Where to Start. 

If you came to this article directly, that’s fine, but you should start at Workouts for Men Over 40 to get the basics.  If you already know all the basics, then just get started with Week 1 Exercises here.

If you’re a veteran or already know all the basics, then just get started with Week 1 Exercises here.

What Exercises Should I Do?

The following workout is designed to give you some noticeable results in one month and better results in 3 months.

The Catch:  You Gotta Do them & You Gotta Stick with it.


**Good Form – This is probably the most important rule.  You just gotta understand how important this is.  Your success in gaining muscle and not injuring yourself is tied to how good your form is.

**Do Not Rest more than a minute to a minute and a half between each repetition.

**Do Not Rest more than two minutes between each exercise.

**Ask For Help from a fellow gym goer if you need a spot or you want clarification about an exercise that you’re doing.  Everyone is happy to help you.

**Concentrate on the muscles that you are engaging. Think about the actual muscle you’re working and make sure what you’re doing is putting stress on that muscle or muscle group.

**Don’t Do Less than is required by your workout schedule. This will require mental dedication.



The Triangle Technique is a technique that has developed over the years as I’ve tried different techniques to try and get in better shape and also to get bigger and stronger.

This is based on years of real experience and what works for hard-to-gain guys, like me.

Easy-to-gain guys can do almost anything and gain muscle.  Those of us with more challenging body types have to use methods that break through the normal advice of gym trainers and muscle magazines.

Get the details here, but for now, the basics are as follows:

Progressively Lighter Weight

This is a technique that I have used that works for me and will most likely work for you.

It uses a different weight for every repetition and starts with a heavier weight and works down to a lighter weight.

For instance, if you were going to do a set of barbell arm curls, you might start with 40 lbs. for the first repetition.  Then for the second repetition, you’d take 5 lbs off and do the curl with 35 lbs.  Then for the third repetition, you’d take off another 5 lbs and do a rep with 30 lbs.

More Exercises, Fewer Repetitions

I believe that the more variety you give your muscles, the better they respond to growth.

Based on this principle, The Triangle Technique, you will have you do more exercises and only three of each exercise.

Most exercise programs will have you do four (4) or more repetitions for each exercise.  I find that the more variety your muscles get, the stronger and bigger they get.

All of your workouts will be using The Triangle Technique.


Take it slow the first week. We’re not gonna try to look like Arnold in a week or even a month.

The first week we’re going to do THREE Workouts – Five Exercises per Workout:

WEEK 1 –  Workout Day 1 – Upper Body

  • Exercise 1 – Back – Seated Cable Row
    Seated cable rows are a traditional upper back exercise.  Strengthening these muscles is important because a weakness can lead to unstable shoulders which can limit your strength and muscle gains. When you begin this movement, pull your shoulders down and back. Otherwise, you’ll keep your shoulders elevated, which stresses the shoulder joint.

  • Exercise 2 – Shoulders – Dumbbell Press
    The dumbbell shoulder press is better than the barbell version. Either one is essential for any shoulder workout.
    The dumbbell press allows the arms to flare out a little more to your sides, which targets the middle delts — and when it comes to width, mass and overall roundness, the middle delts are the most important muscle to give you a wide look.
  • Exercise 3 – Chest – Bench Press
    This is the one everyone loves to do.
    You can generate the most power with barbell lifts, so the standard barbell bench allows you to move the most weight.
    It’s also an easier lift to control than pressing with heavy dumbbells. The exercise is relatively easy to learn and is one of the staples of any good workout program. It’s also one of the fun exercises to do.

  • Exercise 4 – Arms – Biceps – Barbell Curl
    The barbell curl has been a bodybuilding staple for over a century now for good reason: it’s one of the best all-around biceps builders you can do.
  • Exercise 5 – Arms – Triceps – Pulldown
    This is the most common triceps exercise that people do and, surprisingly, it’s quite good.

WEEK 1 –  Workout Day 2 – Lower Body

  • Exercise 1 – Leg Press



  • Exercise 2 – Squats – 
    Squats are the single most important lift you can do. They incorporate your entire body and focus the work on your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
    I often use a Smith machine because I don’t have a workout partner who can spot me. A Smith machine is a good safe way to do squats.
    I find the best technique is not to go below your upper legs being parallel to the floor. Any lower than that, and you’re putting too much stress on your knees.  I even suggest half squats to start off.
  • Exercise 3 – Calf Raise Machine

Sit on the machine and place your toes on the lower portion of the platform provided with the heels off.
Place your lower thighs under the lever pad, which will need to be adjusted according to the height of your thighs.
Lift the lever slightly by pushing your heels up and release the safety bar.


  • Exercise 4 – Lunges –
    Lunges are a quintessential exercise. It’s important to do lunges properly so you don’t put unwanted strain on your joints. Here’s how the right way:

Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed  Always engage your core.
Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle.
Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor.
Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position.

  • WEEK 1 –  Workout Day 3 – Abs

    • Exercise 1 – Crunch
    • Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground, with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
    • Now place your hands lightly on either side of your head
    • While pushing the small of your back down into the floor begin to roll your shoulders off the floor.

  • Exercise 2 – Leg Raises
  • This move will tone your lower abs as well as strengthen your entire core.
  • Start laying on your back with your hands below your booty, legs raised a few inches above the ground. Keep your legs straight as you slowly raise them up as high as you can. Slowly reverse the move back to start.
  • Do as many as you can.  Shoot for 10 the first time and work up to 20.
  • Exercise 3 – Plank
  • Get into pushup position and bend your elbows to lower your forearms to the floor. Hold the position with abs tightened.
  • (This guy in the photo is doing the advanced version where you support yourself with your hands instead of your elbows.)

  • Start by doing 1 minute.  Then each week increase the amount you plank by 15 or 30 seconds.


    • Exercise 4 – Kips –
    • Lie flat on the floor on your back with your arms extended straight back behind your head and your legs extended also.
    • Bend at the waist while simultaneously raising your legs and arms to meet in a jackknife position.
    • Then, lower your arms and legs back to the starting position.




You’ve now done one week of a four (4) week program.

What I might suggest is that you do two (2) weeks of this program.  It won’t hurt, and it might be good to repeat the same week than learning an entirely new set of exercises for Week 2.

If you’re ready for Week 2, go to this link. – Workouts for Men Over 40 – Exercise Guide – Week 2 (link coming soon)

Published by "W" Tucker

I've been a fitness enthusiast for many years and want to encourage guys over 40 to get and stay in shape. It makes life better, and makes you look and feel better.

Join the Conversation


  1. Very nice article and the workout program here is outstanding! When I searched about “workouts for 40 year old men” I found this post and I got pumped to start doing this workout as soon as tomorrow.

    I leave in Washington and I have good gyms around me to try this four week program for sure.

    I was also in the military a few years back and after I got out, I gained a few pounds (investment on my belly) but now, I really want to go back and lose some weight again.

    Thanks for sharing, W/Tucker!

    1. Ricky, thanks for the nice comments and glad to hear you’re inspired to start a workout program again.

      As soon as you finish Week 1, Week 2 will be available. i’m trying to make sure I get the right mix of exercises.

      Any suggestions from your experience?

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