Joe Manganiello Workout Routine For True Blood

November 12, 2013 | 53 Comments

Note: This is a workout I wrote a few months back, but the exact same principles apply when trying to get a body like Joe Manganiello in Magic MIke. Also this is part of my Magic Mike workout series – click here to get more workouts to build a body that women love.

I must say, Joe Manganiello has a very impressive body. If I ever made a list of the most lean and ripped physiques in Hollywood, Joe would definitely be in the top ten.

His body is the type of body that most guys should strive for, really lean and defined but not overly muscular.

What’s funny is before Joe landed a role on the awesome show True Blood (you guys gotta watch it), Joe said that when he worked out, he would simply try to get as big as humanly possible. He would be working out way too much and would be eating way too many calories, which in the end just made him look more fat than muscular.

But as Alcide, Joe really leaned down and now has one of the most impressive physiques in Hollywood.

Joe Manganiello Workout

Joe Manganiello workout

As you can tell from the picture above, Joe is in absolutely incredible shape. And because of his role as the werewolf Alcide on True Blood, he needs to stay in this sort of condition.

To get this kind of physique, Joe focused on exercises like the bench press, pull ups, and close grip push ups to build his upper body while he used exercises such as squats and dumbbell lunges to build his lower body.

An example of the Joe Manganiello workout routine would look something like this:

Note: this is a full body beginner muscle building routine to be done 3x per week.


  • Incline dumbbell press: 3 sets for 8 reps
  • Weighted parallel bar dips: 2 sets for 5 reps
  • Weighted chin ups: 3 sets for 8 reps
  • Wide grip cable row: 2 sets for 6 reps
  • Barbell front squat: 3 sets for 5 reps
  • Reverse lunges: 2 sets for 8 reps per leg
  • Calf raise: 4 sets for 15-20 reps
  • Barbell curl: 3 sets for 8-10 reps

For a complete step-by-step workout routine on how to achieve a lean and ripped Hollywood physique like Joe Manganiello, I recommend checking out  the Adonis Index.

How to eat to get ripped abs

You should know this by now already, diet is more important than exercise. Even if you follow the workout program above, you’re going to look nothing like Joe if you don’t watch your diet closely.

If your goal is gain muscle, then you need eat more calories, especially if you’ve never worked out with weights before.

To gain muscle:
  • Aim to eat about 500 calories over your maintenance calories on workout days to minimize fat gains.
  • Don’t worry too much about protein. There’s research suggesting that going as low as even 0.6 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is enough to stimulate muscle growth.

Once your gained a good amount of muscle, you’re going to want to start shedding fat so that you can get ripped abs like Joe. Judging by Joe’s body, he has around 6-8 percent body fat.

  • One of my favorite ways of dieting is by using intermittent fasting. But if you’re not too keen on fasting to lose weight, then just make sure you’re eating in a caloric deficit.
  • To lose fat, a good starting point is to multiple your bodyweight in pounds by 10-12 depending on your activity level. This will allow to lose about 1 pound of fat per week.
  • Don’t worry about silly stuff like eating 6 meals per day or eating breakfast. Just experiment and find out what works for you. Everyone’s different
  • Most people don’t believe me, but in the end, a calorie is a calorie (it’s just a measure of energy). Don’t stress out too much about what to eat, just focus on the amount you’re eating.

Women love this guy

And hey, I don’t blame them. This guy has a close to perfect body. He’s not super skinny, nor does he have an extreme amount of muscle. Joe has achieved the perfect balance of muscle and leanness that most women find attractive.

Feel free to ask me any questions about the Joe Manganiello workout routine and diet in the comments below.

[This is part of my Magic Mike workout series – click here to get more workouts to build a body that women love.]

53 Comments - Leave Your Thoughts

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  1. So if i follow the routine you outlined above with a clean diet. Will i be able to achieve similar results as Joe. Also would you recommend adding anything to the routine outlined above?

  2. one more question….i tried this workout today and i was wanting to will this hit my biceps and triceps effectivley?

    1. Only if done excessively.

      Otherwise squats are a great exercise to build muscle. But you should never get into the whole “don’t directly train your legs” mentality. Your legs are one of the largest muscle groups in the body so it wouldn’t be too smart to neglect training them entirely.

      1. Alright, I’m a beginner and I’m also 15. I can’t seem to gain weight to gain muscle. I’m pretty skinny too. I’m 6’0ft weighing at 155. So will this effect me any in gaining muscle without gaining fat??

          1. I eat atleast threetimes a day while having snacks in between meals. And whenworkout I gopretty hardcore but I guess not hardcore enough.I usally just dobench press and pull ups and squats but thatsabout it though.

  3. How long should I stay on this workout, and do I just do all the exercises one time or do i do another round?

  4. another question, how will this workout build up your arms. I see how it would build your chest, shoulders and back, but what about the arms. I dont want to have a big chest, shoulders and back with small arms.

    1. You don’t always need direct arm exercises to build up your arms. If you push hard enough on exercises like dips and pull ups, your arms will grow nicely in proportion.

  5. i am sorry but this isnt his work out.. not even close.

    your telling me that he doesnt train glutes, biceps, fore arm, abs, side-abs and lower back ?

    its an awesome work out. i REALY like the full body training. i still think its the best way to get in that kinda shape. But there must be some exercises missing.. or not ?

    1. I know it’s not his workout, it’s simply a workout to help people gain muscle mass. It’s more geared towards beginners. And while there are not direct arm exercises, the upper body movements should build your arms quite nicely. As for glutes, you are doing squats and lunges…

      1. allright thx for the reaction. and indeed you train some biceps with those back excercises altough it wont come with much mass.

        finally found his eating habbits.. way too hard :p

        no matter what.. i workship such a body. 😮

  6. Does this workout sufficiently work the shoulders? Will the incline press and dips develop the delts, of which I am (severely) lacking?

    *Great site, info, and workouts…

    1. @Anthony
      Yes, do this workout for a few weeks and see how your shoulders develop. And if you’re seriously lacking in shoulder development, then feel free to add in 2-3 sets of dumbbell presses in each workout.

  7. Nice workout! But what should you do if you’re not able to do pull-ups? Should I replace it with another back compound exercise, or stick to pull-ups until i finally learn them?

    1. If you can’t do pull-ups yet, start by doing bodyweight rows. You can do them on smith machine. They are a great precursor to pullups.

  8. Hi there,

    Great site. Just wanted to ask – what foods would you recommend for good calorie intake? I have been working out for 2 months and on paleo – I have been losing weight but not gaining enough muscle. I recently included more protein in my diet in the form of whey protein isolates and planning to incorporate creatine.

    Any other tips?


    1. Just make sure you’re in a slight calorie surplus (200-300 kcal). It sounds like you’re in a caloric deficit and that’s why you’re not getting bigger. Foods like chicken, potatoes, bread, milk are good staples.

  9. Came across the site randomly because my gf and I are currently watching the movie and I was thinking about getting back into working out. You put two and two together, haha.

    Anyways, love the workout because it reminds of the simplicity of Bill Starr’s and Rippetoe’s. Yes people, your arms will grow from dips and pullups alone. Curls can only stimulate muscle growth very little by themselves…which is why many bodybuilders use them to create “shape.”

    Anways, would you recommend putting the “legs” part of the workout at the begining? It would provide a great warm-up for the rest of the body. I am going to give it shot simply because I like cookie cutter templates. Have you tried anything similar with good results? I know since I have not worked out in a bit, pretty much any routine will hit the spot haha. Great post.

  10. Also, are the excercises super-setted? Like while resting from the inclines, you do dips? I never did understand how that worked.

  11. Ok so im very skinny like boney and i eat quiet a bit but still stay skinny. i want to get bigger biceps and a toned body what should i do?

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