Power To The People by Pavel Tsatsouline – My Review

Pavel’s Evil Russian Techniques Make You STRONGER

I discovered Pavel Tsatsouline over a year ago when just starting out with kettlebells. What I found out was this Eastern European dude is the one responsible for introducing this awesome tool to North America. I have to say, we’re all indebted to him for his work.

This former Soviet (originally from Latvia) studied what was the equivalent of “exercise science”, and then worked for the military to physically train their special forces. Pavel then came to America along with his knowledge of strength and conditioning. He had caught the eye of Dragon Door Publications, who wanted to make a book and video-tape with him. Thus, Power To The People: Russian Strength Training Secrets For Every American was born!

If I were to summarize this book in one sentence, I’d say this book teaches us how to build strength safely and effectively using “Eastern” methods. This entire book focuses on strength – not bodybuilding, not endurance, not balance, not speed – just strength. And the Russians know a thing or two about strength and the body. We (the Americans) had battled them at each Summer Olympic Games during the Cold War, and they beat us out quite a few times. In the last Summer Games before the fall of the Soviet Union, the Soviets finished first with 55 gold medals, and America had only 33 gold medals. So, I have trust in Pavel’s methods.

Power To The People book review.From Russia With Love..?

What You’ll Learn In Power To The People

  • The definition of tension, how to maximize it, and its relationship with velocity.
  • The negatives associated with training to failure, and the benefits of low repetitions.
  • Why machines, isolation exercises, gym mirrors, and running shoes will not get you strong.
  • The science of irradiation and hyperirradiation, and their effects on strength.
  • How to gain strength without size, and how to gain strength WITH size using the “Secret Russian Commando” protocol (also known as the “Russian Bear” protocol).
  • How to properly breath and use the abdominals for maximum safety during heavy lifting.
  • Why progressive overload will not make you strong overtime
  • Properly using cycles and periodization to increase strength.
  • Successive induction, and using it to further increase strength and protect joints.
  • How to deadlift and side-press a barbell.

As you can see, Pavel includes quite a few concepts and bits of information in this book.

My Review

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like the book has a lot to offer for the price. Power To The People is about 116 page of information, which is pretty skimpy for the $20+ I paid for the book. After reading it from cover to cover, however, my first impressions went completely in to the trash. I was hooked on Pavel.

Throughout the book, I discovered information regarding strength and strength training that I had never seen before. I was literally in awe when reading about these facts about anatomical function and strength training, supposedly widely known and used by the Soviets while Americans were clueless. Whether or not this was in fact true, the information I took in from Pavel was priceless, thus justifying the cost of the book. I’m glad I paid the 20-something dollars for Power To The People.

The program laid out in this book is super simplistic – a deadlift and an overhead press, two sets each, up to 5 days a week. For most people, this should cover their strength needs.

I personally benefited from a few of the strength-increasing techniques discussed in this book. For example, whenever I am approached with lifting a heavy object, I increase the tension in my body by contracting my muscles prior to the lift and hold air in my abdominal cavity – I use as much strength as possible to perform each task. This allows me to safely and powerfully lift some heavy stuff.

On a final note, some may find the whole “in Soviet Russia, car drives you”-schtick to be annoying. There were plenty of references to Commie-this and Spetsnaz-that, which might get old after a few chapters. Personally, I found this presentation of information to be entertaining and light-hearted, but I’m sure there are people out there who’d just want to cut to the chase and leave the humor out.

Final Thoughts

Power To The People book review.If you are interested in learning non-mainstream techniques to increasing strength, are not put off by frequent Soviet jokes, and are looking to simplify your workout routine for basic yet brute strength, then Pavel’s Power To The People is the right book for you! Check out the links to buy it on Amazon today.

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One Comment

  1. Photo Credits
    Sean Connery. author: James Vaughan. flickr.com

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