Alex Apatoff
June 09, 2015 02:47 PM

Personal trainers are usually pretty slim, but Sofia Vergara‘s in-gym motivator takes that to a whole new level.

Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage


Sofia Vergara recently Instagrammed a photo of herself heading into a workout that was overseen by a familiar face: her fiancé Joe Manganiello. Well, actually, it’s a sexy cardboard cutout of him smoldering and shirtless!

“Who wouldnt get motivated with that guy in the back staring at u like that hahahhha!!!!” the Modern Family actress wrote in the caption.

Who wouldnt get motivated with that guy in the back staring at u like that hahahhha!!!! #Idontwanttoworkout 😭

A post shared by Sofia Vergara (@sofiavergara) on

As it turns out, the chiseled 2-D poster was likely headed to the donation pile before the 42-year-old stepped in and gave it a new lease on life, as well as the best view it could ask for.

“We were moving and I found it in his garage, and I’m like, ‘I’m gonna take this!'” Vergara tells PEOPLE with a laugh. “And [Joe] was like, ‘What are you going to do with that?’ So, I put it in the cardio room.”

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Cardboard Joe’s job is simple: Help motivate the stunning Modern Family star to do something she admits to hating, but which she sees as a necessary evil. (Real Joe sits out Vergara’s workouts but contributes in other ways: “Sometimes I try to ask him things,” about her gym routine, she tells PEOPLE.)

“I have to work out, of course,” she said while attending the annual Screen Actors Guild Foundation Los Angeles Golf Classic, where she was being honored with the Actors Inspiration Award.

“With age you have to put a little bit more work and energy [in],” she says. “And now I’ve accepted that exercising has to be part of my life, not just for beauty or aging, but just to be healthy.”

What do you think of her motivation? Think that would get you running faster?

–Reagan Alexander

Related video: Why Sofia Vergara says she’s an ‘ugly duckling!’

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