Fat Loss Exercises For Men Over 40: Get the Dad Bod You REALLY Want!

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Fat Loss Exercises For Men Over 40

Aging is inevitable, but you can achieve a high level of fitness when you utilize the right fat loss exercises for men over 40!

If you are serious about fat loss after age 40, you need to commit to both healthy eating and increasing your physical activity.

The key is to choose activities that you enjoy and that are realistic for your schedule, because the best exercise is the exercise that you actually do.

Many busy dads need to make their workouts as efficient as possible.

You need to get the work done, but often in the shortest amount of time possible where you can still get maximum benefits.

This is where the right fat loss exercises for men over 40 come into play.

Even if you only have 20 minutes to work out, it's enough time to do some high-intensity interval or circuit training that incorporates resistance exercises.

If you stay committed, you will begin to see the fat melt away.

Over the years, the dad bod has become synonymous with a bulging gut, thick thighs, and/or flabby arms.

It’s time to show the world what the real, fit dad bod looks like!

So get to work with one of these great fat loss exercises for men over 40!

Tired of being fat? You need to read this!

best exercise for men 40+

What Are The 5 Best Muscle Building Exercises For Men 40+?

best exercise for men 40+
The secret to building age-defying muscle in your in 40s, 50s, & 60s is to modify the best muscle building exercises (bench, squats, rows) to make them safe on your joints…

Lose Fat With Metabolic Resistance Training

The best fat loss exercises for men over 40 contain cardio and strength-building exercises.

Both of these are necessary to achieve weight loss, and when combined together this is known as metabolic resistance training.

Metabolic resistance training is similar to high-intensity interval training.

It incorporates aerobic and anaerobic bursts with resistance exercises to burn calories while also building muscular strength.

While you can employ HIIT workouts as part of metabolic resistance training, you can also perform traditional circuit workouts or supersets with compound weight lifting moves to reap the benefits of metabolic resistance training.

By challenging your body with compound exercises you can get the most out of your workouts in the least amount of time.

This is especially important for all the busy dads out there.

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

How Metabolic Resistance Training Works

All types of physical activity will burn calories.

However when you increase the intensity of your workout not only do you burn calories while you are sweating, but you continue to burn calories even after the workout is over.

This is called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC for short.

This is an added benefit for any guy that is short on time.

If you really up the intensity of your workout, you can be sure that even though your workout may be low in minutes, it will still be high in fat burning and strength building.

Combining cardiovascular and strength training has also been shown to decrease blood pressure, increase lean body mass, and improve cardiovascular fitness compared to aerobic training alone.

In addition, combined resistive and aerobic training gives better control of coronary risk factors, particularly lipid profile and weight in obese coronary patients.

This illustrates how challenging yourself with workouts that incorporate a combination of muscle building and heart-pumping activities increases your energy-burning potential.

Plus, building lean muscle mass further increases your resting metabolism.

By increasing your calorie burn with endurance exercises you will burn excess calories to aid in fat loss.

Then, by also performing compound strength training moves you will be able to maintain muscle mass and improve your overall body composition.

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Maintain Muscle Mass

Cardio is great to burn calories and aid in weight loss.

Unfortunately, when you lose weight not only do you lose fat mass, but you also risk losing some muscle mass as well.

However, with metabolic resistance training, you can minimize any losses in lean body mass.

In fact, you can even gain muscle mass while still losing weight.

For example, in a study performed at the Obesity Research Center at St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, individuals were split into three groups.

One was placed on a diet plus strength training, another on a diet plus cardio, and the third was only put on a low-calorie diet without any exercise.

Not surprisingly, each group lost about the same amount of fat.

However, the strength training group lost significantly less muscle mass than the cardio and diet-only groups.

In fact, the diet and cardio groups lost twice as much muscle mass as those that performed strength training.

Strength training significantly reduced the loss of FFM during dieting but did not prevent the decline in RMR.

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Fat Loss Exercises For Men Over 40

There are plenty of ways to add metabolic resistance training to your fitness routine.

These fat loss exercises for men over 40 will help you lose weight, build strength, and improve your cardiovascular health.

You can get the most out of your workouts by doing full-body circuits, high-intensity interval training, or workouts that combine weight lifting moves with bursts of aerobic activities.

Sample Full Body Circuit

This circuit includes bodyweight and free weight exercises.

You can also substitute free weights with resistance bands depending on what equipment you have available.

Dumbbell Front Squats to Shoulder Press

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a set of dumbbells near your shoulders and close to your sides.
  • Sit back into a squat.
  • Then press back up to the top.
  • At the top of the squat, press the weights above your head then slowly bring them back down to your shoulders.
  • This completes one rep.

Incline Dumbbell Flyes

  • Lie on the back of an incline bench set to about 30-45 degrees while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Start with the dumbbells above your head with your palms facing each other and a slight bend in the elbows.
  • Open your arms out to the side until they are in line with your torso.
  • Then slowly bring them back up to the starting position in the same arc that you brought them down to the sides.

Single Arm Row

  • Place your left leg and left hand on a flat bench and bend over until your torso is parallel to the floor while holding a dumbbell in your right hand.
  • While keeping your back flat, bring your right elbow up to lift the weight up to your torso.
  • Lower back down slowly.
  • After completing 8-10 reps with the right arm, repeat with the left arm.

Medicine Ball Slams

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a soft medicine ball over your head.
  • Slam the ball into the ground as hard as you can in front of you.
  • Catch the ball on the rebound or pick it up off the ground if it does not bounce back far enough.
  • This is one rep.

Dumbbell Step Ups

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides while you stand in front of a box or bench.
  • Step up onto the bench with your left foot, then follow with your right foot so that you are standing with both feet on the bench.
  • Then step backward down, first with the left foot, then with the right.
  • Now repeat by leading with the right foot.
  • This is one rep.

Arnold Press

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your forehead.
  • Your elbows should be bent to 90 degrees with your palms facing you.
  • Open your arms wide so that your elbows are still at a 90-degree angle but your palms are now facing out.
  • Then press up into a shoulder press.
  • Bring the weights down and reverse the move to return to the starting position.
  • This is one rep.

Wide Bicep Curls

  • Stand upright while holding a barbell or EZ curl bar at the wide outer handles with the palm of your hands facing forward.
  • You could also hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • While holding your upper arms still, curl the weights up until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level.
  • Hold the contracted position for a pause, then slowly lower the bar back down.

Skull Crushers

  • Lay on a bench or the ground while holding a dumbbell in each hand, extended above your chest in a bench press position.
  • Bend at the elbows and lower the dumbbells down towards your forehead.
  • Then contract your triceps to straighten the elbows and raise the weight back up to complete one rep.
  • Focus on keeping your elbows in line with your shoulders during this movement to really work the triceps.

Dumbbell Touch The Sky

  • Lie on your back on the floor with your legs straight up in the air with the soles of your feet facing the ceiling.
  • Hold your arms straight with a dumbbell or medicine ball up above your chest.
  • Lift your shoulders off the mat, pushing the ball toward the ceiling, not your feet.
  • Return to starting position by lowering your upper body all the way back to the floor and keeping your arms locked in the straight position.
  • Your feet should remain lifted in the air.

Complete each exercise one after another with minimal rest in between.

When you finish the circuit, rest for 3-4 minutes.

Then repeat two more times through.

This 40-minute full-body workout is great for strength training and optimizes your time with a superset workout plan!

Sample HIIT Workout

High-intensity interval training is one form of metabolic resistance training.

HIIT will burn serious calories in a short amount of time.

Plus this calorie-burning will continue long after you’ve finished.

HIIT involves doing intervals of an exercise at the hardest effort you can sustain for a given period of time, which is your anaerobic threshold.

During HIIT workouts you train multiple muscle groups so that you will build lean muscle while you simultaneously burn fat.

When you hear high-intensity intervals, you may only think this is for increasing cardiovascular fitness.

However, research illustrates that HIIT is also effective at increasing muscle mass.

So even on days that you can’t get to the gym to lift weights, HIIT is still an excellent alternative for strength gains and fat loss.

HIIT Circuit 1

  • Burpees with Push-Up for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds
  • High Knees for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds
  • Tuck Jumps for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds
  • Spiderman Push-Ups for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds

Repeat the circuit three times. Rest for one minute. Then move on to set 2.

HIIT Circuit 2

  • Jump Squats for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds
  • Side-to-Side Push-Ups for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds
  • Alternating Jump Lunges for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds
  • Military Push-Ups for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds

Repeat the circuit three times. Then cool down for 5-10 minutes.

This HIIT bodyweight workout for fat loss can be done from inside your home with NO equipment!

Sample Combo Workout

With combination workouts, you will perform a strength move then immediately follow that with an aerobic cardio move between each set.

Rest for 1 minute after the cardio activity before returning to the strength set.

For example, you would do one set of deadlifts, then immediately begin 30 seconds of mountain climbers.

Rest 1 minute, then do the second set of deadlifts followed by mountain climbers.

Rest another minute, then finish the third set before moving to the next exercise.


The deadlift is the ultimate full-body weightlifting move.

While many people see this as only a lower body workout, the deadlift targets your hamstrings, glutes, quads, core, upper back, and deltoids.

Focus on form, not weight, when you first start doing this movement to avoid injury.

Gradually increase your weight as you perfect your form and gain strength.

Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

*Cardio: In between each set, do 30 seconds of mountain climbers.

Bench Press

The good old standard bench press is a tried and true strength training exercise.

It is incorporated into so many workout routines for a reason — it works!

You should always use a spotter to avoid injury and to push yourself to do your maximum number of reps.

Aim for 3 sets of 6-8 reps.

*Cardio: In between each set, do 30 seconds of jump rope

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

You can also sit on a bench to do the shoulder press, however when you stand you force your core to engage to steady your body and maintain balance.

This way you are working not only the traps and deltoids but also your abs and low back muscles.

Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

*Cardio: In between each set, do 30 seconds of squat jumps

Bicep Curls

Standard bicep curls are great at working the biceps brachii.

If you want you can do supinated bicep curls here instead.

This is where you turn your forearm at the top of the bicep curl (supinate) so that your palms are facing up.

This will recruit the brachioradialis and supinator muscles.

Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

*Cardio: In between each set, do 30 seconds of kettlebell swings with a light weight


The pull-up is another exercise that every guy should be doing if they are serious about their fitness.

This is one of the best back moves to strengthen the larger and smaller muscles in the back.

When you perform pull-ups you train these muscles synergistically to really build up the back muscles.

Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

*Cardio: In between each set, do 30 seconds of high knees

Forearm Plank

Finish out this workout with a burn-out ab strengthening move-the forearm plank.

This isometric exercise hits your abs from all angles, especially the rectus abdominis muscles along with the deeper transverse abdominis muscles.

Try to hold as long as you can with good form.

Each week, try to increase how much time you can hold the plank.

*Cardio: Finish it out with 30 seconds of burpees

Holly Smith, M.D. B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Holly is board-certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly is a keen runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast. She has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, Olympic distance triathlons, half marathons, and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on fat loss exercises for men over 40.


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Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project


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