What’s the best strategy for getting lean over 40?
A new diet approach?
A different way of training?
Getting lean over 40 is all about a sustainable lifestyle shift rather than anything else.
When I say sustainable I’m not talking about a quick fix diet plan or training plan that only lasts for 12 weeks and then you’re back to old eating habits and can’t wait to stop the training nonsense that’s running you into the ground.
For all you video learners out there:
I’m talking about a lifestyle shift that’s sustainable over the long term, something that becomes part of your life, like brushing your teeth and something you actually enjoy that doesn’t end up consuming your entire existence.
I’ve always approached fitness completely different from what the mainstream advises when trying to get in shape, mostly because I’ve studied with the best mentors.
Nowadays I never do more than 3 working sets for each exercises and rarely do more than 3-4 major exercises at each workout. I never weight train more than 2-3 times per week and yet I’m able to maintain a very lean body year round.
The fact is though, if your over 40 years old you’ve probably got a lot on your plate right now, demanding career, family and you won’t be able to train more than 2-3 times per week without running yourself into the ground.
How do I keep myself lean, whilst training less?
How do I stay lean without resorting to eating chicken and rice or doing endless cardio? This isn’t some gimmick; this is about what works for men over 40.
The answer comes from two of the most effective strategies that men over 40 can do to maintain a lean body.
Strength training and nutrition.
When you have those two things dialled in correctly, there’s not a lot else you really need to do to get and maintain a lean body.
Of course you have to know what exercises are best to use for men over 40 and what set and rep ranges work best, but once you have this nailed it’s simply a matter of time before you get the lean physique you crave.
Work with your body in a sustainable and enjoyable way and you’ll be rewarded with a lean and strong body. Sure the fitness industry over complicates everything to make you believe you need more protein, more workouts, more cardio and more of the latest fat burning pill, but honestly all that is just marketing.
It’s in their best interests to get you training more often, the more you train the more likely you are to consume their protein shakes.
And, the more you fail with your training, the more likely you’ll think the answer lies in some miracle fat burning supplement when it really doesn’t.
Get a lean body with only 2 strength training workouts per week
What? Sounds like a marketing ploy doesn’t it? Get lean with only 2 weights workouts per week, you must be kidding I need way more than that to shift all this fat?!?
But the truth is if your building a nice natural amount of muscle that increases your metabolism even at rest and you’ve got your nutrition dialled in so that your losing 1 lb of fat every week, there’s not a whole lot else you need to be doing.
I’ve used 2 weights workouts to maintain a lean body and it’s got nothing to do with genetics or anything like that. In fact, back in my late twenties, I was nearly 2 stone over weight from all the “bulking” I’d done trying to gain maximum muscle size.
Back then I knew very little about nutrition and thought the quickest way to muscle gains was to eat a ton of calories and protein every day to pack on the size.
I was in the gym nearly every day hitting the weights, doing lots of exercises, lots of sets and lots of reps. This invariably led to more fat gain than muscle, but I kept telling myself I’d gained a lot of muscle and not fat.
It wasn’t until my late thirties through a lot of trial and error that I was able to drop nearly 30 pounds of fat and reveal the lean physique I craved, all without using any supplements.
I might not be the biggest guy in the gym, but I believe the more natural, balanced and lean look is what not only looks the most pleasing, but makes you feel at your best as well.
What’s wrong with what you see in the magazines?
All those pictures you see in the magazines i.e. men with ripped abs that look great, the problem is they’ve trained for a short period of time just to look good for that day!
I know this as I used to do it myself when getting in shape for a fitness model competition. I’d train very hard, limit my calorie intake and carbohydrates, look great for competition day and then burn out and crash a few days after!
All that excessive cardio and skewed eating might get you lean, but it’s certainly not sustainable over the long term, ask any fitness model, most look good for the few days of the year and then either blow up like whales or spend their entire lives maintaining their physiques!
Both approaches are useless and I knew there had to be a better approach.
I knew I had to create a brand that not only teaches men over 40 how to get lean, but how to stay lean for life whilst being able to eat the foods you want without feeling like you’re on a diet.
Is staying lean possible without dieting?
You bet it is, I’m living proof.
When I talk about getting lean, I’m talking about body fat of around 9-12% that’s lean enough to see the abs but not so lean your testosterone levels will take a hit. A body that’s truly strong, lean and completely natural and perfectly attainable and sustainable year round without the constant periods of highs and lows.
That’s what this brand is all about.
So going back to the 2 workouts per week, how is it possible to get lean that way?
Well getting lean is all about building a nice natural amount of muscle through strength training and minimising body fat through nutrition. Once you’ve got those two things nailed you’ll be well on your way to getting the lean body you want.
Now although a lot of men might already know this, not many will cut their training down to the bare minimum, thinking that the more training sessions they clock up, the leaner they’ll get.
But the problem with this approach is too many workouts will over train the body making it very hard to recover and it only takes us longer to recover from our workouts once we’re over 40 years old.
If you train too often, you won’t be able to get stronger on the exercises that really matter and when you focus on getting stronger on the main compound lifts that are suitable for you, you’ll find it a lot easier to get leaner as well.
Not to mention all the challenges being 40 has such as demanding job, family and a million and one things to do. Being able to train each and every day is something very few of us are able to do.
But when you cut your training down to the bare essentials and really focus on getting stronger on the most productive compound exercises for you, twice per week training works really well.
Here’s a recap of the most important points to a lean physique for men over 40:
1. Focus on getting stronger on compound exercises that cover all the major muscles of the body
2. Train in a lower rep range, this is far more productive and safer for men over 40
3. Limit training to 2-3 x per week for the best gains in strength and lean muscle
4. Eat in an enjoyable way that supports hormone health and fat loss
5. Increase calorie expenditure by including some 30-45 minutes walks at the weekend
6. Once you’ve got a sound training and nutrition plan you’ll be well on your way to getting the lean body you crave
Nutrition for a lean body
Nutrition is a big part of the equation when it comes to getting and maintaining a lean body but a lot of men either don’t know what healthy foods to eat, how to calculate the correct amount of calories or how to break those calories up into the correct quantities.
Or worse still, they think excessive protein or fat loss pills are the answer to a lean body.
When it comes to getting a lean body the first thing you need to know is your basal metabolic rate or BMR, this is how many calories you burn at rest without gaining or losing any weight.
In order to get your BMR there are many different formulas out there, but the quickest way to get it is to multiply your bodyweight in lbs x 15.
This will give you a fairly accurate figure of how many calories you’re burning at rest each day. Now in order to get lean you want to be eating at no more than 20% less than your BMR calories.
This will provide you with enough calories to keep you feeling full and losing approximately 1 lb of fat per week.
When getting lean it’s very important to lose fat slowly, those who try to lose fast weight will end up losing more lean muscle than fat resulting in a down regulated metabolism.
Once you have your number it’s now a case of breaking up your goal calories into 2-3 meals per day.
Note: it doesn’t matter how many meals you eat throughout the day as long as you don’t exceed your goal calories for the day.
I recommend sticking to 2-3 big meals that each have the correct amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat in them. Bigger and fewer meals is especially beneficial for men over 40 as they trigger a larger hormonal response and aids digestion.
Never go too low in calories
Sometimes guys get stuck in a fat loss rut when they’ve been in a calorie deficit for a long period of time. This invariably crashes the metabolism and I’ve advised them to periodically increase their calories to kick start the fat burning process once more.
Sometimes increasing your calories after periods of long calorie reduction is just what your body needs in order to start dropping body fat, so don’t start thinking if you’re not seeing fat loss the answer is to restrict your calories even more.
Check out my course for Men Over 40
If you’re ready to take the guesswork out of losing belly fat and getting lean whilst only training 3 times per week and without boring diets then you need to check out my course, Ripped Abs Over 40.
It’s the definitive guide to getting a lean body for men over 40.
To your success!