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ZODIAC

Found 20 results

  1. If you have been trying to get in shape or build that chiselled ripped physique, I am pretty sure you are always on the lookout for the next quick-fix solution. You are looking for the best fat-burning supplement, the best muscle-gaining supplement, the easiest diet to follow where you can eat anything and everything and go to the gym as little as possible. Basically, you want a magic solution that will come to you, let you lazily sit on your couch and do the magic and make you ripped overnight. As I have told you countless times before, there is no such thing that will help you magically get a chiselled physique with minimal effort. Here, I am going to tell you five sure-shot ways that can help you build the physique that you have always wanted: 1. Go To The Gym First Thing In The Morning I know how you feel after your typical 9 to 5 job. You come home and you feel lazy. You have no motivation to go to the gym. It feels like a mountain of a task and you would rather sit on your couch and watch Netflix than working out. © Getty Images The easiest way to counter this is to get your workout done first thing in the morning. Once that is done, you will not have to deal with the motivational dilemma later in the day. 2. Find A Workout Partner Who Has A Similar Goal Like You Having a workout partner definitely helps. They support you, you support them and it benefits both of you. It would be ideal if you pick a partner who is at a similar stage as you are. I read the psychological concept of the Goldilocks Rule. The Goldilocks rule says that as humans, we find motivation ourselves if the challenge is just right. If it is too easy or too difficult, we lose interest. If it is difficult yet attainable, we give our best. © Getty Images So, if you pick a total noob to work out with you and if you are constantly lifting more or performing better than them, they may lose the motivation to train with you. If you pick someone too strong or muscular, you will be demotivated. Instead, pick someone similar to you so that it is a challenge. You beat them in certain exercises, they do that in certain exercises and that way, you both challenge each other. 3. Focus On Your Diet One saying goes that your results do not just come from the 1 hour you spend in the gym, it also comes from what you are doing 23 hours outside of the gym. Unless you follow a nutrition strategy that is specific to your goal, you won't see results irrespective of how hard you train. If your goal is fat loss, ensure that you are consuming 1.8 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilo of your body weight and eating in a calorie deficit. If your goal is muscle building, you can drop the protein to 1.6 to 1.8 grams per kilo of your weight and eat in a calorie surplus. 4. Do Not Burn Yourself Out With Clean Eating I have written an article specifically on how cheat days ruin your physique. This does not mean I expect you to eat food that is considered 'diet friendly' all the time. Do enjoy the foods you love to eat occasionally and practice moderation. Do not do the stupid clean diet and dirty cheat days. It is taxing psychologically as well. © Getty Images For starters, get comfortable with the 80/20 rule where 80% of your calories come from unprocessed and nutrition-rich whole foods and for the remaining 20% of the calories, eat things that you enjoy. This will help you stick to your diet long enough for the diet to work. 5. Stick To The Plan Most people do not achieve the physique they desire as they fail to stick to the plan. And this is a doing of their own actions. Stop having unrealistic expectations and picking on things that are incredibly complex for you to do. Do an honest assessment of your lifestyle and set smaller goals, eventually leading to bigger goals. Nail the smaller goals consistently and you will attain the bigger goal. Follow a plan that you can follow a majority of the time and do it long enough. Results will follow. Author Bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.
  2. Sometimes confidence takes time to build, especially if you're an introvert or shy. You can lose your confidence when you think your self-esteem is at stake and nothing you do can help you bring it back. The thing is, confidence comes back when you need it to and there are ways to work around that. For instance, if you feel like you're low on confidence while talking to a girl, there are things to keep in mind or do, to increase your level of confidence. But remember, it does not happen overnight and takes some amount of effort to work on the same. © Pintrest So, the next time you're at a bar and see someone you really like and want to approach but think you lack confidence, it can be made easy. Talking to girls isn't that tough TBH. It's not a piece of cake either but with the right amount of self-assurance and belief, you can make it rather easy for you, because inherently, man is a social animal! So, here are 3 things you can do to work on your level of confidence, before approaching a woman, to talk to her: (1) Start Engaging With Strangers Nope, I don't mean that in a creepy way. When I say engage with strangers I mean, start talking to people you don't know, around you. I don't mean stalk someone or harass someone, but if you engage with anyone outside of your comfort zone, it helps you exercise and acknowledge your confidence. If you're at a store or even walking down the street, you can start a conversation with anyone about anything of relevance. © Pintrest Approach a support staff at a restaurant, or a customer service staff member at a store and ask help for finding something, or an opinion on a product. While at a restaurant, have a conversation with the waiter about the best dishes they have to offer. Basically, just engage in usual banter with absolute strangers. This gives you the ability to talk to more people and makes you comfortable in holding conversations socially. (2) Start Having Smaller Interactions Now that you've built some confidence in starting a conversation with someone and have strengthened your social skills a little, start having conversations with people around you, not necessarily with the girl you like. Build your social skills further by having some meaningful interactions. If you're at a social setting, approach a group of people and start a conversation on an interesting topic. © Pintrest If you're joining a group discussion, definitely have your opinion ready and get responses from people. Talk to people at work and engage them in conversations. This exercise will make it easier for you to converse without holding back and checking twice on the approach of your confidence. Once you establish proper social and interaction skills, you're ready to go on ahead and talk to anyone! (3) Give Your Conversation A Purpose & Make Eye Contact Now that you've moulded your social skills, it's good to head out into public spaces and try and approach women. If you like to head to a bar and meet women, that's a perfect setting because that's where maximum engagement happens with the opposite ***. Apart from dating apps, which are easier to access if you want to talk to women, public places have certain nuances that you have to keep in check before approaching someone. You body language, for instance, has to be on point or else it's one of the first things to turn someone off. © Pintrest When you're approaching someone, make sure you establish adequate eye-contact. If you make eye contact with a girl you like, it's easier to approach her, knowing she's interested too. Just be sure not to stare and know the difference between mutual eye contact and constantly staring at her. If she's interested she will keep making eye contact with you. When you do approach her, start a good conversation and don't even think of using pick up lines. They're not cool and she will definitely run away. Start by asking how her day was perhaps and take it away from there and if she's interested in the conversation, she will definitely stay instead of making excuses to go back to doing what she was. Give your conversations a purpose and don't make them arbit or sleazy! Building confidence to talk to women isn't rocket science really. It just needs some amount of homework and belief in yourself, along with a few exercises to get you there!
  3. Conor Mcgregor is a renowned personality in the MMA arena. His much-hyped fight with Floyd Mayweather in 2017 earned him respect all around the world. Though he is a UFC fighter and boxing isn't his major fighting style, he still took on Mayweather and the fight was one of the most awaited and one of the most-watched fights of the decade. © Reuters Conor's physique was also a talking point at the time of that event. In fact, Conor is always in the headlines for his physique before every UFC tournament. He fights in different weight categories and still manages to look lean in every season. Today, we're going to discuss how you can also build an MMA physique like Conor Mcgregor's: Conor Is Not Bulky Like A Bodybuilder You can't call Conor's physique as a bodybuilding marvel. He doesn't have bulky chest or arms like a competitive bodybuilder. Being a martial artist and a UFC fighter, Conor has to be agile, fast and flexible throughout the year to be ready for fights. Thus, he is lean and has decent muscle mass which looks good on him and at his body weight. If your target is to achieve a physique like him, it can be achieved with a disciplined diet and training regime over time. Focus On Building Lean Muscle Mass If you look at Conor's physique carefully, he is not skinny. He is lean and has muscle mass. So, the first thing that you need to do to look at him is to build lean muscle mass. If you're a guy who is skinny, first you'll have to gain muscles. To gain muscles, you will have to go on a calory surplus diet and focus on resistance training at least 4-5 times in the week. Diet should be a little high on carbs and protein with moderate fats. Carbs will help in your training and high protein in your diet will help you recover from your workouts and build muscle mass. On the other hand, if you're a guy who already has decent muscle mass but is bulky, you will have to get lean to look anything like Conor. Conor's body looks chiselled and ripped as his body fat percentage is really low. So, even if you have decent muscle mass but your body fat percentage is high, you will not look lean and ripped. To get ripped, you will have to follow a calorie deficit diet and increase your calorie expenditure over time. This will help you to get lean and your muscles will look more defined like Conor's. © Reuters Include HIIT & MMA Training Conor's workout routine includes HIIT and MMA workouts on a regular basis. This is how he performs explosive moves during his fights. If your target is not just to look like him but also to perform like him, you need to include martial arts as well as HIIT training in your training regime. If you are going to add weight training, schedule your training in such a way that on the days you are training heavy you're not practising MMA. MMA training in itself is demanding and even a few rounds of sparring can drain you out. A good option would be to take martial arts and weight training on alternate days. Anuj Tyagi, author of this article, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist from American Council on Exercise (ACE). Now an Online Health Coach, he is also a Chartered Accountant by education. You can connect with him through Instagram on:- https://www.instagram.com/sixpacktummy_anuj/
  4. Smartwatches come in all shapes and sizes and there's absolutely no shortage of them in the market. From budget options to expensive units, there's a lot to splurge on. But if you still can't find the one that you're looking for, then why not build your smartwatch from scratch as Samson March did. Yes, Samson March, who's an electrical engineer by profession, designed his own watch case, circuit board, and software. Heck, he even 3D printed and assembled most of the parts himself, which is just awesome. © Imgur The result? Well, he managed to build a smartwatch that brings notifications from his phone, including messages, email, and calendar. He noted that the watch can't play music yet, but we're sure he's working on that too. Oh BTW, he named his creation the “Smarch Watch”. It apparently took him a few weeks to finish the project, but he managed to even overcome one of the most annoying things about smartwatches - the battery life. Yes, Samson's watch can last up to 7 days on a single charge. In fact, he even built a charging cradle for the watch that can top up the battery in just 2.5 hours. © Imgur Interestingly, Samson said that the entire project cost him only about $50. Yes, that's just insane considering the fact that his DIY watch can do almost everything a normal smartwatch would do. Impressed much? Well, Samson was kind enough to share all the info, and you can build your smartwatch from scratch by following the simple steps given here.
  5. It's 2019, and gaming on a budget is actually not that hard in today's day and age. Pick your parts wisely, know exactly where to cut corners, and you'll end up with a budget gaming PC build that will do justice to many of the latest games. If you still think it's easier said than done, then continue reading to find out how you can build a great gaming PC under Rs 50,000: 1. Processor: Ryzen 5 2600 - Rs. 12,999 © YouTube For this particular build, we'll be using the Ryzen 2600 to give us the necessary computing power. There's no specific reason behind choosing AMD's Ryzen over Intel's Core processor. It's just that the Ryzen 2600 CPU is a very capable CPU, and it's also a really good option for people who are willing to overclock. The Ryzen 2600 is an ideal mid-range gaming CPU that offers six-cores that can operate at a peak clock speed of 3.9GHz. You can learn more about the CPU here, but in short, it's a great option for gamers and creators alike. BTW, it also comes with a CPU cooler, so you don't have to shell out more money on it. 2. GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 - Rs. 12,499 © Nvidia If it wasn't for Nvidia's great timing, then we'd have probably suggested fitting a GTX 1050Ti in this build. But luckily, the company just launched the new GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, and it's simply great for gamers on a budget. The GPU is capable of running almost all modern titles like 'Apex Legends', 'Fortnite', 'PUBG', etc. at 100 fps, which is really not that bad for a budget build. 3. Motherboard: ASRock B450 PRO4 - Rs. 8,450 © ASRock Picking the right motherboard is very crucial for the build. You need to make sure that the board is compatible and can handle the components that you're planning using. We went with the Asrock B450 PRO4 mainly because we're using a CPU for our build. The board has an AMD A4 socket, which is exactly what we need. The board also has 2 PCIe 3.0 x16, 4 PCIe 2.0 x1, and an of SATA3, M.2, and USB ports. It's a very capable board and perfect for our build. In case you're interested, you can learn more about it here. 4. RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4 3000Mhz - Rs. 3,750 © Corsair The ASRock board, which we are using for this particular build, has 4 x DDR4 DIMM Slots. The maximum capacity of system memory supported by this board 64GB, and that's plenty for a build like this. 5. HDD: Western Digital WD10EZEX 1TB Internal Hard Drive - Rs. 2,975 © WD It's really hard to push an SSD for this build under the budget we're working with, so we just went with a WD Blue 1TB HDD. It's the go-to drive of choice that should get you started. You can always add an SSD in the future when you see fit. 6. Cabinet - Corsair Carbide Series 100R CC-9011075 - Rs. 3,099 © Corsair For case, the Corsair Carbide series 100R CC ATX should do the trick. As you can see, it looks simple and elegant, and it comes with all the bells and whistles that you'd need to keep your components up and running. It comes with five fan mounts to keep your PC cool, plus a 120mm fan is included inside the case itself. The case is fitted with Thumbscrew side panels, so you won't need any tools to handle it too. Also, the case has a flush-mounted side panel window, through which you can showcase all your PC components. Yes, we're not using any RGB lighting, but the case will certainly look pretty should you decide to upgrade the lighting later. 7. Power Supply: Corsair CX450 - Rs. 3,440 © Corsair Last, but not the least, we recommend the CX450 450W 80 Plus Power Supply. It can handle up to 450 watts, which is plenty of power for our configuration. Don't worry, we've also made sure that all our components are compatible with each other, so you won't end up blowing up something. Well, if you're keeping tabs on the cost, this PC with the aforementioned components will cost you just above Rs. 47,000. Of course, we haven't included other peripherals for the PC, but you can use that money to splurge on, say, a mouse or a nice pair of earphones. Lastly, we'd like to point out that the prices of these components keep fluctuating. So it's best to keep tabs on Amazon India or your local offline retailers to get the best prices.
  6. Virat Kohli is a name that doesn't really need an introduction, as he is the most popular cricketer that India has seen since the legend Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli is someone who is always seen leading the Indian team from the front, be it with the bat or on the field. But what really sets him apart is not just his cricketing skills, but his fitness too. © Reuters When it comes to fitness, the Indian captain just keeps on raising the bar and has become the fitness icon of India when it comes to sportsmen, as no other Indian athlete can match his fitness levels at present. In fact, I am also sure that his chiselled and amazing body is something that a lot of people are striving to get for themselves. In this article, I am going about how you can build a sportsman-like physique just like Virat Kohli: 1. Dietary Control In a recent interview, Virat himself said that he hasn't tasted 'butter naan' and 'butter chicken' in the last 5 years which used to be his favourite dish. This not only shows his immense discipline towards his diet but also tells you that he stays away from any kind of junk foods at all. You can't expect your body to look and respond like a sportsman if you're going to feed it junk food every now and then. Your diet should be as nutritious as possible. Avoid eating highly processed and less nutritious food all the time. 2. Increase Your Protein Intake The combination of the chiselled physique with explosive energy is impossible to achieve without a good amount of protein in your diet. Your body needs to have muscles to look muscular. Protein is the building block for muscles, thus it is very important that you include enough protein in your diet on a daily basis. Having 1.5 grams protein per Kg of body weight is a good place to start with and thereafter you can increase it according to your own individual needs. 3. Combination Of Resistance And Agility Training If you look at Virat's physique carefully, you will realize that he doesn't have too much of muscle mass. He is not bulky like a bodybuilder but yes, he has muscles. © Reuters To build muscles, you need to train with weights. When your muscles are subjected to resistance training regularly, your body tries to build new muscle fibres. Also, sport-specific performance like Kohli's will need regular agility training as well. You could choose from various forms of agility drills like ladder drills, cone drills or medicine balls. Working out at least 5 to 6 days in a week with a combination of resistance training and agility training will be best suited for a body like Virat's. 4. Consistency Virat didn't become Virat overnight. It took him years and years of hard work, dedication and discipline to become what he is today. You have to keep this in mind when you make a target to be like him. There will be temptation around you for skipping your workouts or to cheat on your meals, but you have you show your commitment towards your goals. This is what differentiates an achiever from a loser. Just do the hard work, be patient and you will see the results coming your way. Anuj Tyagi, author of this article, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist from American Council on Exercise (ACE). Now an Online Health Coach, he is also a Chartered Accountant by education. You can connect with him through Instagram on:- https://www.instagram.com/sixpacktummy_anuj/
  7. You go to the gym to get jacked. You want to look great naked as well as have good musculature. Essentially, like every other guy who goes to the gym, you want to lose fat and gain muscle. The question now is can you do it together? If yes, how do you do that together? Losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time is known as body re-composition. Answering the first question, can you do it together? It would be a firm yes. It is not about can you do it together but it is almost certainly expected to happen together. © CoachMag A host of studies show that resistance training combined with adequate protein intake usually leads to growth in lean body mass and eating in a caloric deficit leads to losing body fat. That is still just one part of the equation. The other part being the question, to what degree can you do a body re-composition? This is where people confuse themselves and burn their wheels out. A meaningful or a significant body re-composition happens usually in these cases: 1. Total Beginners When beginners start to lift weights, it is usually a novel stimulus to their bodies. As a response to that novel stimulus, they build muscle quickly. This period is also known as the newbie gains period. Combining this with a caloric deficit, adequate protein, and progressive training, a beginner can expect a good amount of fat loss and muscle gain at the same time. 2. Detrained Individuals At times, an intermediate or an advanced lifter might have to stay off the gym maybe due to a hectic schedule, travels, or a layoff due to an injury. When a lifter is detrained; the myonuclei that resulted in muscle repair and growth in the past stay there. It's just that they shrink in size and the muscle appears smaller. On training again after a layoff, these myonuclei grow back in size and give the muscle a fuller look again making the trainee experience rapid gains in muscle size. © Muscle and fitness 3. Fat Individuals Muscle building is a metabolically intense process and your body requires a significant amount of energy to synthesize new muscle tissue. When overweight individuals start resistance training combined with a higher protein diet, it puts them in a sweet spot where they can build muscle due to resistance training combined with adequate protein intake. At the same time, they have enough stored fuel in their bodies (body fat) to support the metabolically intense process of building muscle while losing the body fat even when they eat lesser calories. There is a good chance that they will look jacked when they start lifting weights and lose body fat. 4. Those Who Take Steroids When someone starts taking steroids, the myonuclei formation due to training is 3 to 5 times more than a normal individual. At the same time, they have quicker recovery rates combined with increased exercise tolerance. That puts them in a position where they can build slabs of muscle and lose fat at the very same time. Read this piece if you are interested in knowing how steroids literally change the muscle building game for individuals. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.
  8. You must have seen bodybuilders spending hours in the gym and you might think, “I do not have the time to be in the gym 4 hours a day. Does this mean I cannot gain muscle?” The short answer is NO. You can still very much gain muscle. Spending 3-4 hours in the gym is not realistic for people with regular 9-5 jobs. Here are 3 training methods which can help you gain more muscle in less time. 1. Supersets Supersets are done with pairing opposite muscles back-to-back without resting between two muscle groups. Let's say you have an arm day, so when you train your bicep muscle, the opposite muscle triceps are resting. Perform any variation of biceps for one set and then go perform a variation of triceps without giving rest. This enables you to perform quality volume in less time. Supersets can be done on compound movements but it would be ideal if one compound lift is combined with a single joint movement. Example - Superset between bench press and cable rows. © MensXP 2. Drop Sets A simple technique where you perform a set of any exercise single joint exercise variation to failure or just short to failure. Then drop some weight and continue for more reps with reduced poundage and no rest between sets. Eg - Barbell curls: Set 1- 20kg for 10 reps, drop the weight 10-15% do another 10 reps, drop the weight 10-15% and do another 10 reps till your planned sets are done. Drop sets should be done on single joint movements and not on compound movements as it's not safe due to its method protocol © MensXP 3. Rest-Pause Sets These are modern intensity techniques in which you can increase your muscle activation and training volume in a short amount of time. Plus, you get a magnificent pump. Rest-pause sets are performed by completing a normal set of exercise to concentric failure. This is when you physically cannot do another rep with decent technique. Then you rest for 15 seconds and do another set to failure with the same weight. Then you rest 15 seconds and repeat the process as many times as you desire. Rest-pause training activates all the muscle fibres in the first set, so every rep thereafter is maximally effective. Rest-pause training should be done on single joint movements like side raises, bicep curls, etc So, the next time you think you need to spend 4 hours a day in the gym or think your workout is not going to help you, give these techniques a spin and finish an effective workout in a shorter amount of time. Author Bio: Yashovardhan Singh is an online fitness coach with www.getsetgo.fitness, an online fitness platform. Along with lifting weights and building his physique, he is also a motorbike enthusiast, an animal lover. You can connect with him on Instagram or drop him an email on yashovardhan@getsetgo.fitness.
  9. It has become very common for all gym bros to take some kind of muscle building 'pills' or 'injections' these days to build muscle. Along with that, horror stories of people dying due to taking bodybuilding drugs, suffering from serious health risks, addiction, and depression frequent the news. They do build impressive physiques by taking these pills and injecting hard to pronounce compounds in their asses. Does this mean you cannot build muscle without taking these drugs? The answer would be NO. The problem with most natural lifters is that they try to imitate drugged or enhanced bodybuilders. It is like going to play cricket with a hockey stick. It is not a different level, it is a different game. How many sixes would you score even if you were the best batsman with the hockey stick? Here is what you can start doing if you are serious about gaining muscle naturally: 1. Increase Your Frequency And Divorce The Bro-Split One muscle group, once a week?! Yes, forget about that. When a person takes steroids, their Muscle Protein Synthesis shoots up for almost a week. Meaning, if they train chest on Monday, they will be repairing and building that tissue until Sunday. On Monday, they repeat again. You, a natural lifter, on the other hand, will have this elevated Muscle Protein Synthesis for 24 to 48 hours max. If you train your chest just once in a week, you will have a window where you are not making any gains for your chest. That is where you lose out on gains. If you want to avoid this, stop having a one muscle per day workout plan. Train all your muscle groups 2 to 3 times per week. 2. Do More Of Compound Exercises It's really cool to see bodybuilders have that pump and then do 20 sets of arms in one session. The fun fact here is that they can recover from these crazy high volumes due to the usage of anabolic steroids. There is nothing wrong with doing isolation exercises like above. Do your bicep curls too. But, not at the cost of compound exercises! To grow muscle, you need to get stronger aka need to have progressive overload. When you start going to the gym, you may be able to curl dumbbells of 7.5 kilos. Over time or say a period of 10 years, this will maximum reach 25 kilos. You did become stronger but the number is not a crazy increase. Let's compare that with a bench press. You start at 20 kilos. Over 10 years, this number can even go up to 120 kilos. That is a 100-kilo increase. You can overload muscle more and get stronger more in your compound exercises. Add to that, these exercises work more than just one muscle group per given time. This helps you save time too. 3. Eat In A Calorie Surplus To gain muscle, you need to eat in a calorie surplus. You cannot lose weight and gain muscle at the same time unless you are a beginner. A lot of bros waste their time trying to recomp or build muscle and lose fat at the same time. It is like two steps forward, one step back. Instead, just focus on one thing at a given time and prioritizing it. So yeah, if you think that you cannot build muscle naturally, that is a wrong notion. It is just that you have been doing things sub-optimally. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.
  10. Thor, the Son of Odin and a Norse God according to mythology, has got to be one of the top three Avengers for me and Chris Hemsworth brilliantly plays his character in all the Marvel movies. Hemsworth is generally a very fit guy but to play Thor, he took his physique to the next level. The thing that stood out the most were his guns. They looked God-like, especially when he held the Mjolnir, his hammer. Do you want to build God-like arms just like Thor? Start doing these things: 1. Do Unconventional Exercises Like The Rows, Pull-Ups & Farmers Carry © Marvel Your biceps are engaged and activated when you do upper body pull movements. Make rows, pull-ups, chin-ups, etc. a staple of your upper body work. Along with that, add some unconventional exercises as farmers carry, medicine ball throws, etc. You can see Chris Hemsworth doing it in this video: 2. Use A Full Range Of Motion If you are struggling to grow your arms despite training them regularly, your gym partner is your ego. There is no other possible conclusion. Countless times I have seen people load plates on the barbell and not even complete one full rep on a set of 21s. Stop doing this bullcrap! Want to grow your arms? Use a full range of motion. You will lift a lighter load but that's okay. It will be effective. 3. Establish A Mind-Muscle Connection © YouTube Arnold talks a lot about the importance of this when discussing training. I do agree, partially. Mind-muscle connection is fundamentally feeling the muscle when lifting weights. You lift the weight in a controlled way. It is beneficial when you do isolation work like bis and tris. 4. Work On Both The Heads Of Your Biceps You have a short head and a long head in your biceps. If your goal is to build roundness and size, it is important to work them both. Exercises for the short head: 1. Spider curls 2. Preacher curls 3. Chin-ups Exercises for the long head: 1. Incline dumbbell curls 2. Cable curls with your shoulders pulled back 3. Drag curls Here is a sample back and biceps workout you can add to your routine: © YouTube Barbell Rows - 3 sets of 6 to 8 Chin-ups - 3 sets of 6 to 8 Seated Rows or Chest supported rows - 3 sets of 8 to 12 Lat pulldowns - 3 sets of 8 to 12 Preacher curls - 3 sets of 12 to 15 Cable curls with shoulders pulled back - 3 sets of 12 to 15 Hammer curls - 3 sets of 12 to 15 Incorporate this in your workout to build godly arms like Thor. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.
  11. If there's one superhero that embodies the modern day quintessential superhero, it has to be Deadpool. A childish sense of humour, cleverness and no fear of anyone, Deadpool is easily among the most beloved superheroes, although he likes to call himself a mercenary. Ryan Reynolds has been the perfect person to play the part as he embodies the quirky characteristics of Deadpool. The perfect portrayal of the role aside, what's equally impressive is the physique that Ryan has built for the part. A lean, muscular and an athletic physique! This is something every guy wishes to achieve. A physique that does not make them look like mass monsters, and at the same time, have girls drooling over them once they take the shirt off. Here's what you must do to try and build a lean muscular physique like Deadpool: 1. Drop Your Body Fat © YouTube One major mistake that most guys do and even desi gym trainers wrongly preach is, starting to work on bulking no matter what your body composition is. Some idiots even go to the extent of saying that bulk first, as it is easier to cut later. No, it is not. A Couple Of Things Here: a. At a higher body fat, you will gain more fat: The sweet spot to work on a lean bulk is between 8 to 15% body fat. If you are above this, there is a good chance, you will gain more body fat. b. Fat cells do not die off: As you become fatter the number of fat cells in your body will increase. More fat cells mean it is comparatively easier for you to gain body fat or weight in future. So, always do a cut first until you are around 8-10%. If you end up looking skinny, that is okay. It is temporary. 2. Start Eating In A Small Caloric Surplus Once you are at lower body fat, start eating more calories than your maintenance calories to increase your weight. And yes, you have to do this very conservatively. It is not a contest of getting as fat as possible in the shortest amount of time. Aim to gain no more than 1 to 1.5 kilo per month. Which means a surplus of around 200 kcals per day! Ensure you are consuming at least 1.8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. 3. Do More Of Compound Movements Lift multi-joint movements so that you can get stronger and pack more muscle. Do not waste all your time in the gym doing 100 sets of bicep curls. The more compound movements you pick, the more muscles you work on, increasing the opportunity to grow muscle. And do not do the conventional one body part a day training. Research shows that even when doing the same number of weekly sets, those who trained one muscle 2x per week grew more muscle. Do not be a knob. © Imgur 4. Do This Ab Circuit 3x A Week The one thing that stands out in Ryan's physique in 'Deadpool' is his abs. As abs are a smaller muscle group, they recover faster meaning you can train them more frequently. The primary function of your abs is spinal flexion. The two basic movements which do it is ab crunches and leg raises. Do 3-4 supersets of 12-15 reps of these exercises every alternate day to build muscle and have your abs popping. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.
  12. Gymnasts are the poster children for promoting bodyweight training. With their defined torsos, massive shoulders and arms and predominantly equipment free workouts, lend us to believe that our bodies are all that we need for us to build muscle. There are proponents on either side of the fence but I truly believe that bodyweight training is incredibly effective as it increases our sense of balance and reduces the possibility of injury through over lifting. Bodyweight exercises also provide a graceful range of motion and spatial co-ordination. Nope, Can't Really Become A Bodybuilder With Bodyweight Training! Before we assess the situation at hand, we need to set the record straight. If you aim to get bigger and pack on slabs of muscle, bodyweight training will not cut the cake for you. You are better under a bar and with the dumbbells. Now Let's Look Into The Benefits Of Bodyweight Training © Pixabay Bodyweight exercises are often associated with functional training and endurance building exercises but those same exercises when done with the application of full body tension and bodyweight progressions can be exceedingly effective in building strength and muscle. 1) Bodyweight exercises through compound body movements augment cognitive strength and improve psycho-neural functioning as well as neural-muscular coordination. It also assists in de-carbonating the blood and recharging it with oxygen. Most important is the recreational value of bodyweight workouts as they are more fun, creative and engaging. 2) Progressing to different difficult variations of exercises will help build muscle more rapidly as opposed to doing multiple reps of the same exercise. 3) For someone who is new to exercising, it would be a lot easier to build muscle with bodyweight exercises as opposed to someone who has been exercising for a while unless they progressively overload in the intensity of the exercises over time. In order to build muscle, there are certain factors, which are – a) Mechanical tension Muscles respond by growing when they undergo mechanical tension, which in simple words means lifting heavy weights. It is now scientifically proven that lifting up to 90% of one's maximum weight allows one to perform more reps with the same tension and increasing the amount of time under tension. b) Metabolic stress Metabolic stress can be achieved by reversing directions just before ending the range of motion in order to maintain constant tension. Due to this the blood gets pumped into the muscles resulting in cellular swelling. This is the pump that is experienced immediately post working out. c) Muscle damage It is necessary to incur muscle damage in order to rebuild muscle but too much damage can be counterproductive as it leaves the body unable to recover for the next workout. It is necessary to pay attention and slow down the eccentric part of the exercise, which is when you lower yourself down into a squat or a push up as it increases the muscle damage. © Pixabay Bodyweight training, if done with the correct intensity and made more and more challenging over time can help beginners build decent amount of muscle at home. Along with this you will also improve agility, functionality, resilience and tenacity. About the author: Mickey Mehta is leading holistic health corporate life coach.
  13. You can never have big enough biceps. This is something all gym bros will agree upon. In the pursuit of arms that fill out sleeves, and forearms that Popeye himself would be proud of, most gym bros spend hours (read: waste) doing a lot of isolation work. Most of the time, it is the same old bicep curls, hammer curls, dips, tricep extensions, forearm curls and etc. that make up the routine. What if I told you that there were some exercises that will give you a better chance to grow your arms? Here's the list of those exercises: 1. Pull-Up Or Chin-Up © Thinkstock Images A pull-up or a chin-up challenge your biceps as much as curls do and it is more functional as an exercise as well, that has a carryover effect into your daily life. They help you in sports movements as well and help you get stronger overall. 2. Dumbbell Skull Crushers © Thinkstock Images In the gym, you see a lot of people doing skull crushers with a straight bar or an EZ-bar. The problem with these two is that they are heavy on your wrists and you spend more time adjusting or working with your wrists than actually doing the movement. When you pick a dumbbell instead, your wrists are in a neutral position and you will be able to blast your triceps without hurting your wrist or your shoulders. 3. Diamond Push-Ups © YouTube A lot of people do tricep kick-back but the problem is that you cannot really go too heavy and if you do, you do not isolate the tricep area. You are swinging your body and involving your upper body muscles. Diamond push-ups, on the other hand, hit the triceps more effectively and you can also load them externally by doing weighted push-ups. 4. Farmer's Carry © YouTube Ever seen a strongman's forearms? A single forearm of theirs may easily outsize a typical gym bro's arm size. If you want to build massive forearms, have amazing grip strength, and strong forearms, then embrace the farmer's carry. This movement will not just make your forearms pop out, it will also make you build endurance and have stronger glutes. 5. Waiter's Carry © Pixabay Another super unconventional exercise to add to your toolkit, the waiter's carry hits your forearms while also activating your core and improves stability. You can hold a plate or a barbell or a dumbbell overhead and walk the desired steps or time doing this. Do it one hand at a time and then switch hands. These unconventional exercises won't feel the same as the old curls and dips to you, but that is where the growth occurs, outside your comfort zone. Go give these a try and start growing those arms as thick as you can. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
  14. The one thing every teenager looks forward to around the halfway mark of his teenage years, is to ditch his teens and step into the formal years of early adulthood. Though 18 may be the official year of turning into an adult, the Indian society doesn't really consider you one until your age reads/sounds something like “twenty-_____”. Right? Well, we know the big deal that it is for all of us, given that there is so much to look forward to, explore and experience in our 20s. However, with all the fun and liberty, also comes the sad reality of facing the demons, both our own and as well as the society's. © Dharma Productions Societal expectations and demands slowly begin to make their way into our “happy” 20s, and more often than not, meddle with our personal choices and desires. The conflict forces most of us to “challenge” the usual order of things, which eventually results in various forms of stress, which slowly creep into our lives. Now, who wants to deal with such heavy, mind-numbing experiences that test our mental and emotional vigour at a time like this, especially when they have a choice to stay above all the jitters and enjoy the mental peace that's become the need of the hour? © Facebook So, here are 7 mental muscle building mantras that will help you deal with any and every societal melodrama, and keep you mentally healthy and sound: 1. Don't Seek Validation The first thing to learn very early on in your 20s is to not waste one's effort and energy in trying to please everyone. The world is made up of numerous different individuals, so disagreements are expected. But instead of seeking people's validation, let's focus on being our own man, and doing what is best, regardless of public opinion. © Facebook 2. Don't Wait For An Apology Life has only just started and various disagreements will leave a lot of people, including you, with bruised egos and hurt pride. But no matter which side of the spectrum you occupy, you should quickly learn the trick to forget and move forward. There's no point holding on to the hurt and preventing yourself from enjoying the moment and being truly happy. 3. Have Fun Big, strong mental muscles find their nutrition from all things positive and happy. What that means is, you need to move over negative emotions, and fast. Don't let things like opinions, judgements, failures, jealousy and resentment dampen your joy and kill your vibe. You do what makes you truly happy and chuck all else into the bin. © Facebook 4. Allow Yourself To Fail That's something which must be repeated often, loud and clear for all of us to understand and acknowledge that failure is okay, as it is normal. We must understand that failures don't define us as a person, but rather we must learn from them, take them in our stride and put up a stronger game post every setback. 5. Don't Mull Over Mistakes This one follows the same logic as the previous one. Renowned English poet Alexander Pope's notable words, “to err is human” is a mantra you must imbibe in your very being. We all make mistakes and learn through those experiences, and the 20s allow us to make more mistakes in our lives, than all the other times combined. Thus, be done with all the greyness clouding your mind. © Facebook 6. Learn To Say No This one might seem insignificant, but know that learning to say no takes effort on most of our parts. But being able to say no to things shows that you value yourself, your time, decisions, choices, and the needs to turn down certain offers every now and then, that don't resonate with your personal ideologies and beliefs. That'll really bulk of mental muscles. 7. Appreciate Change Last, but surely not the least, your 20s will be filled with constant changes and you must come to accept and appreciate those changes. That's because those will be the only way you learn and grow as individuals, who grab every opportunity thrown their way and make the most of it. No matter where you are in your 20s, keeping these mantras with you will really help you build a strong and healthy mind, that's ready to take on life.
  15. Whenever we use the term 'core', it is generally construed that we are talking about the so called 'six pack abs. However, when it comes down to the real core strength, it's not just those chiseled wash board ones that actually matter. It is the test of the function of what your core is actually meant to do. Your core is designed to stabilize your spine and to help it to move efficiently. Your core muscles collectively create a stiffness that limits the excessive movement of the spine in any direction. So it's not just enough to have those visible biscuits on your abdomen but you should also have real core strength too. Let's discuss a few reasons why you need a strong core and how can you build one. Why Build A Strong Core - A strong core helps you maintain a good body posture. A good posture helps you to avoid major musculoskeletal injuries. It also helps you prevent chronic back injuries. - A strong core will help you in improving the functionality and performance of your body. Thus, not just conditioned athletes, anyone who trains to be fit should aim for a strong core. - It will also help people who have a desk job and thus have to sit on a chair for prolonged hours. They often complain about having regular back pain. Strengthening of core muscles can actually help them reduce the symptoms of back pain. Following are some very good exercises to build a strong core. 1) Planks © Freeletics One of most common and yet effective exercise to strengthen your core is planks. Planks are convenient to perform as you do not need an equipment to perform this exercise. Just lie on the floor with your toes and forearms touching the floor while rest of the body is at shoulder level above the floor. Keep your arms bent and directly below the shoulder. Try to hold the position for as long as possible. 2) Hanging Leg Raise With Holds © YouTube This one is not going to be easy for beginners so make sure that you take things a little slower for your body to adapt the progression. You can perform this on a pull-up bar or a Bar dip station. Stand straight and grab the pull-up bar with a grip that's shoulder width apart. Now lift your torso till it makes a 90 degree angle with your legs. Exhale out your breadth as you perform the movement. Try to hold the movement for a second and then bring your legs down. This is the initial progression and with time you have to increase the holding time of your legs at the 90 degree angle. If you do this correctly, trust me only one exercise is going to be enough for your core training. 3) Compound Movements © YouTube Compound movements like overhead squat and press, deadlift, squatting and bench press work on your core as well. This may come as a surprise to a lot of guys out there but that's actually true. In all these compound exercises, your core plays an important role in stabilizing your body when you lift heavy in these exercises. Therefore, someone who lifts real heavy in deadlift and squatting will never have a weak core. It's because when you lift heavy, you automatically engage your core muscles when you embrace your abdomen. Thus a heavy lifter may not have visible abs but he will always have a strong core. Make sure to incorporate heavy compound movements too in your training routine to build up a strong core. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  16. The one word that the fitness industry is obsessed with and unanimously agrees upon as good is 'protein'. Want to build muscle? Protein. Want to lose fat? Eat more protein. Want to stay the same as you are and maintain your fitness? Eat protein. Protein is definitely important but it is more important to know what intake is for your goal. How much exactly of this magical macronutrient do you actually need? The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) according to health organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) is 0.8 to 1gm per kilo of your body weight. For example, an 80-kilo male will require 64 to 80 grams of protein per day to complete his RDA. Again, this is just for the average Joe who wants to stay healthy. In your case, it is not so. You are reading this article as you have a fitness goal like building muscle or losing fat while preserving your muscle mass. In these cases, it is logical that you are going to need more protein. © YouTube How much more exactly? Let's discuss two goals here. One is to lose fat while preserving lean body mass and the other is to gain muscle. Goal 1: Lose Fat While Preserving Lean Body Mass In these cases, studies have shown that higher protein intakes are associated with higher satiety, adherence to the diet, fat loss, and greater diet satisfaction compared to lower protein diets. When your goal is to lose fat, protein dosages between 1.8 and 2.4 grams per kilo of body weight have shown to have better results compared to doses lower than these. For the 80-kilo dude, this will translate to 145 to 190 grams of protein per day. The satiating quality of protein as a macronutrient makes higher intakes beneficial as you will feel full and the chance of dietary slips will be greatly reduced, considering hunger can be a persistent problem when you diet down to single-digit body fat ranges. Goal 2: Build Muscle © YouTube To gain muscle, studies have shown that lower protein dosages compared to the fat loss protein dosage are enough to build on muscle. When your goal is to build muscle, protein in the range of 1.4 to 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight will do the job. The 80-kilo dude will need 110 to 145 grams of protein to build muscle. For building muscle, you need to eat excess calories and having a relatively higher protein intake can defeat the purpose as the satiety factor may in turn make you eat lesser calories, which can be a hindrance to gaining muscle or any weight. To summarize the article and give takeaway points regarding protein intake, here are the ranges to aim for: General health - 0.8 to 1 gram per kilogram of your body weight. Lose fat and preserve muscle - 1.8 to 2.4 grams per kilogram of your body weight. Gain muscle - 1.4 to 1.8 grams per kilogram of your body weight. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.
  17. A lot has been said about 'what food to eat' post workout. With this piece, I am going to explain to you the science of post workout nutrition. Not just what to eat after your workout but why is it one of the most important meals of the day. If you really want to learn the science of nutrient timing, you're reading the right article. Why Is Post Workout Nutrition So Important? When you work out in the gym, lifting heavy weights and performing cardio, two things happen in your body. First, your body loses glycogen stores from muscles and second, it breaks down muscle tissue. The exact level of glycogen depletion varies with the intensity of your workout. However, it is sure that you will lose some level of glycogen from your muscles. Resistance training causes micro tears in your muscle tissue which is rebuilt by your body with the help of amino acids. Thus, it's quite evident that your body needs at least these two things from your post workout nutrition to start the recovery process--Glycogen and amino acids. With the immediate availability of glycogen, it will start to replenish the glycogen stores of your muscles and with the abundance of amino acid pool, it will rebuild the broken muscle tissues. © Youtube Carbs In Post Workout Meal As explained above, your body needs carbohydrates to replenish the glycogen stores in your muscles. Muscle stores glycogen so that it can be used as immediate source of fuel. When you weight train, the glycogen level gets depleted and you need insulin to replenish it as soon as you complete your workout. Therefore it becomes important that you consume some form of carbohydrate in your post workout meal. In fact, post workout meal is the only meal where you can consume high GI foods without worrying too much about the insulin spike. Your body needs some immediate supply of glucose as it is craving for glycogen. Therefore, even if the GI of the food is high, it is only going to be absorbed more rapidly. However, I would still suggest that if your target is fat loss and you are a little overweight, you should preferably consume low GI foods only. © Pixabay Protein In Post Workout Meal Another important macronutrient that should form a part of your post workout meal is the protein. No, I am not talking about whey protein supplements here. If you can use whey protein supplements, good enough. If you can't, you will still build muscles provided you consume enough natural protein. Consuming protein in your post workout meal will help your Body spike the amino acid pool in your blood stream so that your body can repair the muscle tissue and build new muscle tissue. I would like to mention here that you do not need to consume 40-50 gms of protein in a single go as suggested by a few bodybuilders. You need to understand that there is a huge difference in protein synthesis of a natural lifter and an enhanced bodybuilder who takes drugs to enhance his muscle protein synthesis. Their muscle protein synthesis is way high. Therefore, if you are an amateur then I would suggest that you start your protein intake with 10gm in post workout and slowly increase it to 25-30 gm as the intensity of your workout increases. Fat In Your Post Workout Meal Fat is the macronutrient that you should preferably avoid in your post workout meal because there is no requirement of fat as such at that time. If you do include fat in your post workout meal, it may reduce the absorption of the above two macronutrient. However, it will still provide the benefits to your body. Thus, a small portion of fat wouldn't make a big difference but preferably try to avoid fatty food in your post workout meal. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  18. So you want six pack abs? Let me give this good news to you then: you already have them. Yes, if you can stand upright, you do have abs. It's just that they are not visible because you have high body fat percentage and you don't train them. Though the primary factor for a visible six packs abs is always your body fat percentage, it makes sense to make your core strong and defined by training them. With the below exercises you can hit your core from every angle and if you follow a structured diet, your abs will be visible in no time. Hanging Knee Raises © bodybuildingwizard My personal favorite and one of the most effective exercises to develop your core muscles is hanging knee raises. If you go to a sophisticated gym, you'll have an arm harness in which you can place your elbows and then perform the exercise. If it is not available, use the pull bar to perform this exercise. Though this exercise works on your entire core, it recruits more muscles from your lower abdomen. To perform this exercise, hang your body straight down while you keep your feet together. Now curl your knees towards your chest and crunch your abdomen while performing the movement. Make sure you do more number of repetitions in this exercise, like 20 to 30 in one set. Seated Leg Tuckers © dailymail Another advance level exercise for abs, the seated leg tuckers is less challenging than the hanging knee raises. To do this exercise you need a straight bench. Sit on the bench and lean your body backwards at an angle of about 45 to 60 degree. You can take the help of your hand to maintain the balance of your body. The advance form of this exercise is when you don't use your hands for the support. Now perform a simultaneous movement of your upper and lower body. Crunch your upper body toward your pelvic and bring your knees towards your chest. You should feel the crunch at the abdomen region at the end of the movement if you perform the exercise correctly. Cross Crunches/ Elbow To Knee © hiitacademy This exercise works on your abdominals as well as oblique muscles. To perform this exercise, lie on the floor and bend your knees to make a 90 degree angle at the knee. Your torso should be relaxed on the floor. Now bring your right knee towards your chest and simultaneously take your left elbow towards your right knee. Crunch your body diagonally and then return back to the starting position. Perform the same movement with your left knee and right elbow to complete one repetition of this exercise. Do not rush to perform more repetitions like you must have seen people doing it in the gym. Do it slowly and feel the crunch to rake in maximum benefit of this exercise. Oblique Crunches © YouTube Oblique crunches are one of the best exercises to isolate your oblique muscles. Your core will look incomplete if you work only on your abs and do not train your oblique muscles. To perform this exercise, lie flat on the floor. Fold your knees in the air or keep them on the bench at a 90 degree angle. Keep your right hand behind your head and bend your elbow. Now crunch your abdomen while bringing your elbow to the front and touching your knee. Perform the same movement with the other hand. This exercise can also be performed in another way where you crunch your body laterally while lying on the floor. Side Plank Crunches © Coachmag Side plank crunches are an advance exercise movement to isolate your oblique muscles. This exercise is more effective than side bends that people are mostly seen performing in the gym. In fact, with side bends, there is a possibility of you ending up injuring your spine; on the other hand, side plank crunches help you to stabilize your spine. To perform this exercise, take up the side plank position. Now lower your body from your abdomen region towards the floor while keeping your elbow and feet stable on the ground. Bring it back to its original position and perform the same movement from other side. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  19. Photo: File LONDON: Oil prices fell on Thursday after official data showed an unexpected rise in US crude stockpiles, US output hit a record high and major oil exporters increased production.International crude oil benchmark Brent was down 85...
  20. We all know what a pain spam can be. We deal with it daily in our inboxes often relying on clever software to filter it out for us. Even worse, some spam is so well disguised that it can fool you into thinking it is a genuine message. You've put in the hard work with your community. You've used the built in social promotion tools and SEO features to get it noticed. Now that it's indexing well with Google, you've become a target. Invision Community has several tools in its arsenal to deal with spam leaving you free to concentrate on your members and content. We'll take a look at these tools in more detail. First, it's important to know that there are two main types of spam. Computer generated and human generated. Computer generated spam is malicious software that throws millions of messages out and hopes some sticks to high profile communities. Human generated spam is more pernicious as it can often bypass automated measures. Human spammers often register accounts and post as members on your community. This leaves you free to concentrate on your content and less time deleting posts and members! The first line of defense Invision Community comes equipped with Spam Defense. This is free with all cloud and licensed plans. Spam Defense harnesses the combined knowledge of thousands of Invision Communities. It will assess the potential threat of each new user and stop them before they can cause any problems. To date, Spam Defense has blocked over 3,000,000 spam accounts. Spam Defense works by evaluating the registering member against its database. It will score the account from 1 (not a spammer) to 4 (a known spammer) allowing you to decide what to do with each level. If a spammer gets past the Spam Defense, flag them as a spammer using the built in tools. This will clear up all their posts in a single action and report back to Spam Defense that this account has spammed your site. These community led reports allow Spam Defense to learn and adapt. Preventing spammers from registering The CAPTCHA ("Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart") is a well tested and robust method to defeat computerised spammers. It is usually a small widget on a sign up form that asks you to re-enter words shown in an image. Invision Community supports Recaptcha2 by Google, meaning that in most cases your users don't even have to type in random letters. Instead, Google algorithms determine if the user is human or otherwise. Invision Community supports KeyCaptcha. This requires guests to solve a simple problem before they can contribute. The Question and Answer challenge works on its own or in conjunction with a CAPTCHA. This system allows you to create simple question and answer challenges unique to your community. As these answers are unique, computerized spammers cannot solve them. Also, human spammers not knowledable with your niche are often unable to solve them too. While the above are great for reducing the number of computerized spammers, we need to be especially clever to weed out human spammers. Dealing with human spammers Smart configuration of your community will also help in defeating spammers. Invision Community supports posting without registering. This feature allows for fast engagement but use it with caution. It works best if you only allow it for specific forums. Invision Community's membership promotion system also has tools which you can leverage. To make your site less appealing to human spammers, you can configure two membership groups. Let us look at an example which uses "New Members" and "Members". "New Members" is the default group for new registrations. In this group you can remove the ability to add a signature to each post. Often spammers use signatures to earn referrals on links. You can also define a limit for posts per day. This will throttle the number of spam posts a member can make. Now that you have your "New Members" group set up to build trust, you can promote them using Group Promotions. A good strategy is to promote them to "Members" when they have reached a certain level of reputation. This shows that they have become a trusted member of the community. You may wish to promote them a week after joining knowing that spammers usually leave after a day or so. There are many different criteria you can use allowing you to tailor it for your own needs. Summary Dealing with spam is a reality for every successful community. Invision Community has several features to mitigate its impact. Through leveraging its built in tools to smart configuration, you can make your community a fortress against spam. In addition, our exclusive Spam Defense system grows and learns every day stopping spammers from registering. To learn how to configure Invision Community's spam prevention tools, please see our help guide. Not using Invision Community? We can convert you from other platforms preserving your data. Our migration page has more information on the platforms we can convert you from.
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