How to Get Six Pack Abs Over 40

A lot of people think getting six pack abs over 40 is about “killing yourself” in the gym, going for the burn or sticking to endless “classes” or insane cardio workouts.

The reality is nothing could be further from the truth.

The reason why a lot of men over 40 can’t see their abs hasn’t got anything to do with a slow metabolism but rather they have too much body fat covering them up.

If you learn how to manage and eliminate that body fat through proper weight training, nutrition and sensible cardio you can get six pack abs over 40.

It’s not how many workouts you clock up in a week, but rather a combination of weight training and nutrition that’s geared to increasing lean muscle and burning away the fat that’s ultimately going to help you achieve your goal.

The first key for men over 40 is abbreviated weight training. Why am I such a huge proponent of abbreviated weight training?

Well because it’s the most productive, sensible and safe weight training instruction there is for natural men over 40 or any male that wants to build lean muscle.

Abbreviated training cuts your workouts back to the essentials, so instead of splitting the body up into “chest day” and then “back day” and so forth, you might only train twice per week and stimulate the upper body on day one and the lower body on day two.

Instead of using multiple exercises for each body part you might use one or two and instead of doing lots and lots of sets and reps you might use a format such as 3 sets of 6 reps with only the last working set being your “money set.”

Abbreviated weight training is so much more productive for men over 40 because it has the following advantages:

1. Super productive, allowing full recovery of the central nervous system and muscular system
2. Doesn’t over train you so fits in well with a busy man’s hectic working life
3. Allows full focus of the exercises that really matter
4. Allows for better concentration
5. Keeps workouts simple
6. Increases testosterone due to the best compound movements used
7. Very safe as won’t beat up the joints, strengthens tendons and ligaments

Why men over 40 should do weight training

It’s a sad fact that losing muscle is an inevitable part of aging and physically inactive men can lose 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30.

This is NOT good news. Less muscle means, slower metabolism, increased fat storage, less strength and generally looking fatter as we age.

It’s not just men that want to build big muscles that should be lifting weights!

Any man over 40 should make sensible weight training a part of their training regime to build lean muscle, increase metabolism and give an awesome appearance.

And it becomes even more important as we age.

The reality is if you’re over 40 years old, start lifting weights pronto. But start off slowly, stick to compound movements and use abbreviated training programs. It’s been proven you can build lean muscle at any age, even in your 70’s.

Yes, you can reverse age-related sarcopenia by lifting weights and building lean muscle.

But I don’t want to be huge?

Lifting weights has got a bad rap in some respects, do a quick YouTube search for men that lift weights and you’ll be confronted with bodybuilders lifting weights and blowing each muscle group out of proportion, often drug enhanced and living their entire lives in the gym.

What I teach is completely different, by using sensible abbreviated training programs you’ll build the perfect amount of muscle that looks awesome on anyone, broad shoulders, lean defined chest, narrow waist and V-shaped back.

You’ll look lean, strong and hard, not un natural with muscle groups blown out of proportion.

So, with sensible abbreviated training workouts as one of the keys to getting six packs abs for men over 40, what’s the next part of the equation?

Nutrition for 6 pack abs

Nutrition is often over complicated, cutting out carbs, going too high on protein or cutting fat from the diet.

Plus, there are hundreds of “diets” or new findings out there all designed to get you to spend money on fads.

Men over 40 need to have a nutrition plan that does the following:

1. Keeps testosterone high by eating enough carbs and essential fats
2. Doesn’t make you feel starved, so you can stick to it over the long term
3. Scraps the 5 to 6 meals per day approach

The bottom line is to lose fat, you need to eat less calories than what your body burns per day over a long enough period.

When losing fat, you should be targeting 1 to 1½ lbs of fat loss per week.

This is achievable and sustainable, forget about trying to lose “fast” weight it won’t all be fat and you’ll risk messing up your metabolism permanently.

Let’s say your goal calories per day is 2000, out of that 2000 calories you should be targeting enough protein to build lean muscle, 0.8 to 1 g of protein per lb of lean bodyweight per day is plenty.

Enough carbohydrates to fuel your workouts, keep you feeling full and keep you feeling satisfied.

The remainder of calories should be fat which comes in around 25-25% of total calories.

Fats are essential for testosterone production and as men over 40, you should be getting enough essential fats in your diet.

Some great choices are eggs, salmon, avocados and extra virgin olive oil.

Nutrition for losing fat and getting six pack abs isn’t about going super low in any macronutrient, it’s about being in a slight calorie deficit but eating enough calories to keep you feeling full.

Fewer meals for fat loss

Over the years I’m sure you’ve heard of the benefits of eating little and often to lose fat. The argument is that by eating more meals you’ll keep the metabolism running quickly, which in turn leads to more fat burnt.

But there’s no evidence that eating more meals per day burns more fat! It’s the total amount of calories eaten over the course of the day that leads to fat loss, NOT how many meals you eat.

But eating lots of small meals is a pain, meaning you need to carry a lot of Tupperware containers around with you.

Eating fewer and bigger meals has been proven to stimulate more of the sympathetic nervous system, boosting testosterone and aiding digestion much more efficiently.

By staving off appetite by eating fruit first thing in the morning, we can eat fewer but bigger meals later in the day that keep testosterone high, aids digestion and leads to fat loss.

This is exactly what I had in mind when I designed the Abs Over 40 Cutting plan, its based on eating less meals, but super simple to follow if your goal is to get lean and reveal your abs.

Cardio training

Cardio training is the last part of the equation when it comes to getting six pack abs over 40, but this doesn’t mean going overboard with it.

In fact, one of my main methods of cardio training to get lean is simply walking.

Using a combination of 2-3 weight training sessions, simple nutrition and walking I can maintain six pack abs without feeling burnt out.

There are other cardio options I recommend, such as the cross trainer or stationary cycle for 35-40 minutes on your non-weight training days, but 2 brief cardio sessions is more than enough each week.

This will simply allow you to eat more calories whilst not over stimulating your appetite, essential for sustainable fat loss.

It’s by far the best method of getting lean and enjoying life I’ve come across.

Did I mention I don’t bother with supplements either?

No. You see, when you train and eat properly rarely do you need them to build lean muscle or get lean.

And remember, supplements can’t make a bad training program work!

How to Get Six Pack Abs Over 40

Well, I hope you found this guide very informative and helpful and if you’d like to take your knowledge a stage further I have created a full course for men over 40 that will show you exactly how to weight train, how to eat and how to perform cardio whilst only lifting 3 times per week.

My course, Abs Over 40 is the definitive guide for men over 40 and I’m very excited to offer this course to you as I know you’ll gain huge benefits from it.

    4 replies to "How to Get 6 Pack Abs Over 40"

    • Giorgio Muraro

      Good morning Rob, happy new year, I am 59 and I cannot complain about my body, I am 6’1″ and 205 lbs. Yes a bit of fat around my waste but overall I am still looking lean. I love your approach to getting lean and maintain it for long time without sacrificing your life in the gym. I use to workout a lot but for different reasons I stopped, family, work, kids and a busy life……….. I want to go back but I am confused on what to do and how to train properly myself and get some results. Thank you for your consideration. Giorgio.

      • Rob Richley

        Hi Giorgio,

        Happy New Year and thanks very much!

        Stay tuned to my articles and if you have any specific questions you can always contact me through my website.



    • leonardo roldan

      Hello rob.
      I’m 47, I played professional rugby until 40……then I start to study and make a “traditional ” job and also study, so in the last 7 years I only running 2 times a week or making some movements inside my house……
      This year I make an annual contract with a very nice gym, so I started to make weights again, I knew I can’t start with too much weight or too many sets, so I start easy (but not too much)

      I download the 5×5 stronglift to make me a guide, and because I think squats, deadlift, militar press, bench press and a few more are the best for me…..

      I not trainingnore that 50 minutes and I do several reps on abs and core, between sets……

      I try to avoid bread and eat healthy but sometiemes is hard……especially with beer…….I agree in all you say, training and eat, but sometimes socil life is not very healthy…..

      So I make you few questions to try to improve……

      What do you think about 5×5 stronglift system?
      When I fell strong enought, can I make more reps (6 to 9) to build more muscle?
      If I make more reps…..can I start to eat a protein shake to help?


      • Rob Richley

        Hi Leonardo,

        I think the 5 x 5 way of training is very effective so long as you personally enjoy traning that way. It really depends what your goal is. if you’re trying to build strength and lean down at the same time, I would not combine those two goals. Focus on building strength first. Then holding onto your extisting strength whilst reducing your calories to lose fat.

        Ultimately it’s nutrition that will determine fat loss.



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