Men over the age of 40 need to activate as many joints and muscles as possible to maximize the benefit you receive from exercise. To do this you need to include some specifics to your over 40s workout that might not have applied in your younger days:



Rules for the over 40s workout

1. Stimulate growth hormone with heavy loads because you lose testosterone and human growth hormone after the age of 30.

2. Maximizing calorific output because you need to burn more fat as we get older

3. Maintain and preserve lean muscle mass because after the age of 35 you lose 1/2 of muscle and gain a pound of fat every year if you are doing nothing.

4. You need to seek a way to relieve stress because life can – and will – happen.

So how do we go about this? With old time farm strength drills and skills from your ancestors. The great part is some of these drills can be accomplished both in and out of the gym with a little ingenuity. Now, they may not be the sexiest exercises in the world, but after 40 who cares as long as the results transfer into something sexy. After all, everyone wants to be able to get their rig out when they’re on the beach and still coach little league.

The workout below will be both for reps and time. It should not take you longer than 45 minutes max. To do it you’ll need dumbbells, a heavy medicine ball, pull-up bar, a sand bag, a sled (or heavy tire) and a covert ball if you want to kick it into over drive.


training over 40


Dumbbell farmer’s walk (3 x 20 yards)

Works: quads, glutes, hamstrings, traps, core, lower back
A) Hold a dumbbell in each hand and let them hang to your sides with your palms facing your body.
B) Walk normally with your chest high, chin up and back straight. Do this for 20 yards.


Heavy medicine ball squat to press (3 x 20 reps)

Works: shoulders, chest, triceps, forearms, abs
A) Stand holding a medicine ball close to your chest with your elbows bent. Keep a slight bend in your knees.
B) Bend your knees into a deep squat then as you rise out of it straighten your arms to press the ball above your head.


Overhead sandbag stair climbs

Works: core, chest, back, quads, glutes, calves
A) Rest a 25lb sandbag on the front of your shoulders. Press it overhead and lock out your elbows.
B) Climb up and down a flight of stairs until your lungs burn.


Overhand grip pull-ups

Works: back, biceps, abs, forearms
A) Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip that’s shoulder-width apart. Hang at arm’s length so your elbows are completely extended.
B) Bend your elbows to pull yourself up until your chin crosses the plane of the bar. Pause then slowly lower yourself to the starting position without allowing your body to sway.


Heavy medicine ball back toss to run

Works: glutes, hamstrings, quads, core, forearms
A) Grab a heavy medicine ball, hold it at chest height and squat down.
B) Stand up forcefully, launching it up and over your head as you throw it in an arch. Now chase after it and do it again. Be ready for your lungs to ache.


Tire rotation

Works: core, shoulders, legs, upper body, forearms
A) Grab an SUV tire and hold it with both hands.
B) Swing the tire from side to side with control while keeping your back straight and shoulders pulled back.


Squat jump to pull-up

Works: total body
A) Stand beneath a pull-up bar.
B) Squat down beneath the bar and launch yourself up to grab the bar and pull yourself up. This is an excellent way to build explosive power in the legs and back.


Overhead sand bag walking lunges

Works: shoulders, core, legs, upper body
A) Rest a 25lb sandbag on the front of your shoulders. Press it overhead and lock out your elbows.
B) Take a large step forward so your back leg’s knee touches the ground, so you perform a lunge. Keep doing this for 20 yards forward then 20 yards backwards.


Sled or tire pulls

Works: total body
A) Load the sled with weight and attach the pulling strap. You can pull with handles, use a harness, or attach the pulling strap to a weight belt.
B) Lean forwards and extend through your hips and knees to drag the sled forwards as you run.


Covert ball

Works: core, shoulders, chest, back
A) Grab the covert ball then rest one knee on the floor.
B) Swing the ball over head and chop the floor as if you’re chopping wood with an axe.



Old gym moves versus the new moves you should be doing in your over 40s workout

Old gym move: back squat

This strengthens the legs and lower back. Your cardio output can be high if high reps are done. However there is no rotational element in the movement and no locomotion, which you need everyday to be injury free.

Farm equivalent: Farmers walk
This strengthens your legs, shoulders, upper back, lower back, as well as hits the lungs and locomotion, which causes core rotation.

Old gym move: Low rows

This works the lats, arms and lower back. It’s great for putting on size in that area but does little for your lower body. Plus how often are you sitting down supported pulling something? Ah, never.

Farm strength: sled pulls

This works the legs completely, will crush your cardio and can be used to work the entire anterior of the body or posterior depending on how you configure the sled. And forget about grip strength if you are using a rope to pull it.


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