Four Harmful Muscle-Building Myths Uncovered

If you’re serious about making a solid commitment to a muscle-building program, you need to be very careful of who you take advice from. Bodybuilding and fitness is literally a multi-billion dollar industry with new websites popping up every single day. Many of the so-called “experts” out there really don’t have a clue of what they’re talking about and are only motivated by pushing expensive pills, powders and “miracle programs” on you that you don’t really need. If you don’t watch your step you may end up falling for some fatal muscle-building pitfalls that will literally destroy your gains and prevent you from ever achieving the impressive, muscular physique you desire. In this article I’m going to expose 4 very common muscle-building myths in order to keep you on the proper path to the mind-blowing muscle and strength gains you deserve.

Myth #1: In order to build muscle, you must achieve a “pump” during your workout. The greater the pump you achieve, the more muscle you will build.

For those of you who are just starting out, a “pump” is the feeling that you get as blood becomes trapped inside the muscle tissue when you train with weights. The muscles will swell up and leave your body feeling bigger, tighter, stronger and more powerful. While a pump does feel fantastic, it has very little, if anything to do with properly stimulating your muscles to grow. A pump is simply the result of increased bloodflow to the muscle tissue and is certainly not indicative of a successful workout. A successful workout should only be gauged by the concept of progression. If you were able to lift more weight or perform more reps than you did in the previous week, then you did your job.

Myth #2: Building muscle will cause you to become slower and less flexible.

This one goes back to the old days when people described bodybuilders as being “muscle bound” and “bulky”. Contrary to what you may think, building a significant amount of lean muscle mass will actually speed you up rather than slow you down. Muscles are responsible for every movement that your body makes, from running to jumping to throwing. The bottom line is that the stronger a muscle is, the more force it can apply. Having stronger, more muscular legs means increased foot speed, just as having stronger and more muscular shoulders means the ability to throw farther. Strong muscles are able muscles, not the other way around.

Myth #3: You must always use perfect, textbook form on all exercises.

While using good form in the gym is always important, obsessing over perfect form is an entirely different matter. If you are always attempting to perform every exercise using flawless, textbook form, you will actually increase your chances of injury and simultaneously decrease the total amount of muscle stimulation you can achieve. Remember, we are not robots! It’s very important that you always move naturally when you exercise. This could mean adding a very slight sway in your back when you perform bicep curls, or using a tiny bit of body momentum when executing barbell rows. Loosen yourself up a bit and move the way your body was meant to be moved. Obsessing over perfect form will actually work against you rather than for you.

Myth #4: If you want your muscles to grow you must “feel the burn!”

This is another huge misconception in the gym. The “burning” sensation that results from intense weight training is simply the result of lactic acid (a metabolic waste product) that is secreted inside the muscle tissue as you exercise. Increased levels of lactic acid have nothing to do with muscle growth and may actually slow down your gains rather than speed them up. You can limit lactic acid production by training in a lower rep range of 5-7, rather than the traditional range of 10 and above.


Pilates is a form of exercise designed to give you a stronger and more toned body. It is also a plan to get healthy that can be flexible and it is painless. You do not have to worry about lifting heavy weights or spending countless hours at the gym a day. With the consist practice of Pilates your body will seem to become more energized and your health will improve on an over-all basis. Many people find that after ten or so sessions they will begin to feel somewhat a difference and within a month, everyone will see a difference too.

Basically, Pilates is a form of exercise that allows the body and muscles to be stretched, strengthened, and toned. It will eliminate tension and strain on the joints and body. Not only will Pilates help tone the body, but also it allows a person to become more mentally healthy. It will release all your bad energy and replace with energy that will make you feel alive rejuvenated.

Pilates seems fairly new to the world, but actually it has been used by many celebrities, athletes, and dancers for years. In the past years, certain celebrities and athletes have pushed Pilates in the spotlight, but that is only because they have seen the results of Pilate’s workouts and want to share their happiness with the world.

When you start and stick with the Pilates workouts, you are going to see improvements in posture, your coordination, and your balance. You will also become toned without the weights and long workouts at a gym. Because you are toning your body, you will notice a flatter abdomen, smaller thighs, and your upper body, as well as, your lower body will become stronger. Pilates is mostly stretching and strengthening and your flexibility will increase with each workout. If you still are not sure if Pilates is right for you, try it out. With one workout, you will feel different on the inside. Your mind will be free and the stress and burdens that tense your muscles up will vanish.

When starting your Pilates workout you can find a local establishment that offers classes or you could hire a personal trainer. If you are on a budget and still want to get healthy, purchase the instruction videos, either at your local gym or a place dedicated to health or log online and purchase the tapes or DVDs there. The videos will help you begin your routine and you have the availability to do your workout at anytime of the day that you have free.

7 Reasons Why Your Muscles Stop Growing. How To Get Muscle To Grow Again

Have ever wondered why your muscles stopped growing after a few months of training even though you are training very hard? Here are 7 reasons why your muscles stopped growing and how to get your muscle to grow again.

• You are training too hard – Every time when you train your muscles intensely, you are actually breaking down your muscles. So your muscles need to recover from the damages you inflicted on them. So train each muscle group only once or at most twice a week.

• You are training too long – Keep your workout intense but do not workout more than an hour each time. After 45 minutes of intensive training, your cortisol level will increase. This hormone is known to destroy muscle cells.

• You are sleeping too little – You need to sleep more for good muscle growth. Your muscles grow when you sleep. So sleep more than 8 hours a day and watch those muscles growing fast.

• You are abusing alcohol – Alcohol is known to break down muscle mass plus many other body destruction ability.

• You do not change your workout routine – You must change your workout routine every 6-8 weeks. Your muscles adapt to your routine and stops growing.

• You do not progressively overload your muscles – You must try to increase your reps or weight every time you next train a particular muscle group. Otherwise, there is no reason for your muscles to grow.

• You do not eat sufficient protein – If you want to build bigger muscles, you must eat more protein. Protein is the building block for your muscles. It is recommended that you need 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight equivalent. If not enough protein is consumed with your normal diet, do supplement with protein shakes.

There you are, the 7 reasons why your muscles stopped growing even though you are training hard. There are many more methods on how to grow your muscles bigger but these 7 reasons and how to overcome them will be sufficient for an average bodybuilding beginner.

8 Proven Strategies For Maximum Muscle Gains

1) Train With Weights and Focus On Compound, Free Weight Movements.

If you want to make solid, noteworthy gains in muscle size and strength, you absolutely must train with free weights and focus on basic, compound exercises. A compound exercise is any lift that stimulates more than one muscle group at a time. Examples of these lifts are the squat, deadlift, bench press, chin up, barbell row, overhead press, dip and lunge. Compound movements allow you to handle the most weight and will stimulate the greatest amount of total muscle fibers.

2) Be Prepared To Train Hard.

One of the biggest factors that separates those who make modest gains from those who make serious gains is their level of training intensity. In order to stimulate your muscle fibers to their utmost potential, you must be willing to take every set you perform in the gym to the point of muscular failure.

Muscular Failure: The point at which no further repetitions can be completed using proper form.

Sub-maximal training intensity will leave you with sub-maximal results, plain and simple.

3) Track Your Progress In The Gym From Week To Week.

Our bodies build muscle because of an adaptive response to the environment. When you go to the gym, you break down your muscle fibers by training with weights. Your body senses this as a potential threat to its survival and will react accordingly by rebuilding the damaged fibers larger and stronger in order to protect against any possible future threat. Therefore, in order to make continual gains in muscle size and strength, you must always focus on progressing in the gym from week to week. This could mean performing 1 or 2 more reps for each exercise or adding more weight to the bar. Keep a detailed training log to track your progress as your strength increases over time.

4) Avoid Overtraining.

Overtraining is your number one enemy when it comes to building muscle size and strength. When most people begin a workout program, they are stuck with the misguided notion that more is better. They naturally assume that the more time they spend in the gym, the better results they will achieve. When it comes to building muscle, nothing could be farther from the truth! If you spend too much time in the gym, you will actually take yourself farther away from your goals rather than closer to them. Remember, your muscles do not grow in the gym; they grow out of the gym, while you are resting and eating. Recovery is absolutely vital to the muscle growth process. If you don’t provide your body with the proper recovery time in between workouts, your muscles will never have a chance to grow.

5) Eat More Frequently.

The main area where most people fail miserably on their muscle-building mission is on the all-too important task of proper nutrition. Training with weights is only half of the equation! You break down your muscle fibers in the gym, but if you don’t provide your body with the proper nutrients at the proper times, the muscle growth process will be next to impossible. You should be eating anywhere from 5-7 meals per day, spaced every 2-3 hours in order to keep your body in an anabolic, muscle-building state at all times. Each meal should consist of high quality protein and complex carbohydrates.

6) Increase Your Protein Intake.

Of the 3 major nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) protein is without a doubt the most important for those who are looking to gain muscle size and strength. Protein is found in literally every single one of the 30 trillion cells that your body is made up of and its main role is to build and repair body tissues. Without sufficient protein intake, it will be physically impossible for your body to synthesize a significant amount of lean muscle mass. If your body were a house, think of protein as the bricks. A general guideline is to consume 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day from high quality sources such as fish, poultry, eggs, beef, milk, peanut butter and cottage cheese.

7) Increase Your Water Intake.

If you want a simple, easy and highly effective way to maximize your muscle gains, drinking more water is it. Water plays so many vital roles in the body and its importance cannot be overstated. In fact, your muscles alone are made up of 70% water! Not only will drinking more water cause your muscles to appear fuller and more vascular, but it will also increase your strength as well. Research has shown that merely a 3-4% drop in your body’s water levels can impact muscle contractions by 10-20%! Aim to consume 0.6 ounces for every pound of bodyweight each day for optimal gains.

8) Be Consistent!

Consistency is everything. Those who make the greatest gains in muscular size and strength are the ones who are able to implement the proper techniques on a highly consistent basis. Simply knowing is not enough, you must apply!

Building muscle is a result of the cumulative effect of small steps. Sure, performing 1 extra rep on your bench press will not make a huge difference to your overall results, and neither will consuming a single meal. However, over the long haul, all of those extra reps you perform and all of those small meals you consume will decide your overall success. If you work hard and complete all of your muscle-building tasks in a consistent fashion, all of those individual steps will equate to massive gains in overall size and strength.

The Positive Effect Exercise Has

When is the last time someone complimented you on how you look? When is the last time your significant other said, “Love, you really seem to be in a good mood today. Something about you, just seems to make you glow.”

Yes, we are talking about the same thing that will effect both things.


At this point most people will simply leave and say, “Not again! I can’t be bothered to exercise!” But have you ever considered the positive effect exercise can have on your life?

We are not just talking about how healthy it can be. It can contribute to other factors in your life that usually walk hand-in-hand with it. One specific issue that couples face is a loss of interest in their sex lives. This can seriously damage a relationship in the long run.  Several couples I have talked to about this problem, seem content to merely exist in each other’s space but hardly have time for the little things that matter and used to be something big in their lives before.

So exercise will in turn increase your stamina, and for men it will definitely increase their libido. Exercise will not only promote the good health, but if a couple feel comfortable with their own bodies and each other, a lot will improve in their general relationship.

Other positive effects exercise will have are:

  • Control Heart Disease
  • Prevent Stroke
  • Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Understandable most people have jobs that demand a lot of their attention, but even if you exercise for half an hour to an hour a day, you will reap the benefits for years to come.

So what other positive effects does exercise have? For one, your general wellbeing and a calm mental state. People that lead stressful lives find that by exercising they are more likely to relax and see things from a clearer perspective afterwards.

This in turn leads to happiness, peace within yourself and your relaxed attitude will convey itself to your significant other and children, making them feel more relaxed in the long run.

So what are you waiting for? Go Exercise!

Time as Effective Key to Managing Stress

Time as Effective Key to Managing Stress

Many studies show that one of the best ways to manage stress is through effective time management. Why? It is because lack of time usually pressures people. When people are being pressured, stress surfaces

Time as Effective Key to Managing Stress

Many studies show that one of the best ways to manage stress is through effective time management. Why? It is because lack of time usually pressures people. When people are being pressured, stress surfaces, which hinders them from finishing their tasks ahead.

While it is true that nobody’s born with precise skills in time management, this should not be difficult because people can always learn it. All they have to do is organize their thoughts and everything will most probably fall into place.

Managing your time well

To effectively manage your time, the first thing that you need to do is to set your mind into it. You have to recognize your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to managing your time and set appropriate actions for it. What you can do is list down what are your difficulties in achieving goals and tasks behind the given schedule. Once you have determined the factors, which hinder you in achieving a certain task on time, you can make a draft of alternatives to solve them.

By doing this, it also shows a sign of maturity because you can admit to yourself what are the things that you’re doing wrong when it comes to managing your time and performing tasks at hand. This is a very important part of gaining time management skills because maturity will help you think straight and prioritize your goals.

The following are other considerations when it comes to time management. These will help you not only gain time management skills but can also help you manage stress in various situations easily.

1. Gain skills in decision-making. Experts say that good decision making skills is key to achieving effective time management skills. This is because if a person is able to decide and prioritize things at hand, he or she can easily cut off so much time contemplating and can move on to the next task. If you want to manage stress through time management, it is best if you equip yourself with information on how to achieve effective decision-making skills and various techniques to do so.

2. Familiarize yourself with techniques that can help you manage your time well. This is very important in gaining time management skills because it can help you save more energy in doing things. Gaining prioritizing skills is quite important in effective time management because it will allow you to pay attention to things that are of most importance. These techniques on effective time management can be researched on the Internet or can be learned from the stories of people who were able to gain success through managing their time effectively.

3. Learn the ropes of planning. Experts say that people who know how to plan well are also good in managing their time. This is because planning is a skill, which needs a lot of patience and preparation at hand. Planning is a vital part of gaining time management skills because it can help people do things ahead of their time, thus, enabling them to patch up things that go wrong along the way in no time.

4. Put ideas and techniques into action. In acquiring the skills of effective time management, you must learn how to put into action that techniques that you have learned. By doing this, you can easily make a timetable for yourself in finishing the tasks ahead of you.

5. Arm yourself with tools. To manage time effectively and help you draft suitable means of stress management, you need tools and gadgets, which will make things easier for you. Today, there are so many modern gadgets that can be used to help you manage your time such as the Personal Digital Assistant or PDA and others.

Hand held devices can help you calendar your activities, thus, giving you more time for other things.

Technorati Tags :

Stress Management Using Various Meditation Techniques

Stress Management Using Various Meditation Techniques

Many people

Many people—especially those who have stressful jobs—use various meditation techniques as a form of stress management. This is because meditation techniques are effective in relieving stress because it targets specific body parts that are easily affected by stress attacks.

Nowadays, meditation techniques can be classified as “concentrative” that involves the means of focusing into a specific object and the other can be termed as “expansive” that involves a person’s free flowing thoughts, observation, and reflection.

Stress buster meditation techniques

Being an ancient practice, experts say that meditation techniques can vary depending on the origin of the practice and the culture in that place. The use of these in stress management also depend on the personality of the person and where he or she comfortable with.

Today, it has evolves into so many forms and types. But, most people who use meditation techniques as a form or stress management use the most popular ones including the mantra meditation, the trataka or steady gaze, and / or the chakra meditation.

The mantra meditation refers to one those meditation techniques that involve production of sound or the combination of one or more sounds that are played in a very spontaneous manner. When the sounds are spontaneously played, it can greatly affect the metal process and psychic consciousness of the person practicing it.

The Trataka or Steady Gaze, on the other hand, is one of those meditation techniques that have been commonly practiced by majority of the religious systems in the world such as Sufism and Christianity. When translated literally, “trataka” means to “gaze steadily” into a specific object. In this meditation technique, the person meditating is asked to gaze steadily in a certain an object and focus his or her attention to it. Because of its effectivity in holding a person’s concentration for a long period of time, the “trataka” is considered as one of the most effective yet simple means of meditating.

Among the benefits of this meditation technique is that it helps in the improvement of the person’s external and internal optic function, alleviates visualization disabilities as well as poor eyesight, develops deep mental concentration, enhances the person’s ability in maintaining single point sight as well as developing a person’s sense of intuition.

Another meditation technique for stress management is the chakra meditation, which greatly helps in the manifestation of energy and mind control. It is also known to be very effective in developing a person’s deeper consciousness. For beginners, there are actually seven Chakras available to be tried on but the most popular among them is the “chakra anusandhana,” which can be self-tutored. This meditation technique helps awaken the chakra of a person in a very gentle and balanced way. It is also one of those meditation techniques that are easy to do. What you can do is to sit or lie and close the eyes.

Once you have done this, you can now adjust body as well as your clothing for proper breathing control. Once you get hold of it, you can let the chakra flow into you slowly. Although this is very effective, don’t overuse it because it can lead to various side effects including exhausted mental capability.

If you decide to do this as a form of stress management, always make sure that a professional to avoid creating imbalance that can lead to various personality disorders guides you.

Positive Affirmations for Stress Management

Positive Affirmations for Stress Management

Stress management in life usually requires changes in the way you think. For people going through too much stress, maintaining a positive attitude can do a lot in helping deal with very difficult and try

Positive Affirmations for Stress Management

Stress management in life usually requires changes in the way you think. For people going through too much stress, maintaining a positive attitude can do a lot in helping deal with very difficult and trying circumstances. One way of trying to maintain a positive mindset is by using positive affirmations to influence the subconscious mind into thinking positive. Doing so would likely boost up one’s ability to handle and deal with stress.

Positive affirmation is a good way to try and change a mind accustomed to a negative thought process into a positive one. Every word that a person says and every thought made is an affirmation. Each affirmation conditions the mind and one’s way of thinking and acting. By carefully rethinking every affirmation into positive ones, a person can try to influence his or her mindset on the subconscious level to become positive.

Positive affirmations can greatly affect the way a person thinks. It is all made through the inner dialogue and self-talk that a person does to himself or herself. People go through a lot of self-talk for a variety of reasons. They want to affirm a certain idea to stick in their minds. Inner dialogue can help condition the mind to rethinking its beliefs. Self-talk can actually influence a person’s behavior and actions.

With this in mind, using positive affirmations largely consists of using self-talk and dialogue. Simply making positive statements and repeating it over and over again in one’s mind can be a way to influence one’s own thinking and life. By repeating positive affirmations over and over again, they will eventually seep into a person’s mindset, influence it and eventually determine how he or she would react to certain circumstances.

Using positive affirmations can actually help influence even a negative mindset. At first people who may use positive affirmations would think that it goes against their own set of beliefs and inner truths based on the inappropriate impressions that formed in their mind as they grow up. By using positive affirmations, the mind can gradually be taught or influenced to rethink its inner set of beliefs for a more positive one.

For a negative mindset, positive affirmations can be used as short positive statements that can be used to challenge an established but inappropriate set of beliefs. In can be compared to self-brainwashing, but the person has the option to choose which negative beliefs to replace. Using positive affirmations forces the mind to keep focused on positive truths that eventually will be accepted by the mind as its own. This would then later on affect a person’s behavior and actions.

Different people may need to use different positive affirmations in their lives. This would depend on their own situations and their levels of stress management. Developing a certain positive affirmation to live by would require looking into what one intends to develop and achieve in life. This requires further assessment and evaluation of one’s life to discover what things he or she considers as important and what end result he wishes to achieve.

Once an idea of what to strive and aim for is found, then one can be able to formulate a statement that would help condition your mind to reach for it. It can be a single or a few chosen statements. These statements should reflect the kind of reality that one wishes to create. The positive statements are then repeated through self talk regularly in order to reinforce it in the mind.

It would slowly seep in and eventually be accepted by the mind as its own truth.

Technorati Tags :

Managing Your Stress in the Workplace

Managing Your Stress in the Workplace

Face it. Even if you are stressed beyond your limits in the office, you can

Face it. Even if you are stressed beyond your limits in the office, you can’t do anything about it. After all, what job does not involve any stress? The secret is to make sure that you can manage on the side the job of managing your stress!

Managing your stress however can be really tricky if you are inside the office. The work environment limits the ways that you can manage your stress. For instance, if watching TV or movies relieves your stress, you cannot very well do that inside the office. Neither can you play badminton or sing with a karaoke. The most that you can do is to play some quick computer game, hoping that somehow it can relax you. For some people, this is enough; but for others, it is not.

But there are ways to relieve the stress while sitting on your office chair. Often, the trick is to not wait for the stress levels to go up. As they say in medicine, an ounce of prevention is more than a pound of cure. Don’t wait to get stressed, avoid it like the plague! Here’s how.

1. Eat healthy
People who are basically healthy will have more energy levels on which to work on. They are more able to withstand late nights and are more able to keep up with long brain activities as compared to people who are not. To do this, you’ve got to eat healthy foods especially those that are rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. Besides, having all the energy that you need will help you cope better with stress when it happens.

2. Sleep
Sleeping provides the body the rest that it needs. Brain activity and bodily functions slow down when people are sleeping. Muscles also relax. When the body lacks sleep, energy levels go down and the brain becomes disoriented. This results to poorer concentration, which in the long run can become detrimental to your job functions. Thus, one way to avoid stress altogether is get the requisite 8 hours or more sleep. It will do you good.

3. Exercise
Another way to combat stress and to prevent it from happening altogether is to have a daily run or an exercise routine. Experts say that a person must work out 30 minutes each day to successfully keep the body in shape and healthy. Exercise strengthens our resistance and surprisingly increases the energy levels. It helps keep the stressors at bay as it relaxes the muscles and keeps the air flowing freely through breathing techniques.

4. Manage time
Nothing can make you more stressful than not managing your time well. Just ask people who are used to cramming for exams or for work assignments. Planning your time right and doing what you are supposed to do on time will help keep the stressors away. Besides, by doing your assignments and work load piece by piece allows you to relax while doing it and gives you enough time to really work on it should the boss decides to have it real early.

5. Smiling
Being happy and optimistic is the number stress buster there is. Do you know that smiling can help keep the muscles in the face relaxed? It actually uses less muscles than when you are frowning. So laugh on the job and keep it cool.

Optimism For Stress Management

Optimism For Stress Management

Optimism is one of the most effective means of stress management. Optimism allows a person to see the positive side of things. It is an attitude characterized by the belief that everything can be worked out with a po

Optimism For Stress Management

Optimism is one of the most effective means of stress management. Optimism allows a person to see the positive side of things. It is an attitude characterized by the belief that everything can be worked out with a positive end result. In the case of stress, an optimistic mind can be able to cope up well with whatever stress situations one experiences in life.

People can have either one of two attitudes in life. One can either be an optimist or a pessimist. Optimists explain positive events as having happened because of them. Pessimists think of it in the opposite way. They have in mind that the negative things that happen in life are their own doing. Optimists see the positive events in their lives as evidence that more positive things will be happening in the future. For pessimists, a negative event will surely lead on to more negative events in the future.

For optimists, negative things that happen are not to be entirely blamed on them where as pessimists usually take the blame on themselves. Optimists think that the negative things happening in their lives are just temporary setbacks while pessimists see the positive things as just temporary occasions that come once in a blue moon. On a more common analogy, optimists see a partially filled glass of water as half full while pessimists usually see it as half empty. The difference between optimists and pessimists can be identified by how they see the positive and the negative things.

In stress management, optimism always wins out. What’s more interesting is that optimism is a trait that can be learned through practice. As a positive thought can do a lot to a stressful mind, conditioning the mind to think only of positive thoughts can sometimes enable it to change perspective subconsciously. It would be a much better deal than to think of the negative all of the tie.

Negative thoughts can bring out the stress easily. And too much stress will always bring the worst in people. The best way to combat the stress and the negative thoughts that come with it is by maintaining a more optimistic attitude. Although for some people it can be a bit difficult to do, optimism actually gets better with practice.

Optimism and a positive attitude offer people a number of certain benefits. Not only will it help one deal better with stress but also with a person’s overall well being. One good reason is that optimists and positive thinkers have been known to live longer than those who see only the negative in life. A good reason for this is that an optimistic mind, always thinking of positive things, deal with less problems and worries.

It is persistent worry and anxiety that seem to bring about such harmful physical conditions like high blood pressure, hypertension, and insomnia. By worrying less, optimists usually have to deal with fewer negative baggages to burden them and are less affected by worry-induced physical conditions. And because of this, optimists live longer and healthier lives.

It is not only that, there is more that positive thinking can bring out in people. Optimism also seems to make people become more persistent. Even in the face of stress and seemingly insurmountable problems, an optimistic mind seems to help people strive longer and survive whereas pessimists easily give up and see the hopelessness in the situation. In stress management, it is the optimists that don’t easily give up.

It fuels persistence that allows them to succeed in overcoming the stress instead of succumbing to it. And simply through this, optimists can show that they are able to do and achieve more than what pessimists can.

Technorati Tags :