Why You MUST Build Muscle In Your 40s + 5 Tips for More Muscle, Strength & Joint Health in Your 40s


"Before my father died, he said the worst thing about growing old was that other men stopped seeing you as dangerous. I've always remembered that, how being dangerous was sacred, a badge of honor."

That line from the movie Act of Valor always struck a chord with me.

And I've had an older friend say similar to me. How when you're 175 lbs nobody moves out of your way. He doesn't mean that in an arrogant way or in a insecure way. I understand what he meant. He meant that other men don't see you as a threat.

What do criminals do? They look for easy prey. Your appearance is often your first line of defense. And as we get older, many of us have a family. A family to protect. So it is crucial that you keep on training, keep getting stronger and keep building muscle.

Donnie Thompson worked with former NFL players Olin Kreutz and Roberto Garza. When they retired he gave them some wisdom: You might as well get as strong as possible because that is what keeps you young.

They also include Donnie's Body Tempering.

When you're in your 40s or 50s, your 60s as well (I get e mails from guys in their 60s) it's NOT so hard to put on muscle. You do, however, need to dial in lifestyle, especially eating and sleeping.

Here's my training tips for men in their 40s. This will help you build muscle and stay healthy.

1) Front load your training sessions with high rep exercises that are "prehab" in nature. These exercises should build the structure of the body and bring up weak points.

For example, before upper body we perform a lot of:

- Band Face Pulls for 15-25 reps

- Band Triceps from various Angles for 15-25 reps

- Dumbbell or Kettlebell exercises for 15 - 25 reps

I also prefer specialty bars such as the bamboo bar or swiss bars on upper body days. Lower body days I use a belt squat or safety squat bar.

2) Do NOT kill the main lifts with intensity. You're not 16 anymore. Leave some in the tank and focus on technique. If training interferes with your life then you need to go lighter, reduce intensity and focus on nutrition and ample rest / sleep.

3) Adjust the tempo. Slow eccentrics help build muscle. Isometrics help strengthen connective tissue. 

You can see Roberto Garza performing band so holds in the video below. These are GREAT for strength and joint integrity.

4) Keep the Cardio Up. Your aerobic base is important as it helps you recover and keeps the heart healthy.

Ride a bike, go hiking, walk / jog intervals, etc are ALL great.

5) Incorporate a day for tempo, high reps and stability work.

You can hang plates / weights of any type from a barbell, it doesn't need to be a band bell bar, although the band bell bar certainly feels better. Work with you've got. I've seen people use a thick PVC pipe which is fine if you're not going that heavy.


To put it all together, you need to get in your garage or to a gym (if it's open) and do the work. NO excuses and NO time to waste. It doesn't take much and I've had MANY people love the Kettlebell Bodyweight Hybrid course when minimal equipment is available.

If you've got a squat rack, barbell, kettlebells, dumbbells, bands and a sled, then you're good to go.

Get rolling with Gladiator STRONG here.

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