“I’ve really been taking time to focus on, you know, self-fulfillment and trying to find my groove,” Zac Efron said in the cover story of Men’s Health October 2022 issue. While Zac, 34, has been romantically involved with stars like Vanessa Hudgens, Lilly Collins, Vanessa Valladares, Michelle Rodriguez, and more, he’s currently flying solo – and he’s happy with that. “I know that probably when I meet the right person, it’s going to be when I least expect it,” he tells the publication.
Zac is also happy that he doesn’t look absolutely shredded anymore. “That Baywatch look, I don’t know if that’s really attainable,” said Zac, referring to what he put himself through to play Matt Brody in the 2017 adaptation of the hit television show. “There’s just too little water in the skin. Like, it’s fake; it looks CGI’d,” Zac said of his appearance. “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, 2 to 3 percent body fat.”
Though Zac told Men’s Health that he is bulking up for a yet-to-be-announced role, he’s avoiding the mistakes he made with Baywatch. In addition to taking diuretics, he was overtraining and eating the same three meals a day. Plus, he wasn’t sleeping properly. Even if filming stopped at midnight, he would still get up at 4:00 a.m. to train. “I started to develop insomnia,” Zac said, “and I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time. 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.”
Zac shares this experience to help those who think the Baywatch body is obtainable without cost. The recovery took a lot out of Zac, which forced him to reevaluate his relationship with personal 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,” he told Men’s Health. Ever since his High School Musical days, Zac had been involved in some form of training, having first joined his father on runs. “What if I just say, ‘F-ck 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.”
After experiencing both extremes, Zac exercises but is more mindful of how he does. He is a “foam-rolling fanatic,” according to Men’s Health. He is a firm believer in stretching, self-massage, and yoga. He also loves an ice bath.
“It’s my favorite part of the day. Before is when it’s most miserable, and when you finally just commit and jump in there. From that point forward, you’ve conquered something deep within you; you do not want to get cold,” he told Men’s Health. “That’s the simplest philosophy: Anything you don’t want to do, make it a habit.”