Resolve to Evolve

In his immensely popular workout book, Evolution, actor Joe Manganiello reveals all the secrets behind his head-turning physique. Inside Fitness is giving you a sneak peek into this unrivalled workout routine so that you can start 2015 off on the right foot.

By Joe Manganiello

Photos by Patrik Giardino

This is Week One of the original six-week “Werewolf Workout,” affectionately named by my trainer, Ron, and me. It’s the exact program I used to transform for my role on True Blood, when I had to look superhuman: half man, half wolf. It came down to blending aspects of muscle and strength, with a fat-loss protocol that would reveal the separation between my muscles.

Nothing about this program is easy, but the template is simple to follow. You should of course talk to your physician before starting this or any new fitness or diet regimen, and it’s often helpful to have a professional trainer guide you. The mental side is the real difficulty. Staying consistent. Making the decision to spend six days a week in the gym, working harder than ever before. Remember, it’s not about going through the motions. It’s about learning to increase your intensity so that every set and rep is more effective.

This plan can take you to the next level and show you what you’re capable of. Envision what you can become.

THE DYNAMIC WARM-UP

Before you begin your daily workout, always complete the dynamic warm-up. This might be the real secret to seeing results, because a “cold” muscle is inefficient. This warm-up helps prepare your muscles, allowing for maximum contraction, and significantly decreasing the likelihood that you’ll get hurt.

   One-leg lunge: 20 reps per leg

   Squat: 15 reps

   Push-up: 15 reps

   Side-to-side jump: 30 seconds

   Front-to-back jump: 30 seconds

Monday: Chest and Back

Circuit 1: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed. In order to perform circuits correctly, progress through all the exercises and then rest. For example, the first set will consist of 20 reps of bench press followed by 20 reps of lat pulldowns, and then you’ll rest. After that, you’ll do 15 reps of bench press followed by 15 reps of lat pulldowns — and then another period of rest. You’ll complete this for all sets of each exercise, rest, and then move on to the next circuit. This is the strategy you’ll apply for all circuits, unless instructed otherwise.

Barbell Bench Press: Sets of 20, 15, 12, 10, 5, 8, and 16 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Lat Pulldown with Wide Pronated Grip: Sets of 20, 15, 12, 10, 5, 8, and 16 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit, performing a total of seven sets each of bench press and lat pulldowns.

Circuit 2: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Dumbbell Incline Press: 12 to 15 reps; weight will be light to moderate, so that you can do all of the reps with good form and a good isometric contraction at the peak.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row with Neutral Grip: 10 to 12 reps each arm.Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit. Do this four times. Push yourself to stay at the same weight, or slightly increase the weight on each set.

Circuit 3: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Pec-Deck: 10 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Low Row with Narrow Neutral Grip: 10 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit. Do this four times. Push yourself to stay at the same weight, or slightly increase the weight on each set.

Tuesday: Legs and Triceps

Circuit 1: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Barbell Back Squat: Sets of 20, 15, 12, 10, 5, 8, and 16 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

V-Bar Triceps Extension: Sets of 20, 15, 12, 10, 5, 8, and 16 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form. Rest for one minute, and then repeat circuit until done.

Circuit 2: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Leg Curl: 12 to 15 reps; weight will be light to moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form and a good isometric contraction at the peak.

One-Arm Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension: 10 to 12 reps each arm. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit. Do this four times. Push yourself to stay at the same weight, or slightly increase the weight on each set.

Circuit 3: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Dumbbell or Kettlebell Goblet Squat: 10 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Two-Arm, One-Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension: 15 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit. Do this four times. Push yourself to stay at the same weight, or slightly increase the weight on each set.

Wednesday: Deltoids and Biceps

Circuit 1: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press: Sets of 20, 15, 12, 10, 5, 8, and 16 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Seated Dumbbell Two-Arm Curl: Sets of 20, 15, 12, 10, 5, 8, and 16 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit until done.

Circuit 2: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Plate Front Raise: 12 to 15 reps; weight will be light to moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Standing Barbell Curl: 10 to 12 reps each arm. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit. Do this four times. Push yourself to stay at the same weight, or slightly increase the weight on each set.

Circuit 3: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 12 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl: 12 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit. Do this four times. Push yourself to stay at the same weight, or slightly increase the weight on each set.

Thursday: Chest and Back

Circuit 1: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Dumbbell Flye: Sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, and 10 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Two-Arm Bent-Over Dumbbell Row with Neutral Grip: Sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, and 10 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit until done.

Circuit 2: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press: 10 to 12 reps; weight will be light to moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form. The “close grip” will be 30 cm between the hands.

Lat Pulldown with Narrow Supinated Grip: 10 to 12 reps. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit. Do this four times. Push yourself to stay at the same weight, or slightly increase the weight on each set.

Circuit 3: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Bar Dip: AMRAP (as many reps as possible); shoulder must go below height of elbow and must lock out arms on each rep to count.

Low Row with Narrow Supinated Grip: 10 to 12 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit. Do this four times. Push yourself to stay at the same weight, or slightly increase the weight on each set.

Friday: Legs and Triceps

Circuit 1: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Reverse Lunge: Sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, and 10 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Barbell Triceps Extension: Sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, and 10 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form. Rest for one minute, and then repeat circuit until done.

Circuit 2: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Leg Extension: 10 to 12 reps; weight will be light to moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form and a good isometric contraction at the peak.

French Press: 10 to 12 reps. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit. Do this four times. Push yourself to stay at the same weight, or slightly increase the weight on each set.

Circuit 3: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Barbell Front Squat: 10 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Rope Triceps Extension in Front of Body: 15 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit. Do this four times. Push yourself to stay at the same weight, or slightly increase the weight on each set.

Saturday: Deltoids and Biceps

Circuit 1: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Barbell Upright Row: Sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, and 10 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Triple Dumbbell Curl: Sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, and 10 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit until done.

Circuit 2: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press: 10 to 12 reps; weight will be light to moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Straight-Bar Cable Curl: 10 to 12 reps. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit. Do this four times. Push yourself to stay at the same weight, or slightly increase the weight on each set.

Circuit 3: This couplet set is performed with little or no rest between each set until both exercises are completed.

Dumbbell Rotating Lateral Raise: 12 reps; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form.

Dumbbell Alternating Curl: 20 reps, 10 each arm; weight will be moderate, so that you can get all of the reps with good form. Rest for one minute and then repeat circuit. Do this four times. Push yourself to stay at the same weight, or slightly increase the weight on each set.

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