Week 4 | Beginner Weightlifting For Women Over 40

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Hey! We’ve made it to Week 4! I hope you are feeling great, noticing changes, and making this a routine in your weekly schedule. How did you like the glute-focused set? For me, it burns, I can’t sit down the next day and… I love it! Lol. I know it’s not easy but as your strength, mobility, balance, body composition and energy change, you feel better and start looking forward to your workouts. You will switch from making yourself workout, to needing and wanting to workout. It’s awesome! 

Your Workouts This Week

Here are your last upper and lower body workout videos of this series — but, not your last week of working out! I’ve got more planned for you, and more coming your way. I’m currently cooking up a new routine to follow, so stay tuned for Stronger Series Part 2! Remember, this is a lifestyle and I am right there with you on this weightlifting journey.

Week 4 continues your fundamentals with slight variations to keep your brain in the game. I won’t deny that repetition can be boring, but it’s what works, so hang in there. 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 4: Upper Body Workout

Week 4: Lower Body Workout


Beginner Weightlifting, Week 4: A Quick Breakdown

This week, we stick to our foundational movements and make it feel new with variations, declines, and different glute-focused exercises. If you don’t have a bench, repeat either the incline or lying flat variations of the Chest Press and the Dumbbell Pullover; you’ll find more detailed modifications in the list below.

Instead of incline exercises like last week, we’ll be doing declines this week. There are also some slight variations for your regular exercises that will feel new and engage different muscles to play a bigger role in the workout. We’ll get into the single-sided workouts, which benefit much more than just building muscle, and more glute-focused exercises in our lower body workout. These glute-specific exercises will force your glutes to work hard. Make sure you have your resistance bands (I use these).  

  • Decline Chest Presses – When you decline your upper body, you encourage different muscles to work than when lying flat. During this exercise, you engage your lower pectoral muscles. Changing inclines can make the exercises harder, but show us our strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t have a bench, elevate your feet on your chair in a push-up position, and chest press the floor away from you. If you’d like to add more resistance, loop a resistance band around your shoulders, holding the ends in each hand. Don’t have a resistance band for this? Then increase your reps (if you can easily get through 10).
  • Lateral Raise  – Great for mobility, range of motion and stability. This will strengthen the muscles to help with posture, especially if you sit at a desk all day for work, hunching your shoulders. That’s kind of a bonus of this exercise… it’ll give you that nice, rounded shoulder aesthetic. 😉
  • Skullcrushers – To isolate those triceps that we all want to strengthen and tighten. It’s fine to do this lying on the floor if you don’t have a bench. I love this exercise!  
  • Row in Push-Up Postion – Horrible, yet oh-so-good. Rowing in a plank position is super challenging and will fatigue you quickly. If a full plank is too hard, you can plank on your knees instead, or go back and repeat one of the other Row exercises from the previous weeks (sitting, standing, one arm at a time). My advice would be to try it first. If you able to do it, but it’s really hard, keep doing it — it’s supposed to be hard. Only modify if you absolutely can’t do a single rep in plank position. If you can do a few reps in plank, do those, then switch to knees, then switch to standing if you can no longer do them on the ground. This is a perfect exercise to write down and keep track of. Once you can do this in all sets it will be proof of how much stronger you are becoming! 
  • Decline DB Pullover – If you don’t have a bench, do the same as last week, lying flat on your back,
  • Bulgarian Split Squat  – One of the best exercises you can do, in my opinion. Hits quads, hamstrings and glutes! Great for balance, coordination and muscle imbalances. It’s one of my favourites… Make sure you keep your knee over your ankle, it’s easy to get out of alignment here.
  • Single Leg Touchdown – Again, making the exercise one-sided not only builds muscle, but also addresses balance, stability and coordination; all things that start to decline as we get older. These are my favorite kinds of exercises! Hamstring and lower-back focused.  Engage that core for balance, and focus on something in front of you.  
  • 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. If you don’t have a bench, lying on the floor is fine for these exercises; you will still feel it.

Your Full Month Of Workouts, At-A-Glance

weightlifting for beginners, a 4-week downloadable pdf guide

Click Here to Shop Our Guide

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).


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: Success and Transformation with the Same Workout!

Ask around and you’d hear that doing the same workout plan for 8 weeks is your best option for strength and aesthetic hypertrophy (sculpting the physique you want). Through these 8 weeks, your body grows stronger, develops muscle, and can even change appearance.  Some of you may get bored with the same exercises week after week, but stick with it. Focus on how the reps, weight, and how you feel are changing. That should motivate you to keep pushing forward — let it be what drives you! After this week, I challenge you all to another round — but this time, I want you to up the weight, up the reps, or both! I’m also putting together some workout finishers that you can add to the end of each workout, just to burn you out and give your brain some more variety. Make sure you are recording your workouts so you can see your progression. You will progress, and it’s exciting! 

If time is a struggle, I get it — and I think a lot of women here do, too. If not having enough time in the week is a problem for you, you are welcome to do both upper body and lower body in the same day! There is a different approach to Split Body Workouts and Full Body Workouts. When you do Full Body Workouts, the routine will generally be just compound exercises to hit all of the main muscle groups.  Split Body Workouts add isolations to hit smaller muscles, and focus on weaker or hard-to-work muscles. That being said, these workouts are a lot for a Full Body, but it can still be done. My advice: make sure you are taking 1min. or 1½min. breaks between each set. Take a longer active break between upper body and lower body workouts. Walk around, stretch and drink lots of water. Even a quick snack of celery and dates 😉 I would also recommend spacing 2 days between these workouts to give your body more time to rest.


For Fun: Weekly Outfit Inspo

Gymshark is a huge brand in the weightlifting gym community, some will even swear it’s the best. I’ve never personally tried this brand, although I have been tempted for years (especially when I see it worn by some of my favorite fitness influencers). They have a strong and sexy vibe which is what draws me to their athletic wear. Even if I am working out, I still want to look and feel feminine and sexy all while looking and being strong as hell. A try-on for this brand is a must (and all this is already in my cart!).

workout outfit inspo, gymshark

Shop The Look

When it comes to leggings, they have many options depending on what your workout is, need for coverage, or wanting to accentuate.  For example, leggings for lifting, HIIT, running or yoga; seamless leggings, leggings with adjustable waistbands for moms, leggings I’d wear to brunch, and even ones that lift and sculpt the booty. It’s a leggings-wonderland.


Your Weekly Recipe

This vegan/gf (the pasta noodles are gluten-free) recipe is one of my favorite dinners to make. Comforting, hearty, savory and delicious.

Mushroom Stroganoff

Mushroom Stroganoff

One of Laurel's favorite dinners.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb organic baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 organic diced yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of minced organic garlic
  • 3 tablespoons organic coconut oil
  • 1 can of organic coconut cream
  • 2 tsp organic poultry seasoning
  • 1 ½ tsp organic paprika
  • 3 tbsp organic nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp himalayan sea salt
  • 1 tsp organic fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 box Jovial pasta (penne or linguine)
  • 1 organic lemon, juice and zest
  • ¼ cup organic parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat coconut oil on medium heat 
  2. Dice your onion and mince your garlic
  3. Once oil is hot add in the diced onions until translucent
  4. Add garlic and spices (except nutritional yeast)
  5. Allow onions and spices to meld (2-3 minutes)
  6. Add chopped mushrooms to brown and evaporate liquid (10  minutes)
  7. Pour in coconut cream
  8. Stir in nutritional yeast and simmer for 30-45 minutes
  9. In a separate saucepan, bring water to a boil with salt
  10. Add pasta to water and stir to keep from clumping. Cook according to package instructions
  11. Strain and add pasta to mushroom sauce
  12. Squeeze and zest one fresh lemon on top
  13. Sprinkle with parsley and black pepper and serve

Have a great Week 4! Push hard, relax hard, and eat well. Please leave comments below with any questions or comments. Talk to you soon!

xox,

Laurel

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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/

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, I just wanted to know- I was rereading this post and saw that you said to do the same exercises for 8 weeks. Does that mean do your week 1 for 8 weeks, then move on to week2. Or just repeat the four weeks? I have been just cycling through these 4 weeks a few times now. Hope to move on to your harder ones soon. I really appreciate you making this series. I’ve never done weightlifting 4 days a week, and it really makes a difference for me. Thanks so much.

    • Hi! Essentially, you can take week one and repeat that for 6-8 weeks, then move on to week 2, and so on. Cycling through the Beginner Series a few times like. you are doing is great. I am happy you are noticing a difference from lifting weights. When you move on to the next level I would suggest taking each week and sticking with that routine for 6-8 weeks, then move on to the next week. This series does get a lot harder. When keeping the same workout for 6-8 weeks make sure you go up in weight or reps as you notice exercises getting easier, and the will :-). I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

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