43 Pavel “Facts” You Should Know About!

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***Editor's Note: Today's post was reprinted with permission from my friend, David Wu.  I first met David while teaching a workshop in April 2013 at a local gym in Toronto.  Then, I kept running into the guy!  I stumbled upon this article  and asked him for the rights to publish it here because, in all honesty, it was one of the most entertaining pieces that I have read this year.

Don't be fooled by David's dead pan humor, though.  He is by far one of the smartest guys I have ever met and is one heck of a coach.  David now lives in Toronto and I routinely call upon him to help coach my athletes and provide me feedback with other aspects of my practice.  You'll be hearing more from this guy.  Trust me.


[Enter David Wu]

I was completely captivated when I first learned about Pavel from watching his videos in the mid 2000s.

After days of tirelessly browsing for ways to improve my strength & conditioning for martial arts, I found the RKC. I found it.

Fast forward 8 years later and kettlebell certifications (the good ones at least) started making their way up north to Canada. I've finally stuck my foot in the door and got an HKC under Jon Engum. My only hope one day is to rack up resources, train and pass the SFG.

Pavel has shown me the path to becoming strong (still well on my way). He's the Bruce Lee of the strength & conditioning world.

I've never found such high quality workshops in anything related to movement as found in  Pavel's organization. It may be the ONLY organization with workshops that actually teaches you how to coach.

With the RKC, StrongFirst, or where ever it may lead, strength is sure to follow. Enjoy this post featuring never before seen facts on Pavel Tsatsouline.

Power to you,



Pavel Relaxation kettlebell

  1. The bottom-up press came to fruition after Pavel couldn’t reach the fire alarm. A 48 kilo was hanging around.
  2. As a toddler, Pavel knocked out a karate instructor while blowing out his birthday cake. At two and half, Pavel received his black belt.
  3. Pavel once told Mark Rippetoe how to start strength.
  4. Forced Relaxation was Pavel’s initial attempt to bring bootcamps to the wellness industry.
  5. Pavel doesn’t go beastmode – beastmode goes Pavel



    1. Pavel once survived a month only on a steady diet of deadlifts.
    2. Pavel can be anything he wants to be (because he's already strong FIRST)
    3. Pavel’s tears can cure weakness. Too bad he’s never cried.
    4. Pavel boils his eggs. Hardstyle.
    5. When Pavel says strength, he means kettlebell. When Pavel says kettlebell, he means strength. So when he tells you to “prepare your strength, press with your kettlebell”, you better know what the f@#$ to do.
    6. Pavel teaches Strength. Strength is grateful to be an SFG.

Pavel going beastmode at University of Waterloo (KIN dept)

  1. Pavel once told Richard Simmons to tense his glutes. Richard didn’t like it.
  2. Pavel can speak French… in Russian
  3. Pavel has made Tibetan monks enjoy the pain.
  4. Pavel once worked for a hospital in California. They drastically reduced their need for analgesic. Sissies.
  5. Pavel doesn’t swing kettlebells. He just stares at them until they do what he wants.

pavel catch clean kettlebell

  1. When Pavel says “kettlebell clean”, he means it. Start scrubbing.
  2. Pavel is the only man that can give Bane permission to die.
  3. A crossfitter once asked Pavel why his swings were funny. Pavel told him Russian joke. The crossfitter laughed.
  4. Pavel brought kettlebells to America. All 54,0649 of them.
  5. Pavel once made Lady GaGa a better man.
  6. Pavel Tsatouline needs no introduction. He tells his story and you listen until the end. Or else.
  7. Pavel has lived more than once. And YOLO had to do 50 push-ups.
  8. Pavel once received multiple gun shots to the abdominals. After 24 hours of agonizing pain, the shooter died of blood loss from the ricochet.

pavel tsatouline abs

  1. Pavel doesn’t need to breathe. He simply gives permission for oxygen to enter his body.
  2. Pavel has made the Tin-man do the full splits. In 6 months or less.

pavel splits kettlebell

  1. There’s no such thing as bad form at StrongFirst. It’s called 50 pushups.
  2. Pavel can perform a no-handed swing.
  3. When Dhalsim, Mr. Fantastic, & Plastic Man want to get more flexible, they call Pavel.
  4. Pavel doesn’t play Russian roulette. There are no wrists in kettlebells.
  5. In the year 2020, one does not simply get strong first. One gets Pavelized.
  6. When Pavel performs a kettlebell armbar, the kettlebell taps out from submission.
  7. Fast & Loose was originally devised as a method to combat constipation.

fast loose tsatouline pavel

  1. If you deadlift 3 times your bodyweight and Pavel deadlifts 3 times his bodyweight, Pavel is stronger than you.
  2. Pavel doesn’t need a last name. It’s rarely mentioned because it’s afraid to be in his presence.
  3. Behind Pavel’s chest hair is a third fist. It squeezes the fluff for an irradiation effect.
  4. Dan John and Louie Simmons once came over to Pavel’s for dinner. They feasted. On strength.
  5. Weakness checks under his bed every night for Pavel.
  6. When hope is lost, Strength prays for the Pavel to go on.
  7. Pavel’s bloodtype is AK-47.
  8. It was an epic day when the Hulk challenged Hercules to an arm-wrestling competition. Pavel won.
  9. The Turkish Get-Up was named so when Pavel got out of bed one day after being captured in Istanbul during a recon mission.  A 48kg physical restraint was involved.
  10. When Pavel was a child, the seat-belt wore Pavel for protection

Got any other Pavel facts? Write em below and I’ll add them to the list!


David Wu CSCS Movement

David Wu helps busy entrepreneurs boost productivity through movement at David Wu Performance Therapy in Toronto.

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