end off 2011

what a year 2011 has been.
I’ve embarked on a truly new journey of my life. 
Became very close friends with some, lost some friends along the way.. 
I am still thankful for those that are here by my side. 
Really. Love you peeps.
I will catch the grenade for you~~
heehee…
Stepped up to a new challenge in life. 42.195km, the marathon.
I’ve been racing. doing new distances, breaking my own personal best (pb), starting to train with an awesome group of friends under my mentor. It is really tough and alot of commitment to make sure everything goes according to plan. There is still a long long way to gooooooooo….. =p
I’ve become the head coach of SRJC basketball boys. Truly a good way for me to payback to my school as well as a fantastic way of me to practice what i’ve learnt in school. I want to be the sport scientist that will aid Singapore to a new height. To be able to let the world know that Singapore is not just a freaking country that can do nothing except produced clone tools to propel the country’s economy.
I AM PROUD TO BE AN ASIAN.
ooooops. wrong flag ar.
but the toughest of all is definitely being single again. i guess, im just a committed person although i dont look like one. I will just have to get use to it.
at least i still got my dreams, passion and DORAEMON with me! hahaha
Some people come in and out of our lives, the hardest part is that when you are not prepared to leave. This is probably as close as “death”. friends or lover. it is all the same. it all hurts.
Have been doing some reflections for 2011. What you said was true. I am just not good enough. I need to improve as a person, as an athlete, as a lover. I even needa improve as a Victorian.
and
I will.
cause i know….
Before i end it off, i would like to apologise to all that i’ve hurt in one way or the other in this year. 
I should never inflict pain and suffering into anyone except for myself. (cause i feed on pain)
I will be a better person come 2012. even if it is the end of the world =)
I’ve definitely made my new year resolution for 2012.
I’ll try my best to achieve all! =)
Love you all.
Thanks for all the messages i’ve received since the start of this blog. 
=D

make up? yes. i do =)

WHO SAYS GUYS DONT KNOW MAKE UP?
WHO SAYS STRAIGHT GUYS CANT DO MAKE UP?
thats because u havent dated a rockstar before. sucks to be you~~ hahaha!!

heres some pics of me doing my makeup before i went out for a show.
yes. i know.
im good. =)

before i started!

after my liquid foundation!

time for some powder foundation!

time to add the bronzer!

TADA!

AGAIN. 
STRAIGHT GUY CAN DO MAKE UP.
its just a basic courtesy to make yourself presentable. If you are an artist, you job is to present the best on stage, in terms of being visual, music and entertainment. 
It has got to be pleasing in all 3 areas to have the best result.
It is my job to be the best i can be.
It is my passion to entertain people with what i do best.
=)
i miss the stage at times.

Xmas Party 2011

Where did you peeps spend your xmas party? wells, i spent mine with my bros at idarts!
We had lots of fun joking, chatting and just to enjoy each other’s company.
I love my bros. =)

so here are some pics from the night!

nice lighting effects!

my dartslive member’s card that records every single game played!

rules and condition for the membership

Even kids are having a go on the darts machine! its that fun. =p

michelle and the gigantic Carlsberg! ok. the beers does look so big in this photo. hahaha!

My pretty stylist Lilian won herself some hot gifts for the night!

More gifts from iDarts!

Truly having a good time at iDarts Senso!

Bryan and his mummy!! =)

Pub filled with darters! iDarts!!!

and the X’mas Countdown begins!!!

I regret sitting next to handsome. Shall not reveal his name. MUAHAHAH!!!

SMILE!!!! =D

Lots of pretty girls playing iDarts. Guys, you know what to do!

Mr Liu hosting the show!

This is definitely not the first time we spent xmas together. But, this is definitely the first one we spent NOT WORKING together. muahaha! shioks.
May more good times come our way! =)
cheers!
a big THANK YOU to iDarts Senso for making this fantastic xmas celebration possible =)

merry xmas!

this is gonna be one tough xmas period for me. but i know i’ll survive it and i’ll be stronger after that. :)

hopefully im having the worst xmas around everyone’s gonna enjoy it!!! enjoy the food, the drinks and remember to love your close ones 😀


Zac Leow
peace
😀

My darling’s last day@ SD

Yesterday, i stepped back into an area that i was so used to. Clarke Quay.
This was the area when i came when i was young, looking at my teachers perform every night at the Pumproom and later supporting friends playing at Lunar. When i walked across the bridge from central, this one man solo walk is just too familiar to be true. 
this time, i am single. this time, i am not a musician.
I was there not just to party, but to create the party. I was the creator of the most happening night scene. I had the key to freedom. I was the license to party.
 I invited some friends to join me at the party and for some, they had never seen the wild side of me. I hope i didnt scare them away. haha!
So heres a post about me and how i started the night scene with my dearest guitarist (aka my darling) Simon Lai.
When i first saw Simon at the Singapore Street Festival, I knew he was someone different. I knew that he will be one of the top guitarist. and I still believe so till today.
We’ve been through many happy occasions and through lots and lots of fucked up times. Some how, we manage to slowly climb over each obstacle and we eventually do it well in a class of our own.

my crazy drummer. Mr purple liu.
and we never ever forget to have fun. LOTS AND LOTS OF FUN.
 our superband days
this is definitely one of the most crappy memory. STAGE.

and so, yesterday was the last day Simon played as the resident band at Shanghai Dolly. I was really proud of him to have taken this step and to work towards a better future. 
Darling, Life’s tough. So we just needa be tougher.
Regardless how many partners have came and left, the 3 of us are always together. N i see this going a mighty long way. We will be there to support you. Jiayou!!! 
for our 自由!

had a tweet from one of my friends.
fren: i know you guys rock the stage last night
me: how did u know?
fren: cause you guys are velvet band. The chemistry is amazing
Thank you.
Thank you for the faith and support. 
Thank you Bryan, Simon. 
For the most amazing time of my life. If only, we had went taiwan together. Things would have been different.

training: endurance, strenth, power, hypertrophy?

Everyone must have heard so much about high reps vs low reps and how it affects your training and the resulting body shape that people which is the reason why most people gym.

So i’ve decided to write a post as a form of guide for everyone to follow. Feel free to drop me a mail or message regarding what should be done if you have any questions =)

Before we begin, it is advisable to consult your doctor for your current health status and to ensure that you are fit for gym training as it may be really tough.

Here are some some short forms which will be used in this post:
sets = 1 set consist of the number of reps allocated
reps = repetitions
RM = maximum rep (maximum weight one can do, one single effort)



Muscle Endurance

High reps, Low load.
2-4 sets, 15-30 reps, 50% RM
Duration: 2-4 weeks
resulting body shape : lean
sporting purpose: endurance athletes

referencing: Bruce Lee





Muscle Hypertrophy

Low reps, High load.
4-10 sets, 10-15 reps, 75% RM
Duration: 2-4 weeks
resulting body shape : BIG!
sporting purpose: Body builders
referencing: Arnold 

Muscular Strength
Low reps, High load.
3-5 sets, 1-10 reps, 90% RM
Duration: 6-12 weeks
resulting body shape : well cut body
sporting purpose: buildup phase to power
Referencing: Rain 

Muscular Power
moderate reps, moderate load. FAST!
2-3 sets, 12-15 reps, 60% RM
Duration: as long as the competition phase last
resulting body shape : well defined body
sporting purpose: sprinters, NFL footballers
Referencing: Bolt, Lebron 
The 4 training phase MUST go in the order to get maximum results and to prevent injuries.

Health: Best Cardio Machines in the Gym.

Treadmill

The treadmill is great for pushing yourself to higher intensities because you can dictate your pace by adjusting the speed. Raising the incline will help you boost power and push your heart rate . And it’s a little more forgiving than running outdoors.
How to use it: Just walk or run the same way you would outside. Running at an incline of 1.0 feels more like an outdoor environment compared to running without an incline. You may need to hold onto the supports for balance while you’re adjusting speed or gradient (incline, decline), but try not to shift your weight onto the supports. Focus on staying tall and keep your torso still so that your only moving parts are your legs and arms. And keep your mouth slightly open. Seriously. A clenched jaw signifies a tense body, which can slow you down and possibly even cause injury.













Elliptical

“If you’ve been sitting in a car or at a desk all day, consider the elliptical so that you can get some hip extension to lengthen out the muscles around your hips and take stress off your back,” says Slater. It’s also low-impact on your joints, making it ideal for recovery days in the Blue zone.
How to use it: The motion will vary depending on make and model, but try to find a machine that simulates running so that you can use regular running mechanics. Some elliptical machines have arms so you can move your legs and arms together. Otherwise, there’s no reason to hold on. If you’re running or using the elliptical at a speed that feels like you need to hold on, you’re going too fast.







Rowing Machine

You’ll burn major calories on this piece of equipment while also strengthening your back, arms and shoulders to cement your upper body’s “V” shape.

How to use it: Sit on the seat with your legs straight in front of you, knees slightly bent. Lock your feet into the clips, then push back with your legs and pull the handle to your abdomen, allowing your back to guide your arms toward you. Keep your spine and shoulders straight and stiff, leaning your upper body back with each row until your shoulders are behind your pelvis. Maintaining a smooth and mechanical rhythm to your strokes will allow you to up the intensity without botching your technique.











Bike

“Using a bike for training leg strength is great cross-training, especially when it comes to hill running,” says Slater. Cycling actually stimulates complementary muscles to what’s worked when running, increasing the overall strength that you can generate with your lower body. Because riding is impact-free, it’s also a great choice for recovery days in the Blue zone.
How to use it: Sit on the seat so that each leg has a slight bend (not fully extended) when the pedal reaches the bottom of its rotation. You want the foot pedal to come down directly underneath the knee, not out in front of it. Keep your back flat throughout. Maintain a firm grip on the handlebars, but avoid putting too much pressure on the bars. You don’t want tension in your hands

Stair climber

The stair climber demands a high level of technique and focus, forcing you to be powerful in your actions. It’s great for burning calories.
How to use it: Stand tall, and try not to rest your hands on the machine (it’s a greater core challenge to not use support). Take big steps, as opposed to short, choppy steps. Most stair machines are based on the speed of the step itself so you don’t have to worry about fit, or where you place your hands. If the handles are right in front of you, and not at your sides, it may help you stay tall to hold on lightly; holding the handles on the sides of the machine, however, will result in poor posture. Never hold yourself up by shifting your weight onto the machine’s support bars, which defeats the purpose of the exercise by eliminating the gravity-generated resistance.







VersaClimber

The VersaClimber couples upper and lower extremity movements, providing not only a cardio challenge, but also a full-body workout. What’s more, the VersaClimber allows you to burn more calories when compared to most cardio machines.
How to use it: Step on the foot rests with both feet at the same height, legs straight, and use the straps to secure your feet. Set the handles at shoulder height. The motion should feel like you’re crawling upwards, so as you extend one arm overhead, you’ll straighten the leg on the same side. Stay tall as you go. If you start too fast on this machine, you will not reach your time goal—it’s that tough of a workout.


Basketball: how to improve accuracy

The Quiet Eye: Improving One’s Free Throw Accuracy with the Quiet Eye Technique

The free-throw shot, also known as the foul shot, is one of the many ways to score points in a basketball game. It is a vital component of the game and players should make it a standard part of their practices as anybody can be fouled during a game and hence have to make a free-throw shot. One of the methods discovered, in increasing free-throw accuracy, in recent years is the ‘Quiet Eye (QE)’ technique. In addition to basketball, literature has also been published on the efficacy of the QE technique in different sports skills (e.g. Putting in golf, kicking a soccer penalty).The QE technique has shown to be a characteristic of elite athletes in a variety of sports such as golf, basketball, volleyball, rifle shooting, table tennis and ice hockey (Brown, 2007) . The QE technique has shown to be effective and relevant to the various sports and thus should be incorporated, where possible, into many more. This review will look into the credibility of the QE technique, the differences between the elite and the amateur’s use of the quiet eye, the development of the quiet eye technique, how anxiety affects the quiet eye technique and the necessity of the quiet eye technique in enhancing free throw accuracy.

The credibility of the Quiet Eye technique

The QE technique has shown to be useful in a variety of sports. One would understand the doubts if it were only used in one sport or two, but truth is, that it is and has been used in a variety of sports. One of many examples – Vine, Moore, & Wilson (2011) found that the putting performances of elite golfers improved when under pressure and in competition, after the intervention of a brief QE training.

Besides the visible and physical results which can be measured, neuroscience and cognition theory believes that the brain has billions of neurons that have to be organized in order for us to perform motor skills optimally. QE provides the information that the motor system needs, to get organized (Posner and Raichle, 1994). Sports psychology believes that information given by QE puts the athletes in focus more often hence reducing uncertainty, ambiguity and fear (Vickers & Williams 2007). Cognitive-physiological facilitation, also known as the Setchenov phenomenon (1905-1935) states that more physical work can be done when attention is focused externally than internally (Wulf, McNevin, & Shea, 2001). This is a major bonus to athletes, as looking inwardly can more often than not cause unnecessary anxiety and too many uncertainties which could affect the athlete’s performance. The QE technique is not something that was
created out of the blue. According to Brown (2007), Joan Vickers, one of the foremost authorities on sports vision, found that elite athletes in almost all sports, whether they know it or not, use their eyes quite differently than less skilled athletes. The concept of being “in the zone” or “in complete control” has been around for many years further adding value to the QE’s reliability and its need to be taught to players.

Duration of fixation on the hoop between elite and non-elite basketball players In addition, vision is equally important for the co-ordination of movements for our body. The brain
needs to organize more than 100 billion neurons and these neural networks are informed by your gaze, which in turn controls your hands, arms and body as an action is performed (Vickers, 2007). It was found that elite basketball players fixate their eyes on the hoop for an extended amount of time as compared to their less-skilled counterparts (Ripoll, Bard, & Paillard, 1986; Ripoll, Papin, Guezennec,Verdy, & Philip, 1985; Vickers, 1992). Similarly, the extended gaze control, QE, has also been demonstrated to have a positive effect on the accuracy (Vickers, 1996; Oudejans, van de Langenberg, & Hutter, 2002; Oudejans, Koedijker, Bleijendaal, & Bakker, 2005). Thus the QE technique, which is already a practiced characteristic by these elite basketball players gives them an advantage over non-elite players or players who do not use the technique. This only adds to the notion that if elite players use the technique and it enhances their performance, would it not then enhance the capabilities of normal players? Especially considering that the development or training of the quiet eye is not an extensively arduous or rigorous process.

Development of the Quiet Eye technique A form of the QE training program involves watching video models of elite athletes and getting video feedback of their own “gaze behavior” to help athletes develop the same QE focus and motor control used by world-class athletes (Vickers 1996). After the video feedback session, the 3 step QE routine was taught (Vickers, 1996 a, b, c):

1.    Take stance at line with head up and direct gaze to hoop.
2.    Hold ball in shooting stance and maintain QE focus on a single location on the hoop for
approximately 1.5 seconds.
3.    Shoot with a quick, fluid action.

The simplicity behind the training enhances the possibility that more players can benefit from the QE technique. Even without the technological equipment, the basic instructions of QE can still be taught and practiced.

The effects of anxiety on the Quiet Eye technique Despite the simplicity of the QE, there are factors that can affect it negatively. Anxiety is a condition commonly felt by athletes during competitions. Coaches are often frustrated by their athletes’ inability to perform under the influence of anxiety. Eysenck and Calvo (1992) suggested that when performers are feeling anxious, the processing and storage ability of the working memory is compromised, hence resulting in a reduction in attention resources which leads to poor on-court performance. Williams, Vickers and Rodrigues (2002) reported that the state of anxiety can cause a reduction in quiet eye duration which could affect the accuracy of a free-throw shot. This could be one of the reasons as to why low free- throw percentages exist even at elite levels. This finding is found to be consistent with the study conducted by Wilson et al. (2009) to find out whether anxiety has influence on visual attention control. However, quiet eye training is still an important component that cannot be overlooked while planning for training as statistics show that basketball players trained in the QE technique have shown improvement in their shooting accuracy during basketball matches (Harle & Vickers, 2001).

The necessity of Quiet Eye technique in enhancing one’s free-throw accuracy Official statistics from the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1999 presented an average accuracy of 75.08% in free throws on a team level (National Basketball Statistics, 2000). However the individual’s percentage of free throw accuracies ranged from 40% to 90%. The low range of 40% suggests that there are areas for improvement even at elite levels. As free-throws can be vital in winning matches, one dimension to improving the accuracy can be the training of the QE. During a basketball free-throw, the performer is required to coordinate the visual information collected by visual search and arm movement so as to pull off the necessary movement effectively. Harle and Vickers (2001) reported that incorporating quiet eye training with regular basketball training routines resulted in significant improvements of free-throw shooting accuracy by 22.62%. This suggests that QE training can and does have a significant impact on the levels of free-throw accuracy. This finding is found to be consistent with the other studies that are of comparable nature (Frehlich et al., 1999; Vickers et al.2000).

Conclusion 

The QE technique has shown to be effective and relevant to the various sports and thus should be
incorporated, where possible, into many more. It has been shown to be credible and reliable in its testing and in the results. Furthermore, teaching this technique is not extremely difficult and can be done with or without equipment, thus making it a very viable option for coaches. Even though anxiety has been shown to affect the duration of the quiet eye thus making it difficult to perform under pressure, Vine et al. (2011) showed that despite the effects of anxiety, QE training still resulted in the QE-trained golfers putting more holes than non-QE trained golfers. So there is a possibility that the QE, though affected by anxiety, may still benefit a free-throw shot. After all, QE training showed to be extremely beneficial in improving one’s free-throw accuracy as shown by the improvement of 22.62% in Vickers’ study.

Though QE training has shown to be beneficial, much of the studies have been done with athletes at elite levels or athletes who have come of age physically and biologically. Future studies could therefore explore whether QE training would enhance the skills of athletes at the secondary school levels (ages 12 – 16 years). In addition, further research could be done in exploring if anxiety does affect the basketball player’s free-throw shot and if QE training can improve the accuracy of the free-throw shot even under anxiety.

Written by:
Ranald Joseph s/o Rajakanthan 
Leow Zi Xiang Zac
Tan Shunde

University of Western Australia

ME: training and planning

recently i have been reading lots and lots of Lance Armstrong’s books.
Its really giving me a different point of view in my life, my training and made me understand why i chose to go through all these, just to race.

Heres some lines from his book that i would wish to share with everyone:

“If you want to win something, you’ve got yo have single-mindedness, and it’s all too easy to wind up lonesome while you’re at it.
A race is an exercise in leaving others behind, and sometimes that can include the ones you love.”

-Lance Armstrong

so true. so true.
The amount of hard work one has to put in daily just to build up to a good race is unimaginable. Recently, my classmates have been asking me “Zac, how do you wake up early in the morning every other day, just to clock your mileage?” My reply would be “I just wanted to have a good race. I know that every single training plays a part to the final result and i am just trying to bridge the gap.”.
This amount of focus, dedication, commitment and obsession is something an athlete must do and he/she must sacrifice the fun, the late nights and probably the junk food just to achieve this.
This is the price I am willing to pay, to get what i want.

In fact, i have been planning my next season’s training plan with my mentor recently. It is gonna be a well detailed plan whereby i will choose my races carefully to lead up to the main races and i will be focusing on what this coming season will be targeted at. It will be a 1.5 years season for me. Hopefully training in australia will bring me up another notch.

Plan well if an athlete wants to get the best out of the training.
Train well if an athlete wants to get the best out of the race.
Race well if an athlete wants to achieve what he is set out to do.

Zac.
trying to beat my best

me.

Sometimes i feel ok. Sometimes i feel like crap. and sometimes i feel on top of the world.
Dont i need to have a little more control over my emotions so that i can be a better and happier person?
Does that mean that i will have to be seriously involved in a religion?

Pain. I love Pain.
Just yesterday, we had lab to some game analysis and i was given the GPS tracker to track my movement on the court. Ran my hearts out, played my hearts out. Was it really for the data? or was it for the fact that for the 10 minutes i will have no emotions. Even if there is, the only emotions will be towards the game, towards the situation.

Pain. How i do without you.
Accident happens and i scraped both my knees, leaving a trail of blood down my legs and into my white racers, making them pinkish.
Do i feel the Pain? I do.
Do i love it? Yes i do.
Am i sick in the mind? I really have no answer to that now…

The pain made me feel… alive..

Made me feel that whatever i am doing is not a bad dream. This is the reality, because i can feel pain.
I am so lost in my own world.
The world whereby i struggle to understand charlene.
The world whereby i struggle to let go of emotions.
The world whereby the scholarship may fall through due to recent events..
The world that might just have made me a worst person.

Who doesnt inspire to be a good man. A BETTER man? someone that others can point their fingers to and say “hey, i wanna be just like him! He’s awesome!”. I want to be that man. Not because i want the fame or recognition. But for the very fact, i know that i am doing my best not to hurt the people in my life. The very people that shared my ups and downs. The very few people that i love.

Then again. LOVE. I guess at the end of the day. The only LOVE is that from a parent to their child. Even parents do not love each other 20% as much as they do for their child. Even parents do not love themselves more than their child. So. I have finally understand why the ang mos do not say “I love you”. cause love from another party other than your parents is bullshit.

The reason why we all love something that is non-living (music, sports, food) is because they will never leave us when we are in our worst slump. Come on! They are non-living things, of course they will be there! as long as you have the cash to burn, they will be there. surely!

I am beginning to see on point in this what-so-ever LIFE. It is so shallow. It is so fragile.
Is it made up of dreams? passion? love?
i seriously doubt so.
I have yet to figure it out. But maybe, just maybe, this is the reason why there are people who are so into religion. People who are willing to give up their “live” to become nuns of churches/temples and monks or pastors. To unfold the mystery of life.

Do i need some alcohol to numb my soul? yes i do.
I have never been a fan of alcohol. especially since my car accident. However, in recent times, this baby, this alcohol crap, has been making me so much better. It has made me more calm.
I guess a little is no harm.
Just a can a day. Something for me to look forward to.