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Building Muscle After 40 Isn’t Easy—Here’s the Secret To It

If you’re curious about building muscle after 40, you’re not alone. Low testosterone, stress, and the natural rhythms of aging make staying fit challenging—but not impossible. Metabolic training combined with a testosterone-boosting diet is the easiest way to gain and maintain muscle, regardless of age.

Building Muscle After 40 Workout – 24 Minute Weight Circuit Video

If you’re over 40, your life is probably jam-packed to the max with “stuff” going on that makes it difficult to focus on eating right and workout out regularly. And while you may have had the drive and motivation to build muscle, the lackluster results you’re getting from your training program aren’t making it any better. 

While your body may not be able to handle what it could at 20 and recover like it used to, that doesn’t mean you still can’t build muscle and lose fat well into your forties, fifties, and beyond. If you’re looking for the best workout to maximize muscle growth after 40, I have it here—and there will be plenty of has left in the tank to combat whatever else life throws at you.

Can You Build Muscle After 40?

Men are under the impression that declining testosterone levels after 40 means building muscle is impossible—it’s not. Low testosterone makes building and maintaining lean muscle mass challenging, but there are easy ways to boost testosterone and maximize muscle growth. 

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma conducted a study looking at early-phase adaptations in body composition and strength in college-aged men (18-22 years) and middle-aged men (35-50 years). DEXA scans showed that middle-aged men built muscle just as well as college-aged men, gaining roughly 2.5 pounds and 2 pounds of muscle, respectively.  

And if you look at the numbers, middle-aged men built more muscle than college-aged men, but it wasn’t enough to be statistically significant. 

Strength gains were also similar:

  • Middle-aged men gained an average of 14 pounds of strength on the bench press and 40 pounds on the leg press
  • College-aged men gained an average of 7 pounds of strength on the bench press and 55 pounds on the leg press

But it’s not relegated just to middle-aged men. If you’re over 60, don’t feel left out of the party. Studies show that 60-year-old men can also build significant amounts of muscle and strength, which can help prevent the adverse effects of aging on health. 

Regardless of age, the basic rules for building muscle are the same. Of course, your age will impact how quickly you make progress, but you can’t change your age, so focus on what you can change—the way you train. 

Metabolic Workouts For Men Over 40

Most people think about benches for presses, but there’s much more you can do with them. As you age, support becomes essential to prevent injury and increase stability during difficult movements to target the muscles you want. 

But if you’ve never used a bench before, let alone a pair of dumbbells, it can be intimidating—but let me tell you, you’ll get some insane results, and a weight bench combined with metabolic training is gold for building muscle over 40. 

So, grab a pair of dumbbells, snag a bench, and see how you can build more muscle, increase your strength, and burn more body fat, all while mitigating the risk of injury.

But first, what is metabolic resistance training? MRT is a combination of high-intensity cardiovascular exercise combined with resistance training using dumbbells (or any other form of free weights). If you thought HIIT was tough, MRT takes it up a notch and fires up every single muscle in your body, and ignites your metabolism, making it one of the most effective styles of training for building muscle and burning fat simultaneously at any age. 

With metabolic dumbbell training, you’re getting:

  1. Accelerated fat burn: The exercise post-oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect ignites your metabolism long after you’ve finished working out to burn more calories and fat than any other form of exercise. 
  2. Builds muscle faster: High-intensity workouts combined with resistance training are gold for boosting testosterone and growth hormone levels and increasing lean mass. HIIT training and MRT workouts produce a larger adaptive response by recruiting greater numbers of muscle fibers and providing a larger cardiorespiratory signal to the body to adapt. Better adaptation means better muscle growth. 
  3. Improves cardiovascular fitness: Steady-state cardio is great for improving endurance, but MRT takes the cake when it comes to cardiovascular fitness. Studies show that MRT may not improve VO2max any more than running on a treadmill, but it does so in a fraction of the time, which means it’s significantly more efficient and equally effective.  

On top of that, dumbbell HIIT may also:

  • Improve heart health
  • Enhance endurance
  • Improve glucose control 

What’s Not To love?

There’s a common misconception that after 40, your metabolism slows to a crawl, making muscle gain and weight loss almost impossible, but it’s simply not true. While aging does cause your metabolism to slow to some degree, most of it’s actually caused by the loss of lean muscle tissue. So, with the right combination of diet and exercise, building muscle after 40 is no sweat—and definitely not far-fetched.

Metabolic Bench Workout For Building Muscle After 40

Ready to light your body on fire and maximize muscle growth like never before? This is a killer metabolic workout; all you need is a pair of heavy dumbbells and a bench.

Perform each exercise for 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds rest for 4 sets before moving on to the next exercise.

  1. Dumbbell Step Ups
  2. Rotational Chest Flys
  3. Single Dumbbell Bench Preacher Curl
  4. Seated Single Overhead Extensions
  5. DB Bench Touch Pulls (body against the bench)
  6. Arnold Press and Shoulder Press


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