Zac Efron is famous for not wearing a shirt.
But don’t be fooled — the 28-year-old didn’t just wake up one day and discover perfectly chiseled abs. Behind his studly look is plenty of hard work, dedication and a badass trainer.
“We work together to get him ready for shirtless scenes,” says his trainer, former Marine Aaron Williamson.
“He’s just in it, man. I’m a big meathead, he’s a big meathead. And we just get to the gym and we go hard. We kill it in as much time as we have.”
Efron was filming “The Lucky One” in New Orleans in 2010 when he first saw the ripped Williamson — on a Marines poster at the gym. Efron immediately found out who he was and asked him to be his military adviser, since he was playing a Marine in the movie. Williamson has been his go-to guru ever since.
So how did Efron grow from twiggy teen idol in “High School Musical” to full-fledged hunk? Williamson reveals the actor’s ab routine to The Post.
Efron’s hourlong workouts often happen after a day of filming, when Williamson meets the actor at a local gym. For abs, Efron will do what Williamson calls “blood volume training,” or three exercises back-to-back-to-back to increase blood flow to the muscles.
“It helps you tone quicker,” Williamson says. Efron does a set of crunches for 15 reps, followed by a set of hanging leg raises for 15 reps and side crunches for 15 reps (each side). He rests for 45 seconds and repeats. Increase the number of reps as your endurance builds, and you’ll see improved definition in two or three weeks.
Efron also does a set of barbell curls for 10 reps, followed by 10 reps of preacher curls (seated on a pew-like bench). Finally, Williamson has Efron do a set of high cable curls (lying down and using pulley equipment).
“[Zac’s] to the point where he’ll have an alarm set when it’s time to eat,” Williamson says. And what’s on the menu? He’ll start off the day with — shocker! — carbs. But not pasta or bread — think oatmeal, sweet potatoes and quinoa. For lunch and dinner, the grub is healthy fats, veggies and lean protein: avocados, almond butter and chicken. The trim actor steers clear of processed foods, sodium and added sugar.
The especially lean cuisine may sound straightforward, but it doesn’t have to be bland. “You can be creative,” says Williamson, suggesting ample seasoning and spices like cumin and smoked paprika.
If it appears Efron is getting hotter by the day, it’s because he sticks to Williamson’s rigorous program.
“It’s part of who he is now,” Williamson says. “He got bit by the bug.”