Starring in a big screen version of Baywatch alongside Dwayne Johnson must have been a pretty intimidating prospect on paper for Zac Efron.
Not only would the role require Efron to stay shirtless for much of the movie, but Effers also had to contend with the fact he would be shirtless alongside The Rock – possibly the biggest and buffest man on the planet today.
In those kinds of circumstances, plenty would have either crumbled under the pressure or gone into the kind of overdrive that would eventually lead to burnout. Not Zac though.
Thankfully he had the right attitude and the right personal trainer, Patrick Murphy, in his corner. Murphy has been training people for 22 years and knows what it takes to get lean, ripped and ready to take on the world – or in the case of Efron, The Rock.
And, after speaking to Murphy ahead of the release of Baywatch on DVD and Blu-ray, now loaded’s readers can find out a few important secrets too. Here goes…
loaded: Where should someone looking to get as ripped as Zac Efron start?
Patrick: A key ingredient in getting super-ripped and lean like Zac Efron is taking away all highly refined processed foods. Nutritionally, you need to take away all flour productions. The foundational idea of his nutritional programme was a whole food diet.
An example of that would be that he could eat an apple but had to stay away from apple juice. He could have a grain like brown rice but not brown pasta. Obviously no bread, no crackers, no tortillas. Everything was wholefood based and that in itself will turn off that body fat gaining switch and help people get lean. It’s just getting rid of highly refined processed foods. That’s an overall idea of healthier living and body fat.
loaded: What sort of exercise was involved?
Patrick: We covered so much. Everything from stabilisation, balance and agility to strength and power training. I implement different modes with different tools – cables, free weights, callisthenics, body exercises, bands – you name it.
You want a huge variety in your workout programme because that is the main ingredient of avoiding plateaus. That is how you maximise fat loss and performance – ever-changing workouts. Change evokes change.
loaded: Can you explain the concept of plateaus a little more?
Patrick: When someone is exercising and doing a certain type of workout programme if they do not drastically change that programme they get very good at it. But the body is very good at adapting to whatever you give it. So you often reach a plateau where you might get results with whatever you are doing but you won’t keep maximising your workout and progressing in your fat loss and performance. It needs to change to evoke change.
With Zac I did full body workouts. I did bodybuilding split routines. Power training, which maximises high heart rate quick twitch moves and just constantly changed it up. With the weight training, I did slow motion reps to quick-twitch reps. A lot of balance training too.
loaded: That sounds pretty intense. How did Zac cope?
Patrick: Even though we were going after a look for Zac, people need to know he got in top notch shape. He had great agility and great muscular performance and endurance. He had to perform an obstacle course and some of his own stunts, so he needed to be like that – it wasn’t all show and no go. It was all show and all go.
Resistance training. Full body workouts into split routines. A push day for upper body. Some days would just leg days or all day rowing. And after his weight training days, Zac would also do professional lifeguard training for two hours.
loaded: Did Zac have to eat a lot to maintain that kind of programme?
Patrick: There’s a huge amount of output and calorie expenditure. Maintaining the clean diet and amount of protein he ate kept muscle on his body.
I plugged his weight and height into a computer and worked out how many calories he burned on a daily basis. He was able to manipulate his programme to see what number of calories need to happen for gaining or losing weight or maximising fat loss etc.
Because he worked out so much and had such a high output, he ate a good amount of food on a daily basis. If he didn’t eat enough, he could have become too thin because he was training so hard.
loaded: So a lot then! What sort of foods are we talking here?
Patrick: All the greens, all the veggies, lots of lean proteins. All the healthy fats like nuts and seeds. Olive oil, all the healthy oils. Avocadoes. A whole food diet.
loaded: Just finally, what’s the one bit of advice you could offer to the average guy down the gym?
Patrick: I’m in the gym six days a week and the majority of people in gyms are not spiking their heart rate enough. Heart rate is directly related to calorie burning – not sweating. It’s heart rate and people need to create heavy breathing. Heavy breathing is weight loss.
People need to minimise rest between sets in the gym and start spiking their heart rate more often in the workout. Get rid of highly processed foods and beverages.
Head to BaywatchBodyWorkout.com for more advice and guidance from Patrick.
Baywatch is available for digital download now and explodes onto Blu-ray™ and DVD September 25
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.