Fit Over 40: 3 Effective Workout Approaches for Men

Fit Over 40

Fitness goals change as we age. Ask any 20-year-old at the gym what they want to do, and they’ll probably say something like, “Bench 300 pounds.” or the classic “Get jacked, bro.”.

However, fast-forward a couple of decades, and people’s reasons for working out change to, “I want to enjoy ache-free movement.” and “I want to play with my grandkids.”.

Regardless of your unique situation, you probably feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of workout options. So, stick around because we are going to go over working out after 40, how the body changes, and what other things you must consider.

Fit Over 40: 3 Workout Routines For Men

1. Compound Workout Routine For Men

Full-body training is quicker and more efficient. It delivers the desired training stimulus without generating as much fatigue. Plus, you can have two or three full-body workouts per week and get the desired results. That’s right––no need to be at the gym daily. 


The best way to do full-body training is to leverage compound (multi-joint) lifts that work multiple muscle groups together––think bench presses, squats, pull-ups, and such. Doing so would allow you to train your entire body in three to four movements and go about the rest of your day.


Here’s what a workout might look like:

Warm up with some light cardio (e.g., treadmill walking), dynamic stretching, and a few warm-up sets, where you do the movements with little to no weight.


Once finished, cool down with a few minutes of static stretching. Doing so can support recovery and reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) (1, 2). 


The best part?


You can have effective full-body workouts even if you don’t have any available equipment. Yes, basic bodyweight exercises can work quite effectively, so long as you work hard enough and push yourself to make some progress over time (3). 


Here’s an example of the same workout but with bodyweight exercises:

As for the repetition ranges, it would be best to aim for a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) of 7 to 9. In other words, train to the point where you feel like you have one to three reps in the tank.

2. Moderate-Intensity Interval Training

As a busy guy in your forties or fifties, you need a quick and efficient way to train, which is where MIIT comes in. 


MIIT, which stands for moderate-intensity interval training (not to be confused with HIIT), is a form of working out where you alternate between somewhat intense exercise and active recovery.


For example, run at a relatively quick but sustainable pace for 30 to 60 seconds, walk for 30 to 60 seconds, and repeat for a few rounds. It’s a quick and effective way to burn calories, melt fat, and build muscle.


The great thing about MIIT is that you can perform various activities with and without equipment:

  • Running
  • Riding a Bike
  • Jumping Rope
  • Doing Bodyweight Activities


And much more.


Here is what an MIIT workout might look like:

Now, here is what an MIIT workout might look like at home with basic bodyweight movements:

Maintain a moderate and sustainable tempo. Doing so is crucial for training with proper technique.


Over time, you can increase the duration for each activity to 40, 50, and even 60 seconds. 


Begin with one or two rounds and work up to five. The whole workout shouldn’t take you longer than 20-25 minutes.

3. Mobility Routine

Mobility (freedom of movement) should be a big part of men’s fitness. Performing exercises to improve stability and range of motion can increase comfort, boost your performance, and drastically reduce injury risk.


As we get older, mobility becomes even more critical because stiffness often sets in (especially in people working desk jobs), leading to nagging aches that could keep us from working out consistently. 


But what is a good mobility routine? How long should you do it? When is the best time for such drills?


Your first option is to weave some mobility activities into your warm-up routine. For example, start with some light cardio (e.g., incline treadmill walking) and proceed to:

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Arm & Leg Swings
  • Elbow Rotations
  • Deep Lunges & Squats

You can also use a foam roller to release particularly tight areas: your hips, upper back, etc. 


The second option is to do mobility after working out. That can also improve your range of motion and workout performance. For example, you can focus on static stretches, holding each to the point of moderate discomfort. 


Stretching your muscles after training can promote blood flow, contributing to muscle recovery and reducing delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) (2).

Look Beyond Your Workout Routine

Just as you should strive to stay active, you must focus on eating well and nourishing your body with whole and nutritious foods. 


The primary reason is that your diet heavily affects your fitness outcomes (4). Eat well and any of the above workouts will work. Eat poorly and you will struggle to see any improvements, even if you push yourself hard.


Fortunately, good nutrition isn’t complicated. In fact, you only need to focus on a few rules:

  • Eat mostly whole and minimally-processed foods
  • Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • Watch out for hidden calories (sugary drinks, alcohol, sauces, condiments, etc.)

Let’s briefly look at some quality food sources:

  • Protein – meat, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, etc.
  • Carbs – grains, fruits, veggies, etc.
  • Fats – natural oils, eggs, avocado, fatty fish, etc.

Use a mix of these and other healthy foods to prepare each meal. Doing so will ensure that you get enough of each macronutrient and the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Final Words

Getting older can make things hard on us, but it doesn’t mean we have to give up. As you can see, there is a lot we can do to improve our lives to be fitter, healthier, and happier as we enter our fifties and beyond.

It’s never too late to start. Book a consult today with one of our coaches to go over how you can gain control of your fitness and life after 40, book here. You can also read some of our client testimonials here and on our Yelp


  1. Page P. Current concepts in muscle stretching for exercise and rehabilitation. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Feb;7(1):109-19. PMID: 22319684; PMCID: PMC3273886.

  2. Herbert RD, de Noronha M, Kamper SJ. Stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Jul 6;(7):CD004577. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004577.pub3. PMID: 21735398.

  3. Yamauchi J, Nakayama S, Ishii N. Effects of bodyweight-based exercise training on muscle functions of leg multi-joint movement in elderly individuals. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2009 Sep;9(3):262-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0594.2009.00530.x. PMID: 19702936.

  4. Beck KL, Thomson JS, Swift RJ, von Hurst PR. Role of nutrition in performance enhancement and postexercise recovery. Open Access J Sports Med. 2015 Aug 11;6:259-67. doi: 10.2147/OAJSM.S33605. PMID: 26316828; PMCID: PMC4540168.



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