Joe Manganiello's body of work is pretty impressive. The 6-foot-5 actor covers the July issue of Men's Health UK, where he shows off his famously fit figure in an accompanying photo spread in which he goes rock climbing (shirtless, of course). Now 36, the star -- who's no strangers to nude scenes, thanks to True Blood and Magic Mike -- says he's in the best shape of his life.
"I'm not 18 anymore. But you won't hear me saying that, because me at 36 would destroy me as a teenager," the actor boasts. "In my mid-thirties I'm making bigger gains than I've ever made in my life."
Ironically, when he won the role of werewolf Alcide Herveaux on the supernatural HBO drama, Manganiello was trying to slim down. "My first season on True Blood was about cutting down my mass -- getting more ripped," says the star, who joined the show during its third season in 2010. "Then it was more about leveling out the physical symmetry."
The hunky Pittsburgh native spent the latter part of 2012 filming the action thriller Ten, costarring his childhood hero Arnold Schwarzenegger. Manganiello says he admired the former Governor of California since his days as a world champion bodybuilder, and the two even shared workout secrets on set.
"Arnie was a hero to me. He's the reason why every guy of our generation started going to the gym," Manganiello explains. "To film with him for four months was awesome. And he still trains every morning."
Manganiello wanted to add muscle mass for his role in Ten, so he once again changed his workout routine. "When making the film with Schwarzenegger, I went through a powerlifting phase -- I put on [19 lbs.], so my bodyweight was up to [249 lbs.]. Now, I want to be a great athlete. It's about becoming stronger, fitter and faster."
Schwarzenegger, 65, also provided his young costar with other tricks of the trade, like how to boost his arm-size in pictures. "We had a photo shoot for the movie poster. I was wearing a sleeveless top, crossing my arms and flexing," Manganiello recalls. "Arnold came in and said, 'I see you're flexing your biceps. Don't do that. Keep it loose and [with crossed arms] put the other hand back to push [the muscle forward] -- you'll get an extra three inches.'"
Manganiello's full interview appears in the July issue of Men's Health UK, on sale Monday, June 3.