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Joe Manganiello’s Shredded Workout Routine

Joe Manganiello has the physique that men aspire to attain and women love to admire. Renowned for his impeccable appearance and fitness level, he adheres to a rigorous diet and exercise regimen that demands dedication. Famously known for his unconventional approach to workouts, he unveils his comprehensive fitness philosophy in his book Evolution. America Domani has highlighted key aspects of his diet and exercise routine, offering insights for embarking on a journey to achieve a chiseled body like Joe Manganiello.

Workout Routine

His exercise philosophy is straightforward: adopt a well-balanced blend of exercises targeting all major muscle groups. Despite lacking access to elite trainers or high-end gyms, we can emulate Joe's regimen to achieve his commendable physicality on a consistent basis. At the core of his workout routine lies a simple principle: Joe commits himself to the intensity of a professional athlete.

In preparation for his role on the TV series "True Blood," Joe's fitness coach designed an arduous six-day workout regimen. The objective was to lower his overall body fat percentage while enhancing muscle definition. Joe and his trainer engaged in workouts twice daily, focusing on lighter exercises in the morning and progressing to more strenuous routines in the afternoon. Their routine was structured as follows:

  • Monday & Thursdays: back and chest.
  • To achieve a toned back and chest, Joe keeps a tight regime of barbell bench presses and lateral pulldowns to start his training. He will move into incline dumbbell presses and cable rows. Next, he adds in deadlifts and standing chest flys. He rounds out his workout with decline benchpress and wide grip pullups. For each of these exercises, he does each for seven sets, starting at 20 reps, then slowly declining to five reps, then increasing in the final two for eight and 16 reps.
  • Tuesday & Fridays: legs and triceps.
  • For leg and tricep days, Joe starts with front squats and tricep pushdowns. He will then transition into tricep kickbacks and weighted step ups. Next, he will do tricep overhead extensions and leg presses. To round out his day, he’ll end with a light back squat and close grip push ups. Just like for back and chest days, Joe does seven sets, starting at 20 reps, then declining to five reps, then increasing in the final two for eight and 16 reps.
  • Wednesday & Saturdays: shoulders and biceps.
  • For shoulders and biceps, Joe amps up the pressure and starts with the Arnold Press and light Zottman curls. Next, he transitions into doing shoulder front raises and preacher curls. Then, he will do shoulder flys and dumbbell bicep curls. To finish his shoulders and biceps, Joe ends with the shoulder press and hammer curls. Just like on his other gym days, you’ll be doing seven sets for each exercise, starting at 20 reps, then declining to five reps, then increasing in the final two for eight and 16 reps.
  • Stretches
  • It’s important to note that for every day he is in the gym, he starts each day with the same set of stretches starting with 20 lunges per leg, 15 reps of squats, 15 reps of pushups, 30 seconds of side to side jumps, then 30 seconds of front to back jumps. He’ll round out his stretches with 20 minutes of low intensity cardio, just to get the blood flowing.


However, sculpting a physique reminiscent of this Italian idol requires more than just exercise. A stringent dietary regimen is crucial for preserving the hard-earned results of your fitness endeavors. Joe's dietary approach revolves around consuming protein-rich, low-carb, and low-sugar foods. His guiding principle is to prioritize high-protein sources and vegetables in his meals.

Protein played a starring role in his snacks, pre-workout bites, and evening nibbles—ranging from protein bars to shakes. For his main meals, he typically chooses egg whites, omelets with ham and cheese, a bounty of vegetables, and a cup of coffee. Dinner often featured a substantial, pan-seared steak complemented by crushed garlic cloves.

AJ Forrisi

Assistant Editor for America Domani, AJ Forrisi is a Brooklyn-based writer and photographer. His work focuses on food, travel, sports, landscapes, and urban scenes. You can find him on Instagram @aj.photo.works