06/29/2009 - bob

Bodybuilding Over 40, or Is It?

Bodybuilding over 40…
I am sure glad I landed on Vince DelMonte’s info when I did. I recently did a few searches on “bodybuilding over 40” and browsed a couple of “supplements are awesome” sights. The only bodybuilders over 40 I could find in my quick check of any discussion of age and bodybuilding had been bodybuilding since their early 20s. Granted, I found a few impressive guys, over 70 even, who were big and ripped… but had been doing it for 40 years, obviously with gifted genetics.

I did feel a bit self-conscious when I used the term “bodybuilding” to describe my efforts. After all, I don’t own a speedo and I’m not going to shave my chest or my legs… but I am working hard on building muscle. I’m not just toning. I’m lifting. I’m not just doing a few sets of bench presses and squats to maintain my current muscle mass. I’m going through a routine, increasing weight and intensity, to grow.

I guess it was a bit of a sanity check that led me out into the big, bad world of relentless nonsense on bodybuilding. One blog post written by some pro bodybuilder talked about weights to use if you are over 40 and going to start training again… I could swear I read “for the bench, pick a light weight, about 225lbs, to re-introduce yourself to training.”

I can’t even imagine trying lifting my old maximum workout weights… especially doing supersets of compound exercises. But I started light, and built up some endurance, and strength, and am making great progress. It’s not about “benching 200” which was a high school taunt… (I can’t remember what my old max bench weight ever was, because I was doing inclines for the years I tried the Mentzer routine.) It’s not about the weight, or the reps, it’s about building muscle. If I can do it with a 10 pound dumbbell, doing the crazy shoulder superset at the end of my workout, that’s what it is.

If you’re thinking about getting back in shape yourself, go for it! Start with really light weights… maybe even “just the bar” so you can get your form down and ease into it so you don’t hurt yourself. There’d be not much worse than getting all psyched up to start building muscle again and have to stop because you hurt your shoulder, for example.

I’ve been healthy, not gaining much weight, no hypertension, etc, so it was a lot easier for me to get back in to a routine. Still, it took me four weeks to get to three times through DelMonte’s superset routine. So if you’ve not done any exercise lately, make sure your doctor clears you, and start fast walking or biking to get your heart used to beating hard. Then, I’d do the routine I started with, and go once through it. When you change your old training method from “waiting around until I recover as much as possible to do the next set of the same exercise” model to the superset model, your body will change quickly.

Tomorrow, if I don’t actually get the sore throat bug going through my family, I’ll start the second week of 4 by 10. Need some sleep too, so with that, I’m off for tonight.

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Bodybuilding over 40 / Get In Shape / Getting In Shape Bench Presses / Bodybuilder / Bodybuilders / Bodybuilding Over 40 / Building Muscle / Compound Exercises / Delmonte / Endurance / Getting Back In Shape / Increasing Weight / Light Weights / Maximum Workout / Muscle Mass / Pound Dumbbell / Squats / Superset / Supersets /


  • Dario says:

    Hi there, it’s Dario here
    nice to see that other “over 40” like me
    are trying to get in shape again.

    My story is not so far from the story you described here above ;O)

    Indeed…. I’ve been training hard as a natural BB from my 17 to my 30 having good results, then I stopped and changed life style and I did nothing for my muscles for 15 years. But the last Summer something happened.
    I took few pics while I was on the beach and one of them in particular shows how my body changed badly then I became up set with my self and decided to rebuilt my body even if I’m 46 then I changed my life style again!
    Now 5 months has passed, I’m training in my mini gym (it’s just a room with few dumbbells , a bench and few other things.
    Well…I’m really impressed about the “memory” muscles have
    and I’m also proud about the changes I’m doing to my body , how it reacts. The only supplement I get is a protein power in the middle of my 6 meals per day I get ;O)) and ZMA or other testo boosters we know will be the next step when I’ll see that my body needs another incentive, so…not right now.
    If you ‘re a BB over 40 (I’m 46) it would be nice to meet you on line just to exchange opinions about the way over 40 should train, what they should take care of, and so on ;O))
    I was looking for an over 40 forum on line or website when I came accross your blog here .
    Hope you don’t mind.
    bye bye

  • bob says:

    Hey Dario,
    I’m glad your bodybuilding over 40 effort is going well! I never took it all that seriously, just lifted to stay in shape, do well on various recreational sports teams, and look good for the women in my life. I suppose I also wanted to always be able to move my amplifiers and sound gear by myself, and that literally weighs about a ton altogether. Now I’m married with kids, and 49 is approaching way too fast for my comfort…
    Family life knocked me off my routine late last fall and I’m just re-starting my workouts. I got one workout in each of the last two weeks and one tonight. I’m hoping to be able to lift Weds and Friday too.
    You gave me a good idea for a post… so thanks!

  • Riz Khan says:

    I am Rizwan. I will be 46 this April. I never joined any Gym in my whole life but I am physically better then other same age guys. I have a naturally defined body, 5′ 9″ height, 32″ wst, 65 kg wt. Since few months, I am feeling that my body is getting weeker, & loosing weight. the muscles are also getting loose.
    Please give me some advice for gaining some weight & make my body better.

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