Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Busy Persons Guide to Fitness: But First, Let Me Take a Selfie.

Over the past few days I have given all of you busy busy people out there the means to carve a body worth of a place on Mount Olympus, provided you are willing to put in the effort.

Today I will explain how you can track your progress and stay motivated in 6 easy steps:

1 – Buy a Training Diary to Track Strength. You will record your workouts, weights lifted and reps.
2 – Buy a Nutrition Diary or My Fitness Pal. You can track your macros/caloric needs each day.
3 – Take a Before Picture. This will help you see where you started.
4 – Take a Weekly Progress Picture. This will make for a nice montage when the time is right.
5 – Take an After Picture. This would be your last photo after a 6,8 or 12 week training phase.
6 – Compare Week 1 & Your Last Week. Enjoy your results and notice how much YOU have achieved.

Thats it. Tracking your progress is very simple. Just keep a diary or two and you will be able to see your numbers steadily climb in the weights you’re lifting, while you will watch your fat melt away.

Enjoy
Ross

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The Busy Persons Guide to Fitness: Pills & Potions

Recovery nutrition has been a very lucrative market for many years, with all of the pills, shakes, protein bars and recovery gels where is a person as busy as yourself to start?

After all, who has got the time these days to really sit and read through all of the scientific studies, internet articles and alike to find out what will work for them?

This simple guide will help you understand what YOU can go for when it comes for a post workout meal, if you really need one that is.

Anyone who is not technical and just wants a quick post workout solution would do well with 500ml of Chocolate Milk or any flavour really.

It contains the ideal protein/carbohydrate ratio needed post workout (1/2-3). SO if you had 10g of protein you would ideally want 20-30g of carbs.

For the more minded among you reading this here is a simple amino acid stack that will help you destroy body fat while building some decent lean muscle too:

10-20g BCAA 4-1-1 Ratio (Lucine – Isolucine – Valine)
2.5-5g Creatine
2.5-5g HMB
2.5-5g Taurine

What are they all?

BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) are what protein is comprised of, I was once told that 10g of BCAA is worth 20g of whey protein due to the absorption rate – If you wish to search the web for studies on this I’m sure you will find them.

Creatine – Found in meats such as steak and helps the body create ATP (Adenosine Tri Phosphate) which is used by the body to hep you lift really heavy things or move really fast, it’s like dynamite energy for your body, but it’s only in short supply and one it’s used you will start to drop power during that workout until your body replenishes it stores.

HMB (Beta-Hydroxy Beta-methylutyric Acid) Another amino acid used by the body to improve the absorption of other amino acids.

Taurine – Another amino acid found in animal meats that is used by the body, it’s good for bile production (This helps digestion.).

However you don’t NEED a post workout supplement, you can find all you need from food. I would personally suggest sorting yourself a nice ease meal using the following tips:

– Protein Quantity – The size of the palm of your hand
– Carbohydrate Quantity – The size of your hand
– Woman use one hand, Men use two hands.

If a meal is too much trouble then stick with the milk.

Just remember this though: As long as you’re hitting your required Macro Nutrients for the day you don’t essential need a post workout shake or meal. If you hit your numbers for the day you won’t go far wrong.

Enjoy
Ross

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The Busy Persons Guide to Fitness: Results in 2 Hours or Less!

If you think that your goals will be forever out of reach because you don’t have enough time to train then this post is for you.

With only two training days per week you can achieve some great results, provided you’re willing to have a decent nutritional base and a cast iron will with endless amounts of drive.

Considering your limited time to train I would suggest two full body training days, one based around powerlifting and one around strongman.

For the power lifting bias day the following is a good structure:

Heavy Compound – Sq, Bp or Dl. Pick one and go for a rep PR such as 4 or 3 for example. High set.

Rep Compound – Which ever compound lift you didn’t do heavy, do reps. 8+ reps on Sq/Bp and 6’s for Dl. Moderate set.

Isolation Compound – The last lift will fill this gap. You will not necessarily have to do the lift it’s self, but you can if you want too. This should be to train some weak points and build some muscle with body building style reps. Low set, high reps.

Rotate the lifts each week so all of the lifts go through the heavy, rep and isolation stage, then repeat.

Example:

Warm Up: Squat 5,5,5,3,3,3
Squat – 5×3 (Heavy Movement)
Bench – 4×6-8 (Rep Movement)
Deadlift (Isolation Movement) – Good Morning/Straight leg DL/Pull Up 4×8-12
Abs – Ab Rol Out 5×5

*Take as little rest as needed.

The second week this workout comes around the squat would be for reps, the bench would be based on assistance movements and the deadlift would be your heavy lift. Then the week after Your squat would be assistance based movements, your bench the heavy lift and the deadlift for reps.

I mentioned about the reps/set above be here are some rep ranges to use for each:

Heavy Day – 12×2, 10×2, 8×3, 6×4, 15×1 – 5-8 sets of 1 would be a warm up single as you have 6-8 good singles in you.

Rep Day – 6×8, 8×6, 10×5 – The last one is more strength based.

Isolation Day – 5×10, 4×12 – You will want to use super sets on this day to get in lots of volume.

For the second day we would suggest a modified strong man approach, I.E lots of farmers walks, overhead pressing, picking up and moving heavy/strange objects etc. This can be done in a medley style where you pick a group of exercises and do 1-5 rounds, or you can have a strength bias and go for heavy singles, doubles and triples – the choice is yours.

Example Medley:
Warm Up: Clean/Press 6×6

Overhead Press x5
Farmers Walk x 20m
Pull Up x 8-12
Heavy Single Arm Dumbbell Clean x 6 per arm
Rest 1-3min
Repeat 3-5 times.

Example Strength Bias:

Warm Up: Turkish Get Up 1-5 or 1-10 each side

Clean/Press 5,4,3,2,1
Deadlift Variation* 5,4,3,2,1
Front Squat 5,4,3,2,1
Farmers Walk 10x 20m

*Snatch Drip Deadlift, Deficit Deadlift, Trap Bar Deadlift etc.

You can also use moves such as:

Kettlebell/Dumbbell Iron Cross Holds
Plate Prowler
Kettlebell swing
Kettlebell Snatch
Clean/Press – Dumbbells or Bar
Heavy Dumbbell Shoulder Carry/Run
Over Head Squat
Single Arm Overhead Lunge

This day would only be limited by your imagination.

Linking in these two types of training will give you the best results in terms of fat loss, lean muscles building, strength and also fitness.

You will only need 60-90min tops to do these workouts.

Enjoy
Ross

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The Busy Persons Guide to Fitness: Nom Nom Nom

Time is the only thing we have, but more often than not it is filled with tedious tasks such as work, family gatherings and sitting in traffic while the light is green because the learner in front of you has stalled.

Not having enough time also effects trying to eat the ‘right’ foods, nay, eat enough food to avoid crashing and heading straight for the coffee and pro plus can also be a challenge for some. Nutrition is clearly just too large a subject to ever be understood for such a busy person.

All of these can get in the way of achieving a rock solid physique, or can they?

In our world of limited time a simple guide is called for to help those who only have perhaps 2 days per week to train…This is that guide.

I will give you some tips and tricks to help you achieve not only a good physique but also strength and fitness too.

In this 4 part mini series I shall cover the following:

– Nutrition
– Programming – Based on 2 Days Per Week
– Recovery Nutriton
– Progress Tracking

Now you know what to expect, lets get your nutrition requirements sorted.

To get your total calories I would suggest multiplying your weight in lbs by 11 & 13 for fat loss and 17-19 for muscle gain.

*For the purpose of this example I have used 17-19, but I would advise you to use 11-13 when working out your needs.

Now we need to get your basic macro nutrients sorted.

The easiest way to find out how much fat you will need in your diet is to take your weight in lbs (Optimally your lean weight – if you know it.) and multiply that number by 0.3-0.6 to give you the amount in grams you will need per day. Multiply by 9 to find out how many calories this is.

I would say to start on the lower number (0.3). The you can workout your required protein by taking your weight (Again ideally lean.) by 0.8-1.2 depending on your activity level. This will give you your grams of protein needed, them multiply this by 4 to get the calories.

Add those two numbers together and then subtract that number from your total required calories for your specific goal. This will give you what calories you need in terms of carbs, then divide that number by 4 for the grams required.

With the amount of carbs your require in grams multiply that by 10 & 15% to get your fibre intake – this is included in your crabs, not added on top.

Example:

Weight – 175lbs x 19 = 3325 calories
Fat – 175 x 0.3 = 52.5g = 472.5 calories
Protein – 175 x 1.2 = 210g = 840 calories
Carbs – 3325 – 472.5 – 840 = 2012.5/4 = 503g
Fibre – 503 x 0.15 & 0.10 = 75g & 50g

So you will have the following:

Protein – 210g
Carbohydrates – 500g
Fat – 52.5g
Fibre – 50-75g

I would also suggest having 1 litre of water per 25kg of total bodyweight. Add in 1 exert litre for each hour of exercise on your chosen workout days too.

If you happen to like a cheeky drink after work to help wind down then you can use this to help you factor the calories from your chosen beverage.

There is 7 calories per 1 gram of alcohol (Just for your information.) but this isn’t really too relevant for the following. Count your alcohol towards your overall carb content (People we often speak to have carbs left over), simply because it’s easier to accept for this way.

To count your alcohol towards your carbs all you need do is take the number of calories in your chosen beverage and divide it by 4. (If you want to count it towards fat divide the calories in the alcohol by 9.)

If this doesn’t make sense so far please bear with us and keep reading.

Here is an example:

An average pint can have 300 calories per pint.

Divide this by 4 = 75. This can be counted as 75g of carbs.

There you have it. You have successfully accounted for alcohol, but be aware you should not actively try and get smashed just because you can count it in to your macros. There is nothing wrong with a little alcohol, just don’t over do it.

Now you have the guidelines to follow I would suggest downloading an app to help your track how well you’re doing form day to day. You can use a book if that suits you, but apps are easier.

*Try to have 80% of your calories coming from whole foods and 20% from what ever indulgences you desire.

There you have it, the first part of the guide all you busy people need to achieve results like never before.

Enjoy
Ross

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The Personal Trainers Guide to Rapport: Get Chatting

Of the last few days I have given you some ideas on how to build more rapport, these will hopefully lead you to establishing a better relationship with your clients and more confidence in yourself to approach people.

The biggest fear is that of rejection, or rather the though of being rejected. Don’t worry and just get chatting, int he end that fear will be a distant memory.

Aim to speak to 10 different people each day and use what you have learnt.

That’s it for toady. 🙂

Enjoy
Ross

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The Personal Trainers Guide to Rapport: Body Basics.

Creating rapport isn’t just done with words. The use of body language in establishing rapport is very useful and also a good indicator of how much rapport you actually have with a person.

You can use the information today and learn by people watching. It might sound strange but keep reading and all will be revealed and how if can be applied to your own rapport building arsenal.

*If you want to delve in more depth about this subject I would suggest reading some books specifically vested in this subject. Today I will be giving you same basics to help you in your rapport building efforts.

I am going to cover the following:

– Mirroring.
– Facial Gestures.
– Voice Tone, Pitch and Speed.
– Breathing Matching.
– Subtle Movements – What they might mean.

Mirroring

This is very commonly seen amongst people with a decent level of rapport. As the name suggests their body language is mirrored, or very similar to say the least.

If you’re in a place filled with people gym, coffee shop etc, take 5 min to just sit and watch how people interact. Take a note of how they may be sat or stood, what hand gestures they might both be making, essentially any indications that they are in good rapport by how similar their body language looks.

(Looking for groups or pairs of friends is a good idea for easily spotted rapport through mirroring.)

How many mirrored people did you find?

Now you know what to look for I suggest you try and apply it in your conversations (I mentioned doing this is a previous post.). If the conversation is going well make a subtle change in stance or a seemingly not abrasive hand gesture – If any are copied in a fashion then you’re in a decent level of rapport. Try to avoid too many movements as this will make you seem odd, the occasional one or two will be enough for you know where you stand.

Facial Gestures

These are far more difficult to notice without staring at your potential client like a madman, but that doesn’t mean you can’t watch out for a slight smile, a flush of colour to the cheeks or a widening of the eyes. Maintaining eye contact with a warming smile is a prerequisite of any good trainer, it will help you client feel more relaxed almost immediately.

Find a place to people watch and observe for these traits.

Once you feel confident in spotting these you can look for those few facial tells above when you’re telling your potential client how you can help them. Any of the above are usually good non-verbal signs that they like what you’re saying and feel increasingly more comfortable with you.

Be natural and avoid staring intently.

Voice Tone, Pitch and Speed

Voice tonality is an interesting subject because you’re not looking out for anything specific, well not yet anyway.

The idea behind understanding a persons voice tone, pitch and speed is so that you can copy it, not in a condescending way, but rather a way that makes you seem instinctively more familiar to that person. You will notice people’s voices are somewhat matched when they have established a decent amount of rapport – Think about public speakers, the louder they get the louder the audience gets too.

You can practice this technique to building report almost anywhere, all you need do is strike up a conversation, which I hope is now second nature to you.

Another good indicator as to if you have built a good rapport with your prospective client is to change the pace, pitch or tone of your voice slightly and see if they match it.

I personally would go for the speed of your dialog or the accents on how you say important words, if you speak slightly louder and with more enthusiasm and your prospective client copies then you’ve succeeded.

Breathing Matching

Not always easy to do if the person you’re talking too is on a piece of equipment in the gym, but I would work on this skill when chatting generally to friends and family until it becomes second nature to you.

The befit of this is similar to that of matching a persons voice tonality, it will help them feel more relaxed with you and help build rapport quickly.

Subtle Movements

What I am going to tell you next makes life very interesting. Peoples mouths might be saying one thing, but their body can be telling you something totally different. This also extends to people who may be smiling and nodding away with interest whereas their body might be saying something completely different.

I am going to give you three things to watch for.

*Please note these are some of the things I look for in people because I have found them to be the most common among my clientele and social circle. If you want to know more about body language I suggest either enrolling on a course or getting some recommended books – ‘What is every BODY saying’ is a good one to start with.

– Feet That Defy Gravity –

A nice subtle piece of body language to watch for to see if people agree or like what you’re saying is to notice what their feet are doing. The heel or toe might be elevated for instance, this will mean more often than not they like what they’re hearing. The same goes for people who are sat down and start kicking their feet – This is more subtle in men, but in woman they will literally almost kick you.

– Are You Still Breathing? –

While in conversation with a friend deliberately drop in something you know they personally don’t like, or a subject they would rather avoid, take a careful eye to how their breathing is because more often than not I have found that when people don’t like something verbal or not, they will hold their breath for the slightest of time. This is mainly relevant it the conversation is going well and you have build decent rapport, if you see this then it might be worth leaving that subject you’ve brought up or question you’ve asked to save your valuable rapport.

– Barriers –

While not always done by the body, the use of objects can show you how much rapport a person has with you. The barrier might start off as something big, such as their bag being indirectly between the two of you, or perhaps it might be a subtle as a phone directly between you two on the table or something the person you’re speaking to is holding in their hand. This is a sign that they still have reservations because instinctively we will protect our torso from ‘danger’. True enough you’re not going to hurt them but this is a primal response from the illustrious ‘Lizard’ part of our brains, but if you can’t see any potential barriers or they physically move them then it means your rapport is strong.

I know what I have written above is only a fraction of the skills and understanding out there but I feel every trainer should know these basics. They will help you help more people, after all helping people is the best part of being a Personal Trainer.

Enjoy
Ross

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The Personal Trainers Guide to Rapport: Emotional Wants

In my previous post I gave you small exercises to help you build rapport, hopefully you put those to good use and started building some solid bridges.

Today’s topic is another way you can gain rapport but on a much deeper scale. I mentioned Emotional Triggers, these are essentially the same as Emotional Wants and once you find what they are you can use it to help people feel even more comfortable with you, this will result in more trust and the chance of a potential client becoming an actual client.

*This post is not aimed at manipulating people in to buying sessions! Once you find out what is important to your potential client you can use that info to HELP THEM, not help yourself to their cash. Helping people reach goals they never thought they could is far more rewarding than money, but the more you help people the more likely they will be to give you lots of money for all your good work. Try to see the money as a welcome byproduct.

You can establish a persons emotional want/trigger by finding out what PAIN they want to avoid (People will do far more to avoid pain then they will to gain pleasure.), you can ask your prospective client how they currently feel, this will help them realise that they are unhappy/dissatisfied with XYZ and ignite an inner motivation to move away from this pain. Provided you have established a good amount of rapport with this person you can start to speak about how you can help them move away from their pain – If you can’t then recommend them to someone who can.

You want a potential client to be in a place of ‘Inner Motivation’, they will want to use your services because of how you can help them in their journey. This is far more effective than simply just trying to sell them sessions as a quick fix, you must be prepared to go the extra mile to help them.

Keep your prospective clients BEST INTERESTS in mind at all times. You are trying to do whats best for them, not you.

Use the following to build even more rapport:

– Explain how you can help them feel more confident.
– Tell the how you have helped people in similar situations – Provide proof too!
– Show them how easy it is to achieve their goal with your help.
– Make them fully aware how you’re trying to help them, not yourself.

Try to be UNDERSTANDING, empathise with the person and you will gain more clients.

Enjoy
Ross

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The Personal Trainers Guide to Rapport: People Skills – Build Rapport in less than 10 min.

You have people skills right?

Maybe. But do you have the right people skills for building rapport and turning members in to clients?

Rapport is like a bridge, it takes time to build but seconds to burn, so don’t rush it.

In my opinion a good trainer will possess the following skills:

– Positive Attitude
– Abilities in Establishing Common Interests
– Good Listing Skills
– Friendly Eye Contact
– Asking the RIGHT Questions
– Empathy

All of these skills are linked around what you can DO for a person.

Lets break down each of those skills so that you can apply them to your own business and create some outstanding rapport.

Positive Attitude

To form a positive attitude you need positive body language – smile, saying hello, offering help, being friendly and most importantly passionate. If you keep these simple thought’s in mind you will make yourself more approachable to more people.

60 Second Task: Using the body language tips above and take a note of how many people engage you in just one minute.

Objective: Get lots of smiles and hopefully initiate a conversation – If you get chatting you’ve succeeded and the time limit becomes removed so that you can talk to the potential client without pressure.

Outcome: A conversation.

Establishing Common Interests

Once you’ve formed an initial conversation I would advise finding out something that they find interesting, something personal but not invasive. A favourite hobby, TV show anything that you can form a common interest with and why. The will put them at ease and they won’t think you;re trying to sell them something.

60 Second Task: Find out 3 interesting facts about THEM. You can ask a question and then just wait of the answer, it’s that simple. People love talking about themselves.

Objective: Out of the 3 interesting facts about them pick one that is of shared interest and continue the conversation on from this point. They should be doing most of the talking.

Outcome: Common interests.

Good Listening Skills

Hopefully you now have a friendly conversation in full swing and it’s only been 2-3 min.

Next you will give the person the grand gift of silence. Yep, you need to keep nice and quiet allowing them to chatter away, all the time they are becoming more open and relaxed with you, thus creating some stellar rapport.

60 Second Task: From the 3 interesting facts they gave you previously I told you to pick one and continue the conversation from that point. As they are talking about their interest DON’T INTERRUPT! Even if you know about the subject just let them keep talking, listen to what excites them the most about it (Their voice pace will often hasten and their pitch will also be slightly higher.).

Objective: Learn about this passion of theirs, smile and share their enthusiasm with positive body language, but don’t interrupt them.

Outcome: The client becomes more relaxed and you know a potential *emotional trigger.

Friendly Eye Contact

Eye contact is essential, but don’t stare at them intently like you’re about to murder them, remember to blink and be natural. Make sure you smile and nod at the appropriate places. The more eye contact they make with you the more rapport you’re building.

60 Second Task: Maintain eye contact for an extended period.

Objective: Watch for their eye contact with you to increase, as it does smile, change how your standing or make a hand gesture and see if they mirror your actions. If they do you’re on to a good thing.

Outcome: The potential client feel comfortable enough with you to copy your actions.

Ask the Right Questions

What is the right question? If you have build your level of rapport to the point where the potential client is mirroring your smile and/or minor body actions then you will have enough rapport to start asking about their motivation/goals.

60 Second Task: Ask ‘How’ they can see the gym being beneficial to their goal – This will keep them engaged in the conversation and they will be selling themselves all the positives. If you ask why you could bring up a potentially bad reason for them being their.

Objective: Use the word ‘How’ instead of ‘Why’ when asking them questions and listen to their response for how it will be a positive thing to their lives.

Outcome: They have sold the benefits of the gym to themselves, this will make it easier for you to have them sell the benefits of Personal Training to themselves also.

Empathy

Understand their situation, frustrations etc but don’t sympathise because this can make people feel that you’re pitying them. Offer an interesting fact that you had similar thoughts once upon a time, this will build even more rapport.

60 Second Task: Tell the potential client how you were in a similar situation, or you how you have helped people in a similar situations. Be EMPATHETIC.

Objective: Aim for the potential client to ask you about how you helped your clients in more detail.

Outcome: Gain the potential clients interest.

If you have followed these steps and successfully achieved each then you have succeeded in establishing a very strong rapport. From this point you can speak to them bout your services and offering the the most valuable product possible that is suited to their needs.

Each part would take around 1-2 min which is why you have the 60 Second Task, if you don’t feel the conversation is progressing naturally then it is best to stop… for now. You can always speak to them again another day. Don’t try and rush things because it will only serve to destroy the rapport you will have cerated up to that point.

Enjoy
Ross

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The Personal Trainers Guide to Rapport: Give More & Take Less

I have spoken before in previous posts bout business, now it’s time to talk about the subtitles and how to create the illustrious Rappot.

Are you afraid of asking for business?

Tell me, were you born with unwavering confidence and the gift of a silver tongue?

Don’t worry if you weren’t because I am going to aim to get you to overcome the fear of speaking to people and boost your self confidence.

Picture this scene:

A very knowledgeable trainer is stood observing the gym, he spots some questionable form and begins to make his way over. As he approaches ever nearer his palms become sweaty, his heart starts to pound thumping so loud he can here it’s beat in his ear, his mind goes blank and then he swiftly walks past the people he wanted to help.

Why did he do this?

There could be many answers, but in my experience it’s often a lack of self confidence, even if the trainer in question did start to speak to these potential clients they might find themselves lost for words, this is very common.

Some trainers will fear offering help because of the inevitable fact that they feel that they should then ask for business after each encounter.

Why?

There is no need to ask all the time. It is worth thinking about what you can give to people to help them, in return you will get rapport and this is more important in the long run than a quick sale.

Being friendly and giving people as much help as you can will serve to boost your reputation, improve your brand and spread a positive image of you. This will then result in people asking you questions, if a person asks you a question there is a fair chance they will be happy to uptake your services in one form or another, but you just need to establish what in what manor that is.

Trying and give people more is the first step to creating rapport. A friendly face with a smile will help too.

For now practice giving more, tomorrow I will be going in to more about ways to build rapport and help you achieve more clients.

Enjoy
Ross

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The Homemakers Guide to a Lean Physique

You now know about the nutrition, the exercises and have a basic understanding and plan of what to do to get lean from the comfort of your own home.

There is only one more part of the puzzle left, it’s important so take a seat, grab a tea and enjoy.

The Homemakers Guide to a Lean Physique Part 7: Determination.

People will often be inspired for a short time and achieve quick results, but then they will start to say how nothing ever goes right, How XYZ keep getting in the way and how it was all just too hard to keep going.

While I can empathise with these people I found that there was something missing in them:

Determination was missing.

People seem to feel as if she needed to rely heavily on others and as a result she let various external factors affect them – While things like work, bills, kinds and general life are unavoidable they don;t have to control you. While this is not uncommon, it is avoidable.

Taking responsibility is key to achieving your goals, no one else will do it for you. It might be hard to keep going but what is the alternative?

Stop?
Give up?
Quit?

We all face rough times, but it’s how we adapt and overcome these that really matters.

All you will need is determination and confidence in yourself and you will get through the hard times.

Chin up and power on. It will be worth it in the end.

Enjoy
Ross

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