Week 2 | Advanced-Beginner Weightlifting For Women Over 40


Hello again! How did your first week go? Those ISO holds — do you love them or hate them? I hate how hard they are, but love the feeling of getting stronger and conquering something challenging. And I hope you got in some new and interesting active rest days, too. I would love to hear what you like to do on your rest days, let me know your favorite activities and ideas in the comments below!

Don’t forget, you can follow along with me through the entire STRONGER Part 2 video series, here. I’ll be your workout buddy and your coach, I’ll help to keep you going and remind you of your technique, alignment and to hold that core in!

 Now, get ready…we are on to Week 2!!

STRONGER: a follow-along video series with Coach Laurel, and her guide to beginner weightlifting for women over 40.

Your Workouts This Week

Here are your two workouts for this week. Same exercises as last week, with some new additions I slipped in (mostly for the lower body workout). This week, you will do single-sided lifts. Doing single-sided exercises exposes your weaker side, improves your balance and forces your core muscle to engage even more to stabilize you. Don’t be surprised if you are pushing 20lbs of weight on one side, and can only do 10lbs on the other side. This is normal! It’s actually cool how much it will tell you about your own body, and will motivate you to catch your weaker side up to your stronger side.

Just like last time, there’s an upper body and a lower body workout meant to be repeated twice on alternating days, with an active rest day in between. Make sure you are staying active on your rest days — unless you are super sore. Listen to your body; if you need rest, rest.

Follow along here if you’d like to warm up with me, you can also end your workout with me in this quick follow-along stretch video. Both the warm-up and cooldown videos would be great rest day activities, too!

Week 2: Upper Body Workout

Week 2: Lower Body Workout

The ideal workout schedule consists of an upper body and a lower body workout, repeated twice on alternating days, with an active rest day in between.

STRONGER Part 2, Week 2: A Quick Breakdown

My goal for you in Week 2 is to Keep Pushing Through. I know I gave you a lot of challenging moves… I also know you can do it! This is what I changed and what you need to know:

  • Single Sided Lifts for Upper body. You will do your upper body presses, flys and raises with only one arm at a time. Choose a weight that works for that arm. If one arm is stronger than the other, make sure you use different weights for each. Engage your core like crazy! Your body will feel off balance by the weight on one side, so your core needs to help. We have some single sided lower body exercises for you, too…
  • Single Sided for Lower Body. If it is a weighted exercise, have the same weight in each hand. And just like single sided upper body lifts, you will need to engage your core the whole time to stay balanced. Again, this will expose your weaker side in a big way. This is can be frustrating, but know that if you keep doing these exercises, your weaker side will get stronger and catch up!
  • Elevate your feet during your tricep dips. This sucks so good, lol. Get your feet up on anything — a chair, a coffee table, the couch. This increases the difficulty by putting more of your body weight on your triceps muscles. Do your best, do as many as you can. If you need to finish with your feet back on the ground, it’s ok! Work your way up to 3 rounds with feet elevated.
  • Floor Pull. This is a strange one, but a good one. Think of it as cleaning your floors while working out at the same time (ha). I love Lat Pulldowns, but we since we are at home and don’t have that machine, this is exercise is in place of those. If you own sliders, you can put them under your knees or use towels to make your lower body slip on the floor. It’s a hard one, but a goody.
  • Single Leg Touchdowns. This is alllll about balance (which we lose as we age), core and strength. Shana hated-but-loved this exercise, it’s challenging and eye opening. It doesn’t look hard but… it is. You’ll see.
  • Copenhagen. Ugh, this one!! It is so hard for me, but if I keep it in regular gym rotation, it gets easier quickly. It’s one of the best exercises to work your adductors like crazy — both legs are working the adductors differently at the same time. Modify by moving your knee closer to the bench. Push out of your shoulder and active your core just like a side plank.
  • Finishers. Finishers are put at the end of your workout to get the final push, and are great for building muscle and muscular endurance. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of a push up! We will do those again when you finish your upper body workout. After your lower body workout, you will do jump squats. I know, I know, what the hell am I thinking… But! Jump squats are great and will give you a great lower body, glute focused burn after your workout. Set a timer for 2-10 minutes (that’s the sweet spot) for your finishers. You can do this!!

Your Full Month Of Workouts, At-A-Glance

STRONGER Series II with Laurel Card: a downloadable guide to beginner weightlifting for women over 40.

Click Here to Shop Our Guide

While you can always follow along on YouTube, if you prefer to workout in the gym or you want to workout at your own pace, then this guide is perfect for you. You can print it out or read it on your device of choice if you want something to take on-the-go, and it comes with:

  • Clickable links to videos where I demonstrate every exercise
  • The ideal workout schedule
  • Weekly Tips
  • Additional 10 minute ab finisher exercises
  • A shoppable edit of our team’s favorite gear & accessories
  • Recipes for pre-and-post working out

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. You can find more of our favorite equipment & gear on our Amazon storefront, but 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 and your floor)
  • (New) Yoga block or Fitness Step (something like this or these)

Weekly Tip: Workout With Friends

It has been proven that when you are part of a group that works out together, you are more likely to stick to it. I believe this is true for so many reasons! For one, when you have to do something just for yourself, it’s easy to let yourself down. I mean, I can easily skip a workout if it’s just about me, but when I have to meet a friend? There’s no way I am letting them down…and they are probably thinking the same thing! Ugh, why is it like that?? Doing for others is so much easier than doing just for ourselves. It’s something to work on but start up a friend meet-up workout group in the meantime.

Shana and some of our friends have been getting together a couple times a week to run together. Yeah, its for health and fitness, but the driving point is they get to see each other, talk, catch up and laugh together. This is what keeps them motivated to workout, the connection they get to have with each other. Let’s face, it our lives are freaking busy! Between work, partners, kids, activities and whatever else you have going on, it gets harder and harder to make time to catch up with friends and workout. Why not combine it! Then, your workout feels like a fun get-together instead of just work. Two birds with one stone! And your body, your mind and your heart are full when you’re done.

For Fun: Weekly Outfit Inspo

I’ve been seeing this new brand, Namarie, all over my social media lately. The name Namarie means “going towards goodness” in Tolkien’s Elvish language (any LOTR fans out there??). And that is exactly what they are trying to do by introducing us to better athletic wear for our health and environment. They’ve even created a plastic free fabric called Sylvendel (92% proprietary hemp yarn + 8% biobased elastane)…Check them out!

Shop The Look

You may have heard that wearing compression socks help muscle recover faster among many other benefits — Bombas socks come highly recommended from others on the team (use code: MOMEDIT for a special discount at checkout). I also stumbled across Healthy Human water bottles recently –their goal? Healthy humans, healthy planet and eco friendly high quality products. Love.

Your Weekly Recipe: Post-Workout Pumfu Stirfry

Have you ever heard of Pumfu? If not, you have to check it out now! It’s a plant-based protein, much like tofu, but not soy (this excites me so much). Pumfu is made from organic pumpkin seeds and a single serving has 17 grams of plant-based protein!!! Mix that with some yummy in-season veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, mung bean sprouts, spinach, or kale and you’ve got yourself a high protein-packed plant-based meal to help your muscle recover, repair, and grow. I take whatever I have in the fridge, even if it’s a bag full of frozen veggies. Do what you can and adjust measurements to your liking. The point is to get some good and healthy protein, carbs, and fats into you. The veggies I chose for this recipe are highest in protein. Let me know what you think of Pumfu!

Post-Workout Pumfu Stir Fry

Post-Workout Pumfu Stir Fry

This delicious protein-packed, plant-based meal is great for post-workouts and will help your muscle recover, repair, and grow.


  • 8oz pack of organic Pumfu
  • 2 tbs. avocado oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Asparagus chopped
  • 1c. Broccoli
  • 1c. Cauliflower
  • 1c. Spinach or Kale
  • 1c. Mung Bean Sprouts
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • chopped cilantro
  • Sliced avocado (I add avocado to almost everything)
  • Cooked rice or rice noodles for serving
  • Your favorite sauce (I use Coconut aminos, Sriracha, or a sweet chili sauce)


    Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and place the Pumfu pieces in. Cover the pieces with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the Pumfu, let it cool, and then slice it thinly. Discard the water and wipe out the pan.

    Set the large sauté pan back over medium heat. Pour in 1tbs. of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the sliced Pumfu to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Let it heat to brown on one side and then stir/flip the pieces around. Let the Pumfu sear and brown on the other side – this will take about 5-6 minutes total. Keep stirring throughout the process.

    Transfer the browned Pumfu to a plate and return the sauté pan to the stove. Pour in the remaining tablespoon of avocado oil and swirl to coat the pan.

    Add all veggies except green onions and cilantro. Add a little bit of water, cover and sauté until softened. Season the veggies with salt and pepper to taste.

    Add the pumfu back to the pan and top with green onions, cilantro and avocado. Serve immediately over rice or noodles with your sauce of choice!

As always, please leave a note below with any questions or comments! Talk to you soon…



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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/