Pavel Tsatsouline

Dragon Door Pavel Tsatsouline
Pavel Tsatsouline is rated 4.5/5 by Vincent Belegaud
Written by Vincent Belegaud

Pavel Tsatsouline ( is the reason why the traditional Russian fitness tool, the kettlebell, is extremely popular nowadays. Pavel Tsatsouline’s 2001 publication of The Russian Kettlebell Challenge and his manufacture of the first traditional Russian kettlebell in modern America was the first catalyst that have bought the kettlebell craze over to the Americans shores.

The “Evil Russian”, as he was also known, was born in 1969, in Minsk, USSR. He was a former physical trainer and drill instructor with the Spetsnaz, the Soviet special forces. Pavel was also a nationally ranked kettlebell lifter in the USSR. Pavel Tsatsouline is now an American.

Born to a ballerina, his power is well complemented with grace. Lean and wiry, 6 feet 2 inches tall and a lean 187 pounds, you couldn’t find a better advertisement or testament to the fitness program he advocates.


Pavel first became known in 1998 when his article, Vodka, Pickle Juice, Kettlebell Lifting, and Other Russian Pastimes was published in MILO: A Journal For Serious Strength Athletes, a quarterly journal dedicated to strength sport. The article was well received by the fitness community.

Encouraged by Pavel’s work and his charismatic personality, Pavel’s publisher John DuCane took a leap of faith to work with Pavel to popularize kettlebell. It might seem like a no brainer now, but back then, kettlebell was relatively unknown in America. In 2001, Dragon Door published Pavel’s The Russian Kettlebell Challenge and forged the first US made Russian style cast iron kettlebell. Later that year, Pavel was voted a “Hot Trainer” by the Rollings Stones magazine.

Dragon Door

dragon door
Dragon Door

Dragon Door ( is a website and publishing company generally focused kettlebells, strength, conditioning, flexibility and advanced fitness resources.Dragon Door is also the publisher for Pavel’s work. Due to the fact that it was the first company to popularize the kettlebell, and also having Pavel Tsatsouline in its stable, Dragon Door have become the most popular company in it’s field. They also have one of the most active online forum around.

Enter The Kettlebell

enter the kettlebell
Enter The Kettlebell

Enter The Kettlebell, one of Pavel’s best work, is considered to be the must have guide for anyone wanting to get into the kettlebell world. It covers all the basics and everything you need to start:

  • the prep exercises to condition your body for kettlebell exercises
  • detailed descriptions of fundamentals kettlebell exercises and the reason behind it
  • how to increase flexibility required for kettlebell exercises
  • what to do and, more importantly, what not to do

If you’re interested in kettlebell training, getting your fundamentals right is absolutely vital – you’d be hard pressed to find a better guide than this.

Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certification, RKC™

Pavel’s RKC is a workshop offering certification to become a Certified Russian Kettlebell Trainer. With the kettlebells growing popularity as the exercise tool for the professional athlete or simply average joe – there’s a rising demand for highly skilled and competent kettlebell instructors.

The RKC has become the industry standard for kettlebell certification. Most of the kettlebell instructor in the United States have participated in the course. RKC is known as a highly demanding course, mentally and physically with 25-30% failure rate on average.

Besides RKC, Dragon Door also have other workshops:

Bodyweight Workout & Flexibility

Pavel have released quite a few books & videos that. Some of them were released prior to the Dragon Door & Kettlebell years. Due to his unique school of thought, his work have generated quite a stir in the fitness world, particularly the bodybuilding & MMA. Among them are:

Dr. Randall Strossen, one of the most respected names in the strength world, has this to say about Pavel Tsatsouline “…Pavel Tsatsouline will always reign as the modern king of kettlebells since it was he who popularized them to the point where you could almost found a country filled with his converts…”