The Zac Efron Steroid Rumors Explained

Zac Efron's surprising new look once prompted rumors of steroid use. 

Although Efron has more than proven he's full of wide-ranging talent, his looks have also aided his career ascent. After "High School Musical," Rolling Stone branded Efron as "The New American Heart Throb" in 2007. And though his millions of fans enthusiastically approved of this sentiment at the time, five years later, Efron attempted to distance himself from the label. "I can't explain to you what it's like to be a heartthrob," Efron told CBS News. "I don't think I am a heartthrob." He continued, "I hate it. It follows you around, but you don't deserve it."

Over the years, Efron's fans have become increasingly invested in his evolving looks. Unfortunately, the conversation has shifted to include more criticism than his younger self received, including the speculation that Efron has gotten plastic surgery in recent years. A tweet comparing Efron's previous appearance to his more recent look is captioned, "[Zac Efron] before & after plastic surgery," and has racked up over 1,500 retweets. It's one of many posing the same argument. In 2022, Efron broke his silence on the rumor head-on and denied that he'd ever gone under the knife, instead blaming his altered appearance on a previous injury per Men's Health. Unfortunately, fans have speculated that Efron altered his appearance using more severe means.

Fans think Zac Efron used steroids to play a famous wrestler

Zac Efron's role in "Iron Claw," where he played Kevin Von Erich — a wrestler with a tragic past -– kickstarted a debate over his training habits. According to GQ, the first official images of Efron taking on the role of Erich were released in July 2023. However, on-set photos of Efron looking substantially bulkier than usual floated around on Reddit a year earlier. Several users assumed that Efron used steroids to achieve his exaggerated muscles. One top comment read: "Feel bad people don't realize this is only possible with roids." Another user implied that Efron and Erich had indulged in steroids. "Zac Efron took method acting to heart with Kevin Von Erich's roid cycle." With that said, Efron has never admitted to using steroids.

Plus, The British version of GQ interviewed personal trainer Farren Morgan, who explained that Efron likely naturally achieved his results by bulking. "Bulking is a widely used term in fitness for those that have decided to increase their caloric intake and combine this calorie surplus with intensive weight training to increase their muscle mass and strength," Morgan explained. The fitness coach also noted the importance of developing a proper workout routine. "As a wrestler, Zac would need to focus on bulking workouts to optimise his strength and mobility training so that he remains fast and agile," added Morgan.

Zac Efron has had help achieving his fitness goals

Despite what fans think, there's never been any evidence of Zac Efron using steroids. However, he has admitted to employing extreme measures to reach his desired weight. During a 2022 interview with Men's Health, Efron revealed that he used diuretics to make his muscles more pronounced in "Baywatch." However, he doesn't exactly have pleasant memories of his training practices. "That Baywatch look, I don't know if that's really attainable," shared Efron. "There's just too little water in the skin. Like, it's fake; it looks CGI'd." He continued, "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." Unfortunately, Efron revealed during the same interview that the prolonged use of diuretics caused him to temporarily develop insomnia.

Of course, Efron didn't just depend on diuretics. The actor also put in a ton of work. Patrick Murphy, the trainer who whipped Efron into shape for "Baywatch," shared his actual workout routine with M&F. According to Murphy, Efron spent equal time working out different body regions, such as legs, biceps, and chest, focusing specifically on a training technique called supersetting. As the outlet noted, super setting requires the trainee to perform consecutive exercises without taking a break.