Training Advice for All You Mashed-Up Meatheads Over 40

If you are a guy over 40, listen up, this article is for you.

 Stop Making Excuses, and Stop Looking in the Rear View Mirror

The only time that matters in your life is right now. Your past is your past, and your future isn’t here yet, so the only thing that truly matters is the present or THE RIGHT NOW.

You know that guy who is always talking about how great he was in his 20’s, or how strong he was? We all know that guy; well, DON’T BE THAT GUY!

You can be the guy that talks about his current accomplishments and future goals, but you can’t be that version of you if you cling to the past, refuse to let go, and move forward.

Move forward, remember your past, be grateful for the experiences and lessons learned, but let it go, and focus on the present to become your very best.

Lift Heavy Weights

You know all those articles about how lifting heavy is bad for your joints, tendons, and ligaments or that you should never lift heavy as you age to avoid injury or chronic pain in the future. Well, my fellow mashed-up meatheads; this is complete and utter nonsense. I have two words for this, BULL SHIT!

Lifting heavy weights has numerous benefits, and if anyone tells you differently, they just might be one of those flaky Geritol taking gymsters that have an iron deficiency and push bioscience as a legitimate source of nutrition and training advice.

As you age maintaining muscle mass and bone density is critical for your health. This can be solved by strength training and lifting heavy weights.

Over the last few years, I have met countless over 40 powerlifters and strongmen who are all strong, jacked, and move damn well. The fountain of youth is strength training, lifting heavyweights, and healthy eating.

When it comes to lifting heavyweights, train hard and SMART.  Leave your ego at the door, focus on perfect form, and never train to absolute failure. Always leave a little in the tank. If you can move the weight for a maximum of 10 reps, stop at 8 reps.

For the over 40 crew: Never go to failure, never do forced reps, and always maintain perfect form.

Some of the benefits of lifting heavy weights include:

  • Improved Body Composition
  • Increased Muscle Mass
  • Increased Bone Density
  • Increased Overall Testosterone
  • Improved Blood Pressure
  • Improved Cardio Vascular
  • Improved Mental Focus
  • Improved Overall Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Well-Being

Base your strength training around the foundational lifts. The squat, deadlift, bench press, military press, and bent over row.  These lifts should be the backbone of your strength training program.

Bottom line, stop going for a “jog” on the weekends and get some heavy weight on your back and in your hands. At 46, with a family to look after, a business to operate, and too many injuries to count, I am stronger, leaner, and healthier now than any time in my 20's and 30’s. This is because of how I train, how I feed my body, and how I perceive the world around me.

Do Cardiovascular Conditioning 3-5 Days a Week

I don’t like conditioning, I really don’t. At no point do I say “Oh great, today is Prowler sled day!”

Not a chance! Do you know what I do like? Feeling determined, having a sense of accomplishment and pride, and burning off some pent up energy that in turn makes me feel physically and mentally amazing.

You don’t need an hour on the treadmill or go for a jog. 10-15 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Conditioning will do the body, mind, and soul some good.

My favorite fat loss and conditioning exercises include:  Prowler sled push/pull/hand-over-hand medleys, Airdyne Airbike intervals, strongman finisher workouts, heavy bag training, and more. Remember, 10-15 minutes 3-5 days a week is an investment in your time, energy, and health.

Take Zinc, Magnesium, and Fish Oil

These three supplements are a main stay in my supplement and nutrition program, and I recommend that you add them and use them daily.

I use ZMA (Zinc and Magnesium) before bed.

ZMA benefits:

  • Improved Sleep and Rest
  • Helps restore Zinc and Magnesium, which gets lost from sweating and exercising
  • Magnesium helps with improving testosterone levels, cardio vascular levels, bone health, and more
  • Zinc helps with Thyroid Production, Anti Oxidant, and Immune System Function

I take 5 capsules (1000 mg. each) of sockeye salmon fish oil caps before bed. I prefer the brand Vital Choice.

Fish oil benefits:

  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Improve Fat Loss
  • Improve Memory and Brain Function
  • Improved Health Cholesterol
  • Improved Bone Density

These simple two supplements are very beneficial. I would also recommend you invest in high quality versions of these supplements. If your Zinc and Magnesium has a calcium based filler, it’s pretty much useless. If you buy cheap fish oil, you will get low quality fish oil and get those yummy fishy burps.

Spend a few bucks more and buy good quality ZMA and fish oil. Remember, it is and investment in your long-term health. I will say that one food source I eat regularly on a daily basis is nuts, good old raw, organic macadamia nuts and pecans. They are one of the best foods you can eat, and are very high in magnesium and fiber.

  Spend Time Daily Doing Mobility and Foam Rolling Exercises

Foam rollers and SMR (Self-Myofascial Release) tools have done me and my athletes a world of good. Right now in fitness and science there is a debate as to the long-term benefits of foam rolling. I personally could care less as to what anyone says because foam rolling and soft tissue work has improved my overall mobility, lead to marked improvements in injury prevention, and  greatly improved my body’s ability to life heavy and perform.

As we age we start to lose mobility. If you don’t use it, you lose it. With lack of mobility come movement pattern problems that will likely result in injury and long-term health issues, concerns, and challenges.  High-quality movement is important, and it’s fundamental to a quality life as we age. If you observe older people in contemporary society, you can really see the breakdown in movement patterns and muscular stability. Standing straight, sitting down, and squatting are the primary human movements, and often, these basic movements suffer the most.

The better you move, the better you feel. By spending a marginal amount of time with SMR daily, you can improve tissue quality, muscular flexibility, and joint movement. I would recommend spending about 10-15 minutes a day addressing the problem areas that bother you the most, as everyone is different.

The most common problem areas that tend to need the most work include: hip flexors, glutes, upper back, T-spine, calves, and ankles.

On occasion, foam rolling at night for about an hour before bed can really help a person unwind, de-stress from a hectic day, and encourage a good night’s sleep.

Make Eating Healthy a Big Priority

Yes, that means eat better!

Stop eating crap, stop drinking crap, and start respecting your body.

I see so many people spend more time washing and cleaning their cars and trucks, surfing the internet on their phone or computer, or blopped in their favorite Lazy Boy watching the Sunday football game than taking care of their own body. I will never understand it. If you could put top grade quality fuel in your vehicle that enhanced fuel efficiency and performance or low grade sludge fuel that was cheaper and more convenient but resulted in poor performance, which would you chose? My guess is you would undoubtedly pick top grade fuel.

Well, why not do the same for your body?

You can always buy a new car or truck, but you only get ONE BODY, so take care of it!

When it comes to nutrition there are many, many ways to lose fat and build quality muscle.

I like to keep my nutrition advice simple and practical.  Here it is in 32 words:

“Eat less crap, less processed food, less sugar, less calorie loaded drinks, and less foods that come in pre-made boxes. Eat more real foods, lean meats, greens, berries, nuts, coffee, and water. 


You are only as old as you feel, and to feel better there are a few things you can do on a daily basis to improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health. No matter what your age, 40, 50, 60, 70, or beyond, your goal should always be the same: STAY HEALTHY, STAY STRONG, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST.

Lift heavy weights; do HIIT cardio; take your supplements; eat good, quality foods; take the time to foam roll;  work on mobility, and be grateful. Remember to SEIZE THE DAY.

Stay Strong,

Brett Place