Seated Bicep Curl
DrGrounds / Getty


I haven’t picked up a weight in months. Should I jump back into my old routine, or will that get me injured?


You can. Or you can take this time to reassess your goals and needs. For example, do your shoulders slump forward? Do you have any lower-back pain? Establish your needs first and lay the foundation for your new workout plan.

Then remember to stay focused on the basics like incorporating a good warmup, body-weight movement, and plenty of compound moves such as squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses. Start slow, then progressively ramp up the intensity (the amount of weight you lift) and volume (the sets and reps) and shorten your rest time as you progress. 

— Jim “Smitty” Smith, C.P.P.S., is the owner of Diesel Strength & Conditioning (


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Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Hey guess what? I’m back! I’m going to try my best to start up FTLOF again and start posting new content. I’m making no promises about consistency, but I’m excited to jump back into ST. I’ve missed you guys!

These are some of my favorite articles from while I was away. We’ll get back to a newsier schedule next week.

Real Food trumps macronutrient hacking, plastic in bottled water, and the downfall of a scientist.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the past few dozen weeks

What inspires you these days?

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It’s time to embark on a new kind of fitness program with Oxygen Challenge coach Erin Stern.

You’ve decided to get into the best shape of your life. But what does that actually mean? Many of us, myself included, have had the idea of training to lean down or to lose weight. It’s a pretty common goal, and the media continues to perpetuate it through ads for weight-loss products and plans.

I see two issues with this fuzzy goal. First, it’s not a tangible goal. It’s more of a moving target. How much weight do you want to lose? What happens if you gain muscle and lose fat? Second, it’s a goal based in self-judgment. You end up beating yourself down before you even start!

Let’s talk about a way to set goals and track progress that will set your world on fire!

We take this approach in my 90-day challenge. We’ll work to build a solid foundation, then focus on sculpting physique. In the last 30 days, we’ll shred and reveal the work from the previous 60 days. We take it one goal at a time, and the results are truly incredible!

The Erin Stern Challenge will guide you through her essential fitness and nutrition regimen and help you develop a routine and mindset to make a lifetime of change.

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Find relief in these quick and easy yet effective yoga practices.

Instead of reaching for that bottle of painkillers in your medicine cabinet the next time you experience a headache or back pain, try channeling your inner yogi. Why? While 11.5 million Americans living with chronic pain misuse prescription opioids, there are alternative treatment options available — like yoga — that are effective and come with zero risk of side effects.

“One of the main reasons I believe yoga for pain is such a hot topic right now is that there’s still a lot of unknowns in the world of pain science and our understanding of the nervous system,” says Tiffany Cruikshank, LAc, MAOM, RYT, an internationally renowned yoga instructor, holistic health practitioner, acupuncturist, sports-medicine expert and founder of Yoga Medicine. “This question mark leaves behind a void that our health-care systems haven’t been able to solve yet. Plus, the current solutions have way too many side effects and drawbacks. We’re in desperate need of a better strategy, and yoga practices can be an effective, cost-efficient solution.”

Yoga is a great tool to help people:

  • Self-soothe with stress-reducing techniques
  • Down-regulate the stress response and, in effect, increase the relaxation response
  • Create body awareness, which acts as an internal monitoring system to help the nervous system recalibrate

Putting Yoga Into Practice

The next time you experience one of the five common painful conditions listed below, Yoga Medicine instructor Marnie Hartman, DPT, CSCS, RYT, suggests practicing its corresponding yoga pose. “It’s important to note that it’s not actually about the ‘pose’ itself but the ‘practice,’” she says. “Mindfulness, awareness of breath and reactions during the positions or movements are just as important as the posture themselves.”    

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Valentina Lequeux

Per Bernal

You work hard in the gym to look and feel good all over, but let’s be real: There are certain areas we tend to fixate on the most, and for many of us, that’s our bellies and our butts. “Women are constantly asking me, ‘How do I get a firmer booty and tighter abs?’” notes social media fitness star Valentina Lequeux. Her answer: this powerful conditioning routine, which features a mix of compound giant sets and isolation moves to target the lower body (especially the glutes) and core. “The compound moves help increase the size and density of the muscle tissue, while the isolation exercises help create better separation in the muscles for a more complete look,” says Lequeux. “Adding in a high-intensity training circuit helps burn body fat all over.”

Try this workout twice a week as part of your regular training, or incorporate elements from it into other parts of your routine. Make sure you’re also following a balanced, clean diet, says Lequeux, and you’ll soon spot a noticeable difference in the form of a firmer, tighter, and sleeker belly, butt, and thighs. 

How it Works

Split this workout into 2 giant sets (moves marked A, B, C, etc.) for glutes, followed by isolation moves for glutes and abs.

*For the giant sets: Increase weight as reps decrease. After last set, drop half the weight and do 20 reps. Do each move in the giant set with little to no rest, then rest 1 minute after each set. Finish with upper-body HIIT workout (under the main workout below).

Follow Lequeux on Instagram at @valentinalequeux.



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It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

To say our lives have been impacted by the Primal Blueprint and Mark Sisson would be a ridiculous understatement. The fact of the matter is, our lives are a direct creation from the influence that Primal Blueprint has had on our lives. We are Adam and Vanessa Lambert, creators of Bee The Wellness, an innovative personal coaching company based out of Los Angeles. This is our story.

We have all read the stories of success with weight loss and improvements to health and longevity here on Mark’s Daily Apple. What we don’t often get to hear is how the magic of this community and way of living can make a profound impact on the rest of your life. That is what the The Primal Blueprint has done for us, and we know it can do it for you too.

We were already paleo when we found Mark’s Daily Apple years ago. We had been living in the same small town and being coached by Robb Wolf and had already adopted the ancestral diet when we were first introduced to Mark Sisson. What we didn’t know was how connecting to the Primal Blueprint community would shift how we would fundamentally live our lives and who we would become in the world. This is the part about this lifestyle that is hard to describe and even more difficult to point to. Alas, we will give it a go.

Adopting the Primal eating principles creates space in your life. What we mean by that is now that you are not subject to dealing with how the standard American diet leaves you feeling (tired, bloated, and hungry five minutes later) you have space to create your life in the way you want to experience it, not in the way it happens to you by default.

Now we know it may seem like a stretch, but gaining the clarity of body and mind, helps you to gain the clarity of soul. Suddenly you start to take notice of the other things in your life that are not in alignment with your healthiest self. Perhaps it’s other lifestyle habits, relationships, or your work environment. Whatever it is, you start to notice a distinct disconnect between how you have been living your life and how you want to live your life. By gaining this foundation of health you suddenly find it propelling you towards other ways of thinking, acting, and creating your reality more mindfully and with greater intention. Connecting to other Primal subscribers within the community only deepens your commitment to this new way of being.

This is what happened for us. Eating an ancestral diet, following the Primal principles, connecting with like minded people in this community was a catapult for discovering what was important to us. From there we discovered who we wanted to be in the world and how we could make an impact in the community in our unique way. This led us to creating our own wellness company where we now get to coach people from all walks of life and in all areas of the world. We also lead Primal based adventures in places like Costa Rica, Peru, Africa and this summer, the Redwood Forest of Northern California. We host a paleo based podcast where we share and communicate with people who can help influence the world in a more positive way.

Recently we were nominated for four “Best Of Paleo” awards, which helped us to realize we were in fact making a difference in people’s lives. We are living our dream life and it all started by embracing the Primal way of living and being in the world. So for those of you who are just beginning your journey or for those of you who are well on your way, let this be a reminder of the limitless potential that comes from adopting this way of being in the world. Embrace the journey and be open to what it can create for you in your life, because when it comes to Primal living, the sky is the limit.

Adam and Vanessa Lambert (3).jpg

For more information on Adam and Vanessa Lambert, visit and be sure to check out their paleo retreat with a festival vibe “Bee – Fest” happening in July of 2018. It’s an event you won’t want to miss! You can also check out their Bee The Wellness podcast, which I named one of my top picks for 2018.

The Giveaway

We’re teaming up with Adam and Vanessa to offer a Primal-worthy giveaway on Instagram, where you can win $100 Gift Card to + access to an ENTIRE YEAR of Adam & Vanessa’s UnveilYourWellness & Meditation programs—organized around the four seasons and split into twelve 21-day challenges. (Total Value: $2000+) For more info and to enter, head over to Primal Kitchen® Instagram. Happy Friday, everyone!

Adam and Vanessa Lambert).jpg


The post Gaining the Clarity of Body and Mind Helps Gain the Clarity of Soul — And a Giveaway appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Today we’re featuring an Ask the FBGs post, where readers like you ask the FBGs for advice. Nothing is off limits, although we do prefer that it’s fitness or nutrition related, so send your undying health questions to You just might see them posted here or addressed in a podcast ep in the future! Question from DJ: What’s a Good Couples Workout? Hello! My husband and I took a marriage class last night. The takeaway was trying to maximize the limited down time you have after the kids go to bed to do an activity together and not just sit and stare at …

The post Ask the FBGs: What Couples Workouts Do You Recommend? appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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