Exercise promotes healthy living, improved endurance, and decreased risk of injury when performing everyday activities.
Strength training will build lean muscle mass and increase your calorie burning potential, which in turn will help you shed pounds and get into the best shape of your life.
Resistance training has been found to be important in supporting muscle growth later in life by slowing the loss of muscle mass.
In addition, there has been some evidence that high-intensity interval training can increase free testosterone levels in older males.
This all adds up to improved muscle mass and strength gains.
Therefore, combining both aspects of resistance training and high-intensity intervals is a great way to maintain muscle mass and increase strength gains later in life.
Weight Loss Workouts for Men Over 40
The Fit Father Project is an excellent tool for men over 40 to really push themselves and reach their fitness goals.
The free 24 Minute Workout offered is a great place to start if you are just getting back into a fitness routine.
After that, there are numerous other programs offered by the Fit Father Project that you can dive into as well.
Get Fit At Any Age
Below is a great full body workout for men over 40. It hits all the major muscle groups with weights and resistance exercises.
In between the strength exercises, you will perform short bouts of cardio to raise your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular fitness as well.
This will act as a way of adding an aspect of high-intensity training to the routine.
Workout Routine for Men Over 40
It’s essential to start out every workout with some light cardio and stretching to decrease the risk of injury and enhance your performance potential for your workout.
If your gym has a rowing machine, row for 5-10 minutes at an easy pace. You could also start on an elliptical or jump rope if there is no rowing machine available.
Walking or jogging is fine as well, but the first warm-up exercises mentioned will also get your upper body slightly more engaged.
The deadlift is a great exercise to add to any workouts for men over 40. It works a number of muscles at once, making it ideal for full body workout.
The deadlift will target the 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.
*Conditioning: In between each set, do 30 seconds of mountain climbers.
Barbell Bench Press:
Like the deadlift, the standard bench press is included in so many workout regimens for a reason; it works!
It will target the pectoral muscles along with the triceps and shoulders.
Make sure to use a spotter during this exercise to really reach your full potential in regards to weight used and reps. Aim for 3 sets of 6-8 reps.
*Conditioning: In between each set, do 30 seconds of jump rope.
Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press:
By standing during the shoulder press instead of sitting, you will be forced to engage your core to steady your body and maintain balance.
This way, you are working not only the traps and deltoids but also the abdominal muscles and low back muscles as well to maintain good posture.
Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
*Conditioning: In between each set, do 30 seconds of squat jumps.
Alternating Supinating Bicep Curls:
Standard bicep curls are great at working the biceps brachii.
When you add supination to the move, you will also recruit the brachioradialis and supinator muscles to really get the most bang for your buck in a biceps exercise.
Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
*Conditioning: In between each set, do 30 seconds of kettlebell swings with light weights.
Tricep Rope Pulls:
By targeting the triceps while standing, you will once again be engaging and contracting your core to sustain good posture and form during the movement.
*Conditioning: In between each set, do 30 seconds of jumping jacks.
There are a number of great back exercises, but the pull-up is really the ultimate movement that hits the larger and smaller muscles in the back.
Doing pull-ups trains you to use these muscles synergistically to really build up the back muscles.
Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps. If you cannot do an unassisted pull-up, that’s ok!
There are modifications that you can start out with as you gradually build up your strength and work up to performing pull-ups on your own.
Pull-up modifications include:
Pull-up machine: Many gyms will have a machine with a platform to rest your legs on. The heavier the weight you choose to assist you, the easier the pull-up will be.
Try using this machine at first, gradually decreasing the assistance until you are able to do a pull-up without any assistance.
Pull-ups with spotter: Have a spotter hold your legs to assist you during the movement.
Negative pull-ups: Start by standing under a pull-up bar. Jump up, grabbing the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. Using the momentum from your jump, pull yourself upwards until your chin is above the bar.
Slowly lower yourself. Slowly extend your arms as you inch closer to the ground. Aim for 3 to 5 seconds until your arms are fully extended. Let go of the bar and return to the ground. Repeat for the desired reps.
*Conditioning: In between each set, do 30 seconds of high knees.
Ab Wheel Roll Out:
The ab wheel roll out is great to work your rectus abdominus muscles along with the deeper transverse abdominus muscles. Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
*Conditioning: *In between each set, do 30 seconds of burpees.
Cool Down/Stretch: After combined cardio and resistance workouts like the one above, be sure to cool down and stretch.
This will help to limit some of the post-workout soreness and tightness that can often follow a tough routine.
After finishing the workout, do a light jog or walk. You can do this on the treadmill, or just walk for 3-5 minutes around the gym.
This will aid in reducing lactic acid build-up and will bring your heart rate back down to its resting rate.
Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you.
Raise your arms above your head then bend forward and reach for your toes.
If you can't quite touch your toes, grab a towel and wrap the towel around your toes so that you are feeling the stretch in the hamstrings.
Try to keep your chest and head up.
Hold for 20-30 seconds.
Lying Glute Stretch:
Lie on your back and place your left foot over your right knee, and wrap your hands around the back of your right leg.
Gently pull back to encourage a deeper stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite leg.
Abdominal/Hip Flexor Stretch:
Lie on your stomach and press up while keeping your legs on the floor.
You should feel this stretch in your abs and hip flexors as you lean back. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
Stand tall and bring your left arm overhead and drop your forearm behind you, resting it on your back between your shoulder blades. Your left elbow will be pointing towards the ceiling.
With your right hand, grab right above your bent elbow and pull gently, until you feel a stretch in your shoulder and the back of your arm. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
Staying Fit After 40
The above workout for men over 40 is a great workout plan that hits all the major muscle groups.
With the resistance moves, you will target the core, back, shoulders, arms, and legs.
In addition, the short bouts of cardio in between sets will improve your conditioning and cardiovascular fitness.
The warm-up and cool down stretches will decrease your risk of injury and increase your flexibility.
Plus, a proper cool down will help attenuate delayed onset muscle soreness and will have you better prepared for your next workout.
Get Fit Today!
This exercise routine is one full body workout that can be cycled into your weekly workout schedule.
And don’t forget to try the other excellent free programs offered by the Fit Father Project.
By combining exercise routines, nutrition, and community support, the Fit Father Project will have you well on the way to being in the best shape of your life.
Aging is inevitable, but this does not mean that a high level of fitness and health cannot be maintained.
A review of multiple studies found that exercise and physical activity can significantly lessen, or in some cases prevent, declines in muscle metabolism and function.
For this reason, exercise if even more important in men over 40. It is never too late, and you are never too old to become the healthiest and fittest version of yourself.
Writer, The Fit Father/Mother Project
Holly Smith is a board-certified physician specializing in internal medicine and nephrology with a bachelor's degree in dietetics.
A strong interest and passion for health and wellness, Holly is also a NASM certified personal trainer with a performance enhancement specialization.
Holly enjoys long distance running, competing in Ironman triathlons.
*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 workouts for men over 40.