They say that life begins at 40, and if you take care of yourself and switch up a few things, figuratively, this can be true. As much as I denied it to myself and refused to accept it, I eventually had to change up my workouts and approach.

I have never stopped working out but as the years went by, I found it harder to stay lean and maintain a body I felt good about. Recently I have found success with a weight lifting program that works great for men over 40.

I most recently discussed this program in an interview on our YouTube channel a couple weeks ago.

I’ve stayed true to the program and after 6 weeks, I have seen great results with transforming my body.

 
body transformation fat musclebody transformation fat muscleweight lifting program for men over 40

You can jump to bottom of this article for a sneak peek at the week 1 weight lifting program and meal plan!

 

If you’re used to hitting the gym and training at a high intensity, it may be hard to accept but the hands of time eventually catch up with you. To continue training and performing at your optimum level you’ll need to take a step back, reassess your training, and do a few things differently.

Everybody’s body is different and 40 is just a number. Depending on your lifestyle, genetics, and how you’ve trained your body we all hit that point at different times. 40 is just a marker, some of us won’t plateau until a few years after, others plateau a few years before.

What’s important is that you accept the fact that your body no longer reacts the way it used to, or recovers the same. The fact is, you can’t train like you did in your 20s, or even your 30s for that matter.

So, does that mean you need to simply throw in the towel, put down the weights, and jump on the treadmill a couple of times a week instead? Of course not. It just becomes important to find a weight lifting program for men over 40 that works for you.

If you’re 40 or older and are serious about weight training, here are some handy tips.

 

Extend The Warmup

Warming up is a tip that applies to everybody that lifts weights and exercises, regardless of their age.

As you grow older, though, you become more susceptible to injury which is why it becomes more vital that you stretch and warm up before you exercise.

Failing to warm up before you lift weights could result in an injury such as a pulled or torn muscle, or even something more serious.

Before you start working out, set aside an extra few minutes more to stretch and warm up than perhaps you did in the past. Over time you’ll be amazed by what a difference it makes.

body transformation program

CLICK HERE TO START YOUR 7 DAY FREE TRIAL

 

Keep Switching Things Up

Another great way to make gains in the gym, whilst helping to stay injury-free and avoid picking up bumps and bruises is to mix up your training.

If you’re following the same routine week in and week out, and doing the same exercises repeatedly, your body will adapt to this and you’ll find yourself struggling to make any real progress at all.

In order to facilitate muscle hypertrophy, every six weeks or so, look for a different training plan to follow. Not alternating my workouts enough was one of the problems I had. That’s the beauty of the program I am following now. This program varies enough each week to keep my muscles confused.

 

Yes Or No To Heavy Weights?

 As you age the benefits of strength straining increase. It’s not necessarily sports performance or for “just looking good” now. A solid weight lifting program is essential for healthy aging for over 40 and beyond.

You naturally lose muscle with age, as you continue to get older this can limit your ability to function and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Basic functions like getting out of a chair and moving up and down stairs can become a challenging task.

Bone density also becomes increasingly important as we age. Spending time on the treadmill will not provide you the bone density benefits you’ll receive from a weight lifting program.

As you grow older, you’ll be more susceptible to injury as well. Which is why I believe there is a common notion to ditch the heavy weights and train differently. However, several studies have been conducted to show there is no need to dump the heavy weights suddenly. Most studies consistently show increased benefits from strength training even in the elderly!

If you have a condition or an injury, of course lose the heavy weights and readjust your workout. Rather than lifting heavy weights for low reps, lighten the load and simply put out more reps.

 

Focus On Your Form

 Finally, like warming up, this can speak to all groups but is especially essential as we age.

I see this consistently in the gym every day, people use heavy weights and after the first couple reps just throw them up with horrible form to complete the exercise. You’ll get more functional strength and better performance if you train smart, and train accurately. Not to mention, lessen the chance of injury.

Focus on performing the exercise exactly as it should be performed, even if that means using very low weights until you’re happy you’ve nailed the form.

Training in this manner will also increase your TUT (time under tension) which is basically the amount of time that the target muscle is placed under tension during the exercise. This creates more rips and tears in the muscle, which in turn results in greater levels of muscle hypertrophy.

Have you found a weight lifting program for men over 40 that works for you?
What adjustments in your workouts have you had to make as you’ve gotten older?

 

 

Here Is The First Week’s Weight Lifting Program For Men Over 40 To Get Started

 

Week 1 Workout Plan
Day 1: Arms

– Barbell Curl: 3-4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Hammer Curls: 3-4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Cable Curls: 7 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Close-Grip Bench Press: 3-4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Skull Crushers: 3-4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Tricep Cable Pushdowns: 7 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

 

Day 2: Cardio And Abs

– 30 Minute Powerwalk On The Treadmill With A Slight  Incline

– Weighted Ab Crunches: 5 Sets To Failure With 10kg Weight  Plate

– Hanging Leg Raises: 3 Sets To Failure

– Side Crunches: 3 Sets Each Side To Failure

 

Day 3: Legs

– Squats: 5 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Leg Press: 3-4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Leg Extension: 5 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Hamstring Curls: 4 Sets Of 15 Reps

– Lunges: 4 Sets Of 10-12 Reps

– Calf Raises: 6 Sets To Failure

 

Day 4: Back And Traps

– Bent Over Barbell Rows: 3 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Lat Pull Downs: 3 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Close Grip Lat Pull Downs: 3 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Seated Cable Rows: 5 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Deadlifts: 3 Sets Of 8 – 12 Reps

– Shrugs: 3 Sets Of 12 – 15 Reps

– Assisted Chins To Failure 5 Sets Of As Many As Possible

 

Day 5: Chest

– Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Bench Press: 4 Sets Of 8-10 Reps

– Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Cable Crossovers: 5 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Push Ups 5: Sets To Failure

 

Day 6: Shoulders And Abs

– Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Front Dumbbell Raise: 3 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Side Lateral Raises: 7 Sets Of 8-12 Reps

– Smith Machine Press 3 Sets Of 8 – 12 Reps

– Upright Rows 3 Sets Of 15-20 Reps

– Weighted Ab Crunches: 5 Sets To Failure With 10kg Weight  Plate

– Bicycle Sit Ups: 3 Sets To Failure

– Cable Crunches: 3 Sets Each Side To Failure

 

Day 7: Off

Week 1 Meal Plan
Meal 1:

– 60g Oats

– 40g Mixed Berries

30g Low Carb Protein Powder

– 1 Tbsp Honey

– Mix All Ingredients Together In A Bowl Or Blend Into A Smoothie  With Water

Vitamins:

– Juice Plus Fruit, Vegetable, And Berry Blends

Glucosamine

Pre Workout:

(Optional) Fat Burner Mixed With Acetyl L Carnitine Or Black Coffee

Intra Workout:

10g Serving Of Bcaas With Water

 

Meal 2: Post Workout:

– 30g Low Carb Protein Shake

5g L Glutamine (Optional)

 

Meal 3:

– 200g Lean Meat

– 90g Green Vegetables

– 100g White Rice

 

Meal 4:

– 200g Lean Meat

– 50g Wholemeal Pasta Or 50g Brown Rice

– 100g Green Vegetables

 

Snack:

– 1 Piece Of Fruit

 

Meal 5:

– 250g Red Meat (Steak Or Lean Mince)

– 80g Wholemeal Pasta Or 80g Brown Rice

– 100g Green Vegetables

 

Meal 6:

30g Casein Protein With 100g Greek Yoghurt

– 3 Litres Of Water Per Day Minimum

– Seasonings And Dressings Are Fine But Please Do Not Go Over The Top

– 1 Cheat Meal Per Week, It Must Be A High Protein Meal And Only If You Follow Your Meal Plan Correctly!!!

 

Free Trial Week Meal Plan If You Are Training In The Afternoon/Evening Or Night

Meal 1:

– 60g Oats

– 40g Mixed Berries

– 30g Low Carb Protein Powder

– 1 Tbsp Honey

– Mix All Ingredients Together In A Bowl Or Blend Into A Smoothie

With Water

Vitamins:

– Juice Plus Fruit, Vegetable, And Berry Blends

– Glucosamine

 

Meal 2:

– 200g Lean Meat

– 50g Brown Rice Or 50g Wholemeal Pasta

– 100g Green Vegetables

Snack:

– 1 Piece Of Fruit

Meal 3:

– 200g Lean Meat

– 80g Brown Rice Or 50g Wholemeal Pasta

– 100g Green Vegetables

Pre Workout:

(Optional) Fat Burner Mixed With Acetyl L Carnitine Or Black Coffee

Intra Workout:

10g Serving Of Bcaas With Water

 

Meal 4: Post Workout:

– 30g Low Carb Protein Shake

– 5g L Glutamine (Optional)

 

Meal 5:

– 250g Red Meat (Steak Or Lean Mince)

– 90g Green Vegetables

– 100g White Rice

 

Meal 6:

30g Casein Protein With 100g Greek Yoghurt

– 3 Litres Of Water Per Day Minimum

– Seasonings And Dressings Are Fine But Please Do Not Go Over The Top

– 1 Cheat Meal Per Week, It Must Be A High Protein Meal And Only If You Follow Your Meal Plan Correctly!!!

6 Comments

  1. Hi Lee,
    Great and very informative post. Totally agreed with you that though they say 40 is the new age but it could come later or even early because I already started experiencing the difference compared to my 20s when I was running around and lifting heavy weight while in the military, but now I struggled everyday to get back because of pain. Also agreed that we need to switch up our workout routine at least every two weeks and I like the fact that you do switch things around weekly instead of two.
    Thanks for the post. I definitely see the potential in it.

    V/r

  2. Hey Lee – I really enjoyed your article and the video with Russ Yeager. We have similar interests. On my most recent post on my website I briefly explained my Fitness Journey. There are 3 pictures of me there. The first was when I was 47 years old. I got ripped doing the “Body For Life” workout and diet plan. The next 2 pictures were in my 60’s. I’m 68 today and preparing to do an 8-week training plan with resistance bands.

  3. Thank you so much for this highly informative article, Lee! Three of my uncles just turned 40, and all three of them are workout junkies (I am as well, but I’m a 28 year old female. Haha). They’ve expressed some frustration at not being able to maintain the same workouts they’ve had for 25 years, but they also realize that they’re getting older, their bodies are changing, and they simply need to modify their workouts (not give it up altogether). You’ve provided many excellent tips, and I am going to share your article with my friends and family. God bless you!

    1. Thanks for reading and sharing such a thoughtful comment. Many of these tips can apply to women as well but of course the article was geared towards my personal experience as a 40 year old male. 🙂
      Take care and bless

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *