Pavel Tsatsouline: Legend or Marketing guru?

I just got some e-books from my friend who says that they are woth reading… Books are Power to the people, Naked warrior, Relax into stretch, Super joints etc.
I listed them quicky, and I have some strange feeling about this… I think it is not worth of reading… This man, Pavel, on my own opinion is a marketing guru who sells his books and stuff for over-rated price…
I am interested about your opinion…

His books are “marketed” to the novice. He has some good concepts but the books seem to be written for the average person (non athlete).

Didn’t Pavel star in the movie the Transporter 2?

I have “Power to the People” and have used that method extensively with good success. It probably is good for the novice but, really, the principles can be applied at any stage of athletic background. My max deadlift went WAY up using his methods. The workouts are short and very flexible in terms of which movements to use but he advocates deadlifts and an overhead press–but he mentions that one can use squats, power clean, bench, etc…

I used the deadlift and standing overhead press and my strength levels went through the roof with no gain in bodyweight. IMO, PTP is a good buy, but I’m not sure about the others.

You could go to his website and check out his message board and ask questions there. I have found that very helpful and, occasionally, Pavel himself will answer your questions.

I would agree that this is a good approach, particularly for someone who does not have time for much weight training or is just getting started. I’ve read it – and while you could probably summarize the whole thing in a couple of paragraphs – I think the principles are OK and it seems to align with some of the CFTS concepts. One area where I disagree is the idea of lifting several days in a row.

Heatwave: Did you do the lifting as described, going about five days on and two days off? Any comments about that? I lift about 3x a week, always taking a day off between sessions.

the bottom line on pavel is that he knows a lot - but only markets what he and John Du Cane believe what will sell. Everything they offer, while overpriced, is worth it. not to sound too much like a shameless plug, but they do give you a full year 100% refund period. You don’t like it after an honest try, get your money back.

PTP is more about principles than any one technique. its a bedrock book in my opinion. Everytime I’m in a rut, I go back to it.

Ive done ptp as written many times- always works. Course I’m a weakling.

I’ve done his routine (4-5 day per week thing) with deadlift & bench. I deadlifted 550 at 198 about a year ago. I wanted to shed some weight so I did his power-to-the-people program for about 3-4 weeks while getting down to 181lbs. I ended up deadlifting 500 at 181.

Using his methods, I was able to basically maintain my strength while doing a small volume of training (very “easy” training compared to what I used to do).

The best thing about it was that I had more energy in the tank to devote to running when doing Pavel’s stuff.

His book are all marketing hype (though there is some interesting content). However, I heard him speak about 6 months ago and he was very articulate and interesting. I wish he would just do a “Pavel uncovered” series where he just talks sense rather than trying to sell products. The problem with his material is that the way it is presented makes me distrust it.

Can you put some critique on individual books? Tnx
I give a try to power to the people…

Aggreed. From what i have heard about Pavel at seminars, he does know his stuff, but the presentation in some of the books makes me neverous about its verasity as well.

Hey, why rag on the guy if he’s found a marketing niche that allows him to make a buck? His stuff works. Take whats useful, ignore the schtick for what it is, and get over that he’s not an ivory tower guy who happens to have a sense of humor (demented one, but…)

Pavel is the man. I love his stuff and I’ll probably buy it all. I did the 5x5 thing for a long time and got into my best shape ever.

I find most of his stuff moves towards combat training rather than for a sport. His Rapid Response has a ton of great stuff as well. 8 hours is a long time to watch though.

I’d recommend his training to any beginner out there. I love the fact that he’s not a big fan on a ton of different movements. Stick to the basics. How many times have we heard that one?

From the SuperTraining forum and M. Siff:

Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1999 07:57:17 -0700

After some folk suggested looking for the “Beyond Stretching” book on
Parrillo’s website, I discovered some other revealing material on John
Parrillo’s website, such as:

This extract appears in it:

"In Russian sports science, flexibility training, or Functional
Neuromuscular Conditioning (FNC), is considered to be a form of
training. It is precisely that, and in more than one way. Some forms
FNC, particularly Plyometric Flexibility Training (PFT) increase the
viscoelasticity ó the ability to store energy like a coiled spring ó
muscles and tendons. "

***How very interesting - I coined that term, “Functional
Conditioning (FNC)”, when I presented a lecture and workshop on
applied PNF
for the NSCA in 1988! This term appears nowhere else in the
This was recorded on a video made by the NSCA and appeared in print
in the
NSCA Journal some years later (1991, 13:4 pp 73-77), but it was never
in the USSR. It had absolutely nothing to do with the Russians - it
from my research into age-old PNF, which had been pioneered by two
American women, Maggie Knott and Dorothy Voss.

Though Pavel refers to FNC as a Russian technqiue, the Russians had
heard of it until I collaborated with Dr Verkhoshansky from 1990
so it is pretty obvious that Pavel did not write a lot of what was
attributed to him.

It is also nonsense to state that plyometric flexibility training
viscoelasticity and to define viscoelasticity as the ability to store
elastic energy - that is completely wrong. Viscoelasticity describes
ability of a given material to behave either as a viscous fluid or an
elastic substance, depending on the rate of loading.

What’s more, the recognition that plyometrics can also constitute a
type of dynamic stretching (and not just a training ‘drill’) also
came from
my work, one of the offshoots of my PhD research (1986). Later, this
information on different stretching techniques formed part of
“Supertraining” (Ch 3). The following extract comes from the chapter

< 2. Dynamic Stretching

  • Ballistic Stretching, which imposes passive momentum to exceed
    ROM on (a) relaxed or (b) contracted muscles

  • Active Stretching, which involves continuous muscle activity to
    the static ROM, as encountered during normal full-range sporting

  • PNF Stretching methods, which involve intermittent or continuous
    of static or dynamic muscle action, as well as relaxation or passive
    movement in specific patterns of activation and relaxation

  • Plyometric (Impulsive) Stretching, which involves rapid termination
    eccentric loading followed by a brief isometric phase and an
    rebound relying on stored elastic energy and powerful reflex muscle
    contraction. This ‘stretch-shortening’ action is not intended to
    ROM, but to use specific stretching phenomena to in-crease speed-
    of movement for a specific sporting purpose. >

***Clearly, Parrillo has seen this material in my publications and
has made
the unfortunate error in presuming, since I collaborated with Dr
Verkhoshansky, a Russian scientist in writing “Supertraining” that
our book
is a reflection of Russian sports science. The Preface goes to
lengths to
point out that the book is an East-West synthesis of knowledge - that
the whole point of our working together. As a matter of fact,
“Supertraining” is based on at least 60% of Western research and

It is interesting to note, both in Pavel Tsatsouline’s book “Beyond
Stretching” and in the following artcile below many ideas, stylistic
mannerisms, terms and comments that would not be used by Russian
coaches or scientists.

This article, supposedly by Pavel, discusses Romanian Deadlifts, an
exercise that not even the Romanians claim as their own (it appears
as if
some Americans coined that term after Dragomir Cioroslan was
hanging pulls at some weightlifting clinic a few years ago). Had this
article indeed have been written by a Russian, at worst he would have
mentioned that it is merely one of several different types of partial
pull which were very competently classified in Prof Medevedev’s books
Weightlifting training (expanded upon in “Supertraining” 1999, Ch
Moreover, Prof Medvedev was and still is head of the weightlifting
department which taught many students including Pavel at the State
Inst of Physical Culture.

Who really is writing Pavel’s material?