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Click here to watch the video – MUSCLED GUY’s ADVENTURE IN THAILAND & DUBAI.

So, what do I do to LIMIT the “damage” to the fit looking body during a holiday break for cross-continent adventures?

First, the breaks I preach here should never be done more than twice a year…perfect time would be when you take a break between the phases (building/cutting).

And never longer than 14 days at a time (absolute max, preferably only 7 days if you want to limit “damage”).

This is definitely not applicable to competing athletes. For them such breaks would be way to long and inflicting waaaay to much damage.

So, I am talking here to guys that do a fitness lifestyle simply for the benefit of looking great and being healthy…aka “me”.

So, for guys like us, a break is exactly what it says…a break. This means no weightlifting or intense training. Remember…that body is not young anymore and you have been punishing the tendons and joints during the previous months. For us older folks this is time to recover, strengthen and get a new lust for life.

But this does NOT mean lying with your feet in the water the whole day. This means you must keep up activity – lots of walking, diving, snorkeling, volleyball, tennis, golf and the likes. Keep activity levels high during break periods. This is critical to help keeping tendons supple and help speed up joint repair.

Not what about the eating/drinking habits during such a break?

Well, for that break period I am going to tell you to put the lid on the diet book…but don’t lock it away!

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The few rules you must apply:

  1. No more than 2 glasses wine or two beers per day!
  2. No soft drinks containing sugar.
  3. Try and cut out carbs as best as you can (bread, rice, pasta).
  4. Eating no more than 3 times a day.
  5. NEVER EVER stuff yourself at a meal.
  6. BUT (!) if you want to treat yourself to something (talking here about a dessert or something similar)…do it! Once every day is max!.

This is meant to be a break that helps the body heal and to give you vigor and lust for life again. Thus a few rules must be broken. You don’t have (!) too, but believe me having a balance in the whole fitness/living life approach would bring many dividends and allow you to keep climbing the transformation ladder for life rather than being too focussed and falling down and having te restart from scratch over and over. Doing something balanced means you will stand a much better change of reaching eventual success and beyond. For all your hard work the previous months/years…this is the price. So, you are meant to enjoy it!

Now off course there will be damage to the body. You will NOT come back looking better than when you left…although this might actually happen if you had a very strict cutting phase and this break happened directly after you ended with the cutting and do not go away for more than 7 days…then you might actually look better than before you went! But believe me that does NOT happen often. So, accept that there will be damage. But so, what! You know the recipe to success. You have done it and when back you will pick up rope and start climbing to the next level of success again – this time with more vigor and lust for life than ever. Never work so hard that you forget to LIVE!

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So, this was my break…yip just a tad too long according to the rule but mind you I paid the penalty! But what a break and what new lust for life I have. Every moment worth it and now fully back at gym and training harder than ever!

Here a rundown of my break…Phuket, Phi Phi islands and Dubai.

So, what I was looking forward to the most

  • Thai curries
  • Exotic scenery
  • Dubai architecture
  • Exotic cars abundance Dubai
  • My dream watch

Let’s see if the trip made the grade.

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First you need to realize being from South Africa mean that you will be limited by the weak Rand. Thus, unless you are very, very rich some of the experiences would just not be possible to do. So, I know there might be MUCH more, but this is what we chose.

Of course, I am also limited due to family obligations. Adventurous wife and 12 y/o son.

The flight was good albeit long! We flew Emirates. Love the headrests, entertainment systems and the food were good. Tried to upgrade our tickets to business class just for one flight but the upgrade price was that of a good 2ndhand motor vehicle. Just simply crazy. So, we made due with good old economy class. 15 hours flight total from Cape Town to Thailand with connecting flight at Dubai.

It is winter in Cape Town and we know we going to suffer with the warm weather at our destinations.

Arriving in Phuket…people, people and people. A total culture shock. South Africa is open spaces. In Phuket…crazy! Immediately off to our hotel to get book in. Centara Karon, 4 star hotel. Neat and clean and functional but not impressive. Food and service good though. Just be prepared, few people in Thailand understand English even in the touristy regions…you are going to struggle!

First night we immediately venture into the streets. Directly from the hotel all the small side streets are buzzing with bars, restaurants, massage parlors and clothing and craft type stores. They have secret rooms in some shops where they sell all the biggest brand name clothing illegally (I think, why would they be hidden?) and for very cheap. But even in many of the normal clothing stores you can find great clothing for very cheap. I made use of every opportunity to get as many Thai curries as possible. It really, really is good. Obviously some better than other…I had about 2 that blew me away!

Just don’t think you going to get a glass of wine anywhere…it is only for the very rich. Wine is crazy expensive in Thailand. But their local beer is abound and not to bad either – CHANG. Pity I am not a beer drinker. Had a few though, especially in the middle of the days when it was crazy hot! Just be careful of the scams. We lost a 1000 baht in one scam. Do not use just any money machine to pull cash from your credit card – choose safe ones in up class shops. Some of them has been altered to just deduct the money from your account but not to give out any money. The money lid has actually been welded shut. So, using one of them you will lose all the money you pull. Alas, lesson quickly learned!

Wife and son did the Thai massage…very popular. They like it although wife said they hurt her. I refused to let a Thai girl touch me. I am waaay to private. Me and wife did the fish foot massage where you put your feet into a fish tank and small fish nibble your feet clean. Wonder how many dirty feet was in that tank!

We did 2 excursions in Phuket. One was too FANTASIA and the other John Gray sea adventures.

First Fantasia – hmmm, well-advertised and I believe the local and Eastern people enjoy it. We did not. Too many people and well, not up the standard we are used to with shows. It consists of a fairly large theme park (games, shopping, elephant rides), buffet dinner and huge theater show with seats on top of each other! These people leave no space for nothing! Darn I lost my “Jesus Culture” sweatshirt there! Anyway…it was an experience and that was what we came for…I will just not recommend the show for westerners.

Then the John Gray sea adventures. Now guys and girls this was simply outstanding and REALLY worth the money. You go on a fairly big and stable boat for about a 2-hour ride in the direction of the magnitude of small islands around the south of Phuket. Then you climb into inflatable canoes (max 2 people). But you just relax and take photos, you have a 3rdperson doing the paddling and everything. You enter a few different small islands via the canoe through caves. Some of the caves are so tight that I had to lie down in the boat and even then, my nose still scratches the roof off the cave. They had to deflate my wife’s canoe a little because her boobs were too big to pass into the cave…she made it after they deflated a bit. These caves lead to incredible still water bodies in the middle of the small islands…totally secluded, beautiful and very interesting.

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Some of the caves are filled with bats and some has a specific plankton organism in the dark waters that lights up as the canoe move through them or if you stir the water…yes, it is as incredible as it sounds. You are welcome to swim in the ocean around the boat. A good seafood meal is served on boat…would have loved it if it was served on land at one of the small islands. But this trip, although not cheap, comes highly recommended. This is a must to when in Phuket.

Our last day in Thailand we visited one of the big markets. Wow guys and girls…this another MUST do. Apart from many amazing cheap stuff (especially clothing) that you can buy, the food section of the market is simply crazy! Was a bit too scared to eat just anything there…think we ended up eating just coconut pancakes, which was VERY good. I was very sick in 2017 and nearly died when drinking dirty water…much more careful now.

 

Ok so off to Phi-Phi islands.

Took one of their standard charter tourist boats. While on boat we heard the previous day one of these boats turned over in rough seas and more than 20 tourists died because they could not get out of the boat. Then I realized what they mean…the inside of the boat is a deathtrap…no windows that open just seats upon seats…we immediately upgraded to First Class where there is at least one window that open. I sat next to it – lol! The ride was not pleasant. The sea was rough! But we had some great views along the way with some good photo opportunities.

Off course we were in Thailand in the middle of monsoon season…so we had some bad weather moments and a lot of rain! At Phi-Phi islands we stayed at the ZEVEOLA resort. This time a 5-star resort. Hmmm…the 5-star was evident in all the prices. Anything you want to do or eat or drink, dude that is going to cost you money. The resort was nice though. Old school traditional Thai cottages in between a tropical forest on a beautiful warm water island. Cannot ask for much more. But dude…the mosquitos! They chowed me and son…like crazy. Son had to even get antibiotics. The mosquitoes are foreign to us and each bite resulted in a bad infection. There is one that bites during day and a different one biting during night. Even on the mainland in Phuket this started to be a problem. Any we came prepared…DEET and everything we could use to deter mosquitos. It is just as if nothing worked! The mosquito part of Thailand and Phi-Phi islands I did NOT enjoy. Anyway, at the resort we did some snorkeling…not the best but we saw some nice fish. Little bit of swimming also. The food was good but expensive compared to Phuket. Had some good breakfasts though!

Again, wine is crazy, crazy expensive. One wine they had on their list is about $3 US in South Africa and at Zaevola resort it cost more than $100 US. Just for the rich. Luckily me and wife brought 4 bottles wine in our suitcases, so we saved some money with that. Even the corkage for you own wine was about $20 US. One of the nicest experiences at Zaevela was sitting at the bar drinking a beer with your feet in the sand and the waves next to you.

The off we went to Dubai. The boat ride from Phi-Phi islands was BAD. Rough (!) seas had a few people throwing up! I took a pill to prevent seasick but even with that it was challenging. Again, making sure I was sitting at the First-Class section next to the window. You can upgrade in the boat to first class. It cost and extra 300 Baht per person…acceptable amount for your safety and a bit more luxury.

Again, flying Emirates from Phuket to Dubai.

It was HOT in Thailand but man o man…it was crazy HOT in Dubai!

Nobody there is on the street…. everyone is either in an aircon Toyota or building. Yes Toyota! I was so disappointed. I was expecting Bugatti’s, Ferrari’s, Lambo’s and Bentley’s and brother everywhere and I mean everywhere it was just Toyota, Toyota and more Toyota’s I think I saw one Porsche and that was it. Man, even in Cape Town we have waaaaay more exotic cars. So, this was a BIG downer for me. I spoke to some locals and they said we should have visited a certain street in Dubai where all the vehicles were. But I was in main city center quite a few times and for me that is where you should see them. Anyway, Cape Town with the car scene beats Dubai hands down!

But I must admit, I was in awe of the architecture. Even our 4-star hotel, Grand Excelsior was an impressive building. But driving down main road city center was simply incredible. Hard to believe this is planet earth – lol! We did 3 excursions in Dubai. Visit Dubai Mall, went up the Burj Khalifa and went on the dune bashing experience. All 3 worth it with the dune bashing one the most adventure filled. Dubai Mall will take you 3 days to walk through. Immense place with many awe filled aspects. In the middle a HUGE aquarium with exotic sea creatures. And I am talking huge here. Not a cheap place though. Food is off the scale expensive, well for a South African. About 5 times the prices we pay in South Africa. We had to live on eggs and soup when eating out! We simply did not have that kind of spending money for food. Again, wine is even more expensive in Dubai than in Thailand. I really enjoyed the awe of the Dubai Mall although spending was severely limited. Electronics (and probably jewelry) is slightly cheaper than in South Africa but that’s about it. Admittingly my son got a S9+ cellphone for half the price he would have paid for in South Africa…so not too shabby. I bought myself my dream watch. The Casio MT-G. Just love the look and ruggedness…so me – lol!

The fruit in both Thailand and Dubai was pretty tasteless. We were happy to see South Africa fruit being put on display in both countries because I absolutely agree, our fruit taste amazing in comparison.

Outside the Dubai Mall next to the burj Khalifa is a huge man-made lake which is used for a water show on the half hour to the theme song of the movie Skyfall. Now man-o-man this was the absolute highlight of Dubai…I think this water show was incredible. Done very artistically and the music fits perfectly over massive high-end audio system. The climax is done with water cannons that spouts easily 15 stories’ high into the air. When they activate it slams you in the chest with pure power. This is a must-see.

The Burj Khalifa just another huge building…but really, really tall. Think now the 2ndtallest in the world? Anyway, you pay to go up to the 125thfloor and look through glass windows. Worthwhile.

The dune bashing trip was a bit more adventure.

First you MUST drink seasick pill. Many, many people threw up due to the aggressive dune driving. We got stuck 3 times…our driver was less experienced. And it is not fun when you have to get out of the aircon car into 42 degrees Celsius on desert sand you cannot touch so hot it is!

In the middle of the desert we were given some sandboarding opportunity. Some tried sand surfing, but I was not in the mood to fall face down into 42 degrees Celsius sand! So, I choose the sandboarding option. Fun getting down the dune…not so much fun getting up!

Back into the car and off to a Bedouin camp. Not a real one you can see it is created purely for tourists. But still a nice experience. There we went camel riding (damn miss my Subaru – this thing is uncomfortable!), wife had some Henna done. She asked for a cross on her wrist…they had no idea what she was talking about until one of them snap and said, “O u mean Christian cross?” – lol!

We were dressed up in traditional clothing…think I make a good Sheik! I chose wife to be my first wife in my harem! Darn but these clothing is hot. But then again, I do not think they were a 2ndset of clothing underneath.

We were served some average food at the camp and treated to some belly dancing and strangely enough a guy dancing as well?

When that excursion was over we were relieved…it was the hottest day we experienced in our lives and think we sweat quite a couple of liters of water!

Nice but never again…but was it worth it…yes.

Well then, our trip ended…and back to good old Cape Town. You know after we landed and drove back to Table view and saw the amazing view, sunset and open spaces I realized that we are so blessed. This is one amazing place to live in. Un equaled beauty coupled with the African open spaces and friendly people…living in paradise. Only problem being the violance by the wrong elements in society that is a disturbing trend in South Africa and the reason many have left…

Click here to signup to my ADVANCED SYSTEM II that provides a complete blueprint to get you to a WOW transformation. Adapted and customised for your body and goals https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

 

So guys and girls, take that break and live life and well, then climb a step higher to the next level of your transformation.

Wish you all happy training!

Gert Louw

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Optimal training frequency for over 40 guys?

What is the best training frequency for growth? This is a question I get asked a lot. So let’s look at this.

I am in this discussion only going to look at the male 40 and over and what training frequency works best for him.

A further assumption is that we talk here about males, who’s primary goal is about adding shape and muscle to their body. Thus we are NOT talking about the marathon runner doing just cardio! We are talking about a guy over 40 who hits the gym to do resistance training.

Last assumption is that we are not alking about a guy who has never trained in his life. Because for such a guy the first 3 months is a complete different approach to the guy who is already fully into his training regime.

So now that we have defined the target audience let’s move forward.

PROBLEMATIC training frequencies:

Anything less than 3 days a week training will put you into severe risk for injury territory. The amount of days is just too little to adequately keep the muscles, tendons and joints flexible and strong enough for intense training. You chances for hurting yourself badly is very, very high. 1 or 2 days training a week does NOT prepare the body sufficient for intense training full stop. If that is the only amount of days that you can train, well then I say no intense resistance training but only bodyweight exercises…and even that can result in a damaged tendon.

Optimal MAINTENANCE training frequency:

Many guys go through a difficult work related period where time is limited and then they just want to be able to maintain size and definition. That can be done with good success of training 3 days a week but not (!) 3 days in a row and the 4 days off. The 3 days must be spaced with one open day inbetween each training day. The stimulation this apply to the body is good enough for maintaining but not for growth. It is also outside the danger territory as discussed above.

Optimal training frequency for MUSCLE GROWTH:

Now we are talking business. Remember you are over 40, so thinking you can train 6 or 7 times a day as some of these youngsters do (who are most of the time in steroids anyways!) is definitely NOT going to work. Training anything more than 5 days will have dire consequences for your muscle building efforts. It will leave waaay to little time for the older body to recover and built muscle effectively and can litterrally result in smaller muscles. I’ve seen it happen over and over.

An over 40 guy cannot train more than 5 days a week if he is not using steroids – full stop.

So the max amount of training for a 40 to 55 y/o is 5 days a week.

 

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For guys over 55 yrs I suggest not more than 4 days a week, simply because with the amount of testosterone and HGH in the body (which is a step lower than that of a 40-55 y/o) he need more recovery time and more time for the muscles to grow before it is punished again in the gym.

The important part is to remember, muscles do NOT grow in gym. You simply send a signal to them that they must grow because they are not coping with the workload. The growth happen while you rest and sleep and NOT training. But that only happens when the body is fed correctly.

So there you have it…I am 53 right now and for me the optimal training frequency is 5 days a week. My actual routine is mostly just 4 days but now and then I would throw in the 5th day. There is just no way my body will be able to cope with 6 or 7 days!

If you want my customized ADVANCED SYSTEM II that covers this and provide a complete blueprint for your over 40 body transformation, have a look here: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

So everyone – happy training

Cheers

Gert Louw

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intermittent Fasting – think before you try!

 

The following quote from one of the my clients about his experience with intermittent fasting summarize my whole point about the Intermittent Fasting craze that is currently sweeping the muscle-building fraternity: “My belief, and my naturapath’s belief is that intermittent fasting downgraded my metabolism and thus now going back to normal eating, my body thinks I’m getting too many calories for it’s new low need.”

The bottom line is,  it cannot be denied that some competing athletes had great success to get shredded by using Intermittent Fasting as a tool in their arsenal.

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What 99% of the people seem to forget is that the people who apply intermittent Fasting are experts in their field who know exactly what they are doing. When someone who is a casual bodybuilder applies IF, the results are most of the time less than desirable. However, there are always the exceptions, I’ll admit that.

But few casual bodybuilders (meaning non-competitive athletes) go to the extreme levels of measuring, monitoring and analyzing everything. These competing guys do regular fat caliper, weighing scale, tape measurements and body water content checks to see (sometimes on a daily basis) the effect their past 24 hours diet approach had on their body. Those are the people who usually get success, because they are to the extreme in touch with every aspect of their body and manage everything in the finest detail.

But the casual lifter just want to look better and do what he does for enjoyment. The dedication is not NEARLY on the level that is required for one to apply something like Intermittent Fasting successfully.

I am not saying IF does not work, not at all, I am saying don’t expect to use a tool an expert use and apply it in a casual fashion and think it will work as effectively as it work for them.

For the non-competitive athlete using IF, it usually spells disaster = less muscles + more body fat, simply because when not applying correctly IF will very easily result the body to enter a “famine mode” whereby it thinks it is in a famine environment. And this means the body will do everything to ensure it can survive as long, thus lowering the metabolism drastically. It will also prefer to use energy from muscles (Glutamine, Glycogen) which usually result in smaller muscles while the body will protect it’s bodyfat storage at all costs to ensure it has what it takes to outlive the famine period it thinks it ‘s detected. With end result loosing muscles and very little bodyfat. This is the last thing you want to happen!

Let’s look at some of the negatives of intermittent Fasting

  1. interference with the SOCIAL aspect of eating
  2. Getting hungry, low energy and unproductive
  3. Fasting = binge
  4. Digestion Issues
  5. Unclear impact on heart
  6. Is is NOT for everyone
  7. Potential long-term health consequences (especially women)
  8. Potential weight gain
  9. Lowered metabolism

Off course there are some really interesting benefits to IF (like cognitive and body rejuvenation aspects) but with the risks especially when you do not have the dedication and time to perform the necessary body monitoring, my advice to you is to rather stick to a tried and tested lifestyle approach and nutrition to reach your success with a standard 14 day body monitoring approach to keep the diet calories aligned to your unique metabolism and leave the tricks of the trade like intermittent Fasting to those that are willing to put in the necessary time and effort to make it work, like the competing athletes as a short-term trick to get shredded..

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As you can recall in my previous video I made a specific point that the truth to reaching success is not held by a single method or person but that many road leads to success because of our diversity with regards to genetics, lifestyle and beliefs systems. But what I am preaching is specific to the guy over 40 who have a job, family and many obligations to fulfill. He is not a competing athlete and never will be. He wants the safest quickest and healthiest road to success. For such people, intermittent Fasting is a risky tool better left alone. And this is where my ADVANCED SYSTEM II comes in to provide you with that total, safe and healthy approach to reach success: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

Wish you all happy training!

Gert Louw

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How do you choose a fitness mentor through all these opposing ideologies you see in the fitness world? There are probably as many unique approaches and recipes as there are transformations! It is actually crazy…that is the only word that fits.

You have decided it is time to make a change, a big change and you want to choose the right system and coach but that proves to be MUCH more difficult than you anticipated. When venturing on internet and searching for the right approach or system, you are faced with many conflicting solutions. Sometimes directly opposing each other. Now, who do you trust and how do you sift through all this info to find the right approach and person to trust to lead you onto your journey?

 

THREE things are major critical to help you making your choice.

 NUMBER ONE – Accept that there is no magic pill!

This is the number one important thing you have to accept. NONE of these advertising claims hold any truth, NONE! This is not an overstatement. ALL of the supplement advertising claims, even from the prominent companies, are filled with lies and half-truths. Most (nearly 90%) are complete and utter lies. I know what I am talking about. My before and after photo has now been abused illegally by more than 150 companies marketing their products and showing me as “proof” that their product works. And this is the going rate…if you see a before and after photo in any advertising add, it is ALWAYS either stolen or the person was paid a nice sum of money to lie and say he/she used their product to achieve the results. There is no truth to any such marketing photos…sadly. The bottom line is supplements makes no more than a few percentage points difference (I say 2.5%) in your effort of changing your body with a transformation. Easily 80% is made up by following a diet focused to produce results and the rest is made up by your exercise efforts in the gym. There is no magic pill…accept that. Sure, steroids and HGH can hasten the process but even then, it will take great effort and focus on both the diet and training front. Nothing comes overnight, and nothing comes easy and anyone claiming such is lying blatantly. A Significant transformation takes time and a LOT of effort…full stop. Steer completely clear from anyone telling your different because there are many that will…they are not after your happiness but only your money in their pocket.

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NUMBER TWO – Accept that many roads lead to Rome.

Many of these approaches are junk and totally misleading. But, there are many that is the truth and works and many of them preach complete opposing systems/approaches. Is this possible?

Let me explain.

The world of fitness is far from being a scientific fact sheet. Each of our bodies are so vastly different. Our genetic traits make us unique and apart. Each of us have unique metabolisms defined by multiple lifestyle aspects. The bottom line is many of these opposing systems and approaches have produced true results. These people are not lying (well some actually is but to try and make my point here I am referring to those that actually have a moral center!). They have reached success by following the path they are preaching. Let me take my wife for example. Right now, she is getting major success (lost 16kg in just over 3 months) with the 28 DAY DIET. A diet I would traditionally oppose vehemently. Simply because it is too little food and thus would lower the metabolic rate to unacceptable levels. But it is working for her and I can see that she can continue on it indefinitely albeit with some changes when she reached her goal weight to make it more lenient. Bottom line is, not everything works for everyone. Our personalities, genetics, lifestyle, habits, working environment, beliefs and many other factors play a more important role than we realize.

So, this is a very important point you need to realize. Many different roads in the body transformation arena can lead to the goalpost. Science is far from proving a singular all true road. We as individuals are far too unique for that.

 

NUMBER THREE – does your mentor have a moral center?

Ok, this might sound a little condescending, but the bottom line is, can you trust your mentor/coach to have your best interest in mind or is he/she just after the quick buck?

This is probably the most important of the 3 points. Because everything falls flat if this person working out your transformation system is a moral-less person caring just about turning around the quick buck. He/she needs to be a person of integrity that invokes trust. This you need to establish, or chances are you going to burn your fingers. You cannot trust in a person to lead you, but in real life you would never even consider this person making the grade for your friend list because of his/her lack of integrity/moral-less behavior.

You seriously need to look up to this person NOT just because of his/her body but especially because of all the other things.

 

So, let these three points guide you to make the right choice when you ready for that transformation journey!

 

Should you believe I am that mentor that can lead you on your transformation journey, you are more than welcome to consider signing up to my ADVANCED SYSTEM II, developed for the older individual and a truly comprehensive system covering all and every aspect. Customized for your goals and body on many levels: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

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