Zac Efron’s Balanced 4-Move Kettlebell Workout Routine

ZAC EFRON’S FITNESS regimen has evolved to become much better for his body. His path to finding balance was just a bit bumpier—and more public—than most guys in their 30s.

The 34-year-old actor’s name was at one point shorthand for the pinnacle of super-shredded, showing up films like Neighbors and Baywatch with an impossibly-lean physique to match his charm and good looks. To achieve this sub-normal body fat level, Efron trained maniacally, often waking up at 4 a.m. for workouts after long days of filming (he also took diuretics to shed water weight, making himself appear even more cut).

Eventually, this intense program took a toll. Post-Baywatch, Efron said that he developed insomnia and depression, which led to burnout that lasted for six months. He even got to the point that he didn’t want to put in any effort on physical fitness.

“At one point, that was a dream of mine—what it would be like to not have to be in shape all the time,” Efron told MH in his new cover interview. “What if I just say, ‘Fuck it’ and let myself go? So I tried it, and I was successful. And for all the reasons I thought it would be incredible, I was just miserable. My body would not feel healthy; I just didn’t feel alive. I felt bogged down and slow.”

Now, Efron has found balance. He still challenges himself physically—“I enjoy pushing myself and really laying it all out, to the point where I kind of have to do it. Otherwise I don’t feel like myself,” he said—but he evens out all the hard work with even more recovery modalities, like foam rolling, self-massage with tools like Theraguns, and ice baths.

Efron wants guys to know that the Baywatch physique isn’t realistic, but he’s also still training hard and building a better balance with his body. The workout below is just one example of that approach.

The Zac Attack Workout

To carve his athletic physique, Zac Efron relies on this single-kettlebell burner from trainer Ben Greenfield.

Directions: Warm up with 30 burpees, then set a timer for 20 minutes. Complete all reps of all the exercises below before each minute is up, then rest until the start of the next minute.

Kettlebell Swing

Ben Mounsey-Wood

Do 10 reps. Focus on being explosive as you stand up straight.

Hard-Style Pushup

Ben Mounsey-Wood

Do 5 reps. Pause at the bottom of each, then explode to the top.

Kettlebell Goblet Squat

Ben Mounsey-Wood

Do 10 reps. Squeeze your glutes hard as you stand.

Wide-Grip Tempo Pullup

Ben Mounsey-Wood

Do 5 slow reps (1 second up, 5 seconds down).

Ebenzer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men’s Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He’s logged training time with NFL athletes and track athletes and his current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga. Before joining Men’s Health in 2017, he served as a sports columnist and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.  

Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. You can find his work elsewhere at Mashable, Thrillist, and other outlets.

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