Best Workout for 40 Year Old Man (And Older)

Best Workout for 40 year old man

Best workout for 40-year-olds focus on strength, stamina + flexibilty

I really enjoy working out. In my twenties, I focused on bodybuilding style works where volume played a big factor in muscle growth or hypertrophy. Now that I’m in my early 40s, my workouts have changed to keep me from getting burned out and injured from the standard 3×10, 6 day per week regime I once did. Here’s the best workout for 40 year old man that has worked for me.

So, what’s the best workout for 40 year old man look like?  It’s a smart and safe routine that will allow you to enjoy playing with your kids and moving about without aches and pains.

It well-rounded, giving you the benefits of being strong, flexible with some gas left in the tank to take on a 5k or get around the house without huffing and puffing.

While there are a ton of different workout plans for 40 year old guys, I like this one because it fits within my busy lifestyle and provides me with enough variation so I don’t get bored. It also entails a linear progression to continue achieving new PRs (personal records) slowly and safely.

This workout  is based on some tried and true methods of old-school strength training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or sprint style training and some yoga will keep any 40 year old man keep strong, improve cardio performance help with mobility and relieve stress.

Here’s my template for what I consider to be the best workout for 40 year old man (and older):

Routine 1: Mobility and Flexibility

The goal during the first couple of weeks is to relieve tightness in major muscle groups like the lower back, shoulders and hip flexors.  If you have a particular weakness or tightness, you can easily mix and match mobility stretches to focus on those specific areas.

Go slow and breath during the movements. Focus on form. In just a week or two, you’ll be feeling looser and should have more range of motion.

Do this 2-3 times per week. Off days (days you are not strength training or interval training) are great times to incorporate this routine. You can also pick 2-3 of these movements to do each morning for added benefit.

Before working out:

  • 5 minutes of light cardio to get the blood flowing (rowing, body weight squats, skipping rope, walking)
  • Foam rolling your lower back, legs (front and back) and lats


  • Worlds Greatest Stretch” – 10x each side (2 rounds)
  • Hip Thrusts: 20x (3 rounds)
  • Standing Forward Fold: 10-12x (3 rounds)
  • Warrior One: 8-10x (3 rounds)
  • Downward Facing Dog: 8-10x (3 rounds)
  • Gobblet Squat: pick a weight that allows you to complete 5-8 (3 rounds)

Routine 2: Full Body Strength Training

There are a ton of sites, articles, apps and videos dedicated to strength training. Easily finding which one is best workout for 40 year old man can nearly be impossible. So, I recommend the Starting Strength Training Method by Mark Rippetoe because it’s highly regarded as one of the safest and muscle building strength training workouts out there.

The goal of the program is to get you stronger each week by introducing slightly higher increments of weight for barbell movement patterns targeting multiple large muscles – giving you the biggest bang for your buck.

Follow this program 3 days per week on non-consecutive days. For example, Mon/Wed/Fri or similar. So let’s say you’re working out on Mon/Wed/Fri, follow Day A on Monday, Day B on Wed, and Day A again on Friday alternating the press or bench press.

Before working out:

  • 5 minutes of light cardio to get the blood flowing (rowing, body weight squats, skipping rope, walking)
  • Foam rolling your lower back, legs (front and back) and lats


Day A

  • Back Squat: 5x (3 round)
  • Overhead Should Press: 5x (3 round)
  • Deadlift: 5x (1 round)

Day B

  • Back Squat: 5x (3 round)
  • Bench Press: 5x (3 round)
  • Deadlift: 5x (1 round)

*Rounds above include only work-sets, not warm-up sets. It’s recommended to use a light weight like a 45 lb barbell for two sets (aka rounds) and then add a bit more weight while you decrease sets/rounds (ie 5, 5, 3, 2). You should play around with finding a warm-up weight that works best for you.

Increase the load (weight) at every workout. To be safe, start with increments of 2-5 lbs. For instance, say on Monday I back squat 135 lbs five times for 3 sets using good form, on Wednesday I might increase the weight to 137lbs -140lbs. If my body is not sore, and things feel good, I’ll go up in weight to the 5 lbs next workout. Likewise, if something feels off, then I will keep the weight, pull back if I have bad form, or limit the progression by increasing the weight by only 2 lbs.

To make planning simple, you can also download the Starting Strength app for your iphone or Android. Be advised that it is not free. I find it worth the money, though.

Routine 3: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and/or Sprinting

If you enjoy running and consider yourself to already be a runner type, then you may not need to incorporate sprinting into your training. However, there are many benefits to sprinting, and if you’re not the running type like me, the sessions are short, fun and can still eat away at unwanted body fat.

High Intensity Interval Traning (HIIT) has similar benefits to sprinting, namely short workouts that get your heart rate up, keep muscle mass and burn fat.

Therefore, I definitely consider sprinting and/or HIIT exercises to be key to building the best workout for 40 year old man.

The workout is pretty simple. 1-2 days per week is all you need.

Before HIIT or sprinting:

  • Perform 10 bodyweight squats for 2 rounds. 30 seconds between rounds
  • Foam role if you’re sore or tight
  • Stretch ankles for about 30 seconds

How to Sprint

  • Sprint at about 70% intensity for 30 seconds
  • Rest for 90 seconds
  • Sprint at 80% intensity
  • If you feel good, you can increase to total or near-total intensity
  • Repeat 2 more times at total or near total intensity

Don’t sprint for more than 4x during your first few weeks. If everything is feeling good, you can increase sets/rounds up to 8 or 9.

HIIT Workout:

If you don’t have any equipment or weights, choose a full-body movement like jumping jacks or burpees. If you have access to a treadmill, rowing machine or bike do the following:

  • Perform the exercise at 80% to near-total intensity for 30 seconds
  • Rest for 30 seconds
  • Repeat 8-10 times.
  • Cool down with 5-10 minutes of walking, rowing or biking at a slow pace

The importance of warming up:

Warming up and stretching is a HUGE part of safely getting your body ready before taxing it by strength training or intense sprints. If you’re not warming up before exercising, you’re setting yourself up for discomfort, pain and perhaps even injury.

Warming up can be 5 minutes of low-intensity walking, rowing, or circuit style stretching. By circuit style stretching, I mean going from one stretch to another without rest between stretches.

On strength training days, I like to do two forms of warm-ups: rowing for 5 minutes and warming up before each lift by practicing the movement using very a very light weight. I get the blood flowing in my body with the rowing, and movement pattern in good shape before throwing on a challenging weight.

Any of the best workout for 40 year old man will incorporate some form of warm-up and stretching movements.

To recap, this workout will look like this in any given week:

  • 3 days of strength training for about 45 minutes each day
  • 1-2 days of sprint or HIIT training for about 20 minutes
  • 1-2 Mobility and Flexibility exercises for 10-15 minutes

While it may seem like a lot, you can work your way up by starting off with 2 days of strength training and 1 day for sprinting. As for flexibility and mobility, try doing what I do and incorporate a few stretches every morning upon waking rather than carving out 10-15 minutes once or twice per week. This not only saves time, it’s a great way to start off the day.

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