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Setting Goals = Planning for Success (9/20/2018)

Setting Yourself up for Success

By, Coach Jen and Coach Noah

I want to lose weight
I want to be healthy
I want to run my first 5K, or my first Obstacle Course Race
I want to do a Muscle-Up
I want to walk on my hands
I want to go to the CrossFit Games

These are all goals, decently defined ones at that.
People sometimes ask me how some athletes get to be so successful.

Hint: It’s more than just natural talent. You can have all the natural, genetic advantages, but without shooting for something specific, you’re not going to do much…specific.
So what are successful athletes doing that’s different from what you’re doing?

What successful athletes do differently is this:
They set very specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound GOALS. Once those are set, successful athletes consistently put one foot in front of the other to achieve them.

This is an important point, so it bears repeating in another way:
1. Successful Athletes set SMART goals
2. They are consistent in working towards them every. single. day.

Up at the top of the post, I carefully chose my words, “these are all goals, decently defined ones at that.”

I did this to draw attention to the fact that while those do seem like well thought out goals, they really serve more as a starting point than an end. Goals can, and should, be much more clearly defined.

The thing about Goals is they have to have six components to really be effective. The Acronym we’ll be using here as a mnemonic device is: SMART.
S – Specific (ex: If you want to “be healthy”, what does that mean?)
M – Measureable (ex: 
If you want to lose weight, how much do you want to lose?)
A – Attainable (ex: saying you want to be an Olympic swimmer when you can’t even swim means it probably ain’t in the cards for ya…)
R – Relevant (ex: if you’re training to be a soccer player, there’s no need to practice throwing a baseball)
T – Time bound (ex: WHEN will you achieve this goal? Not “in a few months”…what day specifically?)

You may be wondering where the sixth component of Goals is.
Here’s it is: You need to have an emotional attachment to your Goal.
This means your Goal is something that gets you riled up, stirs passion from deep within to keep you going when the going gets tough. This piece makes sure you have “skin in the game”, that its something worth fighting for, something that is for YOU.

Sounds simple, right? Wrong.

You might be saying, “I hear you. I’m motivated, I want to do things…but I don’t always get them done in a timely manner. And some things just aren’t happening.”

So then, What to do?

The hardest part is taking regular action in the direction of your goals.

Regular, ongoing action. Several times a week, consciously taking actions to get you going in a certain direction, to achieve a particular goal.

Here’s the reality though – everyone, even CrossFit Games competitors come across “life” that threatens to derail them. What do I mean by life?

Sick Kids
Holiday Parties
Surprise family visits
Eating out
Lack of money
Gym being closed
Moving homes
Wreck slowing down your morning commute
Long days at the office
Being tired
Death in the family
Bad breakup
Work got in the way
TV shows
Bad luck
Not getting enough sleep
Feeling lazy
Feeling defeated
Lacking confidence
Scared of the workout
Lack of time

You know what I mean, right? All these things that people use as an excuses for why they aren’t getting what they want in life – reasons why they can’t make it to the gym, or eat well.
All that stuff is … Life.

And all that stuff is a part of everyone’s life!
The people who are the most successful in the world, who achieve their goals, who capture their dreams, are no different than you or I. They just don’t let any of that stuff, “Life,” get in the way of them getting what they want. They know its just part of the journey…and they’re prepared to deal with those things when they do pop up. They have a plan!

It all boils down to one simple question: How badly do you want it (your goal)?

Achieving the goals you set for yourself won’t be easy.

Are you willing to make the sacrifices that are necessary to achieve your goals?

Noah and I have a plan. Our plan is to help you come up with your goals and an action plan for achieving them.

Don’t fret – your goals don’t need to be lofty performance ones, or weight loss ones, or muscle gain ones…those are all great and cool and fun…but only if they are relevant to YOU; that’s what matters!

We’re going to make this real easy – We’re going to lead by example and show you how its done.
1. First, we establish our SMART goal: To meet with each and every member we have for a 30-minute goal setting session by the end of October 2018.
2. Next, how will we achieve it? We put the link to our schedules so that each of you can book your private appointment with one of us for a time that is convenient for you. (Click Here to book your private 30 minute Athlete Check In appointment.)

3. Lastly, how do we know when we’ve achieved our goal? Simple: We’ve put a check mark next to every Wildcat member’s name.

But wait a minute, what about the emotional part…what’s in this for us? Well that’s easy – We get to help each of you set out on a path to  achieve your goals.
You guys, we love seeing people achieving their Goals. That’s what makes us tick!

Finally, the follow-up: Accountability is a huge thing. When more people, other than just you, know that you’re gunning for something special, a funny thing will happen: they’ll rally in your corner and they will keep you going.
In addition to the check-ins, when we see you in class, or out and about, we promise you this: every three months, you’ll be hearing from us to come and sit down again to see how you’re getting along.
We’ll evaluate how your plan is coming together, tweak anything that needs it, and keep you moving forward.
So…what does all this cost? Only your most valuable asset: time.
Will you make the time?


Jen and Noah

Member Profile: Selim Ben Mrad (9/13/2018)

Member Profile: Selim Ben Mrad

One member who has really grown since joining the gym is Selim Ben Mrad, known around Wildcat as Ben. Ben joined the gym last year and has gradually built both muscle and friendships within Wildcat’s walls. Recently I emailed Ben a few questions about his experience at Wildcat. Here are his responses.

1.) What brought you to Wildcat in the first place?

I have not planned to practice CrossFit specifically. My CrossFit journey started with pure hazard. I was tired from doing always the same gym routine alone, so I have decided to start checking out some alternative. I have started visited some martial arts gym and other types of workouts. Then, I have decided to join Wildcat CrossFit based on an emotional decision, mainly because I have liked the atmosphere, and the gym location. I cannot provide more details, I remember just that the decision was emotional, not rational.

2.) How has your experience at Wildcat effected your life so far?

I strongly consider that going to Wildcat CrossFit helped me to improve many area of my life. Obviously I am more fit physically and mentally, as a direct consequence of practicing moderate to high level consistent workouts.

Unexpectedly, I was also able to develop my interpersonal skills interacting with other people at that location. My self-esteem raised because I was able to make some physical progress, so I had more confidence to apply it to other area of my life like education and personal development.

Based on my experience, having more energy and workout consistently increased a lot my life quality, I am able to focus more, eat more and socialize more.

I think anyone will be able to benefit from regular moderate physical activities and decent nutrition. I would highly recommend a healthier lifestyle. There is direct correlation between happiness and health.

I think also even financially it was a beneficial decision. Assume I do not go to the gym, then I will go to a café or to a bar every afternoon or engage in other social activities. It will probably cost me on average 10 dollar a day *30, which will be a minimum of 300 dollar a month. Following this logic, having this regular activity help me to save money and make a better use of my time and money.

3.) What are your new goals?

I do not have any specific fitness goal. My fitness goal was to be just healthy and to start attending the advanced class in a two year period and to do some push up and pull up, I have achieved that in 6 or 7 months. I would say attending some amateur CrossFit competition will be a good future experience.

As personal goals, I would like to become vegetarian and improve my diet, but more for spiritual reason. Finishing my education, and embrace a career that I like would be my biggest personal goal for the next years.

My goals is just to be healthy to have a good life quality. Anyway, I would like to thank all the coaches and gym owners, they were supportive, polite, respectful, encouraging and nice with me. All the member also have a great behavior and they were also supportive. I feel pretty comfortable in that gym. I would say the gym atmosphere in general helped me to do some progress in fitness.


Labor Day Class Schedule! (8/28/2018)

Hey Wildcat Family,

Labor Day weekend is upon us. Hopefully most of you will have the day off to relax, but don’t forget to come in and get your daily dose of fitness and fun! Our Labor Day class schedule is as follows:


6:30AM WOD with Coach Nick

11:00AM Ladies Hour/Open Gym with Coach Laurie

Noon WOD with Coach Laurie

4:30PM WOD with Coach Ryan


Have a happy and safe Labor Day Weekend!

-Your Wildcat Coaches and staff members

Wildcats Top the Podium at the Granite Games on Aug 18! (8/24/2018)

Wildcat Coaches top the Podium at the August 2018 Granite Games!

by, Coach Ryan Barlow

On Saturday, August 18, three Wildcat Coaches competed in a local competition… and they won! Wildcat Coaches Ryan Barlow, Nick Wyss, and Zach Bubolz finished the competition in First Place. CrossFit Purgatory hosted the local competition where 60 teams competed.

The competition was based on three person (MMM/FFF) teams competing against one-another in a variety of classic CrossFit style workouts. There were a total of four workouts or events over the course of a single day. However, this competition was unique in that it used a “waterfall” style event schedule where workouts #1 and #2 were separated by only 5 minutes!

Athletes were then given approximately a two hour break to rest, recover, and refuel before workouts #3 and #4, which were again only spaced 5 minutes apart. Luckily with a three-man (or woman) team there is a fair amount of rest within each workout so each athlete can work at their very limit for short intervals and rest while their teammates are working.

In this competition, teammates would complete a block of work, then immediately “tag” in one of their partners to replace them. Only one athlete was allowed to work at a time, with the other two resting. The one exception to this rule was the synchronized burpees in workout #1 which required two out the three athletes to work while only the third rested.

In order to prepare for this competition, we practiced a lot! We had three practice days leading up to the event. Each time we got together, we practiced each workout twice. About six weeks before the event we got together and practiced workouts #1 and #3 (at this time we did not yet know how the event would be structured). A week or two after that, we practiced workouts #2 and #4. This gave us a good idea of how we would need to break up our reps and what our team goals should be for each event.

On the Saturday one week prior to the competition, after the structure was released, we decided to do a “mock” competition on our own. With a running clock, we practiced all the events in the same way we would see them in competition. We took only five minute breaks in between the paired workouts with about an hour long break in between the two pairs. This was a way to better understand the “stimulus” we would be feeling on the day of the competition. All I can say is that paid major dividends, both in helping us understand how we would attack each workout, and how our bodies would feel during game-day.

I have to say that we did a great job planning. We all went in knowing which workouts favored which of our strengths. Nick was our go-to guy for any gymnastic movements: toes-to-bar, burpees, and chest-to-bar pull-ups. I used my long frame and size to row hard and help move some weight. Zach was our most well-rounded athlete and a true work-horse. He filled in the gaps that Nick and I left and then some. We were “no-repped” (when you do the movement, but miss a standard e.g. doing a wall-ball but coming short of the target or not hitting full depth in your squat) several times, however we stayed calm and kept moving. Our mindset was strong going in and winning event after event only helped confirm that we were on the right path. So to be completely honest, our plans never really went “out the window.” We were able to execute our game-plan from start to finish.

‘Once I started moving, all the nerves went away and it was just “Execute. Execute. Execute.”‘

Before the competition, I was nervous about how my body would feel. I was nervous about performing well for my family who drove down from Phoenix to watch me compete. I was nervous about messing up or being “no-repped” and hurting our team standings. However, in the end, I was able to calm myself down and just enjoy the moment. I think I had a smile on my face almost the whole day, except perhaps when I was on the floor working at my threshold. Once I started moving, all the nerves went away and it was just “Execute. Execute. Execute.”

The entire competition was inspiring. I love watching groups of athletes working to their limits surrounded by their friends and family. Nothing is better than seeing someone break through a mental barrier and leave it all out on the floor for their teammates. The competition floor is both a humbling and very awe-inspriring setting.

On a personal note, it was very helpful for me to have not only my family and friends, but many of the Wildcat members come out to support. Their presence made us all push even harder, never wanting to give-up or show any signs of weakness in front of the people we coach and train with on a daily basis.

I have competed several times prior to this. In fact, since I’ve started CrossFit, I’ve competed in similar events at least a couple times each year. However, this was a very unique and rewarding experience. I had never done a team-of-three competition and I had never practiced so much prior to the event. Usually it was sign up and hope for the best (not a great strategy haha). It was also amazing to work with such awesome athletes and teammates, fellow Wildcat coaches Zach Bubolz, and Nick Wyss. They really pushed me to practice more and push harder even when I wanted to quit.

We had a strategy going into each workout and we all knew we had to execute our individual work in order for our team to have the best chance of success. Of course, this was the first competition I won, or even placed on the podium for, for that matter. My fitness has definitely increased with each month at Wildcat, but I truly believe our biggest advantage was our team chemistry. We loved working out alongside one another and we levied our own individual skill sets to make the team better.

I would strongly encourage anyone and everyone to compete in not only the Granite Games, but any of the other local throw downs. Working with a team or a partner in a competitive setting is like nothing else. It will truly bring out the best in you as an athlete. It forces you to be intelligent about each workout and let you and your partner capitalize on your individual strengths.

And for those thinking, “I’m not fit enough to compete,” you need to push that thought out of your mind. Almost every competition these days has two or more divisions where athletes of ALL skill levels can compete at their own RELATIVE intensity. Trust me, nobody out here is going to shame you for scaling your burpees or having to do ring-rows instead of pull-ups. 

These competitions bring positive, like-minded athletes and gym-members together from all over our community. It is a safe place to work hard and feel welcome. Effort and attitude are the biggest players here. If you work hard and treat others with respect, I can promise you that you will be greeted by nothing other than high-fives, hugs, and smiles from everyone around you. So what are you waiting for?


Set yourself up for winning the day. (8/24/2018)

I wake before sunrise, walk to the kitchen, fill a glass of water and add a pinch of sea salt and drink it down. This is the first thing I do every day and has been for the past year and a half. The glass of water is actually the first thing in a series of actions that I call my morning ritual. I’m not the first one to discover the unexpected and powerful benefits of committing 10-15 minutes every morning to getting right. Tony Robbins calls it “priming”. Tim Ferris, Oprah Winfrey, Jocko Willink (author of Extreme Ownership) and many other high performers swear by the necessity and value of having a regular morning routine. My routine takes around 10-15min and goes like this.

1. Big glass of water

2. Breathing exercises

3. Gratitude practice

4. Visualize my day



In addition to the 4 practices above, I’ve also found it helpful to refrain from any news, emails, social media, texts etc until after my practice. And of course, lay your workout clothes out the night before.

In my next post I’ll go into detail about the Wim Hof Method breathing exercises I practice. Subsequent posts will detail other daily practices that have brought me more clarity, energy and improved health. Until then, I encourage you to get started. Create your morning ritual. Customize it. Then do it every day.

Happy Anniversary, Yvonne! One Year at Wildcat CrossFit! (7/19/2018)

Happy Anniversary, Yvonne! One Year at Wildcat CrossFit!!

‘What a difference a year makes!’

by, Yvonne Moreno

What a difference a year makes!  Saturday June 23, 2018 marked my one year anniversary at Wildcat CrossFit.

It marks the first time ever that I’ve stuck to something for longer than 3 months.  The first time that I’ve completely devoted myself to anything that had to do with getting healthy and staying healthy.

In one year, CrossFit changed my life in so many ways. I haven’t had an amazing physical transformation and lost 100 pounds, but I have changed the way I live my life.  The way I think, the way I look at myself, and most importantly, my attitude have changed.

I have lost some weight, but the important part is that I’ve gained strength.  Strength in my arms, my legs, my back, and my soul.  My soul is stronger because it believes in me when a year ago no part of me believed in myself.  A year ago nothing I did to get healthier made me feel like I feel about myself today.  I look in the mirror and see my body changing in ways I never imagined.  This is what one year of CrossFit has done for me.

It was Friday June 23, 2017 when I sat in my car outside of Wildcat CrossFit for a full 20 minutes contemplating leaving and never look back.  That would have been one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

It’s been a year of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t have changed one single moment of it, (Okay, maybe I would totally eliminate bear crawls from history and never speak of them again. Alas, we can’t turn back time and therefore we must do what we have to do to get through those bear crawls.)

I’ve tried and failed at many things, but I’ve tried them and that’s my win.  I’ve learned a lot about my body and what I am capable of, and what I still need to work at.  I’ve learned that my strength is in my legs and thighs.  I’ve learned that these arms of mine can do more than just write, they can lift dumbbells and kettlebells high in the air, they can hold me up in a plank and lift me to the ring when doing ring rows.  I’ve learned my core is stronger than I ever thought it could be and somewhere under all that mushy stuff are muscle waiting to see the light.

I started at 318 pounds.  Yes, you read that number right.  I weighed over 300 pounds and couldn’t lift more then 35 pounds over my head.  I couldn’t run more than a few feet, if that.  I couldn’t jump high enough to get the rope under my feet to jump rope.  I couldn’t step up higher than a basic green box, which I believe is around 12 inches high.  I couldn’t row more than 200 meters before stopping to catch my breath.  There’s a lot of “I couldn’ts” that I didn’t mention, but the list of things I can do now is far greater than the list of things I couldn’t do then.

“I can jump, run, row, lift, and most of all I can feel proud of myself each and every time I walk out of the gym.”

I now weigh in at 287 pounds.  Not a big weight loss, but I’ve gained so much muscle that I don’t give that number any importance.  I can back squat 200 pounds.  My front Squat is at 120 pounds and probably more now.  My dead lift PR is at 180 pounds.  I can run a consistent 200 meters without stopping and 400 meters with minimal walking breaks.  I can jump rope, go back and read that again, I CAN JUMP ROPE!

I can row 1000 meters without stopping. I had to do it, that’s how I know.  I can carry two 26 pound kettle bells on a 400 meter farmers carry.  I can power clean 75 pounds (when I started I used an empty bar).  I can jump, run, row, lift, and most of all I can feel proud of myself each and every time I walk out of the gym.

I am doing what most people are afraid to try.  I am a CrossFit athlete.  I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and the chance to work with such a beautiful, determined, and over all bad ass group of people.  We truly hold each other up.

My very first WOD was the following;

5 Rounds
3 Overhead Squats
5 T-Spine Rotations
10 PVC PassThrus

21,15,9 For Time

Double KB Front Squat
Wall Balls
100 DU

The first day I walked in,  they had me doing an overhead squat and I almost ran out the door.  I grabbed a training bar and two 10’s and gave it a whirl.  It was so heavy, but I didn’t give up. It took me a good while to keep that bar overhead without losing my arm strength.  I’m sure from the outside looking in, I was a mess and my squats were barely a bend in the knee, but the point is that I stuck with it.

For the first time in my life, I was doing something way out of my comfort zone.  I used 8k KB for my front squat and I remember feeling like I was going to pass out.  I ended up with a decent time coming in at 10:30.  I left that day knowing that I would be back.  I didn’t know how long it would last and never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would still be here a year later, but I knew I’d be back.

I want to thank everyone at Wildcat CrossFit for being a part of my journey.  From the owners, to the coaches to the great many friends I’ve made at the gym, there is no other place I’d rather be then squatting, snatching and running with you.

My journey is far from over.  It’s a lifetime commitment to myself and my body.  I smile when I walk in and I smile when I leave.  The gym is my safe place where I can win and I can fail and there is no judgement and there’s always someone to fist bump me on a job well done.  I’m not anywhere near being done.  It’s the first year of many more to come.  Thank you for coming on this ride with me.  I appreciate all the love and support I’ve received from everyone.

Much love and respect, Yvonne.

WOD Programming (7/13/2018)

Hi Wildcat CrossFitters,

We have started the next era in programming at Wildcat. As most of you have experienced this past week, the programming has changed subtly. We are moving back toward more traditional CrossFit method programming. This means a larger variety of movements and frequently, a distinct strength. component followed by a metcon. You’ll begin to periodically see the named, benchmark workouts like “Fran”, “Cindy”, “Helen” and occasionally a “Hero” workout. If these names don’t mean anything to you, stay tuned, they will. This programming will be fun, comprehensive, challenging and as always, scalable.

Schedule change note:
In addition to the changes to programming we are discontinuing the Advanced Training class. Our regular WODs will be “programmed for the best, and scaled for the rest” and we anticipate the advanced athletes will be challenged by this programming.

Right Here, Right Now. (7/8/2018)

Right here, right Now.

by, Coach Jen, RN

The year was 1999. The air was crisp; it was Fall. The time was around 11 pm.

I’d just gotten home from hanging out with my friend, Adam. My dog, Lucy, needed a walk. I grabbed the leash and took Lucy for a spin around the block. A few minutes later, I was the subject of a drive-by shooting.

I was living in a lovely west side neighborhood that I’d move back to again in a heartbeat. But this story is about the time I almost died there. And it does relate broadly to CrossFit, in case you are wondering. Bear with me.

As I said, it was late. It was dark. It happened fast. I saw the pickup truck stop at the corner up ahead of me. I saw the gun barrel come out of the open passenger window. I saw a spark flash at the mouth of the barrel.

I hit the dirt and rolled sideways behind a nearby bush, still holding onto the handle of Lucy’s retractable leash. She was all the way at the end of her tether, around 15 feet in front of me. I counted 4 shots. I stayed down. The truck turned north and peeled away.

I was alone on the street, in the dirt, behind the bush.

I got up. No bullet holes in me. Whew. Checked Lucy…no bullet holes.

This was before cell phones. I was more bewildered than scared right after. I dusted myself off a little more and walked home with Lucy. Then I called Adam on my land line to tell him what had happened to me since I saw him last. Adam’s the one who told me to call the cops. Oh yeah, why didn’t I think of that?

At the moment of the shooting, for some reason I can’t explain, I was in the moment. And as it turned out, I reacted perfectly, appropriately, doing exactly what I needed to do with my body in space and time. My instincts took over thank God I went with them.

The shock set in an hour or so after the cop left my doorstep, having shown me the four bullet casings he found at the scene. I started shaking when I realized how close I’d come to dying.

I was jumpy on our walks after that. Every time a car drove by, I’d tense up and start. I’d turn towards the car, wherever it was, and make sure there were no guns coming out the windows.

I walked in this state of hyper-vigilance for about two days. Then, on one afternoon stroll, while jumpily glancing over my shoulder to check a passing car for guns, I stepped off a tall curb without looking and came down hard on my ankle. I crumbled to the ground in pain. The station wagon I’d been suspicious of drove harmlessly by.

I sat on that curbside for 20 minutes. Lucy waited patiently for me to get up and limp us gingerly home. Sitting there, I realized that by preoccupying myself with what might happen, I’d lost track of what was going on right in front of me.

I was walking around on autopilot; worrying about something rare maybe happening to me again, at the same time I was blind to the danger right in front of me. I was pretty annoyed with myself, I must say, but also I had to laugh. I’d survived a shooting, and now I’d almost killed myself walking. Ok, that’s hyperbole, but my ankle did hurt really bad right then.

Worrying is imagining something bad happening.

Worrying is imagining something bad happening. What saved me on the night of the drive-by was not my imagination. That night I was relaxed, walking my dog; more or less paying attention to what was going on around me. Or as I like to call it, Enjoying the night.

This relaxed state of mind, and a stranger’s bad aim, probably saved my life.

Staying in the moment has always been a challenge for me, but I know from experience that that’s when I’m the safest and most effective, in general. It’s hard to remember this when life gets crazy and I feel like I’m never going to catch up. “I’ll live in the moment when I’m done with my To Do list! For crying out loud, I don’t have time to live in the moment.”

I wasn’t doing CrossFit back when this all took place, but when I started the sport 10 years later, I found a way to get back into this moment on a regular basis.

During a workout, I can feel every single muscle hollering out. Pain is the moment and I am inside the moment. I focus on my form, on each move as it is happens. I stop thinking about the laundry and the vacuuming and life’s other trivialities. I’m right there. In by body, working out.

Then the workout ends, the pain dissipates, and I’m still inside the moment for a while longer. I’m not stressed. I’m loose. I can take it as it comes. And I don’t have to nearly die or break my ankle again (*knocks wood) to appreciate the benefits of this mindset. That’s when I’m at my safest. That’s when I’m at my best.

Ah, look at the time. Looks like it’s time I get my shoes tied and get my butt to the gym.

See you there.


Fourth of July Schedule (7/2/2018)

We will be having our 7:30am class only on the Fourth of July. Go grill something!

Meet Jared, our new Facilities Maintenance Manager! (6/21/2018)

  What’s New at Wildcat? Meet Jared Wellman, our new Facilities Maintenance Manager!

Meet Jared! Wildcat’s newest staff addition! Jared is currently working a few hours each week at Wildcat as our Facilities Maintenance Manager. Over the next several months, he will be working closely with Coach Noah and learning the Ins and Outs of caring for and maintaining our historic, unique gym space.

Just this last week, Jared cleaned the aquarium, made sure the rowers were ready to go on last Friday’s heavy Row day…and sorted out our Kettlebells once and for all!

You might be thinking, Hey, this guy looks familiar!

You’re right!

Jared is a longtime Wildcat member along with his wife, Coach Baily! Welcome aboard, Jared!

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