This episode was a real treat. It was one of the most enlightening and lucid conversations about physical training I’ve ever had. If you want strength, power, endurance, and flexibility, it’s all covered in this one interview.
[UPDATE: Pavel also answered your 15 most popular questions in a follow-up episode, now below]
Pavel Tsatsouline is Chairman of StrongFirst, Inc. and was born in Minsk, USSR, which is now part of Belarus.
In the 1980s, he was a physical-training instructor for Spetnaz, the elite Soviet special-forces units. Pavel is now a subject matter expert to the US Marine Corps, the US Secret Service, and the US Navy SEALs. He is widely credited with introducing the now ubiquitous kettlebell to the United States.
You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.
Over the last several years, Pavel has become a friend, and his input was critical to the success (and experiments) of The 4-Hour Body. His massively popular post on 80/20 Powerlifting and How to Add 110+ Pounds to Your Lifts appears on this blog.
Whether you’ve heard of him or not, prepare to have your mind blown, and I don’t say that lightly 🙂 Enjoy!
This podcast is brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What’s the most valuable exercise tip you’ve ever received or learned? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Do you enjoy listening to this podcast? If so, please leave a short review here. It’s important for keeping the show going.
Subscribe to The Tim Ferriss Show on iTunes.
Non-iTunes RSS feed
Selected Links from the Episode
- How Pavel and Tim first came in contact [1:00]
- How others define Pavel as “world-class” [2:00]
- Considerations for designing training for top performers [5:00]
- The biggest misconceptions about Pavel Tsatsouline [11:25]
- When in doubt, what’s the minimum you should train? [18:00]
- How to train “grease to groove” [21:15]
- Approaching training as a practice [35:45]
- Prioritizing skills that lead to strength [39:20]
- The most counter-productive myths about strength training [42:20]
- Pavel’s hypothesis for the science behind hypertrophy [48:30]
- What is preventing new powerlifting records? [1:02:00]
- Deadlifts, kettlebells, and the most common mistakes with both [1:10:00]
- Morning rituals [1:13:50]
- Most frequently played music [1:16:50]
- Pavel’s writing mechanics [1:18:05]
- Current professional improvement endeavors [1:21:30]
- Mobility, flexibility, and the goal of full side splits [1:22:45]
- On the malfunction of over-sharing [1:39:00]
- What Americans can learn from former Soviet culture [1:40:20]
- Mitigating distractions [1:48:40]
Posted on: January 15, 2015.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.