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How To Approach Your Workouts After 40 For Continued Gains

workouts after 40

How your training needs to change after you turn 40.

As you age, your body will change and you may not feel the same as you did, especially when it comes to your time in the gym. Getting older is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’re acquiring more wisdom and life experiences. On the other, you’re stuck with achy joints, slow recovery, and you will have a harder time putting on muscle mass and an even harder time shedding body fat. Long gone are the days where you could get away with skipping warm-ups and maxing out at every session. Once something to look forward to; training has become a chore ­– an uncomfortable, but necessary task. Fortunately, you don’t have to hang up your lifting belt and straps just yet. Although your training routine is going to be significantly different when you’re older, this article will show you can how to improve your physique after your 40’s with these training methods below.

Something to keep in mind is that you want to stay away from people who generalize everyone over 40 and want them to believe that every individual is in the same condition all across the spectrum. Some people may not have any issues with training at 40, while some may have issues far before that.

You Can Still Build Muscle After 40

Although many people will say that you peak in your 20s, there is no doubt that you will have the ability to build muscle in your 40s and beyond. As you get older, you will experience greater anabolic resistance, which basically means that your body will not respond as well to resistance training as you age. No, this doesn’t mean you’ll make no gains. What it means is that there has to be a greater emphasis on doing things right.

Let’s explore how to go about that.

A Change In Priority After 40

If your goal is hypertrophy and putting on muscle, your best bet would be to build as much muscle mass as you can before you turn 40. Sarcopenia hits in when you’re around the 40-year-old mark, and you will lose muscle naturally as you get older. While this is unfortunately a natural occurrence, you can work to control and combat how much muscle you lose, and when you start losing it.

With age, your workout intensity will drop and you shouldn’t be lifting heavy weights if you want to maintain your joint, muscle, and bone health. Focus on starting big and maintaining the muscle mass rather than trying to add on weight as you get older.

workouts after 40

Do Not Skip Warm-Ups

During your 20s, flinging your arms across your torso a few times before benching might have sufficed as a good warm up. In your 30s, you might have gotten away with five minutes on the treadmill prior to squatting. Try that in your 40s, and your body may not be as happy with you.

The value of warming-up before exercise cannot be overstated. A well-designed warm-up will elevate body temperature, increase blood flow to working muscles, heighten nerve impulse, improve joint range of motion, and prime the central nervous system (CNS)1. In short, the purpose of a warm-up is to enhance your performance, mentally prepare you for training, and decrease the likelihood of injury.

An intelligently structured, purposeful warm-up will contain five phases: a general warm-up, mobilization, activation, CNS priming, and a specific warm-up.

The general warm-up usually consists of a brief period of low-intensity aerobic work1. Examples include walking, jogging, jumping rope, cycling, or performing a few calisthenics in a circuit. Don’t overthink this one; simply pick an exercise to do for five to ten minutes, or until you break a light sweat.

Mobilization refers to performing mobility drills that are joint-specific. The purpose of mobility work is to improve the range of motion at joints, specifically those directly involved in the workout. For example, if today’s main exercise calls for bench presses, it may not be necessary to mobilize your ankles. Mobilizing your shoulders would make more sense. Mobility work can be further divided into self-myofascial release, such as foam rolling, and dynamic stretching, such as walking knee hugs. Therefore, choose three to five mobility exercises that will target the tissues surrounding the joints you plan to use during your workout.

Activation involves performing exercises that will up-regulate muscles that have otherwise become down-regulated. In other words, activation exercises “wake up” muscles that have become “dormant”. For example, suppose you sit at a desk all day at work. Your hamstrings and glutes have likely become weak and inactive due to being seated for prolonged periods. Performing a set of glute bridges to activate your glutes and hamstrings would be the ideal thing to do.

Activation exercises also help deepen the mind-muscle connection. If you have trouble feeling the target muscles being trained, try performing specific drills that will isolate the muscle you’re trying to target. As an example, most people feel their biceps taking over during rows. A set of straight-arm pulldowns to isolate the lats may take care of that issue.

Central nervous system priming is performing movements that will “excite” the nervous system. These are explosive-type of exercises that recruit the most motor units (i.e., muscle). Examples include sprints, jumps, and throws.

To test the effectiveness of CNS priming exercises, try performing a handgrip dynamometer before and after an explosive movement. For instance, perform a handgrip dynamometer test before and after a few sets of low-rep box jumps. Chances are your handgrip strength will improve significantly because the box jumps will heighten your CNS. With your CNS switched on, your performance will improve.

Lastly, the specific warm-up involves performing exercises that train the same movement patterns as your main lifts. The purpose of a specific warm-up is to ingrain the technique required for the lift’s proper execution. For example, if your main lift calls for barbell front squats, grab a dumbbell and perform a set of light goblet squats, followed that by stepping in the squat rack and performing a set of front squats with an empty bar as a specific warm-up.

The bottom line is, do not skip your warm ups when you are training over 40.

Use Basic Movement Patterns

Unlike most other sports, an individual can pursue bodybuilding for life, if they train properly and prioritize recovery, as it will help them stay injury free. Bodybuilding also has the possibility of improving at ages when most athletes in other sports have called it quits. Don’t be surprised if you find a person who started bodybuilding at 15 and peaked at 40 or beyond.

Mike O’Hearn is a prime example of this, as he started out young and even with his age he still looks great and moves impressive weights. Bodybuilding is a lifelong pursuit and everyone can work from the same basic set of principles. One way to stay in the game long term, is to utilize basic movements.

Let’s get into some of the basic movement patterns that should become the cornerstone of your training.

  • Horizontal Push

The horizontal push is when you push something away from your body. Exercises included with this type of movement are typically chest focused movements such as push-ups, bench press, and flys, among many others.

Example: Push-Ups

Plant your hands just below your shoulders and put your feet together as if it were a plank position. Engage your core and when ready, gently lower to the ground and explode back to the starting position.

  • Horizontal Pull

The horizontal pull movement is any exercise that is moving a weight towards your torso from out in front of you. Examples of this movement are typically focused on back thickness and include various types of rows, among others.

Example: Seated Cable Row

Set your desired weight and attachment and position your feet on the platform. When ready, grab the handle, sit tall, and engage your core. Bring the attachment towards your body, really feeling a squeeze in the lats. Return back to the starting position with your hands out in front of you.

  • Vertical Push

The vertical push movement will be an exercise that moves the weight away from you in a pressing type way and in a vertical fashion. Examples of this exercise are those pressing ones like the shoulder press.

Example: Shoulder-Press

Either sitting or standing, engage your core and put the weight (most likely dumbbells) next to your head. When ready, tighten your core and push the weight overhead, locking out your arms. Gently lower back to the starting position.

workouts after 40

  • Vertical Pull

The vertical pull movement will be opposite of the vertical push in that you are pulling something in a vertical fashion, focusing on back width. Examples of this would include exercises like chin-ups, pull-ups, and lat pulldowns.

Example: Pull-Up

Grab the bar with an overhand grip and let yourself hang with your feet off the ground. When ready, engage your core and pull yourself so your head is over the bar. Gently lower back to the starting position.

  • Squat

We know the idea of the squat movement, where your knees bend and you really try to maximize mobility and stability. Example exercises are the back squat, lunges, and leg press.

Example: Back Squat

Rest the barbell slightly across the upper back and position your feet about shoulder width apart. When ready, tighten your core and lower into the squat position, really getting the most out of your range of motion. Explode up, driving through your feet and repeat the movement.

  • Hinge

The hinge movement stems from the hips and is very common in both sport and functional movements. For exercises, this could include the deadlift and back extensions.

Example: Deadlift

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and grab the barbell with your desired grip. When ready, brace your core and keep your back neutral as you lift the bar off the ground, keeping it as close to your shins as possible. Hinge at the waist so the bar is about thigh level and lower back to the ground.

workouts after 40

Switch Up the Intensity

Once you hit the 40-year mark, switch your focus from hitting PRs on the bench press or deadlifts, to longevity within your lifts. There is no problem with utilizing compound movements such as the bench press, squat, and deadlift, but your workout program should have a higher number of reps, meaning slightly more volume. You’ll get better muscle stimulation if you keep your working sets within the 8-15 rep range, with less risk to your joints and easier recovery.

How would you know if you’re making improvements? Look for an improved form and a better mind-muscle connection. You should have shorter workouts and a better pump, or a better overall sense of well-being when you leave the gym after a workout.

Prioritize Recovery When Training Over 40

As you age, your body certainly does not recover like it did when you were younger. When you are training in your 40s, even if your intensity is nowhere near what it was, your body will still need to take some extra time to recover. This can be done through a few different ways, such as:

While taking a few extra rest days and stretching more are pretty self explanatory, the supplementation part is where many people lack. A perfect diet is key to getting nutrients into your body to help repair muscles, but using supplementation helps to go the extra mile and speed up the recovery process is even better for having you feel like new.

Some supplements to help recovery you can use are:

workouts after 40

Crucial Supplementation for Training Over 40

When it comes training over 40, supplementation is huge. Certain hormones decline as you age, such as testosterone, and they can cause you lose muscle mass, decrease bone density, increase fat levels, amongst other issues. There are certain supplements that you can take to help combat these effects.

Testosterone Boosters

Centrapeak is a natural test booster designed to improve physical and mental condition. With researched backed and clinically effective doses, this product is perfect for any T boosting needs.

Testosterone is a vital sex hormone that helps aid in muscle growth and development, hair growth, and other important daily functions for both men and women. Men have far more of this hormone in their bodies, and when levels are decreased, it can lead to a variety of unwanted side effects such as poor sex drive, decreased masculine energy, loss of muscle mass unwanted body fat.

With modern medicine, there is the option of testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT for short. TRT is medically prescribed testosterone enhancement, commonly in the form of injections, but this option is not for everyone. An alternative would be natural testosterone boosters, as they can come to your aid to boost testosterone levels and your overall masculine health, especially for those men over 40.


Over time, consistent hydrolyzed collagen supplementation can even deliver visible reductions in skin wrinkles and sagging. Recent evidence exists suggesting hydrolyzed collagen may also aid in recovery for athletes, bone structure, and joint health.

A less talked about topic is collagen, and it is actually the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen functions as one of the major building blocks of things such as bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. I is essential for your overall physical health and performance, especially for athletes who constantly put their bodies through repeated wear and tear.

The human body contains 16 different types of collagen and each one performs its own unique function, but on the whole, this protein makes up the structure of those bones, skin, and tendons, is found in cartilage to cushion joints, and supports the structure of muscles, organs, and arteries. As an essential protein in the body, it would be a huge disservice to neglect the importance of collagen, especially if you are into weight training or any other form of strenuous physical activity.

Things to Avoid When Training Over 40

While we can go endlessly about the things you should be changing in your workouts and recovery protocols after you turn 40, knowing about the things you shouldn’t do in the gym will set a better groundwork. These are the things you should avoid:

  • Exercises that put your shoulders in mechanically risky positions (dips, behind-the-neck presses, barbell upright rows)
  • Exercises that put your elbows under uncomfortable stress (elbow injuries always take longer to heal)
  • Ballistic or explosive exercises (kipping pullups, Olympic lifts)

Wrap Up

Turning 40 may feel like a turning point but it is not. You can still lift effectively and get the most out of all your workouts. By prioritizing these movements, what you will find is a great workout is at your disposal and you can see gains even as you age.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 


  1. Fradkin, A. J., Zazryn, T. R., & Smoliga, J. M. (2010). Effects of Warming-up on Physical Performance: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis.Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research24(1), 140–148. http://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0b013e3181c643a0
  2. Swinton, P. A., Stewart, A., Agouris, I., Keogh, J. W., & Lloyd, R. (2011). A biomechanical Analysis of Straight and Hexagonal Barbell Deadlifts Using Submaximal Loads. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25(7), 2000-2009. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181e73f87
  3. Avelar, A., Ribeiro, A. S., Nunes, J. P., Schoenfeld, B. J., Papst, R. R., Trindade, M. C., . . . Cyrino, E. S. (2019). Effects of order of resistance training exercises on muscle hypertrophy in young adult men. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 44(4), 420-424. doi:10.1139/apnm-2018-0478
  4. Schoenfeld, B., & Grgic, J. (2017). Evidence-Based Guidelines for Resistance Training Volume to Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy. Strength and Conditioning Journal, doi:10.1519/ssc.0000000000000363
  5. Schoenfeld, B. J., Grgic, J., & Krieger, J. (2018). How many times per week should a muscle be trained to maximize muscle hypertrophy? A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies examining the effects of resistance training frequency. Journal of Sports Sciences, 37(11), 1286-1295. doi:10.1080/02640414.2018.1555906

*Images courtesy of Envato

Victor Martinez Answers: The Best Time To Stop PEDs | GI Podcast

Victor Martinez details exactly when to stop your steroid cycle before a bodybuilding competition

Most competitive bodybuilders who use PEDs understand that steroids should be cycled on and off – not used every day for the full year. This steroid cycling component becomes especially important during the final weeks before a bodybuilding competition. Most bodybuilders practice the technique of ending a cycle before stepping on stage. But when exactly should you stop? In the latest episode of the Generation Iron Podcast, Victor Martinez explains exactly when to drop steroids before a bodybuilding competition.

Most individuals associate bodybuilding with steroids. While the importance of PEDs in the sport is grossly overstated – it is true that most professional bodybuilders use steroids and other PEDs to obtain mass monster physiques. However, a common misconception is that bodybuilders are on steroids when they step on stage for a competition.

In reality, most bodybuilders ensure that they are not currently using steroids when they compete. The use of anabolic steroids can be vital during training – but are typically cycled off in the final weeks leading up to a show.

That’s why Victor Martinez spends this week’s episode sharing his expert tips based on his career in bodybuilding – detailing how you should time coming off steroids before a competition. Martinez and the GI crew also discuss a new law passed in New York City banning discrimination of overweight individuals. Let’s jump into it.

Steroid cycle timing before a bodybuilding competition

Victor Martinez kicks off this week’s episode by answering a fan question. This one is about steroid cycles and how to time them before a competition. When is the right time to stop using steroids before a show?

Victor Martinez first explains why it is bad to stay on a steroid cycle through and into a bodybuilding competition. Most of these steroids cause inflammation. This inflammation is responsible for a puffy look that you may see on bodybuilders when they compete. To avoid the puffy look, bodybuilders get off steroids before a competition in order to reduce inflammation and look tighter and more conditioned for the competition.

Victor Martinez suggests that a person should always play it safe and stop using steroids two weeks before a competition. While some can push it closer, those are genetic exceptions. For those unsure, two weeks is the perfect amount of time to reduce inflammation and also help cut additional water weight that may have been caused by the substances.

Body shaming, obesity, and health

Unlike other discrimination topics, such as the color of one’s skin, weight is not something strictly tied to genetics. A person’s weight is also directly affected by their health and nutrition. It’s no secret that being overweight can be very problematic for a person’s health and lead to medical conditions such as heart failure.

However, it is also possible to be healthy while also being overweight. Genetics, disease, and other disorders can have a massive affect on a person’s weight – even if they eat very healthily.

That’s why Victor Martinez is conflicted about the new law passed in New York City that bans discrimination against overweight individuals – applying to businesses, housing, and access to public spaces. He personally believes that discrimination should not be tolerated – and overall agrees that businesses should not be able to hire (or not hire) based on a person’s body.

However, he also wonders how this will affect businesses in the fitness industry. Gyms, supplement companies, and fitness brands aim to promote strength, muscle, and health. If these businesses are forced to hire a qualified overweight person into their business – would it damage their brand?

Generation Iron Persia‘s Ehsan Farahi believes so – and is overall against many of the core tenets of the body positivity movement. He believes that a gym should be able to only hire fit people, even a front desk person, as fitness is about health, strength, and muscle.

Ehsan also believes that a person should be able to speak plainly about the dangers of being overweight. If a person is obese, Ehsan sees no problem with telling that person to start exercising, start eating better, and get into better shape. He thinks that tough action is required to help change people’s health habits.

This leads the GI crew and Victor Martinez to debate the wider topic of body shaming, obesity, and health. Ehsan worries that these kinds of laws and the body positivity movement is encouraging bad health. That the movement is going too far and enabling unhealthy eating habits. It gives overweight people the excuse to never get healthy again.

Victor Martinez agrees, but believes that the conversation should be spun into a positive direction. If Martinez has to hire an overweight person in his gym, he’ll do it, but he will also ask for that person to commit to a body transformation program. Use it as a springboard for better health.

Ultimately, Victor Martinez will side with any law that is against discrimination. As he understands there can be many causes for a person to be overweight beyond health. That being said – there still needs to be room for “tough love” and encouraging of weight loss as well.

RELATED:Try this ultimate weight loss guide for 2023

Wrap Up

Victor Martinez and the GI crew discuss in far more detail about obesity, body shaming, and how it intersects with health and fitness. You can watch the full discussion in our latest episode of the Generation Iron Podcast above. Don’t forget to watch new episodes every Tuesday only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded.

Ronnie Coleman Reacts To Olympia Champion Hadi Choopan’s Insane Lifts

8-Time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman’s latest reaction video is from Olympia champ Hadi Choopan.

Ronnie Coleman continues his series of reacting some of the craziest lifts in the fitness world. In bodybuilding, many Men’s Open competitors are able to put up insane numbers in the gym. This includes reigning Olympia champion Hadi Choopan.

After finishing in the top three on multiple occasions, Choopan was able to reach the top in 2021. He is preparing to defend his title in November and is hitting the gym hard.

Coleman currently holds the record, along with Lee Haney, for most Olympia titles ever with eight. Off the stage, Coleman has created a successful social media page because of his entertainment factor and knowledge about fitness.

Coleman has made videos on his YouTube page answering questions from fans and showing off different workouts. This time, he reacted to some of the biggest and best lifts from Choopan.

2022 Olympia Hadi Choopan

Ronnie Coleman: “Show Me How You Got That Title”

If there is one thing Ronnie Coleman became known for, it was his dedication in the gym and massive workouts. He was one of the strongest bodybuilders of his time and it helped build an insanely muscular physique. Now, he is reacting to other greats attempting to build the same.

“I’ve seen my boy Hadi Choopan been doing a lot of work over the years and finally got himself a title. I thought it would only be appropriate if I did some reaction videos to some of his training so let’s get into this.”


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A post shared by Ronnie Coleman (@ronniecoleman8)

The video began with Choopan hitting some cable exercises before moving onto barbell curls. Choopan has built massive arms while keeping his physique symmetrical.

“Get them arms as big as possible. That’s a big-armed dude. Let’s go, Hadi. Let’s do this. What you got going on? Just playing around in the gym right now.

Big, thick chest. big, thick arms. lifting that light weight bably, like it ain’t nothing.”

The video then moved onto the lower body where Hadi Choopan hit some squats and reps on the leg press machine.

“Who is going to be the Mr. O in 2023? Those were some impressive lifts. Congratulations on the title, Hadi. I’m looking forward to seeing you on the stage later this year.”

Ronnie Coleman has remained up to date on all things bodybuilding in retirement. This includes sharing his own workouts and exercises while reacting to others.

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Jo Lindner’s Leg Workout for Veiny and Aesthetic Thighs

jo lindner's leg workout

Jo Lindner starts his leg workout with isolation movements to pre-exhaust his legs. 

Join us as we gear up for leg day today! Get ready to power up your lower body with bodybuilder and fitness influencer Jo Lindner’s, aka Joesthetics, leg workout tips. Remember, never skip an opportunity to strengthen your muscles. Checkout Lindner’s leg workout and tips on his Instagram below:


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A post shared by Jo Lindner (@joesthetics)

Leg day is important for lifters because it helps build muscles and burn calories. This study shows that doing leg exercises increases testosterone levels (1). Testosterone plays a key role in the increase of strength and muscle mass.

Since Joesthetics started his bodybuilding journey, he’s made some major gains. This has prompted fans to pay attention to his workouts and tips. He regularly shares these on his Instagram account and also partners with bodybuilders like Larry Wheels to train.

Recently, Jo Lindner shared an insane ten-year body transformation that had everyone talking. Here’s his take on the leg exercises to build muscles on leg day. 

Full Name: Jo Lindner
Weight Height Date of Birth
209 – 220 lbs 5’11” 01/14/2023
Profession Era Nationality
Bodybuilder, Fitness Model 2010s- till date German

Jo Lindner Leg Workout Routines

One thing that immediately jumps out at you when you see this Jo Lindner is the details on his legs. He has a lot of lean muscle mass and trains with heavy weights. Joesthetics also says he pre-exhausts his legs with leg extensions before the rest of his leg day exercise. In his Instagram post, he wrote:

“For me – legs is first, exercise really heavy. Like squats or hack squat. Then isolation. But here we do pre-exhaustion leg extensions first – then squats and then all the rest.”

Leg Extensions
Standing Calf Raises
Hack Squats
Sissy Squats

Leg Extensions

leg workout

Leg extensions are a strength exercise that isolates and trains your quad muscles and improves muscular endurance in your leg muscles. Your quads comprise the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius.

This exercise is performed with a leg extension machine. You can see Jo Lindner extend his leg with his feet facing out. This is because usually leg extensions focus on the rectus femoris. Leg extensions with feet out focus on the vastus medialis, the teardrop-like muscle on the inside of the thigh beside the knee.

Building your vastus medialis is important for aesthetic purposes in bodybuilding. However, this muscle is also critical to your performance and can help prevent injury. Building strong quads carryover in other exercises like squats and influences your posture

Standing Calf Raises

Many people need to pay more attention to their calves when exercising. They will improve your overall lower body aesthetics and are instrumental in many physical activities, such as running and jumping. Standing calf raises work on your soleus and gastrocnemius, the two muscles running down the back of your leg. Strengthening your calf muscles helps to improve your functional performance and balance (2).

Joesthetics did his standing calf raises on a machine. He also noted that he does seated calf raises for leg day but didn’t include them in the video because people don’t like them. “My fav bro, just not posting it because people hate and say it’s BS,” stated Lindner.

Hack Squat

Hack squats are an excellent lower body exercise that builds your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and core. This movement is a great way to build strength in your legs. The primary muscles that this routine focuses on are the quads, glutes, and adductors.

Using a machine like your hack squats makes it easier to lift heavier weights leading to more muscle hypertrophy. This is because the machine stabilizes you, making lifting more weight easier than traditional barbell squats. Hack squats are also considered safer, especially on your lower back, because the machine allows you to focus fully on the muscles you’re building by eliminating the need for balancing and has less spinal compression. 

Sissy Squats

The sissy squats are a routine that effectively strengthens your quad muscles, hip flexors, and core. This exercise is also great at helping athletes improve their balance. This exercise helps you achieve almost 100% isolation of your quads.

Joesthetics does his sissy squats with a machine. A sissy squat machine is a great way to improve your safety and form. With a machine, you effectively remove the fear of falling over or disrupting your posture. This allows you to lean back more securely, improving your form and range of motion

Deep Tissue Quad Massage

After his workout videos, Jo Lindner included a video of him undergoing a post-workout deep tissue massage focused on his quads. Including massages in your workout could be as beneficial as supplements and dieting to get better results. It helps to relieve soreness and help with pain and inflammation after exercise. This study shows that massage reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), thus reducing the time spent recovering after your workout (3).

Deep tissue massage isn’t typically recommended as a post-workout massage because it could increase inflammation due to its intensity. However, you could do the massage between workouts or on a different day from your vigorous routine. 

Jo Lindner prefers to start his workout with isolation movements to get them pre-exhausted before his bigger lifts. This will force his leg muscles to do more work to complete the workout, leading to further muscle growth. Rather than just focusing on the quadriceps, he focuses on the vastus medialis muscle to make his lower body appear more aesthetic.

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more bodybuilding workouts!


  1. Rønnestad, B. R., Nygaard, H., & Raastad, T. (2011). Physiological elevation of endogenous hormones results in superior strength training adaptation. European journal of applied physiology, 111(9), 2249–2259. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-011-1860-0 
  2. Maritz, C. A., & Silbernagel, K. G. (2016). A Prospective Cohort Study on the Effect of a Balance Training Program, Including Calf Muscle Strengthening, in Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Journal of geriatric physical therapy (2001), 39(3), 125–131. https://doi.org/10.1519/JPT.0000000000000059 
  3. Guo, J., Li, L., Gong, Y., Zhu, R., Xu, J., Zou, J., & Chen, X. (2017). Massage Alleviates Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness after Strenuous Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in physiology, 8, 747. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00747

Lunge Vs. Split Squat: Which Is Better For Building Leg Muscle?


Both will really boost leg growth, but is one better?

As we all embark on that dreaded leg day, it’s important to realize that certain exercises can effectively work our muscles better than others. If you want to even get close to having the best legs on the planet, you are going to have to make the most out of your workouts. With our busy schedules, we want to maximize our time in the gym as best we can, for efficiency matters when under that tight workout window.

With countless leg exercises to perform, from squats to RDLs, all of which can help with adding muscle mass and really building that lower body physique, choosing the best ones can be difficult. Two exercises that are often considered very similar and beneficial are lunges and split squats.

The lunge and split squat are two amazing leg exercises to help get you to where you want to be. But the debate about the lunge vs. split squat is one that remains subjective and unanswered. They are definitely close in terms of how to perform them, and you feel the burn in similar areas, but lunges and split squats are not the same exercises, so what exactly are the differences?

In order to help you optimize your training and performance goals, let’s dive in and take a look at these two great exercises. From what they are, to muscles worked, the benefits, and of course, what makes them so different, by the end of this, you will have a better idea of just what to do when leg day decides to roll around.

strong legs

Benefits Of Strong Legs

Before we dive right into these exercises, the benefits to having strong legs is something important to touch on. Of course, for those involved with sport specific movements which require certain skills like sudden pivots and turns, having strong legs will work to keep you stable so no sudden injury occurs.

For those of us lifters, strong legs make contribute to your overall physique and really make it look like you know what you’re doing. Those guys with the massive upper bodies and chicken legs look foolish, we’ll say it here, so don’t be them. Strong legs will work to keep you balanced and supported for all your lifts, especially those big powerlifts, and will enhance explosiveness and power output so you can maximize every workout in the gym (1).

Lunges Overview

Lunges are a great exercise to promote muscle growth, balance, and even weight loss. By promoting strength and size, lunges work to strengthen the low back and muscles surrounding it to avoid injury. With this exercise focused on one leg, you start to see more core engagement leading to greater gains and that added layer of support (2). The challenge while relying on one leg is the need for increased balance, which will improve quickly with lunges as they are a staple component of the lunge exercise. As simple and convenient exercises to do everywhere, these are great for at home or at the gym workouts.

Muscles Worked:

How To Lunge:

  • Start in an upright and strong, stable position
  • Step one foot forward in front of you and bend the knee to a 90-degree angle. Your thigh will be parallel to the ground and your knee on the extended foot should not go past the foot of that same leg
  • Drive through the ground and lift up to the starting position.
  • Alternate legs and perform for your desired number of reps.

Split Squats Overview

What you’ll get out of split squats are very similar benefits to the lunge. Split squats will work to improve strength and performance by building those legs so you see those desired tree trunks take affect. With these being a loaded stretch, split squats can enhance mobility, something vital for range of motion and what will prove to pay off in the long run (3). For those suffering from an imbalance, split squats can work to eliminate those so you don’t deal with injuries and can continue to grind in the gym.

Muscles Worked:

  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Abductors
  • Adductors

How To Split Squat:

  • Step one leg in front of you with your hands by your sides and your core engaged
  • Bend one leg as you lower to the floor and as you return to the starting position, don’t leave that position
  • Continue this movement until you’ve completed your desired amount of reps and then repeat with the other side

Major Difference Between Split Squats and Lunges

One of the main differences is the way each is performed. Although it is a small difference in terms of appearance, what this requires makes each unique. The split squat requires you to stay in place, lowering and raising yourself all why remaining in a fixed position. The lunge requires a step forward and backward on either side of the actual lunge movement. This will need more balance and coordination to complete the movement since there is extra movement taking place. It isn’t so much that the level of difficulty is that much different, but it will require some extra attention if you choose the lunge.

Is a Lunge or Split Squat Better?

When it comes down to the debate on the lunge vs. split squat, both of these exercises are great for building leg muscle. With both being very similar movements, it is hard to argue that one will build more muscle than the other. When it comes to the accessory benefits like balance and coordination, the lunge seems to squeeze out in front given that it needs that extra movement to take place.

For what it’s worth, both are absolutely phenomenal exercises and can work to see that desired growth come to life. Another great benefit to both is that you can add weight if you no longer feel your bodyweight is enough. Either a dumbbell, kettlebell, or medicine ball will work to progress your gains with that added weight.

Lunge vs. Split Squat Wrap Up

When it comes to leg day, finding the right exercises can be challenging and something we all know we need to do. The lunge vs. split squat debate is really a subjective one depending on your desired goals and each is great in their own right. Look into what you want most out of your workouts and you can honestly put both of these in to really maximize your gains. Regardless of what you choose, don’t think about skipping leg day because it’s noticeable. Be the one people envy, not the other way around.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Bean, Jonathan F.; Leveille, Suzanne G.; Kiely, Dan K.; Bandinelli, Stephania; et al. (2003). “A Comparison of Leg Power and Leg Strength Within the InCHIANTI Study: Which Influences Mobility More?”. (source)
  2. Jonhagen, Sven; Ackermann, Paul; Saartok, Tonu (2009). “Forward lunge: a training study of eccentric exercises of the lower limbs”. (source)
  3. Bishop, Chris J.; Tarrant, Joe; Jarvis, Paul T.; Turner, Anthony N. (2017). “Using the Split Squat to Potentiate Bilateral and Unilateral Jump Performance”. (source)

Joseph Baena Hits Bodybuilding Poses, Shares Physique Update At Gold’s Gym

Physique Update

Joseph Baena hit a workout at the iconic gym before showing off his physique progression.

Joseph Baena continues to find his own way in the fitness industry and is improving his physique day by day. The son of legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger has showed off some of his father’s most legendary poses in the past and recently hit a new physique update. Baena crushed a workout at Gold’s Gym before hitting a posing session.

Like Schwarzenegger, Baena has found a passion for both fitness and acting. Baena has been able to maintain his physique to look good on the big screen. After an appearance on Dancing With The StarsBaena realized that there are many was to stay in shape.

During his time on the show, Baena lost weight and was able to maintain his shredded, slim physique. He has teased the idea of competing on stage as a bodybuilder but there are no plans as of yet. Now, he just continues to master the art of posing.

Baena has joined many big names in fitness for workouts, such as Mike O’Hearn and Robby Robinson. Baena has also teamed up with Bradley Martyn, where he got a workout in and discussed when his obsession with the gym began.

Joseph Baena bodybuilding workout
Image via Instagram @projoe2

Joseph Baena’s Latest Physique Update

Arnold Schwarzenegger spent many days working out in the legendary Gold’s Gym. Now, it is his son’s turn. Joseph Baena shares many videos and pictures inside the iconic gym and this was the scene of his latest update as well.


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A post shared by Joseph Baena (@joebaena)

Baena did not specify what workout he was hitting on this day. In March, Baena shared a massive pull day for fans to try.

Joseph Baena’s Pull-Day Workout

The exact amount of sets and reps was not specified in the video but Baena shared the exercises he hit in order to get a serious pump.

Joseph Baena continues to sculpt his physique with different goals in mind. Can one of those goals be a bodybuilding debut? It will be interesting to see if he follows in his father’s footsteps fully as time goes on.

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Dorian Yates Shows Off Insanely Ripped Ab Comparison 40 Years Apart

Bodybuilding legend Dorian Yates has been shredded his whole life and showed it off with an insane abs transformation.

Six-time Mr. Olympia, Dorian Yates is one of the best bodybuilders of all-time. So, it is not surprising that he has been able to maintain his shredded physique in retirement. Sometimes it is crazy to think about how long these athletes have been in top shape for. Recently, Yates showed it off with an abs comparison and transformation with pictures 40 years apart.

Yates burst onto the scene thanks to his insane size in his back. Of course, his entire physique was massive and had the right conditioning to reach the pinnace of the sport. In 1991, Yates made his Olympia debut and was only topped by eight-time champion Lee Haney.

READ MORE: Dorian Yates Ab Exercises That Helped Win Six-Consecutive Olympia Titles

From 1992-1997, Yates did not lose a competition and racked up six-consecutive Olympia titles. Following his final victory on the biggest stage, Yates retired from bodybuilding after suffering different injuries. In retirement, Yates has maintained a shredded physique while sharing his wisdom in the gym.

Dorian Yates ab exercises

Dorian Yates Shares Insane Ab Comparison

Dorian Yates shared photos that are nearly 40 years apart and showed his progression. The first picture was from when Yates was 22 years old and the second was recent at 61.

“22 years old… 61 years old!

Almost 40 years difference between these pics!

I’ve always had a visible set of abs, partly down to my genetics.”


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A post shared by Dorian Yates (@thedorianyates)

Full Name: Dorian Yates (Bodybuilder)
Weight Height Date Of Birth
240-290 lbs 5’10” 4/19/1962
Division Era Nationality
Bodybuilder 1980, 1990 British


Dorian Yates has been open about many areas in retirement. This includes his steroid and TRT use along with his different psychedelic experiences, specifically with Dimethyltryptamine.

Yates has shared many different workout routines and exercises that he used during his extremely successful career. For abs, this includes bodyweight crunches and reverse crunches. Yates shared that he performed each exercise to failure twice on one day of the week.

Yates put together an incredible career on stage and is now able to enjoy his retirement while remaining in top shape. Fans can continue to keep up with the bodybuilding legend via his his film, “Dorian Yates: The Original Mass Monster” and on social media pages, showing off different workouts and physique updates.

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

2023 Sheru Classic Italy Pro Results

Here are the full results from the 2023 Sheru Classic Italy Pro!

The 2023 Sheru Classic Italy Pro took place on Sunday in Italy with three division winners qualifying for the 2023 Olympia. The Classic Physique, Men’s Physique, and Bikini divisions were on display from the start of the show.

The Olympia qualification system has changed this year. If an athlete did not finish in the top three in the previous year, or top five in Men’s Open, they will have to win a show to qualify. The points qualification system is no more. Also, former winners of an Olympia title have lifetime eligibility.

Sidy Pouye was victorious in Men’s Physique after competing in some of the biggest shows of the year. He was a top-five finisher during the New York Pro and Pittsburgh Pro this year. Laszlo Kiraly will make his first appearance on the sport’s biggest stage after winning Classic Physique.

Zsofia Molnar will hit the Olympia stage after her second victory this year. She was also victorious during the Tropicarium Budapest Pro.

The full results from the show have been announced. Below, check out the full breakdown, along with an official scorecard. 

2023 Sheru Classic Italy Pro: All Division Winners

  • Classic Physique: Laszlo Kiraly
  • Men’s Physique: Sidy Pouye
  • Bikini: Zsofia Rexa Molnar

2023 Sheru Classic Italy Pro Breakdown

Classic Physique

  • First Place – Laszlo Kiraly
  • Second Place – Antoine Loth
  • Third Place – Edwin Owusu
  • Fourth Place – Adam Bomert
  • Fifth Place – Damian Kuffel
  • Sixth Place – Florian Hartlage
  • Seventh Place – Rathnayake Mudiyanselage Saman Udaya Kumara
  • Eighth Place – Emanuele Ricotti
  • Ninth Place – Luca Corrado
  • Tenth Place – Luigi Maria De Robertis

Men’s Physique

  • First Place – Sidy Pouye
  • Second Place – Riccardo Croci
  • Third Place – Jessy Pigury
  • Fourth Place – Daniel Leone
  • Fifth Place – Dario Beloli
  • Sixth Place – Andrea Mosti
  • Seventh Place – Marcos Iglesias Garcia
  • Eighth Place – Adama Jammeh
  • Ninth Place – Fabian Feber
  • Tenth Place – Luca Bioli


  • First Place – Zsofia Rexa Molnar
  • Second Place – Anna Setlak
  • Third Place – Priscila Leimbacher
  • Fourth Place – Roberta Mangraviti
  • Fifth Place – Kristina Brunauer
  • Sixth Place – Lisa Reith
  • Seventh Place – Claudia Clemente
  • Eighth Place – Tatiana Lanovenko
  • Ninth Place – Patrizia Vaccaro
  • Tenth Place – Sara Fratella

2023 Sheru Classic Italy Pro Official Scorecards

Scorecard Scorecard Scorecard

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Chris Bumstead On Whether or Not to Use Steroids

Chris Bumstead gives advice on whether or not steroid use should be an option.

When it comes to bodybuilding and seeing progress, it is certainly no secret that supplementation is a huge part of it. Supplementation with things like creatine and protein powder helps largely in recovery and packing on muscle mass, but is that all it takes? In a world filled with social media and fitness influencers constantly capturing the best lighting with a great pump, many are left wondering why they do not look like a Mr. Olympia competitor within a year of lifting. This is where you see the rise of things like SARMs or anabolic steroids being used amongst younger generations.

Chris Bumstead has given some sound advice on whether or not taking steroids should be an option for someone wanting to get into bodybuilding. During a 2021 Q&A, the Classic Physique champion stated his stance on whether or not taking steroids was a good idea.

Chris Bumstead has certainly cemented himself as the Classic Physique champion of the Mr. Olympia, and is someone that many aspiring bodybuilders look up to. After dethroning Breon Ansley in 2019, Bumstead would again reign supreme at the 2020 show, followed by 2021 and 2022, making him the current reigning champ at the Olympia. Bumstead has undoubtedly brought one of the best physiques to the stage regardless of any division. The Canadian retained his title to become a two-time Classic Physique Olympia champion.

The reigning Classic Physique champion has asserted his dominance in the division. With an impressive posing routine at each Olympia and increased muscle maturity every time he steps on stage, there is no doubt that Chris Bumstead has carved out a legacy for himself. As such, Bumstead’s popularity has skyrocketed with a bodybuilding physique that closely resembles the Golden Era of bodybuilding.

Headed into the each Olympia, many questions are usually raised about Chris Bumstead’s training and preparation for the next show. Chris is someone who is not afraid to engage with his fan base, which is another reason he is so well received and respected in the community, but this led the Classic Physique champion to make a YouTube video back in 2021, in which he answered some fan questions.

Disclaimer: Generation Iron team are not medical professionals and are not advising for or against the use of any performance enhancing drugs, rather stating the facts surrounding these substances.

Are Steroids The Answer?

One question in particular seemed to stand out among the rest, and it is something that many gym goers tend to ask themselves every day. A fan question about whether or not starting steroids was a viable option for bodybuilding, Bumstead gave a distinct answer.

“The answer is no,” said Bumstead. “I have this new theory where if you have to ask someone else if you should take something potentially harmful to your body, the answer is already no.

“That decision has to be your own, and it has to be a well educated decision, because people like bodybuilding for a few years, and they take steroids and they’ll be like ‘I don’t actually like bodybuilding.’ Then they’ll quit bodybuilding, and their body is still f**ked up from the juice or whatever they took in the meantime.

“So that decision, you shouldn’t ask anybody that. You should just know, and you should be f**king dedicated to wanting to do it. So no, you shouldn’t if you’re asking me that.”

It’s a pretty interesting answer to say the least. Rather than give a yes or no, leaving it up to personal responsibility is the only logical answer for Chris Bumstead to give. What do you think about Bumstead’s answer? Check out his exclusive interview with Generation Iron discussing his winning workout routine for the Olympia.

Chris Bumstead’s Steroid Cycle

Since the Q&A video asking Chris for advice on steroids, he has since come out about his own steroid usage. Chris came out in June of 2022 to discus his steroid cycle, which he stated he had lowered and is healthier and looks better. The classic physique champion stated that he used to run up to five different compounds at once when he first started the sport, but has seriously cut back, to maybe one or two. While he did not dive into specifics of what compounds he has taken due to not wanting people to copy his ways, Chris did say that preserving his health has been a main focus in his journey.

He did hint at taking 200 mg a week of testosterone in the offseason, which is right around the average TRT dose; but then when it comes time to jump into prep, that number will maybe go up to 500 mg a week and there will be other things added in.

Mainly, Chris Bumstead preaches health over anything and to really stay up on things like bloodwork to make sure everything is in check.

Diet Over Everything

One thing that Chris Bumstead has put an emphasis on is his diet, stating that it is “perfect”. This is something that we completely agree with, because diet defines your physique, regardless of it you are on anabolic substances or not. If you are pushing gear but not dieting properly, you will not look the way you want. Making sure you are tracking macros and getting adequate amounts of things like proteins, fats, or carbs supersedes any steroid cycle you may be tempted to try.

Chris Bumstead Steroids Wrap Up

Overall, current classic physique Mr. Olympia champion has spoken on the topic of steroids several times. He tries to remain as transparent as possible, while not giving too much away as to where people may try what he does. Regardless of your decision on whether or not to use anabolic substances, it is certainly imperative to stay on top of things like diet, exercise, bloodwork, and so on, to make sure you are healthy as can be.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Managing Editor at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.

Flex Lewis Names Top 3 Chest Exercises For a Chiseled Chest

Flex Lewis chest
Image via Instagram @flex_lewis

There are only 3 movements needed to build an Olympia champ-worthy chest. 

Want a stunning visual impact and increased performance in any activity that requires force projection? Then it’s time to build your chest properly! And what’s better than looking good while filling out your shirt? Flex Lewis’ chest workout is the perfect routine to help you achieve those impressive pecs you’ve dreamed of.

Flex Lewis is a retired bodybuilding great in the Men’s 212 division. He was inspired to start training after reading a book on Tom Platz at age 12. This and inspiration from Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of his biggest idols, kept him going.

The “Welsh Dragon,” as he came to be known, entered and won his first bodybuilding competition at age 16. This spun into a career of 30 1st place wins out of 37 competitions throughout his career. He went undefeated in every competition he entered from 2012-2018 before retiring after his seventh 212 Mr. Olympia win. 

While he no longer competes, Flex Lewis educates fans about bodybuilding. He consistently shares his thoughts on training, dieting, and steroid use and left everyone in awe with his physique when he hit the scale at 200 lbs earlier this year. Here’s his pick for the top three exercises to build an Olympia-worthy chest which he shared recently on his Instagram.

Full Name: James “Flex” Lewis
Weight Height Date of Birth
200 – 238 lbs 5’5” 11/15/1983
Division Era Nationality
Men’s 212 2000-2010s Welsh


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A post shared by Flex Lewis™ (@flex_lewis)

Flex Lewis Chest Workout

The Welsh Dragon used machines for all the chest exercises in this workout. While free weight has advantages, research shows that gains in muscle mass and strength are similar whether you use free weights or machines (1). Using proper form when training with machines is also easier. 

Vertical Chest Press
Incline Fly
Incline Chest Press

Vertical Chest Press

The vertical chest press is a movement that targets the top of your chest muscles. Chest presses also work on your anterior delts and triceps (2). This is a great routine to build a bigger overall torso. 

Using the reloaded machine for the vertical chest press lets you lift heavier loads, leading to muscle hypertrophy. Its adjustability also allows you to isolate and target specific chest parts. When doing this routine, use controlled movements and avoid taking your elbows too far back, as this overextends your elbow. 

Flex Lewis uses the Arsenal Reloaded vertical chest press and says the vertical chest press is his first movement for building pectoral muscles. He also says that foundation is key when doing this movement. 

“You find the height of the seat in accordance with your biomechanics. So, what I try to do is line up my chest with the handles [and] get a little bit closer range. People will say you’re incorporating triceps. I’ve been doing this a long time. There’s ways of me trying to switch off that button but the wider you go, the less triceps you’re going to hit. Pinching myself against the pad and my shoulder blades. I’m not squirming in the chair [in] plain motion. Chest up high squeeze at the top.”

Incline Fly

chest exercises

The incline fly is an isolation exercise that works on your upper pecs. The key to the success of this exercise is the incline of the bench which this study shows results in greater muscular activation (3)

Using the Arsenal Reloaded incline fly also gives you an advantage. It offers a great range of motion, and the curved bench helps to open up your chest during the movement. Flex Lewis says the movement with this machine is as close to the dumbbell fly as a machine can be.

“This is pretty much as close to a dumbbell fly as a machine can be. Chest up high, I’m arching my body. There’s a little definitive distance between the lower of my back and the pad on my shoulder blades firmly on the pad, full stretch at the bottom. Contraction with the flys all the way through squeezing at the top, opening them up, controlling the weight. Ninety degrees and up again. You can open your hands up or close them out depending on your preference and what you’re trying to achieve during the workout.”

Incline Chest Press

The incline chest press is a strength exercise that works on your upper chest, shoulders, and triceps. This exercise is a great addition to your upper body workout, and many people prefer using the machine as it adds more stability, especially for beginners. You should also adjust this machine to fit your arm and torso length.

Flex Lewis says the incline chest press is one of the GOATs for chest exercises. He also says he uses a suicide grip for this exercise, which he doesn’t recommend since it can be more dangerous. The suicide grip is also called the false grip, and when using this grip, you position your thumb next to your forefinger instead of wrapping them around as usual. 

While this grip keeps your wrists neutral and leaves your shoulder in a better position, it can cause the weight to slip out of your hands easily as your thumbs are not there as a safety lock. Flex Lewis says,

“Chest up high, feet in a solid foundational position, and we’re going to drive through squeezing at the top. As you can see, I’ve got a suicide grip which is something I don’t advise, but this is how I train and feel best. Contraction all the time, control is key.”

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  1. Schwanbeck, S. R., Cornish, S. M., Barss, T., & Chilibeck, P. D. (2020). Effects of Training With Free Weights Versus Machines on Muscle Mass, Strength, Free Testosterone, and Free Cortisol Levels. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 34(7), 1851–1859. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000003349 
  2. Muyor, J. M., Rodríguez-Ridao, D., & Oliva-Lozano, J. M. (2023). Comparison of Muscle Activity between the Horizontal Bench Press and the Seated Chest Press Exercises Using Several Grips. Journal of human kinetics, 87, 23–34. https://doi.org/10.5114/jhk/161468 
  3. Lauver, J. D., Cayot, T. E., & Scheuermann, B. W. (2016). Influence of bench angle on upper extremity muscular activation during bench press exercise. European journal of sport science, 16(3), 309–316. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2015.1022605