To get the lean, chiselled body of a Greek God, the type of body you can be proud of. The lean, hard defined muscle that looks great on the beach and not overly bulky so that you look great in clothes too, you have to strength train.
I can’t stress the importance of strength training especially for men over the age of 40. As we get older we naturally lose about 8% of our muscle mass per decade, this is a big deal!
As we lose muscle mass, our metabolism also drops, as our metabolism drops it’s easier to gain body fat. Couple this with a decline in testosterone and it’s no wonder men over 40 are getting fatter with age.
If I could give one piece of advice for men over 40 who want to get lean, I would tell them to start strength training right away!
The problem is when men think about strength training they envision copying the routines of the bodybuilders and being in the gym almost every day lifting weights and chugging down protein shakes as well.
But the type of strength training that’s recommended for the masses isn’t the type of strength training that I recommend for you.
When men strength train they either start copying the routines of the bodybuilders, personal trainers or a program pulled out of the latest edition of men’s health, but the truth is none of these programs will be any good at getting the results you want.
Strength training, done correctly, places an enormous amount of stress on the body, more than what a lot of people realise. When we lift weights, we’re tearing down the muscle fibres, taxing the joints, tendons and ligaments and placing stress on the central nervous system (CNS) that fires the muscles.
If you train your chest on a Monday for example and then train your back on Tuesday, although you’re training a different muscle group, the CNS will still be trying to recover from the workout on a Monday.
Although you might feel fine for a few weeks and battle through, sooner or later the recovery machinery will become over whelmed leading to decreases in strength, tiredness, lack in performance, irritability, susceptibility to illness and injury if prolonged.
Some guys can battle through for a long time, but eventually the inevitable crash and burn syndrome will hit full force.
This means you might need to take weeks or even months off training to let your body fully recover, I’ve seen this happen to countless trainees, not just men over the age of 40, but in younger generations that still need to pay attention to recovery ability.
Once we’re over 40 years old, recovery becomes even more important. If you’re a natural guy who is training correctly using the compound exercises and making progression by either adding weight or reps to each workout, then you simply can’t strength train more than 3 times per week.
And there’s nothing magic about 3 strength training workouts for men over 40, I think 2 weight training workouts is the way to go for most men who are past the beginner stages.
If that doesn’t sound enough, you haven’t fully learned what natural strength training boils down to. It’s progressing on the most effective compound exercises over time and for that to happen clocking up more gym visits isn’t the answer.
To get that lean, chiselled body, most men weight train too much. If they cut their training back to 2-3 solid progressive weight training workouts, they would make far more progress, never exceed their recovery, progress, never become obsessed with their training AND have time for the rest of their lives in the process.
Abbreviated training is not just one way to train, it’s the ONLY way to train for men over 40. It’s the only way to train that allows you to last while training with weights.
It’s the only way to train that will allow you to keep on progressing and be able to throw those supplements away because you can get great results without them.
Once you switch to abbreviated strength training you’ll never look back. Abbreviated strength training isn’t my invention, it’s not some gimmick or NEW method for building muscle that comes and goes.
It’s what our ancestors used before steroids, supplements and all the other training madness that you see today.
Back when those men trained with weights, they expected to build lean, hard muscle. There was no two ways about it. When they trained, they never thought they’d fail, because sensible weight training doesn’t have a failure rate if done correctly.
The reason I keep banging on about recovery is because you’ll need strength training to get that lean tight waist, V-shaped back, broad shoulders, defined arms and thighs.
But you’ll need to do it in a way that gets you consistent results, fits in with your life perfectly and doesn’t over train you in the process.
Quite frankly you need to be smart about it.
No longer can your body take those long workouts that consist of endless exercises, endless workout days and endless cardio sessions and let me ask you, even if you could sustain that would you be happy in the process?
I don’t know about you, but I can think of better things to do with my time than spending it in the gym.
Start training smarter and you’ll not only get the body you want, but you’ll be able to sustain the body you want over the long term.
How can a few weight training sessions burn body fat?
This is where a lot of men go wrong. They think the more workouts they do, the leaner they’ll be. But getting a lean body comes down to two things really.
- Building / maintaining a nice, natural amount of muscle through strength training
- Burning body fat through the correct nutrition
If you have only those two things nailed, you’ll go much further than most men over 40 trying to get lean from all the endless cardio and high intensity workout sessions.
Look around any gym, it’s not lacking high intensity training that’s the problem, there’s tons of intensity but still a lack of results.
Add a few moderate cardio sessions to your plan and you’ll have a winning combination!
This is exactly what I recommend in my Ripped Abs Over 40 Program, a methodical approach to nutrition that has you leaning down nicely and a strength training workout that has you building slabs of lean muscle without the bulk or exceeding your body’s ability to recover.
I hope this article has explained the importance of recovery when trying to get lean. And if you have any questions leave a comment below.