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Thread: Pavel Tsatsouline...

  1. #1
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    Pavel Tsatsouline...

    i hear alot about this guy, and personally im not so sure i disagree with his message. of course, im not so sure i agree with him in everything either...

    anyway, does anyone know what this guys stats are?

    btw: if anyone has had success with his program will you please post.

  2. #2
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    Pavel has some good information-you have to sift through some of the "character shtick" but I have used some of this stuff with good results. I think his "greasing the groove" concept is worth taking a look at.

    You have to remember that all experts always speak from their area of strengths, and tend to downplay their areas of weakness, for example I have always had a big squat and a big overhead press, and could clean a lot of weight and was somewhat weaker on the deadlift, so if I was writing a book, course, etc. I would talk about how important the squat and overhead press is, and how cleans are superior to the deadlift, and how the deadlift can cause injuries, etc. etc. This is true not just in strength training, but in all walks of life.

    use the buffet method when reading info from experts-take a few selections, give it a taste, see how you respond, and then either keep it or discard it.

  3. #3
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    Excellent advice Keith.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
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    Wannabebig Member Brock Huard's Avatar
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    My brother just got into working out/weightlifting, and is all about this guy. I skimmed through one of his books while over visiting my bro, and I told my bro I thought he was a quack. That is the first time I had ever heard of him, so I really didn't know anything about him. But the whole idea of not warming up before you lift?! I was like, yeah, if you want to get hurt! I'm going to do a little research on him, but does anyone else have any thoughts about this guy?

  5. #5
    Wannabebig Member Brock Huard's Avatar
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    BTW thanks for yours Keith. Good advice.

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    how do you warm up?

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    Wannabebig Member Brock Huard's Avatar
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    Depends....I differ in my warmups...typically though is a few light sets if I am working upper body. On leg day, I usually do 5 minutes on the bike....and the 5 or 10 minutes stretching, and then stretch in between exercises. Generally speaking, I try to get the blood flowing and increase body temp a bit before I go into any heavy lifting. I think what I do to warmup is pretty typical, but important.

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    Too much "comrade" & "secret workouts of the Russian KGB" bull**** to sort through for me to take this guy seriously. That, and he's generally got a "everything you've been taught about bodybuilding is rubbish" attitude; he comes across as more salesman than advocate of sound training principles.

    That's just my opinion.

  9. #9
    Wannabebig Member Brock Huard's Avatar
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    Here is an excerpt from an Interview from Pavel....and a url to the site:

    http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do?article=151russ

    You write a lot about training men for combat. You say that a warrior doesnít have time to warm-up when someone is coming at him to kill him. So what did training men for war teach you about training the average person who just wants to be in better shape?

    Pavel: What it taught me was that an average person has a much greater capacity than they think they have. For instance, when I give a seminar to the general public, I have these guys that come out of the seminar with about 30% more strength than when they went into it. They just learned to tap into their strength reserves much better.

    I also learned a lot about psychological conditioning. If you believe you can do it, then itís something you can do and vice versa. If you believe that a warm-up is going to prevent an injury, then thatís whatís going to happen. This is the same thing as believing that if I donít wear my magic socks then Iím not going to win.

    In the Russian military the alarm sounds in the middle of the night. The sergeant strikes a match and before it burns his hand you had better be dressed and on your way to get your gear and ammo. Warm-ups arenít appropriate for the military.

    Ditto for law enforcement and other government agencies. These people do not have the luxury of a warm-up. Take the US Department of Energy, one of my clients. If a bad guy is going to try to hold up a nuclear power plant you canít tell him, "Sorry, Iíve got to warm up first."

    T: So what do you think about warming up before a workout for the average guy? Is it overrated?

    Pavel: You bet. Pyramiding with high reps and light weights or riding a bicycle is a waste of time or worse. You may progressively practice your technique, e.g. pulling 315 x 1, 405 x 1, and 455 x 1 before deadlifting five wheels, but do not abuse it. Motor learning geeks know that performing a skill out of the blue, a so-called retrieval practice, is very effective for learning. My friend Dr. Judd Biasiotto squatted 600 at the bodyweight of 132. He did this a couple of minutes after waking up and without any warm-ups.

    Occasionally, usually in competition, you could improve your immediate performance by just supporting a 110 to 120% weight [of your max] a minute before going for the max, greasing the groove with the wave loading Charles Poliquin and Ian King have been writing about. But do not make a habit of it so your body does not get "spoiled."

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    I think if pavel really wants to prove his stuff he should provide his stats somewhere where they are accessable. i understand his whole deal is 'functional strength' but c'mon, tell us how strong you are man...

    I think if he provided a video clip of him benching 300-350 with that small size of his people would be so impressed his sales would more than double. this makes me doubt he can lift much at all (especially because special forces, which he supposedly has helped train, care far more about endurance than outright strength)

  11. #11
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    I don't think pavel gives a crap if he can bench 300. It's not really functional strength as he defines it. His gimmick is bodyweight and relatively light (compared to conventional lifting) kettlebells for endurance.

    I also don't think that benching is a good test of functional strength. Indeed, most people who can bench 300 are probably not very good at running long distances or climbing, which are important fitness goals for pavel. But that's him. Your definition will differ.
    Last edited by MixmasterNash; 01-31-2005 at 07:59 PM.

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    imho(this is a MAJOR imho) the true test of fitness is what people will do when pitted agains eachother in a fight. if one is much more powerful they almost always win. still just my definition but i think pavel tries to use things as an excuse to much. if its really possible to be really strong without bulking up why isnt he? i cant think of a person alive who would honestly say, "if i could be stronger with no reprocussions i wouldnt do it"

  13. #13
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Yeah, well, his gimmick is the russian spec ops type, and hand to hand combat is secondary to climbing a rope to getting into the building or whatever so he can shoot you.

    You'll note that most spec ops do indeed look more like pavel than, say, gene rychlak.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Huard
    Pavel: What it taught me was that an average person has a much greater capacity than they think they have. For instance, when I give a seminar to the general public, I have these guys that come out of the seminar with about 30% more strength than when they went into it. They just learned to tap into their strength reserves much better.
    30%? Um, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Huard
    If you believe that a warm-up is going to prevent an injury, then thatís whatís going to happen. This is the same thing as believing that if I donít wear my magic socks then Iím not going to win.

    In the Russian military the alarm sounds in the middle of the night. The sergeant strikes a match and before it burns his hand you had better be dressed and on your way to get your gear and ammo. Warm-ups arenít appropriate for the military.

    Ditto for law enforcement and other government agencies. These people do not have the luxury of a warm-up. Take the US Department of Energy, one of my clients. If a bad guy is going to try to hold up a nuclear power plant you canít tell him, "Sorry, Iíve got to warm up first."

    T: So what do you think about warming up before a workout for the average guy? Is it overrated?

    Pavel: You bet. Pyramiding with high reps and light weights or riding a bicycle is a waste of time or worse.
    Rubbish. So what if the Russian military has to jump up in the middle of the night? What the hell does that have to do with bodybuilding?

    So is he saying that every olympic athlete, every professional athlete, and every pro bodybuilder is wrong? And all their trainers/doctors/advisors are wrong? That it's all in their heads that warming up is necessary and conducive to a safe training/competing environment?

    No sh!t you don't have time to warm-up if a mugger grabs you in an alley someday. Sounds like he's trying to use non-relevant anecdotes into making his point.

    Equating warming up with "magic socks" is just plain stupid.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Joshua
    30%? Um, no.



    Rubbish. So what if the Russian military has to jump up in the middle of the night? What the hell does that have to do with bodybuilding?

    So is he saying that every olympic athlete, every professional athlete, and every pro bodybuilder is wrong? And all their trainers/doctors/advisors are wrong? That it's all in their heads that warming up is necessary and conducive to a safe training/competing environment?

    No sh!t you don't have time to warm-up if a mugger grabs you in an alley someday. Sounds like he's trying to use non-relevant anecdotes into making his point.

    Equating warming up with "magic socks" is just plain stupid.
    I wonder if there is any studies to show that people who warmed up being prior to be mugged have a better chance of getting away with all there money?
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

  16. #16
    Wannabebig Member Brock Huard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by body
    I wonder if there is any studies to show that people who warmed up being prior to be mugged have a better chance of getting away with all there money?
    bwahahaha.....I wonder if anyone has gotten the opportunity to ask, "yo, do you mind if I warm up a little before you flog me and take my cash". Who knows, it might just do the trick.

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    I am predicting that within five years, the internet will see the emergence of a new bodybuillding and fitness guru, who is from Iraq and escaped the Saddam Hussein secret death squads by engaging in a unique exercise routine, which he will be happy to share with his fans for only $79.99.

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    I was very interested in Pavel's theories a while back. Do a search on these forums using keyword "pavel". You'll eventually find the whole transcript of a long interview with him, where he talks about his main ideas. It's very interesting. I thought some of it made sense, like trying to flex as many muscles as possible when lifting.. applying tension... it sorta helped me in the gym. Haven't bought any of his books though, I figure I can get the main ideas online.

  19. #19
    Magically delicious Shane's Avatar
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    I like most of Pavel's ideas. Some of them, like not warming up, I don't agree with. But none of it is ground breaking. From what I hear from someone who's met him, his bench isn't what any of us would consider to be high but his deadlift is supposed to be around 500 lbs. I wasn't there to see it though so take that for what it's worth. Which isn't much.
    Last edited by Shane; 02-02-2005 at 04:53 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Teh BDK is reading one of his books. I am sure there is good info in there. Just not all of it.
    As Keith mentioned I would employ the "buffet" method.
    Out of the night that covers me,Black as the Pit from pole to pole,I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul. In The fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade And yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate how charged with punishments the scroll,I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
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  21. #21
    David Hasselhoff wannabe Eddan's Avatar
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    So is he saying that every olympic athlete, every professional athlete, and every pro bodybuilder is wrong? And all their trainers/doctors/advisors are wrong? That it's all in their heads that warming up is necessary and conducive to a safe training/competing environment?
    Um, it could be that they are. I don't really have an opinion on warmups, just saying that the experts have been wrong before, you know.
    Last edited by Eddan; 02-02-2005 at 11:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddan
    Um, it could be that they are. I don't really have an opinion on warmups, just saying that the experts have been wrong before, you know.
    Um, yes they have, thank you. The question is: What does PT base his position on? Science? Has he done studies? No.

  23. #23
    David Hasselhoff wannabe Eddan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Joshua
    Um, yes they have, thank you. The question is: What does PT base his position on? Science? Has he done studies? No.
    OK sorry, I didnít express my opinion very wellÖ What I meant is that I welcome pretty much anything that challenge the prevalent ideas of modern bodybuilding. PT does that. And while what he teaches isnít really always based on scientific studies, it at least opens up for a questioning of these touchstones of crappy modern physical culture. (It isnít that long ago that it no-one doubted that stretching before lifting important to prevent injuries.)

    Also; while I donít necessarily doubt that warm-ups are good, I certainly havenít read any scientific studies supporting this. It seems to me that you have strong opinions on this matter. Undoubtedly you could post links to scientific studies supporting the idea that warm-ups are important for lifting safety?
    Last edited by Eddan; 02-03-2005 at 03:00 PM.
    I know my spelllign and grammar bad sometimes are. English isnít my first language though, soÖ

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    i actually find pavels naked warrior book intriguing, but i sure as hell wouldn't want to order/buy a book with that name... also wouldnt want to pay the price.

    does anyone have this book and not mind telling a little about his techniques? from what i gather you do just one armed push ups and one legged squats. work your way to one armers by propping your upper body at an angle to make easier and work your way down; then back up the other way... as far as the squats go he didnt mention that in the free parts i could read on amazon much so does anyone know the form for this? i put inactive leg behind the knee of active one and squat down. is that a decent way to do them?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddan
    (It isnít that long ago that it no-one doubted that stretching before lifting important to prevent injuries.)
    Good point.

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