Recently I figured out how to utilize leg drive during the bench press. My bench press has gone up, but I’ve found myself pushing so hard with my legs that sometimes my back would slide on the bench.

Here’s an example of me slipping on the bench while attempting to bench press 350 lb:

As you can see at around the 0:47 mark, the position of my head and body suddenly jolts backwards as I started pushing harder with my legs on the ascent, causing me to miss the rep.

It sucks! I would have had that rep had it not been for the my back sliding on the bench.

The first thing I attempted to remedy this situation was chalk. I already have it in my home gym, so might as well use it. I’ve put chalk on my back and on the bench but had varying success. Sometimes it would work, but other times I would slip.

A user on Fitocracy directed me to a post on AllThingsGym.com which mentions the use of a rubber mesh used to line shelves, and nearly at the same time, Craig Hirota made a comment to use the same thing.

So I picked up a roll of this “Shelf & Drawer Liner” from the dollar store and put it to the test.

how to prevent slipping on the bench (1)

how to prevent slipping on the bench (2)

I choose black in color to match the Rogue bench. Plus, anything else wouldn’t look as manly.

how to prevent slipping on the bench (3)

The roll is 1’ x 5’, which fits my bench just fine. It’s a little long, but I let the excess part hang off the edge. I may cut it to size in the future.

how to prevent slipping on the bench (4)

So far, it works pretty good.

Earlier, I missed on a 360 lb bench press due to my back slipping once again. I did not have the rubber mesh liner at the time.

Now, 2 weeks after, here’s how it looks after placing the anti-slip rubber mesh shelf liner the bench:

No slipping! Not bad considering I hit a bench press PR using a $1 item Laughing out loud Good investment if you ask me.

Another way to prevent sliding on the bench during bench press is to use bands. It’s also mentioned on ATG's post, but check out the video below by Greg Robins demonstrating how it’s done:

If you’re having the same problems with your back sliding during the bench press, pick up a roll of this non-slip rubber mesh liner and try it out!

I ended up packing on about 20 lb of probably all or mostly muscle to an already "obese" frame ever since I started training seriously, and one of the key ingredients to my gains is the food that I eat.

So, I'm going to share with you what I normally eat, and how I prepare it.

To be honest, while I would like to start posting a variety of different recipes on my site, I tend to eat the same thing all the time! So this could be the first in only a handful of “recipes” I end up posting.

Anyway, this is a simple way of cooking pork that’s delicious and quick and easy to make. I used to cook this in the slow cooker, but now it's done in the Instant Pot 6-in-1 pressure cooker. It’s a lot faster, and the final results are pretty much the same.

Ingredients

  1. A huge piece of pork (I used “boneless pork sirloin half”) 3.336 kg or about 7.34 lb
  2. Carrots (5)
  3. Onions (1.5)
  4. Garlic (3)
  5. Korean Bulgogi sauce

Optionally you could add potatoes and other ingredients. I forgot about the potatoes, but that’s fine because the pressure cooker ended up being pretty full anyways.

Also, sometimes I’ll use kalbi sauce instead of the bulgogi sauce. Tastes great either way.

Instructions

First, need to prepare the food.

1. I take the pork out of the package and rinse it with water.

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (1)

You could brown the pork at this point, but I choose not to. I wanted to make this as quickly as possible, and didn’t want to do any extra dishes.

I don’t cut away any fat, because it’s tasty in my opinion. And the liquid animal fat helps lubricate the food so it slides down my gullet a lot easier.

After rinsing, I put the pork into the pressure cooker pot.

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (3)

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (4)

2. Next, I cut up the carrots, onions and garlic.

First, start peeling the carrots.

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (7)

Then, cut them up into smaller pieces and throw it into the pot.

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (8)

Next up, onions. I only used 1 and a half onions, but sometimes I would add more.

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (9)

To take off the skin, I just cut the onion in half first and then rip off the outer layer. There’s probably a better way of doing this, but this has been working for me so far.

Cut up the onions into smaller pieces, and throw it into the pot.

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (10)

At this point, it’s difficult to open my eyes and I’m almost in tears from cutting up those damn onions but luckily there’s only one more ingredient to slice up, and that’s the garlic.

I used 3 cloves of garlic this time.

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (11)

Same deal as the onions: I cut it in half and start peeling away the outer layer.

Then I’ll cut them into tinier pieces and put it all into the pot.

At this point, I’ll mix the carrots, onions and garlic with one hand.

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (12)

3. Lastly, I’ll add about 5-6 tablespoons of the Korean bulgogi sauce along with 2-3 tablespoons of water (mainly to wash off all the sauce from the spoon).

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (13)

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (14)

Now that all the ingredients are in the pot, it’s time to cook!

I take the metal pot and place it in the pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (15)

Screw on the lid and make sure that the valve of the lid is set to “sealing”.

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (16)

I set the pressure cooker to “Meat/Stew” and increase the time to 70 minutes.

Initially I set the time to 60 minutes, because that was the setting the last time this was used to cook pork (I didn't cook it last time). Then I realized that I was cooking a larger quantity of pork than before, so I figured an extra 10 minutes should be fine.

Post cooking notes: Turns out, it wasn’t as tender as I would have liked it, so next time I’ll try for 80 minutes or so.

After I set it to cook, I went downstairs to workout.

This pressure cooker takes a few minutes to pressurize (or whatever it is it does) before the countdown begins.

After my workout, I came back upstairs and seen that the pressure cooker had automatically set itself to “keep warm”.

At this point I turn the valve to “Venting” and wait a few minutes before opening the lid.

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (19)

I hope that I didn’t mess anything up because it’s my first time using this!

Upon opening the lid, I set my eyes to this:

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (20)

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (21)

Looks and smells damn good. Let’s see if it tastes good:

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (23)

Tastes delicious, but not as tender as I would like it. I think the next time I cook 3 kg or 7+ lb of pork, I’ll increase the time to 80 minutes.

I’ve seen videos of people cooking pork in the slow cooker or pressure cooker in a similar way that I do, and then making something called “pulled pork” and eating it with bread. Personally, I like to eat my meats with rice.

This is what a typical meal looks like:

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (31)

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (33)

Usually on a training day, I like to add an egg to my meal.

Before I dig in, I throw in a fistful of baby spinach and squirt on some Siracha hot sauce.

Pressure Cooker Pork Bulgogi Recipe (35)

This bowl is a 1-Quart serving bowl made by Corelle. 1 quart is 4 cups, 1/4 of a gallon or nearly 1 litre (0.946352946 litres to be exact). It’s a good size for big, manly meals.

And for this type of meal, I don’t use chopsticks. I use a big metal table spoon. It’s a lot more effective to shovel food into my mouth, and a lot easier to get the last grains of rice out of the bowl.

Occasionally, I’ll sprinkle some cashew nuts on top. I like the taste and the crunchiness of cashews mixed in with a bowl of rice and meat.

Oh man…it was so good.

Not bad for my first try using this pressure cooker! Had a slight heart burn after I ate this, but it was worth it.

Well, I found out this past week that I passed the NCSA-CPT (National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer) exam!

I wrote it in December and just got the results via email after submitting my CPR/AED card. They'll be mailing the certificate to me in the next few weeks.

As for the exam itself, it was really a pain in the ass to write. The exam location, which was York University, was in another city, and the time started at 9:00 AM ending at 12:00 PM. Meaning, to make sure that I could make it on time, I had to stay overnight at a hotel to write this exam.

The desks were tiny, probably the smallest desks I've ever used as an adult. The width of the writing surface of the desk was probably as wide as a single sheet of paper. Sitting in a chair made of wood for 3 hours was literally a pain in the butt, and having my head down looking at test for 3 hours was a pain in the neck. I train my neck on a regular basis, but this was tough, even for me! My neck was sore after, and I'm pretty sure I had a neck pump after the exam.

As for the test itself, it was challenging. It was a 150 question multiple choice test, with about 35 questions that required you to watch a video before answering the question from the exam booklet. There is no practical component like the Can-Fit-Pro Personal Training Specialist, or PTS test (I was required to train a mock client in front of another trainer).

Unless I'm mistaken, the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) exam is the same way (all multiple choice with no practical component), meaning just about anybody who is a good text book reader and test taker can obtain these certifications, with the exception that the CSCS has a requirement of a bachelor's degree in any subject.

This would be the second training certification I've obtained in the past 10 years. The first one was Can-Fit-Pro PTS. I let that one expire because of a career change. I really should have kept up with it though.

I also obtained a 3M National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) many moons ago during the dot-com bubble in 1999. Yes, I am probably older than you think ;)

As far as my opinion on certifications go, in the end, they're really just a piece of paper saying that someone has paid the appropriate fees and have managed to pass a multiple choice test (or whatever the test format and requirements happens to be) that is based off of the textbook and other materials provided by the certifying agency. It doesn't mean that they actually workout train themselves on a regular basis, or have worked with clients in the past (unless those happen to be required for the certification).

It is what it is.

Now I have to keep up with these CEU (continuing education units) that continue to make money for the certifying agencies will...err...continue my education.

However, I suspect that most of my "education" in the future will come from under a heavy barbell, and coaching others.

Anyways, check out these articles!

  1. Knowing Squat About Squats by Alex Schuld, Howard Hensen and Ryan Atkins
  2. Why I Train by Charles Staley
  3. Fuck Your Forum by Paul Carter

 

As long as I've finished my number two's for the day, my body is ready for heavy squatting and deadlifting.

My Body Is Ready

Scooper Was On Top

January 9, 2013 — Leave a comment

I just opened a new jug of whey protein, and the scoop was on top!

Proof:

P1091375Scooper on top

I wasn’t expecting this because normally I have to dig around for the scoop whenever I open a new container of whey protein.

Sweet, must be my lucky day!