Inner/outer chest?

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    Inner/outer chest?


    Since the pectoralis major is one muscle and a muscle is only capable of either contracting or relaxing, how is it that people claim to target inner, outer, lower, upper chest?

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    Quote Originally Posted by freefall365 View Post
    Since the pectoralis major is one muscle and a muscle is only capable of either contracting or relaxing, how is it that people claim to target inner, outer, lower, upper chest?
    Because they're full of sh*t. You can emphasize upper and lower sections of the chest overall with incline/reverse grip and decline/wide dips, respectively, but that's about it.
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    Certain movements and/or angles will put greater emphasis on the a region of fibers of a particular muscle. Incline presses place greater emphasis on the upper fibers of the pecs. Cable crossovers can place greater emphasis on the "inner" fibers of the pec. Decline presses place greater stress on the fibers of the lower pec.s

    Pull ups place greater emphasis on the upper fibers of the lats, and chin ups place more emphasis on the lower fibers of the lats.

    Incline curls place more emphasis on the long head fibers of the bicep, and preacher curls place more emphasis on the inside short head fibers.
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    There are two heads to the pec major: clavicular and sternal. The fibers run horizontal. You can put emphasis on the upper vs. lower fibers, but not on the internal vs. external fibers.

    The lat is one muscle with one head. The teres major are often mis-termed the upper lats. Pull ups with an overhand and wider grip will result in both lat and teres major recruitment. Chin ups with the elbows close to the body decreases teres major involvement and increases lat involvements.

    Not so sure about the two heads of the biceps; however both run from scapula to radius, and I don't believe changing angle of the shoulder will switch emphasis from one to the other. Many people confuse the brachialis, which lies under neath the biceps closer to the elbow, for the lower biceps.

    Br
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    There are two heads to the pec major: clavicular and sternal. The fibers run horizontal. You can put emphasis on the upper vs. lower fibers, but not on the internal vs. external fibers.

    The lat is one muscle with one head. The teres major are often mis-termed the upper lats. Pull ups with an overhand and wider grip will result in both lat and teres major recruitment. Chin ups with the elbows close to the body decreases teres major involvement and increases lat involvements.

    Not so sure about the two heads of the biceps; however both run from scapula to radius, and I don't believe changing angle of the shoulder will switch emphasis from one to the other. Many people confuse the brachialis, which lies under neath the biceps closer to the elbow, for the lower biceps.

    Br
    THIS ^^^! Nice to see some good A&P making solid points. The origin of the pec muscle has both a sternal and clavicular head. Check the link below for a basic view and muscle actions.
    http://www.getbodysmart.com/ap/muscu.../tutorial.html

    I made the mistake in my early training in just training flat and decline bench cause I hated incline. I paid for it later then my development was off and I looked very flat on the superior portion (clavicular head) of my pec major. I had to double the effort to help even it out for a more symmetrical appearance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingjameskjf View Post
    THIS ^^^! Nice to see some good A&P making solid points. The origin of the pec muscle has both a sternal and clavicular head. Check the link below for a basic view and muscle actions.
    http://www.getbodysmart.com/ap/muscu.../tutorial.html

    I made the mistake in my early training in just training flat and decline bench cause I hated incline. I paid for it later then my development was off and I looked very flat on the superior portion (clavicular head) of my pec major. I had to double the effort to help even it out for a more symmetrical appearance.
    Same here. I'm trying to make up for it now by focusing on the upper pecs almost entirely. I do at most 2 sets of flat bench after I'm done with inclines.

    As a side note, I have found that the angle of most non-adjustable benches is too steep and puts too much focus on the anterior delts. There are only a few benches at my gym that let me adjust them to a shallow enough angle to really hit my upper pecs when I do incline dumbbell press. I really wish the equipment manufacturers would make their benches with much shallower angles for incline.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torobestia View Post
    Because they're full of sh*t. You can emphasize upper and lower sections of the chest overall with incline/reverse grip and decline/wide dips, respectively, but that's about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf0420 View Post
    Certain movements and/or angles will put greater emphasis on the a region of fibers of a particular muscle. Incline presses place greater emphasis on the upper fibers of the pecs. Cable crossovers can place greater emphasis on the "inner" fibers of the pec. Decline presses place greater stress on the fibers of the lower pec.s
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    There are two heads to the pec major: clavicular and sternal. The fibers run horizontal. You can put emphasis on the upper vs. lower fibers, but not on the internal vs. external fibers.
    right on
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    It's one of those bodybuilding myths. You can only emphasize more muscle fibers. not target certain areas of the chest. Some research that I've seen has showed that a decline press will activate the most muscle fibers in the chest. Really though you have to do what works for you. Do the exercises that you feel the most. I mainly do flat stuff. Doing flys because you think it will round out your chest isn't going to help. Your limited to the genetic shape of your muscle. Do flys or whatever exercise because you feel it the most, not because of area you think it will target. I personally love push-ups. They are the ultimate builder IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flaw View Post
    It's one of those bodybuilding myths. You can only emphasize more muscle fibers. not target certain areas of the chest. Some research that I've seen has showed that a decline press will activate the most muscle fibers in the chest. Really though you have to do what works for you. Do the exercises that you feel the most. I mainly do flat stuff. Doing flys because you think it will round out your chest isn't going to help. Your limited to the genetic shape of your muscle. Do flys or whatever exercise because you feel it the most, not because of area you think it will target. I personally love push-ups. They are the ultimate builder IMO.
    Indeed, and you can easily add resistance by placing chains or bands over your shoulders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    Indeed, and you can easily add resistance by placing chains or bands over your shoulders.
    I love taking two bosu balls and placing a hand on each one and doing nice slow reps. That exercise probably burns my chest like no other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flaw View Post
    It's one of those bodybuilding myths. You can only emphasize more muscle fibers. not target certain areas of the chest. Some research that I've seen has showed that a decline press will activate the most muscle fibers in the chest. Really though you have to do what works for you. Do the exercises that you feel the most. I mainly do flat stuff. Doing flys because you think it will round out your chest isn't going to help. Your limited to the genetic shape of your muscle. Do flys or whatever exercise because you feel it the most, not because of area you think it will target. I personally love push-ups. They are the ultimate builder IMO.
    Bench press and Incline destroy pushups, if you are talking about pushups in addition to the basics but pushups are a better builder than bench or incline is simply wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Husker89 View Post
    Bench press and Incline destroy pushups, if you are talking about pushups in addition to the basics but pushups are a better builder than bench or incline is simply wrong.
    Bench press and incline also destroys your shoulders. Joints included. When you want to build your chest you want to target the chest. Incline press is like a decline shoulder press IMO but hey if YOU feel those exercises the most in your chest by all means keep doing them because like I said before, you gotta do what you FEEL works for you.
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    You target your inner chest with a closer hand grip. You target your outer chest with a wider hand grip. Haven't you ever heard of diamond push ups, they focus stress on your inner pectorals and your Triceps. You can combine inner chest workouts with incline or decline as you can with outer chest workouts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownBackEx View Post
    You target your inner chest with a closer hand grip. You target your outer chest with a wider hand grip. Haven't you ever heard of diamond push ups, they focus stress on your inner pectorals and your Triceps. You can combine inner chest workouts with incline or decline as you can with outer chest workouts.
    Please substantiate.

    We know the fibers of the pecs run horizontal. We also know that there are two heads of the pecs, clavicular (collar bone) and sternal (ribs). And, we know from EMG readings that while certain exercises can result in stronger contractions higher or lower in the pecs, there is no evidence to even suggest that a difference in contraction takes place between the medial (inner) or distal (outer) attachments.

    Br
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    Good thread, and one that comes up quite often on every bodybuilding forum. Something to take away from it is, not to neglect either the flat or incline bench if you're serious about pec development.

    I personally like to rotate every month or so, emphasing on one or the other - i.e. if I'm going to emphasise my incline, I'll do incline before bench, and a few more sets at a higher intensity. Then when I want to emphasis flat, I'll do the opposite.

    Always depends on the individual tho.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownBackEx View Post
    You target your inner chest with a closer hand grip. You target your outer chest with a wider hand grip. Haven't you ever heard of diamond push ups, they focus stress on your inner pectorals and your Triceps. You can combine inner chest workouts with incline or decline as you can with outer chest workouts.
    Please post a study to back this up
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    Muscle fibers ONLY pull toward their center. You cannot tell it to pull toward one side more than the other.

    As for the inner and outer grip...the only thing your manipulating is the amount of tension your triceps have during the movement. Inner grip works more tris, outer grip helps to activate more pec major fibers.

    You cannot pretend to know A&P just cause you workout.
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    Studies may not validate that different areas of the pectorals can be targeted, but the burning in my chest validates it enough for me. After some workouts my outer chest burns and is sore but not the inner. Then, after other types of workouts the inner portion of my chest burns while the outer doesn't feel anything. It may just be in my mind but I don't see how it could be. Of course, I failed A&P the first time I took it so theres no tellin lol.
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    I haven't seen any studies, but personally I feel I can target my inner and outer, by changing grip.
    I've been able to get that defined line down the middle, only by certain exercises. Not sure what it's called, but holding two dumbells together and pushing on a slight incline, seems to work for this, for me... just saying. Not sure why or how though...

    But you can test this yourself. Flex the pec on one side of your chest, while slowing moving your arm to the opposite side, and feel the inside of your chest. As your arms gets closer to the center (ie: narrow grip), if you use your other hand to feel it, you should feel the inner portion of your pec really harden/tighten up. As you move your arm back out wide, the tension moves more to your front delt/outer chest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gutterpump View Post
    I haven't seen any studies, but personally I feel I can target my inner and outer, by changing grip.
    I've been able to get that defined line down the middle, only by certain exercises. Not sure what it's called, but holding two dumbells together and pushing on a slight incline, seems to work for this, for me... just saying. Not sure why or how though...

    But you can test this yourself. Flex the pec on one side of your chest, while slowing moving your arm to the opposite side, and feel the inside of your chest. As your arms gets closer to the center (ie: narrow grip), if you use your other hand to feel it, you should feel the inner portion of your pec really harden/tighten up. As you move your arm back out wide, the tension moves more to your front delt/outer chest.
    Thats because the fibers are shortening. Contract your bicep. Now flex your elbow. You'll see the same thing happen with the bicep.
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    Neuromuscular physiology is not my strong suit, but this is interesting because I feel their must be some relationship between muscle length during a contraction, and where the most tension is placed within the muscle. In other words, does muscle tension remain evenly spread throughout the entire pec major (or one of the heads) during a complete muscle contraction... or does it transfer inward from the origin/insertion towards the middle as the muscle shortens?

    I would instinctively say that the latter is true, but I haven't studied the neuromuscular aspects of weight-training yet so I'm truly not sure.
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    The origin of the the sternal head of the pec major is quite expansive, however. It includes the sternum, the first 7 or 8 costal cartiliges, and even a little bit onto the apneurosis (connective tissue) of the external obliques. That said, the origin of the pec depending on the fiber may be the sternum (ie. inner) or further onto the costal cartilige (outter). Displacement of where the fibers originate and rib cage structure are just one of the genetic make ups that account for various shapes of developed pecs between individuals.

    During contraction, however, the entire fiber shortens. One nerve innervates a number of muscle fibers...not several nerves innervating different areas of each fiber.

    Br
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmdunni View Post
    You cannot pretend to know A&P just cause you workout.
    LMAO I should quote this as my sig
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    I guess I'm referring more to muscle damage than actual motor recruitment. I agree you cannot target the recruitment of motor neurons in different parts of a single muscle. What i'm not sure about is whether or not different angles, exercises, contraction length etc... create more stress tension on various parts of a single muscle (i.e. the inner/outer portion of the pec major). And if so, would this lead to more muscle damage and hypertrophy of a particular portion of the pec or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Movin_weight View Post
    I guess I'm referring more to muscle damage than actual motor recruitment. I agree you cannot target the recruitment of motor neurons in different parts of a single muscle. What i'm not sure about is whether or not different angles, exercises, contraction length etc... create more stress tension on various parts of a single muscle (i.e. the inner/outer portion of the pec major). And if so, would this lead to more muscle damage and hypertrophy of a particular portion of the pec or not.
    The theory is sound, and it seems like the stress point on the muscle would have to change to me. I'd love to see a study on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flaw View Post
    Bench press and incline also destroys your shoulders. Joints included. When you want to build your chest you want to target the chest.
    This doesn't make sense to me. If your shoulders hurt during BP, something's wrong. You should be pinching your shoulder blades back and using proper form to focus on pressing mainly with the chest. The only joint that hurts for me during BP is my elbow, and that's ONLY when I am going for maxes. If you're trying to build chest, you shouldn't be going for max weight or even really ultra heavy weight. Drop the weight down and don't use your delts to press, focus on proper form. If you need to, pre-exhaust your delts before benching.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Movin_weight View Post
    I guess I'm referring more to muscle damage than actual motor recruitment. I agree you cannot target the recruitment of motor neurons in different parts of a single muscle. What i'm not sure about is whether or not different angles, exercises, contraction length etc... create more stress tension on various parts of a single muscle (i.e. the inner/outer portion of the pec major). And if so, would this lead to more muscle damage and hypertrophy of a particular portion of the pec or not.
    That would make for one hell of an interesting study.
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    I'd imagine that the length of the lever (arm position relative to resistance) would give you a sensation of more inner/outer chest. If the lever is long, more torque is required to move the limb. I occasionally do burn-out cable flies and notice the inner portion of my chest where the pec attaches to the sternum feels tender. I have long dismissed "isolation" of the inner fibers of the muscle because I think in terms of biomechanics...a pec fly is an exercise withe a long lever that puts the pec through its entire range of motion with high resistance, and thus the muscle is literally pulling more on where it meets the bone. This tender feeling I have could be micro-fractures from tendon/bone attachment sites or small tears in the tendon.

    I have no researched studies to prove this...but I am just picking my own brain trying to make sense of where some of you are coming from.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torobestia View Post
    LMAO I should quote this as my sig
    I do personal training and group fitness instruction. I overhear many*** conversations in the gym regarding why and how certain exercises are so effective. It pisses me off how much ignorance floats in a gym and how many people believe it. Then it's the fitness professional (ie many of you reading this) to correct their mistake and put out any potential fires. It's simple...you wouldn't pretend to fix a space shuttle just because you've changed the oil in your car.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmdunni;2909642[B
    ]I do personal training and group fitness instruction. I overhear many*** conversations in the gym regarding why and how certain exercises are so effective. It pisses me off how much ignorance floats in a gym and how many people believe it. [/B]Then it's the fitness professional (ie many of you reading this) to correct their mistake and put out any potential fires. It's simple...you wouldn't pretend to fix a space shuttle just because you've changed the oil in your car.
    I've given up on trying to help people out to understand. If you're not telling the what they want to hear, or if its challenging everything they've read in their lifting career (which, unfortunately is quite limited to muscle and fitness, generally), then anything you say goes in one ear and out the other. Its a waste of my own energy

    Br
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gutterpump View Post
    This doesn't make sense to me. If your shoulders hurt during BP, something's wrong. You should be pinching your shoulder blades back and using proper form to focus on pressing mainly with the chest. The only joint that hurts for me during BP is my elbow, and that's ONLY when I am going for maxes. If you're trying to build chest, you shouldn't be going for max weight or even really ultra heavy weight. Drop the weight down and don't use your delts to press, focus on proper form. If you need to, pre-exhaust your delts before benching.
    It's where the weight is. Since the bar is so long it forces more shoulder stabilization. Get it? Doing presses on the floor can really help support your shoulders better. I personally think most benches are not wide enough. Also as far as benching goes if you have long arms there's a longer distance of stabilation involved and more strain on the shoulder. There's definetely a dis-advantage. Bench press works better for the shorter guys with shorter arms cause the bench supports them better as well as there's less shoulder stabilization involved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    I've given up on trying to help people out to understand. If you're not telling the what they want to hear, or if its challenging everything they've read in their lifting career (which, unfortunately is quite limited to muscle and fitness, generally), then anything you say goes in one ear and out the other. Its a waste of my own energy

    Br
    Very true. It's sad when the people that actually know this stuff are trumped by the gym rats that get any sort of "factual" information from biased articles by companies trying to sell you a product.
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    Grab the bar at a width that feels comfortable/natural (20" grip" works for me) and focus on increasing your bench. Your chest will respond accordingly. Remembering to always emphasize discouraging muscle imbalances with a balanced training program. That is, if you're benching, you should be rowing as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    I've given up on trying to help people out to understand. If you're not telling the what they want to hear, or if its challenging everything they've read in their lifting career (which, unfortunately is quite limited to muscle and fitness, generally), then anything you say goes in one ear and out the other. Its a waste of my own energy

    Br
    Exactly why I don't bother with it most of the time.
  36. purebred
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    For the record (and to minimize perpetuation of any more irritating myths), the only true exercise that 'destroys' any articulation (joint) in the body or brings forth any sort of injury is the exercise that is executed with poor form & lacks proper technique. Push-ups with added resistance are no healthier for your shoulders than the bench press performed with flared elbows, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flaw View Post
    It's where the weight is. Since the bar is so long it forces more shoulder stabilization. Get it? Doing presses on the floor can really help support your shoulders better. I personally think most benches are not wide enough. Also as far as benching goes if you have long arms there's a longer distance of stabilation involved and more strain on the shoulder. There's definetely a dis-advantage. Bench press works better for the shorter guys with shorter arms cause the bench supports them better as well as there's less shoulder stabilization involved.
    Ahh I see what you mean now. Yeah most benches seem a lil narrow. These days I try to grip about an inch wider (each side) than I would normally. I get better stabilization and less pressure on my triceps/elbow this way (where my issue is).

    I also have really long arms, I'm 6'2 and burdened with long limbs. The wider grip seems to help a bit, or getting help to take it off the rack to get started when going heavy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by purebred View Post
    For the record (and to minimize perpetuation of any more irritating myths), the only true exercise that 'destroys' any articulation (joint) in the body or brings forth any sort of injury is the exercise that is executed with poor form & lacks proper technique. Push-ups with added resistance are no healthier for your shoulders than the bench press performed with flared elbows, etc.
    I completely agree, and every famous bodybuilder that i have listened to either from an article, youtube, or lifting video ALL have said that either incline or bench press is the best exercise for overall chest development. Ronnice coleman loved bench, branch warren loved incline, but never once have i heard a famous bodybuilder say "ya i got this sweet chest doing pushups, ya screw bench it is so bad for your joints, and pushups are far more effective" LOLOLOLOLOL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Movin_weight View Post
    I guess I'm referring more to muscle damage than actual motor recruitment. I agree you cannot target the recruitment of motor neurons in different parts of a single muscle. What i'm not sure about is whether or not different angles, exercises, contraction length etc... create more stress tension on various parts of a single muscle (i.e. the inner/outer portion of the pec major). And if so, would this lead to more muscle damage and hypertrophy of a particular portion of the pec or not.
    Very interesting premise.

    I know that the majority of fiber damage and microtears occurs during eccentric (negative) contraction. The greatest amount of contraction force happens when the muscle is approximately halfway lengthened/shortened. This is passive length tension relationship. Therefore I would think that the greatest amount of muscle fiber damage would occur during an eccentric movement with the most amount of weight possible, when the pec major is at that halfway point. And Im pretty sure the actin and myosin filaments that the muscle fibers consist of are ALL lengthened/shortened to the same degree during a movement.

    The only variable I can think of is angle. The sternal fibers (inner chest) run in a horizontal fashion. This arrangement is most emphasized upon during "D-2 PNF pattern". Basically thats when the arm is reached dpwn across the body towards the opposite leg. Exercises that would incorporate this movement are decline bench, dips, cable crossovers- in this particular pattern of course. Incline and flat presses will emphasize moreso on the "top-middle" and top of the chest.

    Now dont confuse what Im saying for "isolating" a certain portion of the chest. Impossible, because as stated before, its one muscle and is innervated by the same nerve root.

    Nonetheless, movin weight, I honor your curiosity and I agree that there should be a study done.
    Suffer now.. and live like a champion later.
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    I can target them for DOMS...but I can't make one part grow more than the others. No matter what I target they grow together so it's a waste of time to isolate pecs imo.

    Incline makes upper hurt, doing super wide flies makes the outer hurt, crossovers hurts the inner, grip width affects it on flat, etc. But I don't notice one part of my pec lagging really.
  

  
 

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