How to Get Ripped Abs Over 40
Learning How to Get Ripped Abs Over 40 years of age might seem like a huge goal, but it’s not only possible to get abs in your forties, but at any age!
The leanest I ever got was at age 41, when I last stepped on stage at the Pure Elite physique competitor in October 2016.
For all you video learners out there:
I can honestly say I rocked some of the best abs on stage that day and I knew I had to share my approach to fitness with the world.
To my surprise though, there were many older men with abs, some in their late forties, fifties and even sixties.
A friend of mine had completely transformed himself in his fifties from being fat and overweight to lean and defined with abs.
Nowadays I don’t walk around at 7% body fat all year, but I never lose sight of my abs and maintain a slightly higher 9-12% body fat year-round.
If I want to get extra lean for a holiday, I’ll really dial down my nutrition and lose those extra pounds of fat.
The benefits of having ripped abs over 40
There are a lot of benefits to getting ripped abs over 40, imagine going away on holiday and whilst practically every middle age man is getting his over weight belly out at the pool, you’re sporting a ripped set of abs!
Just that feeling alone, of complete control over your body makes it all the worthwhile, plus when you go away on holiday because all the hard work of getting lean has been done, you can eat whatever you want and still stay lean.
The fact is, it takes a long time to get fat again when you have abs, fat gain isn’t suddenly going to jump from the low digits to over 16% over night.
With that said though, getting lean goes way beyond the visual benefits, especially as we get older.
Here are a few of the many benefits:
- Reduced Back Pain (Your abdominals act as an anchor for muscles of the mid and lower back)
- Quality Posture
- Build Functional Strength
- Your good looks are showing
- You feel good about yourself
- More disciplined
With all the information out there, how do you get them? How are you going to lose fat and reveal a ripped set of abs at your age?
The answer is you’re going to use a combination of strength training, nutrition and cardio without over training to get a lean body.
Let’s break it up to make it easier of what you’re going to do to get ripped abs over 40:
1. Know where you stand today
Not knowing where you stand today is the first huge mistake I see when it comes to getting abs.
Without knowing a true picture of where you stand currently, you’ll be unable to calculate how long it’s going to take you to lose fat and reveal your abs.
Getting abs is really all about knowing where you stand today and then executing a plan that has you moving in the right direction towards getting the lean body you want.
You should know the following:
- Scale weight
- Body fat percentage
- Waist measurement
- Have some photos taken
Why body fat percentage is important
Body fat percentage is very important when getting abs over 40.
For example, you can have two men of the same weight i.e. 200 pounds and height, one with 20% body fat and the other with 9% body fat.
Although they weigh the same, the man with 9% body fat is going to look vastly different than the man with 20% body fat.
In fact, the man with 20% body fat is carrying 22 pounds of fat more (muscle: fat) ratio, than the man with 9% body fat.
That’s why painting an accurate picture of body fat percentage is more important than simply scale weight alone.
If you just go off scale weight alone, you won’t know what type of “weight” is being lost. It can come from muscle, fat, water or a combination of all three.
Which brings me onto my next point of this equation:
2. Strength train
If you want abs, lift weights! Sticking to compound movements especially for men over 40 is the best thing you can do especially as you get older.
Compound movements train 2-3 muscle groups in ONE movement and have the following huge benefits for men over 40:
- Build lean muscle
- Increase hormone production, especially testosterone
- Joint friendly
- Save time (multiple muscle groups)
- Best results for least time investment
Strength training using multiple sets of low reps will build just the right amount of lean muscle and build strength without over training.
Lifting weights when losing fat will ensure you lose primarily fat, when on a calorie restriction. If you limit calories you need to send the signal to your body to hold onto lean muscle as it drops fat from your body.
Lifting weights will give you that lean, athletic look so when you reveal your abs you’ll look fantastic. A tight waist with abs looks awesome with a defined chest, strong back, broad shoulders and athletic legs.
Using the right compound movements will give your body the lean, athletic look you want.
Three strength training sessions works extremely well for men over 40, there’s really no need to be doing more than this.
Nutrition is a huge topic and without getting it right, you’ll never lean down and see your abs! The first thing you need to get right is how many calories you’re eating each day.
To lose fat you should be eating approximately 20% less than your BMR calories per day (how many calories you burn at rest per day).
From those calories you should be eating approximately 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight per day.
You should be getting adequate carbs and adequate fats to keep testosterone at peak levels and keep you feeling full.
Nutrition isn’t about neglect or starving yourself! The fastest way to make fat loss permanent is to lose fat gradually.
You can’t expect to undo years-worth of fat gain in two weeks or so! Accept that it’s going to take some time to lose the fat you gained.
Stick to losing fat at 1-1½ lbs per week and you’ll be on track for permanent fat loss. But those smalls successes soon add up to huge improvement, that’s the secret!
Especially in the beginning, it’s important to keep a food log to ensure that you’re on track. How many calories, how much protein, carbs and fat.
By looking back over the week, you’ll be able to see if you’re on track and if anything needs to be adjusted.
If you just “eat less” you won’t know at what point you went overboard or whether you’re restricting calories too much.
Getting lean isn’t about guesswork – the basic package of strength training and nutrition works big time, providing you’re dedicated to putting the initial work in.
I’m a huge fan of eating 2-3 bigger meals rather than eating 5-6 smaller meals per day, the reason is as follows:
- Boosts in testosterone (uses more of the sympathetic nervous system)
- Creates a buffer of calories so more can be eaten later in the day keeping you burning fat and feeling full
- Doesn’t feel like a restricted diet as you can still feel satisfied and full over the course of the day
It’s not how many meals you eat per day but the TOTAL number of calories you eat that counts.
Cardio is optional and really shouldn’t be your main focus when losing fat and getting abs.
If you simply focused on nailing your strength training and nutrition, you’d be well on your way to achieving all your physique goals.
Cardio can be used to help burn additional calories and speed up fat loss, something that I recommend for men over 40 is adding in ONE cardio-strength circuit each week as an addition to your strength training workouts.
This cardio-strength circuit using compound exercises performed back to back will burn extra fat, is joint friendly and boosts testosterone.
The other options when it comes to cardio are two steady state cardio sessions per week such as the cross trainer or treadmill on an incline for 40 minutes.
These cardio sessions can be performed on your non-strength training days.
This will help burn extra calories without interfering too much with your recovery from strength training. Doing excessive amounts of cardio training should be avoided and really isn’t necessary.
Too much cardio leaves testosterone supressed for hours post exercise and makes you ravenous, not what you need if you’re trying to maintain a calorie deficit.
By taking a much more relaxed approach to fitness you can lose fat gradually without “killing” yourself in the gym.
This is a much better, practical, smarter and sustainable way to reach your fitness goals.
5. What about supplements?
I recommend saving your money and not using any supplements whatsoever. Never use anything that’s going to drain your wallet for the sake of thinking you need supplements!
The fact is no supplements have been proven to be effective for anything! I got down to the single digits of body fat using nothing, but training and food and I’d like to show you how to do the same too.
The only “supplement” that might help with extra concentration and focus is black coffee. I personally drink fresh coffee for the added focus and antioxidant properties it has.
Another popular supplement that’s being promoted for men over 40 is testosterone boosters. Please don’t waste your money on this garbage, even if they did anything do you think messing with your hormones is a good idea as you get older?
You can go a long way in improving your testosterone levels as you get older by simply training and eating properly.
And as mentioned, it’s never too late to lose fat and get into amazing shape as you get older, it just requires a sensible and smart training strategy.
Your guide to getting Ripped Abs Over 40
I hope you’ve found this article of great value and if you’d like to take the guesswork out of leaning down with your training and nutrition I’ve created a very detailed step by step course that walks you through everything.
Check out my new course, Ripped Abs Over 40, specifically engineered for men over 40 by clicking on the image below.