40 Is Better Than 20

I will start a new log here, trying to keep myself accountable.

39, just moved to a new country with a new job. Single(ish), no kids.

Plan is to be in the best shape of my life by next summer, no specific reason: I just need something to be focused on outside my job.

I might post some pictures tomorrow, anyway I start this log after my summer holiday really lean and really small, 66 kg (would be around 145 pounds) at 175 cm (5’8”). Last year training and nutrition were a bit on and off especially March April when I had to move. I have been training quite consistently in the last 5/6 years. I’m the ultimate program hopper.

I feel that if I will be able to be like 70/72 kg with the same level of leanness on my frame by next year i would definitely be happy. I have never been that heavy in my life - and I was fatter when I was 30 but always under 70kg.

I have a really small structure, ridiculously small wrist and hand size. So even if I’m small I don’t look that bad, but anyway some muscle would help!

I’ll start on an average of 2200 kcal a day on average and see how it goes from there. I definitely will be upset if I gain fat (you can be small and still look good if you are very lean… small and fat is a different story!) but I’ll try and keep the program going.

Training will be lower/upper 4 days a week (on average, sometimes I train during weekends sometimes I cant). On some of the non weight training days I’ll do light activity and during winter maybe I’ll go to the gym on some of those days too (not easy to jog outside in this part of Europe during winter!)

Let’s start…


1st day of this 2023 program

2050 kcal proteins 130 gr


Wu incline walk 10’

Front squat 4x5x80 kg
Rdl 3x8x70kg
Rfess 2x12+12x17,5kg
Seated calf raises 2x many
Leg ext 3 sets with 25kg x 11/10/9
Leg curls 2x many
Sled backward walk 3x25x65kg

Then 10’ incline walk

First session went well, squats and rdl felt right and not too heavy, maybe I’ll go with some more reps overall next session. Small movements close to failure.

Happy to be back in the gym.


2550 kcal -165 gr of proteins
65,7 kg (I got my scale today so I weighed myself during the day, will be in the morning before breakfast from tomorrow)

Db incline bench (45 degrees) 4x6x25kg
Ss with trx row 4x8xbw

Chin-up 3x8/7/5xbw
SS with dips 3x10/10/8xbw

Cable fly low to high 3xfailure (around 10/12) these feel mor like a front raise as the cable station is narrow. Don’t know if I’ll keep this.

Straight arm rope pull down 3xfailure

Tricep rope extension 2x max/10”/max/10”/max

Db curls 4x8/8/6/6x15 kg
Ez bar curls 1x27x10kg

Lat raise 4x10/10/9/10x10kg

Then some abs and finished on a treadmill 8x30” on 30” off (increasing intensity “best” interval 14kmh at 4% incline, will try 8x25” at this intensity next time)

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This is a great idea and the first step to being more awesome. You dont mention in your intro if you are male or female but with an avatar name of simon I am going to assume male.

Your goal of 70-72 for next year should be achievable with the right training and diet approach, but it will be lots of hard hard work.

You mention you are following upper / lower 4 days a week. Are you using a training program or just some thing you put together yourself ?

that is a decent FS given your bodyweight, with this sort of strength you should are in a great starting position to really start gaining.

I will be following along to see how you go.

yes Im a grown up boy! And the origin of the nick is the name of The Clash bass player

I woke up 64.4 today. I can easily mantain 66/67 eating literally what I want, I have to starve myself to get leaner and I have never been able to get past 70.
My diet now I would say is quite healthy and clean, anyway I love to eat.

This is my own programme. It is based on:

  • main movements that I know I can easily do at my gym (I workout in a commercial gym), I dont want to find myself out of equipment if I have to train in busy hours, and I can do with the same setup everywhere when I travel; goal is something like a double/triple progression on reps/weight and maybe rep range in the future
  • isolation movement that I can try to overload at my gym or I can add some variety here and there just for fun or (again) do whatever when I travel and find new toys
  • 4 days a week is a frequency that is pretty doable for me and is flexible. Like today I will work from home and it’s a rest/easy cardio day, so I can avoid driving to the gym and go for a walk. But if I feel I need to have someone around I can go to the gym; and I can use weekends as 4th workout or 1st workout of the following week if I have less time.

So its a mix of “scientific approach”, practical reasons and things I know keep me motivated and entertained.

Thank you!

Some humbling photos to give some context!

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Kcal 1950
64,4 kg

Rest day

The plan was for a slow run/walk but the weather is not helping here and I didn’t want to drive to the gym just for walking. So I had some stretching at home and went for a short 30’ walk during the only moment without rain.

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Kcal 2250
W 64,5


Wu incline walk 15% 10’

Front squat 4x6/6/5/5x80 kg
Rdl 3x9/8/8x70
Rfess 3x10+10x20kg (this is just one dumbbell)
Leg curls 3 sets
Leg ext 3x11x25
Calf 2 sets seated 2 sets standing close not great intensity here

No way to do sled push or drag as the gym was crowded so I walked around with 2 24 kg kb. Might have walked around 300 meters total? No straps so grip gave up before everything else.

Then some abs and 10’ easy on a bike.

The session was good, lower back pumped and a bit sore from last workout, small improvements but it was not 100% intensity on squat or rdl and definitely need to improve those split squats.
I need a longer warmup.

Overall feeling during the day is great. Food always consistent.


2160 kcal
W 64.9


Wu 10’ incline walk + quick mobility/core + trx rows

Incline dumbbell bench 4x7/7/7/6x25s

Chin-ups 3x8/7/7x BW
Ss dips 3x10x BW

lat machine shoulder width neutral grip, 2 sets:

Triceps push down mechanical drop set (2 sets):
Supinated grip/rope/pronated grip

DB Curls 4x8/8/7/7x15s
ez bar curls 1x30x10
Lat raise lying on a bench 3x many x5s

8x25”on/35”off “sprint” (lol) 4% incl at 14 kmh

Then some bosu ball push-up for fun

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Kcal around 2500 (pizza out)
W 64.2

Rest day
90’ walk and stretching

Many wonderful things in Ireland, pizza is not one of those.

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Kcal 2340
W 65,4


Wu on the rower, some stretching

Front squat 4x6x80 kg
Rdl 3x10x70 kg used straps
Rfess 3x9+9x12,5 (2 dumbbells)

Leg ext 3x11x25
Leg curls 3x12
Straight legs calf raise 3 sets

Sled dragging backwards 4x60 meters with 20 kg on the sled. Then 2x30 with 30 kg

Some abs (cables)

No cardio or conditioning, sled was super light hard for my poorly conditioned body

Notes: weight is up, maybe is the pizza of yesterday, maybe it’s a trend. Will check next week, I will keep calories around 2200 per day.
Will be a busier week at work so I’ll do my best.

Nice improvement on squats, I will keep the same reps next session trying to control better the movement. If I can be at 4x7x80 in a month I’ll be happy.

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Kcal 2150
W 67,0 (!)


Wu on the treadmill, core, mobility and trx rows.

Db incline bench 45* 4x7/7/7/6x25kg

Pull-up 3x8xbw
Ss with dips 3x10/11/11xbw

Cable flys on a bench 4 sets
Low cable rows 3x10x57 1x17x40
Triceps ext 2x triple drop sets

Curls dumbbells 4x9/9/8/8/x15
Ez bar curls 1x17x15 (picked the wrong bar was supposed to be 30+ with 10 lol)

Lateral raises 2 sets
Shrugs 3 sets

Conditioning 8x30” on - 30” off treadmill 4% incline at 14 kmh.

Low focus had to workout midday which is not great (I keep watching my phone emails etc). Incline bench was exactly like my last workout, I expected to improve. Everything else was fine, just not really focused.

A bit surprised by the jump in bodyweight but I guess it has something to do with the weekend. I will keep my diet the same and re check in a week when things have stabilised.

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Kcal 2350
W 64,5 (down again)

rest day
literally only a 60’ walk and sitting on a chair all the rest of the day. I dont feel great at doing nothing.

Tomorrow training will be a challenge. Up early, 2.5 hours drive for a meet and lunch, then drive back and to the gym. I will fit in my lower body session anyway,

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Is there something you can do or change that will help with this ? Do you need the phone with you when you train ? I have mine because it has my program on it and I use it to log the reps etc., but I dont look it at for anything else. This is usually because I am gasping for breath or trying not to puke between sets so cant really focus on a phone. LOL

What are you measuring this improvement by, did the program have a improvement in it ? More weight ? More reps ? Less Rest ? Better bar speed ?

I guess what I am getting at here is whether your programing is set up to allow for that progression or are other factors impacting it ?

I can, in theory, and I try to train outside of regular buisiness hours. When it’s just impossible I know that I might have uregent issues that I can’t just postpone only because I’m at the gym at 10am. I have a weird schedule. So I know that if allow myself to get distracted the workout sucks, but sometimes I just have to accept it.

Essentially a double progression model on the main lifts and some of the assistance. It’s working so far, sometimes here and there improvements take longer than expected.

I tend to be quite conservative and I try to add 1 or maybe 2 reps overall a session when I can, I would plan to increase the weight on the main lifts when I get to 4x8 solid reps.

On that incline bench the previous session I had a feeling that I could easily put 1 or 2 reps more in, but it just didn’t happen. I improved some assistance movements like my dips so the session wasn’t a total waste after all.

Todays workout I will have front squats and I plan to do exactly the same sets of the last session 4x6x80, because I progressed fast on those but didn’t feel actually great. So I will put one more session at the same reps/weight before adding reps, and maybe I’ll try to progress on some secondary movements.

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Totally understand about schedules and work. The double progression method is solid and will work with patience and hard work over time. Seems like you have a good plan and maybe this was just one of those days.

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Kcal 2300? Some guessing here, buisiness lunch
W 65.2


Wu incline treadmill 10’, mobility

Front squat 4x6x80 kg
Rdl 3x11/11/10x70 kg
Rfess 3x9+9x15 (2 db)

Leg curls 4 sets
Leg ext 3x12x25 kg
Calf seated 3 sets

Cable crunches 3 sets
Obliques 40 total

10’ on a bike

The session came after a long day, 5 hours drive, buisiness lunch, etc. Kept the same reps and weight on the front squat from the last session, but felt definitely better, I can shoot for some sets of 7 next time. Some other improvements here and there.

Next lower body session will be Monday because I will have to take the full weekend off as I have to work. I feel my lower back will benefit from a break, was tired when I got to the split squats today (plus the driving).

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W 65,2
Kcal 2250

Nothing, today was just impossible find time to workout. I walked 1 hour in the evening.

Upper body tomorrow and then I will just have to survive the weekend. Next week will be better.

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Kcal 2520
W 65.7


Incline dumbbell bench 45* 4x7x25 kgs (pr)

Chin-ups 3x9/8/8
Ss dips 3x12

Cable flys sitting on a bench low to high 4 sets

Low cable row 3x11/10/10x57 then 1x18x40

Triceps push down 3 sets

Curls dumbbells 4x9x15 kgs then with a ez bar 1x32x10

Lateral raises and some shrugs

Conditioning 9x(30” on/30” off) sprint at 14 kmh at 4% incline

Good session made improvements in all the main or assistance lifts. Will be harder to progress from here but I will try to keep increasing reps.

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2 days of just working I will just try to eat well and survive. Next week will be easier.


W ?
Kcal 2000

Did nothing. More walking than usual though!

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