Joe Manganiello’s rock-hard body even drew compliments from co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
You are your own worst enemy when it comes to getting the perfect body.
Nobody knows this better than Joe Manganiello. Before the toothsome “True Blood” star became the face (really the body) of modern fitness, he was a 185-pound junior-high weakling who couldn’t do a single pullup. All he could get were bit parts on VH1’s “So Notorious” and Taco Bell tortada commercials.
Today, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound beefcake is sinking his teeth into juicy roles on stage (as Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire”) and screen (a male stripper in “Magic Mike”) — and he can thank his rock-hard body.
He’s ready to spill his tips on getting ripped.
Rule No. 1: It’s all mind over matter.
“Most people think they’re working out really hard, but when I see them at the gym, they’re lazy!” says Manganiello, 36, whose book, “Evolution,” hits shelves Tuesday with a reading at the Union Square Barnes & Noble. “They’re on the phone, they’re mindlessly pedaling, and so they’re just getting middle-of-the-road results.”
The key to better performance is ignoring your brain’s self-doubt.
“This book is designed to take away people’s excuses,” he says. “I was not blessed with the genes to put on muscle weight. I’ve never touched a steroid. I had to bust my ass.”
So what makes this Joe Sixpack God’s gift to fitness? A nod from Arnold Schwarzenegger helps. The former Governator says in his foreword to Manganiello’s tome that he was awed by the actor’s “huge arms and cannonball delts” while filming their upcoming flick, “Sabotage.”
Don’t judge this book by its cover. Once you flip past the pics of Manganiello’s bowling-ball biceps, the pages preach about pushing through mental blocks as much as doing pushups, though the book does feature workouts and a diet created by Ron Mathews, who jacked up Hugh Jackman and others.
“This is what I use to get camera-ready in those six weeks leading up to my first shirtless scene,” he says.
But before you go topless, start by working out two body parts per day for six days, and changing your diet to include small high-protein meals throughout the day.
“A year later, you’re in the greatest shape you’ve ever been,” says Manganiello, who’s at peak sex appeal in his late 30s — and is dating model Bridget Peters to prove it.
“The harder I train, the more I get back,” he says.
A BODY OF WORK
Here’s how Manganiello went from scrawn to brawn:
1. Challenge the impossible. “I’m not asking people to work as hard as they can. I’m asking you to go beyond what you thought was possible for yourself. That’s how you get in the best shape you’ve ever been, instead of just okay shape.”
2/ Double your muscle groups for twice the results. Work chest and back on Monday, legs and triceps on Tuesday and shoulders and back on Wednesday. Then restart the cycle after a rest on Sunday.
3. Eat high-protein, low-fat meals every few hours. “You’re training your body not to store anything, and that in conjunction with a fat-burning cardio program raises metabolism.”
4. You get what you give.
“I can’t think of anything else in life that gives you back a direct return the way training does. Focus on each breath, each rep, and you will see results.”
Joe Manganiello’s high school photo is a striking contrast to his muscular build today.