Bodybuilding Fitness

Build Muscle After 40: 3 Best Ways for Men

How to build muscle after 40?

LAST UPDATED: December 7th, 2023

Although I work mostly with younger guys crazy for big muscles, I also have clients that work out in their 40s and 50s.

The most common questions I get from them are:

How to build muscle after 40?

Can I have the body I used to have?

Can I gain muscles at my age?

And my answer is always the same.


Of course, it’s possible, but you need a different approach.

Build Muscle After 40: What are the Best Ways?

You need the right combination of workouts, diet, and rest to achieve your goal even if you are over 40.

So, you can gain muscles after 40 but you need a totally different approach from the past. (1)

In addition, I am going to explain the workout, cardio, and diet – all you need to get the muscular body you want.

Also, you’ll see why you should take the best natural testosterone booster Testo Prime to bulk and increase strength after 40.

1. Workouts after 40

Best legal Dianabol alternatives for muscle mass

The best way to build muscle after 40 is by exercising.

You should work out different muscle groups at the gym.

But, as we get older, our bodies are more prone to injuries.

That’s why you need to change some things regarding your workout.

Always warm up for at least 15 minutes with some cardio before you start weightlifting.

You will raise your body’s temperature and you will have good blood flow for the upcoming exercises.

Warming up and stretching are now more important than ever.

Let’s go further.

How Many Sets And Reps to Build Muscle After 40?

Your reps should be moderate to high: 8-12 reps for your upper body and 12-20 for your lower body.

In this phase, you use weights that are 60-70% of the maximum rep (1RM – repetition maximum).

What is 1RM?

That’s the biggest weight you can lift only once while doing a certain exercise.

So, if you are doing a squat with 200 pounds and you manage to do only 1 rep that’s 1RM.

And 60% of 1RM, in this case, is 120, or 140 pounds for 70 %.

Why shouldn’t you lift the maximum weight?

A lower intensity training rather than strength training with more reps leads to hypertrophy (increasing muscle fiber volume).

Also, heavyweights cause big stress on your joints and ligaments.

So, you should use moderate weights for your reps to avoid that.

That’s how you will stimulate your muscles to grow.

How to exercise?

Combine bodyweight exercises and gym machines.

Also, don’t forget to lift weights to increa yourse strength.

When you are younger you can do more bodyweight exercises.

But, as you age your stabilizer muscles become weaker and that can lead to serious ligaments and tendons injuries.

You can lower the risk of getting injured by using machines.

You need to perform the exercises properly.

Your body can’t recover as fast as before.

And if you don’t do the exercises right, you can get injured more easily.

What else changed after 40?

Rest days and rules.

You need more time to recover.

Rest and recovery are key: you need to spend fewer days at the gym.

Those are some of the basic rules you need to follow for muscle growth.

Here’s a workout program for beginners over 40.

This is a one-week training program for the entire body (weight training and rest).

You should work out 4 times a week.

Build Muscle After 40: 7-day Workout Program:

1st day:

  • Squats (use Smit machine): 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Lying Leg Curl: 2 sets, 10 reps
  • Standing Calf Raise: 2 sets, 10 reps
  • Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Lat Pulldown: 3 sets, 10  reps
  • Overhead press: 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Triceps Pushdown: 2 sets, 12 reps
  • Barbell Curl: 2 sets, 12 reps

2nd day: Rest

3rd day:

  • Leg Press: 5 sets 18 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise: 2 sets, 12 reps
  • Incline Bench Press: 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Seated Cable Row: 3 sets, 8 – 12 reps
  • Dumbbell Side Laterals: 3 sets, 8 – 12 reps
  • Triceps Dip: 2 sets, 8 – 12 reps

4th day: rest

5th day:

  • Barbell Squat: 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Seated Leg Curl: 2 sets, 10 reps
  • Standing Calf Raise: 2 sets, 12 reps
  • Bench Press: 3 sets, 10 reps
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Lying Triceps Extensions: 2 sets, 10 reps

6th: rest

7th: cardio

Cardio workouts after 40

Cardio exercises

There are several reasons why a cardio workout is very important if you are over 40.

First, your metabolism slows down.

If you try cardio from time to time you will increase your metabolism to burn those fat layers.

Second, and very important – cardio is essential if you want to have a healthy heart.

But you should do low-intensity cardio like walking and jogging.

20-30 minutes of jogging is enough.

Once or twice per week on a treadmill will be good for you.

You can do cardio on your rest day.

Find out how to exercise if you are over 50 here.

2. Gaining Muscle Mass After 40: Nutrition Tips

Best muscle building foods

As I said, when you are over 40 your metabolism slows down so you need to change some dietary habits.

You can’t have the same dietary habits as when you were 18.

Actually, you can, but you will gain pounds and fat layers really quickly.

So, you should avoid high-carb foods, junk foods, alcohol (especially beer), etc.

Also, after 30 your testosterone levels drop so you need to increase them.

You should eat foods that boost testosterone like:

  • Egg yolks
  • Lean beef
  • Nuts
  • Salmon
  • Green vegetables
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Pumpkin seeds

You can read more about the best testosterone-boosting foods here.

Furthermore, you should eat foods that release your Human Growth Hormone (important for lean muscles) like:

  • Foods high in Arginine – milk, beef, chicken, seafood, legumes, peanuts
  • Broad bean
  • Foods that boost Serotonin – pineapple, banana, berries
  • Coconut water
  • Foods high in GABA – soy, seeds
  • Foods high in HOLIN – broccoli, wheat, Brussels sprout, peanuts, yolks.

You can read more about foods that boost HGH here.

Eat foods high in good carbs before a workout (to boost your energy) like:

  • Brown rice
  • Oat flakes
  • Wholewheat pasta
  • Sweet potato
  • Orange juice

And eat foods high in proteins and fats after a workout:

  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Beef, poultry
  • Tuna, salmon

You can read more about nutrition before and after a workout here.

3. Supplementation

Best pre-workout supplements

And last, but not least – proper supplementation.

Supplements are definitely very good allies in your bodybuilding and fitness journey.

Especially when you want to build muscle after 40.

Here’s the kicker:

I don’t like steroids so I’m not talking about steroids.

There are some effective supplements made of natural ingredients that can help you build muscles after 40.

You will need a testosterone booster to build muscles in your 40s and 50s.

The most effective supplement for building muscle over 40 (I am not using steroids), in my opinion, is Testo Prime.

I am using this supplement when I need more testosterone and more strength.

Testo Prime dosage

Testo Prime is made only of natural ingredients (you can check the label to see a complete list).

It’s made of 12 clinically-tested ingredients:

  • Ashwagandha extract – clinically tested ingredient, that boosts testosterone, energy, focus, and endurance. Also improves sleep quality, reduces stress, and boosts metabolism.
  • Panax Ginseng – a plant extract that increases your libido and carries oxygen to your muscles, so improves endurance and reduces fatigue
  • Fenugreek– a plant extract that blocks estrogen production, boosts libido and increases your strength
  • D-aspartic acid – an amino acid that boosts testosterone production by 50%
  • Green tea – helps maintain testosterone levels, speeds up the metabolism
  • Pomegranate extract – improves sexual performance and increases penis blood flow, reduces fatigue
  • Vitamin D – also increases the levels of testosterone and your libido. Improves your immune system.
  • Zinc – is vitally important for the excretion of testosterone. Best testosterone-boosting mineral.
  • B5 vitamin– converts fat layers into energy.
  • B6 vitamin – by stimulating the androgen receptors in your body, vitamin B6 signals the testicles to produce more testosterone.
  • Garlic extract – boosts T levels, overall health, and metabolism. Don’t worry, your breath isn’t going to be bad.
  • Black pepper (piperine) – helps all the above-mentioned ingredients to be absorbed well.

It will boost your testosterone, reduce tiredness, fat layers, and man boobs and increase muscle mass.

Also, it will help you get a lean body.

I am using Testo Prime in both phases, bulking and cutting.

But, you need to use it regularly, for at least 3 months in one cycle.

You can read more about Testo Prime and check the price here.

Build Muscle After 40 – Bottom Line:

The best way to build muscle after 40 is to work out.

Follow the above-mentioned muscle-building workout program, including cardio workouts and you will start gaining muscle mass.

You should avoid high-carb foods, junk foods, alcohol (especially beer), etc.

Also, after 30 your testosterone levels drop so you need to increase them.

An effective natural supplement that will help you boost testosterone and gain muscles after 40 is Testo Prime.


  • Sam

    I love the advice since I used to gym and started again in my forties.
    How can I recover quicker?

    • Cliff Thomas

      First, don’t forget to have a rest day. Also, eat some of the best recovery foods like eggs, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables. Sleep well. Always stretch before and after a workout.


    First time coming across your blog, very sound advice for those above 40 and I’m above 55 so I think i can do the above based on your inputs. Thanks

  • Sanjeev Ram Vaidya

    Thank you for the suggestion. I am 45 and hardcore workout person. I train 6 days a week resulting in frequent shoulder injury, back pain, and fatigue through proper food and rest. this article is much an eye-opening for me. I am going to give a shot to the advised routine. I am from Nepal, a Himalayan country.

    • Cliff Thomas

      Hi Sanjeev! Yes, working out 6 days per week is a little bit too much. Don’t forget that rest is equally important as an effective workout.

  • Indika

    Hi cliff, how those suppliment get from Dubai?
    I’m 46, hardciore in gym I haven’t use any of those. Just using only pre workout supplements only. Yes eye open for me too.. Following different programs.. Pls help me.

    • Cliff Thomas

      Hi. You can order supplements online. Shipping is free. Since you are 46, I suggest you take the best natural testosterone booster that will help you increase your muscles, strength and libido. For me the best is Testo Prime. You can read more here.

  • Phil Ede

    Cliff you info on how to build muscle after 40 is spot on I am 62 and most guys at 30 wish they looked like me . Most do not have as much muscle or strength that I have
    I have always followed a diet and exercise program very similar to yours but have never used a supplement in 30 years
    At 62 it takes more discipline and consistency to stay in shape to maintain what you have

    • Cliff Thomas

      Glad to hear that Phil! Of course, some guys have ‘better’ genetic, but if someone wants to use supplements, I suggest using supplement made of natural ingredients.

  • Dritan

    Great article it really helped me to start all over again, I am in my 50s

    • Cliff Thomas

      Keep going Dritan!

  • LBJ

    Hi Cliff, I am 46, I am overweight and also I have problem with my libido. Can you suggest me supplement that will boost testosterone and help me with my disappointing ED 🙁

    • Cliff Thomas

      First of all, don’t be disappointed. There is a solution for every problem. First you need to exercise, in order to reduce fat and increase testosterone. Also, I suggest you take Performer 8 supplement. It is a natural supplement, and it will improve your blood flow, you will have more energy for workouts, and of course, you will prevent ED. You can check Performer 8 here.

  • Dritt

    And what is the best testosterone supplement, in your opinion?

    • Cliff Thomas

      Testo Prime has the best formula, if you are looking for a natural supplement. You can check it here.


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