy was cute, sure, but he was still a bit of a scrawny teen and Efron had a lot of work to do if he wanted to earn a strongman status. He still looked fairly fresh-faced in Hairspray, 17 Again and Charlie St. Cloud, but little did we know, an epic transformation was right around the corner.
Although he's always loved sport, Efron's first real effort to bulk up came in 2012 for his role in The Lucky One, in which he played a U.S. Marine. In the four months prior to filming, he prepared by training five days a week and sticking to a super-strict diet of protein shakes and eight-egg omelettes.
It wasn't long before life in the spotlight all proved a bit much for poor Zac, and he was forced to take a break in order to attend treatment for alcohol and substance abuse. But in 2014, the heartthrob was back with a bang, starring in two movies that had him whipping his shirt off and flashing his buff physique. In prep for romantic comedy That Awkward Moment and straight-up funny film Neighbors, Zac once again turned to protein shakes and daily workouts to keep in tip-top shape.
It might have been years in the making, but all of Zac's hard work has definitely paid off, as he is looking more muscular than ever on the Baywatch set. He'll star alongside The Rock, model-turned-actress Kelly Rohrbach, Alexandra Daddario, former Miss World Priyanka Chopra and Broad City's Hannibal Buress in the upcoming film, which is set to premiere on May 19, 2017 (28 years after the original first hit the air).
And if you just can't wait that long to see Efron doing his thing, then fear not — you can witness his fitness in three more films this year: romantic comedy Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates; James Franco's biopic The Disaster Artist; and Neighbors sequel Sorority Rising alongside Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne. You can check out the trailer for Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising below: