Yeah yeah, we've all seen that glorious Men's Health cover.
Now, we're getting to juicy bits from inside! Ha!
Zac Efron was cornered and interviewed about how he transformed into a soldier for his upcoming movie, The Lucky One — and how he's pretty good at learning new things!
"I could pick up almost anything. If you put it in front of me, I could always find a way to tackle it. I was never a natural at anything, but I could always outwork everybody."
So that's what he did. He and his director wen to the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, where Zac met guys his age that were already back from to or three tours:
"They were my age. 23, 24, even younger. And most of the staff sergeants were not huge guys. They were about my height, 5'9", 5'10", some shorter, but all very stocky. And I'm there in a backward hat and Vans, walking around like I'm still in college. It's much different from the lifestyle I'm living over here. Where do you start the conversation? I didn't know what to say, what questions were inaccurate."
So he trained, for 4 months. 5 days a week. Protein first thing in the morning:
"A shake and, you know, an eight-egg omelet. I got used to it at the time, but I wouldn't recommend it. It's not practical to do for a long period of time. You feel this debilitating soreness. This kind of stuff, going golfing, you can't do."
He was eating 3,500 calories a day, in 6-8 meals!
"You get this strange sense of power as those weights increase. By the end of the movie I didn't recognize myself. You hear about guys like Christian Bale who dive into it and are really able to transform. I've always wondered if I had the willpower to actually do it. And I'll always have pride around the sense that I can."
That's so fab, and we really admire your hard work, Zac! Not only are you a beautiful, beautiful man, but you have conviction and responsibility and DRIVE.
It's a wonderful thing to see in someone with so much fame.
Here's Zac's trainer on how he bulked up:
Control the variables
Building a Marine-caliber body calls for a comprehensive approach. "Training is only one piece of the puzzle," Hood says. "Sleep is huge. Stress is huge. Fuel you're putting in your body is an enormous component. But nobody brags about having followed a regimented diet for 4 months." You have to decide what's more important: eating that entire pizza or having the body you want.
Opt for quality over quantity
Efron worked out 5 days a week, about an hour each time. "That's another misconception," Hood says. "If you're eating appropriately and getting enough rest, you don't need to train all day. All the work's happening when you're outside of the gym."
You don't need fancy equipment. Hood put Efron through a regimen of "typical old powerlifting stuff": squats, dead-lifts, heavy overhead presses, weighted pullups—simple exercises that over time allow for heavier and heavier weights.
Stick with the plan
Efron didn't bulk up overnight. Nobody can: "It's months and months of process and diet," Hood says. "What people see on the screen is a guy who basically immersed himself into a training process over a period of time. It's more than just doing exercise and taking more protein."
Not everyone wants to do this, and this is pretty extreme for those who just want to lose weight and keep in shape — but it's good to know none-the-less!
[Image via Men's Health.]