Low Impact DOES NOT Mean “Low Intensity”

by Dane Robinson

When we think about creating programs, we are always trying to find a delicate balance between challenging and achievable workouts for our community, but at times we fall victim to falling too far on the spectrum. 

Achievable but boring. Exciting and challenging but unrealistic. 

So, like a good old fashioned algebra equation…

If X = a workout that is achievable, exciting, and challenging, then Y + Z should look no further than Low Impact Training as a solution for us all. 

Ok let’s start off with first things first…

Low Impact Training (LIT) is nothing more than a workout comprised of movements that do not involve plyometric exercises and are primarily shoulder, hip, and knee joint friendly. However, this does not mean there can’t be fast concentric and ballistic movements inside a LIT program (more on this later). 

Alright now that we cleared that up. 

This type of a workout creates an environment achievable to a broad audience of people because the absence plyometrics will put your newbies at ease, keep your recovering injured folks safe, and give your “Superman and Wonder Woman” clients new perspective that not every single movement has to involve plyo. 

Getting all your folks involved into your workout? Check! But Dane, “How exciting can LIT training be to keep my clients engaged?” Good question, glad you asked!

This is really limited to your imagination but Low Impact Training can be incorporated with your favorite equipment modalities such as dumbbells, TRX straps, even medicine balls. Popular formats like HIIT Principles, Tabata, AMRAP, or EMOM timing principles can be apply this type of programming.

SPOILER ALERT: The excitement and engagement of LIT comes from the diversity of ensuring you hit all your basic movements patterns (push, pull, squat, lunge, bend, rotate)

Alright Dane but how exactly do we create the challenge in a LIT workout??

Use these three hacks and you’ll find your peeps sweating and smiling in blissful agony during your Low Impact Training session:

#1: Include Peripheral Heart Action, aka alternating between upper body and lower body movements will keep the heart rate elevated continuously in any LIT workout.

#2: Change levels, whether it be going to the floor and getting off the floor or moving from high to low in a standing movement. This elevation change will again keep the heart pumping and sweat flowing consistently. 

#3: Include power movements that do not involve your participant leaving the ground, such as, fast Overhead Ax Chops, Squat to Fast Calf Raise, or Reverse Lunges to a Front Kicks. 

These three strategies will undoubtedly introduce the true potential of Low Impact Training to your classes and clients.  Plus, as an added bonus, they will not only challenge but educate your crew a bit more of what intensity, in their workout, can look like. 

So, the next time they hear Low Impact Training come from your lips, no one will think “low Intensity!”

If you want more, plan on joining me at Boston MANIA®, December 10-12 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel.  I’ll be leading workshops about Core Training, Athletic Advantage, and Retention and over 50 of my esteemed co-workers are presenting more than 150 sessions focused on Active Aging, Functional Training, HIIT, Yoga & Pilates, Group Ex, Barre, Cycle, Aqua, Nutrition, and 50 Business lectures created to revive and grow your facility and client base.  Get registered today for only $199 (was $359), when you use code “GO” and earn 20 CEC/CEUs from SCW, ACE, AEA, AFAA, & NASM. Looking forward to seeing you there.


About the Author, Dane Robinson

Dane is a certified fitness professional through the NASM and created the SCW Marketing and Sales for Personal Trainers Certification. After spending 10+ years working his way to the top, Dane impacts 100’s of people in private and group training classes and 1000’s of people across the country as a fitness coach on the “Daily Burn 365” in New York City.

Three Ways the Throwdown FXD Bench Will Revolutionize Your Group Training Space

by Core Health & Fitness

Aided by a growing member desire for multiple training modalities, group fitness is seeing a resurgence and facilities are investing in their offerings to create boutique-like settings within their fitness centers for new revenue opportunities and recruitment to keep members coming back.

Looking to elevate your group training space? Let’s us introduce to you the Throwdown FXD Bench. Designed with group training in mind, this multi-functional bench allows for efficient use with both a live or virtual on-screen instructors and has everything needed to work every muscle group in the body. The compact, versatile, and mobile design make it an ideal addition to your group training space.

“The Throwdown FXD Bench is an ideal group training product that is needed in every facility,” says David Parkinson, Director of Products for Throwdown and HIIT at Core Health & Fitness. “The integrated accessory storage creates a single workout station with a wide-variety of exercise options. Plus, its compact self-contained size keeps your facility clean and organized.”

Functionality & Efficiency

The patent-pending dual articulating bench provides an easy transition from horizontal to seated incline to full incline, and every position in between. With plenty of storage space for fitness accessories, the bench includes kettlebells, dumbbells, and a slam ball (weights available in both pound and kilogram kits), plus six variable resistance bands with numerous attachment points to allow resistance from almost any direction.

The FXD Bench base is designed to minimize risk and maximize work. Resistance rails create a variety of training options by providing a multitude of anchor points across bench edges and the large storage compartment can stow anything from personal items to additional training accessories.

Made for Any Athlete

The Throwdown FXD Bench provides limitless training options for any age and fitness level. Pair with programming to train core, balance, reactive, resistance or cardio for a total body workout. The layout of the bench and modular attachment points facilitate quick transitions between exercises to perfectly pair with your functional training and/or high intensity interval training programming.

“The patent-pending, dual-articulating feature of the back pad ensures members will always be facing the instructor regardless of the exercise they are doing, whether it be push or pull related,” says Parkinson. “With the flick of a lever, the drop-down caster wheel allows the bench to easily be moved enabling you to effortlessly transform your space creating multiple programming possibilities.”

Commercial Quality for your Space

The FXD Bench provides a self-contained platform for a total body workout in a small footprint. The solid construction is rugged enough for step ups and box jumps and features a jack leaver to easily engage the wheels and move the bench effortlessly throughout your group fitness space.

“The FXD Bench is a very versatile tool for private training gyms and athletic training centers that need a variety of equipment and functional training for their clients, while basically creating an entire workout station in one spot,” says Jason Schneider, Core Health & Fitness Master Instructor. “This is especially relevant in times of personal space restrictions, where facilities are required to limit the amount of equipment that is shared, and members are safely spaced.”

Pair with Star Trac cardio, StairMaster HIIT, Nautilus strength and/or Schwinn indoor cycling equipment to take your facility’s circuit training workout to the next level. With the Throwdown FXD Bench, your members will never experience a dull workout again.

To learn more about the Throwdown FXD Bench and how we can help you elevate your group training space, please visit our website or contact [email protected] or (888) 678-2476.

You will also find us at the upcoming Boston MANIA®, December 10-12 at the Boston Waterfront Hotel. Registration is open and the expo is FREE to attend. Visit www.scwfit.com/Boston for more information.


About the Author, Core Health & Fitness


Fitness is something we do, and we lead by the actions we take towards Fitness, for ourselves and for those around us​. Fitness benefits the masses, and we are examples, advocates, coaches, and influencers for a Fitness lifestyle​. We are passionate about Fitness. It is in our DNA, and it drives us to perform in life, in our jobs, in all that makes us who we are.

Running as a Form of Exercise

by Lisa Martin

The incentive running creates for some participants brings forth joy, relaxation, and energy. For others it’s the idea of gathering together to create and build supportive bonds and relationships.  There are an estimated 40 million people who run regularly in the United States with more than 10 million people running at least 100 days/year.  

As a choice for health and fitness,  running is a “simple” form of exercise.  In general, it is a low cost form of exercise, easily accessible to many, and provides effective health benefits.  Ultimately, the personal purpose fits into daily, weekly or even yearly plans, schedules and needs.

As a physical therapist & runner,  I understand how the human body functions optimally when in motion and in balance.  The importance of rest, excellent nutrition, and proper training is key.

The goals for a physical therapist when working with runners are to treat the cause of injuries, create symmetry, balance, flexibility, improve functional strength, and facilitate skilled motion.  The physical therapist can also educate the athlete on terrain, mileage, proper shoe fit, minimalist shoe running, individualized exercise programs, and biomechanics of running.

Those who run without injuries typically run with symmetry. They have balanced arms, legs and trunks, more evenness, fluidity, and efficiency. These runners understand how to balance rest and exercise along with excellent nutrition habits.  Many cross train, in the summer with water fitness or biking and in the winter with cross county skiing, both being ideal counter sports. Lastly they often seek advice from a physical therapist when needed.

It is very important and beneficial to add strength training to a fitness routine, whether you are at the gym, in group exercise classes or at an SCW MANIA®,  for injury prevention in runners. 

Due to my physical therapy education along with strength and cross training  I have been able to treat any and all of my running injuries.

Unfortunately, 65-75% of runners are injured every year. 85% are injured within the first year and 93% of runners sustain injury throughout their running career.

Just to show the impact running has on the body, here’s an interesting fact.

Runners strike the ground approximately 800- 1,500 times per mile with forces of 1.5 – 5 times their body weight.

Some forms of injuries that can result from running are:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • “Shin splints”
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • “Runner’s knee”
  • Hamstring strains, tendonosis
  • Stress fractures
  • Piriformis tightness

Increasing mileage too fast or more than 10% per week can cause reasons for overuse injuries.  This can be due to an asymmetry in muscle strength, flexibility or structural asymmetry.  For women recently pregnant, changes can occur in core muscles postpartum. Also excessive, prolonged or inadequate pronation, inflexibility, poor form/cadence, history of running issues, or poor dynamic limb alignment can lead to running injuries.  With the help of a physical therapist these running injuries can be preventable, and proper training can be advised. 

Running outside in nature especially brings about the added benefits of stimulating our senses.  The sunlight can raise energy levels and “boost” T-cells. Increases in brain activity in the hippocampus may occur and 15 minutes of sunlight per day, it can aid bone density.  Exercise has show to improve vitality, mood, and attention capacity. 

Being connected to nature and feeling happy are, in fact, connected. So play on and stay active, healthy, fit and strong.


About the Author, Lisa Martin

Lisa graduated from the University of North Dakota Medical School with a degree in Physical Therapy working in all areas including orthopedics, sports medicine, and women’s health intervention. She practices in the State of Minnesota and has provided health and fitness education presentations to physical therapy teams, nurses, MDs, and training in-services on dynamic stretching to various sports teams.  She has developed skills in the areas of biomechanical analysis for runners, skiers, cyclists, & swimmers.  Lisa has a SCW Mom’s in Motion Certification and has been a successful instructor for 15 years. She has a national certification through the APTA in antepartum & postpartum OB care and has designed and implemented women’s health programs successfully. Lisa is a medical educator through physicaltherapy.com and delights in physical therapy work.

5 Tips for Post Workout Recovery

by Sacred CBD 

Sticking to a daily workout routine is one of the best ways to stay on track with your overall health and wellness goals. Whether you are just getting started or a seasoned athlete, post-workout recovery is essential when it comes to achieving results while still feeling your best.

If you aren’t sure where to start, here are five simple tips to help you curate your own post-workout routine so you can recover faster and feel great the next day.

As always, check with your doctor or health care provider before starting a new exercise or post-workout recovery routine.

  1. Stretch- It may be tempting to skip stretching after working out, but this is one of the most important parts of your overall routine. Not only can stretching help decrease muscle tension, but it can also assist in increasing your overall flexibility and reduce your chances of injury during the next workout.
  2. Eat a Protein-Filled Snack- Consuming a healthy, protein-rich snack after working out can help restore energy and boost muscle repair. It can also curb unhealthy cravings later in the day! Some satisfying and healthy options include a homemade fruit smoothie with protein powder, a hard-boiled egg with hummus, or apple slices with nut butter.
  3. Stay HydratedDrinking water while working out can help to replace the fluids you lose through sweat. While it’s a no-brainer to stay hydrated while working out, it can be easy to forget to continue to hydrate once the exercise is complete. Healthy, active adults should aim to consumer eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day which is equivalent to about half a gallon. If you need help keeping track you may want to try a daily intake water bottle that you can prefill in the morning and sip all day long.
  4. Give Sore Muscles Some TLC While your post-workout stretching routine will help reduce muscle tension that formed during exercise, some spots may need some extra attention. Our best-selling CBD infused pain balm is a simple and effective way to ease muscle and joint pain after working out – or any time of the day. For trouble spots with chronic soreness and tension, using a foam roller at home or getting a massage can also help.
  5. Get Plenty of Sleep. Your body needs optimal rest every night to repair, recover, and strengthen after working out. It’s important to stick to a regular bedtime, getting an average of eight hours of sleep nightly, and adopt a relaxing bedtime routine which helps unwind both your body and mind. Some of our favorite ways to relax include taking a warm bath, doing gentle nighttime yoga, journaling, and adding some of our Vanilla CBD tincture to caffeine-free tea.

With the right post-workout recovery routine, you can help reduce muscles and joint pain, stay energized, and feel your best so you can stay on track with your daily workouts!

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Sacred CBD is a proud sponsor of SCW MANIA®.  Join us at Boston MANIA®, December 10-12 and be sure to visit the Sacred CDB booth and take advantage of the show discount, mania25. Anyone who registers for a workshop presentation receives a free product as a gift.


About the Author, SACRED CBD Team

Founded by women, Sacred makes thoughtfully tested and perfected, real life approved, Full Spectrum CBD infused balms, lotions, gel caps and tinctures. These high-quality blends of science and nature were created to help relieve the pain, tension, and stress we face every day. We believe every body is sacred. www.getsacred.com

Finding your GX Competitive Edge

by Zumba® and STRONG Nation™

“As soon as the pandemic hit, we challenged our entire tech team to start developing solutions for our instructors to be able to teach livestream classes, and they’ve developed a suite of amazing products that are incredible, that help our instructors set up their classes, schedule their classes, take payments, and livestream their classes,” Alberto Perlman, CEO of Zumba Fitness, told Cheddar News recently.

Working and exercising from home along with virtual education programing are the new normal globally. Not only has the pandemic been a game changer for our industry, it is now more competitive than ever. New workouts and technology have drawn a younger customer base with different expectations changing the rules of the game. It’s more than just a workout now—people are looking for an experience.

Let’s take a look at three key factors that help motivate students, increase class attendance and drive the intention for members to return to your fitness studio.

The effect music has on workouts

Talk about the power of music! The vast majority of us say that fun music and a good workout go hand-in-hand—and science attests to that. Music affects the mind profoundly. It acts as a positive distraction diverting attention from the discomfort of the exercise and the awareness of the fatigue. It helps provide the push through to the end of the workout. Translation: less pain, more gain! Most important it let’s us forget about our stress, anxiety, daily life problems while we are working out.

Two of the most important qualities of workout music are tempo—or speed—and what psychologists call “rhythm response.” Most people have an instinct to synchronize their movements and expressions with music. The rhythm of the music while working out stimulates the motor area of the brain to trigger them to know when to move, thereby aiding self-paced exercises. So, update your playlists a little more often, think outside of the box and get out of your comfort zone.

STRONG Nation™ is a new type of HIIT program that uses both tempo and speed to create original, custom-crafted music to sync and match every move. We use music as a tool to motivate people to move and unleash their power, so they can reach and surpass their transformation goals. Many of our songs are original music, produced by famous artists and DJ’s specifically for the STRONG Nation™ workouts, thereby making them unique.

Zumba® dance classes are a fusion of Latin and Exotic World Rhythms that both challenge and inspire the participants to get their groove on!  The music playlist is a huge factor in the experience shaking up the ‘dance floor’ with killer choreo that takes your mind, booty, and soul to a full-blown fitness journey around the world!  Since 2001 the Zumba music & creative choreo experience during the workouts has been a significant factor in why people keep coming back to class AND creating that sense of community Zumba is known for worldwide!  Dig into some of your oldies but goodies – bring out a ‘blast from the past’ playlist every once in a while, you will be thrilled to find out that all ages enjoy a little ‘boogie’ from time to time! Look for original songs too, there is such a wide selection now for you to really get creative.

The “group effect” and sense of community

The “group effect” plays a powerful role in positively influencing a club member’s overall workout experience—their enjoyment, satisfaction, exertion, and their intention to return. We know that people are more likely to adhere to an exercise program when they work out with others. The more group interaction, the more the group impacts and heightens an individual’s effort throughout the workout.

Altogether, the music, the choreo routine, the synchronization, and a motivational instructor in a group fitness class creates a positive group effect and experience that improves individual fitness outcomes. This is precisely the type of results members are eagerly looking for. But now we know it does more: the group aspect of the classes is a key factor in keeping people motivated and drives long-term participation which is especially important if you are teaching virtually.  Your people need you to help inspire them, remember they look forward to ‘seeing’ you and their classmates!

The Zumba® ZIN – Zumba® Instructor Network and STRONG Nation™ – SYNC membership communities are a key factor to the success of the programs by providing the instructor tools to keep their students engaged.

Adding a unique class to your schedule

Setting your class offering apart from your competition can make all the difference in the success of your classes. Adding a unique class to your existing rotation can help increase class attendance. Attend conventions, such as SCW Fitness MANIA®, and take sessions and classes you would not think of signing up before. Find out what else is out there for you to set yourself apart from the herd!

A great example of this is STRONG Nation™. In this workout, fitness-afficionados are gifted with an experience that is powered by original music and movements that are synchronized to every beat. Every squat, every lunge, every burpee is driven by the music, helping students make it to that last rep and maybe even five more.

This is a workout where music is certainly not an afterthought. It has all the key factors to create a positive group effect like we mentioned above and aims to increase the motivation of the class. And hey—you never know, this just might be the class that will help you forge long-term relationships with your current tribe, and a new wave of members.

Interested in becoming a STRONG Nation™ or ZUMBA®  Instructor? Register at www.zumba.com or www.strongnation.com. Use code TSZUMBA70 to receive 70% off a STRONG Nation™ or ZUMBA® Instructor Training.

Registration for SCW Boston MANIA® (December 10-12) and STRONG Nation™ (Dec.12) or ZUMBA® (Dec. 9) is open, certifications will take place at at the Weston Boston Waterfront Hotel.


About the Author, Zumba® and STRONG Nation™

Founded in 2001, Zumba® is the largest branded fitness company in the world — with more than 18 million weekly participants, in 200,000 locations, across 186 countries. With a blend of contagious world rhythms and easy-to-follow choreography, Zumba® offers an effective, total-body workout that feels more like a party than exercise. www.zumba.com

An Undiscovered Superfruit that Packs a Mighty Punch!

by Dr. Samantha Davis, DPT

“Health is more than just the absence of disease. It is the presence of vital functions operating in the body, all in perfect unison and effective balance. Total health is the sum of all the individual healthy systems, each one doing its part with optimal efficiency”

               ~Dr. Allan C. Somersall, Ph.D., MD.

When we give the body what it needs it can truly function at optimal health.  However, with the advancements in technology and industrialization, it has become even more paramount to not only feed the body the proper nutrition to thrive, but to also arm the body to fight against disease and illness. We are currently living under an environmental assault due to free radical damage associated with chemicals, pollutions, pesticides, poor food choices, and even radiation from electronic devices.  Free radicals occur naturally in the body; however, when there is an overload due to external influences, healthy human tissues can be damaged through a process called oxidation. As the body ages, its ability to fight the effects of these free radicals diminishes.  This in turn, accelerates the aging process and is an underlying reason to why 6 out of 10 individuals in the US have a chronic disease.  

So…what’s the answer?   

Antioxidants are used by the body as a natural defense system to aid in neutralizing free radicals. Now, there are several common antioxidants you may be familiar with, such as noni juice, blueberry, acai berry, and mangosteen; however, the king of antioxidants is the Muscadine grape! The ORAC score measures a superfruits ability to neutralize free radicals and the Muscadine is 53x, 10x, 5x, and 4x higher, respectively than the aforementioned superfruits. Antioxidants are known to improve energy, brain function, skin elasticity, blood flow, sexual response, and fight inflammation. 

The history of Muscadines dates as far back as 400 years and is native to North America in the Southeastern states.  Muscadines are in a class of their own and has an extra pair of chromosomes with a distinctive combination of antioxidants. The real nutritional value is primarily in the thick skin and large seeds; however, they are unfortunately discarded far too often. Furthermore, Muscadine seed oil is a novel source of tocotrienols, a unique component of the vitamin E family. Research shows that this unique source of tocotrienols has the ability to reduce adipogenesis, which is the formation fat cells in various areas of the body. There are an infinite number of health benefits associated with Muscadine and the oil produced from the seed including anti-aging effects, nerve and brain support, skin and hair support, bone health, and boosting the immune system. 

If you’re looking to boost your internal health, optimize healing, improve the immune system, promote healthy weight loss, and turn back time, then its time to take a closer look at Muscadines. For more information please visit my website, www.shape.mymfinity.com.


About the Author, Dr. Samantha Davis, DPT

Dr. Samantha Davis, DPT a former Collegiate Athlete and Doctor of Physical Therapy passionate about helping others achieve optimal health. She has a BA in Biology and 10+ years’ Experience in Physical Therapy. A Co-owner of SHAPE Enterprise, LLC, a Certified Xtreme Hip Hop Master Trainer of Virginia and West Virginia. Also Certified in Selective Functional Movement Assessment, Functional Movement Screening, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization, and Therapeutic Cupping. She believes when you give the body what it needs it can Truly Thrive!

Healthy Twist on Traditional Holiday Dishes

by Robin Taylor

Food, glorious food!  We have now entered the gluttonous phase of the holidays, where we try to pile a spoonful of every decadent dish from the buffet table onto our plates.  Everything looks delicious and our brain says, “try them all.”  Now I’m not saying don’t enjoy yourself, just remember moderation is key.  Your digestive system might not be used to all the rich food. 

Start will smaller portions of the new sides along with your main entrée and then if there is still room, enjoy a little of the traditional dishes.  One recommendation is to not fill up on the rolls, even if they are whole grain.  Another thought to keep in mind is alcohol intake, not only are these drinks empty calories, but they also take up precious space in the stomach and create a lot of work for the liver. 

Not every traditional dish on the table has to be laden with fat, calories, sugar, and carbs.  Here are a few alternative recipes to consider sharing this holiday season.  Who knows if you don’t tell your guests they are made with nutritious ingredients, then your fabulously healthy dishes might turn into regulars for years to come.

Traditional Dish: Mashed Potatoes
New & Improved: Cauliflower Herbed Mash
  • 1 head cauliflower (cleaned & steamed)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (or garlic powder to taste)
  • 1 Tbl olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Break up cooked cauliflower and put into food processor along with garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil into a and blend until smooth.
  2. Put it in a casserole dish and bake in oven at 375F for 20 minutes or until browned.
  3. Add parmesan cheese once removed from the oven.
Traditional Dish: Stuffing
New & Improved: Whole Grain or Gluten Free Vegan Stuffing
  • 1 bag pre-cut whole wheat dried bread or 10 cups stale whole wheat or gluten-free bread
  • 2-3 Tbls oil (may need more depending on bread)
  • 1 Tbl dried herbs- recommend Italian blend
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic (minced) or 1-2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 2-3 cups veggie broth
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place bread cubes on a cookie tray and bake for 5- 8 minutes (don’t let it get too browned.)
  3. While bread is toasting, sauté the onions, celery, and garlic in a fry pan over medium heat.
  4. When finished cooking, place in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Pull toasted bread cubes out of oven and carefully put in the bowl with cooked veggies.
  6. Add dried herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and more garlic (if needed.)
  7. Gently toss to blend ingredients.
  8. Add veggie broth until the mixture has absorbed the liquid without making soggy.
  9. Put mixture in a casserole dish, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. (Remove foil at 20 minutes to allow for browning on top.)

Hopefully these un-traditional, traditional holiday dishes will become favorites for years to come.  Happy Holidays from SCW Fitness Education.


About the Author, Robin Taylor

Robin is the SCW Editor for Spotlite, Tidal Waves and Weekly Work-UP, as well as Assistant Product Manager for MANIA® Fitness Conventions and Team Manager for WATERinMOTION®. Having taught Aquatic Fitness for over 15 years, Robin is AEA and AFAA certified and a WATERinMOTION® Champion. She has participated in several WIM educational videos, as both a pool participant and on-deck presenter. Robin has been an employee of SCW for almost five years. She is married and has two adult daughters and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida.

We’re always looking for great content highlighting the newest things in the world of fitness. Please submit your article directly to [email protected] for immediate consideration!
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