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  1. #1
    Member fireguy286's Avatar
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    How much of it is fat loss

    A little embarassing, but I've struggled for years with my weight, although my zest for cycling has steadily gone up, now to the point where I'm actually doing it on a very regular basis. Right now I'm 6'4", 258 lbs, and according to measurements an estimated 31% BF. I am training for a 70 Km mountain bike race in June, known as the Test Of Metal. My training consists of about 150 Kms a week of LSD, including commuting to work, a weekend 2.5 hour MTB ride with a group on some tough technical trails, as well as some cross training with swimming, some weights and a little bit of running. My goal is to lose 40 pounds of fat which would get me down to about 15% BF. My question is how much of the weight you lose by eating a healthy diet and an exercise program like this is fat loss, how much muscle? Is there anything I can do different without spending more time, I have 4 boys under the age of nine, to make sure that I maximize fat loss and minimize muscle loss? Does this seem like a good approach to gear upfor the race I have signed up for? I hope this post makes sense and any help would be greatly appreciated.

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    I'm not a nutritionist but I can tell you from past experience dieting and biking, keep up on the protien foods, tuna, eggs, chicken, turkey. Protiens are what your muscles need the most of when training to keep up the blood flow and energy going. When you overuse muscles they get very tiny tears, the proteins help with rebuilding. Protein shakes are a good idea too, about an hour or so before riding, depending on how fast you metabolize foods. Go for low sugars in all your foods, watch out for too much sugar in fruits, stick to water based fruits, apples, watermellon, any mellons, strawberries. Muscle weighs more than fat so I would go with a visual overlook at your bod, tighter, muscle tone beginning to show?, not just dialing down numbers. Good luck

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    I forgot to mention, with all that cross training you need to do some serious stretching. All that biking is going to tighten up your hips, calves, groin and hamstrings. You can stretch the calves on the stairs or outside on the curb. If you feel lower back pain it's often related to the hammies being really tight. Here's an idea... if your pressed for time in the evenings make the kids do the stretching with you at home, throw in some situps and pushups to keep them busy if it's too boring

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    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    If stretching is a problem, and for me it is my hamstrings and always has been. I will lay on the floor while watching TV before bed and stretch for 30 minutes. I don't watch that much TV anyway, so the time sitting might as well be spent stretching.
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    Car-lite, Car Blight Eulogy13x's Avatar
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    The amount of fat vs. muscle you burn while exercising depends primarily on your heartrate. Fat provides the most energy per gram but requires the most metabolism to provide said energy. So, when your intensity of exercise allows your body the time to metabolize fat primarily for energy, it'll do so. This happens primarily at lower intensities (HR less than 70ish% Max). The closer you push towards Max HR, the more your body creates an energy deficit should it produce energy merely by fat metabolism. It needs energy QUICK, because you're using it so rapidly. As a result, it has to go to the source that requires the least work to get energy out, and that's protein (muscle). So, to minimize muscle loss and maximize fat burning, the goal is truely to keep yourself at lower intensities for as long as possible. Also, as mentioned above, by making sure your body always has protein around (and keeping in mind that you can only digest/absorb a few grams of protein at a time, making the goal FREQUENT consumption, not MASSIVE consumption of protein), you assure that your body won't have to catabolize muscle tissue for protein sources. Oh, and eat healthy.

    Good luck!
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    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    Not necessarily, there has been some data that show that high intensity interval training is more effective at weight loss because it burns more total number of Calories. Yes, slower exercise burns more fat but you'll be doing it forever in order to match the amount of Calories burned through intervals.

    Keeping up your protein levels and doing resistance exercise will minimize muscle loss.

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    Killing Rabbits
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    The op is talking about adipose tissue loss, not fatty acid oxidization... related topics but not the same thing by any means.

    The short answer is weight loss will be about half fat and half muscle. This can be improved to about 75% fat 25% muscle if you consume carbs during exercise and get enough protein.

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    Member fireguy286's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
    The op is talking about adipose tissue loss, not fatty acid oxidization... related topics but not the same thing by any means.

    The short answer is weight loss will be about half fat and half muscle. This can be improved to about 75% fat 25% muscle if you consume carbs during exercise and get enough protein.
    That is what I was talking about and thank you all for your answers. Can I get more specifics on the above statement. What is enough carbs while riding. Is it different for my commute and LSD rides, where my HR is moderate and my Saturday rides where at times I can see my heart rate by looking at my chest wall. How much protien is enough? I probably have 170lbs lean body mass. How much protien to accomplish what I am trying to accomplish. I know how to ride, it's the nutrition stuff I have a tough time with. Is it a mistake to feel like I should refuel (eat) after riding, or should I just eat as I normally do. Last question. Why is there no spell check on here, it keeps telling me protien is wrong but I thought the rule was i before e except after c.

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    Killing Rabbits
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireguy286 View Post
    That is what I was talking about and thank you all for your answers. Can I get more specifics on the above statement. What is enough carbs while riding. Is it different for my commute and LSD rides, where my HR is moderate and my Saturday rides where at times I can see my heart rate by looking at my chest wall. How much protien is enough? I probably have 170lbs lean body mass. How much protien to accomplish what I am trying to accomplish. I know how to ride, it's the nutrition stuff I have a tough time with. Is it a mistake to feel like I should refuel (eat) after riding, or should I just eat as I normally do. Last question. Why is there no spell check on here, it keeps telling me protien is wrong but I thought the rule was i before e except after c.
    There is going to be disagreement on these opinions but in general you want about 250kcal of carbs/hour while riding. Of course you also have to consider what else you have eaten that day and when. For example, if you just finished a carb-rich breakfast then you won't need anymore carbs for your commute to work as your stomach is already full of carbs. Same with recovery foods.. if you eat supper right after you finish your commute home, then again nothing extra is needed.

    As for the effect of intensity on on-bike food choices, choose straight carb snack/drinks for very high intensity workouts. For lower intensity workouts still eat the 250kcal/hour but it is ok if those snacks are mixed macronutrient (carb/fat/protein).

    It is always better to have a snack after exercise but don't add additional foods in order to do this. Just eat something that you had planned on eating anyways -while keeping the daily total amount of calories the same. Like if you are going to have a banana that day it's better to eat it on the bike than while sitting on the couch watching tv.

    As for the amount of protein a guy your size should be looking at around 80-140g/day. To maintain caloric deficit cut junk carbs and fat (pop, chips, white bread) while retaining lean protein sources (meat, beans) and high fiber carb sources (peas, beans, etc).

    Protein is a jail word... it's "ei"

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    europoseur
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    I’d say just lose weight and don’t worry about it. The lighter you get, the less muscle you need to maintain a healthy power/weight ratio anyway.
    Last edited by Speedee; 01-10-08 at 02:13 PM.

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    Car-lite, Car Blight Eulogy13x's Avatar
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    RE: Nickel, "Not necessarily, there has been some data that show that high intensity interval training is more effective at weight loss because it burns more total number of Calories."

    This is true, but I read the OP as wanting to minimize muscle loss, as per the statement "Is there anything I can do different without spending more time...to make sure that I maximize fat loss and minimize muscle loss? As a long-time strength-trainer, I've traditionally had to shy away from high-intensity training, because it reduced muscle mass FAST. If OP wants to keep muscle mass and lose fat, and doesn't have alot of time, he's probably gonna have to pick two of the following three: fat loss, muscle retention, time. If OP refuses to budge on time, then if it were me, I'd probably go for the HIT supplemented with HEAVY weightlifting to offset the muscle loss as much as possible.

    To address enthalpic's statement RE: adipose tissue loss vs. fatty acid oxidation, you have a finite amount of adipose tissue (ie, a finite number of fat cells) once you've reached adulthood. Those cells merely grow and shrink as your fat stores grow and shrink. So, fatty acid oxidation is VERY related. I agree entirely with your last post, though.
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    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    I wasn't aware that high-intensity exercise reduces muscle mass fast? I guess I was thinking that sprinters are some of the most muscular of the runners and they are basically doing high-intensity work all the time?

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    One thing you can to to minimize loss of muscle is some weight training. This will help with muscle tone as well as not looking all saggy.

    I would simply focus on loosing the weight slowly and eating healthy balanced meals, and not over worry about it.

    The race is simply a motivator and no bigge if you do not finish or do well. Just remember the bigger goal is your health and your kids. I would ride with them and go for walk with them and wife also.

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    To help lose weight, you need to maintain your blood sugar during and after exercise. That means a good hydration drink during the ride, and a recovery drink after the ride. There are lots of different choices for both - I use accelerade during the ride, and endurox after, but you may need to try a few to find one that works. If you are okay with milk, lowfat chocolate milk is a pretty good recovery drink.

    If your blood sugar is up, you will be less hungry after your workouts, and therefore you won't feel the need to eat as much.

    Recovery drinks also keep your body from tearing down muscle to replace your muscle glycogen.
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    mateo for short mateo44's Avatar
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    +1 on the recovery drink.

    In a perfect world, it would be "recovery hot wings and beer" instead. But a good recovery drink often saves me from overeating after a ride.
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    '05 NUEser EJ123's Avatar
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    Waxy maize starch after workouts!

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    Junior Member jlnelson's Avatar
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    Somebody mentioned drinking a protein shake or two, and I completely agree. I would go with Soy Protein over why protein because it will help you trim fat while maintaining your muscle.

  18. #18
    WTF is that creak?! O.o sfrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireguy286 View Post
    My question is how much of the weight you lose by eating a healthy diet and an exercise program like this is fat loss, how much muscle?
    Depends on the composition of the muscle.

    Muscle consists of a network of strands - the fibers. An aerobically trained muscle consists of fibers that are wrapped in motor neuron endings (to make them twitch), have capillaries alongside them (for blood to/from), have strong connective tissues (to strongly rebound and stay homogenous), are interspersed with fat and glycogen stores, and have a large number of mitochondria (ranging from 5-10 in an untrained muscle cell to 25k-50k in a trained cell - 3-4 orders of magnitude). All of these things are slow to build; they require cell division and growth of new tissue. These cells are very long lived, meaning their turnover rate is slow, and so is their growth rate. (Except perhaps mitochondria, but they are more akin to bacteria embedded in cells rather than normal human cells; they have mtDNA separate form your regular human DNA and live a life of their own.) The bad news is the time it takes to develop all this - it's measured in months and years, not gym sessions. The good news is it takes very little perceived effort to kick off the process. You don't have to work to deep fatigue. Just work the muscle daily and you'll get there. You pay for it with time more than sweat.

    What happens when you resistance train is the fiber cells get bigger. The individual fibers get bigger. You get a bit more mitochondria, maybe 5-10x (one order of magnitude). You get no additional capillaries, or fuel stores. Connective tissue toughens and hardens, reducing flexibility. You get some motor function, especially initially during the neuromuscularly adaptive phase. The bigger cells store more ATP. Once the fibers reach their peak size you're on the "growth" program outlined above, along with the rest of us. Because of poor blood flow, lack of fuel, and mitochondira, when the stored ATP is exhausted the muscle is unable to continue working.

    If you have more fibers to make bigger through resistance training, in a good aerobic condition, then you benefit more from it. This is the reason to "build base" first and only add in small amounts of resistance training. The last few weeks before a race or event you add in more resistance training to increase fiber size. Exactly how much you want depends on the nature of the event. Too much and you're adding dead weight. (Though not as actively detrimental as adding fat would be!) Too little and you may be short on sprint power.

    When you stop resistance training the muscle will SHRINK. You're not going to "lose it"; remember, it's long-lived tissue. It came over months and years, so that's how long it would take to disappear. It's just the individual cells returning to a smaller size. This happens relatively quickly.

    Pound for pound, muscle with more, smaller fibers, is stronger. Massively so. Two, three, or four, fibers will always outperform one really big one even if they're less bulky. That's because they can work individually, have their own fuel supplies and when trained their own capillaries and motor function. It's like a cable vs a wire.

    Say you have big legs from tons of gym work. When you start running your legs aren't going to be trained for it - you'll be able to sprint fast, but once you're out of stored ATP in a minute or two it's over. The "skinny" guy next to you (who might have 10 times as many fibers in a smaller package each with 1000x as many mitochondria) can run circles around you after the initial 20-30 seconds, without breaking a sweat. You have more muscle than him, but he has more muscle cells, organized into more fibers. As you keep training for running you will progressively change the constitution of your legs to resemble his - because they're better suited for the activity. So it's important to understand that your muscle may shrink, yet may grow new tissue, and that this may be a good thing if you wish to become a runner.

    A distance runner would have little reason to resistance train, unlike a cyclist, because a foot race is so different. Running is 99% about threshold power; cycling is to a large extent threshold as well, but sprint power is critical to success. The exact balance depends on the race. However, the overwhelming time investment for a cyclist is in developing threshold power - peak power takes greater perceived effort, but less of a time investment. To a distance runner peak power is relatively unimportant.

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    Car-lite, Car Blight Eulogy13x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickel View Post
    I wasn't aware that high-intensity exercise reduces muscle mass fast? I guess I was thinking that sprinters are some of the most muscular of the runners and they are basically doing high-intensity work all the time?
    Good point; however, I think most of those guys/gals lift weights 4-5 days/week, which would offset that to a large extent, and I see sprinting alot more like interval training, personally...
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    Cyclo Sapiens babydee's Avatar
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    1) lose weight at a reasonable rate, so your body doesn't "think" it's starving and reduce your rate of metabolism

    2) consume Cytomax, or other sports drink that contains protein, while doing cardio work, and you won't have to fear burning off muscle mass while you work (and you do burn amino acids, in increasingly high proportions as the intensity increases)

    3) the sports drink will also replace simple sugars that you need, and this factors in when you are in good enough shape to exercise beyond the glycogen reserves of your body - keep the simple carbs and protein coming, and you can continue to work, and burn fat

    4) eat a meal containing protein after a ride

    5) keep a steady supply of protein in your daily meals, i.e. protein, in reasonable amounts, at every meal, and as many meals per day as you can manage (well, not 37, but 4 or 5 is great) - your body only uses dietary protein to rebuild muscle when it's needed, so if you eat a huge meal with 100 grams of protein, you will store the excess as fat, then strip away your body's muscle when it's needed for continued repair/maintenance later in the day anyway

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    mateo for short mateo44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babydee View Post
    1) lose weight at a reasonable rate, so your body doesn't "think" it's starving and reduce your rate of metabolism

    2) consume Cytomax, or other sports drink that contains protein, while doing cardio work, and you won't have to fear burning off muscle mass while you work (and you do burn amino acids, in increasingly high proportions as the intensity increases)
    Note: Cytomax does not contain protein. Maybe you meant to say Accelerade or Endurox. Both those contain protein.

    http://www.personalbestnutrition.com...n/pbn/130.html
    Last edited by mateo44; 01-13-08 at 04:13 PM.
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    Cyclo Sapiens babydee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mateo44 View Post
    Note: Cytomax does not contain protein. Maybe you meant to say Accelerade or Endurox. Both those contain protein.

    http://www.personalbestnutrition.com...n/pbn/130.html
    Wow, thanks for the correction. Endurox is the one I use, so I have no idea why I said the other one.

    Anywho, best to have that protein while you're riding if you want to hang on to muscle mass.

  23. #23
    mateo for short mateo44's Avatar
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    No problemo. Haven't tried Endurox, love Accelerade, hate Cytomax.

    Quote Originally Posted by babydee View Post
    Wow, thanks for the correction. Endurox is the one I use, so I have no idea why I said the other one.

    Anywho, best to have that protein while you're riding if you want to hang on to muscle mass.
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  24. #24
    Raptor Custom Bicycles ZXiMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the shark View Post
    One thing you can to to minimize loss of muscle is some weight training. This will help with muscle tone as well as not looking all saggy.

    I would simply focus on loosing the weight slowly and eating healthy balanced meals, and not over worry about it.

    The race is simply a motivator and no bigge if you do not finish or do well. Just remember the bigger goal is your health and your kids. I would ride with them and go for walk with them and wife also.
    You are NOT catabolizing muscle fiber at higher intensities. If anything, you will increase fast twitch muscle fiber as long as there is muscle glycogen present to fuel them. At even higher intensities (such as sprints for instance) your legs will group together a mixture of slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibers during intense efforts. You are using more muscle glycogen for fuel than fat. When you lower the intensity, you use less muscle glycogen and metabolize more fat. Weight lifting can help, however you may actually GAIN weight for a period (muscle weighs more than fat). This can be counterproductive in cycling when you consider power to weight ratio). The only thing I would do would be to strengthen the core and glutes as this will make you a more powerful (and faster) rider.

    If you've ever gone really full out for a long period and gotten to the point that you can hardly turn the pedals over, it's pretty certain you've experienced "bonking". This is when the muscles run out of muscle glycogen and you can no longer ride at higher intensities. I've done this several times and it's no fun. The ONLY way you'd catabolize your muscles is if you were at 2% bodyfat. The body will utilize fat storage over breaking down muscle for energy, even after you bonk. In fact, if you want to supercharge your fat burning machine within, purposely "bonk" and continue riding. This can be kinda painful, but it worked for me.

    As far as dieting during this time of the year, I do cut 500 calories a day but I still eat a majority of high complex carbs (whole grains, pastas, wheat bread, fruit etc) while cutting back on sweets and fat intake. I eat 60% high complex carbs, 20% fat and 20% protein. During my 250-300 mile weeks, I'll micro manage that to 65% carbs, 20% fat and 15% protein. If you are an endurance athlete you need adequate carb intake to fuel your muscles. On days I ride, I supplement every day with:

    2,000mg HMB
    1,200mg L-Glutimine
    1,500mg Glucosimine
    1,000mg of enzyme-hydrolyzed peptides (BCAA)
    300mg of moomiyo
    200mg green tea extract

    If you drink anything with calories, make yourself drink ONLY water for a week. I can cut 3000 calories a week by just drinking water, instead of what I would normally drink. You'd be surprised how liquids (or the sugar and especially high fructose corn syrup) is literally making you FAT!

    If you don't want to diet then just ride more. An extra 40-50 miles a week can burn an extra 1500 calories during the same time.

    Lastly, I lost 57 pounds in 365 days, no dieting... only riding my bike 5 days a week. I went from 239 pounds to 182 pounds. I did ride 13,000 miles that year but I still ate like a pig (just ate more good carbs and cut out Cokes* and the like).

    *See below

    But believe it or not, for recovery, I'll drink 24 oz. of Coke, followed by a 20 oz low fat chocolate milk OR 20 oz carb/protein drink. Do this within 30 min. after your ride and you'll cut your recovery time and replenish muscle glycogen stores MUCH faster. That's the only time I drink Cokes. Nothing seems to work better for me. I would only do this after rides of 2 or more hours. Otherwise, I'll just drink 24 oz of Gatorade and eat a meal within 2 hours. Don't worry, you won't gain weight from drinking the Cokes and Chocolate milk after a long ride. You have a 30-45 minute window where your body takes any carbs and turns it into glycogen and goes right back into the muscles (doesn't matter if it HGI or LGI carbs during that window and in fact most experts say that high GI and simpkle sugers are best for recovery).

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by ZXiMan; 01-13-08 at 08:18 PM.

  25. #25
    Cyclo Sapiens babydee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZXiMan View Post
    You are NOT catabolizing muscle fiber at higher intensities.
    You actually do burn amino acids during exercise, and you burn more proportionally at higher intensities. I tried to search for an American Journal of Physiology study which had a very handy chart which showed the proportion of carbs, fats, and protein burned at three different intensities, but I couldn't spend an hour looking. Basically, the percentage of fats burned is much higher at low intensity levels, with a small amount of glycogen burned, and no (or almost no) amino acids. As soon as you ramp it up to moderate intensities, amino catabolism kicks in, and glycogen starts getting used at higher percentages. At high intensity, the glycogen and protein use makes up the vast majority of calories burned versus fat. I might log into my hospital's e-library later and look for the chart, as it is much more clear than I am being (and I can't remember the percentages).

    BTW, here is an excellent article by Dr. John Berardi regarding nutrient intake during training. He is the nutritional consultant for Canada's national cycling team, among other teams and private clients, and has loads of good info on his website. Dr. Berardi always has his athletes consume carbs AND protein during workouts, for the very reason of sparing muscle mass and glycogen stores.

    http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/..._nutrition.htm

    Also, gotta say - 57 pounds in one year is amazing. I reallly admire folks that can do that!

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