The 3 Most Effective Workout Routines For Men Over 40

The 3 Most Effective Workout Routines For Men Over 40
by Stuart Carter, Elite Men’s Health Coach, The Fit Father Project

In this short guide of the most effective workout routines for men over 40, I’m going to show you which routines will allow you to train smart and safely as you get into your 40’s, 50’s or older.

As we age, our reason for working out changes, right?

We go from wanting the beach muscles in our 20’s, to wanting to be strong and functional in our 40’s and over.

It’s no longer about flexing, it’s about being able to play with your kids and move around without aches and pains.

I remember when I first started looking for workout routines 20+ years ago. I would thumb through fitness magazines and books looking for different exercises to try. Even back then, the amount of information on workouts was completely overwhelming.

Today, with the internet, there are literally THOUSANDS of different workouts you can try. Every Joe-Shmoe with an iPhone is now giving his 2 cents on workout advice.

Here’s the truth: For guys like you and me who are getting older, we need to make sure we are doing the right (safe and effective) workouts for our bodies.

Welcome to "The Fit Father Project" - your new workout resource

If this is your first time visiting us here at The Fit Father Project, I need you to know that we are men’s health experts with a combined 40+ years of experience in mens health.

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 30-Day Program.

That’s why in this short workout guide, we are going to cover the 3 most effective workout routines for men over 40.

Are there really ONLY 3 effective workout routines for men over 40?

Hell no! There are tons of different workouts that “work.”

Yet, the goal of everything we do here at “The FFP” is to simplify eating and exercise for you, so you can get in great shape and stay strong and healthy for your family - without any unnecessary complication.

Sound good? Good. Let’s dive in.

Here’s the “Table Of Contents” of what we’re about to cover:

  • Workout #1: Fat Burning with High Intensity Training for a fast metabolism.
  • Workout #2: The Full Body Strength Routine to build lean muscle.
  • Workout #3: Flexibility and Mobility Exercise to avoid injury and heal nagging injuries.
Spoiler alert! There’s also a “4th bonus workout,” but I’ll leave you to find out what that is later.

For now, let’s get started with the first of our 3 most effective workout routines for men over 40.

Workout #1 – High Intensity Interval Training

Goal: Burn fat as efficiently as possible.

As busy guys in our 40s, we need workouts that focus on burning off belly fat and increasing our metabolism… in as little time as possible.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is our saving grace. It’s quick, efficient and gets results in less than 30 minutes per session.

What is HIIT?

Burst RevoerHIIT workouts alternate short bursts of high intensity (maximum effort) with periods of low intensity (active rest).

It has been scientifically proven to increase metabolic rate and improve heart health. I’m sure you’ll agree, these are worthwhile benefits for guys like us, especially as we get older.

How do I do a HIIT training routine?

High Intensity training sessions can be done with any exercise, whether it’s a piece of cardio equipment, weights or body-weight.

I consider HIIT as one of the best workout routines for men over 40 due to its efficiency and ability to get the job done.

An example of a HIIT workout that can be performed on any piece of cardio equipment is below:

  • 3 minute low intensity warm up
  • 30 seconds high intensity (Exertion level 9 or 10)
  • 30 seconds low intensity (Exertion level 4)
  • Repeat 20 times
  • 3 minute low intensity cool down

Workout #2 – Full Body Strength Training

Goal: Increase all-round strength and muscle size

Have you seen the 2-muscle-group split routines from muscle magazines, telling you to do ‘back and biceps’ or ‘Chest and Triceps’ once per week?

If you have, I need to tell you that unless you’re a seasoned bodybuilder in your 20’s or 30’s, these routines won’t have as much of an effect as the Scientifically Proven ‘Oldie but Goodie’ – Full Body Strength Training.

How will it help me?

Full Body strength training helps us build the kind of body that makes us look like super-hero’s to our kids, and keeps us easy on the eye to our wives or girlfriends.

It helps us increase lean muscle and build strength. Lean muscle tissue that increases metabolism and in turn helps us burn more fat.

It is so important, in our 40’s, to do strength training exercises to maintain or increase our muscle mass. The old adage of ‘Use it or lose it’ could not be more apt for this subject.

sarcopenia menOur lean muscle starts to deteriorate as we get into our 40’s and the only way to stop the effect is to train our muscles. Resistance exercises – whether that is body weight or weights – is the way forward.

How do I do a Full Body Strength Training Routine?

Full body strength training is best done using movements that cover multiple muscle groups. Exercises like Squats, Dead-lifts, Clean & Press and Pull ups are the ones to go for.

As you progress, you can even combine these. One of my favorite exercises is Dead-lift into Clean & Press. Get 15 of those bad boys out and you’ll be pumped!

When it comes to workout routines for men over 40, this one covers all the bases.

Here’s an example session for you to try out:

  • Warm up: 5 minutes Rower, Skipping, Cross-trainer or similar
  • Legs: 3 x 10-12 Squats (with barbell or holding dumbbells/kettle-bells)
  • Back: 3 x 10-12 Rows (with barbell or dumbbell)
  • Chest: 3 x 10-12 DB Chest Press (safer than barbell for us older guys)
  • Shoulders: 3 x 10-12 DB shoulder press
  • Finisher: 2 x 12 reps DB Dead-lifts (keep your back upright and core tight)
  • Cool down: 5 minutes Treadmill or similar

FREE STRENGTH-CIRCUIT WORKOUT: Click here for free instant access to our Fit Father 24-Min Strength & Fat Loss Circuit workout video. We’ll send the full workout video straight to your email.

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Pro Tip #1: The last rep on each set should feel like the last one you can do. If you feel you could do 2 or more more, then increase the weight.

What if I don’t have access to weights?

If you don’t have access to weights, you can still do a great full body strength workout using body-weight exercises, like this one below.

  • Warm up: 5 minutes Rower, Skipping, Cross-trainer or similar
  • Legs: 3 x 45 seconds Jump Squats
  • Back: 3 x 10-12 Pull-ups (or Rows)
  • Chest: 3 x 15-25 Push-ups
  • Shoulders: 3 x 15-25 incline push-ups (feet elevated)
  • Cool down: 5 minutes walk outside
Pro Tip #2: With body-weight, when you can complete the prescribed number of reps we recommend, either increase the number of reps or add weight. (e.g holding a dumbbell between your feet for Pull-ups)

Workout #3 – Flexibility & Mobility

Goal: To avoid injury and keep away aches & pains

flexibility-painWe all know about the aches and pains, the stiff back and the clicking ankles don’t we? We are getting older, yes, but that doesn’t mean we have to put up with aching joints and painful muscles. They can be fixed, believe it or not!

Warming up well and stretching is a HUGE part of exercising and being active. If you’re not warming up before exercise, you’re setting yourself up for pain, discomfort and probably injury. Cold muscles do not like to be stressed!

The best example I ever heard during my PT training was about muscles being like taffy. If you pull cold taffy, what happens? It snaps. What happens if you pull warm taffy? It stretches. Think of your muscles as that taffy.

How do I do a Flexibility & Mobility routine?

Before your workouts: I always recommend the following:

  • 3-5 minutes of light cardio warm-up (skipping, jumping jack, biking, or rowing)
  • Foam rolling of parts of your body that feel tight (back, shoulders, legs).
  • 5-minutes of warm-up exercises for your shoulders, knees, and low-back. See our specific recommendations for each body part below.

After your workouts: I recommend the following:

  • Do 5 minutes cool down on a treadmill or similar
  • Static stretches held for 30 secs, for each muscle group you just exercised.

Focus for particular areas of discomfort for us guys in (or close to) our 40’s include:

Lower back pain:

Pain here would be eased by strengthening your core muscles and stretching hamstrings, lower back, hip flexors and gluteal muscles.

Knee pain:

Pain in your knees, either during or after activity would be helped by proper warm-up and mobility, as well as stretching your quad muscles.

Shoulder pain:

Shoulder pain and roundness is usually caused by tight chest and a weak back. The cure is to stretch your chest and strengthen your back.

BONUS Workout #4 – “The Healthy Eating Workout”

Goal: Keep us healthy and lose fat

1day-weight-lossHealthy eating is our keystone to good health and weight loss. All the workout routines for men over 40 we have shown you above WILL NOT WORK without good nutrition.

Eating well means we give our bodies exactly what it needs to work properly. Every part of our body relies on good nutrition to function as it should.

Eating badly makes us fat and puts us at higher risk of disease like diabetes, high blood pressure, Heart disease and cancer. I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s not where we want our lives heading.

The good news is that good nutrition does not need to be difficult and complicated.

Here at the Fit Father Project, we teach guys how to keep healthy eating simple by following our famous “1-Day Weight Loss Meal Plan” For Men Over 40.

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How do I put together a healthy eating plan?

img_4422One of the key healthy eating tips we advocate is creating a weekly FOOD PREPARATION RITUAL.

Personally, I cook twice per week and store my food for when I need it. Check out the picture on the right to see what 3 days healthy eating looks like for me.

All that takes just 30 minutes to prepare and cook!

  • Good Protein Sources: Eggs, Chicken, Turkey and Lean Beef.
  • Good Carb Sources: Sweet Potato, Brown Rice, Quinoa and Oatmeal.
  • Healthy Fat Sources: Nuts, ¼ Avacado, ½ Tablespoon Olive Oil and Seeds.

perfect plate-fit-fatherUse a mix of those foods and follow our ‘Perfect Plate’ guidelines below.

Perfect Plate guide: ¼ of your plate is Protein, ¼ of your plate is Carbs/Starch and ½ of your plate is veggies.

To get some great meal ideas and best foods to include in your healthy eating, click the link to grab a FREE copy of our 1-Day Weight Loss Meal Plan.

In conclusion: Exercise isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it!

As we get older and have more responsibility, it’s not always easy to find time to workout and stay in shape, but I feel these 3 workout routines for men over 40 are exactly what you need to stay healthy, lose fat, get strong and avoid injury.

For most of us, it’s no longer about flashing the beach muscles or comparing who can bench the most. It’s about feeling healthy, being active with our family and having our body work properly without hurting.

If the workout routines above have whet your appetite, then click the link below and take a look at our video of the ‘24-Min Metabolism Boosting Workout For Busy Fathers’.

If you have enjoyed this article and think it may benefit a friend, partner, family member, colleague, roommate, cousin or acquaintance, make sure you share it with them so they don’t miss out!

Your friend in health,
stuart-circle-headshotStuart Carter
Head of Training @ The Fit Father Project

To make sure you can cover all of these aspects of workout routines for men over 40, we have put together a complete 'done for you' plan called FF30X.

ff30x-3d-600widthTake a look at the program overview letter by clicking this link Fit Father 30-Day Program (FF30X). Inside FF30X, you'll receive:

  • The delicious Fit Father Meal Plan
  • The metabolism boosting Fit Father 30X Workout (under 90 min/week)
  • VIP email coaching where I'll personally walk you through the program

FF30X is the exact plan we've used to help over 10,000 fathers lose 75,000lbs of fat. This will help you to

Read the program overview letter here to see if FF30X is a good fit for you.

Small note about research & cast studies cited in this article:
*Always remember: weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. Always consult with your doctor before making decisions about your health. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info about the most effective workout routines for men over 40.

Written by Stuart Carter
I'm Stuart, one of the head trainers here at The Fit Father Project. Having been an overweight teenager, I got into regular activity at the age of 18 and after a few years decided to make a living from it.  I've been a trainer since 2001, and my passion lies in helping men get & stay healthy for life. I'm the author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide’ and I joined the Fit Father Project in 2016 to help more men lose weight and live healthier for their families. My Twitter: @3sdfitness.