Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel -
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Display Name Post: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel        (Topic#4218)
Trance
*
Total Posts: 723
05-28-05 12:10 AM - Post#108741    



Review: Beyond Bodybuilding: Muscle and Strength Training Secrets for The Renaissance Man” by Pavel

“Do we have a man here?"


"I have the privilege of acquaintance with men like Clarence Bass, Dave Draper, Larry Scott, and Dennis Weis. Bodybuilders of the golden age. I have great respect for these men. Not for their physiques because, to be blunt, I have no interest in that sort of thing. I respect them for everything today’s bodybuilders are not.

"The old-timers are men’s men. They kept their pursuit of bodybuilding in perspective, unlike the modern generation of catty beauty queens. They despised muscles that were for show only. The golden age knew true renaissance men like Tommy Kono and Bill March who went to the top in both strength and physique competition. With the exception of Ronnie Coleman and Dorian Yates, I am hard pressed to name today’s bodybuilders who are as strong as they look.”

-- Pavel, Introduction to “Beyond Bodybuilding


Beyond Bodybuilding” is Pavel Tsatsouline’s latest book. Pavel (he’s generally just known by his first name these days) is a former physical training instructor for Spetsnaz, the Soviet special forces. He has a number of books and videos relating to martial arts, strength & flexibility training, in addition to conducting seminars and classes for strength conditioning, military, SWAT, & combat tactical training.

One of his current claims to fame is reintroducing the kettlebell to the present-day fitness scene and the resurgence it’s received in the last few years. He’s not a bodybuilder in the sense that we relate to bodybuilders today, but more of what I would call a strength builder, in the old style of the pre-steroid era of fitness buffs, using and expounding on many of the old lifting styles of days gone by. Think of it as if Cajinjohn and Wicked Willie married and hand-raised their son together full time – only in Russia - and he's come to tell us what & how to do it. ;)

The majority of the articles in this book are a collection of past writings that appeared in Muscle Media magazine collected in this one large volume. Initially this book was published in late 2004 selling at a price of $99.95. I was tempted to buy it then because Pavel has always usually made sense at some gut level, but I felt the price was just too much. It was reprinted in early 2005, and the price dropped to $49.95. When I received it, and read it, I realized it was under priced even at the original $99.95!

There is literally a gem of insight on every page of this book -- at least one thing, and usually much more, on each page that will make you rethink or question some process of your training. There is soooo much in this book, there is no way a simple review of this type can do it justice - - see the detailed Table Of Contents at the end of this message for an idea what is in this book. Much of the book is dedicated to core exercises (using barbells & dumbbells) such as the deadlift, squat, rows, pull-ups, and variations, but there is a section dedicated to each body part. I found the Lat section especially useful and educational.

As with many of Pavel’s writings, some areas delve off into the unexpected oddity here and there, and he can’t leave out kettlebell routines, but overall this is a book worth owning by anyone in the lifting game – bodybuilder and powerlifter alike. This is not a beginner's book, but more targeted to the intermediate and advanced trainer.

Is Pavel right about everything? No -- and no one ever is -- but he does make you think, you adjust accordingly.

Example of Pavel’s description of the Hise Shrug:

“This cool shrug, invented by Joseph C. Hise of twenty-rep squat fame, is popular with modern day powerlifters who want their squats to feel ridiculously light. It will do the same for you while adding slabs of beef to your traps and neck.

“Unrack a barbell as you would for a squat, walk out, bend forward slightly to protect your back from hyperextension, and start shrugging. Inhale as you lift, exhale through pursed lips as you lower your shoulder girdle. Keep your waist tight and make sure not to let all the air out.

“Do not carry the bar too high or too low on your back. Position your hands in a way that does not put undue stress on your wrists, elbows, or shoulders.

“Joseph Hise shrugged with a cambered bar that made the exercise easier on his joints. You can get one from IronMind.com; it is called the Buffalo Bar. If you do not have one you will be smart to dust off the bent old bar in the corner that no one in the gym wants to touch. And while I would never endorse squatting with a towel across your back you will definitely need some padding for the Hise shrug.

“Go get ‘em tiger! The traps to make an Olympic weightlifter take notice.

“Recommended sets & reps: 2 x 20-25.” Numerous photos included showing the exercise.


Beyond Bodybuilding” is 327 pages, 8.5 x 11, softbound, published by Dragon Door Publications, 2005, ISBN 0-938045-66-0, $49.95 list. B&W photos throughout, illustrations, charts, question & answer sections, a full complete index.

Pros
=======

Probably one of the top 5 best books relating to strength and bodybuilding training I’ve ever read. I find something new each time I flip through the pages, even after having the book for over 5 months now.

Buy, borrow, or steal -- then read -- this book!

Cons
=======

A small amount of Russian history, theories, personalities, and references, that I found no interest, or identity, in – but I guess you can’t fault Pavel for that entirely.

Advertised as a spiral bound book, but I received it as a regular softbound. It would have been nice to have been spiral bound, and been able to lay flat or flip over.

Links
=======

Dragondoor ordering: http://www.dragondoor.com/b31.html

Book index listing: http://www.dragondoor.com/b31_index.html

Trance


Table of Contents

Section One - Power Training

Mind Over Muscle: the 5x5x5 Program
The '3 to 5' Method: Strength Training for Special Weapons and Tactics Teams
Make a Quantum Strength Leap with 'Progressive Movement Training'
Hardgainer? - I'll Fix It.: A DeLorme Method Inspired Six Week Hypertrophy Cycle
'Fatigue Cycling': Another Secret of the Russian Bodybuilding Underground
The Russian Squat Assault
The Presence of Power and Three Super Squat Techniques to Develop It
Bench Press Training, the Russian National Powerlifting Team Style
'Holistic bodybuilding'? - No, power bodybuilding!
'Workout' or 'practice'?
Be strong, stay fresh
What does it mean, "training the nervous system'?
Is traditional power cycling obsolete?
A straightforward power cycle
A last minute peaking cycle
Power up with singles
Build might and muscle with the classic 'countdown to power'
Russian sets and reps for power
What do the Russians think of pyramids?
A PTP/ladder hybrid to jump start your bench
Moscow bench press champion's program
Wave the weights for power
'Interval circuit training' for power on a tight time budget
A simple power cycle
'The RKC Ladder': a shock program for shoulder strength and mass
Slow gear for strength
To pause or not to pause the deadlifts, that is the question
Light weights, hard deadlifts
Jurassic training revisited: building tendon and ligament strength
What are the 'high-tension techniques'?
High-tension techniques - not just for the gym
'Lifting the weight', 'feeling the muscle', or…?
Know your max without testing it?
Use your head for max power, muscle, and safety
'Active negatives' for power, muscle, and safety
Heavyweight advantage for the lean
Boost your bench… with shrugs!
Dumbell bench power
Squat big with bad knees?
'Dead squats' for power
Protect your back with a' virtual belt'
"Iron fundamentalism"?
Old-Timer training Q & A
Drills that drool, drills that rule
Free weights for beginners?
A no compromise home gym on a budget
Can single joint exercises build strength?

Section Two - Training Planning

Divide and Conquer: Designing the Perfect Split
Periodization Demystified
The upper body solution for 'high intensity' bodybuilders
Are lay-offs any good?
Planned vs. free style training
Twice-a-day training: the edge or overtraining?
The perfect split for the 'Strong as You Look' series
Why can the abs be trained daily and other muscles cannot?
Turning lemons into lemonade: overtraining for gains
Mathematics of muscle growth
Is varying exercise tempo worth the trouble?
Not satisfied with your rate of progress?
Variety for minimalists

Section Three - Back

Calling for Back-Up! (the 'Strong as You Look' Series)
Lats: the Secrets of the Russian Bodybuilding Underground
Is the deadlift the king of back exercises?
Don't feel your lats? - We'll fix it!
Spread your wings and max out on the pullup test with 'tactical pullups'
Are bent over rows overrated?
"Injury prevention by imperfection training
Solutions for a tight back
The McKenzie Method for a healthier back
How do the abs protect the back?
Is the trap bar better than the straight bar for deadlifts and shrugs?

Section Four - Legs

Legs of Steel (the 'Strong as You Look' series)
Hot Wheels by Summer!
Can you build good legs with plyometrics?
Training calves at home
Russian farmer walk for stubborn calves
Powerful legs without squats?
How deep is your squat?
High rep front squats?
A shortcut to perfect squats
"Squat, squat, squat
Shoulder friendly heavy squatting
No more bowing knees in the squat!
Heavy lifting, easy on the knees
Can you let your knees slip forward when squatting?`

Section Five - Neck & Shoulders

The old-timer neck bridge
The secret of Paul Anderson's powerful neck
Shoulder training on the twenty-rep squat routine
The Sots press: an extreme shoulder workout without an extreme weight
Build cannon ball delts yesterday with an old time strength feat
The shoulder friendly see-saw press
The neck and traps, the hallmarks of an elite athlete
Cannonball delts without direct delt work?
Sore shoulders no more
Lateral raises minus the headache
Alternatives to the press behind the neck Rotator cuff work, is it worth the trouble?
Seated presses for a touchy back?

Section Six - Arms

Armed and Dangerous (the 'Strong as You Look' Series)
The Top Ten Russian Arm Training Secrets
Russian powerlifting triceps blaster
Elbow friendly straight bar curls
Forearm specialization for the pipe masters
ClubbellsTM: for totally awesome forearms
Build huge biceps with… the bench press!
Are squats needed for big pipes?

Section Seven - Chest

A Chest to Stand a Glass on (The 'Strong as You Look' Series)
Old style pecs
"I don't want my pecs to look like breasts!
How to train for 'old-timer pecs'
Pecs without a bench
Having a hard time recruiting your pecs? - We'll fix it!
Powerlifting secret of pec power

Section Eight - Naked Warrior

Strong Anywhere, Anytime
with Bodyweight Exercises
The Russian Special Forces Ladder to Power
The Evil Russian's 'Hit the Deck'! Program
The NASA Pushup Program
Grip-ups, Spider-ups, and Pinch Grip Pushups
The Dragon Walk
Slow Kicks
The Lizard and 'Walk the Dog'
The Deck Squat
Russian Laundry
The Tiger Bend Pushup
Make bodyweight neck bridges harder
Gymnastic rings for bodybuilders
Jack La Lanne's pike pushup
Ace the Marine pullup test with 'the Russian rest/pause'
SWAT dips: safer and harder
The rolling neck bridge
Should you do weighted pullups to up your bodyweight pullups reps?
Superstrict pullups - the hard way

 
RichardC
*
Total Posts: 116
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
05-28-05 12:44 AM - Post#108742    



Thanks for the info, Trance! I've only read a handful of the articles...can't wait to read the entire book.
 
Over40
*
Total Posts: 31
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
05-28-05 09:16 AM - Post#108743    



I just bought some kettlebells, but didn't buy "Beyond Bodybuilding". Maybe I can get my wife to swing that one for Christmas. Although, after she finds out I bought kettlebells there's a good chance I'll get coal in my stocking.

Over40
"Not too low baby I might pass out..." Dean Martin


 
sam tsang
*
Total Posts: 2411
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
05-28-05 09:19 PM - Post#108744    



I find Pavel's work to be really good but a bit overpriced. His sense of humor is not everyone's cup of tea but i think he's quite funny.

Sam Tsang
 
Vicki
*
Total Posts: 8189
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
05-29-05 06:38 AM - Post#108745    



Quote:

sam tsang said:
I find Pavel's work to be really good but a bit overpriced. His sense of humor is not everyone's cup of tea but i think he's quite funny.Sam Tsang





After describing something very difficult, "Comrad, enjoy." Or "Pain is good, pain is very good." Two quotes from Pavel that make me laugh and inspire me.
 
jazzman
*
Total Posts: 223
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
05-29-05 07:24 PM - Post#108746    



After doing a seminar with Mike Mahler, I'm convinced that I took the right course of action. Mike stated at the seminar that it is difficult to understand the slight nuances to get each exercise correct and prevent injury. I would have had great potential for injury had I not learned by demonstration and someone observing my technics with the kettlebell...In other words I would spend the money on a seminar...

just my .02 worth.

* * * *

Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision
Muhammad Ali
Nat


 
Scott Shetler
*
Total Posts: 5
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
06-01-05 08:31 AM - Post#108747    



Trance,

Great review. I feel the same way about BB. It is a great book, and possibly one of Pavel's best. I still think one of the best things he ever put out was Superjoints, helped me out a ton. I really like a lot of what Pavel has brought to the Strength and Conditioning world. I don't agree with everything, but his stuff is great and I love his "simple" approach to things. Doesn't like to over complicate stuff. I had the pleasure of seeing his speak at Wake Forest University (along with Louie Simmons, Ethan Reeve, Gayle Hatch and Bud Charniga, what an awesome day that was!) and Pavel (along with Brett Jones and Jeff Martone) had a fantastic presentation. A LOT more than just how to work with KB's. Great stuff!

-Scott
"The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk... The Iron will always kick you the real deal. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go, but 200 pounds is always 200 pounds."-Henry Rollins


 
Steve Wedan
*
Total Posts: 2112
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
06-01-05 10:59 AM - Post#108748    



The spiral bound book was intended as a stop-gap before the perfect-bound book was printed. I, for one, am perfectly (so to speak) happy with the spiral bound copy I got. I was one of the first to order it -- for the higher price, too -- but Pavel's (and Dave's and a few others') products over-deliver. Beyond Bodybuilding, which I've mentioned before, is one of the best exercise books ever written/compiled.

Pavel himself is pretty cool, too. A few months ago, I bought a device intended to help a person do Janda situps. I wasn't getting the technique quite right, though, and I posted on the DragonDoor bulletin board a question about it: I wanted to get the technique down so that my hip flexors wouldn't overpower my rectus abs. Although my question was posed to everyone on the list, Pavel himself wrote me, asking me for my phone number so that he could call me. My schedule was crazy, but finally we got on the line together, and he spent ten or fifteen minutes with me, giving me the scoop.

I happened to tell him that I was going to be at the Arnold, and he told me that he'd make his instructions about the device clearer in person. I agreed, and after watching him work with Dorian Yates, who was trying to learn how to clean a KB, Pavel spent another ten minutes with me, teaching me the Janda situp technique.

Yes, he has fully embraced the Western philosophy of capitalism with a vengeance (like perestroika on steroids, in fact), but I will not fault him. To bend his own phrase, power to him! I can only hope to be half as successful serving people so well.

Steve


 
Laree
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Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
06-01-05 11:11 AM - Post#108749    



Pavel's been terrific to us also. I really like him a lot.

About the cost of his products, I generally agree with the above comments, but don't forget he's got a producer/publisher who handles these details. Pavel's got a day job after all.


 
Steve Wedan
*
Total Posts: 2112
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
06-01-05 11:18 AM - Post#108750    



On the other hand, the pricing of BB was first set by Pavel, and John Du Cane bowed to the pressure. Only after a flurry of protests by customers did Pavel agree to lower the price. He thought it would be a niche-interest thing, as opposed to appealling to the huge audience that is embracing it. That's the story according to John, anyway.

I hope it's obvious that I don't mean to denigrate.

Steve


 
Steven
*
Total Posts: 2063
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
06-01-05 11:22 AM - Post#108751    



Quote:

Steve Wedan said:


Pavel himself is pretty cool, too. A few months ago, I bought a device intended to help a person do Janda situps. I wasn't getting the technique quite right, though, and I posted on the DragonDoor bulletin board a question about it: I wanted to get the technique down so that my hip flexors wouldn't overpower my rectus abs. Although my question was posed to everyone on the list, Pavel himself wrote me, asking me for my phone number so that he could call me. My schedule was crazy, but finally we got on the line together, and he spent ten or fifteen minutes with me, giving me the scoop.



Steve



I've been interested in this device as well.
Clarence Bass talks about his experience with it here.


 
Scott Shetler
*
Total Posts: 5
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
06-01-05 11:32 AM - Post#108752    



Quote:

Laree said:
Pavel's been terrific to us also. I really like him a lot.

About the cost of his products, I generally agree with the above comments, but don't forget he's got a producer/publisher who handles these details. Pavel's got a day job after all.




While I do think some books tend to be a bit on the pricy side, if the info is good and you can get something out of it then right on. People pay a lot more sometimes on some "hack trainers" in gyms and end up learning nothing. With the info contained in BB I didn't think the original price of $99 was all that bad and for $49 it is a heck of a deal in my opinion.

Good stuff!

-Scott
"The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk... The Iron will always kick you the real deal. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go, but 200 pounds is always 200 pounds."-Henry Rollins


 
Steve Wedan
*
Total Posts: 2112
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
06-01-05 11:58 AM - Post#108753    



That's a good description of the learning process, although Clarence is using the older version of the device.

Steve


 
sam tsang
*
Total Posts: 2411
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
06-01-05 12:54 PM - Post#108754    



So Laree, out of curiosity, what is Pavel's day job? He's definitely a strong son of a gun for such a wiry frame.

Sam Tsang
 
Laree
*
Total Posts: 25989
info_have_been_training_since: 12-31-79
Real Email Address: ld@davedraper.com
Primary Training Purpose: Fitness and strength beats aging badly
Primary Training Style: Kettlebells and gym full body, structural rehab
(Rhymes with Marie)
Homepage: davedraper.com
Bio: Here's our IronOnline Facebook Group.

Befriend me on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/people/Laree-Draper/5 71615665

Join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/lareedraper

Full name: Laree Draper
Gender: female
Show User Page
(Blog, Gallery, Shoutbox & Buddies etc...): No

Last Login IP: 172.71.154.64
Last Online: 12-06-22
User ID: 3
Login Name: ldraper
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Occupation: Website work
Re: Book Review: "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel
06-01-05 07:46 PM - Post#108755    



He sets up training for the special forces. I'm not sure of the details other than that, tho.


 
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