So what are the best supplements for men over 40? The answer might surprise you, keep reading…
The problem with supplements is as soon as men start thinking about the things it distracts their attention from what really matters i.e. a solid nutrition and training plan that’s going to get you the results you want.
Now I’m sure this post might upset a few people and that’s fine, you’re completely entitled to your opinions, but the bottom line is if you want to get a lean body over the age of 40, you don’t need any supplements whatsoever.
The supplement industry has done a very good job of marketing to different groups of people and men over 40 are no exception. One of the biggest things we’re told is without supplements such as testosterone boosters you’ll never build muscle or lose body fat.
Granted it’s a fact that as we age testosterone levels naturally decline, but I always recommend working with what you’ve got and optimising your natural testosterone level, through the correct nutrition and training plan.
When you train and eat correctly, it’s amazing what you can do to increase and optimise your body’s own supply of testosterone.
If you resort to taking testosterone boosters, you risk messing up your body’s own natural supply, causing health problems and complications further down the road.
Not only that, but ask yourself if you’re willing to keep taking pills for the rest of your life?
Any benefits you gain will all be lost once you stop taking them, meaning it’s not worth starting in the first place. Another big seller is protein powder, another staple for men that want to build lean muscle and reduce body fat.
But the problem is massive amounts of protein are not only un-necessary to build muscle and get lean, but the additional calories might hinder your progress!
Adequate protein intake is easily obtainable through solid food nutrition. You really don’t need more than 0.8-1g of protein per pound of lean body weight per day. Taking my current bodyweight of 176 pounds, I don’t need to eat any more than 140g of protein per day to maintain lean muscle and increase my strength.
In order to get this, I’ll vary my lean protein sources and never eat more than 2-3 big meals per day. Besides, a lot of these protein powders are hard to digest, give you gas and just plain hinder your digestion from solid food.
What about declining testosterone levels?
Natural testosterone levels start to decline after the age of 30, however instead of worrying about diminishing testosterone levels I recommend making the most of what you’ve got and maximising your testosterone through the correct training and food.
You’re more than capable of building lean muscle and losing body fat even though your testosterone level might not be as high as it used to be! Foods such as eggs, fatty fish, avocados, nuts, lean meats and various fruits and vegetables are well known for their testosterone boosting benefits.
You should be including at least a few of them and eating the correct quantity of protein, carbohydrates and fat each day.
A mistake that I see all the time, especially for men over 40 is cutting out one of the important food groups such as carbohydrates or worst still lowering essential fats too much in the diet.
Not only does this not help to lose body fat and get lean, but it has a detrimental effect on our testosterone production. Carbohydrates and fats are essential for healthy testosterone production.
Eating little and often is another mistake that men over 40 make when trying to get lean. It’s a myth that you need to eat every few hours to get lean, it’s the total amount of calories that you eat throughout the day that really matters not how many meals you eat throughout the day.
In fact, the research is clear that when you eat 2-3 bigger meals each day, growth hormone goes through the roof whenever the body is introduced to a big calorie surge.
This is why I never eat more than 3 big meals each day as I want to keep T levels as high as possible and simply haven’t got the time to be carrying all that Tupperware round with me and preparing all those tasteless meals.
Compound movements and T levels
Compound movements are king when it comes to naturally increasing testosterone levels in men over 40. No other exercises have such a dramatic effect on the hormonal system than compound movements.
Not only are they beneficial for T production but they’re the best at increasing lean muscle tissue and targeting more than one muscle group at a time. For example, the incline bench press will train the chest, shoulders and triceps at the same time. This means you’ll save so much time when you train using nothing but compound movements.
It shouldn’t take you any longer than 45 minutes to an hour to get a decent workout completed. This is great news for men over 40 who are extremely busy with their lives in general.
Multiple sets of low reps are key
For the most part, multiple sets of lower reps are far superior for men over 40 and is the reason I use this approach in the training section of my course, 90 Day Lean Over 40 Challenge.
They have the greatest effect on body composition for older men. A lot of older men turn to light weights and higher reps when they get older, but this fails to address the hormonal system and safety of the exercises.
Lifting light weight pumping exercises, won’t help you get that lean body you’re after so you still need to challenge yourself with heavy weights but pay more attention to excellent form and recovery so that you don’t get injured and recover correctly between workouts.
Do I have to lift weights for a lean body?
Even if you simply want to get leaner, is probably the most important thing you can do to reach your goal. Without lifting weights, you’ll never get that defined chest, v-shaped back, broad shoulders and tight waist, it simply doesn’t happen without strength training.
If you just reduce your calories and rely on cardio to get you lean, you’ll lose weight but more than half of that will be lean muscle tissue. When you lose muscle, your metabolism runs slower and you’ll look soft and flabby rather than lean and defined.
Lifting weights is essential to get lean! Make getting stronger on the key compound movements a priority!
What about vitamin supplements?
A lot of men over 40 think they need vitamin supplements as they get older, but if you’re eating a good diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables you won’t be lacking in anything.
Some studies have shown that because the body stores a lot of vitamins, taking a pill every day is not a good idea as high doses of vitamins can build up in the body and become toxic.
Much better to get everything you need through healthy food and eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are provided by nature.
My joints ache, won’t some supplements help me?
If you’ve been taking a supplement for joint problems or advised by a qualified practitioner that you need to be taking something for joint health, by all means keep taking it.
But don’t start taking joint supplements just because you think it’s a good idea now that you’re getting older. Much better to find the root cause of the problem and address that, than to mask the problem and spend your money on joint products.
Isolation and high risk exercises, can put excessive stress on your joints as some machines simply aren’t designed for your body structure and lock you into un-natural movement patterns.
Changing the exercise to something that’s more suitable to you can make a huge difference in how your joints feel. I urge you to find the root cause of discomfort or pain.