🏋️ tips for thriving at the gym after 40

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We’re back! And we’re serving up top-notch fitness content to help you conquer the mid-week hump.

Here’s what we’ve got in the hopper for today:

  • Tips to help newbies and returning lifters thrive at the gym after 40.

  • The potential side effects of nitric oxide.

  • Larry “Wheels” Williams’ mammoth incline bench press.

Training Tips

The Comeback Kid

GIF: Giphy

No matter how often you want to get into the gym, life gets in the way sometimes. After all, priorities change when you’ve got more on your plate than just managing your workout routine. You may be juggling a career, family time, and perhaps some longstanding achy joints.

But whether you’ve been on extended hiatus from the gym or are just starting out, you can always make gains, no matter your age. To help, we created a four-step cheat sheet for lifters who are 40 or older.

Use these strategies to (re-)kickstart your lifting routine and keep your momentum going — even when other responsibilities threaten to throw you off track.


Nitric Knowledge

Image: Piyato / Shutterstock

One minute you’re crushing arm day at the gym, feeling the pump. The next minute, you’re hit with dizzy spells or making a beeline for the restroom.

What gives?

If you’re taking a pre-workout supplement, the nitric oxide-boosting substances could be to blame.

Nitric oxide is a natural substance that helps widen your blood vessels and deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles — important for seeing progress from cranking out muscle- and strength-building reps in the gym.

But while nitric oxide offers benefits, it also carries risks. Here, we break down exactly what this compound does and how it may affect you (for better or worse).

Personal Record

Wheels Up

Image: @larrywheels on Instagram

Strength sports competitor Larry “Wheels” Williams hasn’t appeared in any competitions in recent months, probably because he’s saving his biggest lifts for another audience: his 4.4 million Instagram followers.

Last week, followers were treated to a reel of Wheels incline bench pressing 68-kilogram (150-pound) dumbbells for a set of 20 reps. The lift comes just a few months after he flat bench pressed 200-pound dumbbells for four reps with a reported body weight of 255 pounds.

The strongman/powerlifter shared that he’s shifted his focus completely toward bodybuilding recently, though when and where he’ll compete next is still up in the air. For now, we’ll just have to keep tabs through the ‘gram.

BarBend Picks

Top-Flight Creatine

Image: Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

When looking at the best creatine supplements on the market, it’s hard to deny Transparent Labs Creatine HMB.

The HMB, which stands for hydroxymethyl butyrate, is the main metabolite in the branched-chain amino acid leucine that prevents muscle protein breakdown. So, it may help you retain muscle, and it appears to do so more effectively than leucine alone.

One bonus is that combining HMB with creatine also appears to increase strength better than taking either supplement alone. And speaking of creatine, Transparent Labs Creatine HMB packs 5,000mg of creatine monohydrate per serving.

It’s also available in 11 flavors, including Hawaiian Splash, Watermelon, Sour Grape, Strawberry Lemonade, Peach Mango, Fruit Punch, and Tropical Punch.

Everything Else

400 Athletes, 65 Countries, 1 Event

Image: @lya_powerlift on Instagram

  • The International Powerlifting Federation’s flagship event kicks off on June 11. Here’s how to watch the biggest-ever IPF World Classic Championship.

  • Get the skinny on how to do the lat pulldown to beef up your back and elevate your pull-ups.

  • Is the Athletic Greens AGI greens powder all it’s cracked up to be? Peep our review to find out for yourself.