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yonder200

Will Foundation Work Change One's Physique?

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yonder200

I'm a long-time intermittent BTGB practitioner back from the DragonDoor article days in 2005 (Coach published a testimonial I had posted on the DragonDoor forum in the back of the BTGB book).

 

Though my progress had been affected by long breaks that were due to a complicated fracture that eventually required surgery, as well as 120 hour work-weeks during my professional training, I managed to progress to a near full front lever (unfortunately with scapulas *not* retracted), advanced tuck planche, and straddle back lever. 

 

Despite my ok-ish progress doing things my old way, I always had doubts about whether I was doing things the right way with respect to programming and selection of exercises, and definitely felt like I could be doing things better, which is why I am so excited about the foundation and upcoming handstand series.

 

Although the strength I developed through GST allows me to do most of the exercises in F1, I definitely do not have the endurance required for most of the PE1s (other than RC and HBP), and have therefore started with the basics in F1.

 

I love the fact that everything is spelled out in F1, and that every exercise is performed right there in front of me without my having to look it up. Another bonus right now is that, working out this way is much easier and less painful then the way I used to work out (so far). It's also therefore more motivating, because despite being less painful (for now), I've decided to trust the notion that if I just follow the program and remain diligent, I'll continue to gradually develop some very significant skills and strength.

 

Which leads me to my question...

 

While I was training regularly with BTGB, working on static and dynamic exercises, I did notice some moderate physical changes in my body (mostly biceps, shoulders, abs, triceps, and chest).

 

What I'm wondering, is whether F1 will do the same. I know that by the time F4 is finished, physical changes in musculature will have to have happened, but I'm wondering what to expect at the 18 month mark once F1 is completed.

 

Are there people who learned the foundation program at the seminars 12-16 months ago who are far enough in their training to be able to notice whether F1 has changed them physically? Coach's athletes all look amazing, but they're way beyond F1 or even F4, so they're not necessarily good barometers here.

 

I'm not asking whether one would look like a bodybuilder after F1 or F2 (heaven forbid). I am also not saying that the main goal of GST should be aesthetics. That being said, Coach has always said that to look like a gymnast, one needs to train like a gymnast; I'm just wondering at what point this will start to happen (if ever) while following the Foundation program. 

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Joshua Slocum

It varied highly by individual. Are you hoping for bigger muscles, better definition, or both?

The movements in F1 are pretty high volume, so you should experience some hypertrophy if you eat enough.

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Joshua Naterman

Well, I'll tell you this.

 

All I have been doing since Fall of last year is stuff that's in F1. Seriously. The appropriate exercises with the appropriate stuff from earlier progressions in them for warm up. I was actually a bit lazy with my core work, and have only gotten back into the full groove for the past two weeks or so. It's made a noticeable difference.

 

I've gone from 204 lbs to 225 lbs, a gain of ~14 lbs of muscle in around 10 months. Everyone is like "Dude, you are even bigger. How does that work?"

 

The trick is simple: eat for success, and follow a solid workout plan.

 

F1 definitely fits the bill for "a solid workout plan" and the fact that it's all bodyweight stuff is just going to enhance the benefits, because you're using your whole body all the time.

 

I can't guarantee you'll have my kind of mass gains, because 1) I don't know your genetic background and 2) I have no control over how you eat.

 

However, as long as you are getting enough calories, eating a clean diet to the best of your capabilities, and are following the F1 program you will absolutely see your body change for the better, and so will everyone else.

 

Remember, focus on the basics:

 

1) Eat food, stay hydrated

2) Follow F1-4

3) Eat more food :)

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Joshua Slocum

3) Eat more food :)

 

This is my favorite part. In fact, I'm eating a snack right now  :D

 

 

Though I'm curious: have you been doing foundation work at the volume prescribed, or higher? And have you been doing any additional work? 

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FREDERIC DUPONT

Will Foundation Work Change One's Physique?

 

Yes!

If you don't do the mobility as prescribed, you become a hobbit!  :unsure:

Shhhhsh, all those guys that don't read the fine print!

 

 

:D

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Joshua Naterman

Hari, I have been doing 3-5 sets, so basically as prescribed but sometimes less volume, since I am still working through shoulder issues. At this point it's almost all 5 sets.

 

I haven't been doing anything past PE6 on a regular basis, but I will do a short FL hold to maintain my FL strength, which has been improving from all the PE work, and maybe twice a week I'll do a few reps of full lay Yewkis. Not to failure or anything, just to work the movement. I was surprised when the full lay came back.

 

For legs I do front box squats with bands and weights for strength, but very infrequently. I still do all the PE stuff for legs, particularly the mobility elements.

 

I was pretty surprised that I was growing on such rudimentary stuff, honestly, but it is more than it seems.

 

You should see Daniel Burnham's transformation from before he went to the seminar to now... He's in really, really good shape now. I hadn't seen him in something like 6 or 8 months before we started working out at some local spots, and he had been on the Foundation work for something like 5-6 months at the time, and I was honestly pretty shocked. He had a solid 6-pac, defined pecs, his serratus had gotten very noticeable, and he was leaner and stronger to a huge extent. He's actually got a solid ~3s straddle planche now, and before the seminar he really wasn't even doing his tucks the right way.

 

He's gone in whole hog though, just did the exact programming, and implemented my nutrition pretty well. The results speak for themselves, both visually and in performance.

 

I haven't seen it yet, but apparently the foundation work has got him to where he was able to do a one arm rope pull up two days ago!

 

He's not a genetically gifted guy, and he's just plowing on ahead in terms of progress.

 

So, does Foundation work? Yes, it works.

 

Will Foundation change your body? Yes, if you just do what you are told and eat decently, you will experience an impressive transformation.

 

Will Foundation make you strong? Yes.

 

If you're interested in GST at all, you really should be getting the Foundation products.

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Joshua Slocum

Yeah, 18 months of high-intensity work coupled with proper eating sounds about right. With decent programming and nutrition, it took me about 2 years to go from reasonably fit to having good muscle definition and size (and then another ~2 years to get to where I am now). With F1-quality programming and good nutrition, 18 months to slim down and bulk up is completely doable. 

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ASForum

What kind of Nutrition was that? 

You should see Daniel Burnham's transformation from before he went to the seminar to now... He's in really, really good shape now. I hadn't seen him in something like 6 or 8 months before we started working out at some local spots, and he had been on the Foundation work for something like 5-6 months at the time, and I was honestly pretty shocked. He had a solid 6-pac, defined pecs, his serratus had gotten very noticeable, and he was leaner and stronger to a huge extent. He's actually got a solid ~3s straddle planche now, and before the seminar he really wasn't even doing his tucks the right way.

 

He's gone in whole hog though, just did the exact programming, and implemented my nutrition pretty well. The results speak for themselves, both visually and in performance.

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Cole Dano

Crashnburn, check out the sticky Perfect Workout Nutrition 2013 in the Nutrition forum. 

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Daniel Burnham

What kind of Nutrition was that? 

Nutritiming and correct periworkout nutrition.

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yonder200

 I hadn't seen him in something like 6 or 8 months before we started working out at some local spots, and he had been on the Foundation work for something like 5-6 months at the time, and I was honestly pretty shocked. He had a solid 6-pac, defined pecs, his serratus had gotten very noticeable, and he was leaner and stronger to a huge extent. He's actually got a solid ~3s straddle planche now, and before the seminar he really wasn't even doing his tucks the right way.

 

He's gone in whole hog though, just did the exact programming, and implemented my nutrition pretty well. The results speak for themselves, both visually and in performance.

 

I haven't seen it yet, but apparently the foundation work has got him to where he was able to do a one arm rope pull up two days ago!


 

What I don't understand is how someone who did the exact foundation series programming got to a 3s straddle planche and one-arm rope pull so quickly, when F1--which technically takes 18 months to complete--doesn't involve anywhere near those levels of strength. Does F1, through the high volume of training on easier exercises, translate into one being able to do those more challenging moves prior to working on them?

 

Also, what do you think it is about the F1 program that allows one to gain mass using such basic exercises? Is it the volume? I'm not using the term "basic" to disparage the foundations program by the way, it's just that I always thought that it was the more advanced elements that gave gymnasts their physique. I've never had an interest in bodybuilding so I really don't know anything about gaining mass, it just seemed to me that the rep and set scheme was targeting muscular endurance more than anything else, which (with my very rudimentary notions on these things) I wouldn't associate with gaining much muscles mass.

 

Dave

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Joshua Naterman

 I hadn't seen him in something like 6 or 8 months before we started working out at some local spots, and he had been on the Foundation work for something like 5-6 months at the time, and I was honestly pretty shocked. He had a solid 6-pac, defined pecs, his serratus had gotten very noticeable, and he was leaner and stronger to a huge extent. He's actually got a solid ~3s straddle planche now, and before the seminar he really wasn't even doing his tucks the right way.

 

He's gone in whole hog though, just did the exact programming, and implemented my nutrition pretty well. The results speak for themselves, both visually and in performance.

 

I haven't seen it yet, but apparently the foundation work has got him to where he was able to do a one arm rope pull up two days ago!

 

What I don't understand is how someone who did the exact foundation series programming got to a 3s straddle planche and one-arm rope pull so quickly, when F1--which technically takes 18 months to complete--doesn't involve anywhere near those levels of strength. Does F1, through the high volume of training on easier exercises, translate into one being able to do those more challenging moves prior to working on them?

 

Also, what do you think it is about the F1 program that allows one to gain mass using such basic exercises? Is it the volume? I'm not using the term "basic" to disparage the foundations program by the way, it's just that I always thought that it was the more advanced elements that gave gymnasts their physique. I've never had an interest in bodybuilding so I really don't know anything about gaining mass, it just seemed to me that the rep and set scheme was targeting muscular endurance more than anything else, which (with my very rudimentary notions on these things) I wouldn't associate with gaining much muscles mass.

 

Dave

Your body will gain mass based on two things:

 

1) You must use your muscles

2) You must eat food in combinations that maximize positive nitrogen balance

 

This is the ideal scenario, of course, and it leads to the greatest gains. When it comes to gaining mass, what, when, and how much you eat is the most important thing.

 

Coach's boys, of all ages, are ripped.  I felt like I was in a gym full of miniature natural bodybuilders. That was seriously my first thought, because these kids had pretty impressive definition all over. I'm not talking about just his teenagers, I mean the younger ones too. They haven't moved past foundation work yet.

 

The purpose of the higher volume in F1 is to expose you to exercise that focus on teaching proper shape. High volume means you learn the shape faster, which is what we need. In the process, you will develop the musculature that this requires.

 

As you get further into the foundation, even F1, you will see that the rep ranges drop. This is because by the time you have reached PE5 or PE6 you will have already locked in the shape, which means you get to work on more traditional "strength" work, complete with lower rep ranges.

 

 

 

As far as Daniel's gains go, you will be surprised at how such small things can make such a big difference in your strength levels. There were many levels where, as others are noticing as well, Daniel didn't have to start on week 1. He figured out what the appropriate weeks were to start on with each PE exercise, and worked from there to mastery. He's not done, by any stretch, nor is straddle planche quite where he belongs in actual work sets yet, but he can hold a surprisingly nice one.

 

The strength you develop will always be in excess of what you are using in each workout.

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Daniel Burnham

What Josh said. I still have a ways to go to finish foundation work but the results are tremendous. The foundation series makes up pretty much the entirety of my strength work. The results will be clear soon enough. There will be many people like me who will achieve some amazing things without any sort of genetic predisposition.

Train hard in accordance with your recovery

Eat good food in the amount that supports the recovery and whatever growth you want.

That's it. The other things will come. I am more focused on performance than physique but in training like a gymnast I have started to look like one and sort of become one :)

And btw josh my straddle planche is in the ballpark of 6 seconds now. Without training the straddle specifically mind you.

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FREDERIC DUPONT

Wonderful testimonial Daniel, thank you for sharing your experience with us :)

 

(...) nor is straddle planche quite where he belongs in actual work sets yet, but he can hold a surprisingly nice one (...)

 

Sheeesh... that "pretty planche" syndrome again! :facepalm::lol:

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Joshua Naterman

:facepalm:

 

Lol, fred... Strength testing at the middle or end of one's cycle is not the same thing as someone busting out planches ahead of time :) It is always good to know where you are at.

 

I'd say "pretty Planche syndrome" is when you all of a sudden skip the progressions you know you SHOULD go through, and focus on training the most advanced position you can currently hold. Daniel's not doing that, thank goodness, and so serves as a pretty good example of what happens to strength as a result of Foundation training  :)

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Joshua Naterman

What Josh said. I still have a ways to go to finish foundation work but the results are tremendous. The foundation series makes up pretty much the entirety of my strength work. The results will be clear soon enough. There will be many people like me who will achieve some amazing things without any sort of genetic predisposition.

Train hard in accordance with your recovery

Eat good food in the amount that supports the recovery and whatever growth you want.

That's it. The other things will come. I am more focused on performance than physique but in training like a gymnast I have started to look like one and sort of become one :)

And btw josh my straddle planche is in the ballpark of 6 seconds now. Without training the straddle specifically mind you.

Nice! You're turning into a beast. It's kind of funny, I mean you're getting stronger than me lol!

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Mikkel Ravn

Hello, good people!

 

My first post, so please forgive noob clichés. Have been training BtGB for the past 18 months, in the beginning mixed in with kettlebells, club swinging etc. but exclusively BtGB for the past 9 months or so, because I love the low rep strength stuff. I think I am reasonably strong for my age, 37, and experience, can hold the FSP's for the following times without elbow pain etc. since I built volume very slowly:

FL, 1/2 lay: 12 seconds

BL, full lay: 15 seconds

PL, advanced tuck: 12 seconds.

Side lever, full lay: 7 seconds

 

Am also training Pelicans, partial straddle Bowers, MU, SLS, full lay Yewkis, and other semi-advanced stuff, so I was sceptical about F1, since it seems like a step back, and given the amount of posts on the same subject on this forum over the past week, I can tell that I'm not the only one.

 

Well, bought the entire course and today was assessment day. 

I am going for a 4-day week, and settled for the following mastery tests for day 1:

FL/PE1

sPL/PE1

HBP/PE2

RC/PE3 (I used to rock climb quite a bit, so I'm pretty strong in the pulling exercises).

 

Here's my first impressions.

 

FL/PE1: This one is pure evil, and left me aching, but I passed it. I'll be sore tomorrow  :)

sPL/PE1: Much harder than you'd think. Passed.

 

HBP/PE2: For a person used to low-rep stuff, this was vicious. Failed on fifth and last set, could only do ten pushups - But hey, I'm happy, 'cause it means that I'll get to knock out a ton of pushups over the next three months. 

RC/PE3: Worse than it looks on paper, but ok. Passed.
 
The mobility exercises are excellent, I think they're really going to push my mobility over the course of those 12 weeks.
 
Bottom line: I only dipped my toes in the shallow end of this program today, and got my arse kicked thoroughly. If you're on the fence about buying this, because you fear lack of challenge, don't worry, get it.
 
I intend to do FSP's (PL, FL, BL, SL) twice a week with this program, since I'd like to maintain my static strength, but I will evaluate this decision as I go along. Depends on what happens when the volume really kicks in.
 
Happy training!

 

 
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Keilani Gutierrez

agreed on all accounts. I started on week 1 on everything and after just working on basic FSP's and Handstands for 3x30sec since October to Feb1(when I started Foundation 1) I was going down the stairs after finishing my Week 3 workout and did a full lay front lever lift for half a second with horribly piked hips. i mean, going from not being able to hold a 60sec Hollow Hold in Dec to busting a momentary FL after 3 weeks of Foundation Work? 

 

forget it, I deleted every single workout program I have to my disposal aside from specific martial art work. Foundation is ALL I'll ever need in relation to my goals and to buff out the details, a seminar is in order. 

 

2013 is a very good year for a lot of injured and week individuals, such as myself, to honestly and holistically develop a degree of athleticism that has never been seen before in the common population. the bar has been raised :P

 

edit: I also found out that I could do full clutch flags with no piking on both sides for at least, 4-6 seconds each. ballin'

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Matus Michalicka

I just banged no kipping muscle ups for the first time today :D the foundation is working :D I don't know how but it is working

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seiyafan

Coach's boys, of all ages, are ripped.  I felt like I was in a gym full of miniature natural bodybuilders. 

You are being modest. I think you are more like a rhino with baby cheetahs playing around you. 

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yonder200

Josh and Daniel: Thanks so much for the testimonials, it's great to hear others' more long-term experience

 

Keilani and Spyro: I'm also on week 3 of F1. Though I am enjoying it and remain hopeful as to the benefits, I find it hard to believe that it has produced that much strength in so little time (though I haven't tested myself). Is it possible that you guys were overtraining before, and that stopping what you were doing prior to starting F1 has allowed you to perform better?

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Adam Williams

Of course it would depend on your current fitness level how much improvement you'd see, but I'd have to say that you'd definitely see a change in your physique with the foundation series. I purchased the series and have read through F1, though I won't start it til next month. But before even starting I can pick out some that I know will require some strength gains, some will require some endurance gains, some will require some mobility gains, and some I *should* be able to breeze through...and I'm sure there'll be some surprises (both positive and negative). My point there is, F1 will take me beyond my current abilities (as it seems it will do for most people here, at least in certain areas), so based on my experience with the training promoted here at gymnasticbodies, I'm convinced that it'll continue to improve my physique.

 

My own perspective is coming from a pretty low basis of strength, I started a BtGB routine last May focussed on what was recommended on the forums for beginners--get an easy 60s hold in the following hollow hold, superman hold, dead hang, PB support, plank, reverse plank. I also worked some FBE's (primarily PPPU & dips, pullups, SLS progressions), L-sit + handstand progressions, and some running. So, not very advanced stuff. When I first attempted hollow and superman holds, my max was around 15 seconds lol. Fast forward to today (so that's almost 10 months), and I'm in the best shape of my life as far as how I both look and feel. And I've barely stepped through the front door. My strength (in certain areas) and physique was pretty good in high school participating in (American) football & track, but I'm much more impressed with the all-around muscle definition & strength gained by focussing on these basic bodyweight exercises. The wife agrees with me too, but I'll spare the details ;). BtGB does exactly what the title says, and the Foundation series is simply a (much needed) much better defined entry into the method of training.

 

For the record, in Jan I started just my first SSC actively focussing on some of the big FSPs (at 5'11" ~190, optimally closer to ~180), doing simply tuck FL, german hang, and frog stand, so I've got a long way to go yet. When I switch to F1, I'll probably still do a few sets of those each week for the joint-conditioning aspect if it doesn't interfere, but I don't feel bad dropping them from the focus of my program when I know I'll have more solid progress in the long run.

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Jon Douglas

Josh and Daniel: Thanks so much for the testimonials, it's great to hear others' more long-term experience

 

Keilani and Spyro: I'm also on week 3 of F1. Though I am enjoying it and remain hopeful as to the benefits, I find it hard to believe that it has produced that much strength in so little time (though I haven't tested myself). Is it possible that you guys were overtraining before, and that stopping what you were doing prior to starting F1 has allowed you to perform better?

There's a large part of learning and ingraining correct body positions and muscle activation, which is huge in its contribution to levers and such. It's not just getting stronger, it's making your body smarter and more co-ordinated too.

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Scott Malin

The beauty thing with Gymnastic Strength Training™ is that the stronger and more advanced you get, the more your physique gains accelerate. 

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Keilani Gutierrez

Josh and Daniel: Thanks so much for the testimonials, it's great to hear others' more long-term experience

 

Keilani and Spyro: I'm also on week 3 of F1. Though I am enjoying it and remain hopeful as to the benefits, I find it hard to believe that it has produced that much strength in so little time (though I haven't tested myself). Is it possible that you guys were overtraining before, and that stopping what you were doing prior to starting F1 has allowed you to perform better?

I haven't stopped most of what I've been doing. all I did was substitute my WOD for Foundation 1 WOD. let me see if I can explain it like this, to earn my black belt in Kung fu, I have to write a thesis and I chose the subject of Qi. as it is, most of the guys in my school with my rank(Purple-then Red-then Black Sash) think Qi is all about Hadukens, flying and crawling up walls. of course, all possible things once we discover how to harness that type of Qi, but lets talk about more real scale things to the level we're all at as humans, right now.  :ph34r:

 

there are movements that we perform that essentially "cultivate" Qi. let's use making a circle with your finger cultivation for example. spin it clockwise, now spin it counter-clockwise. this essentially will program the patterns of making those movements into your body. now let's assume I make you try to do them in opposite directions, this is what is refered to as "refining" Qi. most of us do exercise, move, stretch, jump, do all sorts of things in our fitness regime, but when they are out of harmonious patterns, we develop irregularities. Coach explains this in BtGB. he was a gymnast, trained as a gymnast, performed as a gymnast, wasn't THE best gymnast, but when he made a transition to lifting weights and running, he noticed he performed like an elite. making the same movement patterns(with weights this time) but it lacked refining. 

 

this is where the clear different between developing strength and not "refining" it to be used in a multidimensional fashion. Coach further notes in BtGB that the body has a regenerating cycle that has parameters that basically hit a "ceiling" if you continually push your bodies existing strength limit through neurological stimulation. 

 

I was able to do pistol squats from years of riding BMX and lower body related sports. can I do it like coaches gymnasts? the clear answer is no. in following the programming that has been prescribed in Foundation 1, it respects the bodies regenerating cycles(which I was aware of prior to BtGB) but just didn't understand the concept of progressions with exercises the way that gymnasts do them. 

in your body there is a dormant existing level of strength that when neurologically triggered will cause a chain reaction of strength to "come out of nowhere" but it will eventually hit a ceiling. 

 

I'm in no way an expert in this, have more than enough time and humility to discard what is not true in my thesis for proven facts of how it is that the body will make maps of neurological highways to make certain movements more effective over time. of course, my front lever wasn't perfect. far from it even being called a front lever, but it was clearly was something that i had never seen my body do before. much like do pullups in volume. I've practiced Lap Sao(a pulling technique in Wing chun) but never did pullups. I went from not being able to do a pullup, to doing 3-4 pullups in one day to three months later doing 14 pullups in a superset. i dont know how to explain this phenomenon in a calculated order that makes feasible sense, which is why I decided to become an active part of this community and learn as much as i could from you, your peers and outside sources to make my contribution to my art a substantial one. can I be wrong? absolutely. am I willing to put in the hours to learn why I could do it so that I can help discover that dormant energy within others to improve the quality of their life? that's why I'm here to begin with and thank you so much for asking me :)

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