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Good upper back, shoulders and triceps workout tonight!


Weighted pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight

10x5 @ 15 lbs. added (total weight 273 lbs. with DB between my knees)


Standing overhead strict presses -

1x20 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 95

1x3 @ 135

1x2 @ 185

1x1 @ 205

1x1 @ 225

3x10 @ 170

If it hasn't been noticed before, I feel at my best sometimes when I go heavy and close to a max single (around 90-95% max) before going down to my sets to do for higher reps. Don't know why it always feels best, but it sure makes those other endurance sets feel light!


Seated row machine, V bar handle -

4x20 @ 270 lbs. (found a way to jam another 15 lbs. worth of weights on the stack to add to it!)


Plate-loaded incline bench machine, palms-in grip, narrow position -

3x15 @ 200 lbs.


Cable face pulls -

3x20 @ 120 lbs.


EZ bar skull crushers -

3x20 @ 100 lbs.


Feelin' good, amazed that the progress on the weighted pull-ups is coming along nicely for high rep work (when I was doing them before, I'd have been lucky to get 5x5 with 15 lbs. added.) Will continue to alternate barbell row days with pull-up days for my back workouts to keep things balanced, as it seems to be helping my deadlift considerably.


Tomorrow is off, another brutal leg day coming on Thursday!

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Not good / not bad squat day today -


25 minutes of warming up with assorted stretching and light leg movements first, then squats up through a single @ 405 lbs. Decided to make it a heavy day today and went from there -


3x3 @ 430 lbs.

First set, very well done, felt good for another 1-2. Second set, felt like I might have gotten one more. 3rd set, a complete struggle on the last rep to lock it out. Still, considering I had to fight 455 a bit only a month ago and only 25 lbs. less went for 3 sets of triples, I'd say that I'm progressing well enough.


Loaded up to 500, wanted to do some 2/3 squats, did the first rep but felt off and a tiny "ping" in the spot on my back that tends to get mildly injured fairly easily. Didn't actually injure it, but it told me that I needed to stop there. So, I had to call it quits and go home with only 3 real sets under my belt, but that's fine. Better to live to fight another day than call it quits for a month because I injured my back and can't move without being in pain


So, heavy sets went well at first, but had to cut it short. Still a victory nonetheless, will be back for some close-grip benching and upper back work on Sunday!

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Not a great back/triceps workout tonight. Low on energy and motivation, but fought through it anyway.


BB rows -

1x10 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

3x10 @ 260, not the best on any of those sets


1-arm rows with EZ curl bar -

3x5 @ 165 lbs. for each arm


Close-grip BB bench -

3x15 @ 185


That was it - kept it short because I didn't feel much like lifting more. I think I'm fighting off a cold or something, because my energy has been for crap this past 4 days and I just can't seem to get to feeling normal. Oh well, tomorrow is rest, Wednesday will be light deadlifting!

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Definitely working something bad through my system - been nearly a full week of feeling slow, bloated and sluggish, but today I'm finally feeling part way back to normal. Time for a light lower back workout -


Started off warming up to 405 for deadlift singles, in between, decided to play with some weighted pull-ups for fun. Worked up to a nearly-legit single with 70 lbs. strapped on for a total bodyweight plus DB count of 330 lbs. I pulled up to where my mouth was at handle level, but if I had done it solid, I've have been able to get another 2" or so up. Still, considering I couldn't get that far with 60 lbs. only a month ago, it keeps getting better. Aiming to eventually pull one with 100 lbs. strapped on in a few months! Then, on to lower back work -


Speed deadlifts -

3x12 @ 315, all done as 2 successive pulls as fast as possible, walk a lap around the gym for 45 seconds, then repeat, all done in 12 minutes on the mark.


Seated horizontal dual pulley/bar setup pseudo deadlifts, done from a defeciet of about 4" (bar touching top of my feet)

1x30 @ 230

1x40 @ 230

1x60 @ 230

Lots of high reps on these for good measure to boost endurance.


Rigged up reverse hyperextension setup (tons of crap stacked on a bench, lower half hanging off w/feet through a loop on the pulley setup - sounds confusing, looks ugly, but works!)

1x20 @ 10 lbs.

1x20 @ 20 lbs.

1x20 @ 25 lbs.


Dual cable/bar defeceit deadlifts standing on platform, bar just scraping top of shoes at bottom -

3x15 @ 230

This one finally felt more like a real deadlift - the seated setup makes it more like a back extension, but these felt weighted like a real bar much moreso.


That was it, just enough to hit my lower back for some good speed and endurance work, will be going heavier again next week with something in the mid 400s for some doubles or triples.


Back day again on Friday, then squatting on Sunday!

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Rigged up reverse hyperextension setup (tons of crap stacked on a bench, lower half hanging off w/feet through a loop on the pulley setup - sounds confusing, looks ugly, but works!)

1x20 @ 10 lbs.

1x20 @ 20 lbs.

1x20 @ 25 lbs.

I've tried to rig up a reverse hyper setup a few times with little success. I've heard of people using the preacher bench


Squatting heavy on Sunday?

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I've tried to rig up a reverse hyper setup a few times with little success. I've heard of people using the preacher bench


Squatting heavy on Sunday?


Moderate weight squatting on Sunday, from the looks of it, unless I feel absolutely great. Might just go for 365x8s or something like that since I'm just starting to come back to feeling better, but I never really know what I'll end up doing until I get there


I've seen some weird rigged up reverse hyper setups, and while I've tried to copy a bunch, none have worked except the one I can make up, and it's far from perfect. It only has maybe about 70% ROM of the real thing (legs won't quite go to 90 degrees, and there's certainly no ability to get forward swing to stretch out), but it gets the job done in a pinch!

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Quick upper back workout day (won't get to shoulders until tomorrow or Monday). Wanted to get to see Saw 5, despite the bad reviews, so I had to keep it short


Pull-ups -

2x3 @ bodyweight

3x3 @ 35 lbs. added weight (total weight 293 lbs.)

2x2 @ 45 lbs. added weight (total weight 303 lbs.)

2x1 @ 55 lbs. added weight (total weight 313 lbs.)

1x10 @ bodyweight

All sets went well, just wanted a lower rep weighted day to have some fun with them.


1-arm barbell shrugs, done in the rack w/strap to keep grip -

1x10 each arm @ 225 lbs.

1x10 " " @ 250

1x10 " " @ 275

1x6 " " @ 300

1x75 " " @ 135 lbs.

Went heavy, then one mega-set for each side with light weight until I was spent.


That was it, done as fast as possible, will be back to squat again Sunday or Monday at latest!

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I want this one because it folds.




be careful with them, I had to send stuff back about 10 years ago. they also had crappy servuce, I hope that they have stepped up since them.

I've bought there products for years and I've never had any problems. I buy from a local distributors.


Let's not hijack Ryan's traning log. We can start another thread about training equipment if you'd like to continue this discussion.

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http://www.newyorkbarbells.com/82651.html is what I bought from NYBB, and I can safely say, it is not made well and was designed for giants based on the minimal settings for height. Basically, you can do well with the torso length setting by adjusting the handles, but the pad/bar for legs on the pendulum is WAY too long and can't be set shorter to be comfortable for anyone less than about 6' 2" tall. Maybe they've changed it since I got mine about 3 years back, but based on what I've experienced, it isn't really all that good due to difficulty with setting for optimal positioning, not to mention it's pretty unstable overall and the bearings that hold the pendulum in place tend to tweak, throwing it off if I add more than 25 lbs. total. The glute/ham part is fine, except that my ceiling clearance is too low to use it optimally, so even that doesn't do me much good


No worries on a hijack since it's quite relevant, but if you want a good reverse hyper on the cheap, either make your own or find a different company that makes knockoffs of the Elite Fitness / West Side Barbell model. Unless, of course, you can plunk down $2k, in which case, go for the real thing

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I'm don't know how to make my own. I'm challenged and not very handy. I guess I'll have to check out:

Homemade Equipment Links



I don't understand why people are hatin' on NYBarbells. I've had good experiences with every peice of equipment I've bought from NYBarbells. Standing and Seated Calve Unit, Sissy Squat Unit, Vertical Leg Press, Squat Rack. I bought my Weider 140 adjustable bench from Kmart.

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Not hating on NYBB as I've heard plenty of good stuff, but my one experience was not the best. They did send me the missing parts when I called to complain that I didn't receive everything, but other than that, it's just that I don't think the machine is constructed well. It may be that in an attempt to get around a patented system (the real Reverse Hyper) they experimented with mechanics and just didn't get a good match for how it should operate. But, I do hear a lot of good regarding their power racks and other equipment. As one person told me after I complained about the quality of the machine elsewhere, "NYBB makes great stuff so long as it doesn't have moving parts."


Once I find a buyer for mine, I'm going for the one pictured here, minus the big chunk of leather for the foot attachment:




The mechanics are better for it (the NYBB model doesn't allow for forward swing on the pendulum, therefore it won't stretch out the lower back as well), and the cost is pretty reasonable. Of course, this hinges on finding someone local to take the old NYBB one off of my hands, and that may take a while

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I'm in your neighborhood! Well, within 2 hours


I'm training at Quad's Gym tomorrow before going to Chicago Diner. Totally PUMPED about it.


Come on out if you can make it!


Take care man. See you one of these days soon enough.

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Sorry we didn't get to hang out this time around, Robert, but hope you had a good time at Quads gym (see Ed Coan there by any chance?) and in Chicago in general. We'll have to make some solid plans for Anaheim in spring!


Today was leg and shoulders day. I wish I could say that I've felt like training, but it's been a lazy week of junk food and minimal lifting due to feeling crappy and run down. Gotta snap out of this soon if I want to meet some goals by year's end! Started with standing overhead strict presses -


1x10 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 95

1x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 185

3x5 @ 205

This went fairly well, got back to making 5s with it so all is not lost


Squats next, lots of warm-up sets then worked up to a single @ 425, but just didn't feel it for going heavy today. Dropped down to 315, did a set of 5, felt good body-wise, but my mind was saying "Let's get out of here, go home, and forget about this whole thing". I just could not motivate myself to do any more squats - I'd hoped to muster up a few sets of 12 @ 315, but my mind just gave out on my and I stopped there. Terrible.


Moved to the plate-loaded squat machine and did some overhead viking-press style work on it -

1x8 @ 10 plates total (feels like about 160-170 lbs. actual weight)

1x6 @ 12 plates total (feels like 180-190 lbs. actual weight)

1x6 @ 14 plates total (feels like 200-210 lbs. actual weight)

1x4 @ 16 plates total (feels like 220-230 lbs. actual weight)

1x20 @ 8 plates total (feels like 140-150 lbs. actual weight)


Did some machine 1-arm preacher curls just to do something with my time that was left -

1x10 each arm @ 50 lbs.

" " @ 60 lbs.

1x6 each arm @ 70 lbs.


That was it, headed out feeling crappy, but I shall come back better next week post-surgery again (root canal Tuesday, surgery Wednesday - fun week coming up ) Will do a max deadlift on Sunday if I feel up to it for one last hurrah before the week of doom, will post once it's done!

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About 20 minutes after I woke up this morning an idea popped into my head about a homemade reverse hyper back extension set up. I took my 4 foot aluminum ladder, put 2 pillows on top of it, and placed the ladder in front of my squat rack. Then I set my barbbell low enough so I could hold on to it. I tested it out and did 7 reverse hypers.


Then I set the squat rack and barbbell lower to put my ankles underneath it; I laid on the ladder the opposite way and did some back extensions. Sweet!

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Squats next, lots of warm-up sets then worked up to a single @ 425, but just didn't feel it for going heavy today. Dropped down to 315, did a set of 5, felt good body-wise, but my mind was saying "Let's get out of here, go home, and forget about this whole thing". I just could not motivate myself to do any more squats - I'd hoped to muster up a few sets of 12 @ 315, but my mind just gave out on my and I stopped there. Terrible.


425 is not too shabby, VE Good strict press numbers, too.


Will do a max deadlift on Sunday if I feel up to it for one last hurrah before the week of doom, will post once it's done!


Sweet! I'm looking forward to hearing how that goes


Hope the surgeries go well next week, too.

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Thanks for the kind words to everyone (and good work on the reverse hyper setup, Bodybag!)


I was hoping to get some good training in over the weekend, but unfortunately I hit a snag. I can tell that the blood vessels in my eye are starting to leak, which would be worse if I wasn't just 2 days out from surgery, but it still sucks. So, I had to scrap the max DL attempt that I'd planned as I don't need any 1 rep max stuff to make things worse. So, I hit the gym up for one last upper back workout with lighter weights to make one last go of it.


Pull-ups -

2x2 @ bodyweight

1x5 @ bodyweight + 20 lbs.

1x5 @ " " + 30 lbs.

1x5 @ " " + 40 lbs. - last 2 reps were pretty sketchy, don't know if they really count much...

2x10 @ bodyweight, done as singles with feet on ground between each one for a 2 second count at rest


Seated row machine -

2x20 @ 255 lbs.


Cable seated row, ultra-wide grip (hands over 3 feet apart)

1x20 @ 150

1x20 @ 170

1x20 @ 200


Barbell shrugs -

1x20 @ 135

1x20 @ 225

1x20 @ 315 in front

2x20 @ 405 in front

1x20 @ 405 behind the back

1x25 @ 405 " "

1x60 @ 315 " "


That was it, just one last farewell set before the upcoming break ahead. The only thing that I've got that I'm looking forward to is that I was invited to a small strongman contest on Saturday - I'll probably just help load weights and give a hand and won't compete, but it'll still be fun. I'll see if I can remember to get my camera to get some shots - should be a fun gathering, except for the part about everyone having a big cookout full of meat, so I'll be the guy eating my own snacks off by myself when it comes time to chow down


Will be back next weekend once my 4-day layoff is over and I can get back to lighter training again. The new plan is, I've signed up for a diet program that's run by board member Ryan Andrews, so it looks like I'm going to slow up a bit on the heavy training for a few months and go that route. After how soon my eye took a turn for the worse this round, it's for the best that I take a bit of time off. So, the next few months won't be anything heavy that I can't manage at least 5-6 reps on, but it won't hurt to get back to shedding some fat for the winter. Time to change up gears again, but hopefully can get back to more all-out strength stuff in the late winter/early spring!

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Slight change of plans - I went for my appointment today, and they screwed up scheduling despite the fact that I called to confirm yesterday. So, I wake up, get properly tranquilized, and head down there only to be told "You could wait a few hours and we will squeeze you in somewhere", despite the fact that they made the error. Great. So, I managed to re-schedule for Friday morning, came home, and passed out for 5 hours until the tranquilizers wore off. Went to the gym later for a light deadlift session -


Warmed up working up to an easy single at 405 lbs., then did 3x15 @ 315 lbs. That was it, very quick, very simple, just some light endurance work. Was too winded to do many more reps, but all sets were done pretty easily except for a few seconds of deep breaths at around rep 13 on the last 2 sets, then I was out of there.


No more lifting until around Tuesday now, but when I get back it'll be lighter deadlifting for a while. Going to stay at a lower point and alternate high-rep (15+ rep set) weeks with moderate rep sets (8-10 reps) through the end of the year. I'd like to build up to getting 405x8-10 for a 3 sets before working heavier, as it's important that I don't go for weight I have to strain on for reps to keep my eye in proper condition. So, I'll be lightening the load a bit and won't go heavier until around January, giving my body a break from heavy lifting for a while and working to cut some fat again. Will be back to post next week after I've recovered!

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Squeezed in one last workout tonight, legs and shoulders -


Standing overhead strict press -

2x5 @ 135 lbs.

1x2 @ 185

1x1 @ 205

1x1 @ 225

1x1 @ 235

1x1 @ 240

1xfail @ 245 - I was chasing my PR of 250, but didn't get there. 240 went up very easily, but I think I was psyching myself out too much on the 245 by telling myself how easy it would be. Oh well, 240 is my usual point of where I hope to always maintain at a minimum, so I can't complain!

1x8 @ 185

1x8 @ 190

1x7 @ 195 - failed on 8th rep, just too winded


Standing behind the back ultra-wide grip strict overhead press -

1x10 @ 135

1x6 @ 155

1x3 @ 170

I never usually go above 135 on these but wanted to see how it would be going a bit heavier. Felt decent, might slowly build up to 200+ in the future for this one.


Icarian plate-loaded squat machine -

1x10 @ 90

1x10 @ 180

1x10 @ 270

1x10 @ 360

3x10 @ 410 feet way in front, hamstring focus

3x10 @ 410 facing into machine, sticking butt out behind, quad focus

1x10 @ 450 feet way in front, hamstring focus

1x10 @ 450, facing into machine, sticking butt out behind, quad focus

1x10 @ 540 " "

1x10 @ 650 " "

Never really tried the facing into the machine style squats with it, felt really comfortable as a barbell squat alternative today (can't stand leg presses, won't waste my time on them), will probably alternate these with barbell squats for a bit while I work on fat loss and change focus for the next few months.


All this done in 50 minutes, worked as fast as possible with minimal rest. Usually would press, rest 30 seconds, head to squat machine, then rest 60-90 seconds max and repeat. Good stuff.


Well, I'll be taking it easy through Tuesday with surger tomorrow morning, should be back for my return workout next Wednesday after healing up!

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First day back, just a quick triceps/upper back workout that was uneventful but necessary to make my return


Started with close-grip flat benching -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x10 @ 135

1x5 @ 185

1x3 @ 205

1x3 @ 225

1x1 @ 245

1x2 @ 275 (guy spotting touched it halfway up, but I think I'd have gotten the 2nd rep regardless)

2x10 @ 205

Triceps fried quickly, that was it for them.


Hammer Plate-Loaded Low ISO Row -

1x10 @ 270

1x10 @ 360

1x10 @ 450

1x20 @ 360

Just not feeling the rowing today, not sure why, but just wasn't on my game.


Barbell shrugs -

1x10 @ 225 in front

1x10 @ 315 " "

1x10 @ 405 " "

1x10 @ 455 behind the back

1x10 @ 525 " "

1x50 @ 315, done as 25 in front, switch and strap up (about 20 seconds break) and 25 more behind the back.


Seated Icarian Row machine, palms-in handle grip -

1x20 @ 150

1x10 @ 200 - machine wasn't bolted down, would slide every time I pulled back with 200, stopped at 10 for fear of moving it way out from where I started.


That was it, just a quick simple day to get back in the groove, done in about 45 minutes. Got my registration for the Precision Nutrition program, excited to start on Nov. 24th for my first day, will enjoy eating a bit of junk food until that time comes because I've got a commitment of many months of clean eating coming my way.


Small strongman contest I went to on Saturday was fun. About 9 people competing in 2 weight classes, some experienced and some beginners, but everyone had a great time. I was amazed that so many guys were really good deadlifters - the apparatus they had set up was a 2" axle with a pair of 225 lb. stones on each end, making a 525 lb. deadlift. Some of the smaller guys who weighed maybe 180-190 were pulling 3-5 reps on it, which for their weight was some great pulling. The heavier guys were doing up to 13 reps in 60 seconds, which made me feel bad because I'd have been lucky to get one on my best day Still, I felt vindicated to some extent when I saw their lack of experience on some of the other events, smugly telling myself that even if I sucked on the deadlift, I might have done well in some other spots Lots of fun, too much beer was drunk, and I got out soon after the smoked meat dinner started post-contest.


Tomorrow will likely be rest day, will do legs or lower back afterward!

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Hit up a deadlift day yesterday, crapped out on energy early but it wasn't too bad overall.


Warmed up with singles and doubles up through 425. Didn't feel great going heavier, so I dropped and went for endurance work with a fair weight. Dropped to 365 lbs. and did 2x12 with it, but my breathing was so bad that considering a 3rd set was left out. For some reason, my asthma seems to be haunting me a bit more during all-out endurance sets for squats and deadlifts, but doesn't bother me on other things. Go figure.


Next, brought out the 4" plastic stepper box and did some deadlifts from a defeceit (bar practically resting on top of my feet). Did 2 sets, a double with 365 and 385 as well to see how these go. Felt good, definitely more challenging pulling from a lower height, might have to incorporate those more.


Finished lower back with a few really light sets of good mornings, just 10s with 185 and threw in some biceps work just to get more out of my time in the gym.


Seated hammer DB curls -

2x10 @ 55s

1x20 @ 35s


Finished with some Hammer curl cleans (curl, then rock the DBs up on to your shoulders in a clean position), just one set of 10 with 45s and that was it.


Might just get in some upper back and chest work tonight, if so, will post when done!

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Did get a quick upper back workout in tonight, felt sluggish but got it all done.


Barbell shrugs -

1x10 @ 135 in front

1x10 @ 225 " "

1x10 @ 315 " "

1x10 @ 405 behind the back

1x10 @ 455 " "

1x10 @ 505 " "

Deadlifts from yesterday worked my core pretty hard, didn't have a lot for heavy shrugs today, stopped a bit early.


Plate-loaded seated row -

1x10 @ 360

4x15 @ 450 lbs., done 2 sets palms down high grip, 2 sets palms-in neutral close grip


Dual pulley/bar cable rows -

4x20 @ 190 lbs., seated on floor, pulling low into navel each rep


That was it, just playing around with some machines and keeping it simple with some higher rep stuff for upper back, will do some leg work on Tuesday. Getting closer to my diet program on the 24th - I'm enjoying the last of my junk food while I can, because once that day comes, I won't be eating anything bad for a long time!

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Quick and easy legs/shoulders workout tonight, done in 45 mintes.


Standing overhead press -

2x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 185

1x2 @ 205

1x1 @ 225

1x15 @ 160

Just wasn't feeling it tonight for barbell overhead work, cut it there and moved on.


Wanting to keep my lower back rested for deadlifts this weekend, avoided squats once more to preseve it and keep my focus on my next session. Did some plate-loaded squat machine work, facing into the machine instead of away with feet way in front -

1x5 @ 250

1x5 @ 360

1x5 @ 450

1x5 @ 540

1x5 @ 630

1x5 @ 720

2x20 @ 450

Put a decent hurt on the 'ol legs with these, but it's purely maintenance for this stuff until I start squatting again next week.


Moved to some machines to goof on for shoulders for a bit for overhead work -

3x20 @ 140 lbs., palms-in position for plenty of triceps work mixed in


1-legged Romanian deadlifts w/ DB

2x20 each leg w/ 60 lb. DB

Very easy at that weight until the last rep or two, when my hip flexors and glutes are on fire. Good stuff for an assistance exercise.


Seated leg curl -

2x20 @ 150 lbs.


That was it, just getting in for the sake of getting in to lift, not overly excited right now, but new diet program starts Monday and I'll be fired up at that point once I get back on my game. Will be deadlifting Saturday or Sunday, will report when complete!

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