In my over 40 get ripped diet and Training article, I am analyzing whether it is possible to get ripped and shredded after crossing the 40 year age barrier.
The reason why most men and women stop training at the gym post 40 is because they consider weight training harmful.
Well, this is just another myth that needs to be debunked. Contrary to free weights and machine weights tearing your 40+ body apart, if used optimally, they can transform you into a lean and mean muscle mass monster.
So, the question still remains at large – is it really possible to build muscle post 40 years of age?
Well, in my opinion, you can certainly develop a shredded physique post 40, 50, 60 or even 70 years of age.
Wow – how is this even possible?
Well, for that you need to get your body basics right. Here is how you do it right!
Over 40 Get Ripped Diet and Training Article Contents:
1) What is the Role of Hormones in Over 40 Fitness for Men?
2) Male Hormones and their Role in Your Life
@ What is Androgen Decline in Men?
@ How to Identify Androgen Decline in Men?
@ Can You Reverse Testosterone Decline in Men?
>>> The Human Growth Hormone
3) What is the Role of Hormones in 40 Plus Fitness for Women?
>>> What are the Different Types of Estrogen Hormone in Women?
>>> What does Estrogen Hormone do for Women?
>>> What are the Side Effects of Irregular Estrogen Level in Women?
>>> How can Women Fortify their Estrogen Post the 40+ Age Group
4) What is the Role of Metabolism in Men Over 40 years of Age in Gaining Lean Muscle Mass?
>>> What is Basal Metabolic Rate & What is its Importance in Your Life?
>>> What all Factors Affect Your Metabolism?
>>> Why does Your Metabolism Slow Down when You Cross the 40 Year Age Barrier?
>>> How can a 40 Year Old Man Speed up His Metabolism?
5) What is the Best Over 40 Get Ripped Diet?
6) What is the Best Over 40 Exercise and Training Routine?
7) Over 40 Get Ripped Diet and Training FAQ
8) Can You Really Get Ripped at 40 – My Conclusive Analysis?
What is the Role of Hormones in Over 40 Fitness for Men?
When you reach the 40 year mark, you tend to start slowing down mentally. Physically, your body is working just fine. The moment you cross the 40 year old line, you start to feel ‘really old –as if you are in your sixties’.
Well, this is a mental state that has been created by the society and NOT your mind. You need to slip out of it ASAP. Only then shall you begin to realize the charm of being a 40+ man.
Nonetheless, your body does naturally tend to decline. It is a ‘hormonal thing’ that each and every male has to undergo. Nonetheless, the moment you have a grip over these hormones, you become a 20 something again (well – almost).
Male Hormones and their Role in Your Life
Hormones in males are vital for determining your current mental as well as physical state. So, if your hormones are under control, your mental and physical health is intact. Nonetheless, if your hormones are imbalanced, depression and an unhealthy body is inevitable.
Let me discuss the male hormones and their importance in your fitness goals:
This is the primary male hormone that determines your fitness goals. The current body fat percentage, sex drive as well as your energy levels is directly managed by the testosterone hormone.
Once you cross the 40 year age mark, decline in testosterone levels is natural. If you fail to address this issue, by the time you turn 50, you could experience a 20% decline in your natural testosterone levels.
This in turn implies that your body fat percentage would increase and lean muscle mass shall decrease. This condition is also termed as androgen decline in men.
What is Androgen Decline in Men?
When aging men start to witness decline in their natural testosterone levels, it can be termed as male menopause. This condition is also termed as hypogonadism. You may also term this condition as andropause.
While andropause starts to affect males that are 40 years and above, not everyone is affected by this condition. Nonetheless, most men are. This change in weight, sex drive and energy levels is also termed as midlife crisis in men.
How to Identify Androgen Decline in Men?
@ For a start, your sex drive shall slow down. You may find it rather tough to get turned on in bed.
@ Men may start to feel fatigued during the day without putting in any physical effort.
@ Joint pains are common. Muscle aches are also a tell-tale sign of andropause.
@ Males may experience loss of physical strength. They also get tired rather quickly.
@ Stress and depression is also a common symptom of low testosterone levels in men.
@ You can also be stricken with obesity.
@ Diabetes is also a symptom of lowering testosterone levels.
@ The density of bone mass also reduces significantly.
@ It also leads to lack of adequate sleep. Lowering testosterone levels can also lead to insomnia in some males.
Can You Reverse Testosterone Decline in Men?
While reversing the natural testosterone decline in men over 40 years of age is not possible, slowing it down is definitely on the cards. Instead of using supplements that increase testosterone levels, it is suggested that you make certain lifestyle changes.
Here is a list of the most common ones:
Sleep Like a Baby Again:
For those of you who are not aware, growth hormones are activated in their maximum capacity when you sleep soundly at night. Bodybuilders and athletes swear by this statement.
So, in order to restore your lost testosterone levels, ensure that you sleep for at least 8 hours at night. If you sleep anything less than that then, your testosterone levels shall dip dramatically.
For example, if you sleep 4 to 5 hours at night then, your testosterone levels can dip by as much as 20%. This is humongous seeing the fact that medically, the decline in testosterone level in males post the 40 year age mark is around 1%.
Be Happy Like a Baby:
Stress is a serious offender in your testosterone related goals. In order to be willing to regroup your receding testosterone levels, a 40 plus male needs to be free from stress.
Once you are stress free and happy, your hormones would automatically stabilize. This has been often proven via various medical researchers conducted globally.
Lift Weights and do Cardio:
When you have crossed the 40 year old age barrier, you tend to slow down physically. This in turn implies that you begin to lose interest in physical fitness. Once that happens, happy hormones in your body are turned into sad and angry ones (well…literally).
So, lifting weights at least thrice a week is highly recommended. Along with this, you need to also run a bit. This is with special regards to cardio. This helps stimulate your growth hormones.
The Sunlight Effect:
Undoubtedly the most effective way to beat aging and low testosterone is to increase your Vitamin D3 content. This can be done via the means of supplementations. Salmon, egg, cod liver oil and milk derived from traditional Indian cow are good sources of vitamin D3.
Alternately, you can bask under the sun for an hour daily. Most men over the age of 40 are deficient in Vitamin D3. So, make sure that your diet is giving you ample servings of the same.
Diet Rich in Vitamins & Minerals:
You need to consume a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals. Zinc, potassium, vitamins A, vitamins C and Vitamin B is important. When you cross the 40 year age barrier, you need to consume these vitamins and minerals via your diet.
Baked, beans, nuts, dry fruits, chickpea etc. are rich in zinc. Lemon, orange, sprouts, potatoes, broccoli are rich in vitamins. In case you fail to do so, make sure that you start to consume these in the form of an edible pill. Take the best possible pills derived from the healthiest ingredients.
Diet Rich in Healthy Fats & Proteins:
Testosterone levels are also determined by how healthy your food intake is. This is with special regards to the fats and protein content. With fats I (LeanAndFit review staff) am implying healthy fats. These include almonds, walnuts, flaxseed etc.
Some of the proteins that you need to consume include lean meats, eggs, cottage cheese etc. When a diet fortified with fats and proteins is included in your meals, your male hormones start to fall in place again.
The Human Growth Hormone
The second most important male hormone that gets imbalanced when men turn 40 years of age and more is the growth hormone. The pituitary gland is responsible for producing growth hormone in the human body.
Growth hormones in males tend to start reducing in their levels post the 40 year age mark. So, the older you grow, the lesser shall be your levels of human growth hormones.
What is the Role of Hormones in 40 Plus Fitness for Women?
The main hormone that adversely affects the overall life of a female is estrogen. This is also used for allowing women to give birth to children. Nonetheless, the fact of the matter remains that even testosterone hormone is present in women.
The conversion of testosterone in males is what brings about estrogen. This is also a primary hormone in females. In men, this hormone is secondary. The overall development of female body types such as the pubic hair as well as breasts is also handled by estrogen.
What are the Different Types of Estrogen in Women?
There are primarily three types of female hormones present in women. Let me walk you through all these in brief:
This is a sub-category of the estrogen hormone that tends to take shape during child birth. So, the time when this sub-hormone starts to kick in is when the mother is expecting a child.
Estrio basically prepares a mother to bear a child without experiencing any complications in the act.
The estrone hormone is basically one that tends to kick in after a woman is undergoing menopause. This is a condition wherein women post 40 years of age or later may start to experience hormonal depletion.
So, the mental as well as physical deprivation that is caused by menopause is well taken care of by this hormone. One of the major areas wherein estrone hormone helps is in helping women handle hot flashes.
This is the third and final sub-type of the estrogen hormone in women. This needs to be kept in check. Excess of estradiol can lead to lack of sex drive in women. Some women have also reported to suffer from acne.
Bone deterioration is also a common side effect caused by estradiol hormone. In certain cases, uterine cancer can also be caused by estradio hormone malfunction in women. Obesity as well as weak heart muscles is also a part and parcel of this hormone.
What does Estrogen Hormone do for Women?
>>> The primary function of the estrogen hormone is to fire up the egg follicle in women. This in turn allows women to give birth to children very quickly. Basically, estrogen helps the ovaries develop in their optimal capacity.
>>> The development of muscle tissue present in the breast of women is also a handiwork of estrogen hormone. This hormone also helps in the normal flow of milk from the breast. This helps during the breastfeeding process.
>>> In order to maintain optimal functionality of the vaginal walls, you need estrogen. The necessary lubrication in the vaginal area is also taken care of by this hormone.
>>> The membranes that protect the uterus are also fortified by this female hormone.
What are the Side Effects of Irregular Estrogen Level in Women?
>>> The primary side effect of estrogen is lack of normal flow during the menstrual cycle. The bleeding may be high or low. It is not controlled.
>>> Women may suffer from hot flashes. Even excessive sweating at night may be experienced by some.
>>> Your skin may start to become excessively dry. In fact, you may begin to witness fatty deposits in and around your waistline, hips and thigh area.
>>> Experiencing negative thoughts and the inability to maintain positive mind-set is normal.
>>> Insomnia is also normal. Irregular moods may also affect your ability to rest at night.
>>> Malfunctioning estrogen hormone can also cause lumps in the breast of women. Even the uterus may develop issues.
How can Women Fortify their Estrogen Post the 40+ Age Group
While there are several kinds of estrogen supplements available in the market, the ones that actually work are in the form of a healthy diet.
>>> Try and consume vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and bok choy.
>>> Wine and fruits are also a great source of natural estrogen in women.
>>> Try and include flaxseed and pumpkin seed into your diet. Whole grains (such as wheat and sorghum) should be included in your diet.
>>> Strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, cranberry and elderberry are also a good source of estrogen.
>>> Soy and its by-products are also considered to be a good source for re-developing this hormone.
What is the Role of Metabolism in Men over 40 years of Age in Gaining Lean Muscle Mass?
Your metabolism is of vital importance when it comes to maintaining a lean and fit body post the 40 year age barrier. The current muscle mass in your body determines your metabolism. So, if you have a higher muscle mass, you shall burn body fat faster and vice versa.
What is Basal Metabolic Rate & What is its Importance in Your Life?
This can be defined as the total number of calories your body needs to maintain itself. So, ‘A’ might burn 100 calories for completing a task while another may require only 20 to complete the same task.
The one that burns more calories tends to have lean muscle mass (this is obvious). I am sure you (40 + male and female) want to be in that category. Activities such as sleeping, walking, eating & running require calorie burning.
An ideal basal metabolic rate is around 1800. You need to therefore consume 1800 calories per day to fulfil your day to day activities. The minimal level of energy that your body needs to allow its organs (such as heart, kidney, lungs etc.) to function optimally is termed as BMR.
In men, the average and normal Basal Metabolic Rate is 1650. In women, the average Basal metabolic Rate should be 1350. If you have these numbers then, everything is working normally (and you do not have to worry).
What all Factors Affect Your Metabolism?
When the chemical reactions in your body are not working as per their natural self, your metabolism is getting jeopardized.
Here are some of the most common reasons why this is happening:
@ The first factor that determines your BMR is the total number of calories that your body needs to maintain a restful sleep at night. The rest period is often referred to as the basic (sleep hours) a human body needs to survive.
@ Another factor that determines your metabolism is the calories it requires to conduct every day chores. These may include (but may not be limited to) walking to the grocery store, cleaning your work desk, getting dressed for office etc.
@ When you eat food, your digestion process kick-starts. This is a complicated process indeed. It literally devours calories (yet another factor in determining your calorie burning process).
@ The last and final factor that is directly linked with your current metabolic rate is your level of physical exercise. Simply put, the total number of calories burnt while you exercise.
Why does Your Metabolism Slow Down when You Cross the 40 Year Age Barrier?
You Stopped Working Out
Most men and women reduce their workouts when they enter their forties. This could be owing to work pressure (related to official chores) or other reasons.
Regardless of the reason, the reduction of physical exercise tends to reduce your calorie burning process. When that happens, your metabolism starts to slow down.
The Age Related Muscle Loss
As you grow older, your muscle mass starts to decline. Men over 40 years of age tend to lose as much as 8% lean muscle mass. This is a natural phenomenon for most.
Loss of muscle mass tends to affect your calorie burning process. When you are burning fewer calories then, your metabolism is definitely slowing down.
The Injury Related Slow Down
Injuries are common in men and women that have crossed into their dreaded forties. As your reflexes have slowed down and your body balance compromised, getting injured is not difficult in your age.
If you do (unfortunately) get injured, it is highly likely that you shall stop exercising. Your thermogenesis linked to non-exercise activities shall also be dramatically reduced.
This is when your calorie burning process is vastly compromised. The end result for the same is a ‘slowing’ metabolism.
The Mental Burnout
In your twenties, you seem to take on the world. In your forties, the word seems to be coming down on you. Well, this is a reversal process that is common to most men and women (as they start to age). I term it mental burnout.
When you are stressed and mentally burnt-out then, you cannot perform your exercises like before. This is when your calorie burning process shall be dramatically reduced. Hence, your metabolism shall also slow down.
How can a 40 Year Old Man Speed up His Metabolism?
There is no way you can maintain the same metabolism. I am referring to when you were in your teens and when you have crossed into the 40 plus barrier.
Nonetheless, there are a few ways by which you can slow down its deterioration. Let me walk you through a few of these:
Perform Compound Exercises:
There are three main compound movements that tend to speed up your testosterone production. These include bench press, deadlift and squats.
When you perform these exercises, you can easily hope to increase muscle mass. An increased muscle mass is directly proportional to increased calorie burning. This in turn shall help in improving your metabolism.
Avoid Junk and Include Lean Proteins:
It is highly likely that men and women that have moved into the forty plus brigade start to enjoy comfort foods. This is a natural phenomenon as life is not the same when you were in your teens.
Nonetheless, junk food slows down your natural calorie burning process. This promotes fat deposits at all the wrong places. On the contrary, consuming proteins such as eggs, fish and even lentil shall promote calorie burning.
So, you end up firing up your deteriorating metabolism.
While this may sound weird but when you begin to sprint (short distances) you begin to burn calories at warp speed. 50 to 100 meter sprints can fire up your lungs. This is a great cardiovascular activity to speed up your metabolism.
When your breathing is hastened, you burn calories faster. It is advisable that you include short sprint sessions to your workout at least 2 times a week. So running for weight loss is highly recommended.
Drink Warm Water:
Yet another method to improve your slowing metabolism is by avoiding cold water. Instead, start drinking warm water. The heat of the warm water shall metabolize fat stored in your cells.
This way, you end up burning body fat at a much faster pace. So, even in summer months, try and drink warm water. Also, drink the water one sip at a time to avail its maximum benefits.
Regulate Your Meal & Sleep Timings:
In order to ensure that you wriggle out of a sluggish metabolism, try and maintain optimal meal timings. Simply put, be consistent in your breakfast, lunch and dinner timings.
For example, if you eat dinner at 8:00 PM, make sure you stick with it (avoid eating dinner at 11:45 PM). You should also try and sleep on time. Any delay in sleep timings shall also jeopardize your effort to speed-up a slow metabolism.
Stress is a major reason why you tend to suffer from a metabolism meltdown. Anxiety and negative emotions need to be take care of. When you learn to keep these under control, you can easily hope to hasten your calorie burning process.
So, maintaining optimal mental health is vital to enjoy a faster metabolism. Maintain positive company and ensure that you avoid negative motions from bothering you. Pick up a hobby (such as book reading) to keep yourself positively occupied.
What is the Best Over 40 Get Ripped Diet?
There is no so called ‘best diet’ for getting lean and fit when you have crossed the 40 year age barrier. Nonetheless, there are a few ways that you can incorporate (in your daily routine) to get a ripped physique.
Well, let me walk you through these nutrition tips in brief:
Avoid the Junk Food Trail:
Junk food often catches up with you when you reach your middle age. This is when the craving for comfort foods far surpasses your desire to consume foods that are healthy yet ‘not so tasty’. You need to avoid this urge at all costs.
Junk food such as pasta, pizza, fries, puddings and even processed sugar can cause your stomach to squirm. Your digestion slows down and your body’s natural ability to burn calories slows down. So, you tend to gain body fat instead of losing it.
Increase Your Protein Intake:
You need to increase your protein intake. This is vital to ensure that your bones and muscle tissue is growing rapidly. So, eggs, lean meats and weigh protein are a healthy choice.
When you age, your body starts to break down muscle tissue faster than when it did when you were younger. You would need to stop this breakdown if you want to look shredded at 40.
If you are a vegan then, increase the intake of whole grains, lentil, beans and green peas. You can also consume cottage cheese made from low fat milk.
Avoid Excessive use of Oils
Whenever you are cooking food, you need to ensure that you avoid soaking it in oil. Frying food is a habit that often tends to compliment your tongue (as it churns out tastier foods). Nonetheless, oils and greasy foods add pounds to your already precarious waistline.
So, begin by opting for baked foods. Even grilled foods use less oil. So, when you adopt healthy cooking habits to your diet, your waistline automatically shrinks.
Include Fibers to Your Diet:
Green leafy vegetables, fruits and legumes offer fibers to your diet. This in turn helps improve your ability to digest food easily. When you can digest your food easily, you tend to flush out plaque from your colon. The end result is healthy weight loss.
Watch Your Vitamin & Mineral Intake:
Vitamins and minerals are very important for men and women that have crossed the 40 year old age barrier. Vitamin D, A, B and E are vital for your age group.
Minerals such as zinc, phosphorous and magnesium too are ideal for healthy weight loss. So, you need to include these to your menu. Legumes, nuts, dried fruits and fresh fruit juice should therefore become a part and parcel of your diet.
Avoid Cold and Include Warm Foods/Beverages:
In order to avail a healthy physique, you need to avoid cold drinks. Ice water should also be avoided. Instead, opt for warm water. Food too should be consumed warm. Cold and frozen foods (such as ice creams or puddings) need to be avoided.
Allow Your Body to Fast
To be able to allow your body to maintain muscle mass and burn body fat, you need to maintain a 12 to 14 hour gap between the last and first meal of the day.
So, for example, if you had dinner at 8:00 PM then, the next meal should be around 10:00 AM the next day. Doing so shall ensure that you burn more calories.
Intermittent fasting also ensures that your growth hormones also get activated. This in turn helps activate muscle growth. More muscle means lesser body fat.
Healthy Fats are Highly Recommended:
Never ignore the importance of almonds, flaxseed and fish oils. They not only boost your metabolism but they help your joints and connective tissues to function optimally.
So, men and women aged forty years and above need to increase their healthy fat intake. Doing so shall give you the ripped body that you are aching to achieve.
What is the Best Over 40 Exercise and Training Routine?
This is a rather tough question to answer. After all, you need to understand that a 40 year old body is very different from a 20 year old. Hormonal changes, increased stress levels and responsibilities have slammed your body and mind.
So, you cannot hope to achieve the same performance levels.
Nonetheless, you can definitely hope to maintain a fat free and ripped physique. All you need to do is find the right balance between exercise and diet. I have discussed a few diet tips in the earlier sub-header.
Let me now walk you through a few exercise tips for men and women over 40 for achieving a ripped and fat free physique:
Opt for Compound Movements Over Isolated Ones:
First and foremost, you need to lay emphasis on exercises that encourage testosterone production. Basically, you need to activate your growth hormones. For this very reason, you need to focus on compounds lifts. These include deadlift, squat and bench press.
Hit the Gym Three Times a Week:
You need to make use of the gym thrice every week. In order to reap the desired benefits from your workout sessions, you need to be regular in your workouts.
The workout duration should not exceed one hour. This is inclusive of the warm-up exercises that usually accompany gym workouts. Anything more and your body shall be in a catabolic state. What we do not want is muscle break down.
Perform High Intensity Workouts Once Every Week:
In order to hasten your fat burning process, you need to indulge in cardiovascular exercises as well. Rather than doing it every other day, you need to perform it just once every week.
This is owing to the age factor that needs to be taken into consideration. The exercise should last 30 minutes. It should be of high intensity. Opt for interval training. An example is several short sprint sessions spanning 25 meter runs per session.
Combine Pull-Ups with Abs Crunches:
You should also perform pull-ups twice every week. To make things better, combine abs crunches with this exercise. Along with crunches, include leg raise as well.
Doing so shall further enhance your ability to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Even your upper back shall become tapered. This shall enable you to develop an envious ‘V’ shaped body.
Over here, each set of pull ups should be in between 5 to 10 repetitions. Abs crunches should be in between 20 to 40 repetitions. Leg raises should be in between 5 to 10 repetitions. Perform at least 3 sets of each exercise to get the maximum benefits.
Include Stretching Post Each Workout Session:
A vital aspect of getting ripped post the forty year age-mark is stretching. Complete body stretch not only makes your joints and muscles supple, it also helps maintain optimal blood circulation.
So, pre-workout stretch should include ‘jumping jacks’ and ‘running on the spot’ exercises. Post the exercise, you should focus on complete body stretch. These include but are not limited to toe touching, back stretch, hip/shoulder rotation, neck rotation etc.
Over 40 Get Ripped Diet and Training FAQ
Q-1: I am a 44 Year old Male. Can I Lose Weight and Gain Lean Muscle Mass?
A-1: Yes, you certainly can achieve this goal. All you need to do is follow a high protein and low carb diet. Exercise thrice a week laying emphasis on compound lifts. Drink lots of fluids and your weight loss goals to remain shredded shall be achieved sooner than expected.
Q-2: Is it Difficult to Get Ripped Post 40?
A-2: Yes, it is far tougher to get in shape when you have crossed the forty year age mark. This statement is true when compared to a 20 something physique. Nonetheless, with the right training and diet, you can get there fast.
Basically, you need to consume high amounts of protein with each meal. The calories derived from carbs needs to be less. Healthy fats such as almonds need to be increased. Lastly, you need to hit the gym thrice every week.
Q-3: I am a 48 Year Old Woman. I have started to Gain Fat in my abdominal area. I had an Hourglass Figure just 5 Years Ago. Can I Get that Back?
A-3: Yes, you can definitely get your hourglass figure back. Nonetheless for that you need to get your hormones in place. In simpler words, your estrogen, testosterone and growth hormones need to be at optimal levels.
You also need to minimize your insulin spike. So, work out for half an hour daily. Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Steer clear of fast food. Rest 8 hours daily at night. Remain free from unnecessary stress.
Q-4: I am 47 Years Old and I am 14 Pounds Overweight. How Soon would it take for me to get Ripped?
A-4: There is no specific time limit for getting back in shape. It all depends on your diet and exercise routine. If you eat clean and avoid fast food, you can easily hope to lose weight. Moreover, include high intensity cardio exercises in your routine.
Q-5: Can a 40 Plus Male or Female Risk Injury while Exercising to Remain Fit?
A-5: Yes, as compared to a teenager, the risk of injuring yourself is high when you have crossed into the 40 + age category. Nonetheless, with proper precautions, you can avoid injuries.
Warming up before each exercise session and then cooling off post the exercise, is an ideal way to avoid injuring yourself. You must also maintain optimal form while lifting weights. Avoid ego lifting.
Can You Really Get Ripped at 40 – My Conclusive Analysis?
Yes, you can really get fit at forty and even later. All you need to do is ensure that you alter your current diet and exercise pattern. When you eat healthy and on time then, your body automatically changes for the better.
This is when you begin to lose body fat and gain lean muscle mass. The path to fitness is not as tough as most forty plus individuals consider it to be. Dedication and perseverance is the key to achieving an hourglass figure/physique.
The only catch here is that you need to avoid comparisons of any sort. Never compare your physique with that of a competitive fitness athlete of the same age group. When you do so, you are being unfair with yourself.
With that being said, if you follow the above mentioned steps, your fitness goals can be easily realized (regardless of your current age).