Mike's Trainer Thread

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jrsbaseball5
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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby jrsbaseball5 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:21 pm

Sorry if this has been answered already, but I know earlier you said there would be a Kindle version forthcoming. Is it out yet?

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The LSAT Trainer
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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:57 pm

Hi -- unfortunately it is not available yet. It is supposed to be, but the person who is converting it is having all sorts of trouble.

I will say that if at all possible, you should consider purchasing the paper version. There are a lot of drills and such to work through, and though I think the person making the ebook may be doing some very clever things to allow you to do them on your kindle and whatnot, they are easier, I think, in the paper book.

In any case, I certainly apologize for the delay, and will post here as soon as the e-book is ready --

Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Nicolena. » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:01 pm

I have already taken other courses and have a basic understanding of the LSAT. Granted, my technique is very weak. Timing and endurance are a major issue for me. I get -0 on LG for the most part, but every once in a while one will stump me and leave me running out of time (resulting sometimes in -5). I did purchase the LSAT Trainer.

My main question is do you recommend the 4 week LSAT Trainer only plan for me? Will it be beneficial, or should I really shoot for a different plan with tests. I haven't finished MLSAT and I want to have enough time to also finish that before I retest.

Also, I read the essay pertaining to associating smart with simple, but I didn't really understand exactly how to think simply than any other way. How do you think simply and how do you control your unconscious mind? Do you cover this in another part of the book?

I'm not sure if I have the newest addition. I think this one may have errors. Where can I find the edits for the mistakes?

Thanks for all that you do.
Last edited by Nicolena. on Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The LSAT Trainer
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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:57 pm

Nicolena. wrote:I have already taken other courses and have a basic understanding of the LSAT. Granted, my technique is very week. Timing and endurance are a major issue for me. I get -0 on LG for the most part, but every once in a while one will stump me and leave me running out of time (resulting sometimes in -5). I did purchase the LSAT Trainer.

My main question is do you recommend the 4 week LSAT Trainer only plan for me? Will it be beneficial, or should I really shoot for a different plan with tests. I haven't finished MLSAT and I want to have enough time to also finish that before I retest.

Also, I read the essay pertaining to associating smart with simple, but I didn't really understand exactly how to think simply than any other way. How do you think simply and how do you control your unconscious mind? Do you cover this in another part of the book?

I'm not sure if I have the newest addition. I think this one may have errors. Where can I find the edits for the mistakes?

Thanks for all that you do.


Hi Nicolena -- thank you for picking up the book -- I'll do my best to answer your questions, but please feel free to follow up if I haven't been clear or if you need anything else -- you do have the newest edition -- it has a few typos, but no significant errors, and you don't need an edits list --

As I discuss in the introduction and heavily throughout the book, the LSAT is a performance-based exam -- it's not a test of what you know -- it's a test of how well you use your brain in the moment. That's why it's not enough to just know the rules and strategies -- obviously those things are necessary, but just knowing them isn't going to guarantee that your brain performs well on test day. What is much, much more effective and important is the systematic development of skills and habits -- The primary purpose of my book is really to get you to do work necessary to develop these skills and habits, and the additional drills and such in the schedules are meant to be a big part of that. So, if at all possible, I encourage you to not rush through the book, make sure you do all the exercises (multiple times if you need to) and that you do the additional hw assignments. I understand that you are a re-taker, and so you may have already used up some of the q's assigned in the hw -- you should, when you get to those assignments, have no problem figuring out for yourself how to adapt the hw per your situation (you can do flaw q's from an exam you haven't seen, for example, instead of the flaw q's assigned from exam 52, if you've already looked at 52), but you can always pm me if you need more specific advice. So, to summarize -- as long as you have enough time to study, I would go with the 4 or 8 week + regular hw assignments, but swap out hw assignments when you need to, and add on additional work (such as work in the manhattan book and extra drilling or pts) as you'd like.

In terms of some of your questions about the intro -- all of the things I mention are principles meant to guide you for your entire study period, and they are principles that define how the book is designed. So, for example, as you work on your diagramming for LG, you want to focus on creating as simple an accurate picture as possible, and I'll encourage that in my lessons as well. Also, as I mention in the intro, you cannot tell your unconscious what to do -- you can only train it and guide it, and that's what forming habits is all about. Again, all of this stuff is discussed throughout the book and integral to the design of the book, so it should be very clear to you how this advice fits in with the learning system.

I want to tell you a little something to emphasize the importance of simplicity, and why I teach what/how I teach.

As I've mentioned, I've done a lot of research with top scorers, and one of things I love to do is to watch them solving questions -- one specific thing I like to do is to stop them right after they've read the stimulus, and right before they get to the answer choices -- and I ask them what they noticed from the stimulus/what they are thinking about as they go into the answers.

What I noticed is that there is great consistency to what top scorers think about the stimulus, and they, for the most part, tend to think of it very simply -- so, for example, for a strengthen or weaken, a top scorer naturally zeros in on the point and the key evidence, and naturally zeros in on the problems with using that evidence to justify that point (different people explain the flaws in completely different ways, as I discuss in the book, but underlying these different explanations is a very common understanding of the actual issue). Almost always, unless the person was a test-teaching veteran, these top scorers wouldn't think about these flaws in formal or complex ways -- they would think about them as they do their everyday lives, and discuss them using everyday language. Having this clear focus and understanding makes it so that when these top scorers go into the answer choices, the right answer and the wrong answers become much more obvious.

On the flip side, when it comes to what lower scorers think about -- two things are consistently true --

1) a lot of them would think about flaws in overly abstract or technical ways, using terms they clearly didn't completely understand.

2) far more importantly, and far more frequently, they would be thinking about too many things. Very often, these average scorers would think about the very same conclusion, evidence, and flaw the top scorer thinks about, but the big difference is that the average scorer also thinks about eight other things, and doesn't prioritize the important information. This obviously makes it much much harder to differentiate between answers.

For students, I understand the temptation to "build up" strategies -- you learn one thing here, one thing there, etc. and you try to add it all to your process and soon you are solving logical reasoning problems as if they are calculus questions. Much of my advice about simplicity is meant to offset that.

Hope that helps -- again, these are concepts that underlie the entire book, so I think all the points will hit home much stronger as you get deeper into your read -- good luck --

Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby tke1600 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:39 pm

Mike,

I have 2 questions from your LG section in the trainer.

1. On page 169, Drill #1, I made many more initial inferences than what the solution wrote. For example, Since 2 or 3 elephants had to go (since more E than M had to be in), I inferred that F & G both had to go for sure, since they couldn't go alone. This opened up that 2 rhinos were, 1 monkey was in, and at least 2 Elephants were in, which led to at least 1 rhino and one monkey being out, leaving only 1 slot open for last one in.

As you can see if I incorrectly inferred the F & G part than I really messed up the problem with my initial inferences!

2. On page 185, Drill #2, My answer when doing the drill was that O must go since N can't. The solution says L must go with not much of an explanation. I still don't get how L "must go" when RST go, based off the conditions (I did all the conditions and contrapositives correctly).

Thanks!!

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The LSAT Trainer
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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:45 pm

tke1600 wrote:Mike,

I have 2 questions from your LG section in the trainer.

1. On page 169, Drill #1, I made many more initial inferences than what the solution wrote. For example, Since 2 or 3 elephants had to go (since more E than M had to be in), I inferred that F & G both had to go for sure, since they couldn't go alone. This opened up that 2 rhinos were, 1 monkey was in, and at least 2 Elephants were in, which led to at least 1 rhino and one monkey being out, leaving only 1 slot open for last one in.

As you can see if I incorrectly inferred the F & G part than I really messed up the problem with my initial inferences!

2. On page 185, Drill #2, My answer when doing the drill was that O must go since N can't. The solution says L must go with not much of an explanation. I still don't get how L "must go" when RST go, based off the conditions (I did all the conditions and contrapositives correctly).

Thanks!!


Hi there -- hope you are enjoying the book so far. Let me know if you have any of the following isn't clear --

1. Make sure you are reading the rules correctly. How do you know that two elephants have to go?

2. This is, I think, at least in part my fault -- the question and the answer are correct, but the image for the solution got screwed up a bit (one of the cross outs got shifted and I didn't notice, and the very last letter mentioned on the solution on page 187 should say M (per the conversation that precedes) but says N). My apologizes -- i'll get this fixed very quickly --

However, the question itself, along with the answer, are perfectly fine. There is no reason N needs to be out, so there is no reason O has to be in. The rules state that if L is not selected, R will not be selected. Since we know R is selected (R is a physical therapist), we know L is selected.

My apologies again for the error in the solution drawing -- hope the above makes sense, and please let me know if you have any other questions --

mikekim

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby tke1600 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:53 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
tke1600 wrote:Mike,

I have 2 questions from your LG section in the trainer.

1. On page 169, Drill #1, I made many more initial inferences than what the solution wrote. For example, Since 2 or 3 elephants had to go (since more E than M had to be in), I inferred that F & G both had to go for sure, since they couldn't go alone. This opened up that 2 rhinos were, 1 monkey was in, and at least 2 Elephants were in, which led to at least 1 rhino and one monkey being out, leaving only 1 slot open for last one in.

As you can see if I incorrectly inferred the F & G part than I really messed up the problem with my initial inferences!

2. On page 185, Drill #2, My answer when doing the drill was that O must go since N can't. The solution says L must go with not much of an explanation. I still don't get how L "must go" when RST go, based off the conditions (I did all the conditions and contrapositives correctly).

Thanks!!


Hi there -- hope you are enjoying the book so far. Let me know if you have any of the following isn't clear --

1. Make sure you are reading the rules correctly. How do you know that two elephants have to go?

2. This is, I think, at least in part my fault -- the question and the answer are correct, but the image for the solution got screwed up a bit (one of the cross outs got shifted and I didn't notice, and the very last letter mentioned on the solution on page 187 should say M (per the conversation that precedes) but says N). My apologizes -- i'll get this fixed very quickly --

However, the question itself, along with the answer, are perfectly fine. There is no reason N needs to be out, so there is no reason O has to be in. The rules state that if L is not selected, R will not be selected. Since we know R is selected (R is a physical therapist), we know L is selected.

My apologies again for the error in the solution drawing -- hope the above makes sense, and please let me know if you have any other questions --

mikekim


Mike,

Thanks for the clear up on question 2.

For question 1, the rules states that there must be one of each animal, thus atleast 1 monkey.

The last rule says, "The brochure will not feature fewer elephants than monkeys", which means more elephants than monkeys, thus atleast 2 elephants. If F & G are both featured or neither of them are featured, than I inferred that they both have to go since there are only 3 elephants total. If I am reading anything wrong let me know!

EDIT: Just caught that "not fewer" could mean the same. I was thinking "not fewer" meant "more". Also, had the inference that if not FG than H had to go! Thanks again!

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby goCats3 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:05 pm

PM sent.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:48 am

Hey Mike, I just finished your book one week ago and I thought it was 180.

Your drills are amazing, although brutal. They honed my LR and LG skills immensely. Wish you had a supplement with just drills!

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby kiyoku » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:33 am

Dr. Dre wrote:Hey Mike, I just finished your book one week ago and I thought it was 180.

Your drills are amazing, although brutal. They honed my LR and LG skills immensely. Wish you had a supplement with just drills!


+1

It's so compact with information that I need to go over it again for sure. I also felt the book was pure value.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:16 pm

kiyoku wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:Hey Mike, I just finished your book one week ago and I thought it was 180.

Your drills are amazing, although brutal. They honed my LR and LG skills immensely. Wish you had a supplement with just drills!


+1

It's so compact with information that I need to go over it again for sure. I also felt the book was pure value.


Thanks guys -- i know both of you had some high expectations -- glad you found the book useful, and especially glad to hear, kiyoku, that you will be going through it again --

dre -- i was actually initially planning on providing additional drills online, but then, as I was writing the book, i thought to myself "who in the world would actually want more drills than this?" now i know.

For everyone else -- just a couple quick notes --

1) as of this morning, amazon has finally increased the discount on my book! now the book is $45.

2) i'll be overhauling the website over the next couple of weeks, and introducing a whole bunch of additional free stuff (including my first attempt at drawing cartoons) -- so please look out for that (and as always, please pm me if you'd like for me to cover a particular subject in a future article or video).

-- Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:00 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:Hey Mike, I just finished your book one week ago and I thought it was 180.

Your drills are amazing, although brutal. They honed my LR and LG skills immensely. Wish you had a supplement with just drills!


Ok, now I'm buying it.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby blink » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:02 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:Hey Mike, I just finished your book one week ago and I thought it was 180.

Your drills are amazing, although brutal. They honed my LR and LG skills immensely. Wish you had a supplement with just drills!


Ok, now I'm buying it.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby blink » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:05 pm

tke1600 wrote:Mike,

I have 2 questions from your LG section in the trainer.

1. On page 169, Drill #1, I made many more initial inferences than what the solution wrote. For example, Since 2 or 3 elephants had to go (since more E than M had to be in), I inferred that F & G both had to go for sure, since they couldn't go alone. This opened up that 2 rhinos were, 1 monkey was in, and at least 2 Elephants were in, which led to at least 1 rhino and one monkey being out, leaving only 1 slot open for last one in.

As you can see if I incorrectly inferred the F & G part than I really messed up the problem with my initial inferences!

2. On page 185, Drill #2, My answer when doing the drill was that O must go since N can't. The solution says L must go with not much of an explanation. I still don't get how L "must go" when RST go, based off the conditions (I did all the conditions and contrapositives correctly).

Thanks!!


Everytime I see the number 169, I twitch involuntarily.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby kiyoku » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:56 am

The LSAT Trainer wrote:1) as of this morning, amazon has finally increased the discount on my book! now the book is $45.


First time in my life where im not upset about missing a discount. I think the value in the book literally dwarfs the difference in cost for me and 45$ is just an amazing price. It felt like it had twice the amount of content as other books with the same number of pages.

I would definitely buy a drill book if you made one. What I love about the drills is that it targets the core skills that are needed instead of mindlessly giving questions.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Nicolena. » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:14 pm

I'm in chp five doing the drilling exercise regarding takes for granted and fails to consider. I am half way through, but I'm noticing I'm getting the categorizing portion wrong, but the flaw reasoning correct. Do you know why this may be happening? Does it matter if I can't categorize it correctly?

Thanks.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:46 pm

Nicolena. wrote:I'm in chp five doing the drilling exercise regarding takes for granted and fails to consider. I am half way through, but I'm noticing I'm getting the categorizing portion wrong, but the flaw reasoning correct. Do you know why this may be happening? Does it matter if I can't categorize it correctly?

Thanks.


Hi Nicolena --

Hope you are enjoying the book so far --

I think I understand what you are asking, but I'm not 100% sure, so if I don't address what you are specifically looking for help with, please don't hesitate to let me know --

By categorizes, I think you are talking about "takes for granted" and "fails to consider." As I mention in the chapter, those are just two different ways of talking about flaws -- they aren't necessarily different categories of flaws -- so, for example, if I made the argument:

"The dress was expensive. Therefore, it must be pretty," we all know what's wrong with that reasoning, and there are many different ways we can say what's wrong, including "fails to consider that an expensive dress might not be pretty" or "takes for granted that if the dress was expensive it must be pretty," and one way is not better than the other.

Your goal, in studying, is to push yourself to understand the flaws in tough arguments as easily as you do the flaw in the above argument--to understand it at a depth that goes beyond terminology. If you are understanding the flaws but not phrasing them the same way they are phrased in the answer choices, that's totally fine. However, you do also want to make sure that you are comfortable thinking about the flaw and describing it in flexible ways, so that, if say the dress example were a real question, you would be ready for the answer to be phrased in terms of fails to consider, takes for granted, or any other phrasing.

Hope that helps, and I hope you have a good Sunday! Take care, Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby bytang » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:45 pm

Hey Mike, I'm completely new to the LSAT and I'm going to begin my studies soon. I'm most likely going to buy your book but I was just wondering if you think other resources (other than all the practices tests, which I'm going to buy) like PowerScore or Manhattan go well in conjunction with your book, or do you think for the most part your book and practice tests are all i'd need if I'm starting fresh?

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:07 pm

bytang wrote:Hey Mike, I'm completely new to the LSAT and I'm going to begin my studies soon. I'm most likely going to buy your book but I was just wondering if you think other resources (other than all the practices tests, which I'm going to buy) like PowerScore or Manhattan go well in conjunction with your book, or do you think for the most part your book and practice tests are all i'd need if I'm starting fresh?


Hi -- thanks for the interest in my book --

To be honest, I'm a bit torn on what to tell you --

On one hand, I think having multiple resources is never a bad thing, and I don't think you'll find anyone on here who will say that they got worse by reading powerscore or manhattan.

On the other hand, as I've discussed in some of my earlier responses, I went through some fairly extreme measures to try and ensure that the trainer provide you with everything you need, and even though it's just one volume, in my opinion the trainer is the most comprehensive LSAT learning system available. I think you'll be more than fine just using the trainer and a ton of pt's.

Having said both of those things, I think the best thing, of course, is for you to take a careful look at all of the products and to see for yourself. If you do decide to use other materials with the trainer, I suggest starting with the trainer, then adding those other materials on as you get deeper into your studies -- the reason I say that is because there is a lot of general discussion at the beginning of the trainer, and the other books tend to get right into specific question types and whatnot.

HTH -- whichever way you decide to study, please let me know if you need anything else, and I'll be happy to help in whatever way I can -- Mike

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:49 pm

That Logic Chain for "Game Four Alternative Solution" on pg's 312-13 is SOOOO awesome!

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby jk148706 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:52 pm

.
Last edited by jk148706 on Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Dr. Dre » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:35 am

jk148706 wrote: Wondering if anyone has found it to be helpful if He/she has already used manhattan and Powerscore



The LSAT Trainer >>> MLSAT >>>>>>>>> Powerscore


HTH

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby blink » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:49 am

Isn't the LSAT Trainer essentially MLSAT?

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby dp714 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:53 am

I've used both for the Logic Games and have gone through most of MAnhattan LR, but I wish I had started with the Trainer. Not to knock on any of the other books, they're certainly been great, but I feel the LSAT Trainer is superior. It gives a unique General approach to serve as a foundation which can be tweaked slightly as needed for the specific questions/games. I was skeptical about the relatively simplistic approach, but its been instrumental in making me much more flexible. Thats been the greatest asset for me, as it's kept me from freaking out when encountering any challenges, by keeping me from thinking about and wasting time on irrelevant things. Also, there's an annoying amount of drills along the way which turn out to be not so annoying after all, when you revisit and complete them and feel like shit for being annoyed the first time..

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby kiyoku » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:38 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:
jk148706 wrote: Wondering if anyone has found it to be helpful if He/she has already used manhattan and Powerscore



The LSAT Trainer >>> MLSAT >>>>>>>>> Powerscore


HTH


Im gonna have to +1 you again dre.

I brought 2 logical reasoning books with me today to the library. While i drill I place the two books to my right, both of which ive finished. The first book is mlsat. On top of it is the trainer.

Ive said it many times now.. but I strongly feel the trainer comes first.


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