BFS Magazine

Steve Kinslow August 20, 2015

The Basics Help Timpview Win! “The BFS core lifts are the most important exercises for football: power cleans, squats, deadlifts, and bench presses,” Cary Whittingham

The Whittingham family knows football! 

Fred Whittingham was a coach for the Los Angeles Rams from 1982-1991, his son Kyle is the head football coach for the University of Utah Utes, and Kyle’s younger brother Cary is the head coach for the Timpview High School Thunderbirds in Provo, Utah. This is Cary’s story.

Cary played linebacker at Brigham Young University from 1981-1985, earning a National Championship title in 1984, and played for the Los Angeles Rams in 1987. His accomplishments as a high school coach are equally impressive. Since he took over as head coach at Timpview High in 2012, the Thunderbirds have won three consecutive 4A state championships.

One of four high schools in the Provo School District, Timpview High School serves approximately 2,000 students in grades 9 through 12. It lies in the beautiful, mountainous valley of central Utah. As a graduate of Provo High School and BYU, Cary was familiar with the football environment in Provo and this no doubt led to a smooth transition into the head coaching position.

In the state championship game the Thunderbirds were facing an undefeated Roy High School, a team that won their semifinal game by a score of 39-0. The Royals shocked the Thunderbirds in the first half by holding them scoreless and giving up only 14 yards rushing. The last time the Thunderbirds didn’t score in the first half of a game was in 2007, a string of 103 straight games. However, thanks to its stubborn defense, the Thunderbirds were only down by seven, 0-7.

Timpview’s motto is, “Trust yourself, trust your team and trust your coaches,” and that turned out to be good advice in the second half. Cary and his staff were able to make the necessary adjustments, beginning with a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Britain Covey to Jordan Espinoza in the third to tie the game. The momentum continued to shift to the Thunderbirds as this was followed by a 70-yard punt return by Will Watanabe for a score. The Thunderbirds scored twice more and kept the Royals out of the end zone the entire second half to achieve a 28-7
final result.

 With all the combined football knowledge in the Whittingham family you might think that Cary has learned many secrets to gridiron success. Not so. Cary says that among the keys to success in high school football are hard work, monitoring, and accountability. “You have to be sure the work is happening,” says Cary.  And although he has the inside track on what his brother Kyle is doing with the Utes, he says that many of the offensive and defensive schemes used at that level are too advanced to implement at the high school level. Likewise, Cary sticks with the basics in his strength and conditioning program.

The BFS core lifts are the most important exercises for football: power cleans, squats, Hex bar deadlifts, and bench presses,” says Cary. His program also includes plyometrics, medicine ball training, ladders, and the dot drill. As for auxiliary exercises, one of his favorites is the Turkish get-up, which he believes is a valuable exercise for developing core strength.

Although some parents believe that year-round specialization increases the odds of a high school athlete moving to the next level, Cary encourages his football players to participate in multiple sports. He believes that playing multiple sports teaches athletes how to compete. “Learning to complete carries over to the football field.” Such a philosophy has helped Timpview win state championships in both girls and boys sports; in fact, in the fall of 2013 Timpview teams won state championships in golf, football, volleyball and girls tennis. 

Cary believes in year-round strength training, including in-season. The Timpview High School administration supports this training philosophy by scheduling weight training classes during the school day so as not to interfere with after school sports training and competition. In the summer, Cary and his staff supervises morning workouts in the weight room to ensure his athletes are ready for the upcoming sports year.

Asked what advice he would give to aspiring coaches, Cary replied, “Get a teaching certificate, because -- at least in Utah -- there is little money in coaching. Your career as a high school coach is going to be teaching. Beyond that, you need exposure to football – nothing replaces putting on a helmet and playing the game.” Cary also insists that he is happy with his current career choice and has no aspirations of coaching at the college or professional level.

Looking towards next year, Coach Cary Whittingham has the challenge of replacing his quarterback, but says that he has “a good core of talented kids coming back.” As for the record books, Timpview won four consecutive state championships from 2006 to 2010. Based on what we’ve seen from the Thunderbirds these past three years, the odds of breaking that mark are in their favor.

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Steve Kinslow August 14, 2015

From Your Computer to Your Phone BFS Has Modern Solution to Weight Room Training!

During our clinics and certifications, we use a simple test to help athletes and coaches determine the proper depth. The marble test. If an athlete were to place a marble on the middle of the top of the thighs during their deepest squat position, which way would the marble roll? If the marble would roll towards the knees, the athlete is not squatting low enough. If the marble would stay stationary or roll towards the lifter's hips, the depth is good. Using this standard you'll find is that the bottom of the thighs are below parallel at the bottom of the squat.
The BFS True Squat App for iPhones, and soon Android, duplicates what happens during the marble test. It's even more accurate to use the True Squat because it's 100 percent objective.

1. Launch the app, then press "Begin". 2. Select the number of reps and the angle. 0 being a true parralel squat. 3. When the device reaches the degree set the lifter is notified with a bell and vibration. 4. Teaching aids are included under the home screen menu button and include a comprehensive technique video.

To use the device for the squat the athlete turns on the app on their smart phone, places the device in the case, and then secures the elastic strap around the largest part of one thigh. Then they squat. When the athlete reaches a position where their legs are parallel to the floor, the device will beep and light up – if the squat is too high, they will not hear a beep or see a light. As such, the True Squat provides the coach and athlete instant feedback about the performance of the exercise – if an athlete squats high, True Squat will let them know.

In the BFS system we prefer three spotters. It’s best to squat inside a power rack, with safety pins adjusted to the proper height. Because relatively heavy weights can be used in the squat, it’s essential that proper spotting be used. Although it’s possible to squat safely with one spotter (standing behind the lifter), it's better to have three spotters (two at the side and one behind). Besides ensuring the safety of the athlete performing the lift, the side spotters can judge spotting depth and technique and can encourage the athlete to break personal records.

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Steve Kinslow August 11, 2015

The BFS Set/Rep Logbook Goes High Tech 

Technology has become an integral part of the high school educational system, such that many classes don’t have books or handouts. This is the inspiration for the set-rep app that can be used for a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Before getting into the details of this BFS Set/Rep Log App, let’s look at why BFS believes that logbooks are so important.  

One hallmark of workouts that are successful in making athletes bigger, faster and stronger is a thoughtful balancing of all aspects of conditioning. A big part of the success of BFS over the past four decades can be attributed to the BFS Set-Rep Logbook. It’s a training tool that has proven essential in managing the challenges of working with young, multisport athletes. Besides helping athletes fulfill their physical potential, there are also psychological benefits.

A research study that looked at the psychological benefits of using the BFS program was conducted at Dulaney High School in Timonium, Maryland. The personality test administered was the Piers-Harris 2, which provides insight into an individual’s self-concept and is often used to help identify at-risk youth. 

Psychologist David Schlenoff found that the girls using the BFS workout experienced significant improvements in many areas that fell under the category of happiness, such as cheerfulness. During this period of evaluation Dulaney’s athletic teams experienced success virtually across-the-board for both boys and girls sports, including a state championship. With such results, Dulaney took the next step and integrated the BFS program into their curriculum as a for-credit class.

With the advancement of technology and the push for integrated PE program, BFS set about developing an app for the BFS Set Rep Logbook

By basing the app on the web, we would be able to offer this software across any device or operating system with a web browser. Under the direction of BFS clinicians, pilot schools were recruited to ensure the app worked smoothly. After a year of testing the app was ready to launch.

The app keeps the simplicity of our Set-Rep Log books while providing the management functions and portability of a phone app. Predefined weekly schedules are included with recommended core and auxiliary lifts for all major high school sports. However, you can customize your weekly schedule using any lift on any day, and add any lifts you want.

Coaches or administrators will love this app because they can see the essential data on their teams and athletes at a glance. Such data includes scores, records broken, and trends for any one athlete or any team. Likewise, athletes can enter their own scores on their phone or tablet and immediately see how many records they’ve broken and their performance trends. It’s also easy to scroll back and see what you did for any lift any week in the past. 

The BFS Set/Rep Log App requires a connection to the Internet and an email address for each administrator, coach and athlete. The program runs in any standard web browser on computers (PC and Mac), tablets, or smart phones. The program is provides as a yearly subscription, and there are no restrictions on the number of teams in any version.

Just like our Set-Rep Log books, the program (overseen by the coaches) guides each athlete in which lifts to do, and how many sets and reps to do each week. The weight lifted for each set is determined by the individual athlete based on their past performance for that lift.  If you want a complete computer-generated workout, along with Top 10 Lists, Power Rankings, Ironman Rankings, all based on the BFS Set-Rep system, you should invest in the BFS Beat the Computer Pro Computer Program.

The BFS Total Program is so popular among coaches and PE teachers because it ensures that progress can be made every single workout. More specifically, it enables every athlete to make personal records, often several personal records, every single workout – even in-season. And now, with the BFS Set/Rep Log App, you can take your workouts into the computer age.

 Get started with the videos below

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Steve Kinslow July 20, 2015

Waterloo Baseball: 400 Wins and Growing!

Asked about the theory that baseball players should avoid weight training because it can make them “muscle bound,” Vogel replied. “There are still a few ‘old school’ coaches who are reluctant to have their players lift, but most baseball coaches have come around to where they see the benefits of weight training for their players.”

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Steve Kinslow May 21, 2015

Building Champions Issue, BFS Magazine

Learn to win with BFS!
Download your issue today

The BFS Magazine May/June Issue is packed with inspirational articles from high school teams and coaches who are making a difference on their teams and in their communities.

We also add a couple of pieces on equipment and the tools you need to make your program into a winning culture.

See you on the inside

Building Champions with BFS

Table of Contents BFS Magazine
May / June 2015

From the Editor

Student/Athlete Reality Check

What's Happening

News and highlights from the world of athletic fitness

BFS Success Stories

Eagles for Ava 

The positive impact of a “Be an 11” Seminar

Bulloch High Academy Wrestlers Stand Tall

Championships start in the weight room

BFS Program

The BFS Difference: Clinics, Seminars and Certifications

Unifying teams, schools, and coaches in a common goal


BFS: 39 Years and Growing Stronger

Helping Coaches Since 1976

Training and Equipment

The Shape of the Future: BFS Absolute Line

The Bench Press: Baseball’s Friend or Foe?

Physical Education

Surge: Ground-Base Fitness and Performance Training Breakthrough?

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Steve Kinslow May 14, 2015

Powerful Weightrooms on a Budget

Heavy-duty equipment designed with your wallet in mind

At the high school level building winning programs in multiple sports requires a commitment to basic, heavy-duty weight training – and that means heavy-duty benches, squat racks, and free weight equipment. As a “made in the USA” manufacturer, for the past 38 years BFS has focused on making heavy-duty equipment that fits every budget. To do this, our manufacturing process has evolved to include four complete lines of equipment in a variety of steel gauges: Varsity, Elite, Absolute and D1.

The D1 line is top-of-the-line equipment, suitable for the best college, professional, and commercial weightrooms. Organizations with big budgets are looking for, premium D1 features such as chrome plating, pegs for band-resistance exercise, bench docking systems, and swivel handle chin-up attachments. One practical advantage of this highly versatile equipment is that athletes can perform a greater variety of exercises. On the esthetic side, a weightroom full of attractive equipment at the D1 level is a selling point often used by college or even high school recruiters to attract enrollees.

Because the D-1 line doesn’t fit into the typical high school budget, the most popular choices are the BFS Varsity and Elite lines. To see the differences between the Varsity and Elite lines, let’s take the power rack as an example.

The basic power rack is a rectangular structure with four vertical posts at the corners to increase its strength (as such, this type of rack is often referred to as a cage). This design is important because these units are often used for exercises that use a considerable amount of weight, such as box squats and partial deadlifts. Adjustable bar catches are located between the posts so users can perform partial movements; they can also be used as safety catches so users can perform lifts such as bench presses without fear of the weight dropping on them, of course, BFS recommends spotters when performing squats and bench presses.

The Varsity line consists of solid, 11 gauge no-frills equipment. In contrast, the Elite line’s 7 gauge, 8-foot power rack is a foot taller than the Varsity Squat cage and has four more inches of workspace; both lines feature weight holders to reduce the need for independent weight trees.  For a high school with 400 students the Varsity rack will more than meet the needs of its athletes – and we can say this with confidence, as over 1,000 schools have purchased equipment from our Varsity line.

While the basic power rack remains a great tool for athletes, as the strength and conditioning field evolved, BFS developed additional variations of the power rack in both our Varsity and Elite lines to fulfill the needs of our customers. One such variation is the half rack.

The half rack has a smaller footprint than the traditional power rack, and as such can be easily combined with an 8-foot lifting platform to enable athletes to perform exercises such as power cleans and deadlifts. Let’s look at one of our most popular units: the Elite half rack with platform. This unit contains a 6- by 8-foot weightlifting platform for performing power cleans and deadlifts, and a vertical half rack for squats and overhead presses. Further, with an adjustable bench placed within the rack, users can perform bench presses and incline bench presses. Because all these lifts can be performed at the same station, athletes don’t have to deal with weightroom bottlenecks.

Many other configurations of these units are available, such as the dual Elite half rack with two platforms (or with none). With their efficiency and versatility, half racks are among our best sellers. To get serious about training, invest in equipment that has been proven to get the job done. Whether you choose the equipment that meets your needs best from our Varsity, Elite, or D1 line, these are the tools that make a championship weight room.

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Steve Kinslow May 04, 2015

The Evolution of BFS Equipment

How BFS has been helping athletes succeed since 1976

“New” is one of the most powerful words in sales, but at BFS we believe our success is founded on the opposite quality: longevity. BFS has been in business for 38 years, and our continual growth comes from understanding the needs of our customers and finding effective ways to improve our customer service and keep our prices down. This is our story.

BFS began in 1976 when Dr. Greg Shepard found there was a huge demand among coaches to learn about his training system, the BFS Total Program. Three years later Coach Shepard recruited Bob Rowbotham, who recently became CEO after Shepard’s retirement. Their leadership and the talents of our BFS clinicians – certified teachers with impressive coaching résumés – have built a coaching history that includes over 10,000 BFS clinics and countless state championships. But that’s only one aspect of the company.

From his very first clinic Shepard concluded that coaches needed a training system that would enable athletes to fulfill their physical potential, along with the right tools for the job. He knew he could provide it by getting into the equipment manufacturing business. For strength training, athletes needed free weights: power racks, benches, barbells, and dumbbells. For speed, must-haves included plyometric boxes, pulling sleds, and systems for measuring speed and jumping ability. At first, one line of equipment was enough, as the focus was on providing high school coaches with quality equipment they could afford.

The initial manufacturing business Shepard started in the heart of Salt Lake City was small, but with rapid growth he soon expanded into two facilities: a manufacturing plant in a nearby industrial center, and a large warehouse that also served as company headquarters. John Rowbotham, Bob Rowbotham’s son, eventually took over warehouse operations and, upon Shepard’s retirement, assumed the duties of president.

Having its own production facility gave BFS complete control over quality control and equipment design, including the means to make custom equipment as needed. Quality control was a particularly thorny issue for companies that manufactured their equipment in China and other countries due to the use of inferior steel that affected the quality and safety of their equipment – in fact, many of their product recalls of barbells, dumbbells, and other exercise equipment made national headlines and cost their companies millions in lost revenue, along with the confidence of their customers.

It was also gratifying to BFS to manufacture equipment in the United States with US workers. In contrast, customers of our competitors that had their equipment manufactured in China and other countries often endured long delays while waiting for their purchases to be shipped to the US. Because BFS stocked its own warehouse with a large inventory of equipment, large orders outfitting complete gyms to BFS standards could be filled and shipped within 24 to 48 hours. Custom orders took a bit longer, of course, but few of our competitors could match our speed on special orders. As a bonus, because of the large volume of sales across the country, we could place multiple orders on one truck and thus avoid having to pass on large shipping costs to our customers.

With any manufacturing business there come challenges, and about a decade ago exercise equipment manufacturers were having difficulty getting steel – at any price. It wasn’t that US steel companies were decreasing their production, but that they were fulfilling orders from China and other countries that were willing to pay top dollar. BFS was fortunate to have developed solid, long-term relationships with many US steel manufacturers that could fulfill our needs, but other companies were not so fortunate and found they could not stay in business. The steel crisis eventually passed, but as a safeguard BFS built a 5,000-square-foot storage facility to stockpile steel, enabling us to fill our orders and also keep our prices down.

BFS started with one line of equipment, but our manufacturing business eventually expanded to four complete lines: Varsity, Elite, and D1. Although we can certainly outfit complete weightrooms, BFS recognizes that most schools can only afford to add or replace a few pieces of equipment each year. We believed it was important that all our equipment have the same basic design so that each additional piece of equipment would provide a consistent look, which is not possible when a weightroom is outfitted with equipment from several manufacturers. As for quality, BFS uses 11-gauge steel – which is the industry standard – as well as 7-gauge steel for units with independent posts that require additional support. BFS now offers full 7-gauge options in the D1 and Elite options for the most demanding environments!

The D1 line is our top-of-the-line equipment, suitable for the best college, professional, and commercial weightrooms. Organizations with substantial budgets are opting for premium D1 features such as chrome plating, pegs for band-resistance exercise, bench docking systems, and swivel-handle chin-up attachments.

This year we added one more equipment line: The BFS Absolute Line. This unique line of equipment was made possible by the purchase of a “bender,” a manufacturing device that molds steel into V and U shapes. Because benders cost $200,000 new, few of our competitors can afford them, thus limiting their design capabilities.

As BFS nears its 40th anniversary, we take great pride in producing the highest quality US-made products with value pricing. As a coach Dr. Greg Shepard always taught his athletes to “dream the biggest dream,” and that guiding philosophy has taken BFS from its humble roots to its current position as an industry leader.

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Steve Kinslow April 29, 2015

Rediscover Box Squats

A look at the new science behind partial movements

In the early days of the Iron Game, bodybuilders trained hard on strength lifts such as the squat, deadlift, and bench press. Chuck Sipes, winner of the IFBB Mr. Universe in 1960, had massive muscles that enabled him to bench press 570 pounds and lift 250 pounds in the barbell curl. Sipes was a proponent of heavy partial movements, believing that their primary benefit is to increase tendon strength. That’s only one aspect of what partial movements can do for you.

Heavy partial movements disinhibit the nervous system so you can lift heavier weights. Here’s why. The Golgi tendon organ (GTO) is located in the junction between a tendon and a muscle, and works as a receptor that gives the nervous system feedback about tension and stretching of the muscle. For example, during an arm wrestling match, you often see a point in which the weaker opponent appears to suddenly give up when their arm is slammed to the table after several seconds of all-out effort. What is happening is that the GTO senses excessive tension and shuts down the muscle to protect it from injury.

When lifters perform heavy supports, such as by attempting a weight heavier than they can squat and holding it at the start position, or simply doing heavy partial movements, this exceeds the shutdown threshold of the Golgi tendon organ and the muscles shut down.

To train the muscles to lift heavier loads, partial-range-of-motion training has become popular, particularly among powerlifters and strongman athletes. It’s possible to take advantage of this training effect by alternating sets of heavy supports with full-range exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. Another method is to simply finish off regular exercises with several sets of heavy supports or partial-range exercises. An example of a partial-range exercise you can do for the upper body is a towel bench press (a bench press performed with a rolled-up towel or a towel bench pad); for the lower body, a box squat.

The box squat is a squat variation that is usually performed as the first exercise on Monday in the BFS off-season program or as the first exercise on Thursday in the in-season workout. Although box squats put the legs through less of a range of motion than is involved in conventional squats used in the BFS program, they allow you to use considerably more weight and thus help disinhibit the nervous system.

Another benefit of being able to lift more weight doing box squats is that the exercise can be more sport specific. For example, volleyball players can benefit from partial-range squats because these movements overload the range of motion typically required of these athletes’ legs in their sport. (This finding is from Science and Practice of Strength Training by Russian sport scientist Vladimir Zatsiorsky, one of the leading researchers in the field of strength and conditioning). 

In recent years box squats have been embraced by the powerlifting community and even some strength coaches at the college level. While some critics of the box squat contend that it is dangerous, Dr. Greg Motley disagrees. Motley is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in arthroscopy, sports medicine, and joint replacement at Southeastern Sports Medicine in Asheville, North Carolina. Motley’s athletic experience includes playing strong safety at the Division I level, resulting in six surgeries and two degenerated disks. To test the success of his subsequent rehab, Motley performed box squats and says that if anyone would know if the box squat caused increased pressure on the lumbar spine, it would be him.

Not only did Dr. Motley perform the exercise with no pain, he ended up endorsing the exercise. He says, “I went up pretty heavy that day, a lot heavier than I thought I could go – and I hadn’t squatted in 10 or 12 years. “I think it’s critical with the box squat – with all squats – that you have good technique and alert spotters. That being said, I think the box squat is a very, very good exercise.”

One additional benefit of the box squat is that it enables athletes to recover quickly from the exercise. Based upon the feedback from coaches, an athlete can box squat heavy the day before an athletic competition without causing fatigue that could decrease athletic fitness and thus performance. In fact, at BFS we’ve found that athletes usually perform better! However, we need to emphasize that the box squat does not replace the parallel squat.

BFS has been promoting the box squat as a core lift for nearly four decades. This lift has earned its place because it’s a great way to increase overall leg strength and to prepare for optimal performance at competition time. The old-time Iron Game athletes got this one right!

Related Products:

3-in-1 Squat Box Elite Racks Varsity Racks

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Steve Kinslow March 04, 2015


Made in America at a sensible price
Starting at Only $1,195

Varsity Half Racks and Doublesided Half Racks are redesigned with a fully enclosed frame. External plate racks and expandable design for easy future upgrade to the Power Clean Platform

BFS is proud to announce advancements across the board with every line of equipment redesigned to fit your weight room and your budget.

The BFS VARSITY LINE is the complete solution for your budget. Racks, benches, platforms - all the equipment you need to run a complete weight room.
Half Rack - Double Sided Half Rack- Full Cage - Power Clean Platform - Multi-Angle Bench -Varsity Olympic and Incline benches, and many more options!

Every order of BFS Varsity equipment SHIPS FREE
with qualifying order of over $3000

Call 800-628-9737 for shipping deals or to order your free 2015 catalog
Visit to view entire line of Made in America weight room equipment.

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Steve Kinslow November 14, 2014

Special Promotions For November

November Weight Room Opportunity!

The BXI line of modular racks, rigs and compact weight room storage is a mainstay for box style boot camp programs and start up gyms. However we have noticed that it is also gaining traction in more traditional weight rooms due to it unparalleled versatility and customization options.
Is the BXI Line right for you? Call us at 800-628-9737 and find out!

For November the entire BXI line is 20% OFF Use online Discount Code: 1114WEBX1

Phone Order Special:

Order over $2500 in BXI and the Shipping is Free Too

Call Kelly or Kam here at the BFS Home Office to get started today






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Richard Knowley November 20, 2013

New equipment added to the eStore!

Check out two of our new equipment lines: D1 and BXI. 


With the D1 line our exceptional value for dollar is increased. D1 is made for the most demanding, high profile programs. Built in the USA with 3" by 3", 11 gauge steel tubing and chromed and laser cut guides D1 racks, platforms and benches are a must see addition to the BFS universe!  Click here to see all our D1 equipment, or click on one of the D1 categories on the right side of this window.


Our BXI Modular line features quality components, in a huge variety of configurations, powered by over 37 years of experience, and guarantees a modular system like no other. Built with primarily 3" X 3" steel tubes these rigs and their auxiliaries have all the functionality and durability to stand up to the toughest work outs.  Click here to see all our BXI equipment, or click on one of the BXI categories on the right side of this window.



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Richard Knowley August 21, 2013

Welcome to the new BFS eStore

Welcome to the new BFS eStore.  We are still getting used to our new store, so look for things to be changing over the next few days and weeks.

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