Week 3 | Beginner Weightlifting For Women Over 40


Welcome back to another week of weightlifting! I hope you are feeling good and getting the hang of it. Have you noticed any changes in your strength? I’d love to hear about it!

Week 3 is exciting for two reasons: 1) I give you some slight variations for your regular exercises that will feel new and also engage some different muscles to play a bigger role in the workout. 2) We get into some glute-focused exercises in our lower body workout. These glute-specific exercises will force your glutes to work and make your quads and hammies take a back seat! Make sure you have resistance bands (I use these).  

Your Workouts This Week

Here are your two workouts for week three, 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 3: Upper Body Workout

Week 3: Lower Body Workout

Beginner Weightlifting, Week 3: A Quick Breakdown

My goal for you this week is to stick to our foundational movement but make it feel new and a little bit harder. If you don’t have a bench I will include modifications here. This is what I changed and what you know:

  • Incline Chest Presses – When you incline your upper body, you encourage more muscles to work than when lying flat. During this exercise, your higher pecs and shoulders will get involved. Remember to push away from your chest, not up like a shoulder press. This angle will make it harder and uncomfortable. If you don’t have a bench, sit your bottom close to the edge of the chair and lean back, letting the top of your back rest against the back of the chair. Keep the spine straight and core engaged.
  • Shoulder Raise Instead of Press – For 2 weeks we did our should presses, which are compound movements (all 3 deltoid heads). This is more of an isolation of the shoulder and the twist gives it a different contraction.
  • Incline Row and Bicep Curl – For an Incline Row with no bench, you can lean forward by pushing your hips back, keep your knees bent, and have a flat back. Or, you may sit down and lean forward with a straight back. for an Incline Bicep Curl, sit your bottom close to the edge of the chair and lean back, letting the top of your back rest against the back of the chair. Keep the spine straight and core engaged.
  • DB Pullover – I love this one! This will hit your Lats. Make sure as you pull the weight back over your chest that you squeeze and feel your Lats working. Your Latis run down the sides of your back. If you don’t have a bench you can lie down on the floor.
  • Single Leg Sit-down – These can be a real challenge. I’ve even seen women cry during this exercise out of frustration. Hang in there, it’s part of the process. When you feel your strength and balance improve with this exercise and you conquer it, it feels really really good. You will have one side stronger than the other and maybe even one side that can’t do the exercise at all. It’s ok! Do not give up! The goal is to kiss the bench or chair with your bottom, not to sit and rest. You also want to avoid swinging your weight to stand up. Use the nonworking leg as a kickstand for balance, if needed, to lightly assist you in standing up. Later, as you get stronger you will be able to hover your nonworking leg during this exercise.
  • Deadlift – Hamstring and lower back focused, yay! Please make sure your knees are slightly bent and you keep a straight back. Take it slow as you go down and then drive it up with a little more power. You should feel your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings working.
  • Glute Focused Exercises – These little exercises will surprise you, especially after the first set. Go ahead and increase your reps to 15 or even 20 since we are using a band. Keep track and write it down. I love these glute-focused exercises, the burn is real and addicting. Get ready for a nice booty pump!

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).

Click Here to Shop Our Guide

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: Down in Weight vs. Less Reps!

Ok! One question I’ve been getting is, “is it better to get all the reps in and have to go down in weight, or keep your weight and do less reps?” 

My answer is, I want you to get through all 10 reps! For example, if you are doing bicep curls with 15lbs and can only do 8 reps, I do not want you to stop there. I want you to do the 8 reps at 15lbs and then do the remaining 2 reps with 10lbs. Get to 10 reps in this first month, no matter what.

Eventually you will be able to get through all 10 reps at 15lbs and, whoa, that will an accomplishment to celebrate! If you are watching the YouTube series, you will notice in week 3 during the Incline Bicep Curls my right arm could not finish all reps for all 3 sets. I did not drop my weight down on both arms! Only my right arm was struggling, not my left. So, I continued to curl 15lbs with the left and dropped to 10lbs with my right. This is the beautiful thing about dumbbells, your strengths and weaknesses are easily revealed, and also easily fixed. 

For Fun: Weekly Outfit Inspo

I tried on the Evolve legging and sports bra set at Vuori yesterday. It was a dream! These leggings are soft, supportive and a have a comfortable compression. I haven’t been in the mood for leggings lately but these made me change my mind. Pair the Evolve leggings with the matching Evolve Square Neck Bra. You guys, I’m in love with this bra!  It’s different with it’s square neck that is flattering, sexy and holds you in. I am definitely ordering this set. 

Shop The Look

This time, I added a glass water bottle from Amazon. I lean towards glass water bottles whenever I can, including a top that’s not plastic.  With all our materials ending up being toxic, sticking with glass for me is the safest choice. Plus, it’s pretty! I also highly recommend these hair ties, they are cotton and don’t rip your hair out. I am constantly throwing my hair up and need something that will be kind to my hair. BTW, Adidas has a weightlifting shoe and it has great reviews. I have never tried this shoe but I thought it was interesting. I might have to give it a try!

Your Weekly Recipe

I absolutely love this combo for a snack. I am one of those girls that loves to have a sweet and salty, snack mix. Think popcorn and M&Ms.  So this snack hits the spot for me, plus it’s healthy and perfect for before and/or after your workout, especially if you are on the go. They can be easily packed up and stored in your bag.

Celery is such an underrated snack but actually has great nutritional value and health benefits.  Its packed with fiber, vitamin A, folate, potassium, vitamin C and protein (for my protein concerned people). Celery has got that perfect salty crunch. Now, pair that with the soft and sweet Medjool date and you have a mouth watering little snack that will keep you moving throughout the day. Medjool dates are high in carbs (energy), potassium (better than a sports drink) and minerals. When I tell people to snack on this, I do get a raised eyebrow… but they always come back telling me how much they loved it. Try it, you’ll thank me later.

*Medjool dates, like all dried fruit, are high in natural sugar but have a low glycemic index because they are a slow released carb with lots of fiber.

Yield: 1

Laurel's Pre Workout Fuel / Post Workout Recovery Snack Recipe

Laurel's Pre Workout Fuel / Post Workout Recovery Snack Recipe

This snack hits the spot for me, plus it’s healthy and perfect for before and/or after your workout (especially if you are on the go!)


  • 3 Celery Stalks (or more if you wish)
  • 4-8 Medjool Dates (depending on you want/needs/macros)


  1. Wash your celery stalks
  2. Cut each celery stalk into threes
  3. Cut your Medjool Dates in half or keep them whole. Make sure to take the pit out if they aren't already depitted.
  4. Put date inside your celery stalk
  5. Make sure you get a bite of both celery and date
  6. Say Mmm... 🙂

Good luck this week. You are already on week 3 and I promise it will get better and better! Once you start really noticing improvement in strength, endurance and how you feel better you will be hooked. It will become a priority in your schedule. Hang in there and please reach out with questions and let me know how it’s going. Better yet, tag us on Insta!!



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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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