Workout Routine To Build Muscle [5 Key Points For Men 40+]

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

workout routine to build muscle

Great bodies are not created overnight. You need time, effort, and the right workout routine to build muscle!

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of different opinions regarding what is best for you and your muscle-building dreams.

This guide will help you understand what the best workout routine to build muscle entails and how to apply it to your life.

The first thing to understand when muscle building is that you’re looking to increase your mass; it’s not normally a good idea to try to lose weight while building muscle.

Weight loss requires a reduction in calories below your maintenance amount. Building muscle requires excess calories over your maintenance amount. It’s not easy to do both of these things at the same time.

You also need to decide if you’re training for size or strength, which depends on your current capabilities.

Ready to get started? Keep reading for everything you need to know about building a workout routine to build muscle, including:

    • The key elements of boosting strength and increasing size.
    • Why weights alone are not enough.
    • The basic components of muscle-building workouts.
    • Important body-shaping tips.
    • A weekly workout routine to build muscle that you can start today.
    • And more!

Welcome To The Fit Father Project – Your New Nutrition and Workout Resource!

At the Fit Father Project, we specifically help busy men over 40 get back in shape by offering free information and resources on our website, backed up with our Fit Father 30X (FF30X) Program.

This article will teach you everything you need to know about creating a workout routine to build muscle, but we're here to help you make a slew of healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes that will last.

Everything we do here at the Fit Father Project aims to simplify eating and exercise so you can get in great shape and stay strong and healthy for your family — without any unnecessary complications.

Sound good? Good. Let's dive in!

Key Elements of Different Workout Programs

Boosting Strength

If you're starting a muscle-building routine, it's best to focus on building strength first, prioritizing compound movements over isolation exercises.

Stick to the foundational lifts — squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, overhead presses, and the bench press will give you additional strength and help you lift more weight.

Aim to lift between 80-100% of your maximum single lift ability.

Increasing Size

Bulking up will be much easier after you build up your strength.

If you’re looking to increase the size of your muscles, then you want to be doing as many as 6 sets of 8-12 reps. You should lift as much as 70-80% of your maximum capability in one lift.

You can start working on isolation exercises at this phase, but you'll also want to keep those compound and foundational lifts in your routine.

The idea is to introduce intramuscular damage; as your body heals, the fibers in your muscles will grow larger, increasing the size of your muscles. If you're strong, you'll be able to lift more weights, which will help you gain the desired look much faster.

Before starting your workout routine to build muscle, make sure you avoid these 5 common muscle-building mistakes!

Weights Alone Are Not Enough

It should be clear that if you’re looking to build muscle, you must have a complete plan. Of course, this means lifting weights, but you'll also want to condition your body and get plenty of rest.core muscles - core workouts for men

The American Heart Association recommends 30-40 minutes of medium to intense activity 3-4 times a week. But, if you want muscle gains, you'll need more than exercise to maintain your health.

Core strength is essential to your ability to perform any strengthening exercise.

A strong core improves your balance and posture, helping you to adopt the right posture for your muscle-building workout. It also trains your lower back, hips, pelvis, and abdomen muscles. The better these work together, the easier you’ll find it is to lift heavy weights and build more muscle.

Also, if you're hitting the weights hard, you'll want to give your body time to repair. This means sleeping 7-9 hours every night. You'll not only give your muscles rest and much-needed time to repair, but you'll also give your body a chance to create and balance out hormone production.

Learn more about why sleep is so important to muscle-building.

Basic Components of Muscle-Building Workouts

As mentioned earlier, you should be using the foundation lifts regularly.

  • Squats
  • Deadlift
  • Pull-ups
  • Bench press
  • Overhead press
  • Leg press

In addition, it's important to maintain proper conditioning and core strength. Adopt a HIIT approach, where you do any exercise at full force for just 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then repeat.

This is a good way of completing core-building exercises as it forces your core to work hard repeatedly, yet the workout is short enough that you’ll always be able to find time for it.

  • Planks – all varietieshow to do flutter kicks
  • Butterfly sit-ups
  • Seated knee tuck
  • Flutter kicks
  • Russian twist
  • Standard crunches
  • Bicycle crunches
  • The bridge
  • Reverse crunch
  • Jumping rope

Of course, building your core will help you perform the muscle-building exercises that you really want to do. That means you should also add in some weight-training exercises. Here are some great weight training exercises to mix in:

  • Bicep curls
  • Bent over rows
  • Upright rows
  • Lateral raise

As well as building your core and lifting weights, you should familiarize yourself with some bodyweight exercises. You don’t need any weights for these, as your body weight is sufficient enough and will push your muscles to their limits. The great thing about these exercises is that you can literally do them anywhere.

  • Push-upsmicro workouts for men
  • Pull-ups
  • Pull-downs
  • Dips
  • Standing calf raise

It is important to note that bodyweight exercises are great for weight loss and management. They will help boost your core strength and give you the basic structure to do the heavier lifting.

Click This: Our YouTube Channel is filled with great tutorials for HIIT workouts, weight training, bodyweight exercises, and so much more!

Important Tips to Shape Your Body

Ensure you target your upper body one day and your lower body the next. This will give one set of muscles time to rest while the others have the opportunity to grow.

And, yes, that includes leg exercises. The legs actually contain some of the largest muscles in your body. By doing high-resistance workouts on your legs, you’ll be able to boost their size and your growth hormone production, which will aid your body in becoming bigger and stronger.

While doing exercises, it is important to remember that your triceps also need to be developed. Large triceps really enhance your strength and the appearance of your biceps. Try doing some tricep dips or overhead tricep extensions. These will cause your triceps to grow, creating a bulge at the back of your arm, essential to a good definition of your new body.

The same is true of your calves. Many men focus on their quads and forget the importance of calves and how they help define your legs. Add calf raises to your routine to give your legs a rounded appearance.

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…

Your Weekly Workout Routine To Build Muscle

You’ve seen the exercises; now it’s time to put it all together and start building muscles:

Day 1: Upper Body

Focus on your upper body by completing the following muscle-building exercises:

  • Weighted Squats – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Bench Press – 3 sets of 6-8 repschest exercise
  • Overhead Press – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Press – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Lateral Raises – 2 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Tricep Pushdowns – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Lat Pull Downs – 3 sets 8-10 reps
  • Rows – 3 sets 6-8 reps
  • Bicep Curls – 2 sets 12-15 reps

Day 2: Lower Body

Allow your upper body to rest as you work your lower body:

  • Weighted Squats – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Deadlift – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Standing Calf Raises – 4 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Seated Leg Curls – 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Leg Press – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Upper Body

After a day’s rest, you should be ready to hit your upper body hard again. Remember, pushing your limits every time is essential to making the most of any muscle-building plan.

  • Weighted Squats – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Pull-ups – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Barbell Curls -3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Bench Press – 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Seated Cable Row – 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Barbell Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Dumbbell Flyes – 2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Skull Crushers – 2 sets of 14-16 reps

squats with dumbells fat loss for men

Day 5: Lower Body

To finish your exercise for the week, rest your upper body and focus on building lower body muscle:

  • Weighted Squats – 3 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Seated Calf Raises – 4 sets of 14-16 reps
  • Split Squats – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Lying Leg Curls – 3 sets 12-14 reps

Day 6 and 7: Rest

There you have it — a weekly workout routine to build muscle. Now that you have everything you need get out there and get started. Make your muscle-building dreams a reality!

Stuart Carter, Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Stuart gained his Diploma in Personal Training & Sports Medicine through Premier Global, back in 2001. In 2018, he completed his Level 1 Precision Nutrition qualification.

Throughout his career in Fitness, Stuart has trained hundreds of clients, worked in almost every position in the industry, and ran his own successful training studio.

After a hiatus away from the Fitness industry, working in Corporate Management and Finance, Stuart returned to what he loves… Fitness! This return led to a chance meeting with Dr. Balduzzi, and a place in the Fit Father Project team.

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*Please know that weight loss results and 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 a workout routine to build muscle.


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Written by: Stuart Carter,

Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1
C.O.O., The Fit Father Project


Join the #1 Health & Fitness Program
for Busy Men 40+

Trusted by over 50,972 Busy Dads 40+

Lose weight. Keep it off.

See & feel results before you buy.

Limited Time Offer

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Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality. – The Fit Father Project Team


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