Bodybuilding from 40 years and over : Part 2

In the first part, we have seen how to warm up properly and therefore prepare our session. Now we will see in which direction to train.

Before I talk about ” pure ” training, I’ll talk about hormones. As you know, from the age of 40, our hormones start to decrease… It is inevitable. However, on several points, we can try to make them ” secrete “.

Hey Thor49, you’re not going to make us believe that by pushing iron, I’ll become Mr. Olympia ?

I’m not saying that just by lifting weights you’ll be the accomplished bodybuilder you see in magazines, but exercise has been shown to have benefits for the body (and the mind). Why ? Because, thanks to this stimulus (among others), we ” activate ” a whole biochemistry.

Okay, but what hormones are involved in training ?

The four main hormones involved in training are testosterone, growth hormone, IGF1 and cortisol.



is the hormone that plays a role in protein synthesis and reduces the impact of catabolic hormones. In addition, it facilitates the mechanism of action of HGH and IGF1.

Poly-articular or Olympic exercises have been shown in studies to raise testosterone levels in the body. However, they must be placed at the beginning of the sessions.

Growth hormone and IGF1 are hormones that aim to increase the size of muscle cells. To activate them properly, the intensity of the training must be high. To do this, there is nothing better than to decrease the time of rest and/or work to raise our lactate levels.

Cortisol is a so-called catabolic hormone. The stress hormone is an integral part of training. It must therefore be minimized. For that, nothing is better than an optimal peri-workout nutrition*. It is worth noting something interesting about this hormone. It stimulates lipolysis. It is then necessary to find the right balance between secreting too much or not enough…

*Note from Thor49 : Peri-workout nutrition will be discussed in Part 3 of this series of articles.

How could a session be broken down ?

First, in order to maximize our testosterone, we need to work heavy and with poly-articular movements.

As far as format is concerned, you have a lot of choices : 5/3/1, 5×5, 6×3, 3/2/1 or 5/4/3 waves, 3×3, Layer system, clusters etc…

Note from Thor49 : I really like to work on my 3RM of the day during this phase.

Second, we need to activate intensity and/or lactate. You can therefore continue to work heavy in superset, work in 3 second eccentric for a few weeks, use the mTor system (6 to 8 second eccentric) etc…

For cortisol, if your primary goal is fat loss. Nothing beats metabolic circuits or Metcons and high intensity cardio (HIIT).

Uh Thor49, please tell me you have a training example !!!

 Day 1

 A.Bench press 6×3

B1.3×8 mTor vertical pull (6 to 8sec of descent)

B2.guillotine press 3×8 mTor (6 to 8sec of descent)

C1.3x30sec bench press

C2.facepull 3x30seconds

Optional : Farmer’s walk or sprint with weighted vest 5x40m


Day 2

A.Front squat 3×3/2/1

B.Leg press 3×12 (3sec down)

C1.leg curl 3×8 mTor (6 to 8sec of descent)

C2.Leg extension 3×8 mTor (6 to 8sec descent)

D1.3×12 standing calves with 3sec contraction

D2.3×12 seated calves with 3sec contraction


Day 3

A.Viking press 6×3

B1. 4×8-10 vertical rope pull

B2. one-sided dumbbell bench press4x8-10

C1.Band pull apart 3×12-15

C2.facepull 3×12-15 with 3sec contraction

Optional : Farmer’s walk or sprint with weighted vest 5x60m


Day 4

A.SDT 5×5

B1.Leg extension 4×8-10

B2 Glute Ham Raise 4×8-10

C.Bulgarian Squat 3×8 mTor (6 to 8sec of descent) 

D.Leg curl 3x30seconds

Optional : Running for 2km or weighted walking for 2km