Tag Archives: training protocol

A little something arbitrary for y’all

GPP vs SPP.

General physical preparedness.

Special/Specific physical preparedness.

Some will ask which is better and the answer will always be; it depends.

If you have a solid goal then SPP will rule the roost and GPP will fall in line to help bolster the goal.

Yet say your goal is a loose one, you merely want to be a half decent allrounder, then in that case you ca pick and choose when you use SPP and have the majority of your training in the GPP area.

Do remember though that it often means you will never excel at anything and in fact more than likely not even end up as mediocre in the majority of things because of too much choice.

All this being said, here is something those of you that don’t really have a goal and just want to train can utilise in your training.

I call it the 50%-100%-200% Method.

You will use the above percentages in reference to your body weight on the movements you’re going to do.

So that could mean bodyweight barbell curls and double bodyweight press overhead as a superset if you’re some sort of genetic beast lobster (50% curl and 100% press will do for most).

Sets and reps can be up to you because the options for that are endless.

Take this example 3 day template for starters:

Day 1:

W/U – Clean & Press w/sandbag x50% x AMRAP x 15min
A1 – DL x 200% x6x4
B1 – Bench Press x100% x3 xAMRAP
C/D – Stretching/Yoga

Day 2:
W/U – Farmers Walk x50% x max total distance in 15min
A1 – SQ x 200% x8x3
B1 – Bent Over Row 100% x4-5 xAMRAP
C/D – Stretching/Yoga

Day 3:
W/U – Sled Push/Pull x50% x max total distance in 15min
A1 – Press x 100% x12x2
B1 – Pull Up x 50% x 8×3
C/D – Stretching/Yoga

The above if with mostly standard gym kit, however doing the above with awkward objects can be a great way to build ‘old time strength’ along with an epic amount of conditioning.

Often times we get some of our best results when we limit our choices because we have no other option than to put in some hard graft that has a defined purpose.

Try the simple loading strategy above and see how you get on.

Personally I’d lean towards working on volume/density as the main drivers, so getting out max reps (with good form) in specific time frames or more reps in the same time.

You might have heard this called EDT (escalating density training), Charles Staley is the man to look up for article on this.

Enjoy,
Ross

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A little time

You might that guessed I’m in quite the pensive mood of late.
 
Today I shall break with that trend and give you something you can use in the gym 🤗
 
It’s called ’25-35-45′
 
This is the length of time you will spend training in minutes.
 
You will cycle through them each session.
 
Why?
 
Because it will stop you faffing about.
 
You might be thinking that you can’t get anything done in 25min.
 
Well you can, in fact you can get quite a lot done however it relies on you pulling your finger out and being productive.
 
The cycling of session time will get you out of the mindset of –
 
“I need to train to feel tired/worked/like you did something”
 
Instead it will get you in the realms of –
 
“What can I do that is productive and not a waste of time?”
 
There might be some trial and error while you find the flow of it all, however once you do you will find that it’s not about the amount of time you spend in the gym, oh no.
 
It’s about the amount of effort, the quality of work and having a purpose that makes all the difference.
 
Don’t believe me?
 
Try to do 10 Thrusters & 5 Pull Ups without rest for 25min solid (wave loads as needed) and tell me you’ve not achieved something notable.
 
Here are a couple of ways you can set up the rotations.
 
1 – Pull/Squat, Hinge/Push, Loaded Carries/Movement
 
This takes 9 sessions before you start the cycle again, meaning each of the above (Pull/SQ etc) gets a 25-35-45min session.
 
2 – 25-35-45 & 1/2/3
 
25min session = 1 lift
35min session = 2 lifts (ideally in superset fashion)
45min session = 3 lifts (tri-set is good)
 
1 lift = pick a big movement that hits the entire body
2 lift = choose 2 solid half body movements
3 lift = 1 big lift, 1 auxiliary lift & 1 isolation/weak-point lift
 
3 – EMOM or AMRAP
 
Pick one or two lifts for an EMOM (ever minute on the minute), or choose as many lifts as you like and complete as many reps/rounds as possible in the given time.
 
4 – 200-300-400
 
The above are rep targets.
 
25min = 200reps
35min = 300 reps
45min = 400 reps
 
You can cycle the days as in option 1, I’d go for a simple Pull-Push-Legs so you might end up with something like this:
 
25min – 200 Presses (a combination of press/dip etc)
35min – 300 Squats (Squats, lunges, step ups etc)
45min – 400 Pulls (Dl, rows, chins, swings etc)
 
It will take 9 sessions to have each movement go through each rep/time set.
 
5 – Recovery, Run & Ramp
 
25min = Recovery work day – foam rolling, stretching etc
35min = Cardio work of your choice
45min = Lifting day where you ramp the weights/volume up
 
There are many options, however the 4 above should be enough to get you started.
 
Take some time to think about how much time you waste in the gym and for what other reason than you just feel like you should be in there for a certain amount of time.
 
Do less better.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A quick little bit of info on three ways you can split up some basic linear progression.

1 – Single Progression
2 – Double Progression
3 – Triple Progression
 
These can be tweaked using your understanding of the key principles of overload.
 
– Volume
– Intensity
– Density
 
(Specificity & Frequency also play a part)
 
Here is an example of how all three are written out.
 
*You add load once you’ve hit all the desired reps.
 
Single Progression = 3×8 💪
 
Once you hit 8 reps in each set you add weight, simple.
 
Double Progression = 3×8-12 💪💪
 
Starting out you might hit something like this: 11,9,8
 
The next session it might be : 12,11,9, get the idea?
 
Once you hit 12,12,12, you add load to the bar.
 
Triple Progression = 3-5×8-12💪💪💪
 
I’m sure you can see the pattern now. You want to hit 3×12 then you add a set and work towards 4×12 and finally 5×12 before adding load, however here is how things might look:
 
Session 1 – 12,12,10
Session 2 – 12,12,12 + 1 set next session
Session 3 – 12,12,10,8
Session 4 – 12,12,11,10
Session 5 – 12,12,12,11
Session 6 – 12,12,12,12 + 1 set next session
Session 7 – 12,12,12,12,10
Session 8 – 12,12,12,12,12 + load, drop back to 3×8-12
 
Personally I’m quite the fan of double and triple progression as they have their own built in de-loads via volume reduction.
 
The above deals quite nicely with Volume (total sets/reps) and Intensity (% of RM or load) for progression methods.
 
That leaves us with looking at density (work per unit of time/work capacity), this is easy to program in if you want to have people build al little more conditioning before adding load.
 
We will use double progress with a density consideration as the example.
 
3×8-12, 90-30 seconds rest.
 
Here is what the details might look like written down:
 
Session 1 – 8,8,8 – 90 seconds rest between sets
Session 2 – 12,10,8 – 90 seconds rest between sets
Session 3 – 12,12,12 – Rest as above, drop rest by 30sec
Session 4 – 12, 8,8 – 60 seconds rest between sets
Session 5 – 12,10,8 – 60 seconds rest between sets
Session 6 – 12,12,12 – Rest as above, drop erst by 30sec
Session 7 – 12,8,8 – 30 seconds rest between sets
Session 8 – 12,10,8 – 30 seconds rest between sets
Session 9 – 12,12,12 – Add load, take rest back to 90sec & reps back to 3×8
 
Hopefully that’s nice and clear.
 
Oh yea, frequency and specificity.
 
Specificity is linked directly to the goal (or the movement progressions) and you can use the progressions above and change the movement to make it more or less specific to the goal.
 
For example, You want to increase your press overhead.
 
Double Progression – Press until reps/set/rest hit however instead of adding load you change the lift to one that allows more load.
 
So it may look like this:
 
KB Bottom Up Press > KB Press > Z Press > BB Press
 
And so on.
 
Frequency is the easiest to play with , however it can lead to burn out if you abuse it.
 
Frequency = more training days on your desired goal.
 
EG 2 pressing days becomes 3 pressing days becomes 4 pressing days, using double progression it might look like this.
 
Press 2xP/W – 3×8-12 – goal hit +1 pressing day, load stays the same
 
Press 3xP/W – 3×8-12 – goal hit +1 pressing day, load stays the same
 
Press 4xP/W – 3×8-12 – – goal hit, increase load and drop back to 2 pressing days per week.
 
^^ That is without playing with density by the way.
 
As you can see once you apply the basic principles to even the simplest set/reps systems you have a method of programming that can literally last you a lifetime.
 
The thing about the above is that it’s all fundamental.
 
Mastery of the basics such as these will take you a long way.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Superhero System – Stage 2 – The Mentor

As with any good hero’s journey they have to meet their mentor, yet this is only after they get a little bit of a pasting from the villain.

It is as this stage they realise that while they have gifts and they’ve trained somewhat hard it just wasn’t enough when faced with someone who didn’t have their genetic advantage and gained a plethora of skill from planned training.

Once humbled and left questioning just how good they really are the wise old mentor appears and take them under their wing, such famous ones include Phil (Hercules), Obi-Wan (StarWars), Mary Poppins (a total bad ass really), Hippolyta (WonderWoman), Athena (God of War) and Wade Garrett (RoadHouse).

All of the above added in some minimum standards to be met and also a path to follow.

While the young hero knows a thing or two, and may even take a swing at their new found friend, they find that even though many years their senior they’re still rather spry and knock them on their ass easily.

Time to get some structure in to that training and really make some progress.

6 Weeks of training –

Day 1 – Week 1&2

W/U – Barbell Complex – 3×4-8 reps (Clean, FS, Press, BS, Good Morning, Row, RDL)
A1 – FS x7-5-3-7-5-3
A2 – Barbell Row x3-5
B1 – BB Clean & Press x7-5-3-7-5-3
B2 – Bear Hug Carry (bodyweight +) x20m
C/D – Stretching/Correctives x10min

Day 2 – Week 1&2

W/U – Kettlebell Snatch x5min – AMRAP
Kettlebell Pentathlon: 6min of work followed by 5min rest

  • Cleans 120 reps (20 RPM – reps per minute, once hit go up in load)
  • Long cycle press 60 reps (10 RPM
  • Jerks 120 reps (20 RPM)
  • Half snatch 108 reps (18 RPM)
  • Push press 120 reps (20 RPM)

C/D – Stretching/Correctives x5min

Day 3 – Week 1&2

W/U – Sled Push 20m, Sled Drag 20m x400m total
A1 – Weighted Chin 7-5-3-7-5-3
A2 – Trap Bar DL 7-5-3-7-5-3
B1 – Dumbbell Row (chest supported) 6×6-8
B2 – Barbell Curl 6×8-10
B3 – Reverse Fly x6x10-12
C/D – Stretching/Correctives x10min

Day 4 – Week 1&2

W/U – Kettlebell Long Cycle (2bells) x10min AMRAP
A1 – Weighted Dip x7-5-3-7-5-3
A2 – Farmers Walk x20m
B1 – Incline Press  x7-5-3-7-5-3
B2 – Suitcase Carry x20m (left arm our, right arm back)
C/D – Stretching/Correctives x10min

This structure starts to give our would-be hero some targets to aim for.

In week one there are two waves (7-5-3) in week two those will have two progression options

1 – Increase by 1 wave , so 7-5-3-7-5-3-7-5-3, a nice hefty chunk up in volume
2 – Increase overall load wheel keeping the waves at 2

The accessory work is auto-regulated meaning each set is done by feel, remember this is to enhance the training day, not to smash one in to the ground.

Soon though things will get much tougher for our rising start.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Superhero System – Stage 1 – Before The Call

So you want to look like a superhero.

Who doesn’t right?

They are everything we wish we could be and more, always doing the right thing and never having to sacrifice anything, they always find a way to save everyone.

While in this life we might not be able to achieve such heroism we can more than give it a good go. Failing that at least their aesthetic is something achievable for us.

Yep, the majority of people can look like a true hero with the right training.

*Please note this is a guide and there will of course be specific needs to each individual, however this will help get you started on the right path.

When we first meet our hero in any story they have a decent base.

Keeping this in mind we must ourselves create a solid foundation from which we can build something truly awe-inspiring. To do this we shall carve out the pre-mentored hero in 4 weeks of training at least 3 days per week that while effect, is unguided.

Day 1 –

W/U – Farmers Walk x10min
A1 – Squats 20reps, as many sets as possible in 20min
B1 – Clean & Press x10, as many set as possible in 20min
C/D – Stretching x10min

Day 2 –

W/U – Rowing, as far as possible in 20min
A1 – Presses 10reps, as many sets as possible in 15min
B1 – Bent Over Row 10 reps, as many sets as possible in 15min
C/D – Stretching x10min

Day 3 –

W/U – Hill Running x10min
A1 – Romanian Deadlift x10reps, as many sets a possible in 20min
B1 – Bear Crawling for 10-20m, as many set as possible in 20min
C/D – C/D – Stretching x10min

Our would-be hero has no real reason behind what they do, they just do it because it’s all the know.

The above will be a great place to start building your base of strength, conditioning, movement skill and mental toughness.

Soon enough though this base will be put to the test.

Enjoy,
Ross

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That Superhero Look

Look at any hero and most have an iconic stature.

The men have wide shoulders, a thick back, tapered waist, well developed legs and powerful looking arms.

The ladies are equally as proportionate with the coveted hour glass figure, a lean muscular structure that showcases their strength while still remaining what many consider feminine.

A lot of people desire such a look, and either is one that isn’t too far out of reach for many, so long as you know how to train for it.

I’ve always preferred the villains or anti-heroes myself.

The training required goes a little bit beyond 4-6×4-6 on front squats, wide grip pull ups, presses and deadlifts, however those 4 things would be a great start for anyone looking to work towards such a goal.

Since we’re coming up to the summer I might put together something surrounding this style of goal.

I’m thinking anywhere from 6-12 weeks worth will be enough of a starting point for most people to make a bit of a dent in this goal.

Is there any hero you’d like to look like in particular?

Leave your comments below.

Enjoy,
Ross

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“We’ll let the dice decide.”

I actually heard this while watching someone play D&D.

The little imp had quite the maniacal grin on his face, clearly he was a rather brutal dungeon master.

You might be asking how this applied to making gains.

Especially as people who tend to play D&D are not the most physically active of people.

Well it is if you just don’t want to delve in to the depths of fitness to learn how to effectively program your own training.

Same goes if you don’t want to hire a coach/trainer.

I have something for you that is endless in its possibilities and easy to apply, like right now.

You will pick one movement from this list:

– Push (includes crawling)
– Pull (includes climbing)
– Squat (includes all lunge/single leg patterns)
– Hinge (Includes all sling leg varieties)

You will also do a stint of loaded carries, if doesn’t matter what variation you do, it will last for up to 20min (or perhaps more) depending how much time you have left after the deice have decided your rep/set fat.

Now go grab a pair of dice.

Roll them, whatever they land on will be your reps per set for the day (2-12).

Roll them again, this time you get how many sets you’re doing for the day (2-12).

Set a training timer for 45min, that is how long you have to finish your sets/reps, once you get them all done you will fill the rest of your time with loaded carries and perhaps the optional plank.

You can train 2-7 days per week with this method.

Simply alternate the lifts you do and use a different movement base each session, or don’t, that’s your call after all, who am I to stop you skipping leg day, again.

Here is what something might look like:

Day 1:
A1 – Squat 12×12 – you poor bastard
B2 – Famers walks, if you have time that is.

Day 2:
A1 – Press 2×2 – DO NOT roll again! Worship the die and their judgement, clearly they know you’re done too much bench in your time and skipped too many leg days.
B2 – Sandbag Carry because you’ve got plenty of time.

Day 3 –
A1 – Weight Chin Up 9×5 – I’m okay with this.
B1 – Sled Drag for the remainder

Day 4 –
A1 – Snatch Grip DL – 7×3 – Huh, neat.
B2 – Prowler Push until your time is up

Day 5 – Off

Repeat the above with different movements and carry options.

Respect the die, they will give you all the set/rep variety you need.

In regards to loading you can either us the same loads each set or change them, dealers choice.

No go, enjoy.
Ross

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Upgrade your 3G to 4G

We’re not talking about phones here.

If you happen to still have 3g then you might be due an update, just like me.

There are the 3G’s of fitness that if you put some focus on training will change everything.

Strength will increase with ease.

Plus you’ll also be privy to some much appreciated endurance/cardio vascular benefit and perhaps even some fat loss too 🤗

Here are the three things you need to work on more:

– Grip
– Glutes
– Guts (cores)

In doing so you’ll upgrade and attain the 4th G:

– Gains

There are a whole host of movements you can do to train the above, let us look at their impact and on what tier they’d be.

I won’t list them all, just the good ones.

Tier 1 – All 3G hit

– Any Deadlift variation (no straps)
– Loaded Carries
– Climbing/Pull Ups (if done correctly)
– Snatches
– Heavy Presses (most variations)
– Kettlebell Swings (most variations)

Tier 2 – Hit 2 out of the 3G’s

– Heavy Barbell Curls (yes, you read that right)
– Rowing variations
– Isometrics (planks etc)
– Squatting variations
– Sled Pushing/Pulling
– Plyo work (jumping, throwing etc)

Tiet 3 – Hit 1 out of the 3G’s

– Any specific isolated movement for Grip, Glutes, Gut

Sorting you’re movements in to a 3 tier system will allow you to pick and choose those that offer the most bang for their buck and also program support/isolation work where needed in a logical way.

If you are looking to put together a training session here is how it may look:

A1 – Tier 1 movement
B1 – Tier 2 movement
B2 – Tier 2 movement
C1 – Tier 3 movement

With exercises added for 3 days training:

Day 1 –
A1 – DL: Snatch Grip-Clean Grip-Mix Grip: 2-4x 2-2-2
B1 – Barbell Row 4-6×4-6
B2 – Barbell Curl 4-6x-4-6
C1 – *Roman Chair Leg Raise 8x 2-4

Day 2 –
A1 – Awkward Object Clean & Press x1 + Carry x400m
B1 – Incline Press 7×3-5
B2 – Sled Push 7×20-40m
C1 – CoC Gripped 3-5 sets of 10-30sec hold per hand

Day 3 –
A1 – Trap Bar DL 8×2-3
B1 – Sled Push 7×20-40m
B2 – Sled Pull 7×20-40m
C1 – Front Squat 6×2-4

*If you do a hanging leg raise you can find that move up a couple of tiers due to the increased difficulty.

By hitting movements that place a heavy demand on one or all three of these areas you’ll find you start to gain in strength, CV, LBM and generally spice up your training as well.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Delorme & Watkins 2.0 – Progressive Resistance Exercise, Reloaded 💪💪

*Explosions in the background, unicorns & rainbows too.
 
You’ve heard of this classic –
 
3 sets of 10 reps
 
– Set 1 10RM x50%
– Set 2 10RM x75%
– Set 3 10RM x100%
 
Make gains.
 
The original protocol was implemented to people of all sorts of situations, originally polio victims and the injured (usually ex-forces), plus omsk beginners to exercises.
 
Now before you throw the baby out with the bath water and say this isn’t for you because you’re beyond this level of training, know this one thing….
 
You’re not 🤗
 
That being said, here are a couple of ways you can apply this method to your current training if you feel that three sets just isn’t enough for you.
 
D&W Waves –
 
Establish your 10RM for a given lift (personally I’d take 90% of that load and check the ego as a true 10RM is brutal).
 
Perform the classic 3×10 x 50-75-100% 10RM.
 
Rest in-between each set as much as you feel you need.
 
Once you complete one wave do at least 2 more, starting each wave with the 50% load, then do the 75%, think of that as active recovery.
 
Three waves yields a hefty amount of volume, if you’re feeling up to it go for a 4th one, if that is too easy try a 5th.
 
5 waves will give you 150 total reps, that’s a lot of volume, it will be an even harder session if you super-set two movements.
 
Truly an epic session that would be.
 
D&W Ladders –
 
This is hard, seriously hard.
 
The reps are broken down in to one of the following options:
 
– 1,2,3,4
– 2,3,5
– 4,6
– Anything that adds up to 10
 
You can super-set or simply use the rest to add load to the bar for the next set.
 
Example: do 2 reps at 50%, load to 75% do two reps, laid to 100% do 2 reps, now repeat with 3 and 5.
 
This style of loading will allow you to actually utilise your true 10RM without the chance of any form breakdown.
 
You’ll find the above works well on larger movements.
 
D&W Super Squats –
 
I’m sure you’ve heard of this before.
 
You know the one, you load up your 10RM and do 20 reps with it.
 
Yea well that’s not going to happen and if it did then you didn’t use your true 10RM, sounds like common sense however many miss that point that an RM (repetition max) is exactly that, a max.
 
It means 100% effort to get all the reps with the load you have on the lift, with near perfect form and not one more rep could be gained.
 
To apply the Super Squat theory to D&W you’d need to make a load adjustment.
 
I’d say 80% of your 10RM is a good start.
 
Each session, or every other session you add 1 rep to each set.
 
Example: 2 sessions per week
 
Week 1 = 3x10x50-75-100%
Week 2 = 3x11x50-75-100%
Week 3 = 3x12x50-75-100%
Week 11 = 3x20x50-75-100%
 
Then you’ve got a choice, test your 10RM and see if there is any change and take 80% of that and repeat, or just add load and go back to 3×10.
 
All of the above are classics methods, hover when you blend some together great things happen.
 
Personally I’d advise going for super sets, two lifts per session.
 
Cover the following:
 
– Push
– Hinge
– Pull
– Squat
– Carry*
– Full Body*
 
*Optional, however if you don’t do these as main lifts then having them as accessory will be a good thing.
 
Here is an example training template you could follow and make epic gains with.
 
2 Training Days p/w
 
Day 1:
A1 – TGU 10×1
B1 – Front Squat (or squat variant) D&W – Ladder
B2 – Pull Up (or pulling variant) D&W – Ladder
C1 -Towel Curl Carry at Half Rep Position 20-40m
C2 – Hill Sprint 200m – AMRAP 10-15min
 
Day 2:
A1 – Sandbag Clean & Carry – 20m Repeats x15min
B1 – Stiff Leg DL (or DL variant) D&W – Waves
B2 – Dip (or pushing variant) D&W – Waves
C1 – Overhead Press & Waiter Walk 20m AMRAP 10min
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Reps for days

It isn’t uncommon for people to ask – “What sets/reps should I be doing?”

While perhaps not that exactly, it will be something along those lines, as such I’ve found that cycling them based on a classic Heavy-Light-Medium rotation applied to a Pull-Push-Legs split.

One element to remember is that Heavy doesn’t mean hard and light doesn’t mean easy, however that is a topic for another day, for now I will give you something you can apply immediately.

Rep/Set Schemes:

  • Heavy  – 5-3-2-5-3-2-5-3-2 (heavy yet not hard)
  • Light – 20-15-10-20-15-10 (light yet not easy)
  • Medium – 5-8×1 + 1×20 – ramp to heavy single for the day, then take 60-70% of that and do one set of 20 reps

Split Options: 4 day split examples

  • Pull-Push-Legs-Off-Repeat
  • Lower-Upper-Posterior-Off-Repeat
  • Strength-Conditioning-Mobility(restorative)-Off-Repeat

^^ 2-4 lifts per day is often sufficient, 1 main with the rep/set scheme, the rest can be 2-3×10-15 or 4×6, your choice.

If we take the PPL and apply the rep schemes over a small cycle.

No change in lifts, only reps.

Day 1 – Pull – Heavy
Day 2 – Push – Light
Day 3 – Legs – Medium
Day 4 – Off
Day 5 – Pull – Light
Day 6 – Push – Medium
Day 7 – Legs – Heavy
Day 8 – Off
Day 9 – Pull – Medium
Day 10 – Push – Heavy
Day 11 – Legs – Light
Day 12 – Off

Many will then say – “What now?”

Once you’ve gone through this you’ll find you’re back at the heavy day being for pull, you can choose to keep the lifts the same and try to hit a higher load or you can perhaps change the lifts, pick your poison.

This allows for a constant rotation of days and keeps things interesting, if you are constrained be the working week and days you can train then you may need something a little different, in which case all you need do it ask for the answer.

Enjoy,
Ross

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