Over 40 training – LEGS

This is the last article in a 4-part series:

Ok guys, as mentioned before, this is typically the best training approach for the older guy. Four times a week training with a focussed approach for specific muscles groups. A fifth day can be added but ONLY lacking/lagging muscle groups should be trained on the 5th day.

Training more than 5 days a week for the older guy is a complete no-no and only the territory of juicing crowd.

The problem older guy’s face with leg training

Leg training is most of the time problematic for the older guy, especially for the over 50 guy. They frequently has to contend with:

  • knee problems,
  • hip problems and
  • hernia injuries to name but a few.

For most older guys, leg training is a challenging experience. If you do not face any of these hurdles, count yourself lucky, but be forewarned – the body CANNOT take the leg training intensity like when you were 20 or 30. If you do not lighten the load, you WILL run into problems. Hernia probably the first of them and second back problems due to too much pressure with heavy squats and the like. So, my training regime for legs is structured specifically for the older guy taking these problems into account.



I am not talking here about the normal muscle pain associated with lifting. Training through any “non-normal” pain will result in potential serious injury.

The approach to exhaust and stimulate leg muscles for the older guy should not lie in keep adding weights, but to use moderate to even light weights with certain training concepts being applied to exhaust the muscle.

One of the best tools the older guy can use to exhaust muscles with “light” weights is super-setting, but there are many other training principles. That means doing various exercises back to back without any resting between sets. Not sets of the same exercises back-to-back, but sets of different exercises back-to-back. You can choose how many you want to string together. During cutting phase for example I will do my whole training session in superset mode with virtually no resting at all. KILLER training and a good fat burner!

Those that watched Part I – III might want to skip directly to the actual training section in this video. Check the timecode I put up in the top left corner, that is where the leg training starts.

First, The 6 foundation principles for the older body:
  1. The over 40, and especially over 50 body, cannot train like that of a 20 or 30-year old. It simply cannot take the punishment.
  2. My training regime is NOT meant to create an Arnold Schwazeneger physique, but meant to create a healthy, fit and muscular looking body for the older guy.
  3. “Fancy moves” is best left to the youngsters. The older body responds optimally to time proven moves, like compound exercises (exercises involving large/multiple muscle groups).
  4. Calves and ABS will be trained in each of the 4 training sessions. They are a unique muscle group that only respond to frequent intense training, unlike all the other muscle groups.
  5. If your blood testosterone is not healthy, nothing will happen. This is the number ONE important factor for the older guy venturing this route to give attention too. An easy way out is to get a HOME TESTING TESTOSTERONE kit – https://trylgc.com/gert (use 20% discount code “GERT20”). Once you know your levels, then apply the T-MANAGE plan to increase levels. Here is the link to the plan: https://gertlouw.com/2020/04/13/the-testosterone-management-bible-for-men-over-40/
  6. Lastly, all the above will be worthless without a strict eating regime in place. Diet determines 80% of your muscle building success. Here is a good template to get you started: https://gertlouw.com/2017/09/08/free-cutting-building-diets-for-a-ripped-muscled-physique/

Just a note: completely new to training, follow the following regime for the first 3 months to get the body, tendons and joints accustomed to weight training: https://gertlouw.com/2014/06/02/how-do-i-start-a-body-transformation-from-scratch/

Building phase

I am focusing here on a BUILDING PHASE training environment which means your aim is primarily to add muscle size at lower reps with heavier weights training. Typically, the daily calories are slightly higher during such a phase to allow quicker muscle recovery and building. After roughly a three-month period you should consider changing the Building Phase training into a CUTTING phase training which means lighter weights (I drop my weights with roughly 30%) and each set at higher rep range and NOT to absolute failure. By alternating these phases, the tendons and joints gets sufficient time to strengthen and recover for the next Building Phase. Cycles needs to be constantly alternated to prevent injury.


Training INTENSITY METHODOLOGY for the older guy

Without a certain level of intensity, muscle growth will simply not occur.

So what is my methodology regarding intensity required in the Building phase – specifically to LEG training?

The assumption in the building phase for LEG training is that your 10th rep is where total muscle failure occur, meaning you cannot do 1 more rep without assistance.

  • Before age 40: Do each set to rep 10 – absolute failure.
  • Age 40-50: Do each set to rep 8 (stop 2 rep short of absolute failure)
  • Age 50-60: Do each set to rep 7 (stop 3 reps short of absolute failure)
  • Age 60-70: Do each set to rep 6 (stop 4 reps short of absolute failure)



[total sets, excluding warmup – 22]


5-10 minutes warmup (purpose: get blood flowing and muscle warmed up)

  • 2-3 sets of 26 Standing Knee-ups  (13 each leg)
  • 2-3 sets of 25 of body squats.

Now for the growth exercises.

After each set, do 1-2 min of stretching of the leg muscle just trained.

STANDING CALVE RAISES (calves) - 2 sets of 20

Standing Calf Raises


LEG PRESS (upper legs) - 3 sets of 10


CRUNCHES WITH EXERCISE BALL (abs) – 3 sets of 25

Exercise ball crunches

SEATED CALVE RAISES (calves) – 2 sets of 20



Squat Barbell

CRUNCHES RUSSIAN TWIST (with medicine ball, abs) – 3 sets of 26

Russian Twist weighted

DEADLIFT (with barbell and weights, upper back and legs) – 2 sets of 10


LUNGES (with weights if necessary, whole leg) – 2 sets of 20


STANDING CALVE RAISES (calves) – 2 sets of 20

Standing Calf Raises

Cooldown stretches for 3-4 minutes of upper and lower leg muscles. 


Other critical point for growth environment
  • No throwing weights. Always slow controlled movements with ONLY the target muscle doing the work! No other joint movement!
  • Keep training sessions as short as possible. Longer than an hour in gym = problematic and could results in the body going in a catabolic state = bad!
  • Only slight soreness should be felt the next day. If you struggle to get out of bed it means intensity too much and muscle will take too long to recover for optimal growth.
  • There is a window of opportunity to feed the body the right foods for growth for the next hour after training. Banana (or apple) and 20g WHEY protein (mixed with water) straight after training is perfect. Here is my preferred WHEY choice and where to get it.
  • The 16 TRAINING CONCEPTS/PRINCIPLES is key to keep your training fresh and new. Exercises stay the same, but the attack must be ever changing with the 16 principles.

For example week 1 do FORCED REPS, week 2 PARTIALS, week 3 PRE-EXHAUST, etc…

    5. DROP SETS
    9. JUMP SETS
    11. BURNS
    12. JETTISON
    13. STRIP SETS

All is discussed in detail in my coaching system, the ADVANCED SYSTEM II, but just google and you should get enough info on these training principles.

This LEG training session is typically done on day FOUR of training, which for me, is always FRIDAYS.

This is it guys, here you have the four articles/videos for the whole body training attack plan for the older guy.

My important links:
  1. This is a generic training approach. My coaching system for the older guy, the ADVANCED SYSTEM II, incorporates all my teachings and is customised on many levels for your body and goals. It is very comprehensive and give you the complete blueprint to reach your body goals and move beyond them. You can find out more here and also signup through this link: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/
  2. Here is the links to order all my “preferred” key supplements and training gear as discussed in all my articles: https://gertlouw.com/supplements-order/

Then guys and girls, as you can see my information is free. The only way my site stay up, is by donations. I kindly ask for a small donation to help me keeping my info free and speaking positivity into people’s life’s: https://paypal.me/GERTFITNESS

Please make a small donation to keep site free – https://www.PAYPAL.ME/GERTFITNESS

Help me keeping this site on the air and free to everyone by making a small contribution. Many people’s lives have been uplifted with the life skill content on this site. By making a donation you help these people.


May your training elevated to the next level and muscle growth move into overdrive!

Stay safe veryone!

Gert Louw


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