Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: April 13, 2021

One of the biggest requests we’ve got from readers and clients in the last couple of months is to come up with a Joe Manganiello workout routine and diet plan.

As one of the stars in True Blood and the Magic Mike film series, he has become quite a physical presence in superhero movies.

The great thing is that Joe has written a book, which we used to gather all the information needed to come up with this workout regimen.

Let’s dive right in.

His Stats

black and white face image of joe manganellio

Born: December 28, 1976
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 225 lbs

Joe Manganiello has created quite a presence in Hollywood, and his achievements include playing the role of Flash Thompson in Spider-Man, the werewolf Alcide in True Blood.

Moreover, he's married to the stunning Sofia Vergara.

He has also made it to nominations for MTV Movie Awards, Teen Choice Awards, and the Saturn Award.

And I bet that a lot of that comes down to a body that is as ripped as can be.

Looking back at some of his older movie roles and reading through his social media posts, it’s clear that his physique has significantly changed in recent years.

And when you see his workout routine and diet, you’ll understand how he made that possible.

The Joe Manganiello Workout Routine

man doing lat pulldown, man doing lateral raises

Joe Manganiello spent many years working with personal trainer Ron Matthews to get in shape.

And he has gained such an understanding of how the body reacts to strain that the actor has released his own fitness book (Evolution: The Cutting Edge Guide To Breaking Down Mental Walls).

We’ve broken it all down into four types of exercise.

1. Chest/Back

Joe Manganiello starts his workout regime with a focus on the upper body.

  • Dynamic warm-up (Elliptical or low impact plyometrics)
  • Dumbbell rows (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Incline dumbbell press (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Wide-grip pull-ups (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Deadlift (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Lat pulldowns (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Chest Flys (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)

2. Legs/Triceps

Joe Manganiello takes the approach that you shouldn’t plan your workouts without enough focus on your legs.

It’s not just about lower body muscle fitness but more about keeping your physique in proportion.

  • Warm-up (15 minutes rowing or running)
  • Leg press (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Calf Raises (3 sets of 15 reps)
  • Hamstring curls (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Triceps push down (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Dips (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Standing dumbbell triceps extension (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)

3. Shoulders/Biceps

These workouts give Joe that incredibly broad appearance that could easily block a door.

  • Warm-up (15 minutes rowing or running)
  • Lateral raises (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Shoulder flys (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Military press (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Preacher curls (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)
  • Close-grip chin-ups (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Hammer curls (3 sets of 8 to 10 reps)

4. Cardio Workout

Joe dedicates quite a bit of time to cardio workouts to stay on top of his body fat. With all the bulking, he needs to eat a lot of food, and that will increase his BMI [1].

By keeping to a reasonably high heart rate during a treadmill or elliptical workout, the actor is able to maintain control over what his muscles look like.

“Also, to be honest, my dad wanted me to be an athlete. And I think all sons want to prove something to their dad. So now, aged 35, I want to see what I can achieve physically.”

 

- Joe Manganiello

Here’s how Joe structures his weekly workout routines:

  • Monday: Chest, back, and cardio workout
  • Tuesday: Legs and triceps
  • Wednesday: Shoulders, biceps, and cardio exercises
  • Thursday: Chest and back
  • Friday: Legs, triceps, and cardio exercises
  • Saturday: Shoulder and biceps
  • Sunday: Rest

Joe Manganiello’s Diet Plan

Joe revealed a lot of his diet plans in his book and in a few Men's Health magazine interviews. The surprising thing about it all is that he approaches diet on the basis of allowing a regular cheat meal like pork chops, buffalo burgers, and bacon.

The exception is when he’s preparing for filming, especially movies like Magic Mike, where he keeps to a very strict body weight goal.

1. Carefully Planned Macros

man holding up his loose pants while showing a measuring tape

Joe keeps to quite an even distribution of macronutrients most of the time.

But this does adjust depending on whether he needs to bulk up a certain muscle group for a new movie.

The good thing is that you don’t need a movie star budget to work these things out. Simply use an app like Noom to track everything you eat.

Then adjust the carbs up and fat down for bulking phases and go the opposite way for cutting.

  • Protein: 35% to 45%
  • Fat: 25% to 35%
  • Carbs: 30% to 40%

2. Only Fresh Food

Joe shares some shopping lists in his book, and it always focuses on fresh food. That means nothing processed or with an extremely long shelf life.

He also recommends buying only organic chicken breast and grass-fed beef to get the highest quality you can afford.

It’s not a cheap option, but even if you only occasionally splash out for the higher quality, it’ll make a difference.

Sample Meal Plan

uncooked oatmeal bits, close up image of string beans, tilapia in a pan

Meal 1:

  • Oatmeal with seeds and unsalted nuts
  • Bowl of fresh fruit and berries

Meal 2:

  • Dark chocolate almonds
  • Whey protein shake

Meal 3:

  • Salmon steak or tilapia fillet
  • Broccoli florets
  • Green beans

Meal 4: 

  • Buffalo jerky
  • Salad with feta cheese
  • Whey protein supplement

Meal 5:

  • Chicken breasts or fillet steak
  • Cauliflower florets or green beans
  • Sweet potato

Supplements

Sticking with a workout plan like Joe Manganiello involves using a few supplements, but we like that he doesn’t go overboard.

1. Whey Protein

You’re simply not going to fancy digging into a few chicken breasts after a training session. To get a maximum protein boost, pick up a high-quality grass-fed whey protein supplement and give your muscles what they need.

2. Pre-Workout

These supplements are often based on creatine [2] and a few thermogenic ingredients that boost your metabolism to provide more energy. It might only be a small boost of a 5% performance increase, but that adds up over the weeks and months.

Would You Try Joe Manganiello’s Workout?

Joe Manganiello’s workout routine isn’t easy to stick with, and you’ll need to dedicate yourself to six training days a week. But this will change your muscle definition in a way like never before.

Within a few months, you can be superhero ready for Spider-Man, or stripper ready for Magic Mike.

The choice is all yours, but make sure you report back to us how successful it was.


References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/index.html
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12701815/

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