Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 12 (2013)

Week 12: March 17-23

Badminton: 2 / 5
School: 4 / 5
Misc: 4 / 5
Overall: 3.3 / 5 

Interesting week as I finally finished all my exams and I could relax a little bit. I also want to try a new thing this week, so I will now add a cliche "Song of the Week" so you can listen to it while you read the blog! Lame? Probably, but oh well. Here is "Purgatorial Road" (AKA Via Purifico) from the Final Fantasy X Piano Collections. I am actually learning how to play it and I'm pretty close to being able to play it decently :)

Although I have finished my exams for now, I still have a group presentation and paper to do for my Muscle Physiology (UBC KIN 462) class. Oddly, I'm the only guy in my group of 5, but hey, I'm definitely not complaining :P Our topic is on creatine supplementation, which has been extremely interesting and rewarding. After about 20 research papers later, I am starting to convince myself that I should be supplementing with creatine for my badminton! Ironically, I did the side effects section, and unless you have kidney problems, you're good to go if you want something extra for strength and power. It's not so useful for endurance athletes, although there have been mixed reports on creatine being an antioxidant. Apparently, it plays a secondary role and is very selective on what it can act as for an antioxidant, and the arginine (an amino acid) part of creatine is what plays the antioxidant role. However, a different study said that supplementation induces oxidative stress. Theoretically though, creatine supplementation is meant to increase your levels of creatine which will aid you the most in those very short bursts of energy (i.e. anaerobic alactic energy system) which neither requires oxygen or builds lactate. It gives you that extra ATP you need at the very start up of exercise. If you are using the aerobic system, which most people do in endurance type exercises, the aerobic energy system is much more effective than the PCr system. That's why, in theory, it probably isn't very useful to endurance athletes. However, if we were to use it for badminton, I think it's good for those quick bursts of energy, where you may go and jump smash and charge the net for a finish. Then, while you rest between rallies, you quickly try to replenish as much of the phosphocreatine stores as possible, so you can repeat it again if necessary. I don't know how practical it is, but I will get a chance to try it out. I think I will wait until after Peru to start my one week loading phase though. Keep in mind as well, maybe 20% of people are non-responders to creatine supplementation.

(Source: Mechanisms of muscular adaptations to creatine supplementation. Rawson & Persky, 2007)

I also learned about Complex Training in my muscle physiology class, as my professor works extensively with rugby athletes. The idea of complex training (CT) is that you do heavy strength exercises between 1 RM to 5 RM lifts, then go into a plyometric or power exercises. For example, doing deadlifts and then going into some power cleans. The idea is that the heavy strength lift will activate your central nervous system (CNS), so in a way it gets your nervous system ready to activate your muscles. To elaborate, I think the idea was that you may only be using Type I and IIa muscle fibers, but with the CNS activation, you can get in those IIb/x fibers to lift even more. It's still a relatively new concept, but it seems to make sense. However, there are drawbacks and if you don't train properly, fatigue is probably your number one problem, as you won't have enough energy to go on with your other workouts. I will clarify this with an example: if I want to train twice a day, with a weight training session as one of those sessions, it is better to do the weights BEFORE. I've always been an advocate of weight training first anyway, but I know some people prefer to do running/training first, then weight training. Regardless, if I did a heavy strength workout first, it might help activate my muscles better for the later session so I can work harder. I'm going to test it out pretty soon, as I need to get back into strength mode as I'm supposed to be in power mode at the moment. It might have to wait until my tournaments and exams are over first!

I didn't like some of the videos I saw, but here's a paper on Complex Training if you are interested:

Badminton has been a bit stale this week because I skipped out on training on Wednesday to go to a resume workshop offered by Canada Sport Institute (CSI) Pacific, which I will talk about in a bit. Unfortunately, my training partners have been rolling ankles the past few weeks, so Friday was a relatively tame day, though I did get a little bit of a hit in, and I had a couple of lessons as well. As I figured that I should do something, I did some heavy squats and I have some DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) still lingering right now. However, I hope to amp up the training a bit more next week, as I will try out some of that complex training and I just got some more Yonex Arc Saber 11's! Thank you Yonex Canada! Also got some supplements from CSI Pacific so thanks to them and Pfizer for supporting Canadian athletes!

(Source: Me)

The resume workshop was run by Ken Graham and Kevin Morrison from Adecco. The Adecco group is apparently the world's largest provider of HR solutions so we got some pretty good information on how to do a resume and even how to make a LinkedIn account. I will briefly highlight some of the things we did, so bear with me if you already know how to write an awesome resume, or just skip the paragraph :P I found it quite informative as I've never had to use a resume. However, I figure it's probably something worth learning how to do. Some key things are that people may only spend 10-12 seconds per resume, so long engaging sentences or paragraphs (much like my blog) are not so good on a resume. Keep it less than 2.5-3 pages and have all the main stuff on the first page, and no grammar mistakes (pretty common knowledge here). A trick they said for proofreading though is to read your resume backwards. I guess that might catch spelling errors but I don't know to what extent it will play on grammar. Another thing is not to write anything that can be used to discriminate against you (i.e. political views, religion). The reason is that if they feel there might be conflicts or issues, then they will less likely hire you, based on your views. Some other tips are to explain what your previous company does, or what your role is in certain positions. Also, for sports, you should clarify your role as a National Team athletes, or what it takes to qualify for the Olympics. It's what they were calling the "So what?" editing. It doesn't mean that people won't care, but if you don't tell them the specifics, it's less likely for them to understand what you've gone through. A final point is to be able to identify interests, values, skills, traits, and give examples in a resume. From sport, you can identify how well you take to coaching, talk about the struggles you overcome, how you can stay consistent with training and diet, etc. To finalize, here is an interesting on Social Media video by Erik Qualman who wrote "Socialnomics".

I know this week is a little bit short, but I've been pretty swamped with my research paper for my Muscle Physiology class. Hopefully, I will start working a little earlier on next week's blog! I will be playing in the UBC Tournament at ClearOne (Browngate) over the Easter weekend and hopefully I can spend a bit of that time updating the blog! I will try to take more pictures too!

See you next week! Thanks for reading!

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