Fit for forty | 12-week challenge

Jon Bond

Exactly 12 weeks before my 40th Birthday I began a 12-week fit for forty mission to get into the best shape of my life. Which to me meant having above average, strength, endurance, and a lean healthy body composition.

Fit for forty – But why?

There were several reasons why I decided on this particular challenge.

  1. I thought it would be a great way to start that decade of my life and stick two fingers up to any mid-life crisis that might be lurking in the shadows 🤪
  2. I help fitness enthusiasts become fitness professionals and saw it as a great opportunity to learn a few things that I could pass onto to my students 👍
  3. It was also a kind of bucket list thing that I wanted to tick off 👊

The results

Jon Bond 40 years old

Fit for forty before and after pics

Jon Bond fit at 40


Jon Bond fit for forty challenge

Test Before After Difference
Body weight (kg) 88 83 5kg loss
Body fat 20 14 6%
Resting heart rate 48 41 7bpm reduction
Waist circumference (cm) 91  83  8cm loss
12-minute Cooper Run (m) 2881  2932 51m increase
Bench Press  107.5  107.5 
Leg press  290  280  10kg reduction
Plank (s)  123  181  58 second increase

You can see by the data that I was more athletic at the end of the 12 weeks compared to the start. The cooper run test improvement was probably because I was running with 5kg of less bodyweight. The big improvement in my plank test was no doubt due to the decrease in body fat around my midsection. Although my leg press 1RM decreased by 10kg, my relative strength increased due to the loss of body weight. 

Did I achieve my goal?

The overarching goal was to get into the best shape of my life for my 40th birthday and looking at my pics and the data then I would say yes I achieved my goal. There have been times in my life where I have been stronger and had slightly better cardio, and I have also been this lean but not all at the same time. Plus if I compare my results to normative data for males of my age, then the data says in age relative terms there is no doubt that I am in the best shape of my life.

How does it feel? and was it all worth it?

Well, I certainly have no regrets! I was very pleased with my photos and very proud of them. The photoshoot was quite fun too and a much better experience then I had anticipated. I also really enjoyed the training. I have always loved training, and with a very specific goal, it did add focus and motivation, which was needed as a lot of the time I had to get up at 5 am to train to fit everything in 😯. As mentioned previously it was kind of a bucket list thing for me like running a marathon or fighting in a charity boxing bout. Something to tick off and reflect on. I’m not sure if I would do it again though. I thrive on new experiences so my next challenge would have to be something different. For me, challenges are important because you learn so much, mainly about yourself. You also gain confidence and develop something called self-efficacy which is your confidence in your ability to achieve a goal. I have done a few different challenges now and pretty much believe I can accomplish anything I put my mind to if I want it badly enough. Although I have not always felt like that. That self belief has developed over time by attempting things regardless of any fear of failure.

What I learnt

  1. The greater the challenge, the greater the triumph! (yeah I know that’s cheesy!)
  2. If you achieve a goal you feel great, if you dont you learn something, it’s a win win!
  3. A good support network is so important. Nobody is truly self-made, everyone has a little help along the way.
  4. Living in a calorie deficit is the only way to drop body fat and it sucks!
  5. 12 weeks is too long for me to diet my best results were in the first 6 weeks where I was most committed.
  6. Age has made building mass a tad harder but not impossible.
  7. Having more responsibilities to manage with age is the main challenge, not my biology.
  8. If I don’t eat enough food I get hangry!
  9. My fitness pal has made fat loss almost easy, if only they could take away the hunger too!
  10. We are all vain some of us are just more public about it 😜


For details of my training programmes check out the links below to my previous articles.

Phase I Hypertrophy

Phase II Strength

Phase III Peaking

Thank you to everyone in my support network, especially Tom Bird, Kriss Hendy, and Samantha Pritchard. I could not have done it without you 💪.

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