Week 2 | Beginner Weightlifting for Women Over 40


Welcome back to another week of weightlifting! How’s everyone feeling after the first round of exercises from Week 1? We’re thrilled to see so many of you follow along with this series, so buckle up, because we’re getting into the next set here. Welcome to Week 2!

Your Workouts This Week

Here are your two workouts for week two, upper body and lower body. Make sure you warm up, and then head to our YouTube channel where I give you tips and remind you of your technique as we workout together!

Week 2: Upper Body Workout

Week 2: Lower Body Workout

Beginner Weightlifting, Week 2: A Quick Breakdown

My goal for you this week is to stick to our foundational movement but make it a little harder. This is what I changed and what you know:

  • Chest flies instead of Chest Presses. Chest flies can be harder than presses, so you may need to drop down in weight. Do a range of motion that is comfortable for you. Come all the way to the top and squeeze your chest hard. 
  • Standing Shoulder Presses. You no longer have the support of the bench, so you will need to really engage your core to support your back. Keep those knees slightly bent!
  • Leaning Reverse Flies. These are hard and can feel awkward if you aren’t used to them. Again, you may need to drop down in weight to start. You won’t get a huge range of motion and other muscles will want to help you out in this exercise — don’t let them. Isolate your body and focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together, rather than swinging your arms back. Leaning on the bench will help keep your spine in alignment. If you don’t have a bench, you can do these standing while leaning forward, or sitting and leaning forward. Make sure you engage your core and do not round your back!
  • Overhead Squats. The weight on your shoulder will want to pull you forward. Resisting this involves your core big time in this lower body exercise. Engage your core, keep your chest lifted and you will feel this in your lower back as well. Breathe.
  • Weighted Step Ups. Yes, these are really hard! By only allowing you to use one side means your weaker side can’t rely on your stronger side to do most of the work. This is so important so each side can get equally strong. Get through all sets even if it takes you longer — they will get easier. Don’t have a bench? Just use a step in your staircase!

Your Full Month Of Workouts, At-A-Glance

While you can always follow along on YouTube, if you head to the gym or just need to turn on some jams and get into your own body then check out our Beginner Weightlifting For Women Over 40: A Four-Week Guide. You can print it out or read it on your device of choice if you want something to take on-the-go (plus it comes with some extra tips, pre-and-post recipe ideas & more).

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What Equipment Do I Need?

More tips for choosing the right weight and equipment can be found in our Everything You Need to Know video and/or in the FAQ section of this article. We’ve also got a quick and handy shopping list ready for you, here in our Amazon storefront! To start, you will need:

  • Dumbbells, multiple weights (this is the full set I use – it’s pretty, haha – you can also get weights and a stand separately)
  • Resistance bands (I use these)
  • An exercise bench (this is mine, but you can also use a chair or your floor)

Weekly Tip: Engage Your Core!

Are you sick of hearing me say “Engage your core!”? Ha! I say it constantly in the videos. It is SO important. Not only will it keep your body in proper alignment and support your back from injury, but it will also give you a chiseled and strong core without ever having to do sit-ups.  Seriously! Tilt your pelvis under a tad to get rid of that slight curve in your lower back, neutralizing your spine. Pull your belly button to your spine and hold it there.  You should not have to hold your breath and your ribs don’t need to move, only your belly button.  Hold this position through your entire workout. When we rest between sets you may also rest your You will need a reminder in the beginning until it becomes muscle memory.  That’s where I come in haha!  Another great reminder: wear leggings and a tight top, turn sideways, and watch yourself in a mirror during your exercises.  Watch your stomach and you will be able to tell if you are engaged or not.  This visual will help get that core engaged!

For Fun: Weekly Outfit Inspo

I’m sticking with a theme of spring colors, and have a cute green outfit for you from Adidas called Green Spark. I mean, even just the name gives me motivation to get lifting. Pair these leggings with the matching Green Spark sports bra, or this sexier sports bra to match the darker green stripe on the leggings. This time, I added a comfy sweatshirt that you can throw on between home and the gym, or to keep you warm before-and-after your workout. Plus, a cute gym bag to store your gear (ex. resistance bands, sweat towel, water bottle).

Flat shoes are best for weightlifting, but did you know? You can also just wear socks!

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Your Weekly Recipe

After my workout, this is one of my favorite recipes to refuel (it changes slightly depending on what I have in the fridge). It’s important to refuel after lifting heavy, otherwise you’ll feel tired and mentally out of it. My Buddha bowl is packed with carbs to restore glucose levels (used during workouts) and to restore energy — plus, protein for muscle recovery!

Yield: 1

Laurel's Post-Workout Buddha Bowl

Laurel's Post-Workout Buddha Bowl

Protein is the name of the game when it comes to post-workout recipes.


  • 1c. Rice or quinoa
  • 1c. Sweet Potato
  • 1c. Chickpeas/beans
  • Greens (Spinach, Romaine, Kale)
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Sprouts
  • 2-4 tbs Hummus/Tahini/Salsa


  1. Boil or roast sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and greens (or, leave the greens raw and add as toppings at the end!)
  2. Prepare rice/quinoa according to package instructions
  3. Add toppings as desired: cucumber, tomato, avocado, sprouts (and greens, if left raw)
  4. Serve with a dollop of hummus

Good luck this week. Remember, your mind will want you to give up, but you are stronger than you think. Keep pushing through, you will be glad you did! Remember I am always here for you to answer any questions. Also, please feel free to share your experience as you go! You never know who you might be helping along this journey as well.



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Laurel Card, based in Philadelphia, is a celebrated Latin dance instructor and the Owner and Director of Laurel Card Latin Dance. With 20+ years of experience, she specializes in Salsa, Bachata, and her - unique!! - Latin House classes, certified by DVIDA and recognized by the National Dance Council of America. Laurel brings her expertise and passion to The Mom Edit, offering dance and fitness tutorials tailored for women over 40, from bachata basics to dance workouts and weightlifting series. She fosters a welcoming atmosphere for all skill levels, emphasizing the joy and confidence movement can instill. Laurel lives outside Philadelphia with her daughter, Gia, three dogs, and a cat. Read more about Laurel (and see her class schedule) here: https://laurelcardlatindance.com/

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