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The Importance of Fitness for Men Over 40

Your age doesn’t define you, but it can make getting fit more challenging. Low testosterone, poor muscle growth, inefficient recovery, and the like can all hamper your efforts, but focusing on fitness for men over 40 is imperative to maintain your health and well-being well into your 80s and 90s. 

Build Muscle, Burn Fat, and Look Great—The Importance of Fitness for Men Over 40

Have you ever heard someone say older men can’t gain muscle? Sure, maybe muscle loss and fat accumulation are a part of aging, but they’re not inevitable—there are simple ways to avoid the dad bod and get shredded regardless of age. Being fit over 40 isn’t just about looking good; it’s about looking and feeling good. 

If you’re sick and tired of being unfit, you’re in the right place. I’m talking about the importance of fitness for men over 40 and giving you my best tips and workout tricks to get your dream body and counteract aging. 

The Importance of Fitness for Men Over 40

When you’re in your 20s, it’s all about getting big and swole; you want to look your best and maximize muscle growth. Once you hit your 40s and 50s, getting those results becomes a lot tricker. You’re fighting against declining hormones, low bone density, a slowing metabolism, and the aches and pains that naturally come with aging. But rather than accepting your fate as an aging man, there are things you can do to avoid the following outcomes: 

  1. Low testosterone
  2. Sarcopenia
  3. Sluggish metabolism
  4. Hormone imbalances (estrogen, cortisol, insulin)

While diet and lifestyle are big factors for counteracting the natural effects of aging, building and maintaining muscle mass is also. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue that burns calories at work and rest, keeping weight and fat gain at bay. Fat, however, stores calories, which means the scale goes up. If you’re not actively trying to build muscle, your body will likely break it down, and you’ll come face-to-face with sarcopenia at some point. Muscle mass decreases 3–8% per decade after age 30 and increases substantially after 60—that’s why doing activities to build muscle is important. But along with this, you’re also dealing with testosterone levels that can decline anywhere from 1 to 3% per year

To avoid this outcome, you have to put in the work. 

That means hitting the gym (or home gym) to challenge your body, build muscle, and burn fat. No rule says you have to become weak and fat as you age, and it’s more than possible to be at the leanest and strongest point in your life when you hit 50—that’s precisely where I am now—it just takes some strategizing and dedication. 

Best Exercises for Men Over 40

As I said, the heavy-handed workouts of your 20s aren’t ideal in your 40s and 50s, so you must adjust your training to suit your current state. Here are some of the best and most effective exercises for men over 40 to build muscle and burn fat:

  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Bench press
  • Lunges
  • Dumbbell thrusters

They’re all full-body compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups to get the biggest bang for your buck. No one wants to spend hours in the gym, and when you’re doing multi-joint movements, you increase the efficiency and efficacy of your workout to maximize your results in minimal time.

5 Tips for Men’s Fitness Over 40

The Important of Fitness for Men Over 40
  1. Don’t skip your warmup

Muscles and tendons become less flexible with age and more susceptible to injury. Before you start your workout, give yourself 10 to 15 minutes to do a solid warmup replicating many of the movements you’ll do in your workout. Light movement can help counteract damage and get your muscles and nervous system primed to work. Think of your warmup as the first part of your workout, not something that happens before your workout. 

  1. Set aside time daily for your workouts

Hitting the big 4-0 can be busy for many men. You have a demanding job, a family, a community, and a raging social life all vying for your attention—where is there time to work out? If you aren’t committed to getting fit, it won’t happen. Here are a few ways to ensure you make time for your workout: 

  • Exercise in the morning
  • Put it on your calendar
  • Keep it short and intense 
  • Involve your family
  • Find a workout buddy to keep you accountable 
  1. Focus on flexibility and mobility 

Flexible and resilient muscles and joints are essential to prevent an injury you might not recover from. One of the easiest ways to avoid injury and maintain muscle and joint health is to ensure you’re cooling down post-workout and implementing mobility-focused movements.

  1. Shift your workouts

Those bro split, heavy lifting, crazy workouts you did in your 20s aren’t going to fly anymore. While hitting a 1RM or flipping tractor tires is still within your wheelhouse, if not done correctly, you can quickly end up injured and out of the game. Instead, you want to shift your focus to moderate-weight, medium-rep exercises using the full ranges of motion. 

Some of the best tools to use include:

  • Kettlebells
  • Barbells
  • Dumbbells
  • Bodyweight
  • Resistance bands

They’re lower impact to reduce the risk of injury while still providing enough of a challenge and resistance to stimulate muscle growth.

  1. Be mindful of what you eat

Fitness is only part of the equation. While I’m not saying you have to be following a diet of boiled chicken, rice, and asparagus if you want a six-pack, indulging too often can be your downfall. To build muscle, burn fat, and balance hormones, ensure you consume the right foods. That means fueling your body with lean proteins, whole grains/complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fruits/veggies. And be sure you’re also hitting your micronutrients through food or supplements. My Meta Test Diet ensures you hit your macros and micros to achieve maximum muscle growth, fat loss, and hormone balance.

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