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Running out of steam mid-workout

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  1. purebred
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    Running out of steam mid-workout


    i wanted to get some feedback regarding my current predicament. i often tend to run low on energy halfway into my workout. today,i was able to put in great intensity 10 sets total. after that, it felt as if the rest of my workout wasn't as productive as it could have been. pull-ups are typically an exercise i dominate in and i just didn't feel like i had the intensity, physically or mentally, to dominate the bar like i usually do. maybe i'm missing something? my pre-workout nutrition may be lacking?

    today i had a tuna sandwich (2 whole grain slices, 1 can solid white albacore) and a bowl of cantaloupe. that's probably as bad as my pre-workout meals get. yesterday i had a lobster pasta w/ a cup of milk.

    any feedback would be highly appreciated!

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    Could be lots of things, are you stressed out? Getting enough sleep?
    Are you taking anything pre-workout supplement wise?
  3. purebred
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    i don't take a pre-workout supp at the moment. i have a sample of some of Controlled Labs stuff so that's always an option but otherwise, i'm getting good amounts of sleep. the latest i'll go to sleep is midnight and i'll get in my 8.5 hours. stress levels aren't anything out of the norm.
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    Intra-aid
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    Are you properly hydrated? Drinking plenty during your lift? Maybe you need some electrolytes to help keep you going and away from fatiguing..hm
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    Along with the already suggested good suggestions, remember that optimum fitness is a balance of three things--exercise-diet-sleep. Somewhere in that line up, you have to figure out which may be troubling you. Start with the sleep aspect, then move onto your diet and exercise. Review, evaluate and asses each part to create an achieved balance.
  7. purebred
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolt10 View Post
    Are you properly hydrated? Drinking plenty during your lift? Maybe you need some electrolytes to help keep you going and away from fatiguing..hm
    great responses folks! however, i think bolt10 is on to something. typically i've had about 1 liter of water before i start lifting. i'm going to try and raise my water intake before i get to lifting. see if 1/2 a liter has an effect on my training. today i was consuming a bit of gatorade intra-workout but i would imagine prior hydration is as essential pre-workout, as it is intra-workout, if not more. great responses folks!

    if worse comes to worse i might just give one of those Controlled Labs samples a whirl!
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    i burn out with less than 100g of carbs in my system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by futurepilot View Post
    Intra-aid
    Worth a shot.
  10. purebred
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    Quote Originally Posted by futurepilot View Post
    Intra-aid
    Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf0420 View Post
    Worth a shot.
    for the sake of conversation, what are the most effective intra-aid supps folks around here use?
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    I had an oppertunity the other to to try Univeral's Intra-Aid. I liked it.

    Here's a review I did. Tiny Universal Intra-Aid review.
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    I like just a simple BCAA/glycerin/sea salt. Throw it all together with some crystal light and you have a winner.

    EDIT: I just looked up Intra-Aids ingredients and even though I've never tried it, looks to be a solid product like lonewolf and futurepilot mentioned.
  13. Never enough
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    can you give an example of what your workout is and how long it normally takes?
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  14. purebred
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    can you give an example of what your workout is and how long it normally takes?
    of course! just started a new routine

    session A
    squat 5x5
    bench 5x5
    inverted rows 3xf
    push-ups 3xf
    reverse crunch 3x12

    session B
    squat 5x5
    oh press 5x5
    deadlift 1x5
    pull-ups/chin-ups 3xf
    prone bridges 3x30sec.

    alternate workouts sun-tues-thurs. & i would say on average it takes about 1 hr to finish, give or take.
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    10 sets? I do 6 sets per workout, max.
    And no **** you're getting tired. Doing more than 1 major compound lift per workout is going to zap you.
  16. Never enough
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    particularly with 5rm squats as first exercise. honestly i'd be pretty pooped after just that for 5 sets
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    Remember that your energy levels arent totally indicitive of what you just threw in your stomach. If you underate PWO yesterday or did not get enough calories then you will have less gycogen and circulating energy the next day. I know some foods absorb really quick and the turn around is pretty fast for most food absorbtion but its sort of like borrowing money before pay day, yes today is pay day but you may still be paying for what you spent yesterday.

    I would try starting your day with somthing substantial like eggs fruit and oatmeal. Take a bcaa pre/intra sippin it to the end of your workout.

    I somtimes sleep in, dont eat or eat little and lagg in the gym but if you eat oatmeal eggs and fruit, with ample digestion time you will rock out with your hog out.

    Also consider your pre bed nutrition, if i eat a sizable meal before bed i wake up starving and full of energy then my breakfast digests very quickly.

    Ive never been a fan of protein and water before bed and i dont really consume dairy due to the bloating that occurs really slows my digestion. my 2cents.
  18. purebred
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    i think it's safe to say i start my day off with something substantial as somewhatgifted mentioned. typically it's either eggs, bacon, potatoes or 2-3 slices whole grain bread and a glass of milk and about 1/2 liter of water. otherwise, on school days i'll go with a quick fix consisting of 1 cup oatmeal with 1 scoop whey, honey, lots of cinammon, butter, dash of salt mixed with milk and a glass of milk on the side to wash it down. then, of course, wash all that down with water! i always try to have either a bowl of fruit or my veggies with each meal. i think i'll be fine as long as i keep fueling my body with substantial amounts of healthy foods. eventually, i feel my body will adapt to the stress my training is inducing.

    i'll agree with you folks, my training is not for the faint of heart but if i keep up with my nutrition, i'll grow like a weed i usually run out either after my set of deadlifts on B sessions or after my inverted rows on A sessions. gotta keep on getting that food in though! the training is stressful on my body and mind but it should induce significant growth if i'm feeding my body the materials it needs to repair itself and adapt.
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    motivation man.. whatever your reason for lifting is -- sports, chicks, pride, whatever -- check out some pics or a video before you lift, always does it for me..

    look at frank mcgrath before you go at it and you'll want to ****in throw weights up to heaven for jc to catch.
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    Your training style is geared to casue fatigue, it could just be that what you are doing is hard, you gotta digg deep, get your heels in and sweat and scream to make progress somtimes. That is a pretty heavy routine you are doing, id personally break it up so your not spread too thin. Im interested to see where it takes you. Start a log shoot the link in here.
  21. purebred
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    look at frank mcgrath before you go at it and you'll want to ****in throw weights up to heaven for jc to catch.
    i'm gonna check this guy out. sounds pretty hardcore bro. i can use any bit of motivation i can get bro. you don't even know the half of it
    Quote Originally Posted by somewhatgifted View Post
    Your training style is geared to casue fatigue, it could just be that what you are doing is hard, you gotta digg deep, get your heels in and sweat and scream to make progress somtimes. That is a pretty heavy routine you are doing, id personally break it up so your not spread too thin. Im interested to see where it takes you. Start a log shoot the link in here.
    you wouldn't believe how much soul searching i have to do each session lol. i absolutely hate squats and deadlifts and every session i have 5 sets of squats to do, including b days, where i also have to deadlift. you would think "it's only one set, just suck it up." well, i do lol. it still doesn't mean i enjoy executing the lifts. in any case, the new training program i started calls for all lifts to be started with an empty bar--deadlifts being the exception (starting weight: 90 lbs.). it's basically to allow you to focus on practicing good technique. i progress 5lbs. each session any way so the weight will eventually increase anyway. this is why it hasn't occurred to me yet to start a log cause there really isn't much to log lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugger View Post
    10 sets? I do 6 sets per workout, max.
    And no **** you're getting tired. Doing more than 1 major compound lift per workout is going to zap you.
    So you only do one compound lift per session?
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    if ur talking bout that frank mcgarth "animal" workout that SUCKS to get motivated too. there is no music is a dark empty gym hes lifting at and doesnt talk the whole time. IMO pretty boring, hes strong as sh*t. I rather watch something with music heavy lifts screaming etc..

    as far as running out steam. i always make myself wanna workout. Ill wake up go to class and drive back home right past the gym if i even have a little doubt im tired. Ill go home take a nap wake up watch motivational videos on the computer till im dying to workout. and then go. make sure u really got it in you to lift that day.

    couple other things.
    Pre Workout Supplement the harder you train the more energy you need.
    If you are hungry or full your not going to have a good workout. workout on a Empty stomach not a STARVED stomach.
    Stay hydrated run to the fountaing after 3 sets and drink alot of water.

    but it looks like u have to many power movements in your workout I do Tbar Rows Shoulder Press, Squats, Dumbell CLeans in 1 workout and im switching it thats too much. I just dont have it in me to squat heavy after busting my ass on the first two.

    session A
    squat 5x5
    inverted rows 3xf
    push-ups 3xf
    reverse crunch 3x12

    session B
    squat 5x5
    oh press 5x5
    pull-ups/chin-ups 3xf
    prone bridges 3x30sec.

    session C
    bench 5x5
    deadlift 1x5

    something like that would be alot easier and you could add other lifts to it. ex session C you could do Goodmornings and Weight Dips or close grip bench to help raise ur numbers maybe just do pulldowns or curls to get the arms isloated anything like that will be alot easier on the nervous system and you will be able to move more weight and enjoy it. Rather then looking to getting threw your workout.
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    Some others have suggested IntraAid , which has 10g of carbs in it. You might want to consider sipping on something like 10-15g BCAA's, and 20-40g of fast sugars like Dex/Malto, or WMS. Or perhaps you might want to try the PSlin Monster shake (see Bulk P-Slin MassMonster shake Discussion! ).

    Not saying definitively your fatigue is carb related, but I think it's worth a shot to eliminate the possibility. If all these sugars don't push you through, then it's more a mental thing, and work on motivating yourself/try some PreWO stims.

    It definitely sounds like you don't have enough carbs PreWO though. I can see a huge difference in the gym on days when I have my 80-100g Carbs for breakfast vs. those I don't. A shake PreWO w/ carbs helps, but ideally a solid PreWO meal is best. Reps for doing such a demanding routine.
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    I drink 30-40 grams of Muscle Milk during my workouts. The MCTs in it give me great energy, fantastic pumps, and no DOS, I actually don't want to leave the gym. No bull.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rugger View Post
    10 sets? I do 6 sets per workout, max.
    And no **** you're getting tired. Doing more than 1 major compound lift per workout is going to zap you.
    haha if you think thats ridiculous- this is what my football coach has us do for workouts- 5 x 5 bench, 5 x 5 squat, 5 x 5 deadlift, 5 x 5 powercleans, 2 x 15 hammer curls super setted with 2 x 15 tricep pulldowns, 2 x 15 barbell curls supersetted with 2 x 15 tricep pulldowns (different grip), then 300 abs (whatever assortment we want). Halfway through the powercleans I am pretty tired.
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    Quote Originally Posted by beastmode99 View Post
    haha if you think thats ridiculous- this is what my football coach has us do for workouts- 5 x 5 bench, 5 x 5 squat, 5 x 5 deadlift, 5 x 5 powercleans, 2 x 15 hammer curls super setted with 2 x 15 tricep pulldowns, 2 x 15 barbell curls supersetted with 2 x 15 tricep pulldowns (different grip), then 300 abs (whatever assortment we want). Halfway through the powercleans I am pretty tired.
    wow in one training session? that is ****ing out of control -- how long does that take you do? is this college football or high school football?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    wow in one training session? that is ****ing out of control -- how long does that take you do? is this college football or high school football?

    that seems about the norm for stuff I did in high school. We had scheduled workouts tho and followed the routine.

    The only time I do two compound lifts is on legs day. Squats and deads. Sometimes on chest day ill do incline and bench but it varies. His workout doesnt sound too bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by p00ndawg View Post
    that seems about the norm for stuff I did in high school. We had scheduled workouts tho and followed the routine.

    The only time I do two compound lifts is on legs day. Squats and deads. Sometimes on chest day ill do incline and bench but it varies. His workout doesnt sound too bad.
    well the workout you just described sounds acceptable (although i couldn't go balls on deads and squats in the same workout) -- but 1-2 compound movements and assistance work is fine.. but the one beast posted contained 4 compound movements plus assistance work.. that's why I raised the question..

    Unless I misunderstood beast's post -- it sounded like you said he had you do bench, squats, deadlifts, cleans (4 compound lifts), arms and abs in ONE workout -- that's what i was referring to when i said it was out of control.. if i do one of those movements to failure there is no way i can even attempt to do any of the other three.

    hopefully he'll check back and clear that up sometime.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    wait, I think I misunderstood your original post -- it sounded like you said he had you do bench, squats, deadlifts, cleans (4 compound lifts), arms and abs in one workout? that's what i was referring to when i said it was out of control.. because if i do one of those to failure there is no way i can even attempt to do any of the other three..
    we didnt do arms or abs, just the 4 compounds and we pushed ourselves hard. Everyday we started on a different one tho. But yea thats what we did in highschool and we got some crazy gains.
    Oh and it was also every other day, so 3x a week one week, then the next week twice a week. On non lifting days lots of running.

    lots of the football players also woudl stay after school and lift more and thats when we hit the other stuff, arms or abs.
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    haha yeah I just realized you weren't the person I originally quoted so I edited my other post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    haha yeah I just realized you weren't the person I originally quoted so I edited my other post.

    oh yea yea yea, I was just saying thats what I did, and in comparison I didnt believe what he dead was toooo far fetched. Totally believable IMO, we just never did deads for some reason.
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    don't feel alone bro, i was doing the 5x5 for quite some time & to me exhaustion is inevitable when taking these big compound moves very heavy, it shreds my nervous system. there goes the 46 min sessions!. i have resorted to pre stims & doing what i call the "sipper" much like some of the other guys that use a P+C drink during weight training sessions. i try to mix in some bcaa's but the $hit just floats! hehe something as simple as a little gatorade powder & a half scopp of whey & a scoop of creatine seems to help somewhat. i may try that intra-aid stuff, little pricey for my layed off a$$... best of luck comrade.
  34. purebred
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownstown89 View Post
    If you are hungry or full your not going to have a good workout. workout on a Empty stomach not a STARVED stomach.
    Stay hydrated run to the fountaing after 3 sets and drink alot of water.
    i do my best to hydrate myself properly before my workout so i don't have to make so many fountain trips. as for working out on an empty stomach, i tend to workout 60-90 min. after my pre-workout meal. if that's what you mean by training on an "empty stomach" then i concur. otherwise, considering the content and intensity of my workouts, it would be illogical for me personally to workout on a genuinely empty stomach.

    Quote Originally Posted by brownstown89 View Post
    but it looks like u have to many power movements in your workout I do Tbar Rows Shoulder Press, Squats, Dumbell CLeans in 1 workout and im switching it thats too much. I just dont have it in me to squat heavy after busting my ass on the first two.
    when analyzing your exercise order, it's evident why you aren't able to gather the amount of energy you'd like to commit to your squats with the same intensity you put forth with the first two exercises. i would venture to say squats are:
    • the most important exercise

    and
    • the hardest

    it would be in your best interest to execute your squats first and complete the rest of your workout. the following exercise order seems more achievable since you would be giving your upper and lower body adequate amounts of time to rest in between exercise:
    1. Squats (lower body, although technically it's a full body exercise)
    2. Shoulder Press (upper body, might want to switch this to oh press)
    3. T-bar Rows (upper body, might want to switch these to bent-over rows)
    4. DB Cleans (equally upper body/lower body?)


    in all honesty, i really don't understand why my workout seems like "too much". there's a great deal of people who have completed a 12-week course of this 5x5 routine and actually continued to more advanced versions of the training program. if what people are looking for is easy, they're in the wrong sport. no one said getting bigger and stronger was going to be easy because it's not. anyone that told you it is was setting you up for failure. i can definitely understand a person's reasoning for saying my training is not for the faint of heart or highly taxing on the body due to the kind of weight lifting and bodyweight exercises the training entails. however, the program is most definitely doable. it's nothing out of this world and it's not incomprehensible. it's just not your average "fitness beach body workout".

    as was mentioned in my previous post, if your training is demanding or taxing, a simple solution is to provide your body with enough material and fuel to allow it to repair itself and adapt to the training. squatting 3x a week is not something that is unheard, especially for self-proclaimed "hard-gainers". (e.g. squats and milk program)
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    by empty stomach i mean at a point where ur stomachs feeling normal.. its kind of hard to explain but at a point where u dont feel like damn i gotta hurry up my workout so i can eat. Or not when your like ahh im full my stomach is about to pop.

    Yea im really about to start doing Squats first i have goals for what i wanna be able to get up for a max on each those workouts. so i do them in that order..

    personally i feel like i get way better form on tbar rows then bent over rows and i also move a hell of alot more weight on shoulder press then over head press. im trying to get move alot more weight on bench so i figure going heavy all these others ones would do the trick it is so far.

    and your workout isnt too much its just that if your traning for strength what it looks like you are, you would be alot better off breaking it up so you can put forth all your energy into the Squats and maybe Wed start out with overhead presses. IDK 10 sets is alot. for movements your going to use heavy weights for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
    well the workout you just described sounds acceptable (although i couldn't go balls on deads and squats in the same workout) -- but 1-2 compound movements and assistance work is fine.. but the one beast posted contained 4 compound movements plus assistance work.. that's why I raised the question..

    Unless I misunderstood beast's post -- it sounded like you said he had you do bench, squats, deadlifts, cleans (4 compound lifts), arms and abs in ONE workout -- that's what i was referring to when i said it was out of control.. if i do one of those movements to failure there is no way i can even attempt to do any of the other three.

    hopefully he'll check back and clear that up sometime.

    yeah we do those 4 compound lifts every Monday and Thursday and then in addition to the Monday workout we will add arms like I quoted above and then in the Thursday workout we will add some more chest workouts (walkover pushups and bosu (I think that what its called- its where we do pushups on a ball)) and we will superset the two with close grip and wide grip tricep pullbacks on the cables then we would do 300 abs. The extra chest workouts on Thursday are pretty killer after doing bench press but we only do these workouts twice a week.

    Tuesday and Friday we are either doing endurance running and agilities (like sprints and ladder work) or plyometrics (like running up the bleachers and doing step ups- things of that sort).

    Wednesdays we have off or we can come in and work with our positions doing position drills.
  37. purebred
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownstown89 View Post
    by empty stomach i mean at a point where ur stomachs feeling normal.. its kind of hard to explain but at a point where u dont feel like damn i gotta hurry up my workout so i can eat. Or not when your like ahh im full my stomach is about to pop.
    i know exactly what you're talking about now. i initially assumed this was what you meant. funny that you mention it though, i actually make an effort to workout closer to the 60 min. mark due to the fact that each time i go over that mark, my hunger slightly interferes with my workout a bit after the halfway point.
    Quote Originally Posted by brownstown89 View Post
    personally i feel like i get way better form on tbar rows then bent over rows and i also move a hell of alot more weight on shoulder press then over head press. im trying to get move alot more weight on bench so i figure going heavy all these others ones would do the trick it is so far.
    tight hip muscles or too much hip extension tend to be the main reason why most don't reach their full potential with the bb rows. that being said, you can improve hip mobility with dynamic stretches.

    i highly doubt the effectiveness of t-bar rows match or come close to that of well-executed rows. the only other effective alternative to rows IMO would be inverted rows. they aren't bb rows but they are an acceptable temporary alternate to rows. plus, they promote improved posture. i would practice the row though. and, if you get stronger at the bb row, this will transfer over into the oh press and your benching as well. if you aren't "that great" at a particular exercise or set of exercises, you shouldn't shy away from it or search for a replacement exercise simply for the sake of moving more weight. the only way to get better at something is to do it often.

    weight lifting is no different.
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    yea bro i understand what you mean about rows. I use to love heavy rows and wide grip pulldowns. but my shoulders started to hurt so i just use the Vbar attachment around the barbell and do those and heavy deads. i just honestly feel if im doing 4 45s on the tbar rows is more effective then if im rowing 185 with a barbell i just get a better squeeze i guess.. to each there own tho.
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    Hydration and Waxy Maize. I cant believe waxy hasnt even been mentioned.
  40. purebred
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasTitan View Post
    Hydration and Waxy Maize. I cant believe waxy hasnt even been mentioned.
    as far as WMS goes, i'm on the fence about it myself. this may be one reason why it hasn't been mentioned: Waxy Maize insulin response?

    with regards to my training which we were discussing on this thread, i will no longer be training this way; at least for the meantime. i invite all of you to check out what my current situation is: acne, acne.org and my situation

    all of you are welcomed to share your thoughts, ideas, feedback and all support is much appreciated and needed! thanks folks!
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