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Muscle Growth, Fitness, General Health, Resistance Training

Best Workout Routine for Men in Their 40's

By Shannon Cole on Jul 7, 2023 9:00:00 AM
5 Minutes Reading Time

Workout advice and the best weight loss strategies don’t really change as we get older.

Getting an adequate amount of protein in your diet, maintaining a consistent resistance training schedule, walking daily, and eating a minimal amount of processed foods should be the general recommendation for adults of all ages.

It’s funny to think that as kids, when someone said they were 40, it practically implied they were almost seniors. Today, a 40-something can be just as strong, mobile, and fit as someone in their 20s.

As we near the big 5-0, there are some things to consider:

Posture, muscle tightness and imbalances should be addressed. For someone who has worked a decade behind a desk, or works an occupation that favors one side of the body over the other, there needs to be some awareness that postural faults or overcompensation of certain muscles can be present. So even though resistance training should be a highlight of a 40-somethings training program, so does corrective training and mobility.

Muscle naturally atrophies as we age. In fact, we lose about 3-5% of muscle per decade after the age of 30. If you are starting your fitness journey for the first time in your 40s, be prepared that progress may be slow, as you work towards gaining muscle mass equivalent to someone your age that has been weight training since their 20s.

We understand if you like cardio workouts, but make an effort to mix things up! If you normally stick to running, try a spin class one day. Or if you don’t feel like hitting up the row machine, knock out a quick 20-minute HIIT workout. Trying different cardio methods can help prevent overuse injuries, and can have positive, calorie-burning effects.

When structuring your fitness routine, be honest with your schedule and the intensity of your workouts. If you are jumping into this with limited experience, you don’t need to be working out every day. You also don’t want to ignore the importance of getting in your daily steps. Working out for one hour with limited activity during the remaining 23 hours of the day will produce results at a slower rate. And don’t worry, walking will not negate the muscle-building effects of lifting weights.

Example Microcycle Resistance Training Schedule (Beginner to Intermediate)

Monday: Total Body

Tuesday: Mobility and Correctional

Wednesday: Total Body

Thursday: Mobility and Correctional

Friday: Total Body

Saturday: Active Rest Day (yoga, hiking, light jog)

Sunday: Rest Day

Example Microcycle Resistance Training Schedule (Intermediate to Advanced) 

Monday: Upper Body

Tuesday: Lower Body

Wednesday: Mobility/Correctional/Core

Thursday: Upper Body

Friday: Lower Body

Saturday: Mobility/Correctional/Core

Sunday: Active Rest Day (yoga, hiking, light jog) 

Example Total Body Routine

Complete 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise, at a 65-75% intensity (the last rep should feel like a 7 on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being really intense).

-Dumbbell Bench Press

-Incline Dumbbell Flys

-Barbell Rows

-Inverted Pull-ups

-Dumbbell Overhead Presses

-Dumbbell Squats

-Reverse Dumbbell Lunges

-Body weight Glute Raises

-Cable Bicep Curls with Curl Bar Attachment

-Overhead Tricep Extensions 

Example Upper Body Routine 

Complete 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps for each exercise, at a 75-85% intensity (the last rep should feel like an 8-9 on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being really intense).

-Barbell Bench Press


-Hammer Strength Rows


-Incline Dumbbell Flys


-Barbell Push-Press

-Lateral Dumbbell Raises

-Hammer Curls

-Cable Tricep Push-downs with Rope Attachment

Example Lower Body Routine

Complete 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps for each exercise, at a 75-85% intensity (the last rep should feel like an 8-9 on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being really intense).

-Barbell Squat

-Dumbbell Walking Lunges

-Barbell Deadlifts

-Barbell Hip Thrusts

-Dumbbell Side Lunges

-Leg Extensions

-Sissy Squats

-Standing Calf Raises

-Sitting Calf Raises

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Shannon Cole

Shannon Cole is an ISSA certified personal trainer and lives in the Dallas area. She is a certified nutrition coach through NASM and NCI, and is currently pursuing her M.S. in Sports Science and Rehabilitation. After obtaining her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication she eventually gravitated to personal training, and hasn't turned back since. Her passion for athletics and fitness initially stemmed from her high school years playing golf, and her love for the sport still hasn't faded; her career goal is to obtain her Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certification and develop strength and conditioning programs for golfers. You can usually find her working out in her garage gym, or training for the next Spartan Race with her husband.

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