Zac Efron admits bulking up for Baywatch 'messed' him up

A topless Zac Efron
A wax dummy of Zac Efron in Baywatch shows how sculpted the actor had to be. Photo credit: Getty Images

Zac Efron has revealed the process he underwent to achieve his Baywatch body "messed" him up for months.

The High School Musical actor is currently bulking up for a yet-to-be-announced role, but he has no intention of looking as ripped as he did in the 2017 movie Baywatch because he doesn't want to put himself through that process again.

"That Baywatch look, I don't know if that's really attainable. There's just too little water in the skin. Like, it's fake; it looks CGI'd," he admitted to Men's Health magazine.

"And that required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to achieve. So I don't need to do that. I much prefer to have an extra, you know, two to three per cent body fat."

In addition to taking diuretics, which increase the excretion of water from the body, Zac also trained too much, didn't sleep enough, and had the same three meals every day. The negative effects of his Baywatch training lasted for six months after filming wrapped.

"I started to develop insomnia and I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time," he candidly shared.

"Something about that experience burned me out. I had a really hard time recentering. Ultimately, they chalked it up to taking way too many diuretics for way too long, and it messed something up."

The 34-year-old re-evaluated his attitude to fitness when he took an extended break in Australia and let himself fall out of shape for the first time in his working life.

"At one point, that was a dream of mine - what it would be like to not have to be in shape all the time," Zac explained. "What if I just say, 'F**k 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."

He came to realise that he enjoys training and feels more like himself when he works out - but he now does so more mindfully.

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