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Working for My Best Physique at 40

I’ve always been fairly active, but it wasn’t until about three years ago that I decided to take my overall health and fitness level more seriously. I started hitting the weights, tracking nutrition, managing stress, and worked toward developing better sleep habits. At the end of this time, I’ve gone from the physique on the left to the physique on the right. I’m 5’ 10" and weighed 175 lbs in both.

In terms of my long-term goals, I’d like to add 10 lbs of muscle, and drop body fat to the 8-10% range. Of course at the end of the day, it’s more about the look than numbers, but picked these targets so I have some objective measures to track progress.

I’d say my strengths are chest and legs (especially calves, which I’d mainly attribute to genetics), while I need the most work on my shoulders, back, and arms. I’m considering doing a physique competition in the future, using it as motivation to push myself to be my best, than going after a particular placement. Any feedback is welcome!




What does your training program and diet look like? Based on your current physique I would guess you could add 10lbs fairly easily in a year or so with proper diet and training.

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Thanks galgenstrick!

Training: I currently lift 5x a week with a Upper / Lower / Rest / Upper / Lower / Upper / Rest split. Each training block lasts 5 weeks, and I increase volume and intensity each week (e.g. Week 1 will have 3 sets at RPE 6-7, and Week 5 will have 5 or 6 sets at RPE 9-10), culminating in an overreaching week. On week 6, I’ll do a deload. Each session has 3-4 compound movements and 3-4 accessory exercises as well.

Nutrition: I cycle both total calories and carbs between training and rest days. My current split is Training: 200P / 530C / 82 F, Rest: 200P / 380C / 100F

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What are your current weights on the compound lifts? How much are you increasing the weight each week on those?

I’m about two months out from having done any barbell work due to the gyms being closed, but my previous one rep maxes are B - 230, S - 340, DL - 405. Using bench as an example, my typical progression looks something like:

Week 1 - 180 x 5 x 3
Week 2 - 185 x 5 x 4
Week 3 - 190 x 6 x 4
Week 4 - 195 x 6 x 5
Week 5 - 200 x 6 x 5

If I’m doing higher rep sets, the starting weight is lower, but the progression model is similar. Currently, I’m working out at home and have adjustable DBs that go up to 90 lbs each, so I’m doing the best I can with what I have.