Magic Mike Workout: How Joe Manganiello Got A Six-Pack

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Magic Mike Diet

The Magic Mike diet also comes from his book, Evolution. Manganiello eats a diet full of lean meats, healthy fats and all kinds of vegetables. If I had to boil down what he says his diet is about: It is about eating a lot of sweet potatoes. You eat them for slow-releasing energy. Sweet potatoes are his favorite food for energy.

Otherwise, your carbs come from green and fibrous vegetables. Joe eats a little fruit, but not much. For the most part, Joe Manganiello got a six-pack by focusing on the sweet potato. You should focus on eating them as your main source of carbs, too.

The Magic Mike diet sticks to three big meals per day. Plus, you can have protein-based snacks in between those meals. Also, feel free to munch on nuts whenever you want. Getting his carbs almost completely from vegetables, the Magic Mike diet will slim you down quick.

joe manganiello diet
Joe Manganiello Diet

Joe Manganiello says his diet needs to be low-carb, in order to get that six-pack he wants. Still, everyone is slightly different in their dietary needs. Find what works for you when choosing your meal plan. The key is to track everything you eat. This way, if you’re diet doesn’t work, you can look at what you need to change. Alternatively, if you’re losing weight and/or building muscle, you know what foods are right for you.

A sample meal plan for Joe Manganiello, according to his book:

  • Meal 1: (Pre-workout) Protein Bar/Fruit
  • Meal 2: (Post-workout) Protein Shake
  • Meal 3: Egg whites, Sausage, Sauteed Vegetables, Coffee
  • Meal 4: Chicken Breast and Vegetables
  • Meal 5: Steak and Vegetables
  • Meal 6: Protein Shake/Nuts

Joe Manganiello says these are some of the foods he prefers:

  • Protein: steak/chicken/bacon/sausage/eggs/egg whites/greek yogurt/cheese
  • Carbohydrates: sweet potatoes/yams/cucumbers/bell peppers/spinach/carrots/berries/apples
  • Fats: PB2 peanut butter/pistachios/almonds/cashews/olive oil/coconut oil

Starting out, Joe Manganiello says that he had a sweet tooth. To curb those cravings, he used things like:

  • Artic Zero ice cream
  • Think Thin peanut butter bars
  • whey protein bars
  • sugar-free yogurt
  • low-sugar/calorie ice cream
  • sugar-free popsicles
  • sugar-free Jell-O/pudding
  • zero-sugar peanut butter cups

Find a protein bar you like to eat, but that’s healthy as well. For example, many people love Quest Nutrition Protein Bars (Amazon).

If you’re looking for a cheat meal, here’s Joe’s (via Roscoes Chicken & Waffles):

  • Fried Chicken
  • Waffles with syrup and butter
  • side of Fried Greens
  • side of Mac & Cheese
  • side of French Fries

Joe Manganiello says it’s good to have a cheat meal once in a while. This is to keep you from going crazy on a strict diet. It’s even OK to eat bread or something similar once in a while. Don’t think of yourself in a state of utter depravity. That just leads to failure. Being smart about your cheat meal will help you realize there’s even ways cheat meals can improve your body.

Give yourself something to look forward to, in order to maintain your sanity. Manganiello says it’s best to plan your cheat meal in advance. For him, it’s Saturday night, provided that he isn’t in training for a movie shoot or cover shot.

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46 COMMENTS

  1. Hello Chris,
    You do an excellent job of compiling all of this information. I enjoy reading them and do my best to apply them. Thanks for the great work and effort you put into this!

    • Thanks for the kind words. The Magic Mike Joe Manganiello workout is becoming my favorite. You’re constantly doing supersets of 2 different muscle groups. This challenges you on an aerobic, and anaerobic level, at the same time. Try it for 2 weeks, you’ll love it!

  2. Chris, I can’t thank you enough for all the work you have put in to your site. It has really helped me up my gains.

    Question on this workout: do you do 1 set 4 times in a row or the entire work out with the 60-50 second break in between?

    My main concern is trying to lock down all those diffrent exercises in a row and keep the high intensity while in a crowded gym. At the moment my primary goal is cutting down.

    Thanks again!

    • Glad you like the workout! The goal is to do each superset (usually 2-3 different exercises) once, then repeat them a few more times. You’re always working 2 different body parts, then getting 50-60 secs of rest. On the table, each superset is listed in the last column (hidden on smartphones, unless you scroll the table). The result is that you’re burning calories, while building muscle.

      I’m loving the workout, but agree, it’s tough to do the Magic Mike workout in a crowded gym. I was doing the bicep/shoulder workout yesterday. As soon as I walked away from one machine, it got scooped right up. The best advice is to go in the morning, as tough as that may be on your schedule. Studies show that morning workouts are more effective. You will even eat better throughout the day, according to recent research.

      On chest day, I like that you can do bench press and dumbbell rows on the same bench. But, it gets harder from there. Carry a towel and maybe even a water bottle with you. Throw the towel and water bottle down to “claim” your space. Often times, throw your stuff down on the thing most likely to get taken. Then, try your luck with the less popular stations, while your space stays “claimed.” On some exercises, you can get away with using dumbbells as a substitute. The workout may call for something else, but dumbbells may be a better option. They’re usually easier to find, and you can carry them to your “claimed” location to get your supersets in.

    • Sure thing. I’m loving the Magic Mike workout. You get the best of both worlds: heavy lifting while keeping your heart rate up. This translates to bigger muscles and a slimmer body. Make sure to keep up with your cardio and eat those sweet potatoes!

    • Oh yeah, just make sure that your diet matches the intensity of your workouts. Also, consider creatine, BCAA, and/or protein shakes to increase lean muscle gains.

  3. Hi Chris!
    A wealth of fitness knowledge you are.
    I see this is a Mon – Wed workout.
    What happens the rest of the week?

  4. Hi Chris,
    I really like this workout can really feel the burn but I am completing the weights session in about 45min – 1 hr when it says the session should take 1.5 hrs any suggestions.
    Also do we have the 60sec break between supersets as well.

    • I’m doing this workout as well right now. It takes me about an hour. Some sessions are even shorter. So, you’re fine. Manganiello does warmups and stretching, which can make it longer.

      It’s totally fine if you’re going quicker. The quicker the better, because you want to stay in that fat-burning zone. Only rest between supersets if you need to. I like to use time I’m walking over to the next station as my only rest between supersets.

  5. Hi Chris,
    I really like this workout can really feel the burn but I am completing the weights session in about 45min – 1 hr when it says the session should take 1.5 hrs any suggestions.
    Also do we have the 60sec break between supersets as well.

    • I’m doing this workout as well right now. It takes me about an hour. Some sessions are even shorter. So, you’re fine. Manganiello does warmups and stretching, which can make it longer.

      It’s totally fine if you’re going quicker. The quicker the better, because you want to stay in that fat-burning zone. Only rest between supersets if you need to. I like to use time I’m walking over to the next station as my only rest between supersets.

    • I’m doing this workout as well right now. It takes me about an hour. Some sessions are even shorter. So, you’re fine. Manganiello does warmups and stretching, which can make it longer.

      It’s totally fine if you’re going quicker. The quicker the better, because you want to stay in that fat-burning zone. Only rest between supersets if you need to. I like to use time I’m walking over to the next station as my only rest between supersets.

  6. Can i do this workout 3 times per week? it is like Monday:Chest and Back,Wednesday:Legs and Triceps and Friday:Shoulders and Biceps

    • For sure, it’s all about changing the workout up to make it work for you. This is a good workout to do on a 3-day per week schedule, because you’re working 2 parts per day.

      • I do HIIT after every workout bu i cant do cardio in morning because i have to go work and the other thing is can i get that Physique without Creatine?

        • The morning workouts that Joe Manganiello does are for fat-burning. If you want, you can do them in the afternoon instead (or just stick to HIIT). Some people will have “off days” or “recovery days” where they go in and just do 45-90 minutes of cardio at a slow pace. So maybe you can add that to your off days.

          You can get the physique without creatine. Diet is #1. Workout is #2. Supplements are just there to help you reach your goals faster. After black coffee and whey protein, creatine is the most effective workout supplement. It really does wonders when it comes to building lean muscle mass and increasing strength. Remember to cycle it per the instructions on the box, if you decide to try it, though.

  7. Hey Chris i have a question about de Protein Shakes i take on Mondays one Scoop of Nitrotech and Wednesday and Friday 2 scoops of 100% Whey Protein This is good? Have i to stop the suplemment in a particular time?

    • Hey! I would take the Nitrotech after every tough workout. It has things in it that will help you recover. If you are still feeling sore, then add the 100% whey protein as a breakfast smoothie/afternoon snack to help re-fuel your muscles. The Nitrotech has creatine in it. This means you want to cycle it on/off. Adhere to any directions on the box for cycling. If there aren’t any, then take it for the advised 2 months. Then, take 2-4 weeks off. Then, do another 2 months. Good Luck!

  8. Hey Chris,
    First I’ve got to say thanks for putting all these different exercise routines on your site. I did the Rock’s (Pain & Gain and Hercules 12 Labors) crazy diet and exercise last year. I was able to go from 164lbs to 189lbs of solid muscle. It wasn’t easy or cheap (all that food costs a lot) but it was totally worth it.

    Hey, I’m looking to try Joe Mangiello’s pop-workout that you put together. Like you, the high intensity super set workout is turning into my favorite also. My question for you is more about diet. We all know that to gain muscle and/or lose fat diet should be #1 on our list of priorities. Anyway, Joe really doesn’t go into much detail about his daily diet like the Rock did. The Rock was cramming something down every 2-hours or so and he had specific portions of what/when to eat. In my opinion that’s pretty important. With Mangiello’s it really isn’t specific on when or how much his meals consist of. It seemed at first there was an emphasis on sweet potatoes, however, when he talks about a sample meal plan according to his book:

    Meal 1: (Pre-workout) Protein Bar/Fruit
    Meal 2: (Post-workout) Protein Shake
    Meal 3: Egg whites, Sausage, Sauteed Vegetables, Coffee
    Meal 4: Chicken Breast and Vegetables
    Meal 5: Steak and Vegetables
    Meal 6: Protein Shake/Nuts

    It makes no mention of sweet potatoes.

    Anyway, just wanted to make sure I’m getting enough (and the right amount) of carbs/protein for this killer workout.

    Thanks,
    Rob

    • Hi Rob!

      Congrats on your gains with The Rock’s workout. I agree, with The Rock workout, you feel like a tank. You’re constantly shoving food in, and going all out for strength in the gym. I feel like with the Rock workout, it’s all about rebuilding those muscle fibers.

      With the Joe Manganiello workout, things are much different. You get that feeling that you’re challenging your muscles in an entirely different way. You ask about diet, and I agree that’s really important. In his book, Joe talks about getting beat up and and being real scrawny. One day, a high school teacher taught him how to train. For his diet, he would make tons of chicken and vegetables. He would put them in baggies, and only eat them when he was hungry.

      From that, Joe has developed more of an eat-when-you’re-hungry approach, rather than The Rock’s #shoveItIn diet. The outcome is that you’re getting that lean body as opposed to the thick, muscular Rock physique. I’ll take another look at the book: But, I remember that sweet potatoes were Joe’s go-to food when he was feeling down on energy.

      It’s not so much that he ate them every day. Rather, this type of workout is going to leave you feeling the need to replenish your carbs a lot more. With the Joe Manganiello “only eat if your hungry” approach, he tends to eat sweet potatoes only if he is feeling run-down.

      In a way, these are two polar opposite workouts, with complimentary polar opposite diets. It doesn’t mean you want to forget prepping food. As a graduate of The Rock diet, you’ve probably got that down. Instead, try focusing on eating when your body tells you to, rather than every 2 hours. And of course, keep those sweet potatoes, rice and oats handy for when you feel run down and want something to pick you up.

      Instead of sauteed vegetables, that’s also when you could throw in the carbs I just mentioned into your meal plan. This is not one of those diets that’s set in stone. It’s more about listening to your body. Prepping the right food will make sure you stick to the right food, instead of listening to the little guy on your left shoulder convincing you to hit the tub of ice cream in the freezer.

      Good Luck!

      • Thanks Chris, that makes sense.

        So both Joe Manganiello and the Rock do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Then it seems like they fuel up with food and hit the weights. I’ve got about 90 minutes first thing in the morning before work. I really don’t have the time to go to the gym, do cardio for 45 minutes, head home, eat, and come back to the gym again for an hour of weight-training.
        Like many of your readers, I’ve found that I can complete most of Joe’s workouts in about 45-60 minutes. What would you recommend in terms of cardio/weights in a 90-minute time slot and food/protein prior to and/or after?
        Thanks.

        • Do about 5-10 minutes of cardio to get the blood flowing, then hit the weights (with an already elevated heartbeat). Go at that fast-pace Joe Manganiello talks about, so that you’re fat-burning while muscle-building. Then, finish with either HIIT or the other style of cardio Joe talks about (incline at a steady pace). Vary between the two. I also like to throw in heavy kettlebell swings as a finisher.

          You’ll want to make sure to either fuel up before the workout, take BCAA’s during the workout, or take a protein shake immediately after. Finding the right solution may take some experimentation. Some people can handle working out on an empty stomach, some can’t. I suggest working out on an empty stomach (with BCAA’s–see Hugh Jackman workout) then taking a protein shake immediately after. 30 minutes is the max you’ll want to go post-workout without getting something to eat in your body.

  9. They always forget to tell you guys about the other stuff they are taking also..YOU will never going to be in that shape without steroids! trust me, i know :)

  10. Hey Nick i have a problem in the mid-morning because im going to the university at 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and i am always in class and cant go out to eat something and if i have the opportunity to go out for a moment the sellers always sales junk food.I dont want fail to my diet and i dont eat anything in that period.Just have to wait for the lunchtime any recommendations or help?

    • When he was young, Joe says he had a teacher who made him cook chicken and vegetables. Joe would carry that around with him in a plastic baggie, and only eat when he was hungry. Now, Joe Manganiello says that his go-to carb is sweet potatoes. You can slice them up in circles, after cooking, and take them with you.

      • Thanks Chris that was really hepful another question is do you really recommend do cardio on a bulk up phase and also after a leg workout?

        • I tend to do a HIIT 15 minute cardio session after a leg workout. I understand it’s nobody’s favorite. One thing you can do is make Friday your legs day, and take Saturday off. Push yourself knowing it’s Friday, and you’ll get through it. Don’t do anything you hate. That’s the quickest way to stop your routine.

          Or, if you stick with Manganiello’s workout routine, then your diet needs to carry you through those tough workouts. Make sure you’re eating enough so that recovery is quick. If you’re sore, you know to eat more.

  11. thank you for this awesome information chris! i have a question for the workout though cause it only lasts for 2 weeks. can i go through with it and continue doing this for a month or so?

    • Oh yea,

      You can totally do it for longer periods of time. Joe Manganiello used it for months before filming Magic Mike. The key is to find ways to get better. If you’re looking to get bigger muscles, try to increase weight over time. On the other hand, perform the reps faster and use rest less between sets for optimal fat burning.

  12. i read his book and its really great to break the mental barriers now Joe routines are more functional training i saw pushing a Sled but my gym its more a classic gym any subs for Sleds?

    • Yes, his book is awesome. Keep up that workout motivation. For sleds, it’s hard to find a suitable replacement. But, remember that the reason for using sleds is how fast they tire you out. So use anything that’s gets you out of breath in a short period of time. Here’s my list of subs, in order of ease of use:

      1. HIIT Cardio (30 sec-1 min sprint/catch your breath)
      2. Kettlebell Swings (or even use a dumbbell)
      3. Attach a rope to 2, 45 pound plates and drag it
      4. Put a heavier dumbbell on a 45 pound plate and push it

      Good Luck!

  13. I like doing the HIIT cardio, would you recommend this for the morning cardio as I find it boring doing the 45min at a slow pace.

    • Yes, it’s much better to do something you’re interested in doing, rather than the slow pace. Also, the 45 min of cardio, on an empty stomach is best done when you’re preparing for something specific. Over time, slow paced fasting cardio becomes less effective, as your body gets used to it (according to a recent interview by 50 Cent’s trainer). So, there’s another reason to do HIIT, instead.

    • Hi,

      The first 3 exercises on Monday comprise Superset #1. So, you would do Incline Press, Pull Ups and Lat Pulldown all as a Superset. When finished with the reps/sets of those exercises, Joe Manganiello then moves onto Superset #2 (the last row of the table just tells you which exercises are in that Superset).

  14. Hey Chris,
    I usually go to the gym 6 times a week. Is it ok to do the week 1 program on monday tuesday and wednesday and the week 2 program on thursday friday and saturday ?

  15. Hi. Thanks for putting this together!
    It shows 2 weeks. Do you just alternate week 1 and 2 or is there workouts specific for week 3 and 4 somewhere?

    Thanks!

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