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Cross-fit Experience(s) Anyone?


nynakedtop
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Hey guys...!

 

Looking for some friendly/helpful advice or words of warning/wisdom on this one. I am a gym frequent-flyers and looking to change up my routine as a new season approaches. I eat a semi-Paleo diet so my network has pointed me in the direction of doing cross fit training.

 

Anyone else here into it?

 

Lemme know - and appreciated!

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Hey guys...!

 

Looking for some friendly/helpful advice or words of warning/wisdom on this one. I am a gym frequent-flyers and looking to change up my routine as a new season approaches. I eat a semi-Paleo diet so my network has pointed me in the direction of doing cross fit training.

 

Anyone else here into it?

 

Lemme know - and appreciated!

 

I am not a fit man but an escort I see does not like cross fit. he says it's become the number one cause of fitness related injury

 

the youtube videos of it look tough

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I'm into it. I practice CrossFit three times a week in a small group with a personal trainer. It's highly motivating!

 

Here is what CrossFit is about:

 

[video=youtube;tzD9BkXGJ1M]

 

I challenge anyone who attends a gym to try it once. If you're a beginner, NYnakedtop, you would need 3-4 months time to be able to follow the rest of the group (depending on your physical condition). And be prepared to train very hard, suffer a lot and to have muscle cramps after each session.

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I can highly recommend it but with a couple of caveats. I've been doing it for 2 years now but it helps if you start from a reasonable level of fitness. It's best in my opinion done in small groups and is highly motivating. I'm in my early forties and fitter than i've ever been. Great for core strength and flexibility and a high lever of general fitness but it hasn't come without a few injuries as jimboivyo states.

 

My advice is when and if weight lifting is included go at your pace and don't be encouraged to push yourself too far. Adding a semi Paleo diet is definitely beneficial. My slight worry is it's a bit all or nothing as I go 3 or 4 times a week and am looking at cutting back to try other forms of exercise, probably Pilates as I think the stretching will compliment the intensity of Cross Fit.

 

Good luck. Give it a go and report back! :)

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I've tried it on a couple of different occasions and it just didn't work for me. I have a few physical issues and old injuries that prevented me from continuing that type of exercise routine. I just wasn't willing to risk re-injuring myself, and in the end, the goals I set could be attained in different ways. It isn't for everyone, but if you are physically fit, and are looking to change things up, I think you will find it can produce some amazing results, and it can be a lot of fun. You have nothing to lose. Just give it a try and see how it goes.

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Personally, it's just not for me.

 

The biggest problem I found every time that I joined a Crossfit gym was that more stress was put on pushing yourself farther (Faster, heavier, louder) than sticking to perfect form. (And before people say that it was bad Crossfit instruction, I tried MANY and the best ones around me). I found that Crossfitters scoffed at the idea of perfect form as if it is just a sissy way of saying "I can't lift that" when in truth perfect form is a way of saying "I CAN lift THIS, I know that all my effort is going directly to the muscle I decide, my body will be healthy and stronger after this set and I will be able to keep working out for as long as I choose because I have no injuries."

 

It's my belief that working in a group is exciting and inspiring but when working out in a group and doing heavy/fast/brusque/competitive lifts with no stress put on the form it can be very dangerous. In a group setting I would gladly do cardio, zumba, Capoeira, kickboxing, insanity, P90X, you name it, but when deadlifts, presses, pull ups and heavy boys' exercises come into the equation I prefer to have a trainer or a working partner calmly, fully focusing on spotting my form, reminding me that I am competing against me, against my last set, measuring on the perfection of the form and breath.

 

All the super fit people that I have know to stay super fit workout at the gym with a buddy or a trainer. Of the very few people I have known to become super fit through Crossfit I have seen most disappear for long periods of time while nursing serious injuries, which for someone who likes to exercise is paramount to being dead.

 

Last thing worth noting is that you will soon realize that people into Crossfit and the Gym are like Democrats and Republicans; it's impossible that they understand or acknowledge the other's arguments, they both scoff at each other, they are certain their way is the way, and will very loudly try to convince you to embrace their way. My only recommendation would be to consider physical facts, evaluate the risk level you are comfortable with taking, and if you try it and don't like it, if you try it and your body rebels, please listen to your body. We aren't getting any younger, none of us, and the older we get the more serious and more difficult to heal are our injuries.

 

I hope you will find the exercise modality that is perfect for you... and come back and share your results!

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At the gym where I work out, none of the personal trainers endorse cross-fit as a sole exercise routine. As Juan and EuporeanExplorer mention, the concern is primarily around the focus on speed and weight rather than maintaining form to prevent injuries. They acknowledge that it can be a good thing if properly supervised and not done in a competitive format.

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At the gym where I work out, none of the personal trainers endorse cross-fit as a sole exercise routine. As Juan and EuporeanExplorer mention, the concern is primarily around the focus on speed and weight rather than maintaining form to prevent injuries. They acknowledge that it can be a good thing if properly supervised and not done in a competitive format.

 

Yeah, I was just talking to my trainer about this and his take on it was simple: If you are a competitive athlete who has been training forever, are very familiar with what is good form and why is it important, if your exercises already have perfect form every time you do them and if you are body aware enough to realize when you are coming out of alignment, then you might benefit from Crossfit.

 

If you on the other hand are not very strong, are not familiar with proper and safe ways to isolate muscles and might feel tempted to give into peer pressure when it comes to doing it faster, heavier, longer, then Crossfit might be a perfect recipe for disaster.

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Let's see:

 

LEft Achille's tendon repaired. Twice in three months.

Right Achille's tendon torn: No repair.

Left hip replaced. Twice (first for infection treatment, second permanent).

Right quadracep tendon repair

 

Pending:

Left total knee replacement.

Right total hip replacement.

 

I knew that, when I joined the gym, I would need someone who would tailor

my exercises to my injuries. The first guy got me going on general fitness(1);

the second is expert at working around my particular infirmaties(2).

 

Cross-fit? I think I'd wind up in rehab for abotu six months.

 

FOOTNOTES:

(1) 27; Degree in Kinesiology; Rower

(2) 32; Masters degree in excercise physiology; powerlifter (big time)

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It also depends on what look you want.

 

I've never done CF but I've seen spoken to some big fans. Something about cross-fit appears to produce a more "cut" appearance than other forms of cross-training. Some people like that, but that's not for me. Yes, I know that there's no such thing as building "lean muscle" or "toning." But I prefer a more customized approach that works the weaker areas harder and goes easier on the areas that are naturally more built. That way, you don't end up overbuilt in one area.

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It's obvious that CrossFit is NOT FOR EVERYONE.

 

If you haven't stepped in a gym, don't regularly exercise, don't know your body and don't get supervised: you will get injured.

 

Results aren't achieved in your couch watching TV or sitting in front of your computer.

 

 

http://www.stronghumanfitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/no-pain-no-gain.jpg

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All the super fit people that I have know to stay super fit workout at the gym with a buddy or a trainer. Of the very few people I have known to become super fit through Crossfit I have seen most disappear for long periods of time while nursing serious injuries, which for someone who likes to exercise is paramount to being dead.

 

Last thing worth noting is that you will soon realize that people into Crossfit and the Gym are like Democrats and Republicans; it's impossible that they understand or acknowledge the other's arguments, they both scoff at each other, they are certain their way is the way, and will very loudly try to convince you to embrace their way. My only recommendation would be to consider physical facts, evaluate the risk level you are comfortable with taking, and if you try it and don't like it, if you try it and your body rebels, please listen to your body. We aren't getting any younger, none of us, and the older we get the more serious and more difficult to heal are our injuries.

 

These are really great points from Juan and worth a second look.

 

My partner and I still hit the gym hard and take our training very seriously. I checked out CrossFit for 6 weeks and kept an open mind. At the end of the day, it just wasn't my cup of tea. CF gyms aren't cheap and usually don't have many amenities (like showers, saunas, towels, etc.). For results, for me, I feel like I get more bang for the buck by working out with a personal trainer. I liked a lot of the CF movements, like kettle bells, and it was easy for my trainer to incorporate a lot of "CrossFitty" things into my workout at a regular gym.

 

One plus to the CF gyms is that people are very friendly. It's a social place and members go out of their way to motivate each other. So I think its probably a great place to make new friends. That's sometimes hard to do at a regular gym where everyone is doing their own thing.

 

Keep an open mind and check it out. There is no harm in trying.

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CrossFit Review

By Michael Esco, PhD, HFS, CSCS*D

WebMD Expert Review

 

Preparing the body “not only for the known, but also the unknown” is the mantra for CrossFit, one of the fastest growing strength and conditioning programs today. It is not a traditional, specialized training program like doing isolated weight lifting for a certain muscle or aerobics.

 

“Our specialty is not specializing," says CrossFit founder and former gymnast Greg Glassman.

 

 

It's also a very tough workout -- not one to take lightly, especially if you're not active right now.

 

Here's what you should know before you get started.

 

 

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit combines strength training, explosive plyometrics, speed training, Olympic- and power-style weight lifting, kettle bells, body weight exercises, gymnastics, and endurance exercise.

 

By doing this, CrossFit targets what it calls the major components of physical fitness: cardiorespiratory fitness, stamina, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.

 

Training the CrossFit way requires you to work out 3 to 5 days per week. The workouts are highly intense and short, taking about 5 to 15 minutes to complete.

 

CrossFit workouts typically combine explosive exercises done in a circuit format: One exercise follows right after the next, with very little rest in between.

 

The main CrossFit exercises involve the whole body and include pushing, pulling, running, rowing, and squatting.

 

There are hundreds of CrossFit exercises. Here are a few examples:

 

Power Cleans: Pulling a weighted bar from the floor and bringing it up to and in front of your shoulders in a quick and forceful manner.

Burpees: This is a body-weight-only exercise that involves beginning in a standing position, quickly dropping to the floor and doing a push-up, then coming up to a squatting position and explosively jumping straight-up.

The Snatch: A weighted bar is rapidly pulled from the floor to directly over your head with the arms held straight.

Thruster: This exercise begins with standing upright with weighted bar held in front of your shoulders. You squat down to the point where your thighs are parallel to the floor, then quickly standing back-up and pressing the weighted bar over your head.

 

Other examples are variations of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. CrossFit also often uses kettle bells (a weighted bell with a handle on top), medicine balls, climbing ropes, jump ropes, and rowing machines.

 

 

The CrossFit WOD

 

CrossFit posts a Workout of the Day (WOD) on its web site. Some of the WOD are specially named after women or military heroes. The WOD changes each day and there are a lot of them. And they can be quite demanding.

 

The Barbara involves five circuits of 20 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, and 50 body weight-only squats performed in order, while only resting at the end of each circuit for a 3-minute period.

The Angie - 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 bodyweight-only squats to be accumulated (not performed in a row, unless you are fit enough) during the entire workout.

The Murph - a timed 1-mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 body weight squats, finished off by another 1-mile run.

The Jackie - 1,000 meter row, 50 thrusters with a selected weight, and 30 pull-ups: preferably performed without any rest between each exercise.

The CrossFit program can be performed in two ways: on your own or at a CrossFit affiliate.

 

Going at it on your own requires a base level of good physical fitness, as well as knowing how to safely perform each movement. The WOD can be done at almost any fitness facility or at home, if you have certain pieces of exercise equipment. Details on how to set-up a CrossFit “Garage Gym” can be found on the CrossFit web site, which also has an extensive video library that shows the proper technique for all of the exercises.

 

If you are not comfortable doing CrossFit by yourself or you want extra motivation from performing the workouts in a group setting, then you can join a CrossFit affiliate; there are about 2,500 locations worldwide.

 

 

CrossFit affiliates are not your typical health and fitness clubs. You will not see the endless supply of cardio equipment or resistance machines, and members don't perform their own personal routines.

 

Instead, it’s a warehouse-like facility where the exercise equipment consists of a bunch of bumper-plated Olympic weights, plyometric boxes, medicine balls, dumbbells, and kettlebells. Pull-up bars, climbing ropes, gymnastics rings hang from the ceiling. The only cardio equipment you’ll see are rowing machines. If you want to run, hit the road of the surrounding area. The workouts are completed in a group setting. Everyone does the same WOD and it’s probably a different daily workout than what's on the web site.

 

Each affiliate has a one-month initiation course, which newcomers must complete to learn proper training technique for all of the major exercises performed in CrossFit’s program.

 

For a few days after a CrossFit workout, you may experience a certain degree of muscle soreness. If that happens, you might need to rest a day or two before the next WOD so that your muscles are fully recovered.

 

 

CrossFit: Nutrition

 

CrossFit recommends a daily eating plan of approximately 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat. This can be accomplished by consuming “meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar," as recommended by CrossFit. This approach is similar to that of popular fad diets such as the Zone and Paleo nutrition plans.

 

The CrossFit Nutrition plan was not developed by a registered dietitian. Most importantly, it will not fulfill the dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It offers lower carbohydrate consumption and a higher protein intake than what is recommended for active people by the American Dietetic Association, which is the leading organization for nutritional-based research.

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CrossFit: Advantages

 

CrossFit workouts are highly intense and do not take a long time to complete. You can get a great workout in a short period of time.

 

Athletes and ex-athletes will enjoy the challenges of each WOD, as they are similar to sports conditioning.

 

 

There are a large number of WOD routines and they are always changing. This adds to the excitement of each CrossFit workout and decreases the risk of becoming bored.

 

The WOD can be done at home, without a lot of expensive equipment. The exercises can be very tough. However, there are a number of videos and written descriptions on the web site that can help you modify each movement according to your current level of fitness.

 

You do not have to be a member of an affiliate to view the free CrossFit web site. However, subscribing to the online CrossFit Journal costs $25 a year.

 

Bodybuilders and powerlifters will not get the results they need for their specific competitive purposes by just performing CrossFit. But these types of athletes may benefit from training this way for brief periods during their off-season, for the sake of variety.

 

Marathoners, triathletes, cyclists, and long-distance swimmers should dedicate most of their training time on their sport's specific needs. However, CrossFit may be a good way endurance athletes can train with weights and not interfere with their main objectives, due to the short amount of time needed to complete each WOD.

 

Also, there are alternative CrossFit programs dedicated to endurance sports, football, and gymnastics.

 

CrossFit is a good way for mixing up the common exercise routine by providing variety.

 

 

CrossFit: Concerns

 

The possibility of injury is an increased risk with participation in anyhigh-intense fitness regimen like CrossFit, especially if you are new to Olympic-style weight lifting and plyometric workouts, or have a previous injury. Not only are the exercises themselves risky, but performing them under a fatigued state, such as during an intense circuit, increases the risk of injury even further.

 

WARNING: A very serious, yet rare muscular injury known as rhabdomyolysis is also a major concern with participation in vigorous exercise. In short, rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which skeletal muscle becomes so severely damaged that it rapidly breaks down. If this happens, muscle cells may rupture and important contents could leak out into the bloodstream, eventually damaging the kidneys even to the point of kidney failure. It must be treated in a medical facility as it is potentially life threatening.

 

Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis depend on severity but can include general weakness, extreme stiffness, soreness and swelling of the affected muscle, and abnormally dark colored urine. There are a number of factors that can cause rhabdomyolysis (e.g. alcoholism, genetics, dehydration), but it can be brought on by extreme physical exercise.

 

To prevent rhabdomyolysis, make sure you start slow and gradually increase the intensity of each workout. Drink plenty of water, and avoid exercise in a hot and humid environment.

 

If you are interested in CrossFit but are new to weight lifting or exercise in general, you should visit a CrossFit affiliate to receive the necessary personalized attention before attempting a WOD on your own.

 

 

If you take that route, however, be aware that the CrossFit coach may not have an appropriate educational background in sports conditioning. Strength and conditioning specialists spend years learning proper technique of explosive exercises and some have degrees in exercise science, biomechanics, or kinesiology.

 

Make sure you ask about credentials and references for any coach or personal trainer who is responsible for teaching you proper lifting technique. Be sure to let them know if any exercise makes you feel uncomfortable or causes pain.

 

It's best to have a sufficient strength base before starting a high-intensity, power-based training plan. If you are not strong enough to perform a certain exercise by itself, let the coach know so he/she can modify the regimen accordingly.

 

CrossFit is mostly suited for healthy people who enjoy vigorous exercise. People with injuries, health conditions, or other special needs should follow the specific guidelines for physical activity recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine.

 

CrossFit claims that the system is “empirically driven and clinically tested” which insinuates that the methods are scientifically supported. A review of the current scientific literature, however, shows no published studies about CrossFit in top-rated peer-reviewed strength and conditioning or exercise physiology research journals.

 

 

CrossFit: Bottom Line

 

Like most other exercise routines, CrossFit has advantages and concerns. The workouts are fast-paced, challenging, and constantly varied.

 

If you are healthy and can endure grueling workouts, then give it a try. You will probably enjoy it, just like most “Crossfitters.”

 

 

If you are out of shape or just beginning an exercise program, be sure to join a CrossFit affiliate to receive the appropriate personalized attention. Check with your health care provider before starting any new fitness program, especially if you are not active now.

 

Michael R. Esco, PhD, CSCS, HFS, is an assistant professor in the department of physical education and exercise science at Auburn University Montgomery in Montgomery, Ala. His opinions and conclusions are his own.

 

source: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/crossfit-review?page=1

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Yeah, I was just talking to my trainer about this and his take on it was simple: If you are a competitive athlete who has been training forever, are very familiar with what is good form and why is it important, if your exercises already have perfect form every time you do them and if you are body aware enough to realize when you are coming out of alignment, then you might benefit from Crossfit.

 

If you on the other hand are not very strong, are not familiar with proper and safe ways to isolate muscles and might feel tempted to give into peer pressure when it comes to doing it faster, heavier, longer, then Crossfit might be a perfect recipe for disaster.

 

+1...I've always believed that for a select few, CF can produce some amazing results, but by and large, for the average person looking to get into shape, it can produce some serious injury.

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Report back from the trenches!!!

 

First and really important: thanks to everyone who replied to my initial posting. It not only gave me great feedback and information, but also reinforced my hope and belief that this forum can be a place for really helpful information exchanged in a supportive environment. So thanks to ALL of you and, gotta say it, special thanks to Steven Draker (who I now an intense bro-crush on!)

 

I did my intro cross-fit session wednesday. (Background: I am a regular gym goer and, although advanced in my years, at 5'11" I always weigh in at 165, no join problems, no muscle danger zones, etc. Proficient at weight training, eat very clean, never drink nor smoke. Doctor says I have naturally high testosterone level.) The session was TRYING to say the least, but I kept with it. Yesterday, I was unusually sore. Today I am extremely sore. It was AWESOMELY good. Signed up on the spot for a month of unlimited group exercise sessions.

 

The good: even as a physically "fit" person, this challenged my comfort zone(s) and pushed me into places I would not usually go. The movements were all full body, so it recruited deep reservoirs of strength and stamina. It gave me not only a "muscle work out" but also worked on strength and conditioning. The place was amazingly friendly and though not "plush" had the basic amenities to be able to work my ass off, sweat like a pig, and then be able to re-enter the world like a normal human being. No one was showing up to just check their hair in the mirror or hog benches while they texted. Finally, strong attention was paid to form... I think cross fit has received enough push back to realize that form is a really important component of an effective system.

 

The bad (or so-so): All during the workout I kept an eye on where the nearest bathroom (or bucket) was... this is a killer puke inducing experience! Not for the weak of mind or spirit! There is also definitely a "cultish" aspect to the experience - but if that works to get people there and pushing their limits so be it.

 

So, guys, in a word... I have already booked my next session at "the box". At the risk of becoming the board bore, I will report back!

 

Thanks, yet again, to ALL of you!

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That's excellent to hear nynakedtop. The first few sessions must certainly put off some people but like you I took to it pretty instantly and enjoy being pushed to places I would not go otherwise in a gym or with a PT.

 

You're right there is a cultish element but it does help with group motivation. The support and encouragement you receive from other people in your group or even who are just watching or training is unique in my experience. You leave very invigorated and quite often exhausted but the fitness levels you achieve have to be worth it if you can stay injury free.

 

I'm glad you had such a positive start and will look forward to more reports back!

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+1...I've always believed that for a select few, CF can produce some amazing results, but by and large, for the average person looking to get into shape, it can produce some serious injury.

 

When Crossfit was becoming popular and not yet "the rage," it was marketed as being for anyone at any fitness level. They told stories of ordinary men and women doing exercises they never dreamt of. Like many things, as Crossfit became more popular and developed a following it became all about pushing limits, even when one's body was telling them to stop. Is that CF's fault or the fault of the person who is doing it and injures themselves?

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Report back from the trenches!!!

 

First and really important: thanks to everyone who replied to my initial posting. It not only gave me great feedback and information, but also reinforced my hope and belief that this forum can be a place for really helpful information exchanged in a supportive environment. So thanks to ALL of you and, gotta say it, special thanks to Steven Draker (who I now an intense bro-crush on!)

 

I did my intro cross-fit session wednesday. (Background: I am a regular gym goer and, although advanced in my years, at 5'11" I always weigh in at 165, no join problems, no muscle danger zones, etc. Proficient at weight training, eat very clean, never drink nor smoke. Doctor says I have naturally high testosterone level.) The session was TRYING to say the least, but I kept with it. Yesterday, I was unusually sore. Today I am extremely sore. It was AWESOMELY good. Signed up on the spot for a month of unlimited group exercise sessions.

 

The good: even as a physically "fit" person, this challenged my comfort zone(s) and pushed me into places I would not usually go. The movements were all full body, so it recruited deep reservoirs of strength and stamina. It gave me not only a "muscle work out" but also worked on strength and conditioning. The place was amazingly friendly and though not "plush" had the basic amenities to be able to work my ass off, sweat like a pig, and then be able to re-enter the world like a normal human being. No one was showing up to just check their hair in the mirror or hog benches while they texted. Finally, strong attention was paid to form... I think cross fit has received enough push back to realize that form is a really important component of an effective system.

 

The bad (or so-so): All during the workout I kept an eye on where the nearest bathroom (or bucket) was... this is a killer puke inducing experience! Not for the weak of mind or spirit! There is also definitely a "cultish" aspect to the experience - but if that works to get people there and pushing their limits so be it.

 

So, guys, in a word... I have already booked my next session at "the box". At the risk of becoming the board bore, I will report back!

 

Thanks, yet again, to ALL of you!

 

http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110910015735/thesimsmedieval/images/c/c8/Keep_up_the_good_work%21.jpg

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