Zac Efron iron claw body

Right, here’s how Zac Efron got so jacked for his role in The Iron Claw

Respectfully, wow


Sean Durkin’s latest film The Iron Claw hits cinemas in the UK on Friday, 9 February and follows the tragic story of the Von Erich family – a wrestling dynasty who dominated the Texas wrestling scene throughout the 1980s. And although the film is about much more than bulk and muscle, it’s definitely going to have you wondering just how Harris Dickinson, Jeremy Allen White and Zac Efron got so jacked.

Unsurprisingly, the cast went through absolutely brutal training to get themselves ring-ready for filming. We’re talking everything from bulking to bruises to get themselves in shape. And, according to his co-stars (who have actually called him a “maniac”), Zac Efron was the main rallying cheerleader for this entire regime: “Get training, eat, keep doing what you’re doing, stay hard,” he wrote Jeremy in a note.

So, as he hits big screens looking bigger than ever as Kevin Von Erich, here’s everything Zac Efron has said about how he got so huge in training for The Iron Claw:

Wrestling until he couldn’t breathe ‘for days’

Zac Efron body iron claw

Credit: A24

Obviously, to do his role well, Zac had to learn how to wrestle. “You think you’re getting the hang of it, and you speed up a few times and your confidence gets built up,” he told USA Today. “Then you slam into one of those things just an inch too high and your rib is like gone. You can’t breathe for a couple days.”

Zac said he was shocked the sport wasn’t as “easy” as it looked on TV. “It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, physically,” he added in a video about his training. “I was turning purple in parts—they would just cover it in makeup.”

Eating every two hours and going to the gym religiously

Zac Efron body iron claw

Credit: A24

Zac didn’t find the training too gruelling and liked hanging out with Jeremy and Harrison, calling the entire experience like a “fun camp with your best bros”. But Jeremy revealed he wasn’t a fan of one of the elements of their regime: Eating all day long.

The boys were having meals every two hours to bulk up. We’re talking a morning of cardio – and then a nice 11AM bone broth soup, vegetables and “clean protein” like elk and chicken, according to Men’s Health. Yum?

Ditching his vegan diet and intermittent fasting

Zac Efron body iron claw

Credit: A24

Zac has long been a practising vegan but when he started training for The Iron Claw he overhauled his diet completely. “I started intermittent fasting just after I stopped being vegan,” he told Men’s Health. “My body wasn’t processing the vegetables in the right way. So, I decided to stop it and try something new. Intermittent fasting has been really helpful with that.”

After his bone broth breakfast, Zac would have another portion of meat and “a healthy carbohydrate like sweet potatoes or quinoa.” And, despite his recent vegan diet, he got fully into all of the niche meats available: “This is kind of weird, but I really like organ meats,” he said. “I love liver and onions.”

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