Saturday, March 16, 2013

Week 11 (2013)

Week 11: March 10-16

Badminton: 3/5
School: 3/5
Misc: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

It was a pretty normal week, although I had a midterm in my Neuroanatomy course. Overall, everything went pretty smoothly, badminton included, but I think I'm not getting enough sleep for the amount of training I'm doing. I am starting to feel it significantly, so I will do my best to make adjustments starting this weekend. The next couple of weeks will be quite hefty, as I need to work on a paper and presentation for my Muscle Physiology course, all while training and getting ready for Peru International in April.

The week started off with Biochemisty (UBC BIOC 302) where we are covering DNA structure, including how it works with proteins, coiling, super-coiling, topoisomerases, etc. It's been quite confusing as I do recall learning a bit of stuff from my second year Cell Biology class (which I did terrible on), so I really need to spend some time to review the material this weekend. It sort of makes sense, but it's a bit like learning new material so maybe I just need a little more time to digest it. If you aren't clear about DNA, it is basically the blueprint of your genetic information. Kind of like your genetic fingerprint, you could say. In reference to what I was learning, DNA needs to condense to be packaged into a tiny cell, so you get these supercoils and such, so the function of a topoisomerase (an enzyme) is to help it out when it is underwound or overwound. I know you probably don't care what a topoisomerase is, but what if I said that some antibiotics work that way? For some bacterial infections (which should never be confused with viral infections e.g. cold or flu), you may get antibiotics know as quinolones which will affect the functioning of bacterial topoisomerase. Without the enzyme to make modifications to the bacteria's DNA, it dies. A common drug you may have had at some point is called Ciprofloxacin which is commonly prescribed for urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal problems. Again, this is not medical advice and if you are in search of medical advice, please consult a practicing medical professional, preferably not online. Below is a brief animation of topoisomerases which basically explains everything I said in less than 2 minutes :P

I had my second Neuroanatomy (UBC KIN 473) midterm on Tuesday morning. It was fairly straight forward, but I ended up studying too much, because the assigned readings actually encompassed more than what I needed to know. Basically, I knew things that weren't going to be tested. Useful in general? Yes. Useful for the exam? No! It's one thing to learn extra material, but for the sake of wasting valuable review time, I guess I should have clarified with my professor. In the meantime, we looked at some additional treatments for Parkinson's Disease which involved deep brain stimulation. Basically, an electrode is carefully inserted into the basal ganglia (Globus Pallidus or Subthalamic Nucleus) of the brain. Through magnetic stimulation, the indirect pathway is affected and as the stimulation is reversible and tunable, it can be controlled. The effects can be quite immediate and it is a very remarkable treatment!

My Muscle Physiology (UBC KIN 462) class went over the midterm on Tuesday for most of the class, and we got back into some molecular differences that happen in the cells between resistance training and aerobic exercise. I didn't do very well on the midterm, but it was better than my initial mark. I got a few marks because a couple of points were missed, and it was also nice for the professor to inflate the mark a bit by making the written section worth more. The idea was because the written portion was 4 essay questions, 5 marks apiece, but what probably took the most time to write, was only worth 20/55 marks. So she decided to double it to 10 marks apiece and make it out of 75, and after a couple of corrections, I got boosted almost 5%, making my mark a bit more tolerable so I don't want to walk in front of a bus anymore (metaphorically). Anyway, at the end of the lecture on Thursday, we were discussing concurrent training. A good overview of what it is in found on the Optimal Sports Performance blog as there is no Wikipedia stub. I suppose it is quite new, but as a badminton player, it is a very intriguing question, as badminton is a very mixed type sport in terms of using all the energy systems. I've had discussions with a few players, but what do you think is more important for badminton? Strength/power or endurance? Most importantly, why do you think that way? I will address my thoughts in the next paragraph, but I would like to add a bit more about concurrent training, for those who may be curious. A primary difference between strength training and endurance training at the cellular level is the effect of calcium. In those who are training aerobic endurance, there is more of a calcium dependence, while those who train for strength work more through a calcium independent pathway. Without getting too much into specifics, a key problem with strength training is that there will be hypertrophy (increase in size) of muscles. This increase in size makes it harder for oxygen to diffuse and other substrates to get to where they need to go. It's kind of like working in an office building that gets an expansion. You used to work on the 5th floor, but now you have to work on the 10th floor. So every time you go work, you have to go an extra 5 up and 5 down. In contrast, endurance training has a negative effect on protein synthesis, hence endurance training people don't get bigger; therefore, they don't get stronger (assuming hypertrophy = increase in strength). The picture below is a map of the molecular markers of both training regimes. The dashed line that doesn't have an arrow head means that it is inhibiting (stopping) the thing it points to (Source:

(Original Source: Hawley, 2009)

Well, to compete the discussion on concurrent training, it would be best to try to relate it to badminton. Honestly, I am not too familiar with endurance training except for my preconceptions of LSD (Long Slow Distance, not Lysergic Acid Diethylamide). As primarily a doubles player, I never found it useful (or pleasant for another matter) to do running for long distances for extended periods of time. Even since training for the 2012 Olympics, I never ran more than 20 minutes continuously. However, the question is not so black and white, but at least it's not 50 shades of grey (intent in the pun, not in reading the book). I find that long slow distance is probably never used in badminton, and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) would probably be the best answer for building that aerobic base. I will probably do a bit more research when I have the time, but the way I like to approach badminton is sport-specificity and technique. That should always come as number one. If you cannot hit proper shots, then you will be terribly inefficient and then have to waste a lot of energy trying to retrieve the shuttle because of poor shot quality. After technique, I would go for power training. I think power is essential in being able to generate enough strength and speed into movements or shots that can help you win the rally. However, shot selection is important as well, and there is no reason to do full jump smashes on the backline as it is not to your advantage; ie. it is the wrong shot to hit. That would be a fault on both systems, as you would be wasting valuable energy and hitting a poorly selected shot. After that, I would go into anaerobic training and improving lactate tolerance. Basically, you will probably be working pretty hard running around, but if you move efficiently and take the right chances, you can reduce the amount of 'wasted' energy. Hence you can reduce the lactic build up with every break between rallies, hopefully which you've won. Having a good lactate tolerance will help you maintain a good level of performance at a given level. Finally, the aerobic base, which you probably would be training slightly when you do any anaerobic training, should be the final component. The reason is if you work backwards, you will lose before you get tired, and that's a terrible feeling. It's like, not finishing a test because you ran out of time. I will come back to these points when I have more time to research, as I am spending the whole weekend researching Creatine supplementation, which will probably be a topic that will show up next week!

(Source: Google Image search)

So for my final overview of the Arc Saber 11, I think I will probably switch to it. My shoulder has been acting up a bit and when I switched back to the Arc 10 because I broke my strings on my Arc 11, it felt a bit rough on the shoulder. I am trying to take measures to improve my shoulder health with TRX exercises, resistance band work, and really trying to strengthen my back, but if I'm training often and having to hit smashes, it's probably best to work with a racquet that's compatible with my problem. The racquet is slightly lighter than the Arc 10 (to me), and I think I'm adjusting pretty well to it. Most likely I will try to get a few more and I will be using it for the 2013 Peru International coming up in a few weeks! The flight has been book, I've entered the tournament, but I still need to arrange accommodations, though that should be alright. Not quite sure where we are playing this year as well. Regardless, I'll be armed with some new Yonex gear! Thank you Yonex!

(Source: Me; from Yonex Canada)

So some other stuff that happened this week included a certification fair at UBC for the Kinesiology faculty. It's kind of cool to see what else I can do to supplement my degree and I'm quite interested in getting a CSCS certification from the NSCA. I will do some more research but I think it would be good to supplement my degree, in addition to any coaching certifications for Badminton. Currently I hold a full NCCP Level 2 with a NCCP Level 3 Technical, but I hope to complete the Level 3 NCCP as well. The CSCS certification would make me a much more well-rounded coach for badminton, and perhaps I will looking into being a certified Exercise Physiologist as well. However, I'll need to get the hours for that, but I'm thinking either CSEP or ACSM. Or, if I make it into medical school, then all my money will go there. However, I'm having some second thoughts, as an MPT (Masters of Physiotherapy) can keep me involved in sport. Then... maybe Rio 2016 could be a possibility?

(Source: Me)

Here are some extra things that happened this week. On Monday night, Carmen made me some spaghetti sauce and left me some for lunch for a couple days (see picture). Unfortunately, on Wednesday, she forgot her lunch when she came over so she ended up eating the other half of the spaghetti! Regardless, it was some good homemade sauce and I hope she will make some more next time ;) On Thursday night, I decided to work on an idea I got from a Street Fighter wallpaper I had, as the characters were kind of darkened, with certain parts of their costumes glowing. I decided I would try to duplicate it for badminton and I chose the 2013 Canadian National Team. So I pretty much used Photoshop Touch on my Samsung Note 10.1 and did my best to try to duplicate the idea. Although it wasn't really what I wanted, I finished the rest of the pictures and put them together on PhotoGrid. So, the final result is displayed below (see picture). Lastly, I am trying to sell some used Playstation 3 games! Preferably locally, so if you know anyone is interested in any of the games, please contact me! Nothing is more than $10 :)

(Source: Me)

(Source: Me)

(Source: Me)
Hope you enjoyed this week's blog! See you next time :)

Thanks for visiting!

- Toby

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