A male journalist is questioning whether Baywatch lead Zac Efron went way overboard with his exercise regimen to prepare for the big-screen adaptation of the 90’s syndicated television staple.
Writer E. Alex Jung for Vulture recently composed a piece based on comments the Disney alum and Hollywood heartthrob, 29, made to Men’s Fitness in May regarding the routine he adopted to “drop the last bit of body fat” for the movie, while also getting “into the best shape of his life,” despite already being quite physically fit.
“Right now, I’m probably the strongest I’ve ever felt [physically],” Efron relayed to columnist Josh Dean, after first taking a swig of a self-made dietary supplement to assist his training.
“Not in terms of bench press or how much I can squat,” he continued, “but in how quickly I could get out of this room and destroy everything in my path [if necessary].”
In his Vulture piece, Jung explains that after seeing Baywatch for himself, he couldn’t help but notice Zac’s “deeply disturbing” updated physique.
“There’s a scene [in the Baywatch movie] where Efron does an American Ninja Warrior-style course and you see muscles you never knew existed,” Jung writes.
“His muscles look like they have bred with each other and given birth to little baby muscles. He has those ridges underneath his ribs that look like fine pebbled leather, and gutters so deep they could channel a major waterway. His 23 different abs give new meaning to the phrase ‘between a rock and a hard place.'”
While Jung’s words may appear to come off as being more of a personal grievance with the overall theme of male body image, keep in mind that Efron’s Baywatch character is supposed to be a former Olympian diver who, by most realistic standards, are far more lean in their actual musculature than Zac currently is.
“His action-figure physique is much bulkier than you’d see at an Olympic pool, where the musclemen look sleek,” Jung notes.
To obtain his bold Baywatch look, Efron’s personal nutritionist and trainer, Patrick Murphy, came up with a strategy that saw him filtering Zac’s intake of carbs, fat, salt, and other elements, and replacing them with more organic foods.
“After a while your body stops craving junk food and you look forward to these meals,” Murphy remarked to Men’s Health Dean, who immediately raised an eye to the comment.
“There’s this trigger that happens after two or three weeks of dieting and eating healthy food, ” Murphy continued, “where your body switches its primary energy source from burning mainly carbohydrates to burning fat.”
“And when it switches over, all your cravings change. You go, ‘Holy cow, I want kale and vinaigrette shredded with beets and a little bit of sweet potato!'”
“I [waited] for him to laugh,” Murphy wrote, assuming the line to be a joke, “but he [didn’t].”
Even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Efron’s Baywatch co-lead and a former wrestler known and respected for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, appeared to allude to the idea that Zac may have pushed his training well past normal boundaries to keep up certain expected appearances.
“It [usually takes] months of focused sacrifice all leading up to one particular event that takes place in one night,” Johnson shared, “[but] in the case of Baywatch, Zac’s had to apply the diet and training strategy of an elite athlete, [and] also had the ‘added bonus’ of needing to maintain that look for months while we’re shooting”
“Zac committed to be the best version of himself possible and did it. He came in looking like a f***ing animal,” the actor also remarked.
Incidentally, Efron’s intense exercise habits may be attached to his reported past issues, including supposed battles with alcohol and MDMA, also known as “Ecstacy,” as Zac himself shared with The Hollywood Reporter in 2014 (Jung also brings this aspect up in his Variety piece: “I suspect that there’s an inner demon driving him more than exacting industry standards.”).
Be that as it may, with talk of a Baywatch sequel already being shopped around, chances are that Efron won’t be backing away from his strenuous lifestyle anytime soon — which worries Jung.
Here are two objective and related truths about the new Baywatch movie:— Vulture (@vulture) May 26, 2017
1. It is bad
2. Zac Efron is too swollhttps://t.co/m29QgwEWcz
“I’m worried that [men in] Hollywood are just one scoop of protein powder away from total renal failure, but most of all,” he surmises, “I’m worried about Zac Efron.”
Reps for Efron have not spoken on the Vulture piece. Baywatch, featuring both Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson, is now playing in theaters.
[Featured Image by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images]