How to Get Ripped at 40 Years Old

How to Get Ripped at 40 Years Old

If you’re a man over 40 years old, you might be wondering if its too late to get ripped or get to those low digits of body fat.

Well I’m here to tell you it’s never too late! There’s nothing magic about getting to 40 years old and suddenly you’re uncapable of losing fat, getting lean or getting ripped.

If anything, now is the perfect time as you might have spent a lot of time in your twenties and thirties packing on some muscle and now you just want to be lean, get under 10% body fat to see your abs or look great for that next holiday.

Whatever your reason for wanting to get ripped at 40 years old, know that it’s totally attainable with the correct training and nutrition.

Having said that though, I take a completely different approach to getting ripped than what the mainstream tells you, because I believe fitness isn’t about extremes, taking over your life or going crazy trying to get lean.

What are the core elements of losing fat and getting lean? Here they are:

Strength Training

If you’re not strength training you need to start, pronto! I’m not talking about strength training to get big bulky muscles either, but rather, adding just enough muscle mass in the right spots by using compound movements that are safe and effective for men over 40.

Getting those broad shoulders and narrow waist like Captain America looks great on any man.

You want to create that classic V-taper look and yes you can do it even over 40 years old! Just look up to the more mature action hero’s like Iron Man, Wolverine or James Bond for inspiration.

So, how do you get just enough muscle mass without looking too bulky?

The key is to use just enough compound exercises, perform multiple sets of lower reps and dedicate your time to getting stronger whilst maintaining impeccable workout form.

Multiple sets of lower reps work well for men over 40 because they’re far safer on the joints, allow for better concentration and allow for quicker workout recovery.


If you’re trying to get ripped at 40, you should be eating in a slight caloric deficit. If you’re not in a calorie deficit then you’re practically wasting your time messing around with macronutrients such as protein numbers, carbs and fat.

Bottom line, you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat and get lean. With that said though there’s a fine balance between going too low and eating enough. If you eat too few calories for too long, then your body will tend to hold onto fat as it thinks a famine is around the corner.

That’s why I recommend periodically increasing calories to at least maintenance to short circuit this cycle.

Most men can lean down on around 2000 calories from personal experience, but this varies depending on weight, current body fat percentages and how many calories you’re used to eating each day.

Drastic or sudden reductions in calories are NOT recommended.


A balance of protein, carbs and fat is what I recommend to my clients as it flat out works. Out there in the world today we have a lot of weird and wonderful diets, high carb, low carb, ketogenic, low fat, high fat etc.

The problem with these “diets” is they always go too low or too high on one of the important macronutrients making it very difficult to stick to over the long term.

If something isn’t enjoyable, then even with the best intentions in the world, you’re NOT going to stick to it for very long.

If you cut out carbohydrates for example, sooner or later you’re going to feel starved encouraging binge eating.

As a general recommendation for men over 40, getting around 0.8-1g of protein per pound of lean bodyweight per day, a balance of carbohydrates (40-50%) and 25-30% coming from healthy fats works best.

Body fat percentages

When getting ripped, it’s all about knowing how to go from point A to point B and watching it happen week by week.

For example, let’s say you measure your body fat percentage at 20%. That means you have approximately 24 lbs of fat to lose if your goal is to see your abs, around 9-10% body fat.

If you go along with my fat loss recommendations, by the end of week one you should have lost 1-2lbs of fat!

As the weeks go by, you should see a gradual reduction of fat and a steady increase in lean muscle mass, if you’re strength training to preserve or build lean muscle.

Note: If you’re simply trying to lose fat as quickly as possible its much better to hold onto your existing strength whilst dropping fat rather than trying to build strength during that period.

But the point is, you should be seeing a gradual fat loss each week and body fat percentage coming down.

Too many men over 40 are guessing this process, training and eating and simply HOPING it’s going to lead to a ripped physique.

This isn’t rocket science its simply about finding out what’s working and then adjusting until you’re heading in the right direction.


What about cardio in this process?

Cardio is simply a way of expending more calories, the great thing about cardio is it makes it easier to eat more calories but still lose fat, but it’s NOT essential in order to lose fat.

The problem with too much cardio is it kills testosterone levels and doesn’t do anything for building muscle which is an essential part of the fat loss process.

One of the best styles of cardio you can do in my opinion is walking! Yes, walks of 30-40 minutes can burn a lot of extra calories, have a neural effect on nutrition, help recovery from weight training and most of all, are enjoyable!

I hope you’ve found this article informative and I’d love to help you in your quest to get ripped over 40!

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