7 Tips On How To Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life

In order to become the man you want to be, you need to first face the cold, hard facts of reality. Have you done enough to be successful? Only by being honest to yourself, can you start on the journey to really achieving the things that you want to accomplish.

Many guys like to complain. They lounge around all day, being underwhelming, sitting on their ass, not doing anything productive. Some of them are fat, their beer bellies disgustingly protruding over their pants. Some of them are skinny, and could use an intensive session in their local burger joint in order to gain some weight.

We often talk about women having a sense of entitlement, but many guys have it too. Think hard about your life? Why do you deserve a million dollars? Why do you deserve hot girls? Many guys believe that they deserve these things, just because of the fact that they exist, yet they don’t do anything in order to get it.

Now that I have torn you down, I will try to build you back up. This is the first part of character building. In order to change, you need to develop a realistic vision of yourself first. You are not going to do that without facing the facts.

Let’s start with working on your body, since your body is the first thing that people will see. A healthy, good looking body is the basis of your own well-being and overall success.

1. Create clear goals


Do you have clear achievable goals? If you are like most people, you probably don’t. You might have something vague like “I want to have muscles” or “I don’t want to be fat”, but nothing else. This type of stuff ain’t gonna cut it.

If you want to change, you have to have clear goals. These goals should be set according to the SMART criteria. They have to be specific, sustainable, attainable, relevant and time-related. They also need to support the vision that you have set out for yourself.

Use the present tense when writing your goal. This means something like: “I have added five kilograms of lean muscle by December 2015.” Once you have the goal, it’s time to execute!

2. Train your willpower


If you have been a lazy slob until now, you need to start working on your willpower. Your willpower is at the center of you being able to achieve your goals.

It’s probably pretty weak right now. Willpower is like a muscle and you need to exercise it. In order to make it grow, you need to focus on expanding it. Start off slowly and focus on just a few things at a time. Once you have trained your willpower, it will be much easier to achieve things.

3. Create habits

Woman running the Elowah Falls Trail

Using your willpower can be quite energy-depleting. You will need it initially, but in order not to expend too much energy, you will need to automatize processes, create routines and turn those routines into habits.

A habit is something that you do automatically. With a habit you expend a lot less energy than through forcing yourself to do things with willpower. In that way, you save your willpower for more important things.

In order to sustain habits, you need to create an environment that fosters good habits. For example if you want to eat healthier, you need to stock up your fridge with healthy foods, so that whenever you get the hunger pangs and open your fridge, the only option you have is to pick something healthy to eat.

You also need to create habit triggers, something that triggers the execution of your habit. For example, on the days I go to the gym, I bring my gym stuff with me to work. The times I leave my bag at home and get back home, I rarely end up going to go the gym.

4. Progressive overload is king, so you need to lift heavy



So now you have worked on your willpower, created some healthy, gym-going habits and you go to the gym regularly. That’s a good start. However many people just BS around in the gym and don’t do the right things in order to maximize their gains.

You need to remember that the way to grow is to keep on lifting heavier and heavier weights. You need to give your body challenging resistance in order to force it to grow. There is no other way.

When lifting, remember to keep correct form. If you don’t, you are at a high risk of injuries. If you are a newbie, start off by lifting light weights and learning to lift correctly. Once you have the form down, then start on progressively adding more weight.

5. Nutrition is key, so remember to fuel up your body

woman on kitchen

If you want to be big, then you need to eat properly. Nutrition is one of the biggest factors of your gains. You need to provide your body with the fuel and the building blocks to force it to grow. The three main types of micronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Proteins are the building blocks that make up your muscles. You need to include a lot of protein-rich foods in your diet, which include chicken breasts, steak, and fish.

What are carbohydrates? They are not the bogeyman that some new fad diets are making them out to be. In fact, they are the fuel for your body. Glucose is the basic building block of most carbohydrates and the main fuel of your body. It is especially important to eat some carb-rich foods around 1.5 or 2 hours before your workout, in order to have the energy to hit the weights hard.

Fats have been the devil-incarnate in the 90s and early 2000s, but now they are making a comeback as the healthy choice. Remember that there are different types of fats (saturated, unsaturated…etc.) and one of the building blocks of these are fatty acids. Some of them are considered essential.

The modern diet is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and that’s why you need to take extra care to include them in your diet. They can be found in seafood, salmon, and grass-fed beef.

6. Take into account the fact that setbacks will happen


In your journey to get big and muscular, you will face challenges and setbacks. You need to take this into account and deal with it when it happens. For example, about a year and a half ago, I had an ACL operation and was out of the game for a long time. I worked hard on rehabilitating after the injury and once the knee got stronger, I got back in the game.

Unfortunately, the knee still isn’t 100%, but I try to make with what I got. You need to have the same type of mindset in order to power through challenges and overcome setbacks.

7. Don’t do someone else’s routine


Pro bodybuilder – if you are a newbie, don’t do his routine

You have probably flipped through one of those glossy bodybuilding magazines and tried one of the routines that they say the Mr. Olympias do. However you saw no gains.

You need to keep in mind that what works for one person, doesn’t always work for another one. We all have different body types, different ratios of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscles, different preferred ways of doing things, different personalities and there are also all kinds of other factors. That means that you will need to experiment a bit in order to find out what works for you.

When setting up your routine, you only need to remember the basic principles of lifting: progressive overload, correct form, good nutrition, a stable routine, and the willingness to work hard. That’s all you need to get big and muscular.

Once you have these basic things down and start working hard on self-improvement, other things will start coming naturally. The money will start trickling in, the girls will start knocking on your door and, best of all, you will have the natural self-confidence that you need in order to get even better and to become more successful.

Read More: 5 Pre-Workout Tips For Consistently Better Workouts 

119 thoughts on “7 Tips On How To Get In The Best Shape Of Your Life”

  1. Perhaps the greatest source of Omega 3 fatty acids with the best ratio to omega 3 and 6 is called Sacha Inchi, which is a seed of a plant that grows here in the Amazon of Peru.

      1. You live in Peru and have never heard of Sacha Inchi?
        They sell the aceite de Sacha Inchi (oil of Sacha Inchi) everywhere, any Metro, Totus, Wong or Plaza via should have it. It’s located next to the Olive oil.

    1. Sounds obscure. How about wild salmon and grass-fed beef available in your local supermarket?

      1. For omega fatty acids in the proper balance, nothing beats Sacha inchi, not even fish. And no worry of contaminations such as dioxide, mercury, benzopyrenes and others that can be found in fish and fish based supplements.

        1. Today it shouldn’t be ‘obscure,’ Sacha Inchi should be easy to find in any natural food store. Just google search it.

        2. For every non native American Indian, all New world plants, such as corn, potatoes and tomatoes would be less than 600 years of consumption.

        3. I’ve never heard of it and haven’t seen it at my local stores… perhaps if I was actively looking for it I’d find it.
          I settled on Flax and Chia seeds for my Fiber and Omega needs.
          I ingest both daily with a morning protein shake and I shit like King Kong. When I’m on my 4k/day routines, sometimes I’ll go three times in one day…. it is a glorious site to behold.

    2. Raw hemp protein bruh.
      52% protein
      9.6% essential fatty acid (Omega 3, 6, 9 and GLA)
      Contains all 9 essential amino acids
      Rich in trace minerals
      High in dietary fiber

        1. LOL I hear that, but I get that from whey. With the hemp I went through a ‘transitional period’, but combined with my paleo-esque diet and some pro-biotics it’s great.

        2. I still have the Hemp Powder I bought… I love the numbers it contains, super impressive plant all around! I just didn’t like that it liquefied what I was eating for a few days… I had to quit taking it because it was screwing up my nutritional intake.
          I settled on Whey Protein a long time ago for my protein ‘needs’.

      1. can you buy this in the states? I thought it was still illegal to grow here

        1. I’m pretty sure you can get it in the States. I’m in Euroland though but over here you can buy it at a lot of health chain stores and online. I like the Braham & Murray (UK) powder best.

      2. According to Al Sears, M.D., author of The Doctors Heart Cure, sacha inchi is the most complete plant source of both essential and nonessential amino acids.
        65% protien.
        The ratio between Omega 3 nd 6 is near pefect which is important.
        Omega 3 (48%)
        Omega 6 (35%)
        Omega 9 (9)
        High in antioxidants Vitamin E and A
        Also fiber
        The list goes on…

  2. There are things you can’t get no matter how hard you try with things you are born with.

        1. You admitted above that you don’t lift. Why ask me said question?
          Besides, death is the final achievment.

        2. I don’t follow. What does me not lifting have to do with whether or not you have reached your potential?

        3. It doesn’t necessarily…. I assumed that since you don’t lift you wouldn’t have much of a grasp on the gravity of the question which made me wonder where your inquisition emanated from. I suppose that was quite rude of me considering you were simply asking a question… not sure why I assumed you were being negative with your question. I apologize for that.
          To answer you: of course not… it’s impossible to reach a limit in my opinion. My muscle fibers can continue to grow as long as I maintain a Calorie surplus coupled with rigorous Hypertrophy based strength training. If human beings can live to be 200 years old we might be able to build bodies that rival anything our imaginations can muster.
          Now, everyone has a “frame” persay… but genetic potential, ha… I think anyone can be a beast with enough time and sheer effort.

        4. Lift… Gravity… No pun intended?
          I used to lift but not for years due to injury. I now engage in many of the other modes of exercise and train very intensively. I combine this approach with a nutritional surplus (not calorie) and avoid toxins and toxicants which lead to sickness and fat gain.

  3. I do only compound lifts. 3, maximal 4 times a week 45 minutes max is enough for me. I just shrill from the thought of having a split scheme. I try to avoid machines if I can, think they’re horrible. You should have short and intense trainings. Only the fact that It’s not me looking at a smartphone in the gym says i’m doing it better than 80%
    About the fats. It’s hard to think of a good source for those. Nuts are obvious. I recently tried out avocado. Bit strange from the start, but now I like them. Eating them just raw.

    1. Avocados are pretty common here in the South Western U.S.
      People tend to eat them sliced or chopped in salads. A common way to eat them instead of just straight is to make guacamole. Take soft ripe avocados, mash them, and mix it with a little salt, olive oil, lime juice/lemon juice/white wine vinegar, and cilantro or parsley. When you store it in the fridge, you can sprinkle some lime juice etc. on top so that it doesn’t discolor, but if that doesn’t bother then don’t worry because the discoloration doesn’t affect the taste.
      Stick it in the refrigerator, and spread it on grilled meat, fish, shrimp, etc. It’s best with meats that are very spicy. People will also use it in sandwiches instead of mustard or mayonnaise, on fried eggs/omelettes, etc.
      Oh, and I should have added that guacamole is typically a hot-weather dish, so make sure its nice and cold when you eat it.

    2. I’ve maintained size and built strength by sticking solely to compounds and only doing 3 X 45 minutes weight sessions a week
      Makes me wonder what the fuck I was doing all those years busting my ass for 90 minutes X 5 days a week

      1. You have to keep in mind though… your body is different than everyone elses so what works for you, blah blah you’ve heard this before.
        Not to bore you to tears with my experience but I’ll share: usually I go 3x/week and average 45 minutes to an hour and a half. After doing some reading about upping intensity I decided to try an experiment for one week.
        This experiment entailed having 5 workouts during the week and also ingesting 4k/day (I am 6’4 190ish). Monday through Friday, 15-20 set workouts that lasted about 45-60 minutes. 5 sets of 10 reps, and I threw in some wicked Circuits (simply mixing up 3-4 exercises in conjunction with each other with minimal to no rest between the movements, like a typical Circuit) throughout the week.
        I bridged the 190 mark for the first time in my life because of that little adventure. I shot up from 188ish to almost 195 in a week because I tried something different: I shocked my nervous system and I surprised my musculature to the point of it giving me a huuuuge response.
        With that said, I was one tired mofo after that week… needless to say I don’t picture myself doing that too often… once in a blue moon to jar my system into an uproar of hypertrophy and muscular expansion.

      2. I bet you could even cut it down to twice a week… Enough time recover, bit of extra time to relax and hit ’em again.

    3. A great source of fat is dairy, eggs and meat. I would imagine that these are better than avocado on every level.
      I can’t stand avocado by the way.

      1. Avocado is a vegetable fat not an animal fat and therefore does not stick to your vessels.

    4. I’m doing stronglifts right now. I hear it won’t make a visual difference, just increase your strength. I don’t mind that but I wouldn’t argue against some visual upgrades. Any tips?

      1. If you do any exercise to cause hypertrophy then you will gain size. Anything 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps at about 60-70% peak weight will increase size.
        Keep in mind: the eccentric portion of any exercise will produce the most noticeable physical growth. If you wish to gain size then concentrate on hypertrophy until you’re satisfied.
        With what little I know I hope that helps.

    5. i guess avocados aren’t common the netherlands? they’re a staple in the US and latin america.

      1. They’re definitely not a staple in the Netherlands. They are quite expensive because they have to be imported from South-America

      1. Machines are not bad, but they were introduced into the gym to service a lot of members at the same time. You should give everything you got for the most important exercises: Deadlift, Squat, rows, Benchpress, Overhead press, pull-ups, powercleans etc.

        1. That reveals a lot. Gyms wanted to get a lot of members in, and to do that they had to have machines.

  4. 8. Good record-keeping.
    Make a simple spreadsheet for your lifting routine. Columns left to right, I use:
    Name of the exercise
    Don’t fly blind.
    If you keep good records, you’ll be able to easily see where you need to improve.

    1. I would also add spending $50 to get a scale to measure fat (normal and visceral)/muscle percentages. Another few columns to the right. It’ll also motivate you as you make progress.

        1. Save this bullshit for the fags on buzzfeed. Anyone can get in shape with enough discipline.

        2. no doubt. pathetic video and a prime example of why most americans are obese. pretty much anyone can look great with the right nutrition, lifting routine, and attitude.

      1. Body fat callipers can be bought off eBay for under a dollar with free shipping. It takes about a month to arrive to North America, but for a dollar, can you complain?

    2. Screw that. Manual record keeping is a pain in the ass. Just use an app on your phone, like JEFit, which keeps track of all of that stuff for you and produces graphs and tracks your personal records.

        1. It’s easy to forget or lose. Most people always have their phones on them. I don’t really understand the resistance to using an app. The app is either free, or an ad-less version is probably cheaper than the paper/pen.

        2. Dickhead probably has handwriting that jolts your blood pressure as you try to decipher it.

        3. Nothing is better than a few pens and a spiral notebook.
          I have yet to see a piece if paper run out of battery power.

    3. I record all my routines on separate sheets using a very similar format
      Leg Day example (I do one power set of 8-12 reps, fast as possible):
      Leg Curl
      Good Morning
      Heel Raises
      I also put together some very basic macros to highlight max rep days (2 in a row means up the weight) and bad days (2 in a row means cut weight for a bit).
      I also carry small notebooks to the gym and write down my workout as I do it. Perfect record keeping.

  5. Step 8: If you’re low T visit the clinic…might be why you run out gas so early

    1. This depends doesn’t it? If you are younger than 30 low T is unlikely to be a problem.

      1. Because of our diets, sedentary lifestyles and so many estrogenic compounds in materials of everyday use, yes plenty of young guys are low T also.
        Every guy should get tested at some point if for nothing else than piece of mind.

        1. Good points but I would suggest directly addressing the issues you raise. Improve your diet, exercise and avoid estrogenic chemicals while taking supplements offset any exposure you do have.
          I think getting a test is a good idea if you are suffering the symptoms of low T – fatigue, low libido, poor erections, poor mood AND you have addressed the above mentioned issues.
          Of course if you have no problems, probably nothing to worry about.

  6. Something I tell people is when it comes to working out, eating good, and overall being healthy, it must become part of your lifestyle and must be done for your own personal satisfaction. As soon as you start trying to get in shape for petty reasons such as impressing someone or because of some fad, any gains that have been achieved will only be temporary. When it comes down to it you’re competing against yourself and can only use YOU as motivation to make sustainable progress.

    1. Amen! Anytime someone says they want to get a six pack for the holidays, or get thin to fit into their wedding dress, I have a strong urge to falcon punch that person in the cock/cunt (delete where applicable)

  7. Just my 10ccs.
    You don’t need to lift heavy and you don’t need to be big and muscular. You just need to be fit.

    1. I recently started to make better progress using slightly lighter weights and doing more reps (8-12).
      Also, the best biceps exercise for me are pull-ups with the palms facing each other (parallel grip)

        1. There’s a reason the Marines do it. Wish the Army would adopt it. Oh well, I do them anyway.

    2. Heavy is relative. Intensity is the fundamental and there are ways to increase intensity without increasing the weight.

        1. My own view is that body weight training is fundamental. Learn to move yourself before you learn to move other things. For basic fitness and strength body weight is all that is necessary, but it doesn’t hurt to train the mechanics of moving other things as well, and may even prevent future injury.
          I am not a lifter. I am physically active. To me training is just that – training. It is not my end, but my means.

        2. I have no objection to lifting per se. Its just that many people seem to think lifting weights is the only path to fitness.
          It is one of a multitude.

        3. Wrong thread for you then if you don’t lift, other guys here do.
          Here’s the thing, nobody needs to do anything, nobody needs to lift, nobody needs to get better at whatever… but many people want to for a plethora of reasons. It’s not really your place to say what they need or how they need to do it to achieve their personal goal without knowing where they’re coming from and more specifically to this thread, what their physical demands are, what their body type is and their energy levels/recovery time, injuries etc.
          This may seem like I’m singling you out… that’s not the intention. I’ve just observed a trend in general where peeps think their way is the best way to do something without understanding the other person’s situation. I can’t decide whether its for the sake of two cent internet debates (where the debate takes precedence over the outcome), compensating for something/lack of, or just basic arrogance.
          Rant over.
          P.s. to stay on topic: I used to lift weights and do more body weight stuff now because of some injuries. Lifting heavy was definitely a more visible return on investment (in terms of size), but I generally feel fitter with body weight work and martial arts. Having said that, I’d go back to lifting heavy at the drop of a hat because it was a rewarding challenge and quite efficient (session durations didn’t change, only the amount of weights used). I’d say a combo of different types of training would be best for an all rounder (obviously power lifters and mirror boys both have different goals)

        4. Your comment confuses me. The topic is getting into good physical shape. I have consistently argued against assuming that there is only one path to fitness,i.e. That being lifting. Other guys here lift, other guys here don’t. Not sure how that is relevant to my underlying argument.
          Also at no point have I told anyone what they need to do. Perhaps you have me confused with someone else?

        5. Could very well be confused with someone else, hence my comment about not intending to single you out. like I said it’s a general trend that I’ve observed and felt like taking it out on the first comment that came across that way (comment simply being “you don’t need to lift heavy blah blah just need to be fit”).
          Having said that, even if you’re not lifting iron weights, you’re still lifting your own body weight in one form or another, sometimes heavy, sometimes not. But that’s a dickhead technicality and I won’t go there!
          Carry on lads 🙂

        6. My comment was in response to the frequent assertions by authors on this site that you need to lift heavy. I am simply stating that this is untrue. This is based on experience and logic. Can I suggest before reacting to comments that perhaps you ensure that you understand the other person’s position first? It seems to me that you and I actually share the same point of view on this subject.
          For clarity’s sake by “lifting” I refer to the practice of lifting weights, as does the author.

        7. Look into “feeder workouts”. Rich Piana, Ric Drasin, and several bodybuilders mention these workouts on their youtube channel.
          Heavy weights are not needed. You can get great gains by focusing on and chasing intense pumps with low weight, high reps.

    3. If one has good genetics then it’s hard not to blow up when exercising correctly and vigorously.

  8. ” . . . chicken breasts . . .”
    . . . are for cutting. When calorie restricted it is important to maintain your absolute protein intake. Chicken breast is high in protein and low in calories. If you are not cutting there is nothing magical about chicken breast. In fact it may be too high in protein and too low in calories. Eat the whole damn chicken, skin, fat and all. Or just eat a steak. There is nothing magical about chicken.
    ” . . . carbohydrates . . . they are the fuel for your body.”
    If they were, you would starve to death in your sleep. We also wouldn’t have to bring up cutting at all, since we wouldn’t have adipose deposits in the first place.

  9. Climbing a rope is also great and not only for building muscle, it also seems perfectly suited for adding strength to wrestling and grappling techniques.

    1. Isometric exercises cannot be stressed enough. Being able to do 20 correct chin ups with closed grip is 10x more important than being able to move tons of weight with a bench press imho.

  10. mostly a good article, not sure if the picture of a woman with an average body eating is the right way to foster encouragement on a mens only website promoting healthy eating for men.

  11. “You have probably flipped through one of those glossy bodybuilding magazines and tried one of the routines that they say the Mr. Olympias do. However you saw no gains.”
    Because after all, those articles never seem to remember to mention the ‘roid regimen he’s also doing on addition to the diet & exercise routine.

      1. …and the fact that what you’re really doing is buying a picture mag full of big blokes… (edit: semi naked big blokes)

  12. If you’re at your desired figure, lifting more will change that. I’m 5’8 175. I’m trying to get cut not bigger. So instead of doing a lot more weight. I do more reps Within my sets. nevertheless, good article.

  13. I’m so thankful for advice like this article and this site in general. My mind is so fucked up right now, frustrated about things. However, getting practical advice like this along with a great support network I know I can regain composure.

  14. And from a man well into his 50’s:
    Take time to at least once a year to get a thourough checkup of all the important parameters of your health. The parameter list could be endless, but testosterone, HDL/LDL, D-vit levels and things concerning mineral levels is good for a start to the list.

  15. In the 80’s the banner in the University of Nebraska was run/lift/stretch. That in combination with some real meat and potatoes eating will go along way. Forget the Muscle/Fitness BS. Bunch of roid heads pimping largely worthless products that can land you in the hospital on dialysis.

    1. I notice a lot of people in commercials with bodies that obviously took years to get, yet they swear by “this new, great blah, blah, blah.” Another media manipulation.
      Everything in our country is monetized; even good health, which is just basics you’re supposed to learn growing up.

  16. Great article!I want to add some personal experience,3 important things to build muscle:1.Good workout;2.Eat protein rich food and good diet;3.Last but not least enough sleep,at least 8-9 hrs.Tips to Build Muscle :1.Donot overtrain. Most people do;2.Donot train same parts wihin the same week;3.Eat good protein supplement immediately after the workout and first thing in the morning;4.Do variety of exercises.Source:Bodybuilder for 8 yrs.

  17. Good article, liked it and am always looking to take in good info on getting fit. A friendly suggestion (with no disrespect intended to the author) : lose the photos of the females. Images of chicks have their place at ROK, but this article is aimed at men, and the fitness needs of men are different from women. This may sound silly and petty, it’s just that fitness articles one reads that have photos of both men and women usually come from from the mainstream, politically correct sites. Just a thought, man; not a complaint.

  18. Re #4: I saw incredible improvements as soon as I pushed myself. I had been going to the gym for years, lifting the same level of weight that I started out with, and it gave me very little return. As soon as I started pushing, and incorporating dead lifts (that was only step one, I will be adding squats and bench press soon), I became much stronger and developed visibly larger muscles. You don’t have to push yourself to the point of pain or try to compete with the most ripped guy in the gym, but do push yourself farther than what you are doing today. In my case I eventually doubled the weights I started with, and I imagine can push it a good bit further than that (although lifting the absolute max weight you can isn’t as important as you age).

    1. You can push yourself more, but be very careful not to get yourself injured. One misstep and you could lose your gains until you recover.

      1. To be clear, I’m not doing anything super human. I’m talking about 40 lb per arm bicep curls. I did 20-25 lbs for a couple of years and it barely did anything for me.

  19. Somebody has already mentioned this, but keeping a notebook of every rep you take is important. How else would you answer these type of questions unless you had a detailed notebook…
    Leg day questions…
    How much weight did i use for eight reps on squats, when squats was my second exercise of the day??? How much weight did i lift for eight reps of squats, when squats was my first lift of the day?

    1. Leg day is especially crucial, but I certainly don’t want to risk injury. I usually only do 225-235 with 5-7 reps, but know I’m capable of squatting more. I love the idea of pushing myself, but risking a significant injury just terrifies me. Effort yes, but can’t do anything stupid.

  20. Push ups & ab work for cores. Even for us gals. Coz when this shit burns down, we’re gonna need to be strong too.

  21. RE: #6
    I managed to tear both hip flexors deadlifting with improper form. Was out of commission for 4 months. Couldn’t walk for the first 2 weeks. I am now back and deadlifting 225, except with a sumo form. More weight distributed onto the legs.
    Sometimes, when injured, you have to modify the form to avoid re-injury.

    1. Hey man do you have any good rehab exercises that i can do on my hip flexors?? Mine arent that bad but they crack every time i lift my leg to the side and get sore from running .

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