Optimal training frequency for over 40 guys?

What is the best training frequency for growth? This is a question I get asked a lot. So let’s look at this.

I am in this discussion only going to look at the male 40 and over and what training frequency works best for him.

A further assumption is that we talk here about males, who’s primary goal is about adding shape and muscle to their body. Thus we are NOT talking about the marathon runner doing just cardio! We are talking about a guy over 40 who hits the gym to do resistance training.

Last assumption is that we are not alking about a guy who has never trained in his life. Because for such a guy the first 3 months is a complete different approach to the guy who is already fully into his training regime.

So now that we have defined the target audience let’s move forward.

PROBLEMATIC training frequencies:

Anything less than 3 days a week training will put you into severe risk for injury territory. The amount of days is just too little to adequately keep the muscles, tendons and joints flexible and strong enough for intense training. You chances for hurting yourself badly is very, very high. 1 or 2 days training a week does NOT prepare the body sufficient for intense training full stop. If that is the only amount of days that you can train, well then I say no intense resistance training but only bodyweight exercises…and even that can result in a damaged tendon.

Optimal MAINTENANCE training frequency:

Many guys go through a difficult work related period where time is limited and then they just want to be able to maintain size and definition. That can be done with good success of training 3 days a week but not (!) 3 days in a row and the 4 days off. The 3 days must be spaced with one open day inbetween each training day. The stimulation this apply to the body is good enough for maintaining but not for growth. It is also outside the danger territory as discussed above.

Optimal training frequency for MUSCLE GROWTH:

Now we are talking business. Remember you are over 40, so thinking you can train 6 or 7 times a day as some of these youngsters do (who are most of the time in steroids anyways!) is definitely NOT going to work. Training anything more than 5 days will have dire consequences for your muscle building efforts. It will leave waaay to little time for the older body to recover and built muscle effectively and can litterrally result in smaller muscles. I’ve seen it happen over and over.

An over 40 guy cannot train more than 5 days a week if he is not using steroids – full stop.

So the max amount of training for a 40 to 55 y/o is 5 days a week.


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For guys over 55 yrs I suggest not more than 4 days a week, simply because with the amount of testosterone and HGH in the body (which is a step lower than that of a 40-55 y/o) he need more recovery time and more time for the muscles to grow before it is punished again in the gym.

The important part is to remember, muscles do NOT grow in gym. You simply send a signal to them that they must grow because they are not coping with the workload. The growth happen while you rest and sleep and NOT training. But that only happens when the body is fed correctly.

So there you have it…I am 53 right now and for me the optimal training frequency is 5 days a week. My actual routine is mostly just 4 days but now and then I would throw in the 5th day. There is just no way my body will be able to cope with 6 or 7 days!

If you want my customized ADVANCED SYSTEM II that covers this and provide a complete blueprint for your over 40 body transformation, have a look here: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

So everyone – happy training


Gert Louw