Zac Efron fans know he is no stranger to fitness. The film star has shown off his built physique in movies like Baywatch and Neighbors. Before each film, though, the actor mixes up his routine. "It’s kind of a luxury that not everyone has, and it’s definitely a good motivator," he says. "You can’t help but treat every role like an opportunity, especially if it’s a transformation."
Efron, 31, has integrated exercise into his daily routine, especially while preparing for a new role. "[Exercise] has become synonymous for a good day for me," he says. "It starts with that rush to the head and the body. Mental health is increasingly important for me as I get older, and one of my favorite ways to stay calm and motivated and peaceful is through training and working out."
In 2019, the actor has resolved to learn a new skill and take up surfing. He also plans to make time for his family, redesign his home and spend time with friends. In order to manage his schedule efficiently, Efron needs to have a targeted fitness plan. Though he likes working out in the evening, he enjoys the sense of achievement he feels after starting the day off with a workout.
"It’s a nice reminder that once you’ve got it out of the way, you’ve already accomplished something," he says. "Even if everything else goes sideways you already have a great workout under your belt."
Efron swears by TRX bands, which can be easily packed and taken on location. He also has adjustable dumbbells for a last-minute tune-up before getting in front of the camera. "Sometimes the best time to train if you're playing a part like I did in Baywatch is before a scene," he says. "I've seen pictures of Steve McQueen doing it, and there's Arnold's thing on pumping up. It's a great time to work out."
Although the actor is not shy about showing some skin on film, he does cringe at the idea of wearing tights to work out. If he does wear compression leggings, he wears a pair of shorts over them. "I’m not going to knock anyone for the leggings look—I’m sure there are reasons superheroes wear tights," he says. "If you pull it off and it works… I just have to wear something over them or I feel too self-conscious."
One important piece of advice Efron has is to start small, changing one part of your routine, which will yield results if practiced repeatedly.
He also believes that it’s important to have fun and be spontaneous. "The last few years kind of flew by, then 2018 was just kind of weird for a lot of reasons out there in the ether, so I really want to bring this one home and have fun mentally, spiritually and in every way," he says.
This year, Efron will star in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, a thriller directed by Joe Berlinger in which Efron plays Ted Bundy, the notorious serial killer, and The Beach Bum, a comedy written and directed by Harmony Korine that also stars Matthew McConaughey and Isla Fisher.
Despite being in his thirties, the actor is still as a teen heartthrob by many. In 2018, he won the Teen Choice Award for Best Actor in a drama for The Greatest Showman, a musical co-starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya.