Is Dan John's '40' Program Dumb for an Old Guy?

Any other senior statesmen try Dan John’s “40 day” program while dieting?

I’m 41, been lifting since my teens. I was pretty strong once, then lost 50lbs and got in shape, then got strong again, then had a major healthcare drama this summer. Now I am in reclamation mode: Get lean, get my conditioning back, try not to lose any more muscle.

I started by doing just whatever, and eating to get enough protein. Then I started the Dan John “40 days” program, but I added some stuff to it.

KB Swings 2x15-25
Overhead Squat 2x5
Push Press 2x5

Ab wheel

I rotated through 4 different things for the BB work -

  1. Inclines to a heavy triple, then a bunch of pushups
  2. Snatch Grip Dead from blocks to a heavy triple, then glute bridges
  3. Triceps stuff - lockouts mostly and then some pushdowns
  4. Lats focus - pull-ups and rows

I have done 11 workouts so far, and I am wondering if I am doing something stupid trying this on a calorie deficit. I am a special kind of sore. Let’s just say my wife thought I had Lyme’s Disease this week.

I had been thinking the “40” program would be like other High Frequency stuff where you keep strength and get leaner. But I am wondering if it is really more of a “builder” program than I realize. I am ready to stop the other BB stuff and just do a more basic “40” program, but I am wondering if that isn’t the stupid part.

Anybody try “40 day” while dieting? What exercises did you pick?

I played around with this when i was first here a few years back.

(just to add that i only started weights about 5 years ago and have had a lay-off so i hardly have an experienced view…but i am 56)

I discovered Dan John early in my first try at resistance training and liked his apparent simplicity and directness, today in my new approach i still work pretty closely to some of the elements of his ‘40’ programme which as i remember it is based on doing just 5 main movements and all of those are the ‘big’ ones (right ??).

My problem then as now was his use of KB swings as a key exercise, that’s the one thing for me that almost guaranteed gives me severe back pain…and just to add that the only reason i am sitting here today is because i am finishing my week not with a 5th ‘excellent’ session but crocked-up with bad back pain yet again.

Recurrent problem from years of healthcare : yesterday deadlifting and today hardly walking !!.

I do like the simplicity of just choosing 5 main movements and that forms the bulk of my main work but i have had to modify mine slightly because of : 1) back injuries and 2) the kit i have at home (i train at home).

Again from memory and i don’t remember every movement group that Dan John specified but i always include the 5 main movements thus :

Press from chest (i don’t have the kit so just do press-ups)
Overhead push press

I am pretty sure that is a modification of his work, possibly even closer to a 5x5 system as i try for : 5 movements, 5 sets of 5 reps but do more reps in some movements (press-up) and less (at the moment) in chins.