Abs After 40 | 5 Workout Tips to Get Ripped Abs


No doubt it is tougher to get six packs abs at 40 and beyond compared to when you are younger.

I’m almost 50.

What I noticed as I got into my 40’s is that friends who were lean their entire lives began getting belly fat.

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Not so much that they looked fat.

You could just tell when they sat, I would notice a good 10-15 pounds of extra flab covering their stomach.

I was going to write a post for women as well, but this isn’t as much of a problem area for women as it is for men.

It’s rare to men with abs after 40.

Heck, it is rare to see men with abs in general (at any age).

I’ve traveled to quite a few beaches this past decade and seeing anyone over 40 with any type of ab definition is extremely rare.

It seems that people give up at a certain point.

I wanted to give 5 tips men over 40 should consider if they are having a tough time getting 6 pack abs.

Before I do that, I’d like to point out that I have a full-blown ab course that I’m now offering as a free article on this site:

The Best Abs Workout Routine – For Killer Abdominal Definition

This will give you plenty of ab workout ideas as well as ab exercise variations.

As I mentioned earlier I’m almost 50.

Here’s a recent pic I took in my bathroom.

By looking at it I can tell I have enough ab muscle development, but could certainly stand to lose about another 5-10 pounds of fat for the abs to pop.

If you are a man over 40, you know this is easier said than done.

My 5 tips are going to focus mainly on fat loss since really this is the biggest challenge for most men when it comes to getting abs after 40.

Tip 1: Diet in a Way that Creates a Calorie Deficit

This should be a common sense tip, but there are a lot of people pushing the idea that a deficit isn’t needed for fat loss.

I guess this is a way to sell more of a specific diet plan.

I have a diet program called High Carb Fat Loss.

It works well for losing fat, but even my diet needs to follow basic physiology in order for it to work.

Be EXTREMELY skeptical of anyone who claims you can “eat all you want” on a specific diet. If you typically burn 2,000 calories in a day but eat 6,000+ per day you WILL pile on fat at a rapid pace.

Calories matter.

So how many calories per day should you aim for to create a deficit?

There are quite a few calculators online.

The Mifflin-St Jeor Equation is considered the most accurate equation for calculating BMR.

Here’s an online calculator that uses this equation:

I weight 194 right now and would like to lose about 5-10 more pounds.

Here are my results.

I actually have an easier approach than using these weight loss calculators.

Goal Weight in Pounds X 10 = Calories Per Day

In my case, let’s say that is 187.

That would put me at 1,870 calories per day.

If I compare that to the chart above that puts me between 1-2 pounds of fat loss per week.

The 10 times goal body weight is a good starting point.

Tip 2: Train Your Abs 3-4 Times Per Week

When I first began training in the late 80’s the advice was to train abs daily.

The idea was that the abs would recover faster than other body parts so they required more frequency.

In the ’90s and beyond we have been told to “train abs like any other body part”. I do believe that less frequent intense training is the best way to build up the abdominal wall so that the abs pop out.

That being said…

Most guys who are aiming to get abs after 40 already have enough ab development.

Training a muscle with less intensity, but with more frequency is a way to increase the muscle definition to that muscle group.

I cover this strategy in detail in Visual Impact Frequency Training.

It works well.

For abs, I think the best strategy after 40 is to train your abs often. This way the abs will always be in a partially contracted state (the secret to extraordinary muscle tone).

I recommend just short 5-10 minute ab workouts at the beginning or end of each workout session.

Mix up the exercises you use each ab workout in order to fully develop the abs.

Tip 3: 20-30 Minutes of Cardio Right After Abs Workout

It used to be believed that spot reduction wasn’t possible.

A 2007 study shows that spot reduction is real.

Here’s a quote:

In conclusion, blood flow and lipolysis are generally higher in SCAT adjacent to contracting than adjacent to resting muscle irrespective of exercise intensity. Thus specific exercises can induce “spot lipolysis” in adipose tissue.

The way to lose additional fat covering the abs is to direct blood flow to that area BEFORE doing a bit of cardio.

I recommend hitting abs with a short workout before walking on a treadmill or doing HIIT, etc.

One thing I’d like to try…

I like the idea of hitting a few sets of ab exercise alternated with walking for 5-10 minutes.

This could be a way to hit stubborn belly fat.

​​​​​​​Something to try anyway.

Tip 4: Perform the “Breath of Dragon” Ab Exercise Throughout the Day

Years ago I read about a special ab exercise Bruce Lee did to get extra dense abs.

I read about it before the internet was a thing.

I wasn’t able to ever track down the exact article, so about 12 years ago I wrote an article about it and even came up with a name, Breath of Dragon.

How to perform the “Breath of Dragon” exercise.

  • Take a deep breath through your nose.
  • Breath out hard through your mouth while pursing your lips.
  • Simultaneously flex your abs as hard as possible while breathing out.
  • Breathing out should take 5-10 seconds.
  • This way of breathing should allow you to get a very strong contraction in your abs.

In martial arts, they teach special breathing techniques to deliver more power to punches and kicks.

Some call this “chi”.

I like to purposely contract my abs like this a few times per day.

If you do this you will notice that your abs will become denser with better definition over time.

Tip 5: 30 Minutes in Morning of Fasted Cardio (When You Have the Time)

Again, the biggest challenge with the goal of getting great abs over the age of 40 is fat loss.

Your diet and regular workout session should do most of the work when it comes to fat loss.

If fat loss is happening at a slower rate than you would like and you have the time for it, additional cardio will speed up the fat loss process.

You will want to do this before eating any food and preferably after a bit of caffeine.

The caffeine is optional, but if you love coffee this is good news.

Keep the cardio to medium to brisk walking pace.

This additional cardio will dial up the fat loss without draining your energy or risking the chance of overtraining

This is ideal for a vacation or special event.

Abs after 40 summary:

The biggest difference between abs after 40 compared to when someone is younger is it is tougher to stay lean.

Since you don’t have youthful hormone levels on your side, you will need to create a stronger calorie deficit (through diet and exercise).

The way to do this is to reduce calories.

10 times your target body weight is a great starting point.

You will also want to increase activity as well as ab training frequency.

When you train abs, followup that training with a bit of cardio. This will give a slight spot reduction effect in your midsection.


Add in fasted cardio a couple of times per week if you have the time for it.

*NEW* Visual Impact Fat Loss Boost Diet
For 15 years I've helped fashion models get lean for photoshoots. Use my plan to Lose 5-10 pounds of PURE body fat in 14 days.

Hope these tips help.


-Rusty Moore

As a former fitness coach to fashion models, I can teach you how to increase muscle definition without adding size.

Click Here to check out my premium courses.