5 Best Barbell Exercises To Get A Lean Chest Like Zac Efron

Get big like Zac Efron with just a few training tweaks. (Image via IG @baywatchmovie)
Get big like Zac Efron with just a few training tweaks. (Image via IG @baywatchmovie)
Aryan Bajaj

Hollywood star Zac Efron is known throughout the industry for his impressive physique.

The 34 year-old High School Musical alumni has completely transformed his physique, having a perfectly sculpted abs and an extremely well-developed chest.

Sure, Efron has access to the best nutritionists in the world and some of Hollywood's finest trainers, and he also gets paid millions of dollars to get in shape.

That, though, doesn't take away from the immense hard work he has put in to attain an impressive physique.

With these five barbell exercises, you can make the most of what you have and build a lean chest like Zac Efron.

How To Get A Beach-Ready Chest Like Zac Efron?

1) Barbell Incline Press: The Barbell Incline Press is one of the most effective and fastest ways to blow up your chest.

It puts an extremely intense load on your muscles, and the use of the barbell allows for far superior contraction compared to dumbbells or cables.

That takes the load off your shoulders and forces the tension onto your upper chest. If you want a lean, developed chest like Efron, your first task is to put on size, and there's no better exercise that can help you attain that goal.


2) Barbell Decline Press: Most people often overlook the barbell decline press in favour of a standard bench press, and for most people, that works.

However, when you're getting paid millions of dollars to look your best, there's no margin for mediocracy.

Now, you might not be getting paid to look as good like the Baywatch star. However, if you want a chest like him, you must follow each step diligently to make sure you don't suffer from disproportionate muscles.

A decline press can not only work your lower chest that usually gets left out and remains unused in other lifts but can also work as an accessory for your bench press.

It makes sense, doesn't it? By building a stronger lower chest, you're adding mass and strength to a part you often ignore, making your overall chest stronger, in turn helping you blow up your bench press.


3) Landmine Press: The landmine press is a rather overlooked exercise among regular gym goers.

With the plethora of cables and world-class machines, we often neglect simple exercises that are still efficient and convenient to perform.

The landmine press activates your entire upper body, from your chest, to your deltoids and triceps.

It also keeps your core engaged while using your legs to stabilise the body, making it an incredible full-body exercise.

Zac Efron's most remarkable feature is the consistency in his body proportions, and this exercise will help you achieve the same.

This exercise is also relatively easy on the joints and doesn't have the same nightmare-inducing potential muscle tear and joint dislocation scares like barbell bench presses.


4) Barbell Floor Press: If you're trying to build serious strength in your chest, grow your triceps and improve overall upper body performance, the floor press is a perfect exercise that checks all those boxes.

Zac Efron's own regime for Baywatch revolved around the floor press. After all, it's a great exercise for beginners and seasoned professionals alike, and all you need is a loaded barbell and a floor.

It eliminates the need for a bench, which may be difficult to come by if you work out at home. The floor press also allows you to lift heavier loads, as the shorter range of motion means you aren't putting too much load on your muscles.

All in all, it is a great all-rounder candidate for your workout routines.


5) Bodyweight Flyes: While the name suggests you're using your bodyweight to perform this exercise, that's not incorrect, but it doesn't paint the whole picture.

Bodyweight flyes employ barbells too but not in a way you'd expect. This is an advanced exercise, so you'll need decent established chest muscles before attempting this exercise.

The secret to a good chest, much like Zac Efron's, is the ability to harmonise the different aspects of chest exercises.

Only bench-pressing is going to get you nowhere. You must diversify and train each part of your chest equally to develop a strong, lean and good-looking chest.

For this exercise, take two equally loaded barbells, and place them by either shoulder. Then, grab them and get into a push-up position, going down slowly as you roll the barbells away from you.

While coming back up, squeeze your chest and pull the barbells back towards you, completing one rep.

Do this for as many reps as you can. This exercise stretches your pectoral muscles far more than any press does and can result in great muscle growth.



Hollywood physiques may seem impossible to attain, but with a simple training plan and good nutrition, an ordinary person can look like a Greek God as well.

While they do impose unrealistic body standards on people, Hollywood physiques like Zac Efron's can be a source of motivation too, depending on how you look at it.

At the end of the day, actors are human too; the only difference is that they have more time to work out and get adequate sleep and nutrients to recover.

If you go the extra mile and incorporate all those aspects into your lifestyle, even you could look like you walked off the set of Baywatch.

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Edited by Bhargav


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