Building High-Performance Muscle™

The Evil Russian Speaks—Part 2
An Interview with Pavel Tsatsouline


Last week, we featured Part 1 of our intervierw with Pavel Tsatsouline. In case you didn’t read it, Pavel is a former physical training instructor for Spetsnaz, the Soviet special forces, and he’s gained quite a following with the martial arts community in this country.

While much of his dogma is geared towards functionality, many of his novel concepts can probably be applied to bodybuilding and powerlifting. Whether you agree or disagree with his theories doesn’t matter. It’s our job to bring all schools of thought to the table, where they can be duly analyzed, dissected, and, if warranted, buried.

 

T: I understand you have some strong opinions about our mag. What do you think of Testosterone?

Pavel:

T: Hey, we like ogling women in strip bars! Fair enough, Pavel, but since we’ll likely reach 25 million hits this month, we must be doing something right. Next subject: Where do Americans screw up in the gym?

[Editor’s note: My people — the Finns — had 44 wars with Russia. Now I know why.]

Pavel:

T: Isn’t intensity important for weight training?

Pavel:

T: But how are we supposed to build muscle with low rep training?

Pavel:

T: In your book and video Power to the People!, you talk a lot about two lifts — the deadlift and the all-but-forgotten bent press, or side press. Why the emphasis on those two lifts?

Pavel:

T: Okay, so what about the side press?

Pavel:

T: So if a person is super busy and can only get two workouts per week, they need to use the side press and the deadlift.

Pavel:

T: Is soreness necessary?

Pavel:

T: You’ve written a popular book on ab training. Where do people go wrong when it comes to abdominal training?

Pavel:

T: Your Ab Pavelizer device simulates a Janda sit-up, but you don’t have to have a partner, correct?

Pavel:

T: Let’s talk about stretching. In your book on stretching, Relax into Stretch, the first words in the book are, "Stretching is NOT the best way to become flexible!" Explain that.

Pavel:

T: Why should bodybuilders stretch?

Pavel:

T: What’s that exactly?

Pavel:

T: Describe your infamous "ladder" drills.

Pavel:

T: I’ll have to try that. You have a new video out on kettlebells. What’s so great about these things?

T: Why better?

Pavel:

T: You’ve been criticized for writing in your Power to the People book that a person only needs to use one or two exercises.

Pavel:

T: Every time I read your stuff you shock me with something. Let’s hear one of your ideas about training that would shock T-mag readers.

Pavel:

T: So sometimes, as long as you’re not going to failure, you can train the same muscle group two days or more in a row? Okay, you’ve shocked me. Thanks for the interview, Pavel.

Pavel:

The next day at the Arnold expo, Pavel put me though some unique kettlebell lifts and showed me a few "vibration drills" to increase speed. Overall, I was impressed. Do all of us at T-mag "buy" all of Pavel’s theories regarding to bodybuilding? Not by a longshot. Will I incorporate many of Pavel’s techniques into my current program? You bet, already have in fact, and with great results. After all, I want to be buff and functional. The body of Arnold and the practical strength and speed of Bruce Lee? Yeah, I can dig that.


Pavel’s books, videos and other products can be purchased through the Dragon Door web site. There you can also find info about his seminars, his ab training device and kettlebells.


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