Ask me your fitness questions

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eidah
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby eidah » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:53 am

TVENUTO
Can you link me to a good 3 day German body comp. program? Thanks

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tvenuto
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:04 am

eidah wrote:TVENUTO
Can you link me to a good 3 day German body comp. program? Thanks
I highly recommend buying the book for the best understanding, but I linked to a free article which gives you a decent synopsis in a past post.

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eidah
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby eidah » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:47 am

THANKS TVENUTO.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Enkidude » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:35 pm

tvenuto wrote:
Enkidude wrote:Thanks Tvenuto!

I was using Sweet & Low in my coffee each morning to try and avoid using "real" sugar to lower my calorie count each day. On occasion I would use those new zero calorie sweeteners that you put in water to add some flavor. They use sucralose to make it sweet. After reading your response to my question about artificial sweeteners I have stopped using that stuff in my water(I didn't use it often anyway) and started using real sugar in my coffee.
You're welcome. I think dropping those "water flavor-ifiers" was a good move. Again, it's really about figuring out why you feel the need to taste sweet constantly. Learn to love plain ole H2O! We'll discuss the coffee and Calories in a minute.
Enkidude wrote:A little background. Last year I lost 35lbs by changing my diet (I was doing the paleo diet) and exercising regularly. I ran and did body weight exercises. I noticed a huge improvement in many facets of my life over the course of about 5 months. I'm 5'10'' and weight 175lbs now. Once i reached that weight, it seems like i just couldn't lose any more weight though I can tell I'm still holding on to 5-10lbs in my midsection.
Nice work having the motivation to make a significant life change. In a previous post I mentioned the interplay between the stressors we put our body through and the resulting homeostasis our body reaches. Something about your exercise/diet/lifestyle is telling your body that it needs to hold onto that gas tank. Also remember that the midsection (center of gravity) is the best place to carry weight for a moving organism, and this is generally the last place to lose it, so "belly fat" may or may not be indicative of any specific dysfunction.

Let deal with exercise first: Given that you've been using running and bodyweight exercises, I think it's important that you add some resistance training into the regimen. Now, as I also posted previously, this can be done with bodyweight exercises, but it's going to take more of an intricate progression to make things progressively more challenging in the rep ranges we want to operate in (5-15, broadly). I can once again recommend Poloquin's German Body Composition book for weight training, and you'll have to find some gymnastics resources if you want to go that route (Gymnastics WOD, and Gymnastics Bodies were mentioned previously).

Now let's talk about diet and lifestyle. First, I highlighted "coffee each morning" and "calorie count" above. It's clear for you that a coffee each and every day is a bit of a ritual. It's likely been this way for a while, or you would have just stopped adding sugar instead of bothering to replace it with artificial sweetener. Don't like coffee that isn't sweet? Then stop drinking it. Oh...you can't wake up without it? Hmmm..... What I'm getting at here is maybe you aren't getting enough sleep, or good quality sleep. Either of these issues will cause you to hold onto fat, and often around the midsection. It's a complicated system, but it has to do with the same mechanisms that keep you holding onto fat when doing large amounts of fat burning activity: your body wants reserve for what it perceives as stressful times. So go to bed! Try to wake up without an alarm, sleeping in the darkest possible room, and don't look at any sort of computer/phone screen for an hour prior to sleep. For more on this check out: Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival. Again there's a ton of stuff we could get into on sleep quality, but I just wanted to point out that this may be a factor.

Also, you mentioned counting calories. I'm not sure if this was just an intuitive idea of how many calories you were in-taking, or if you actually do count calories. Either way, I want to introduce a concept: while you were losing weight, you were "eating" those fat calories. That's right, while you were losing weight, assuming your diet is identical right now, you were actually eating more than you are now. Crazy, I know. Also, those calories were fat calories, so your macro-nutrient ratio was different than it is now. Macro-nutrients are: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins which make up the caloric content of your food. At this point, I would be more concerned with your macro-nutrient ratios than the amount of calories you're eating. If you get a program like My Fitness Pal you can log your food for a week and look up your macro-nutrient ratio. (I know this thing advertizes itself as a "calorie counter" but we can't let their misunderstanding of what's important stop us from using an otherwise useful tool.) A good general recommendation is 40%/30%/30% fat/protein/carb, and I'd bet a significant sum that you'll find you're light on fat in favor of carbs. See what playing with your ratios does for you, and make sure you are eating enough, remember those fat stores you were feasting on previously are no longer available.
Enkidude wrote:Is the weight around my midsection visceral body fat? I'm under the impression that having fat around your organs is the worst place you can have fat, but its also the hardest to get rid of. Any suggestions?
If you can pinch the fat you're talking about, then no, it's not visceral fat. I linked a picture below that quickly shows the difference between visceral and subcutaneous fat. The "belly fat" or "love handles" most people refer to are under your skin (sub-cutaneous). If you have a huge "beer gut," but can't really pinch much fat around your belly, that would be more of an indication of visceral fat (see bottom pic). It would take quite a bit of weight gain, or some really disordered lifestyle/diet factors to gain a significant amount of visceral fat. Again, I'm no doctor, and I can't see from here, but it's unlikely that you gained a significant amount of visceral fat at a peak weight of 210 at 5'10". Your impression is correct, though, it has been postulated that visceral fat is associated with a host of other issues (study).

As for my recommendation, see above. It's probably going to take some combination of exercise, diet, and lifestyle to get you to your "ideal" body composition, and you might just need to gain a few pounds of muscle along the way. However, you're talking about the last 2.5-5%, so remember the 80/20 rule: 80% of the work is in the last 20% of the outcome.

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I guess I don't like coffee. I like coffee with sugar ha ha. That is the one thing I have not been able to kick. I just like having a cup in the morning.

I think I get enough sleep (7-8 hours) and it's usually pretty sound, but I'm currently trying to transition from a stomach sleeper to a back sleeper. I've read sleeping on your back is best position.

I'm going to get a kettlebell and start resistance training. What do you think about kettlebells for building muscle? Not enough? Better than nothing?

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tvenuto
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:01 pm

Enkidude wrote:I guess I don't like coffee. I like coffee with sugar ha ha. That is the one thing I have not been able to kick. I just like having a cup in the morning.

I think I get enough sleep (7-8 hours) and it's usually pretty sound, but I'm currently trying to transition from a stomach sleeper to a back sleeper. I've read sleeping on your back is best position.

I'm going to get a kettlebell and start resistance training. What do you think about kettlebells for building muscle? Not enough? Better than nothing?
Is that all you have in the morning? If so I'd recommend having a breakfast, even a light one, as long as it includes some sort of protein. Try: Coffee + 3 pieces of bacon. Being fit can still be tasty.

Kettlebells are certainly useful, but they are really just specially shaped weights, there's nothing magical about them. But, you have to make hyperbolic claims to sell anything in the fitness industry... Anyway, I digress, some really awesome exercises to do with the KB:
-Turkish Get-up
-Swing (one and both arms)
-Clean and press
-Push-press
-Single legged deadlift
-Snatch
-Goblet squat

Again, you're going to have to take care to make the program progressive, which is going to be hard to do long-term with a single weight. However, having a KB really opens up what you can do over just having bodyweight, so yes, certainly better than "nothing" (you always have your body). Just be sure you know how to do the movements and know how to stabilize your trunk, a floppy spine is a recipe for disaster with dynamic movements.

As far as enough, well that depends on you, really. A persons expectations and body image are pretty subjective, so working out with a KB may indeed push you past the small plateau you find yourself on and have you satisfied. Remember this: a kettlebell sitting in the corner propping open a door will do nothing for your fitness. Bodyweight stuff, KBs, Barbells, whatever, you must put in the work.

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Sequimite
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Sequimite » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:01 pm

I've read the thread with interest. Thanks for contributing your expertise to the community.

I'm turning 60 this year. I was at the doctor yesterday - 64 resting pulse, 70 / 104 blood pressure. I have no heart problems. I was told I had an enlarged heart 15 years ago but after the cardiac cath I was told that my heart isn't enlarged, it's just really big, as are my arteries which they found to be clean as a whistle. I want to get into better shape in order to stay active the next twenty+ years. The fly in the ointment is weight, which has normally been about 320 (I'm 6' 4"). My workout, which along with food logging is helping me make progress is 6 days a week. MWF is cardio and on those days I either ride 20+ miles, including some serious hills, with my cycling group or do 70 minutes on the elliptical machine, keeping my heart rate in the 130's for at least an hour. TThSa I do 3 sets of 10 on every type of weight machine which takes me about 40 minutes and I then spin on a stationary bicycle for 30 minutes.

Questions:
1) I food log on myfitnesspal.com. I've started to ignore their protein requirements (seem to go up excessively with exercise) because if I eat enough to get the protein they say I need I lose most of my calorie burning advantage. Is there a more accurate gauge of protein requirement or a better way to minimize calories while getting the extra protein?
2) My brother-in-law convinced me to lift as much weight as I can while getting 8 controlled reps. Doing three sets should I stick with this weight even though I may get less reps on the third set, drop weight on additional sets so I can still do 8, or pick a weight that enables me to do 8 clean on the third set?
3) The only free weights I do is light dumbbells to strengthen my trick shoulder. I want to make the transition to free weights and wonder if you have any advice. I'm cautious with my knees but have most of the leg machines maxed out on weight at this point.

edit - I mentioned both 8 and 10 rep sets because I do 10 on the machines that are maxed out and on a few where I'm doing a lower weight due to impact on my bad shoulder.

4) Any other advice based on my specifics? Thanks again.
Last edited by Sequimite on Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Enkidude
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Enkidude » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:42 am

tvenuto wrote:
Enkidude wrote:I guess I don't like coffee. I like coffee with sugar ha ha. That is the one thing I have not been able to kick. I just like having a cup in the morning.

I think I get enough sleep (7-8 hours) and it's usually pretty sound, but I'm currently trying to transition from a stomach sleeper to a back sleeper. I've read sleeping on your back is best position.

I'm going to get a kettlebell and start resistance training. What do you think about kettlebells for building muscle? Not enough? Better than nothing?
Is that all you have in the morning? If so I'd recommend having a breakfast, even a light one, as long as it includes some sort of protein. Try: Coffee + 3 pieces of bacon. Being fit can still be tasty.

Kettlebells are certainly useful, but they are really just specially shaped weights, there's nothing magical about them. But, you have to make hyperbolic claims to sell anything in the fitness industry... Anyway, I digress, some really awesome exercises to do with the KB:
-Turkish Get-up
-Swing (one and both arms)
-Clean and press
-Push-press
-Single legged deadlift
-Snatch
-Goblet squat

Again, you're going to have to take care to make the program progressive, which is going to be hard to do long-term with a single weight. However, having a KB really opens up what you can do over just having bodyweight, so yes, certainly better than "nothing" (you always have your body). Just be sure you know how to do the movements and know how to stabilize your trunk, a floppy spine is a recipe for disaster with dynamic movements.

As far as enough, well that depends on you, really. A persons expectations and body image are pretty subjective, so working out with a KB may indeed push you past the small plateau you find yourself on and have you satisfied. Remember this: a kettlebell sitting in the corner propping open a door will do nothing for your fitness. Bodyweight stuff, KBs, Barbells, whatever, you must put in the work.
I usually have a hard boiled egg, a banana, an apple and some pistachios for breakfast and mid-morning snacking. But now that you mention bacon.... :D

I familiar with a couple of the exercises you recommended, but will need to research the rest. I've read you should exercise with the kettlebell barefoot or wearing shoes that are flat as possible, ie Converse Chuck Taylor's, so that your body is stabilized as best as possible. Will starting out with a 35-40lbs kettlebell and then moving up to a 50lbs after a few weeks/months be considered progressive?

I would just like to say thanks again!!!

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:22 pm

Yea try subbing the bacon (or another egg) for either the banana or apple, that's a good bit of sugar to start off your day. Again it's all an experiment to see what works for you.

Search "Jeff Martone" in relation to kettlebell videos, I think he has a bunch of good vids out there where he shows the movements and explains them.

Don't go crazy with the shoe thing, minimal cushioning is definitely a plus, but as long as you're not wearing something like Shox/Zigg/Airmax then you should be OK. If you have a space to do it barefoot, then have at it, I just don't think you need to run out and get a new pair of shoes.

Upping the weight is definitely a way to be progressive. However different movements can be harder as well. In relation to pressing the KB overhead, here are movements from easy (for your shoulder) to hard:
-Jerk
-Push-press
-Press
-"Bottoms up" press

So you can take a single weight, and move through the list as you get stronger. The key is to just avoid doing what 95% of gym-goers are doing: the same thing over and over with the same sets/reps/weight.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Skidoosh » Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:34 am

Talk to me about tabata. What intervals should I am for and when should I mix up the intervals for better results?

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:01 am

Skidoosh wrote:Talk to me about tabata. What intervals should I am for and when should I mix up the intervals for better results?
A "tabata" interval is most commonly described as 8 rounds of 20sec work and 10sec rest. It's named after a man named Izumi Tabata, who worked with the Japanese speed skating team and was tasked with evaluating the efficacy of their training. His actual academic paper is here, but in short he found that bouts of "high intensity intervals" were more effective than longer sessions of moderate intensity activity. That was pretty much all I knew off the top of my head, so I did a quick search and found this on him, where he actually claims that he didn't even think of the 20:10 protocol.

Before we get into it, there are a few things worth noting:
1. The original protocol always involved a cyclic activity (run/swim/row/bike) and the paper specifies 170% of VO2 max. Now you really don't need to know anything about VO2 max, and obviously without some diagnostic equipment you won't know what your current effort level is. However, the point is that you have to be working hard for the entire interval, and Tabata chose movements that allowed this to happen. The reason I go into this is because it's become trendy to just throw anything into a tabata interval, and the movements chosen might not allow you to actually follow his protocol.
2. He never claimed that these intervals would "burn fat and build muscle!" but once again, we see magazines and websites inserting their standard hyperbolic claims. Tabata was interested in increased athletic performance, specifically as it relates to cyclic activities.
3. He never claimed that this was a complete substitute for all other training such as strength training.

So, as far as what you should do for your tabata intervals, the safest choices are always cyclic activities, since they allow you to work hard for the entire interval. That doesn't mean you can't mix it up and use other movements, so long as they don't get limited by local muscular fatigue. Some other choices:
-Kettlebell swings
-Sled drags/pushes (way evil)
-Jump rope singles or doubles*
-Bodyweight squats
-Lunges or Jump-switch lunges*
-No-push-up burpees or Burpees*
-Kipping pull-ups*
-Sit-ups*
-Push-ups*

I put asterisks next to some of those because they may or may not work well due to your skill/ability level. To get an example of what I mean, try doing strict tabata pull-ups. You'll quickly realize that you're unable to work for the entire 20 seconds, and what was supposed to be 20 seconds of work becomes it's own interval of a few reps here and there with rest in between. Depending on your ability, sit-ups or push-ups might cause the same thing to happen. To mix up the stimulus, you can plug in different movements, or do more tabata intervals. Some example workouts:

Tabata squat
Rest 1min
Tabata sit-up
Rest 1min
Tabata row

Or

16 rounds total, alternating:
KB swing
No-push-up burpees

And if you really want to walk funny the next day, try yourself some bottom to bottom tabata squats:
cHdIUkxfH-g

Overall, I like tabata intervals if you're traveling or just working out at home and don't really have much motivation or time. You set the timer, and just work when it beeps. It's a great way to trick yourself into doing a decent amount of work in a short time. However, you do have to remember that it's just 4 minutes of work and in itself is not a complete training program.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Sequimite » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:21 am

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Last edited by Sequimite on Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Sequimite » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:21 am

Pardon the repost, but since posts before and after mine were answered I presume mine was lost in the stack.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I've read the thread with interest. Thanks for contributing your expertise to the community.

I'm turning 60 this year. I was at the doctor yesterday - 64 resting pulse, 70 / 104 blood pressure. I have no heart problems. I was told I had an enlarged heart 15 years ago but after the cardiac cath I was told that my heart isn't enlarged, it's just really big, as are my arteries which they found to be clean as a whistle. I want to get into better shape in order to stay active the next twenty+ years. The fly in the ointment is weight, which has normally been about 320 (I'm 6' 4"). My workout, which along with food logging is helping me make progress is 6 days a week. MWF is cardio and on those days I either ride 20+ miles, including some serious hills, with my cycling group or do 70 minutes on the elliptical machine, keeping my heart rate in the 130's for at least an hour. TThSa I do 3 sets of 10 on every type of weight machine which takes me about 40 minutes and I then spin on a stationary bicycle for 30 minutes.

Questions:
1) I food log on myfitnesspal.com. I've started to ignore their protein requirements (seem to go up excessively with exercise) because if I eat enough to get the protein they say I need I lose most of my calorie burning advantage. Is there a more accurate gauge of protein requirement or a better way to minimize calories while getting the extra protein?
2) My brother-in-law convinced me to lift as much weight as I can while getting 8 controlled reps. Doing three sets should I stick with this weight even though I may get less reps on the third set, drop weight on additional sets so I can still do 8, or pick a weight that enables me to do 8 clean on the third set?
3) The only free weights I do is light dumbbells to strengthen my trick shoulder. I want to make the transition to free weights and wonder if you have any advice. I'm cautious with my knees but have most of the leg machines maxed out on weight at this point.

edit - I mentioned both 8 and 10 rep sets because I do 10 on the machines that are maxed out and on a few where I'm doing a lower weight due to impact on my bad shoulder.

4) Any other advice based on my specifics? Thanks again.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:51 am

Sequimite wrote:I'm turning 60 this year. I was at the doctor yesterday - 64 resting pulse, 70 / 104 blood pressure. I have no heart problems. I was told I had an enlarged heart 15 years ago but after the cardiac cath I was told that my heart isn't enlarged, it's just really big, as are my arteries which they found to be clean as a whistle. I want to get into better shape in order to stay active the next twenty+ years. The fly in the ointment is weight, which has normally been about 320 (I'm 6' 4"). My workout, which along with food logging is helping me make progress is 6 days a week. MWF is cardio and on those days I either ride 20+ miles, including some serious hills, with my cycling group or do 70 minutes on the elliptical machine, keeping my heart rate in the 130's for at least an hour. TThSa I do 3 sets of 10 on every type of weight machine which takes me about 40 minutes and I then spin on a stationary bicycle for 30 minutes.

Questions:
1) I food log on myfitnesspal.com. I've started to ignore their protein requirements (seem to go up excessively with exercise) because if I eat enough to get the protein they say I need I lose most of my calorie burning advantage. Is there a more accurate gauge of protein requirement or a better way to minimize calories while getting the extra protein?
I did indeed miss this post entirely, sorry about that, and thanks for speaking up and reposting. I'm not entirely sure how much protein it would recommend, but I can imagine that it would overestimate at a BW of 320. I've talked previously about calorie intake not being the end-all be-all of fat loss/muscle gain. You have to remember a few things:
-Your body changes it's resting metabolic rate constantly in response to a number of factors, food is one of those
-Your food provides more than just caloric energy, it also provides the raw materials necessary for your bodily processes
-You have no idea how many calories you actually burn in a given day

So, while it is true that you must have a net caloric deficit to burn fat, this is not something you control merely via work vs intake. You can eat a meal, and your body could store all of it, or your body could up your metabolism to burn off any excess calories. Both meals could have the same "calorie count." I believe that your software has the ability to track your macronutrient ratios, that is the ratio of Carbohydrate to Protein to Fat. At this point I'd try two main things, well actually three. One, try to have some source of protein in every meal. "It ain't a meal without protein" is your new motto. Try to avoid eating meals that are mostly carbs, which will tell your body to store. Two, aim for an overall maconutrient ratio of 40% fat, 30% carb, and 30% protein. Don't go nuts trying to nail this perfectly every meal, but in general, I think this is good recommendation for overall health. Third, don't be hungry. Remember that your body is just responding to its environment. If you obsess over every calorie, and tell your body that food is scarce, it's going to stubbornly hold onto it's fat stores. Also, you've been this weight for a long time (I assume), so give it time and don't expect to shed a pound a day.
Sequimite wrote:2) My brother-in-law convinced me to lift as much weight as I can while getting 8 controlled reps. Doing three sets should I stick with this weight even though I may get less reps on the third set, drop weight on additional sets so I can still do 8, or pick a weight that enables me to do 8 clean on the third set?
I would agree with him that if you're not lifting as much as you can, then you're probably not driving adaptation. How long are you resting between sets? You might be trying to squeeze the sets too close together. If you want to keep moving, try supersets. Where you used to do 3 sets of shoulder press before moving on to 3 sets of lat pull downs, try alternating those two exercises. These can take some thought as to the combos, some good ones:
-Push/Pull (ex:shoulder press/lat pull down)
-Upper body/Lower body (ex:seated row/squat)
-Core/push (ex:hanging knee raise/dips)
Sequimite wrote:3) The only free weights I do is light dumbbells to strengthen my trick shoulder. I want to make the transition to free weights and wonder if you have any advice. I'm cautious with my knees but have most of the leg machines maxed out on weight at this point.

edit - I mentioned both 8 and 10 rep sets because I do 10 on the machines that are maxed out and on a few where I'm doing a lower weight due to impact on my bad shoulder.
The leg extension machine is probably harder on your knees than anything you could do with free weights. The load is suddenly applied at the bottom and is maximal at the top, which is the opposite of how your knee would work during a squat (which is a natural movement). No don't tape off the leg extension machine, I just wanted to reassure you about using fee weights. The fact that you're doing the same weights for the same number of reps each time isn't ideal, as the whole point is to drive adaptation via a progressively loaded program. I would generally try and work with more compound movements that are challenging from 8-12 reps. Hopefully you have someone that can watch you to make sure your form looks good.
Sequimite wrote:4) Any other advice based on my specifics? Thanks again.
I think that as you age, maintaining muscle mass and staying active should be the primary concerns. However, you're good to go on the muscle, you're just too heavy. I think that you've got a good idea focusing on the diet, obviously there's a lot to potentially talk about there, but in general I'd try to eat real food as much as possible, get protein in every meal, and aim for the 40/30/30 macro in general. If it can be cooked 100% in your microwave, it's probably not real btw. Try to make that lifting program include larger movements and progressive loading. Remember: it's about driving adaptation, not about just putting in "work."

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby DRKBC » Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:03 pm

Question for you - I have been using this after mountain biking lately as it has been so amazingly hot. I think its a good product?

http://vegasport.com/product/recovery-accelerator/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

For hydration I have just been using plain old water. My usual rides are 1.5 to 2 hours for cross country 3 to 4 times weekly, if I go down hilling at a resort that will jump up to 4 to 5 hours for the day but it is a different type of riding. I have to say as I get older the next day recovery isn't quite as good as it was when I was younger, now at 55 I feel it a lot more than I ounce did.

I try to space out my rides now (day on day off) but because of my schedule it doesn't always work that way. I typically get my 3 to 4 rides in but as I said it's a bit erratic and sometimes there isn't much recovery between them. I am wondering if my rate of recovery could be improved and how I should approach it given the above. I am starting to feel fairly beat up after my work outs these days, the heat is likely not helping as it has been in the 90's for the last month and half but anyway any light you can shed on this topic would be appreciated.

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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:15 pm

DRKBC wrote:Question for you - I have been using this after mountain biking lately as it has been so amazingly hot. I think its a good product?

http://vegasport.com/product/recovery-accelerator/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Thanks for the question! As always, I'll have a few for you as well. None of the following is medical advice, and if you're on medication, check with the doc before playing with supplements (although be prepared for a blank stare followed by qualified statements "well you never really know what's in those things...").

Firstly, the function of the carb:pro "post workout" shake is to replenish muscle glycogen (the sugar your muscles store for energy), and whether or not you use it should relate more to the training volume/intensity than the temperature. Your idea to take a dedicated PW shake with is a good one given your workout volume, so you're on the right track. However, I do think we can improve things relating to recovery.

Are you vegetarian/vegan? If not I think your post workout protocol could be improved. If you're open to whey, I'd recommend Revive RX Recover, which is whey/dextrose(glucose)/glutamine. The Revive is conveniently packaged in the correct ratios, but you could also mix your own, as why protein, maltodextrin/dextrose, and glutamine are relatively cheap to buy individually. I don't have a ton of experience with high level endurance athletes, but 2:1 carb:pro is the ratio I've always used. Whey is a phenomenal protein, and I've heard that pea protein can be harder to digest. When in doubt, go with whey. If you want/need to stick with the Vega, then add some glutamine, as it's been known to support recovery/immune function.

As I mentioned earlier, what you're doing with a carb:pro shake is replenishing glycogen, which is glucose stored in the muscle. Dextrose, being a polymer of glucose, is ideal for this. Not sure how the "whole grain brown rice sweetener" in the Vega compares for glycogen replenishment. Also, I wonder how can a derivative product be called "whole grain?" Whatever...

I think whey is better than pea, and dextrose is better than rice sweetener, and I think you'd see positive change from glutamine.
DRKBC wrote:For hydration I have just been using plain old water. My usual rides are 1.5 to 2 hours for cross country 3 to 4 times weekly, if I go down hilling at a resort that will jump up to 4 to 5 hours for the day but it is a different type of riding. I have to say as I get older the next day recovery isn't quite as good as it was when I was younger, now at 55 I feel it a lot more than I ounce did.

I try to space out my rides now (day on day off) but because of my schedule it doesn't always work that way. I typically get my 3 to 4 rides in but as I said it's a bit erratic and sometimes there isn't much recovery between them. I am wondering if my rate of recovery could be improved and how I should approach it given the above. I am starting to feel fairly beat up after my work outs these days, the heat is likely not helping as it has been in the 90's for the last month and half but anyway any light you can shed on this topic would be appreciated.
If your joints are achy, I'd recommend taking some fish oil if you aren't already (assuming no counter-indications with meds). Consider adding multi-mineral tablets to aid in hydration (these keep me from feeling worn down in summers). Also, you didn't mention sleep at all, where the real magic happens. Could you sleep more, or get higher quality sleep? That's a big one for recovery.

But frankly, you're doing quite a bit of volume. If what you say is true, you're spending 4.5 to 8 hours on your bike per week. So my next question is: why the volume? Where does mountain biking fit into your life? Do you use it for stress relief? Fun? Training (for competition)? Fitness (improved body composition: lose fat/gain muscle)?

Only one of those (training for competition) might require the volume you're doing. If it's for fun, stress relief, or fitness, feeling beat up consistently is probably counterproductive in the long run. Could you do a day of shorter/faster intervals? Some resistance training (hint hint)? Even for cycling, at least one day of hypertrophy-focused resistance training is beneficial. You could do with moving through a larger range of motion than you get on your bike, and you might be surprised how much you can get out of relatively few reps of resistance work. Do 3 sets of 20 barbell reverse lunges, and you will feel it. And that's only 60 reps. How many times to you pedal in 2hrs?

So anyway, to sum up:
I'm not a doctor
Replace pea protein with whey
Replace "whole grain brown rice sweetener" with anything that doesn't require quotes, but dextrose/maltodextrin is ideal
Add glutamine
Consider fish oil/multimineral
Sleep quantity/quality?
Consider reducing volume: make one session short/fast intervals, sub one session for resistance training

DRKBC
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Posts: 1496
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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby DRKBC » Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:56 pm

Thanks so much please see my answers below
tvenuto wrote:
DRKBC wrote:Question for you - I have been using this after mountain biking lately as it has been so amazingly hot. I think its a good product?

http://vegasport.com/product/recovery-accelerator/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Thanks for the question! As always, I'll have a few for you as well. None of the following is medical advice, and if you're on medication, check with the doc before playing with supplements (although be prepared for a blank stare followed by qualified statements "well you never really know what's in those things...").

Not on any medication so good there.

Firstly, the function of the carb:pro "post workout" shake is to replenish muscle glycogen (the sugar your muscles store for energy), and whether or not you use it should relate more to the training volume/intensity than the temperature. Your idea to take a dedicated PW shake with is a good one given your workout volume, so you're on the right track. However, I do think we can improve things relating to recovery.

Are you vegetarian/vegan? No I am not

If not I think your post workout protocol could be improved. If you're open to whey, I'd recommend Revive RX Recover, which is whey/dextrose(glucose)/glutamine. The Revive is conveniently packaged in the correct ratios, but you could also mix your own, as why protein, maltodextrin/dextrose, and glutamine are relatively cheap to buy individually. I don't have a ton of experience with high level endurance athletes, but 2:1 carb:pro is the ratio I've always used. Whey is a phenomenal protein, and I've heard that pea protein can be harder to digest. When in doubt, go with whey. If you want/need to stick with the Vega, then add some glutamine, as it's been known to support recovery/immune function.

Perfect thanks for that!

As I mentioned earlier, what you're doing with a carb:pro shake is replenishing glycogen, which is glucose stored in the muscle. Dextrose, being a polymer of glucose, is ideal for this. Not sure how the "whole grain brown rice sweetener" in the Vega compares for glycogen replenishment. Also, I wonder how can a derivative product be called "whole grain?" Whatever...

I think whey is better than pea, and dextrose is better than rice sweetener, and I think you'd see positive change from glutamine.

Again, thanks I am going to try this
DRKBC wrote:For hydration I have just been using plain old water. My usual rides are 1.5 to 2 hours for cross country 3 to 4 times weekly, if I go down hilling at a resort that will jump up to 4 to 5 hours for the day but it is a different type of riding. I have to say as I get older the next day recovery isn't quite as good as it was when I was younger, now at 55 I feel it a lot more than I ounce did.

I try to space out my rides now (day on day off) but because of my schedule it doesn't always work that way. I typically get my 3 to 4 rides in but as I said it's a bit erratic and sometimes there isn't much recovery between them. I am wondering if my rate of recovery could be improved and how I should approach it given the above. I am starting to feel fairly beat up after my work outs these days, the heat is likely not helping as it has been in the 90's for the last month and half but anyway any light you can shed on this topic would be appreciated.


If your joints are achy, I'd recommend taking some fish oil if you aren't already (assuming no counter-indications with meds). Consider adding multi-mineral tablets to aid in hydration (these keep me from feeling worn down in summers). Also, you didn't mention sleep at all, where the real magic happens. Could you sleep more, or get higher quality sleep? That's a big one for recovery.

My low back is really the one - its pretty stiff at times the rest of me is pretty good, knees, hips, ankles etc. I just started to take a Glucosamine/MSM/Chondroitin supplement to see if this would help. My sleep is not good, I guess the other component here is that I have an event rental company so my work week has a combination of days were we work ridiculous hours in the heat and it is really physical to days were I am not in the field but back at the office working in front of a screen for 12 hours. As it is my company and as is the nature of a deadline business, it can be stressful, resulting in some restless nights. During really heavy work periods I drop the riding back because well there is no time to ride but I still like to try to get out once or twice during the week to clear my mind.

But frankly, you're doing quite a bit of volume. If what you say is true, you're spending 4.5 to 8 hours on your bike per week. So my next question is: why the volume? Where does mountain biking fit into your life? Do you use it for stress relief? Fun? Training (for competition)? Fitness (improved body composition: lose fat/gain muscle)?

I rode competitively on the road for a few years but with my work schedule that isn't possible anymore. Having made the switch to mountain biking I love it. I don't mind not having the stress of competition and I love the thrill of downhill. I guess from the road biking I got use to a volume of training. That is the way I have always trained but that said I do alternate light days with faster or interval days so I don't just gun it every ride. That's my summer, in the winter I can't ride so I switch back to the gym, with a much lighter cardio load (1 or 2 days a week) when I might do a spin class, snow shoe etc.
So to answer your question nowadays, fun and stress relief are at the top of the pile. I do love to ride and in the summer honestly, if I can ride I will take that over a day at the gym. One positive is that mountain biking involves a fair amount of core and upper body, so I find when I return to the gym after the summer my strength has dropped but not that much - and its fairly easy to get back. As I write this I can sort of see the combination of my work, sleep and fitness regime sounds like a bit of a nightmare. I need to make some changes but on the other hand I have to work and I love to ride and I would like to be able to do it all and convert all of this effort into some positive results, is that even possible? Sounds like obviously sleep is a bit of an issue, no more passing out watching net flicks and going to bed at midnight and getting at 4am apparently :-) Thank God I quit drinking alcohol a few years ago or I would really be a mess.


Only one of those (training for competition) might require the volume you're doing. If it's for fun, stress relief, or fitness, feeling beat up consistently is probably counterproductive in the long run. Could you do a day of shorter/faster intervals? Some resistance training (hint hint)? Even for cycling, at least one day of hypertrophy-focused resistance training is beneficial. You could do with moving through a larger range of motion than you get on your bike, and you might be surprised how much you can get out of relatively few reps of resistance work. Do 3 sets of 20 barbell reverse lunges, and you will feel it. And that's only 60 reps. How many times to you pedal in 2hrs?

So anyway, to sum up:
I'm not a doctor
Replace pea protein with whey
Replace "whole grain brown rice sweetener" with anything that doesn't require quotes, but dextrose/maltodextrin is ideal
Add glutamine
Consider fish oil/multimineral
Sleep quantity/quality?
Consider reducing volume: make one session short/fast intervals, sub one session for resistance training
Thanks again for the advice and taking the time to do this, it really incredible that you do.

User avatar
tvenuto
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Location: South Baltimore

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby tvenuto » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:25 am

DRKBC wrote:Not on any medication so good there.
A life of consistent exercising has resulted in NO medications?! :eek:
DRKBC wrote:My low back is really the one - its pretty stiff at times the rest of me is pretty good, knees, hips, ankles etc. I just started to take a Glucosamine/MSM/Chondroitin supplement to see if this would help. My sleep is not good, I guess the other component here is that I have an event rental company so my work week has a combination of days were we work ridiculous hours in the heat and it is really physical to days were I am not in the field but back at the office working in front of a screen for 12 hours. As it is my company and as is the nature of a deadline business, it can be stressful, resulting in some restless nights. During really heavy work periods I drop the riding back because well there is no time to ride but I still like to try to get out once or twice during the week to clear my mind.
Yea that glucosamine complex is one that I've always wondered about. It seems to be popular and the people that take it swear by it, but I've never seen a whole lot of direct evidence of it being the wondercure people think. It doesn't seem to hurt, so I'm cool with it either way. Regarding the back pain, I'd really try and open up the hip. Being in a hip flexed position (sitting) for long periods of time can shorten the hip flexors and pull on your spine causing you to overextend your lumbar and resulting in back pain. Try this stretch, which he finally gets to around 4:00. Essentially put your knee next to a door jamb, put your butt and shoulders against the jamb, put your hands over your head and grab the jamb, notice how there's a space between your low back and the jamb and rotate your hips forward to try and flatten your back against the jamb.
DRKBC wrote:I rode competitively on the road for a few years but with my work schedule that isn't possible anymore. Having made the switch to mountain biking I love it. I don't mind not having the stress of competition and I love the thrill of downhill. I guess from the road biking I got use to a volume of training. That is the way I have always trained but that said I do alternate light days with faster or interval days so I don't just gun it every ride. That's my summer, in the winter I can't ride so I switch back to the gym, with a much lighter cardio load (1 or 2 days a week) when I might do a spin class, snow shoe etc.

So to answer your question nowadays, fun and stress relief are at the top of the pile. I do love to ride and in the summer honestly, if I can ride I will take that over a day at the gym. One positive is that mountain biking involves a fair amount of core and upper body, so I find when I return to the gym after the summer my strength has dropped but not that much - and its fairly easy to get back. As I write this I can sort of see the combination of my work, sleep and fitness regime sounds like a bit of a nightmare. I need to make some changes but on the other hand I have to work and I love to ride and I would like to be able to do it all and convert all of this effort into some positive results, is that even possible? Sounds like obviously sleep is a bit of an issue, no more passing out watching net flicks and going to bed at midnight and getting at 4am apparently :-) Thank God I quit drinking alcohol a few years ago or I would really be a mess.
Well not a total nightmare (I've seen worse), but you have to remember that you have a certain amount of recovery for all stresses. Stresses, which can take the form of: mental/emotional stress, exercise, sickness, injury etc. Obviously some of these stresses are positive, like the ones that cause you to adapt and become stronger/fitter, but you only have one system to handle all of this, so it all counts. I always tell people: "you only have one CNS." Think of it like a swimming pool. Every stress takes some water out of the pool. When you run out of water you start getting chronic injuries/pain, and then poor hormonal response which exacerbates the issues of sleep etc. You can make your pool deeper by aiding recovery with nutrition quantity/quality, supplements, sleep quantity/quality. So it's a bit of a balancing act.

For sleep, I would try to not look at any sort of illuminated screen for 1hr prior to bedtime. Screens shoot blue light at you, just like the sun, and tell your brain to stay awake longer. Try reading a book before bed instead. Also, it's good to form some sort of night time ritual. Like you do the same stuff every night before bed, to get yourself mentally ready to sleep. Try to sleep in as dark of a room as possible.

I also feel the need to mention that at your age HRT (hormone replacement therapy) might be a valid option to explore. Obviously there are pros and cons to this, and there is a lot of unwarranted emotion and taboo surrounding the male hormone testosterone, but it is an available avenue. I absolutely think you could right the ship without it, but as I said it's an option.

I think the answer is yes, you can convert this into positive results, but you need to improve your recovery, lower your stress volume, or both. Also, as I said I would consider replacing a long voluminous riding session with some resistance training, even during the summer (by lowering the stress side of the balance). I would also dedicate 10-20 min to mobility per day, or maybe only off days. That can be relaxing, and although it isn't sexy like lifting weights or riding, if you're dealing with joint pain it could be some of the most productive stuff you do.
DRKBC wrote:Thanks again for the advice and taking the time to do this, it really incredible that you do.
No problem. Just like Cliff and Ankerson enjoy doing cutting tests, I enjoy talking/thinking about fitness and human performance so it's fun for me as well.

DRKBC
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:08 pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby DRKBC » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:59 am

tvenuto wrote:
DRKBC wrote:Not on any medication so good there.
A life of consistent exercising has resulted in NO medications?! :eek:
DRKBC wrote:My low back is really the one - its pretty stiff at times the rest of me is pretty good, knees, hips, ankles etc. I just started to take a Glucosamine/MSM/Chondroitin supplement to see if this would help. My sleep is not good, I guess the other component here is that I have an event rental company so my work week has a combination of days were we work ridiculous hours in the heat and it is really physical to days were I am not in the field but back at the office working in front of a screen for 12 hours. As it is my company and as is the nature of a deadline business, it can be stressful, resulting in some restless nights. During really heavy work periods I drop the riding back because well there is no time to ride but I still like to try to get out once or twice during the week to clear my mind.
Yea that glucosamine complex is one that I've always wondered about. It seems to be popular and the people that take it swear by it, but I've never seen a whole lot of direct evidence of it being the wondercure people think. It doesn't seem to hurt, so I'm cool with it either way. Regarding the back pain, I'd really try and open up the hip. Being in a hip flexed position (sitting) for long periods of time can shorten the hip flexors and pull on your spine causing you to overextend your lumbar and resulting in back pain. Try this stretch, which he finally gets to around 4:00. Essentially put your knee next to a door jamb, put your butt and shoulders against the jamb, put your hands over your head and grab the jamb, notice how there's a space between your low back and the jamb and rotate your hips forward to try and flatten your back against the jamb.

I am on it watched the video, seems to make sense. I started on his first one (the 10 minute squat) and it is pretty obvious that I have some work to do :-)
DRKBC wrote:I rode competitively on the road for a few years but with my work schedule that isn't possible anymore. Having made the switch to mountain biking I love it. I don't mind not having the stress of competition and I love the thrill of downhill. I guess from the road biking I got use to a volume of training. That is the way I have always trained but that said I do alternate light days with faster or interval days so I don't just gun it every ride. That's my summer, in the winter I can't ride so I switch back to the gym, with a much lighter cardio load (1 or 2 days a week) when I might do a spin class, snow shoe etc.

So to answer your question nowadays, fun and stress relief are at the top of the pile. I do love to ride and in the summer honestly, if I can ride I will take that over a day at the gym. One positive is that mountain biking involves a fair amount of core and upper body, so I find when I return to the gym after the summer my strength has dropped but not that much - and its fairly easy to get back. As I write this I can sort of see the combination of my work, sleep and fitness regime sounds like a bit of a nightmare. I need to make some changes but on the other hand I have to work and I love to ride and I would like to be able to do it all and convert all of this effort into some positive results, is that even possible? Sounds like obviously sleep is a bit of an issue, no more passing out watching net flicks and going to bed at midnight and getting at 4am apparently :-) Thank God I quit drinking alcohol a few years ago or I would really be a mess.
Well not a total nightmare (I've seen worse), but you have to remember that you have a certain amount of recovery for all stresses. Stresses, which can take the form of: mental/emotional stress, exercise, sickness, injury etc. Obviously some of these stresses are positive, like the ones that cause you to adapt and become stronger/fitter, but you only have one system to handle all of this, so it all counts. I always tell people: "you only have one CNS." Think of it like a swimming pool. Every stress takes some water out of the pool. When you run out of water you start getting chronic injuries/pain, and then poor hormonal response which exacerbates the issues of sleep etc. You can make your pool deeper by aiding recovery with nutrition quantity/quality, supplements, sleep quantity/quality. So it's a bit of a balancing act.

Great analogy

For sleep, I would try to not look at any sort of illuminated screen for 1hr prior to bedtime. Screens shoot blue light at you, just like the sun, and tell your brain to stay awake longer. Try reading a book before bed instead. Also, it's good to form some sort of night time ritual. Like you do the same stuff every night before bed, to get yourself mentally ready to sleep. Try to sleep in as dark of a room as possible.

Great advice, I need to develop a ritual because my one current one is not working at all and I wake up exhausted. I will work on this

I also feel the need to mention that at your age HRT (hormone replacement therapy) might be a valid option to explore. Obviously there are pros and cons to this, and there is a lot of unwarranted emotion and taboo surrounding the male hormone testosterone, but it is an available avenue. I absolutely think you could right the ship without it, but as I said it's an option.

I know nothing about it, but if you say I could fix my issues without it then I would rather do that.

I think the answer is yes, you can convert this into positive results, but you need to improve your recovery, lower your stress volume, or both. Also, as I said I would consider replacing a long voluminous riding session with some resistance training, even during the summer (by lowering the stress side of the balance). I would also dedicate 10-20 min to mobility per day, or maybe only off days. That can be relaxing, and although it isn't sexy like lifting weights or riding, if you're dealing with joint pain it could be some of the most productive stuff you do.

I am really excited about this I have been thinking about yoga but I am going to try Kelly's stretching routine first. What do I do to help lessen the effects of say for example an event set-up day. We are out in the heat often anywhere from 8 to 14 hours working hard and some times we need to run at this pace for a number of days in a row. After the madness subsides I feel like I have been run over by a truck and it takes a few days before I feel myself again. The stretching I am sure will help, I currently hydrate myself throughout the day as I wear a hydration pack and eat a healthy lunch of fruits vegetables & protein, I have 1 to 2 Vega or elevate bars as snacks but maybe I need to up my calorie intake in certain areas, take supplements, pre, during or post?
DRKBC wrote:Thanks again for the advice and taking the time to do this, it really incredible that you do.
No problem. Just like Cliff and Ankerson enjoy doing cutting tests, I enjoy talking/thinking about fitness and human performance so it's fun for me as well.
Never the less it is very generous of you to share your knowledge.

sbaker345
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby sbaker345 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:53 am

If you don't mind going mildly off topic how do you feel about the fitness industry in general? I find it a bit irritating to the point I am considering paying for a gym membership to avoid using the college gym when the semester starts. I've been weight training for close to 5 years, though I've taken a break a couple times. The longer I train the more I realize putting in work and mutant genetics outweigh any other factors, case in point my father who at 66 having never weight trained gets asked if he competes in strongmen by competitors.


Anyways I see so much focus on what supplements you take, what super secret brutal routine you do, what weird diet you do, Gets old almost as fast as the psuedo hardcore *beast mode* attitude :p But hey, I just lift to see what I can do and to close the manix 2

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Donut
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Re: Ask me your fitness questions

Postby Donut » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:20 am

I'll let T answer overall, but I think there are a lot of cases that can be examined on that question. All the discussion would be based on what your goals are.

1. I spent probably 10 years not reading any magazines or anything, just going to the gym.

2. I spent many years taking ZERO supplements. (I was testing the idea that everything in GNC is a placebo.)

3. About 15 or more of the years I've been working out, the only supplement I've taken is Whey Protein.

I'm 6'2", weighed 234 lbs yesterday, I would say I'm big, but I don't look like a body builder. (I heard that Arnold said the best you can do without steroids is look like a swimmer.) I've been lifting weights and little other exercise regularly for more than 18 years.

From what I've seen, you typically won't double in size in 5 years, maybe in 10 you will. Unless you've decided to take Steroids, which might be the mutant genetics of some of the people you see in the gym.

It is typically good to focus on small term goals that you CAN reach. 10 or 20 lbs stronger bench, a few more reps, endurance to handle more sets,
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