T Nation

40 is the New 20



Hi Folks. I’ve got a few minutes so I figured I’d start my 2019 thread intro with starting pics to follow 1/1/19.

About me: I’m 40 years old and I love the iron game but I’ve gone through too many periods of inactivity. I’m about to get married in February (in Vegas) and I’ve got 3 step kids (15,13,12). I only played golf in high school and wasn’t very active after that so I missed out on all the easy young man gains.

Around age 25 I started to get interested in “going to the gym” (ha) and I thought Men’s Health was the shit. Then I discovered T-Nation and everything changed. I think it was 2006. I still focused on things that didn’t matter (what’s the best way to ramp?) but I remember posting here on Thanksgiving about being thankful for T-Nation. Thankful for not being on the Men’s Health forums worrying about eating too much turkey and realizing there’s no such thing as too much turkey.

I was making some nice gains but somewhere along the way I screwed up both my knees pretty bad. I think it was bad form on deadlifts that did it. I discovered years later I also have bone spurs on both kneecaps and they think elbows also. I only recently, several years later started squatting again along with some DL’s, rack pulls, trap DL’s etc, however I will never do a lunge or step up again and it still hurts to kneel on anything harder than a bed. I also have tendonitis in both elbows.

Around 2013 I was in the best shape of my life, but for whatever reason I got too comfortable after meeting my fiance and stopped working out. After seeing myself in our Christmas pictures last year I wasn’t happy. I had gotten up to 204 lbs and had way too much belly fat. I’ve been serious ever since and the transformation has already been amazing. (pics to follow)

I’ll leave it here for now. Looking forward to everyone’s 2019 logs. T-Nation rules.


My training philosophy:

Beat the damn log book! I forget, is this the Westside motto? (edit: it’s the DC motto) Either way, progressive overload is key.

Everything works and most things don’t really matter much. I used to read every forum post and ask a bunch of dumb questions sweating the small stuff. It’s funny going back to my old posts back in 2006-2008. What a noob.

Building a physique, putting on slabs of muscle, getting shredded. They are all simple, but not easy. Appropriate calories and macronutrients combined with consistent resistance training is pretty much all it takes. Getting yourself to do it every time you should is the problem.

Meal prep is key. If I don’t meal prep, I fail my weekly goals every single time. This happens more often than I’d like.

Emulate what has worked for others, but adapt it to make it work best for you. Try stuff long enough to form an opinion about it. Keep what you like and try other things.

What’s the best diet for fat loss or bulking? Easy. The one that you will stick to as long as it has the appropriate calories and macros for your goals. 99% of fat loss diets are glorified caloric deficit.

At 40 years old, everything hurts. I NEED to do more prehab, rehab, and mobility work. I’m tight as a mofo. (Thanks office job) I need to foam roll my hips and glutes before pressing or they’ll cramp every time.They still do sometimes.

Lastly, if you want dessert, have it. You only live once.


Looks good man. Way to be better than most of your counterparts your age. Will be following.

Starting to train my 37 year old dad, who is a mason, and has pretty bad knees (like zero cartilage left in them), with some lower back and shoulder pain. If you have any questions about his training, feel free to ask me. Seems like you guys will be somewhat similar.


My current “before” pic. 202lbs 5 foot ten and a half inches tall. Been semi-dirty bulking for a few months and have put on a considerable amount of muscle in that time although you can’t tell by this pic.

This was back in August at 182 after getting in shape after a 5 year break from training or being healthy.

And this was back in 2013 when I was newly single and working out all the time but not eating much apparently. The tan helps too of course.


Diet started today. My meat and vegetables will be switched up on a rotation but will be the usual chicken, turkey, steak, ground beef,etc. On training days I’ll replace my veggies with 1 cup of jasmine rice and I’ll eat an extra meal after training. I also have creatine and bcaa in Gatorade powder pre/during workout. I’ll post my new training routine which will be 3x per week.

meal 1- 3 egg omelette with 1/4 cup cheese and 1 tbsp. coconut oil
meal 2- protein oatmeal
meal 3- 5 oz. chicken breast with 2 cups veggies
meal4- 4oz. ground beef and 2 cups veggies
meal5 5oz. chicken breast with 2 cups veggies
1 scoop of protein powder will be consumed in between meals 3x per day
bcaa will be consumed in zero cal drink throughout the day

2022 cals, 215g protein, 142g carbs, 66g fat (non-training days)
calories from protein 860 42.5%
calories from carbs 568 28%
calories from fat 594 29.5%


New training routine will be centered around high density antagonist supersets for the most part with one day being more bootcamp/strongman type stuff. My goals are to cut down to 175, improve my mobility, lessen joint pain, maintain muscle mass, progressive overload on chosen movements.

starting numbers. I know I am not strong and I didn’t do any squats or DLs for many years due to bad knees. Also I only pressed with DB’s until very recently. I don’t know what my 1RM is

Squats 175 5x5
Low Incline DB press 85’s 5x5
Flat Bench 180 5x5
Behind Neck Press 90 5x5
DB Row 85 5x5

I started my new routine and it kicked my ass. I underestimated how much the supersets and low rest times would gas me and how light I’d have to start. I’m starting with 10-12 reps but will work up to 15 reps before increasing weight.

Day 1

Antagonist Supersets

A1 BB Back Squat 70 3x12
A2 Behind Neck Press 70 3x12 (not a true antagonist, but two different vertical plane lifts)

B1 DB Squeeze Press 45’s 3x10 (I love these. I do them slowly focusing on the squeeze)
B2 One Arm DB Row 45 3x12

C1 Rope Tricep Pressdown 30x 3 AMRAP
C2 Rope Hammer Curl w/ slow eccentric 30x 3 AMRAP

Since my main goal is fat loss, the last superset of isolation movements may be the wrong choice, but my A and B supersets were pretting taxing and I’m keeping my rest periods short. Plus I already hit legs, back, chest, and shoulders so bi/tri seemed logical.


Nutrition looks good. You will be looking shredded in no time!


Nailed first day diet and supplementation, of course the first day is always the easiest.

Workout Day 2 Antagonist Supersets

Warmup: pvc rolling

A1 Trap Bar Deadlift 135 3x12
A2 Trap Bar Shrugs 135 3x10

B1 DB OH Press 35’s 3x12
B2 Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 90 3x12 (strict form, retracted scaps, pulled w/ lats)

C1 BB Bench Press 115 3x12
C2 BB Bentover Row 115 3x12

Finish Him!

Various carries around the gym with 44 lb medicine ball.
1 lap each shoulder
1 lap hugged to chest
1 lap overhead
1 lap each shoulder

Again, the supersets really are challenging and humbling. No ego though. I’m focusing on keeping the rest periods short and heart rate up w/ strict form. I figure I’ll keep this sort of routine up until I go to Vegas February 4th. I should have lost a considerable amount of fat by then and my joints will thank me.


I’m in to follow. Also 40 here and training strongman stuff hoping to compete this year. Haven’t started any logs yet but maybe. Who knows . I usually log my stuff on IG instead.


Nice man, good luck. I wish I was more active as a young man, but all I could do is start over as best I can.


First progress pic (left side) I’m down 4 lbs in the first 5 days. Diet has been mostly the same but 2 cups of veggies with each meal may have been a little ambitious. It’s more like 1.5 cups. Also I’ve missed some of the protein shakes. For now I’m ok as long as I don’t go over the original plan. If I under eat some, that should help kick start the cutting process. Also I did eat some non-diet foods and drink a few (several) beers during the Cowboy game.

Clearly I’m not relaxed on the left, but wanted to show that there’s at least some potential there.


Day 3 Workout - miscellaneous

1 Arm DB Snatches 45x15,12,12
If I had to pick one exercise, this would be it. Full body, high intensity, and fun. Very good for conditioning since the reps are essentially doubled when you do both arms. I was wrecked after my last set.

Face pulls (1,2,1 tempo) 25x 12,12,12 superset -----> cable flyes 30 x 12,12,10

Box jumps w/ burpee combo 8,6,6,6 (holy hell I need more conditioning)

I intended to do some tire flips after this but I was toast at that point.


Fat loss has stalled for some reason but that tends to happen when I diet/cut. After an initial drop I tend to stall for a week or so and then the pounds fly off. I’ve lowered calories to compensate but that hasn’t seemed to work. Current weight 198 from 202

Workout 1 Round 2 - Supersets w/ goal to “Beat the damn log book”

Warmup - PVC rolling

A1 Back Squat 70 x15,15,15 (up from 12,12,12)
A2 Behind Neck Press 70x 15,12,15 (up from 12,12,12)

B1 Low Incline DB Squeeze Press 45’s x 12,12,12 (up from 10,10,10)
B2 One Arm DB Row 45x 13,13,13 (up from 12,12,12)

C1 Rope Tri Pressdown 25 3x AMRAP
C2 Rope hammer curls 30 3xAMRAP 4-5 second eccentric

New this week

added 44lb medicine ball carries (shoulders, hugged, overhead, repeat) and half mile on treadmill on highest incline setting


Current Supplementation. I’ve been slacking some but the daily routine is getting more consistent

Vitamin D3
Turmeric Complex 2x day 400mg 95% Curcumin, 140mg ginger root, 95% 10mg piperine
Forskolin 2x day 250mg 20% = total 50mg/day
Resveratrol 500mg at bedtime


Day 2 Workout 2nd Week Supersets

Warmup: PVC Rolling

opted to combine my first superset in to a single combo exercise and up the weight considerably. Maybe lower TUT, but greater total volume and when it comes down to it…lifting heavy stuff gets the heart pumping as much or more than a lighter superset.

A1+A2 Trap Bar Deadlift w/ 2 second Shrug 185 3x10 (up from 135 superset of both)

B1 BB Bench Press 125 3x12 (up from 115 3x12)
B2 BB Bentover Row 125 10,10,11 (up from 115 3x12)

C1 DB OH Press 40’s 3x10 (up from 35 3x12)
C2 Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 90 3x12 (same as last week, but I’m ok with the overall improvements)

was not able to do medicine ball carries or treadmill due to time constraints


Workout 3 Week 2 current weight 195.5 (down 6.5 lbs)

Warmup: PVC rolling

1 Arm DB Snatches 47.5 x 12,12,12 (up from 45 x 15,12,12) I felt a a bit of a twinge in my right wrist on the last set. Will have to keep an eye on it.

Face Pulls 30x 10,10,10 superset w/ Cable Flye 30x 12,12,12

Box Jumps w/ Burpees 8,8,8,8,6 (up from 8,6,6,6)

1/3 mile on treadmill carrying 22 lb medicine ball in various positions. Would have done more but fiance was done with zumba.


Workout 1 Week 3 current weight 193.8 (down 8.2 lbs)

Warmup: PVC rolling


A1 Back Squat 80 x 12,12,12, (up from 70 x 15,15,15)
A2 Behind Neck Press 80 x 12,12,12 (up from 70 x 15,12,15)

B1 Squeeze Press 50 x 10,10,10 (up from 45 x 12,12,12)
B2 DB Kroc Rows 50 x 10,12,12 (up from 45 x 12,12,12)

Didn’t get to my 3rd superset due to family stuff. My left knee was acting up in the same way it always does when it hurts. Only way I can describe it is it’s similar to a tooth where you hit the nerve. An MRI I had done maybe 7 years ago was negative except for it revealed a bone spur that was fractured.

While I’m down 8 lbs, I have been failing my nutrition. I am way under eating due to frustration of the scale not moving. I’ve gotten used to dieting though and I’m not always starving. My protein is still decent but I I know it’s not where I want it to be and my muscles look flat (likely due to low carbs). I need to snap out of it because i’m sure that some of this 8 lbs is also hard earned muscle. Vegas and wedding are coming up fast (2/4 - 2/9). I figure I’ll keep “dieting” until then and then get back in to “training” mode.


2nd progress pic. Had 3 pieces of pizza earlier so perhaps got some muscle glycogen back. Also getting lots of help from the lighting. I’m taking the wifey tanning before the wedding.


Workout 2 Week 3 current weight 194.2

Took a couple extra days off when I got sick and also had some cheat meals and beers because football.

Warmup: PVC Rolling

A1+A2 Trap Bar Deadlift w/ 2 second shrug 190 3x10 (up from 185 3x10)


B1 BB Bench Press 130 3x12 (up from 125 3x12)
B2 BB Bentover Row 130 3x10 (up from 125 3x12)

C1 DB OH Press 40’s 3x 10,12,12 (up from 40 3x10)
C2 Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 90 3x12 (this continues to be the same but it’s done last and everything else is going up)


Good work mate

49 definitely is the new 20 :wink: