Week 4 | Advanced-Beginner Weightlifting For Women Over 40

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We’ve made it to week 4 of our workouts just in time, right after all the 4th of July festivities! Family and friend gatherings, eating, drinking, and staying up late was so worth it. Thank God our final Week 4 workout will pull us back on track. Let’s sweat and burn out all those probably not-so-good but totally necessary calories we ate and drank over the weekend and fill ourselves up with some healthy fuel.  

Here we go! Week 4, our final week of the series — but not our final day working out together. Just like last time, workout routines are meant to be repeated for a while. Your body needs consistency and progressive overload to see and feel the results. You can repeat this through July and even August. This Advanced Weightlifting Workout challenges so many parts the body that I am sure we all have more work to do, mastering these exercises as well as increasing reps and weight.

Let’s get into your 4th week!

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

Your Workouts This Week

Ok, Ladies! This week is going to take everything you’ve been working, on not just with this series but with the last series, too. We’ll put those muscles to the test as well as your endurance and your mindset. We are calling this: The Burnout Week. No, not that kind of burnout…

Burnout sets are a strength training technique where you do as many reps of one exercise until you can’t possibly do any more. All month, we have worked on strengthening, control, and balance techniques. You are ready for this! As hard as it is, it’s so exciting too, especially when you rep out more than you thought you could! Write it down and share your experiences, please!

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

One of the ways to do this is to rep out every set while decreasing weight. I’m not going to do that to you, this time… (wink). You will do as many reps as you can with your normal weight for your first set. Try 12 reps for your second set, and then for your final set, try 10. If 12 is as high as you can go, that’s fine! Do 12/12/10 or all sets of 12. Always challenge yourself in some way even if it’s not the exact challenge I give you. Make sure you rest 1-1 1/2 minutes after your burnout set.

Now, let’s get ready to burn!!

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! One of my active rest day activities includes throwing the frisbee for my pups. They love it, and believe it or not, it’s a great little workout.

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 4: Upper Body Workout

Week 4: Lower Body Workout


STRONGER Part 2, Week 4: A Quick Breakdown

My goal for you this week: Push your muscles and, your mind. Take our upper body exercises and see how many reps you can do. Push yourself! Don’t give up! Go until you can’t do even one more rep, rest, and then finish your last two sets with your normal reps. And for our lower body, we will only burn out with the bucks and the bridges. Everything else will be one-side focused, including one of my favorite (and ridiculously hard moves): The Single Leg Counter Body Squat. If you are up for the challenge and ready to test your strength, balance, control, and coordination, this move is for you.

This is what I changed and what you need to know:

  • Upper Body Burnout. Burn out the first set of all your regular upper body exercises. Do as many as you can to failure without giving up. Rest, and then finish your last two sets with 10-12 reps.
  • Single Leg Counter Body Squat. Grab a weight that’s not too heavy, but enough to counterbalance your weight going back. The goal (hang in there, it won’t happen right away) is to extend your leg back, kiss the floor with your knee and then go back to standing. If you can do this I want to see it! Tag us @themomedit on IG doing this exercise. You are Awesome!! For those of us who need to work up to that, find a cushion/pillow/anything with a height that works best for you. Extend your leg back, keeping your knee inline with your ankle on the standing leg. Hold the weight out in front of your chest to counterbalance. Touch your knee down without putting weight and the come back to standing. Work on this until you get it. It is Everything!
  • Single Leg Squat Shifts. This is a single leg squat, except you get to have the opposite leg down to help with balance. Make sure you are making the one leg work, put all your weight on the side you are squatting on and push through your heels. keep core engaged!
  • Single Leg Camporini. Keep your feet close together. The toe of the heel that is elevated should be in line with your other foot’s heel. Shift your weight back into the hip of the leg of the elevated heel. Hold the weight in the hand opposite of your elevated heel. Keeping your core engaged, lower down while keeping your hips back (both knees will slightly bend). Come back up, but not all the way, keeping your weight back on the elevated heel. You should feel heavy contact with the elevated heel.
  • Bucks and Hip Thrusts. Do as many as you can in the first set. Bang ’em out! Add weight if you’d like or just do body weight.
  • Lateral Lunge to Stabilization. Lunge to the side, keeping your knee in line with your ankle, and drop into your hip. Then, push the lateral side of your foot back to standing. Find your center to be able to balance. It is ok if you are wobbly — you will figure out how much or how little to push to balance and hold.
  • Single Leg Abduction Burnout. Side Plank with your knees slightly bent and lift that top leg up and down until you can’t. This is a little movement, but it burns so good. You can adjust your knees forward or back until you feel it where you want to.

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 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. 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: 32 Weeks of Training

What I’ve shared in this series is essentially 32 weeks’ worth of workouts. Most trainers recommend sticking with the same workout for 6-8 weeks, with 8 weeks being the sweet spot. During this time, you adjust weights and reps while keeping the overall routine consistent. This method is key to progress — whether it’s gaining strength, sculpting your body, or seeing noticeable changes.

In today’s world of constantly changing, trendy workouts on social media, there’s a temptation to jump from one new routine to the next. But the truth is, real results come from consistency and dedication to a tried-and-true routine. It’s not always glamorous or exciting at first, but that’s where the magic happens.

Personal trainer, coach Laurel

Initially, working out may not feel exciting — until we become hooked. The excitement arises when we notice improvements in strength, endurance, balance, and coordination. It’s not just about physical changes; it’s also about experiencing that exhilarating “beast mode” feeling and witnessing stress melt away while our mood elevates. Eventually, we look in the mirror and say, “Wow, I built this through hard work and persistence.” That’s when it clicks—it’s not about constantly chasing the latest workout fad, It’s about committing to a routine that works for you, day after day, month after month. The results of our hard work and dedication, that’s when we become truly hooked.

True transformation isn’t about short-term fixes; it’s about embracing a lifestyle that sustains change over time. It’s about finding joy and fulfillment in the process, knowing that each workout is a step towards becoming the best version of yourself.


For Fun: Weekly Outfit Inspo

Athleta dropped a pretty new color called ‘Ultramarine‘. I’m eyeing up this sports bra with these shorts (because it’s too hot for leggings). I love a crew sweatshirt to throw on if it cools down or when the AC is too cold. While you’re at it, grab my fave pants to throw on in between gym and home — or just because they’re awesome and perfect for hot weather. I also love how this navy blue and bright blue look together:

Athleta workout outfit inspo

Shop The Look

P.S. Athleta is having an up to 70% off sale right now — check them out!!


Your Weekly Recipe: All Things Watermelon

It’s the 4th of July weekend! And what do you think of when you think of the 4th? I think: Watermelon. Watermelon has always been such a treat and a part of most of our lives since we were kids, but I feel it gets overlooked. It’s an amazing fruit and it tastes so. freakin. good. Watermelon is hydrating and packed full of essential nutrients (include vitamins A, C, and B6)! It also contains potassium (an electrolyte that plays a huge role in muscle recovery + growth after working out), and lycopene (a strong antioxidant + natural anti-inflammatory). Watermelon also contains citrulline, an amino acid that is converted into arginine in the body, which plays a role in relaxing blood vessels, improving blood flow, and enhancing muscle recovery after exercise. Need more convincing to get this yummy fruit into your body before and/or after a workout?!

Watermelon juice recipe

This morning, I had watermelon juice — I took our leftover watermelon and threw it all into a blender. Blended on high for a little bit then poured it into a glass. 32 ounces of pure goodness. Great way to start the morning. It makes your gut happy, too!

Watermelon Mint Salad with Feta

This salad is hydrating and packed with vitamins from the watermelon, refreshing from the mint, and offers protein from the feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, and chicken or chickpeas. It’s perfect for replenishing electrolytes and satisfying your hunger after a workout in the summer heat. Enjoy!

Watermelon Mint Salad with Feta

Watermelon Mint Salad with Feta

Perfect for replenishing electrolytes and satisfying your hunger after a workout in the summer heat.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • 3-4 handfuls of mixed greens
  • 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
  • One avocado chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, shelled
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Grilled chicken or chickpeas (optional for extra protein)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional, depending on sweetness of watermelon)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chili Pepper (option)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cubed watermelon, mixed greens, onion, avocado
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey (if using), salt, black pepper, and chili pepper (optional)
  3. Pour over salad and gently toss to combine.
  4. Add chopped mint leaves, feta cheese, and pumpkin seeds on top
  5. Top with Chicken or Chickpeas (optional)
  6. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  7. Enjoy!

Have a great Week 4! Please reach out and let me know how you are doing, and how you are feeling. I’ve got your back. 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/

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