Top 30 Things I Learned in 2012

By Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle Building.

A few years ago I decide to do a top things I learned list at the end of each year and more and more people have been emailing each year asking, “Is your list up, yet?”  Not only is it a teachable time for my readers but it’s an special time of reflection for myself, so without further ado, here are the top things (in no particular order), I’ve learned in 2012. You’ll notice that I categorize my lessons under the four M’s, which I feel every male and female can related to: muscle, meaning, marriage and money.  Lots of personal reflection that I’m sure will resonate home. Looking forward to your comments afterwards… which one stood out to you?  What did you learn in 2011?

Muscle (and fat loss):

1. My top three set and rep protocols that produced the greatest amount of size and strength in the shortest amount of time were wave loading with 7-5-3, giant sets with 6-12-25 and straight sets of 7×7.  These were such powerful set and rep protocols that I designed three exclusive programs of each: The 7-5-3 Wave Loading Workout, The 6-12-25 Mega-Size Method and The 7×7 Size & Strength Solution (to be released very soon).

2. The fastest way to smash a plateau and build 5 pounds of lean muscle mass (over a ten day period) is Charles Poliquin’s 5-Day Hypertrophy Bootcamp. Sixteen students came together in Rhode Island and we completed fifteen (15) different hypertrophy workouts (3 per body part each day) over the course of five days, an example of extreme overreaching. All sixteen students gained, on average, 5 pounds of lean muscle mass, during the next five days of complete rest. This is an example of extreme super compensation. This was a powerful reminder that you can build muscle fast, with proper programming.

3. Two a day workouts (i.e. manipulating training frequency) was the one hypertrophy variable my body responded best too.  Visiting the gym early in the morning for an intensification-based workout (i.e. strength training) followed by an accumulation-based workout (i.e. hypertrophy training) six hours later, gets you growing extremely fast. Although this is very tough on your joints and I learned I could not sustain 2-a-day training for more than two weeks in a role, nor is it recommended.  Two weeks on, two weeks off is optimal for 2-a-day training.

4. Chains are an awesome tool to match the strength curve. Alternating chains with no chains each workout has helped me become stronger on the top end of the movement and has taught my body how to accelerate through a full range of motion.

5. I discovered a new “get ripped fast” diet and workout and supplement protocol this past summer when preparing for my IRONMAN photo shoot, on last minute notice. AM Workout #1 – 30 minutes of hypertrophy work.  4 Hours Later – 30 more minutes of hypertrophy work on same bodypart. 6 Hours Later – Cardio Intervals.  Diet consisted of fats and proteins each meal – 2 chicken meals, 2 beef meals and 2 liquid meals. 2 cups of veggies each meal. And a “cortisol-management” supplement protocol which included a lot of BCAA’s, glutamine, phosphatidylserine, vitmain C, greens, magnesium, zinc and green tea.  This all happened at the time we launched Hypertrophy MAX in June, which is why I REFUSE to give anyone sympathy who claims, “I don’t have time…” BS!

6. The fastest way to lose fat comes down to one thing: A hard deadline. When asked to shoot for the cover of IRONMAN magazine I was three weeks behind schedule so forced to resort to the crazy workout and diet regime mentioned above, for two weeks straight. That resulted in losing ten pounds of fat and coming in at 8% bodyfat on very short notice. The deadline consisted of a flight to California, a set time to shoot with a photographer and a chance to land on one of my favorite muscle mags. It’s all about getting some blood in the game and setting a meaningful goal.

7. “Take RTS123″ in the words of my most influential teacher who left this world way too soon, Peter Chaisson.  RTS123 and Peter completely changed the way I will view exercise and his wisdom and voice will live on strong through everything I share and teach.

8. The best therapy I’ve ever experienced is MAT – Muscle Activation Techniques and after Peter worked on my feet for a few weeks I felt like I could go into the gym with an S on my chest. MAT will continue to be my “go-to” therapy and if you have a MAT practitioner near year,  go see how effective it is.

9.The fastest way to progress continues to be periodiazation. Pre planning my training cycles around three weeks of scaling up my intensity to hit personal bests every third week and then having a deload week every fourth week has kept my mind and body always wanting more, never burning out, always progressing.  Hypertrophy MAX members know what I’m talking about!

10. Hypertrophy MAX workouts are, by far, the most bad ass hypertrophy workouts in existence. In ten years of training, I still come back to our own Hypertrophy MAX workouts to follow myself. MAX-LACTIC and MAX-VOLUME are too of my favorite so far.

11. My favorite nutrition certification to date is Dr. John Berardi’s Precision Nutrition.  Not only does it teach the science but more importantly, it’ll teach you how to APPLY the science in the real world for all levels of clients.

13. If you’re relying on the Internet for all of your learning, HUGE MISTAKE.  The majority of information I learned this year was at live events, conferences, certification courses or seminars.  Believe it or not, NOT everything can be found for free online. Sorry to burst your bubble.

14. The best way to become compliant to your diet is to learn how to cook – you don’t need the latest fad diet! Flavia took cooking lessons this fall and I was floored by how delicious you can make healthy food if you have the know how. The best money I invested in my wife this year was cooking lessons with a healthy chef (she’ll be in a bunch of our upcoming videos). It cut back on how much we ate out and resulted in more bonding time in the kitchen.

Marriage: 

15. Be FULLY present. There is nothing my wife hates more than me being somewhere else when she is talking to me.

16. Learn how to give your spouse your FULL attention. When my wife talks to me, I physically move my body away from the computer so that I’m not distracted by what’s in front of it. Another way to say #15, it’s that important.

17. The most important thing I can do when my wife is upset is shut up, stop trying to problem solve and listen!  Simply listening seems to have a magical effect on fixing the problem! Who would have thought?

18. It’s important for married couples to discuss their roles and who will take the lead in each respective role and both parties must take pride and ownership in their role.  For example, I don’t expect my wife to throw the fist when we have issues with our accountants or contractors. In our marriage, that’s when Vinny steps up to the plate and lays the smack down.  

19. “The 3 Year Vision Plan” is a very powerful exercise every couple MUST do. Sit down and write out exactly where you want to be in 3 years as a couple. Lifestyle, body fat percentage, how many kids, where do they go to school, who are there friends, what time do you go to bed, how many hours do you work a day, how much money do you make, where do you vacation, how is your relationships with you mom and dad, sisters and brothers, how much do you contribute, what have you created etc.  If you and your spouse don’t know where you’re going in life, any road will get you there… Remember, the best way to plan for the future is to create it.

Money:

20. Value your time more than money. Know what you’re worth on an hourly basis when you’re productive. I look at every hour during my “working day” as either an investment or expense. Let’s say I’m worth $50 an hour. If I go 8 hours without being productive, I just lost $400.  At the time of this writing, I just hired two 14-year old up and coming entrepreneurs to shovel my drive way for $25 a snow fall. I’m 33 years old and haven’t shoveled my drive way in almost ten years. Nor do I do any of my own lawn maintenance. It’s not worth my time (nor do I have any interest).

21. Continue to give at least 5% of your income to a charity of some kind. This past year Flavia and I supported three causes – NationWares.com, CompassionCanada.ca and HopeForTheSold.com  I believe that everything I make is a blessing from God. At any moment, He can take it all away. I give Him the first 5% as a sign to show that I’m trusting in Him to provide the next 95%.

23. One of the best free educations on wealth creation can be found by watching Shark Tank. Don’t watch that show without a pen and paper.

24.  Pay yourself first.  Flavia and I have monthly saving goals to reach our yearly saving goal.  Don’t let your bills bully you around and prevent you from hitting your goals. After I pay myself, THEN I’ll pay my bills, NEVER the other way around. I do my best to control the future.

25. At the end of the day, it’s not how much you make, but how much you keep! Just because someone tells you their business generated over a million dollars last year, don’t drop your jaw. They could have had $950,000 in expenses…  It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep. Learn to live below your means.

26. Script your day. Never start your day without a plan of what needs to be done in what order. And more powerfully, set a time deadline to each task.  The biggest mistake I made with to do lists was not allocating a set period of time to each item.  Work against the clock and you’ll be 10x more productive.

Meaning and Manhood:

27. A happy wife equals a happy life. Staying in tune with my wife’s needs and “keeping her love tanks full” has allowed Flav and I to keep growing closer.

28. Training your eyes, can be the toughest muscle on your body to train and the toughest battle of a man’s life. Wandering eyes can lead to a wandering heart and a wandering heart can lead to wandering hands and feet. Train your eyes to not take that second look.  We make our women feel like ABSOLUTE SHIT and DISRESPECTED when we give into our selfish desires for those two seconds of visual pleasure.  If you feel defeated in the area of sexual temptation, read this book: Every Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker.  Get some accountability.  This battle is NOT won alone.

BONUS NOTE: Porn addition will DESTROY YOUR LIFE – slowly but surely.  Get help here: http://www.xxxchurch.com/

29. The grass is not greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it. Cherish your mother, father, brothers, sisters and people in your life. If you’re not satisfied with a relationship, it’s because you’ve let the grass go brown and you need to start watering your side of the fence.

30. Men need men.  Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” To me, this means there is mutual benefit to rubbing two blades together; the edge becomes sharper, making the knives more efficient in their task to cut and slice. The Word of God instructs us to sharpen one another – in fitness, business and life. Men are to be in community together and we were not meant to truck through life on our own. I’m extremely grateful for the men in my life whom who are brothers or brothers from a different mother.

———————-

I hope a few of my learning resonated with yourself.   I believe that we should ALWAYS BE LEARNING & GROWING so this was a fun reflection. Thank you for reading. I have been doing this on my website since 2006 and it’s become a highlight of my year.  I would love to hear which one stood out to you and what you learned in 2012.  Leave your comments below.

Vince Del Monte

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Comments

54 thoughts on “Top 30 Things I Learned in 2012

  1. Love your advice, I read through your 101 things you learned and really want to live by a lot of them. You are an extremely intelligent man and you have great morals.

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  2. great article and inspirational as sometimes we forget people are just human beings finding their way through life. please however be careful with your grammar as it can undermine an article. there and their are not to be mixed. have a great 2013 and pls keep sharing!

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  3. The iron ore in the heat of the blast furnace thinks itself senselessly tortured.
    But the tempered steel blade of the sword looks back and knows better.

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  4. Kinda weird for a fitness website to be telling me not to look at porn because of Jesus. Boundaries, Vince!

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  5. cool. by the way you look awesome in that picture !!!

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  6. What stood out to me…

    1. Taking cooking classes. Each year I try to learn a new skill. This one will be mine for the year. I’ve always eaten clean, but my main problem is that I get bored with my same recipes. Learning to cook, as you pointed out, will aid in this goal, which will aid in my health.

    2. Iron sharpens Iron. I’ve been thinking of starting a group for men based around this concept. More specifically, I’m going to use this concept to help me get back in the gym. My schedule has become really crowded and it’s easy (especially when my body is still in good shape) to let my gym time slide. This is unacceptable. Getting a buddy to go to the gym with me will bring my gym time from dreams to reality.

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    • Also Vince, how do you quantify what your time is worth? Is there a formula that you use?

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      • Good question… you have to base it around the hours you’re PRODUCTIVE. The hours you actually “bill” for.

        Make sense? So for you, as a trainer, it maybe $100 an hour if that’s what you bill per hour. Any job less than $100 an hour is not worth your time.

        If you can make $150 an hour training 2 people at once, instead of one, then doing single sessions “wouldn’t be worth your time”

        Find your number based on WHEN and WHERE you are most productive i.e. and productive being defined as when you put a dime in your bank account.

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  7. Tell me how meany hr can a person work out every day.

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    • Depends on your training age.

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  8. Charles McLaughlin January 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Nice points. I also try to listen more and not speak when my wife is angry at me about something. Also learning how to be a better husband has helped my marriage. For awhile there I was not happy being married due to fighting but thankfully I was able tofix my marriage. I’m sure you have learned that it is not easy being married. Yes, temptations will arise but we should do our best to be a good man. Yes, Flavia is right! Many women out there will try to lure you especially when you are wealthy.

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  9. A lot of wisdom in this report and I agree with most of the points. I condemn that an enemy of mankind like Rockefeller is beeing quoted though. Moreover I think that successfull people invest a lot more than 10% of revenue (I re-invest 50%) on their way up.

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  10. Wow Vince what an inspiring list. I just had to share it everywhere, people have to see this.

    I like your workout ideas there I will have to try them myself although I am sure we all react a little differently to the weights we lift and how to arrange the sets. The idea of hitting bodyparts 3 times a day though? I think I would throw up. Awesome stuff.

    I have to agree as well with the idea of the wandering eye. It ruins relationships, marriages, and self respect. I am so glad you brought that up.

    And finally I also want to wish you a great 2013. You share great insights and I am glad to see them this year and look forward to more next year

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  11. Vince,
    Great read, thanks for sharing!
    #9 sounds like a strong point and I’ll be looking into it.
    #11 gonna check that one out too.
    #13 the same way I look at supplements in the diet, its not real food! where the internet serves to share subjective info, unedited/unsubstantiated.
    #29 well put, good visualization
    #30 people need people, I plan to take this point to inspire all aspects of my life and go for a sharper edge :)

    All the best to you and Flav in 2013.

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  12. Thank You Vince for sharing this. It helps to see that there is more to fitness experts than Fitness. I believe that my wife and I being in agreement on the direction we are headed has helped every area of my life. We have endeavored to keep God first in all he has blessed us with. I am glad you mentioned Steve Aterburn’ s book. It has helped me tremendously AMD is real in the field. Hope you and your family have a great New Year.

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  13. I am truly impressed, all so very simple, yet ive never taken the time to do all the above…i cant say which 1 thing stands out the most..i think everything you have shared makes absolute sense…. i plan on creating a list of my own for the new year based on what you have shared… thank you vince…

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  14. Vince, this was truly amazing. I love when you quote scripture in your posts. Though many people are not Christians and you still post scripture makes me see you are a very confident person. Don’t ever change that!

    Even if you don’t believe in God, the bible still has amazing advice; so amazing it will change your life.

    as Flavia said, I love #28, eye wandering is a huge problem for me; but not necessarily because of the women’s body, but actually because i get somewhat intimidated by eye contact. This is something i AM going to improve!

    To sum it up, i actually agreed with every point for this post! Keep up the good work Vince!

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  15. Great list Vince! My challenge to you on #21 is to increase your giving from 5 to 10%.

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  16. Excellent…all points were good!

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  17. Thanks Vince, I needed to hear that. God works in mysterious ways…through us not for us!

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  18. Great lessons Vince and thank you for sharing. The people I admire and learn the most from are those like yourself who are not only great at what they do, but well rounded in all areas of life. Keep up the great work.

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  19. Hey Vince,
    These are amazing lessons learned this year.
    You mentioned accountability, so I would suggested that you prayerfully revisit the Word of God about tithing. It goes against worldly/traditional knowledge, but living large on 90% can actually have greater returns for you and Flavia while blessing more people when doing so.
    For a young man you have much to offer…. don’t stop!

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  20. Hey Vince,
    I like all of the 30. The ones that stand out for me are 1-6 and 20-30. I am a man of faith and I know I really need to get my body back in shape. So in 2013 I’m revving it up I really need to make the gains happen.

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  21. [MARKED AS SPAM BY ANTISPAM BEE | CSS Hack]
    This means that it provides many of the benefits of low rep training combined with the benefits high rep training by allowing for relatively heavy loads to be used while increasing time under tension. The heavy loads allow for myofibrillar protein synthesis to take place which, as discussed, will increase the size of the contractile proteins. The increased time under tension will stimulate sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

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  22. nice things you have said. thanks for sharing it. :)

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  23. Thanks vince for sharing this great points 17 ,21 ,27 ,28 and 30 were the best points.happy new year!

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  24. Hey Vince

    Thanks man, really good post! I really appreciated the “Marriage” and the “Meaning & Manhood” points! As we put God first and foremost in our lives everything else falls into place!

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  25. #15, #28, #30, actually, I love them all, thanks for sharing! Vince and Flavia, you both are great examples of people with a wholesome life, fitness, business, relationships, spirituality, you have it all. Have a blessed and fruitful year ahead.

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  26. Thanks for sharing vince! Huge great advices.

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  27. Best article of the year Vince!! Thanks for the insight!

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  28. Absolutely love it! I love that you are a man of faith as well. Wise words. You and your wife are lucky to have found each other!

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  29. Hi Vince, I was wondering if you would be willing to change some of the pictures on the three free quizzes that you have on supplements, training, and nutrition? Some of the pictures of women are rather, well let’s just say it doesn’t seem to line up with some of the principles that you put forth. Thank you for posting though, it really encouraged me!

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  30. Vince,

    One of the reasons I follow your emails and posts is that you are not ashamed of your faith. Thanks for the insights into being a man and great recommendation on the book! I really appreciate your fitness tips, but I also really respect your character. Keep it up in the new year!

    James

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  31. [MARKED AS SPAM BY ANTISPAM BEE | Server IP]
    This is always my favorite article of yours every year. Love how well-rounded they are…there’s more to life than the gym, and it’s great to get some solid perspectives on this “life” that we’re all doing together.

    See you soon, brother!

    Joel

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  32. Vince, being 75 years old, I’ve been around a while and received my share of advise – some good and some not so good. Occasionally, I’ve come across an individual whose advise exceeds all others. You’re definitely in this category. Thanks and keep up the good work.

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  33. Besides the Bible, this is the best thing l have read in a long time. I like everything you wrote but the one’s that stood out more are 16, 19, 21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29 & 30. Thank you for being a real man and for sharing and being opened. Flava is blessed to have you and your blessed to have her.

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  34. When did you become a talking head for Tony Robbins?

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  35. loved this article. Tks a lot my man.

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  36. [MARKED AS SPAM BY ANTISPAM BEE | Server IP]
    Vince,

    Really appreciate your sharing. Thanks also for the “101 things you learned…” PDF. Real good read! I particularly appreciated #28. In your line of work and with your physique, it seems almost a set-up for failure. I’ve been praying for you ever since I watched the 7MM videos you did. The one girl was about falling out of her outfit. Sorry to say, had to delete it for my own sake. But I’m sure temptation being on the spot is terrible. Be strong bro. Be an overcomer. AND you have a lovely wife. Enjoy drinking from your own ‘cistern.’

    God bless!

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  37. Very inspirational like always, thanks for taking your time to write them down and post.

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  38. Vince,

    You amaze me every year. Great points. I loved your 17, 21, 27 and 30 the best!

    Your wife is a very lucky lady. May God continue to bless our marriage :)

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    • Oh wait….28 beats them all. This is what real men do. They don’t blame it on “the normal way of a guy”, they take charge and work every day to get better.

      Thanks for being a real man Vince. Women are hot! It must be tough.

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  39. José Ignacio Fernández Rico December 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Happy new year Vince. good tips, nice job.

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  40. Dear Vince

    Thanks for sharing those few home truths. They were all good but I particularly liked 21, 29 and 30.

    Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy 2013. May all your dreams come true.

    Ann

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  41. Dear Vince

    Thank you very much for sharing those few home truths. They were all good but I particularly liked 21, 29 and 30.

    Here’s wishing you a healthy and happy 2013. May all your dreams come true.

    Ann

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  42. God bless you Vinny! It’s nice to see someone giving some advice that goes deeper than just the surface, and taking some moral stances with conviction. Keep going strong brotha…

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  43. Alistair Montgomery December 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Great balanced holistic advice. We are not just lumps of muscle to be developed. To be really strong includes emotional, psychological,relational and spiritual dimensions as well as the physical. The physical benefits from the others being there too. Many thanks for honest opinions and openness. That takes courage and inner strength. Have a prosperous year with all of your 5 “M’s”
    P.S and stay open to continued learning!

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  44. Vince- Thanks for sharing! Your tips for life are as valuable as your tips for fitness. Great stuff!

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  45. [MARKED AS SPAM BY ANTISPAM BEE | Server IP]
    Some amazing lessons learned in 2012 Vince. Here’s to learning more in 2013 and making it the most kick-ass year yet!

    Alex

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