T Nation

Pavel's Antics- Grock please Read

Heya T-freques (Grock included). I noticed that on two of your “what I’ve learned” in the reader mail section you accused Pavel of being a tad disingenous, or at least hanging around one too many street corners in disreputible neighborhoods. My question to you is simply, why? Only because I haven’t heard anything concerning the apparent Pavel “situation”. Lata.

"MBE: Libel, slander, delusions of grandure since 1744."


I’ve heard from some reliable sources that he’s not even from Russia. He’s from somewhere over there, yes, but not Russia. The “Evil Russian” thing is just a schtich(sp?), an act. I mean, come on, “comrade”? Still, he has some interesting ideas and I like some of his stuff. But since my goal is muscle gain I don’t follow his whole program. He doesn’t even like bodybuilding. Still, I like his one arm deadlifts and breathing tricks.

Thanks, Tek. I’m actually on a K-bell bender right now and I must say I’ve dropped significant bodyfat and have increased muscle density and a bit of hypertrophy. Of course, Pavel didn’t invent the damn thing, but he has brought the K-bell into current fashion. Lata.

"MB Eric: always pumped, seldom stumped since 1422."


The guy is a brilliant marketer and at least he makes no bones about not being a BB fan, thats his view, fine. It is interesting that he writes for MM following another great marketer Bill Phillips. He never said he invented the KB and from the feedback of those that have them they are very happy. As for not being from Russia, ‘the evil Uzbekistanian’ doesn’t have the same ring to it.

He is most certainely from behind the old Iron Curtain. In fact, he was a PT and hand to hand instructor with the russian version of the Rangers. He has actually appeared on news shows commenting on the Russian experience fighting in Afghanistan. And has been involved in preparing a PT routine to go along with the revised Marined hand to hand and bayonet training. He was also ranked nationaly in Kettlebell lifting (very popular russian sport). His credentials have stood up to the US Nuclear Energy Department, the FBI, The US marines, and various SWAT teams. Rumors are very silly.

Hey, the same guy dissed the Bible and “Christ” Shugart. You think he’s gonna me nice to Pavel!? :wink:

The dude is a shrewd capitalist. I have “stimulated the economy” on three of his books and been pleasantly surprised. None of the information is iconoclastic, but I have incorporated a few ideas here and there and use several KB exercises now. If he was an imposter, I think he would have been exposed by now. Plus he has a great sense of humor. I dislike the fact that in order to get all of his stretching recommendations you have to purchase 2 (or is it 3?) books. That is the mark of the capitalist. The KB video was invaluable to me in learning some of the techniques. Just out of interest, which Pavel stretching book have you found to be the most beneficial?

Comparing Spetznaz to Rangers ?
Five years of training compared to 10 weeks plus basic soldering skills.
I would compare it with seals, SAS or SBS but that just maybe just me…

DaveF, I’ve heard a lot of bad things about Pavel’s Book “Beyong Streching” and good things about “Relax Into Stretch.” I ordered the latter, and waiting for it to come. Could you tell me if there is any difference between the two. You’re right about being the mark of capitalism. I bought one of this kettlebells for 90 bucks, and that has gotten light for me. I have to order a heavier one and that’s gonna cost me some more. Also, he just came out with a new Pavelizer gadget that makes doing a Janda Sit-Up more effective than doing one with his old Pavelizer. I have to admit though, I have been using his techniques from his Power to the People book as well as doing some Kettlebell drills, and people tell me I look better than ever. So something has got to be right.

I would have to agree that Pavel seems to be of a slightly different breed, but I have picked up some great exercises from him such as one arm dumbell snatches, suitcase deadlifts, and janda sit-ups. Even though I think a lot of his training techniques are a little odd for a bodybuilder, he obviously has made a large impact in the military and combat fields. I don’t remember who said it (I think it was Shugart), but it goes something like Pavel’s just another slice of the bodybuilding pie. Take what you need from him and move on to somewhere else.

Spetznaz certainly has the reputation that the SEALs, SAS, SBS etc. have, but from what I’ve read their main focus was more on direct action and unconditional warfare, which are the fortes of the Rangers and Special Forces respectively, so comparing them to the Rangers is not that much of a stretch. Consider too that to be fully accepted as a Ranger you have to go through Basic, Airborne, RIP, serve a year or so in the Battalion, then go through Ranger School to get your tab. The whole process can take up to two years and the end product is one of the finest light infantrymen in the world.

i think pavels actually from the ukraine or something

It is because Pavel isn’t associated with Testosterone. ANYTHING THAT ISN’T IS EVIL AND WRONG!!! WORSHIP US!!

Unger: Not really. I think Pavel did himself a lot of harm in the respect department by going to Muscle Media. His idea of training really doesn’t even go with the mag. I mean, can you see a bunch of soccer moms doing barbell bent presses and kettlebell work at 24hr Fitness? But, dude’s gotta make a living.

And T-mag has interviewed Pavel and said some pretty good things about some of his products, so there’s no “worship us” thing going on in my view.

TEK, I have to agree with you. The readership of MuscleMedia is so far removed from the type of people that would most benefit from his type of training. If EAS and MuscleMedia keep this up, they are going to lose the plateaued BFLers who are looking for something new. Maybe, they will get the idea and find someone in the middleground who says that something besides BFL is ok, but who does not push kettebels and other unlikely exercises and equipment.

Hey Tek, yes you are right he did damage his reputation. IMHO though even if you write for a sissy mag it doesn’t mean you don’t train hard core. Point taken on he has to make some bucks. I still believe he has some valid ideas, even if he did pull a George O’Leary on his background.

I was just trying to get a little rise out of people. Some readers on Testosterone believe it is the only source of info out there. While it is probably the tops in bodybuilding, there is still a wealth of info out there. Even the writers here admit that. But sometime other strength coaches, products, and companies get a bad rap when they start competing against Testosterone. Just my two cents.

Where is everyone getting their information that Pavel is not from Russia? I have heard this before but have never seen any literature or a reputable source. Wouldnt the USMC not want Pavel to train them if they knew he was not telling the truth about where he is from?
I saw what happened to that coach that Notre Dame hired and how he lied about playing football at a college and having a degree from there but he didnt. That is just on the college level too. So do colleges take an individuals resume more importantly then the USMC and other government agency’s?

Greg, Pavel claims to be born in Riga, Latvia which is part of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). See the interview: www.testosterone.net/articles/151russ.html
Many people use the terms Russia and USSR interchangeably, which might lead to some confusion. As others have noted, he has brought intriguing and effective training techniques, e.g., jacknife pushups, to a wider audience. I feel frustrated with him mainly because his training material comes in instalments and they cost a pretty penny. He’s certainly done well for an ex-commie.

I read Muscle Media for the Pavel articles, and I can’t see his ideas agreeing with BFL’ers out there. So I agree with TEK’s opinion on that. How can you expect a business executive who follows the BFL program to do one-legged squats holding a kettlebell in front of him. I’m surprised he hasn’t been kicked out of the mag yet because his ideas go against Bill Phillips training ideas in his book. For instance, Pavel believes you should never train to failure. He believes that you should do each rep in perfect form until you think you can’t do one more that’s still perfect. Bill believes in the high point system where you do as many reps as you can, and if you feel you can’t do anymore, you do one more by tapping into your hidden energy until you squeeze out that last one. I’ve done this type of training before, and to me, this is training to failure. Just my two cents.

Thanks for the info I appreciate it. I hadnt read that before.