2014 was a big year for Zac Efron. He had two hit movies – and he spent the most grueling week of his life running around in the bush with Bear Grylls. The movies were That Awkward Moment and Neighbors. In each one, Zac’s physique impressed. But it was the body he rocked in Neighbors that really got people’s attention.
In Neighbors, Zac plays frat leader Teddy Sanders. His character is a party loving, beer guzzling All-American college kid. But getting the body that Zac brings to the role required that he ditch the party scene and hunker down for some hard and heavy training. At the same time he had to trade in his Budweiser for a protein shake.
Zac’s turn-out as Teddy Sanders proved so popular that it was largely responsible for a Neighbors sequel. Neighbors 2:Sorority Rising hits theaters toward the end of 2016. You can expect Zac to be even more peeled for that role, thanks to the training he’s been doing with Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a The Rock) for 2017’s Baywatch.
So, how did Zac get in such great shape for Neighbors?
We’ve dug deep to uncover the training and diet secrets that Zac used during the summer of 2013 / 2014 to put together the package that he displayed on the set of Neighbors.
Zac’s Training Insights
At the time that the Neighbors movie was being released, Zac fielded a lot of questions about how he got in such great shape for the role. He revealed that his training for this part consisted of a lot of cross fit type workouts. He explained that he was playing a teenage frat guy so didn’t want to train full-on bodybuilding style or he’d put on too much muscle. What he was after was the lean, shredded look of a teen athlete. He certainly succeeded in achieving it.
Zac revealed in a 2015 interview that he has a relatively fast metabolism which allows him to burn calories quickly. This can be an asset when he’s trying to lose body-fat, as was the case with this movie. When it comes to packing on muscle, however, a fast metabolism makes the job that much harder. It means he has to eat a lot more to ensure that he has the raw nutrients to build with. Even when he’s in cutting phase, however, Zac has to be careful that he doesn’t lose too much weight. He, therefore ups his protein intake, to make sure that he retains all of his hard fought for muscle mass.
We’ve got a whole section on Zac’s crossfit training to achieve his ripped Neighbors look. He’d change up his workout every couple of weeks to keep his body guessing – and responding. Here’s a sample of the type of thing he would do to push his physique to the limit.
The Descending Sets Workout
For this intense workout, Zac needed a 45 pound barbell, two 45 pound plates and two 10 pound plates. With this workout he was doing a descending sequence of 5,4,3,2,1 reps.
Warm Up: 10 Burpees
- Overhead Squat
- Push Press
- Chin Ups
With this workout, Zac would do 5 reps of each movement. He’d then do 4 reps, 3 reps, 2 and I rep of each exercise. His goal was to complete all of this within 10 minutes. In each succeeding workout, his target was to complete the entire rep count quicker than the previous workout.
Zac’s Diet Consistency Secret
Just one look at Zac’s ripped physique and you know that Zac has mega discipline when it comes to what goes down his throat. So, what’s his secret? After all, he probably gets more yummy food temptations thrown in front of him the average guy does.
The secret to Zac’s diet consistency is that he allows himself one cheat day per week. For Zac, that day is a Sunday, but it could be any day of the week. Zac eats six meals per day (it’s the best way to pack on lean muscle mass). That means that he’s downing 42 meals per week. 36 of those meals are strictly by the book. That means 35% carbs, 55% fats and just 10% carbs. Of course there are no processed carbs in that count.
On Sunday, Zac allows himself to eat whatever he wants. Og course he won’t go absolutely crazy and down 5000 calories of junk. But he will treat himself to some pie, cake and soda. This does two things. Firstly, it will allow him to stay motivated over the long term. By giving himself a day off every week, he will be able to stick with his clean eating plan on and on into the future with no fear of falling off the wagon.
The Sunday cheat day also allows Zac to carb load once per week. This fills his muscles out, allowing them to look bigger and rounder. For more insights on Zac’s nutritional plan for Neighbors, check out our special Neighbors diet exposed.
Zac’s nutritional plan wouldn’t be complete without the addition of cutting edge supplements. As well as his reliance on whey protein powder and branch chain amino acids to provide the anabolic surge for muscle growth, he needed energy for his training. This was provided by way of a core-workout supplement that featured a whole host of natural stimulants, including caffeine and guarana. Zac also took an NO2 supplement to enlarge his blood vessels.