If you’re a man over 40 you might be thinking, can I still get a six pack at 40?
The answer is YES you can still get a six pack at 40, 50, 60 or even 70!
I remember when I was in my early 40’s and I thought there’s NO way I can get a six pack, surely I’m too old now. I thought that getting a six pack was for men in their twenties or early thirties.
But then, I decided to really learn about nutrition and the best way to lean down for a man in his 40’s, and at age 41 I was sporting a full six pack and got my body fat percentage down to 7%.
Here’s a picture of me, just before entering the Pure Elite fitness model competition in London, UK.
Now you might be thinking, well that’s OK for you, but I’m miles away from ever getting that lean, let alone seeing my abs…
It’s just a matter of doing the right things consistently enough to get results…
Rest assured you HAVE got abs; they’re just covered up by a layer of fat. Getting abs comes down to three important things:
- Strength training to build lean muscle and permanently elevate metabolism
- Nutrition to strip away fat and reveal your abs
- Keeping testosterone high by using the correct exercises for men over 40
If you do only those three things, strength train by using compound exercises which train 2-3 bigger muscle groups in one movement, 2-3 x per week AND eat a slight caloric deficit, 300-500 calories less than what your body burns per day…I guarantee you will start losing fat and be well on your way to seeing your abs.
Seeing your abs is simply getting your body fat low enough (below 10% for a male) so that you can see them. And you don’t need to go on a crazy bland diet or running every day to see results…
The best way to get a six pack at 40
When it comes to getting a six pack at 40 there’s a right way and a wrong way. A lot of men over 40 think that getting lean is all about going CRAZY with cardio, on top of a vastly restricted diet and heavy weight training program, 4-6 times per week.
This is madness.
And while it might work in the short term, it quickly leads to burnout and failure in the long term. Eventually overtraining sets in and you will need to take a long layoff to recover from the ordeal you have just subjected your body against.
A much better approach is working WITH your body over a longer sustainable period.
As a man over 40 there really is no additional benefit to lifting weights more than 3 x per week, in fact I only lift weights 2 x per week and I can guarantee it works ten times better than lifting 4-6 x per week.
The key is to use the right exercises to stimulate muscle growth, without looking bulky, to give you that pleasing Greek God appearance.
And to get that, we don’t need to be lifting in the gym every day.
Who wants to be in the gym every day anyway?
Also, when you lift 4-6 times per week using multiple exercises per body part, you are setting yourself up for joint aggravation which is the last thing you need in your 40’s or beyond.
You see, a lot of men over 40 think that lifting light weights for higher reps is the best strategy for burning fat and saving joint pain.
But this does little for muscle building and metabolism AND stresses the joints more. A much better strategy is using heavier weight for multiple sets of lower reps.
They are far safer and much more productive.
When I say heavier though, I don’t mean picking up super heavy weights you can hardly manage and hurting yourself. I mean weights heavy enough to challenge you on the final few reps whilst maintaining perfect exercise form.
Stimulate the muscle group with one or two productive exercises, strive to add weight to the bar (slowly) and you are doing everything you need to build lean muscle and improve body composition.
Then, get out of the gym and only come back when you are fully recovered.
Nutrition for a six pack
So, when it comes to eating to get a six pack there’s tons of advice. Some personal trainers and fitness gurus are recommending eating every few hours, 5-6 times per day and while this might work for some people, I don’t see any benefits.
Firstly, it’s the number of calories you eat daily that really matters not how many meals you eat.
So, let’s say you need to eat 2000 calories per day to lose fat, it doesn’t matter if you get those calories in 2-3 meals or 4-6 meals so long as you hit your number.
Do what works best for you in that regard, but…
Personally, I find intermittent fasting extremely beneficial, I have studied its advantages in terms of increased testosterone and numerous health benefits, but what I love about it most is the simplicity and focus it provides in the morning when you haven’t eaten a huge breakfast that slows you down.
By keeping appetite at bay in the morning, perhaps eating a piece of fruit first thing, essentially you are creating a huge buffer of calories that can be eaten later in the day.
For the most part I have experimented with tons of eating strategies, and nothing comes close to this method of eating to lean down.
It’s very effective and very easy to stick with over the long term.
I get most of my calories in 2 big meals per day and eat a few snacks to keep hunger at bay. This has numerous benefits including improved hormonal function.
How much protein for a six pack at 40?
Protein IS important when it comes to getting a six pack, but the amount of protein you need has been vastly blown out of proportion by the mainstream over the years, largely thanks to supplement companies who have convinced us that we need tons of protein to build muscle and lose fat.
The bottom line is though, you don’t need excessive protein to lose fat and you don’t need excessive protein to get lean.
If you get 0.7 – 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight per day, you will be getting adequate protein to cover your needs.
This is easily obtainable from food. Personally, I don’t bother with ay protein shakes, I love eating water packed tuna for lunch, eggs, and steak as SOME of my protein foods.
I never limit my foods to chicken and rice or anything bland like that.
Protein keeps you feeling full, and research has shown that your body will expend more calories just by ingesting protein.
Cardio for a six pack at 40
Cardio can be beneficial for expending more calories leading to more fat loss, but the problem lies when too much cardio is performed, lowering testosterone, and burning away lean muscle.
Two moderate intensity cardio workouts along with 2-3 weight training sessions works best. Do not rely heavily on cardio to get you lean. Again, strength training and diet are the two most important factors when it comes to getting the body of a Greek god.
My personal favourite when it comes to cardio is walking. It’s a fantastic way to burn extra calories without having a huge impact on appetite.
Walking has a neural impact on appetite, but too much cardio, especially HIIT can have a huge impact on hunger and make you ravenous.
Not the best thing if your goal is trying to lose fat!
Instead, I will do more walking, walk to the gym, walk to the train station, or try and get out for a walk at the weekends.
An extra 6000 steps per day over the course of the week really adds up!
Putting it all together
The problem I see all the time with men over 40 trying to get a six pack is firstly they think they’re too old to ever see their abs which is false, and another problem is going crazy with cardio, such as running and cutting out important macronutrients such as carbohydrates.
All macronutrients are important when it comes to losing fat and getting a lean body, protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
It’s the number of calories you eat day to day that counts, NOT how many meals you ingest.
Strength training 2-3 x per week and getting our food correct is the most important advice I can give you when it comes to getting a lean body.
Consistency is another important factor!
If you want me to put a program together to take away the guesswork that doesn’t have you eating bland boring diets or spending your life in the gym, see if you qualify for my brand-new program, From Settling to Sculpted for Men Over 40.