Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Fitness & Exercise

True Blood star Joe Manganiello's Paleo diet and CrossFit workout routine

See also

Joe Manganiello has been named the hottest bachelor of 2014 by People magazine. Manganiello, who plays the sexy werewolf Alcide on the hit HBO series "True Blood," credits a low-carb, Paleo-style diet and CrossFit workouts for his ripped-to-shreds physique.

On a personal level, Joe attributed his passionate personality to his Italian background. "I am part Sicilian," said Manganiello, 37. "I am passionate. I am a hot-blooded person."

Manganiello makes his directorial debut in the documentary "La Bare," which chronicles a male strip joint in Dallas. The film was inspired by Joe's role as a stripper in the 2012 film "Magic Mike."

In all of his roles, Manganiello's buff body is a focal point, so it's no surprise Joe works out intensely to stay fit. Manganiello follows a Paleo-inspired diet and does CrossFit-style workouts with his trainer, Ron Mathews, a CrossFit trainer who competed in the Masters 40-44 Division of the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games.

Low-Carb Paleo-Style Diet Keeps Joe Ripped

The 6-foot-5 Manganiello is now 230 pounds of solid muscle, but was scrawny and nerdy as a teen. Joe decided to build up his physique after he was unable to do a single pull-up during a high-school fitness test. The "True Blood" hunk detailed his diet, workout and success secrets in his fitness book Evolution.

Manganiello said his daily menu looks like this:

  • Breakfast at 7:15 am: Granola with Fage plain Greek yogurt and a glass of water with Gold Standard whey protein.
  • Mid-morning snack at 9 am: Another protein drink.
  • Second breakfast at 10:15 am: Egg-white omelet with ham, peppers and feta cheese, a small cup of fruit and black coffee with Splenda.
  • Lunch at 2:15 pm: Two oven-roasted chicken breasts with corn and green beans, and six baked buffalo chicken wings with hot sauce.
  • Dinner at 6:30 pm: Italian-style salmon with leafy green vegetables and a cup of coffee.

Joe said anyone can work out, but not everyone develops a superior physique, because becoming excellent at something is a mental — not physical — process. In his case, failure became a driving force.

"Failure became a huge part of my success story," said Joe, who has overcome alcoholism and homelessness. "I'm glad I failed. I'm glad I felt that way and decided to do something about it."

Manganiello maintains his chiseled body by working out twice a day, six days a week, and following a low-carb, high-protein Paleo diet. He typically eats the same foods and follows the same routine every day.

I wake up at the same time every day to get to the gym. I work out six days a week to look like Alcide: big and strong, but light on his feet and agile like a werewolf. When I'm training for 'True Blood,' I don't eat any sugar except for some fruit here and there. So it's no sugar, no bread, no real carbs all day."

Twice-Daily Workouts Incorporating CrossFit Strength Moves

Manganiello's morning workout routine includes Olympic-style weight-lifting, lunges, box jumps, and overhead push-presses. His second workout (later in the day at home) is a half-hour sprint-interval run on the treadmill.

CrossFit has recently come under fire for its link to overuse injuries, but "The Biggest Loser" star Bob Harper (who's a huge CrossFit fan), said proper technique curbs the incidence of injuries.

"It was love at first burpee, and I've been hooked ever since," said Harper. "And now I incorporate this workout as my primary way to work out my contestants on 'The Biggest Loser.' I believe in it that much."

Three-time CrossFit Games champ Rich Froning, hailed as the "fittest man on Earth," revealed his diet and workout secrets and his incredible journey from firefighter to CrossFit King in his memoir, First: What It Takes to Win.

Froning is expected to defend his title for the fourth time at the 2014 CrossFit Games, which will be held in Carson, Calif., July 25 to 27.

Tim McGraw Credits Paleo Diet and CrossFit for 40-Lb Weight Loss

Manganiello isn't the only celebrity who has transformed his body with the Paleo diet and CrossFit. Country superstar Tim McGraw credits a low-carb Paleo diet and CrossFit for his stunning 40-pound weight loss. McGraw now has the body of an athlete, and sports rippling eight-packs for the first time in his life — at age 47.

Tim's weight-loss success confirms several scientific reports touting Paleo's effectiveness as a weight-loss plan. A recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates the Paleo diet is twice as effective as other diets for promoting weight loss and reducing belly fat.

“Clinical trials have shown the Paleo diet is the optimum diet that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, markers of inflammation, help with weight loss, reduce acne, promote optimum health and athletic performance,” said professor Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet for Athletes and The Paleo Diet Cookbook.

Holistic health expert Chris Kresser, author of Your Personal Paleo Code, agrees. In his book, Kresser said Paleo isn't a fad diet because the emphasis is not on calorie restriction, and it provides a healthy balance of protein, vegetables and high-quality fats. What's more, Kresser said you can customize the Paleo diet to suit your lifestyle and genetic blueprint.

Advertisement