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5 Regular Strength Exercises All Men Should Do in Their 30s

Neglecting the weight room is an absolute no-go.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

While many men know that lifting weights is good for them, the fact of the matter is that they need to turn that knowledge into action. While you can get away without lifting weights in your 20s—especially if you played sports—by the time you hit your 30s, neglecting the weight room as a man is an absolute no-go. We're here to help you get started with five regular strength exercises for men in their 30s.

Lifting weights and strength training offer more benefits to men than virtually any other type of exercise. Some of the benefits include increased strength, muscle mass, confidence, stamina, and vitality. Not to mention, weight training improves a number of metabolic risk factors, too.

The bottom line is that the best bang for your buck activity you can do as a man when it comes to fitness is strength training via lifting weights. If you are skipping out on the gym, you are leaving so much on the table. If you begin lifting weights in your 30s, you will reap the benefits across your 40s, 50s, and 60s to an impressive degree.

The following are the top five strength exercises for men in their 30s. Perform four sets of five repetitions using a heavy weight on each exercise. Complete the workout twice per week for maximum results. Be sure to take care of yourself outside of the gym as well, including sticking to a healthy, high-protein diet, getting plenty of sleep, and staying hydrated.


illustration of barbell deadlift

First up on our list of strength exercises for men in their 30s are deadlifts. The deadlift is a compound exercise that is crucial for overall strength development. It primarily targets the posterior chain, including the hamstrings, glutes, and the muscles of the lower back. Additionally, it also works the quads, traps, abs, and forearms.

To perform a deadlift, stand with your feet hip-width apart with the barbell over your mid-foot. Your shins should not be touching the bar yet. Bend at the hips to grip the bar. Your arms should be straight down from your shoulders and just outside your legs. Bend your knees until your shins touch the bar. Keep your hips where they are. Lift your chest up, and straighten your back. You're now in the starting position. Keeping your entire body tight, push through your full foot, and lift the barbell off the ground until you're standing fully upright. The bar should remain close to your body throughout the lift. Repeat for the target repetitions.

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fit man doing pull-ups, concept of strength exercises for men

Pull-ups are another compound exercise that primarily targets the muscles of the back and the biceps. The key muscles involved include the latissimus dorsi (lats), biceps, rhomboids, and trapezius.

To perform a pull-up, stand below a pull-up bar, and reach up to grasp it with an overhand grip. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart. Hang onto the bar with your arms fully extended and your feet off the ground. As you pull yourself up, imagine crushing a piece of fruit in your armpit, engaging your lats and rhomboid. Avoid shrugging throughout the range of motion. Pull until your chin is level with the bar, then slowly lower back to the starting position, maintaining control throughout. Repeat for the target repetitions.

Barbell Back Squats

fit man performing barbell squats at gym, concept of strength exercises for men

Next up on this list of the best strength exercises for men in their 30s is the barbell back squat. The barbell back squat is a powerful exercise that works a host of muscles including the quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, abs, and lower back muscles. It's a vital exercise for your lower-body strength and core stability.

To perform a barbell back squat, position a barbell at shoulder level on a squat rack. If available, set the safety pins just above waist level. Stand facing the bar, and position it just below the base of your neck. Ensure it is evenly balanced across your shoulders. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip. Step back from the rack, and place your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Bend at the knees and hips to lower your body as if you were sitting back into a chair, pushing through your full foot. Keep your back straight and your chest lifted throughout the movement. Push back up to the starting position. Repeat for the target repetitions.

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Bench Presses

man doing barbell bench press exercise, concept of strength exercises for men

The bench press is a critical exercise for developing upper-body strength. It primarily works the chest muscles (pectoralis major), but also targets the anterior deltoids, triceps, and muscles of the upper back.

To perform a bench press, lie flat on your back on a bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Grasp the barbell with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width. Ensure your hands are evenly spaced. Unrack the bar, and hold it straight over your chest with your arms fully extended. Lower the bar slowly to your chest, keeping your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body. Push the bar back to the starting position, making sure not to lock your elbows at the top of the lift. Repeat for the target repetitions.

Overhead Presses

barbell overhead press, concept of strength exercises for men in their 30s

The overhead press is an essential exercise for building shoulder strength and stability. It primarily targets the deltoids, but also works the triceps, upper chest, and upper back muscles.

To perform an overhead press, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell at shoulder height with your hands shoulder-width apart. Engage your core, slightly bend your knees, and push the barbell overhead until your arms are fully extended. As you lift, avoid shrugging your shoulders toward your ears. Instead, imagine sliding your shoulder blades down your back. Lower the barbell back to the starting position in a controlled manner. Repeat for the target repetitions.

Tyler Read
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler