How to Build Muscle as a Man Over 40
People say to age gracefully, but the fact of the matter is that aging isn’t as elegant as people make it out to be. Sure, you will have accumulated a wealth of experience over four years. You may even start moving towards a great silver fox look. However, when you’ve passed 40, your body is going to start slowing down. Your joints will get achy, your muscles easily sore, and your power decelerating.
Does this mean you have to start coming to terms with your age take it easy in the gym? I think not. Simply tweak your workout routine a little bit and you’ll be able to continue progressing in the gym, growing those numbers and growing those guns! Who knows – you may even find yourself more powerful in your 40s than you ever were at 25!
How should I work out?
When your body is beginning to slow down, it’s time to take it easy on the crazy power lifts and big volume. That being said, you can still enjoy muscle growth while keeping your body safe.
The following exercises are a lot easier on your joints than many of those in traditional training programs. Your knees, shoulders, and back will feel a lot better. Additionally, there is an emphasis on unilateral training, which will make sure that your balance and agility is kept top-notch.
There are a lot of compound movements in this workout plan. You won’t be doing the same high volume workouts you once were able to, but you’ll be hitting more muscle groups and gaining more muscle.
Though these workouts are designed to be good for you, never underestimate the power of a good rest day. Between these workouts, be sure to take a full day of rest so you are only lifting every other day. Go as heavy as you can as long as you can maintain good form and can stick to the rest periods. Don’t be afraid to let your weight grow incrementally. Most importantly, never neglect warming up!
Give the following workouts a go. Any of the exercises labelled with consecutive numbers are meant to be a circuit. For example, with A1 and A2 in Workout 1, finish a set of reverse lunges, then do a set of squats. Then, repeat both until you finish four sets for each. Have fun!
A1) Reverse Lunge – 4 sets / 5 reps each side / 30s rest
A2) Squats – 4 sets / 8 reps / 30s rest
B1) Barbell Hip Thrusts – 3 sets / 8 reps / 30s rest
C1) TRX Push Ups – 3 sets / 10 reps / 30s rest
C2) Underhand Single-Arm Cable Row – 3 sets / 10 reps each side / 30s rest
C3) Band Pull-aparts – 3 sets / 10 reps / 30s rest
D1) Ab-Wheel Rollout – 3 sets / 10 reps / 30s rest
A1) High-Handle Trap Bar Deadlift – 4 sets / 6 reps / 30s rest
A2) X-Band Walk – 4 sets / 10 reps each way / 60s rest
B1) Dumbbell Chest-Supported Row – 3 sets / 15 reps / 30s rest
B2) Dumbbell Push Press – 3 sets / 15 reps / 30s rest
B3) Farmer’s Carry – 3 sets / 30 seconds / 30s rest
C1) Hip Bridges using a Mini-Band – 4 sets / 10 reps / 30s rest
C2) Bear Crawls – 4 sets / 20 seconds / 30s rest
A1) Dumbbell Bench Press – 5 sets / 5 reps / 60s rest
A2) Chin Ups – 5 sets / 5 reps / 60s rest
B1) TRX Inverted Row – 4 sets / 8 reps / 30s rest
B2) Goblet Lateral Squats – 4 sets / 8 reps each side / 30s rest
B3) Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift – 4 sets / 8 reps each side / 30s rest
C1) Kneeling Chops with Cable – 3 sets / 8 reps each side / 30s rest
About the Author
Jack of all trades... master of none! Father of 3 awesome boys, husband to 1 amazing wife! Obstacle racer, procrastinator, computer nerd, trying not to follow the herd!