Zac Efron Opens Up About the Negative Effects of His Rigorous “Baywatch” Fitness Routine

Zac Efron at the
Zac Efron at the "Extremely Wicked Shockingly Evil and Vile" premiere in 2019. Photo by MJ Photos/REX/Shutterstock (10074375bz)

Celebrity fitness routines tend to be pretty hardcore, especially when they’re preparing for roles in major action movies. They can even lead to pretty bad burnout, and Zac Efron learned that first-hand while preparing for a role in Baywatch, which had a negative impact on his mental health.

The former Disney star opened up about the struggles he went through while training for this movie in a recent cover story for Men’s Health. He was overtraining, not sleeping enough, taking diuretics along the way, and achieving his Baywatch body proved to be a pretty dreadful process.

“That Baywatch look, I don’t know if that’s really attainable… I started to develop insomnia 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,” the actor explained.

It took six months for his body to finally feel right again after this experience, and Efron later took a sabbatical in Australia that made him reevaluate his approach to fitness. He considered falling out of shape, but he didn’t “feel alive” that way, so he decided to work out again—but on his own terms.

If Efron’s experience throughout us anything, it’s that you should never push yourself too hard and look for a fitness program that makes you feel good instead of making you look good.