True Blood: Joe Manganiello Workout and Diet Tips

by Mike

in Celebrity Diets, Featured, Role Preparation

True Blood: Joe Manganiello Workout and Diet Tips

Joe Manganiello is a new addition to the third season of True Blood. Manganiello, who plays the  werewolf Alcide Herveaux, had to get ripped for his shirtless scenes to stay on par with Anna Paquin and Ryan Kwanten. Fortunately for him – thanks to his naturally muscular body and already-healthy diet, this was (relatively) easier than for most people.

Joe Manganiello Workout

When he started preparing for his True Blood role, Joe Manganiello weighed 240 pounds with 18% body fat. Therefore for him, ” it was about becoming more defined and cutting up the mass [he] already had,” said Manganiello in the August 2010 of Men’s Fitness. He worked out 6 days a week, twice a day! That’s twelve workouts a week!

For three of the days, he used a workout routine created by his physical trainer, Ron Matthews (who helped trained Hugh Jackman for X-Men, which is similar to Jackman’s Wolverine Workout), twice a day, three times per week. Manganiello also trained on his own three more times per week. He’d do his cardio in the mornings, and his strength training in the afternoon.

Here are some of Joe Manganiello’s workout tips, he revealed to the New York Post.


To build those werewolf arms, Joe Manganiello worked his biceps and triceps from every angle and direction possible to stimulate different muscle fibers with each exercise.

In addition, instead of focusing on the middle of the muscle, which makes the arms bulky, he focused on the ends of the muscles to create separation and definition in his arm muscles.

TCW says: Alternate your curls with incline curls, standing curls, and decline curls. Each of these emphasize different portions of your biceps.  For even more variety change your grip between standard grip, hammer grip, offset-pinky grip (pinky is in contact with the head of dumbbell), and offset-thumb grip.


For shoulders, Manganiello used drop sets (or strip sets) in which he’d start off with heavy weights and do as many reps as possible. Then he’d lower the weight and do maximum reps. He would repeat this until he couldn’t do anymore.


Manganiello liked supersets for his chest workout, which he paired with his biceps. With supersets, he could continue working out a second muscle group while resting a first muscle group. Not only does this cut your time in the gym, but it also leads to maximum fat burning. “Your heart rate isn’t resting at all. So after about 20 minutes, it feels like you’re doing sprints. It’s hands-on-your-knees, sweat-dripping-off-your-nose, can’t-catch-your-breath crazy,” says Matthews.


Although Manganiello had a lot of muscle to start, he was lacking in the oblique and lower abdominal area. So Matthews had Manganiello doing a lot of twisting motion and hanging leg raises to work on his abs.

Joe Manganiello Diet

However, because Manganiello already had a muscular physique, his diet would be key.  Fortunately for him, he grew up on a organic diet, so it wasn’t much of a sacrifice for him to cut back on sweets, processed foods, and the like.

Nonetheless, he had to kick up a notch. He stuck with a 2500-calorie diet to drop him from 240 pounds and 18% body fat to 230 pounds and 8%. “It’s all about converting your body I to a protein-burning engine and feeding it constantly,” says Joe Manganiello. He didn’t eat his meals at any specific times, but instead relied on his body to tell him he was hungry. As a result, he ate every 2-3 hours for a total of five meals.

In addition, he made sure he always had healthy snacks, like sulfur-free mangoes, almonds, and whey protein, available when he got hungry. As for his main meals, he keeps it pretty simple with a protein (e.g., fish, chicken, etc.), a salad, and vegetables.

He finds it easy to eat so well because he afford himself one cheat meal per week. (He likes Umami Burger and Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n Waffles, two of L.A.’s favorite establishments.) With his cheat meal out of the way, he can get right back on track.

Here’s a look at an average meal plan.

Breakfast (10 AM)
  • 2 packets of oatmeal with hot water
  • Protein shake
Lunch (12 PM)
  • 2 roasted chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of corn
  • 1 sweet potato
Mid-afternoon snack
  • Protein shake mixed with a banana and creatine
  • 4-6 oz steak
  • 1/2 cup carrots or asparagus
  • Large salad (vinaigrette dressing)
Late-night meal
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup green beans

Be sure to check out more True Blood workouts and diets for Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse) and Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse).

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