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Joe Manganiello details twice-daily workouts and low-carb diet

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"True Blood" star Joe Manganiello is ripped to shreds, thanks to daily workouts and a high-protein, low-carb diet, but said getting in great shape is mostly a mental exercise.

Manganiello, 36, shared his fitness secrets on the Dec. 9 episode of the Rachael Ray Show.

"There were a lot of obstacles in my way before getting into this kind of shape," Manganiello told Rachael, who herself became a workout fanatic after overcoming a cancer scare.

The 6-foot-5 Manganiello is now 230 pounds of solid muscle, but said he was scrawny and nerdy as a kid. Joe decided to build up his physique after he was unable to do a single pull-up during a high-school fitness test. He said the embarrassment he felt at failing the test gave him the motivation to change his body.

Joe detailed his diet, workout and success secrets in his book Evolution: The Cutting Edge Guide to Breaking Down Mental Walls and Building the Body You've Always Wanted.

Manganiello 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 once battled alcoholism. "I'm glad I failed. I'm glad I felt that way and decided to do something about it."

Joe maintains his chiseled body by working out twice a day, six days a week, and following a low-carb, high-protein 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," he said. "I work out six days a week to look like Alcide: big and strong, but light on his feet and agile like a werewolf."

Manganiello's 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.

Manganiello's morning workout routine includes lots of 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.

"I train like a pro athlete, not like an actor who's just trying to look pretty," said Joe, who insists he doesn't take steroids or other muscle-building drugs.

"I'm completely natural," he said. "No steroids, no human growth hormones. This is what worked for me. It's more of a lifestyle."

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