Get fit at 40: burn fat and add muscle to lose your dad bod and build a leaner, younger and fitter body!
It’s never to late to ditch your dad bod and get fit at 40 to build a stronger, fitter and leaner physique. But to do so quickly you need to listen to New Body Plan creator Jon Lipsey and follow his 6 dad-bod-ditching tips!
I created the New Body Plan fat-burning and muscle-building training and nutrition programme with one objective in mind. To help prove to all men, especially those in their forties or older, that age really is just a number. I wanted to give them – to give you – the tools and tips you need to roll back the years and get into the shape of your life. After all, I did it and became a Men’s Fitness cover model. And I now want you to look, feel and perform better than ever too.
There’s no doubt that burning fat and building muscle when you’re over 40 is a challenge. But it’s not an insurmountable one. We’ll get to why soon. Firstly, the chances are you now have more work, family and financial commitments. That makes finding time to look after yourself more difficult.
And then there’s the fact your body is less “primed” that it was to burn fat and add muscle. That’s because of lower levels of the primary male sex hormone testosterone. Your testosterone levels peak around the age of 20, then gradually decline. There’s extra drop-offs along the way caused by various factors, including falling in love and fatherhood.
Lose your “dad bod” and be fit at 40!
These reasons are why so many men hit their forties the not-so-proud owner of a “Dad Bod”. It’s a classic male body shape with not much upper-body muscle and a large belly, instead of the v-shaped, athletic physique they had in their twenties.
But, as I’ve hinted, it’s entirely possible for you to turn back the clock and build a stronger, leaner and more muscular body. And I’m going to tell you exactly what you need to do. The good news is that it won’t require you to turn your life upside down, nor spend every waking moment in the gym. And you want have to live entirely off chicken breasts and broccoli (eating for weight loss is actually far easier than you think).
In fact, all you need to do is start training a little smarter. Here are my top 6 training tips which, if you put into practice, will allow you to transform your physique as fast as you want. So, what are you waiting for?
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1. Lose fat faster at 40 with the right warm up
We all want to have the best workout session we can. But it’s tempting, especially when you’re short of time, to jump straight into a session without a warm-up. You can get away with this when you’re younger. But the older you are the more important it is to “grease the groove” ahead of a weights workout. This will maximise the impact of your session whilst minimising your risk of injury.
A good warm-up prepares your central nervous system and muscles for the workout ahead. That allows you to perform better, which will lead to faster, more impressive results. It also gives you a moment to prepare mentally and really think about what you want to get out of the session.
What it means for you: Mobility drills, as featured in all New Body Plan warm-ups, as well as more dynamic movements will fully prepare your brain and body to fire on all cylinders. That means you can push yourself harder to burn more fat and build more muscle to make rapid changes to how you look.
2. Lose your dad bod by lifting light weights for longer
It seems like those twenty-somethings in your gym, with their sky-high testosterone levels, only have to look at a dumbbell to build muscle. But you’ve an advantage over them. You’re not wrestling with the insecurity of youth. Nor do you have an ego obsessed with impressing the rest of the gym or strangers on Instagram! And because they’re never 100% focused on their training they can’t put in the same effort and commitment as you can.
What’s more, these boys always try to lift weights that are far too heavy for them. So their sets are too short with awful form and movement patterns. It means that most of their workouts are a complete waste of time and effort.
What it means for you: Don’t obsess over the weight you’re lifting. Instead focus on quality reps that move through a complete range of motion. Lifting lighter weights for longer sets (8 to 12 reps) will place more tension on your working muscles. And that’s what will make them grow bigger and stronger.
3. Add more muscle by slowing down your reps
When I talk of tension, I mean the duration of time you expose a muscle to a workload. The longer your muscles are under tension in a workout, the greater the load on those muscle fibres. And so the greater your subsequent muscle growth response.
If a weight is too heavy the muscles alone can’t move it. That’s why you see so many guys – again, mainly the young arrogant ones – swinging weights around so momentum is doing all of the work. It’s why they never change their bodies for the better. The smart way to maximise tension on a muscle is to slow your reps down. That will also build a better mind-to-muscle connection by really focusing on your muscles as they move and manage the weight through each stage of every rep.
What it means for you: The mind-to-muscle connection is one of the biggest factors behind muscle growth. Actually looking at the muscle, either directly or in a mirror, is a great way to focus your mind on connecting to the muscle. And that will make it work as hard as possible. And always squeeze the working muscle at the top of the rep and fully stretch it at the bottom to maximise tension.
4. Get fit at 40 and lose your dad body with the best exercises
Another big problem for younger lifters is their over-reliance on always doing the same exercises in the same order. Week after week. It’s why so many of these clueless youngsters shamelessly wear stringer vests that are stretched tight over a broad chest yet hang loose over their upper backs. And why they wear tracksuit bottoms that fail to hide their reluctance to ever train legs.
They favour the muscles they see in the mirror because they like seeing their chest, shoulders and arms get a pump on. That’s makes for a great social media post. For them, back and leg day can wait. But it comes at a cost of an unbalanced physique and injury-prone body that takes years of work to rectify.
What it means for you: Building a stronger and leaner physique to be fit at 40 and ditch the dad bod requires you to dedicate equal training time to all your major muscle groups. That’s why all the New Body Plan body-transformation programmes focus on training different muscles groups each session. This will maximise your results and guarantee balanced gains for a stronger, more resilient body.
5. Lose your dad body fast with high-intensity (HIIT) cardio
It’s a myth that hours of long and arduous running is the best way to burn body fat. And as you get older and want results faster, you need to prioritise training quality over training quantity.
That applies especially to cardio, because too much steady-state activity – such as jogging – not only fails to burn as much fat as other forms of exercise, such as lifting weights and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) – but will increase your risk of painful and rehabilitating joint and connective tissues problems. And if there’s one thing that makes building a stronger and leaner body impossible it’s time out from exercise because of injury.
What it means for you: To lose fat as fast as possible the most effective strategy is to lift weights and include some high-intensity interval-style training drills at the end of each weights workout. HIIT complements weight training because your effort is concentrated into small but all-out efforts. Research has demonstrated these are the best ways to burn fat and transform your physique, without the risk of wear-and-tear injuries. But make sure you avoid the most common cardio mistakes!
6. Get fit in your forties the quick and easy way
Want to make changes to your body that will render your friends, family and colleagues speechless? You need to approach every training session with the attitude that it’s going to be the best workout you’ve ever done. And if you follow my previous five tips then you’ll stack the odds in your favour of ditching that dad bod and achieving the lean, strong and fit body you want.
So, during your warm-up shut out all negative thoughts about problems at work or anything else that’s playing on your mind. The next hour is your time. It’s your chance to take a massive stride towards building the body you’ve always wanted.
What it means for you: You can have the best fat-loss training plan in the world on paper, but execution is everything when it comes to putting it into practice to transform your physique. If music motivates you then make a training playlist of tunes to get you in the mood. Then, in the gym, turn up the volume and make every lift count!
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