- Joe Pavel

Pavel Fitness 

Join the Golden Age of Kettlebells

Joe Pavel, founder of Pavel Fitness, LLC, believes that much as bodybuilding had its golden age back in the fifties and sixties, the kettlebell golden age is happening right now. Don’t be left behind, become part of the kettlebell phenomenon. Joe employs an honest, fun, tough-love approach with all of his clients and believes that through the power of positive thinking and visioning, together, we can achieve more than you ever dreamed possible. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, your right either way.”

I’m constantly researching: Anatomy, Physiology, Exercise Science, Motivation, Psychology and always inventing new combinations of exercises.


Lifelong Weight Training

Joe has been training with weights since he was 12, when he bought his first combination barbell; dumbbell set. Following the exercises recommended by 1959 Mr. Universe Bruce Randall, Joe’s strength and muscularity soon took off. When the movie “Pumping Iron” came out, it only added fuel to the fire. What kid didn’t want to be like Arnold?

Kettlebells: Outstanding Results

Fast forward to 2002; enter the Evil Russian, Pavel Tsatsouline and his first book “Power to the People.” In it he recommended just 2 exercises for 2 sets each, done 5 days a week. This was totally against the “once a week” split routines in vogue at the time. But, the results were outstanding! Curiosity was peaked. Through further research Joe found out about Mr. Tsatsouline and the Russian Kettlebell Challenge. In February 2004 Joe ordered a classic set of kettle bells, the Russian Kettlebell Challenge DVD and book. He commenced “taming the iron.” In June 2004, Joe became Russian Kettlebell Certified in a grueling 3-day challenge.

Kettlebells for Warriors

In an effort to learn more advanced techniques for use with warriors in the military, police, firefighting, martial arts, grappling and tactical communities, Joe has completed the 1st ever “Level 2” Kettlebells for Combat Applications. I’ve also been through the RKC Personal Training Specialist Challenge in June 2006.


    • November 2009- Repeated I-Phase to learn more Integration protocols.
    • October 2009- Flew to Phoenix, AZ for T-Phase certification. AWESOME!!!
    • September 2009- Repeated R-Phase certification to rediscover injury Rehabilitation, neural Re-education and mobility Restoration
    •   RKC Assistant Instructor- Team Horton. April 17th- 19th, 2009. Used my knowledge of Z-Health to design and implement a Snatch Test specific warm-up so that everyone in our group passed the test with flying colors!
    •  RKC Assistant Instructor- Team Horton. April 17th- 19th, 2009. Used my knowledge of Z-Health to design and implement a Snatch Test specific warm-up so that everyone in our group passed the test with flying colors!
    • August 24th, 2008 completed Z-Health I-Phase certification.
    • June 1st, 2008 certified as a Z-Health R-Phase Instructor.
    • RKC Assistant instructor-Team Holder. June 8th – 10th, 2007.
    • Saturday, March 3rd, 2007 Tactical Strength Challenge- 1st Place, Minnesota- Men’s Elite Division- Deadlift-425 pounds; Pull-ups-10 with 23 pounds attached to the waist; Snatch- 77 reps with a 32kg kettlebell.
    • Friday, November 10th, 2006… Brought group kettlebells classes to DOC’S Gym. Doc’s is an Olympic Judo and B.J.J. training center in N. Minneapolis.
    • Featured in The September 12th, 2006 Star Tribune article For Whom the Bell Swings
    • Featured on Kare 11- Perk at Play. Perk “meets” the Beast.
    • RKC- Assistant Instructor- Team Cotter. We also had a record 240 people lifting kettlebells simultaneously on Sunday because of the media coverage in the Star Tribune and on Kare 11 TV… September 2006
    • Appointed Merit Badge Fitness counselor for the local Boy Scout Troop…September 2006
    • RKC Level II-Personal Training Specialist…June 2006
    • Tuesday, April 18th, 2006…1st to bring kettlebell classes to the St. Paul Police Department.
    • RKC Level II-Kettlebells for Combat Applications… June 2005
    • RKC- Certified instructor…June 2004 to groups and individuals
    • ACE-American Council on Exercise…Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist.
    • NDEITA-National Fitness Professional Training Association…Certified Personal Trainer.
    • Community Education…Boot Camp Express Instructor.
    • Cub Scout Leader… Promoting Exercise for Life Program.
    • US Army…Member of the 1989 Tug- o- War Championship Team, Fort Davis, Panama .
    • US Army…Achieved Perfect 300 score in his 1988 Physical Fitness Test.

My Training Philosophy:
Simple. Brief. Frequent. 


Patient and Positive

I was very lucky to have Joe as one on my instructors for the June RKC. He was so patient and took time with each person to make sure everyone had the appropriate form and felt comfortable with each move. He has a tremendous amount of knowledge and a very positive attitude. He is a great teacher!

Jenny Rossilli – RKC - Livingston, NJ

Great Teacher!

Joe was one of my instructors at the June 2007 RKC. He was very helpful in refining techniques. I think Joe’s best quality is knowing what not to say; many instructors make things too complicated with way too many instructions, but Joe is straight to the point. Great teacher!

Nate Black – RKC - Cleveland,OH

Joe Knows His Stuff

I’ve been working with Joe over the past year and I want to tell you he knows his stuff. Not only is he a great trainer, he lives it, as evidenced by staying ripped year round (at age 43) and continuing to push the upper echelon in the kettlebell strength circles..188 snatch reps, TGUs with the Beast etc. and of course juggling with the Beast as well!

Joe has a way of bringing out the best in you without any pretenses or intimidation. He not only has the patience (he has a wife and 2 kids!) but also the persistence to get you to the next level. I would highly recommend him – Joe is the real deal!

Brad Ellingson – CSCS, Top Notch Personal Training - Maple Grove MN

Blog Posts

Z-Health 4 High Payoff Drills

These are what’s called the Z-Health “4 High Payoff Drills.” I teach a two hour class on just these four exercises, their  variations and the neurology behind the exercises. Master just these four exercises to move better and feel better. Contact: Joe Pavel, joe@pavelfitness.com

Cardio: Is not…

Cardio is not jumping out of an airplane.   Cardio is not lifting weights faster.                   Cardio is not tensing your muscles.   Cardio Is Running.   Cardio Is Rowing.   Cardio Is Cycling. Legs moving, lungs expanding. Just because your heart rate is up doesn’t mean(…)

RDL, EZ Curl, Reverse Grip Press

Here’s my E Z curl bar in action: Take a regular palms-up grip on the bar. Perform a Romanian Dead lift, or as we used to call them a Stiff-Legged Dead lift. I keep a slight “variable” bend in my knees. The “variable” knee bend allows you to keep your knees slightly bent and moving while(…)

E Z Curls

Have you ever felt like you just ran into a wall? Ever felt like you can’t possibly keep going?

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