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Today more than ever we have many people who are over 40 years old practicing bodybuilding. While bodybuilding can be practiced safely at any age, there are some training modifications that over 40 year old bodybuilders should be aware of. Such is the topic of this week's Bodybuilding FAQ - How Should Bodybuilders That Are Over 40 Train?


February 6, 2009 at 10:45 pm
(1) T.B. says:

Excellent Hugo! it is about time we get articles like this, addressing the over 40 crowd! this is a group that is often ignored even by gym trainers. These kids often have no idea how to train the over 40 crowds.
I like the bodybuilding.com site which has a section called “bodybuilding for babyboomers” with lots of tips. We babyboomers are very active and would like to remain active inspite of our age. I hope you can continue giving us articles like this one. thanks

February 8, 2009 at 6:34 am
(2) David says:

the over 40 crowd…it’s seems to me that this would depend greatly on the athletic history of the individual. for example sergio olivia tried to make a come back in the early 80′s. Point being, that Sergio’s training would be quite different than say a bodybuilder who started out in his mid thirties and was continuing to train as he did in his forties. Just a little food for thought. Peace.

February 8, 2009 at 7:30 am
(3) Bobby Hamrick says:

As i look across the Gym, there are many over 40 now. Yes i recover slower and I dont go for the 400 BP anymore but Im still in the game and I need the info from my peers too. Keep it up

February 9, 2009 at 10:58 pm
(4) Doug Allitt says:

Hi Hugo,

It’s good to see bodybuilding articles related to us “older folks”. When you think about it, as the baby boomers get older, relevent information for this demographic must surely grow.

Me? i’ll be turning 58 this year, and as far as i’m concerned, it’s “onward and upward”!

The benefits of bodybuilding to older people have, for far too long been overlooked by the medical profession and older people themselves. At nearly 58 I am stronger and fitter than at any time in my life. I look forward to each passing year as I KNOW that I will end that year better than I started it.

My message to people my age – get out of your chair, get a check-up, get some correct guidance, get a gym membership or a bench, bar and weights; and get going.

Bodybuilding, when done correctly, will improve every area of your life – and I do mean EVERY area (you know what I mean!).

My tips:

Min. 4 warmup sets for each bodypart.
Listen to your body – it will tell you when you need a longer rest before the next workout.
Don’t eat too much – we need less calories as we age.
Perorm a cooling down or flushing set to finish a bodypart.
It’s always the quality of your workout – not the quantity.

Just go for it.



February 10, 2009 at 8:04 pm
(5) Hugo Rivera says:

Hello Everyone!

Thank you so much for taking the time to post such great comments and awesome tips. Thanks to your suggestions, I will now be putting together a new “Bodybuilding Over 40″ section.

Please feel free to email me any specific article ideas and please continue to post great suggestions like the ones above either through comments or forum posts.

Doug-I agree with you my friend. The bodybuilding lifestyle certainly keeps one young; and yes, it improves EVERY aspect of your life. I really believe bodybuilding is the fountain of youth. At 34 I feel as great as I did when I was 14. And actually, I look better today than I did back then! Like you say: “Onward and Upward!”

Bobby-Keep training hard! These days one can get more out of lighter weights by executing the exercise properly.

David-I agree with you 100%. Someone who has been training since their teenage years can get away with much more than someone who may start training at 45.

T.B.-Thank you for the feedback! A lot of people I know have been begging me to start writing articles like this so I will continue to do so!

Thanks again guys and keep up the great work!

Best of Health,
Hugo Rivera
About.com Guide to Bodybuilding

February 28, 2009 at 4:59 pm
(6) Sly says:

Thanks Hugo,
I was over training for the last year or so. I just turned 40. I would train for hours to find my self aching and sore for days but yet I kept going to the gym. Now I give my body a few days to recover thanks to you!


February 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm
(7) bodybuilding says:

I agree form is very important and also not doing any exercises that could pain in the joints.

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