Aging brings unexpected challenges to the fitness game, but if you want to avoid age-related issues like low testosterone and muscle loss, there’s an easy way to do it. Incorporating movements like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses into your over 40 workouts is key to building and maintaining muscle—regardless of age.
The Best Exercises for Men Over 40 Workouts!
Let’s be real—getting fit, or staying fit, is challenging no matter your age, but as you get older, your strength, power, and endurance take a hit; you ache a little more with every movement; and your recovery isn’t as fast as it was 20 years ago. But just because you hit the big 4-0 doesn’t mean you have to let your age get in the way of your health and fitness. You can do a lot to maintain your health and transform your body—and it starts with doing the right over 40 workouts.
Ready to find out what those are? Keep reading!
Why Fitness Matters Over 40
We all know that exercise is important for our health, but men over 40 experience unique challenges that weren’t an issue 10 or 20 years ago. There are a few factors at play that can interfere with your ability to gain muscle, burn fat, and balance hormones:
- Sluggish metabolism
- Hormone imbalances (testosterone, growth hormone, cortisol, estrogen, insulin)
It’s the trifecta of frustration concerning muscle growth and fat loss. But don’t panic—it’s not inevitable. If you employ a solid nutrition and exercise strategy, building hormones and muscle while burning fat becomes second nature. I’m not saying you’ll get shredded in the snap of a finger—it will require some hard work and consistency on your part—but you’ll have the knowledge and tools to get you there.
But if you want to get into shape, it’s not just about picking the right over 40 workouts—you need to master basic ranges of motion and proper body mechanics. In other words, get your body comfortable moving as it should (i.e., functional movement). This is a piece that most men over 40 haven’t mastered, and it’s critical to building strength and preventing injury. While lifting heavy may have worked in your younger years, it won’t work as you age unless you have a solid foundation to build on; your tissues and ligaments don’t have the same tolerance they had 20 years ago.
The Best Over 40 Workouts for Men
Getting fit in your 40s doesn’t have to be complicated. With the right approach and training styles, it’s easy to maintain and gain strength, flexibility, and endurance and improve your overall fitness level.
Here are some of the best workouts for men over 40.
- Resistance Training
Muscle mass naturally decreases with age—as much as 50% by the time you’re in your 80s— and given that up to 60% of body mass is comprised of muscle, changes in the amount of metabolically active tissue can have profound consequences for older men. Resistance training is the best way to avoid sarcopenia and maintain muscle mass and bone density. Exercises that target major muscle groups like the chest, shoulders, back, legs, and core are all incredibly effective.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT workouts might not be easy, especially as you age, but they’re insanely effective for giving results. They’re short bursts of intense activity followed by periods of low-intensity exercise or complete rest. These can be done with body weight or resistance (dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.) and are a fantastic way for men over 40 to burn fat, improve endurance, and bolster heart health.
- Circuit Training
Like HIIT, circuit training is another great way to build muscle and burn fat by taking your muscles to their limit. Circuits generally involve strength or cardio exercises with minimal to no rest between sets to increase your heart rate. They can be done with free weights, resistance bands, or body weight and are great for building endurance and muscle mass, burning fat, and improving overall fitness.
If you know anything about Funk Roberts Fitness, you know we’re all about kettlebells. They’re one of the best tools for transforming your body and health. This small piece of solid iron can build muscle, burn fat, and improve endurance. Studies even show that kettlebell training is effective in improving sarcopenia and cardiovascular fitness in older adults.
Best Exercises for Men Over 40 Workouts
If you want to effectively build muscle over 40, there are a few movements you want to master that allow your body to move efficiently. They’re functional movements that will enable you to progress through exercises in the gym but also make daily activities easier—think carrying groceries, picking up your kids, or hoisting your suitcase into the overhead cabin.
- Goblet squat
- Front lunge
- Standing Shoulder Press
- Dumbbell Press
- Side Plank Reach Unders
Although they’re not the most exotic moves, they’re insanely efficient for building strength gains, and all five offer progressions once you’ve mastered the basics. Plus, training these movements—with or without resistance—can prevent injuries, fight sarcopenia, and stay clear of the “dad bod.”
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