Week 3 | Advanced-Beginner Weightlifting For Women Over 40


Hey, ladies! How are you feeling? Did you discover anything new about your body or your strength during week 2? I hope you did and I hope you jotted it down. Watching and feeling your body change is exciting. Looking back and seeing how far you’ve come is the motivation! Oh! Tell me your thoughts on the Copenhagen — love? hate?

This week, we will combine our ISO holds from the first week with our single-sided exercises from last week. I want us to continue challenging our muscles separately and in different ways, as well as our coordination, balance, and control.

Let’s get into it!

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

Your Workouts This Week

This week, we combine week 1 ISO holds with week 2 single side exercises. One side will hold, while the other side pushes and pulls. This is where your coordination comes in; two sides doing two different exercises is tough. It will be easy to forget about your side in ISO hold, so make sure you keep it in the correct alignment and contraction.

We will be challenging your balance as well throughout our lower body workouts. Stabilizing on one leg or leaning forward on one leg is very challenging. Do the best you can, modify where you have to. The goal is to do these moves without modification, without wobbling and losing balance. Keep working until you achieve this. It feels awesome when you do!

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! Walk around an air-conditioned mall, go kayaking or get in an early morning walk before the heat kicks in.

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 3: Upper Body Workout

Week 3: 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 3 is to continue to grow stronger and work on your muscle imbalances. I’d like you to increase the weight on your weaker side this week or increase reps on both sides. Either way, try to increase something! This is what I changed and what you need to know:

  • Single Sided Lifts and Iso holds for the Upper body. Ok, this is a mind and body challenge.  Hold one arm in an ISO hold as you press, fly, raise, row, and curl.  Your mind will want to only focus on the moving arm not the holding arm.  This will result in your arm getting out of alignment or slowly dropping out of position.  Pay attention to both sides as much as possible.  For me, the shoulder raises ISO hold while raising the other side is the hardest.  Do as many as you can with your normal weight and then drop down to finish all reps.
  • 3 Chairs elevated tricep dips. Find 3 chairs or whatever you have that is equal in height. Put a hand on each chair and your feet up on the 3rd chair. Again we are increasing the difficulty.  As we continue to work these triceps in different ways you should feel them getting stronger and hopefully tighter.
  • Reverse Snow Angel. Just like making a snow angel only this time, lie down on your stomach.  Lift yourself and start your snow angel. Squeeze when you pull your arms down at your sides.
  • Lateral Step Downs. This single-sided leg exercise is hard.  I modified it in the video already by using a yoga block.  You can go higher to increase the difficulty.  If you have a sturdy bench go for it. Try it!  Touchdowns from the bench are your goal, work your way up to that.  Remember to engage your core. Kiss the floor with your heel and then push back up to standing. Talk about revealing muscle weakness and imbalance,  I cried the first time I did these.  My left side could not push back up.  It was so frustrating.  With time I was strong enough to do both legs on the bench and you will be able to too.
  • Monster Walks. Keep the band under resistance the whole time and walk like a monster lol.
  • Elevate Toe Deadlift. Get your toe up on something about 2-3 inches and perform your regular deadlift.  This exercise forces your weight to be back in your heel.
  • Front Foot Elevated Lunge to Stabilization.  Stand on your yoga block, box, or a study book.  Extend your leg back into a lunge and this push to standing and hold your leg up.  This is great for balance and core activation.  Engage your core the whole time!
  • Airplane.  I love this one because it feels good to open the hips and then that burn kicks in.  Use something you balance yourself if you need to.  Here are your modifications: hold onto something with your full hand, then switch to just your fingers.  Work your way up to no hands at all. You will feel this burn in your standing leg and glutes. As always core is engaged.  It will help you with balance.
  • Lower body finisher.  Heels elevated goblet squat pulses.  Put your heels on something 2-3 inches high, get low into your goblet squat, and start pulsing.  The burn is real ladies!  Set a timer for 2-10 minutes.

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: Do These Workouts Anywhere

Now that it’s summertime and people are out and about traveling, I am sure you are wondering how to fit in your workout, especially if there isn’t a gym where you will be staying and you’re not traveling with your weights. It’s ok! if you have resistance bands, you can do almost all (if not all) of the exercises in Series One and Two. Not to mention, doing them without weights is also beneficial! You can focus on your technique, alignment, control, and core engagement. Your muscles will still be engaged and you will still get a workout. If you are not using weights, combine upper and lower for a full-body workout easily.

Bands like these can be used for both upper-body and lower-body exercises. The band also shows you how much weight is being resisted so you can keep on track with your goals. What do you think…do we need a traveling workout plan? One that uses body weight and resistance bands? Let me know in the comments!

For Fun: Weekly Outfit Inspo

I am so drawn to this color! Maybe it’s because it reminds me of an orange creamsicle I used to have on hot summer days as a kid. And, well, it’s been hot here recently so my inner child would like a creamsicle. 😋 No, but seriously, isn’t this color fun and summery?? I would definitely feel joy and motivation putting this outfit on in the morning.

Shop The Look

Your Weekly Recipe: Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

Speaking of orange creamsicles on hot summer days… Let’s skip all the artificial ingredients from the popsicle I used to have growing up and try this healthy creamsicle smoothie. Yes, Please!

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

A smoothie-version of my childhood summer treat.


  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 fresh banana
  • 3 whole chopped oranges, peel and seeds removed*
  • 1-2 cups coconut water
  • 1 tsp Organic alcohol free Vanilla Extract


    *If you don't have a high-speed blender, try using 1 cup of fresh orange juice as the oranges may not blend smoothly.

    ** find a natural vanilla extract (made with seeds from the vanilla pod), not "vanilla flavoring".

    Place coconut water in the blender. Blend with the oranges until smooth.

    Add the frozen and fresh bananas and vanilla and blend again until very smooth and creamy. If you use only fresh bananas instead of frozen, the smoothie will still taste wonderful! It just won't be as creamy and dessert-like. 

    Serve right away and enjoy!

Good luck this week, please feel free to reach out with any questions!



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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/