T Nation

Adjustable Kettlebell Handles

Have any of you used the different types of adjustable kettlebell handles? How do they compare to the real thing? What is the maximum loaded weight that you can use? Where did you get them and how much were they?

I purchased the Piedmont design (fracionalplates.com) OV compact adjustable model and have been quite pleased with it. Cleaining the KB inevitably bruises the hell out of my outer bicep and I have avoided this movement because of it. I mainly perform snatches with the KB and find it gives me an incredible workout. When other companies get in the KB game and the price goes down I will probably get some fixed KBs (I don’t think Pavel or Dragondoor has a copyright on them). I read on a past thread (from Mike Mahler) that watching Pavel’s instructional video on KBs was very helpful-I bought it and found his advice to be sound. I actually haven’t loaded my KB to capacity but I believe it will go up to about 80lbs. I’ll do this tomorrow and let you know. All told it ran me about $110 and I think it was well worth it.

Thanks DaveF! The adjustable kettlebells at fractionalplates.com were the ones I had my eyes on. Did you get the standard plate or olympic plate model? Rotating handle or fixed handle? I’m looking into the olympic plate model (only has fixed handle) only because I have easy access to oly plates.

As a side note, I emailed Mike Mahler with this question and he said that the real kettlebells from dragondoor were much better.

Overall though, I like the idea of the adjustable kettlebells and would like to hear more from others who have used them and also more details about your set DaveF.

Jason, I believe that Ironmind (.com) also sells plate-loaded kettlebell handles, but am not sure of their capacity. Overall though, Ironmind have excellent products designed to be used by the strongest men in the world…so perhaps they’ll measure up to your standard!

Any thoughts from anybody? If you have not checked out this site already, they are pretty cool and can customize any equipment for you. www.fractionalplates.com/equipment.html

Jason, if you haven’t read it yet, here’s a link to a discussion on the pros and cons of various kettlebell designs:
http://www.fractionalplates.com/ equipment/kettlebellprimer.html

fwiw, I'd go with the standard instead of the Oly kbell because most Oly plates are lipped and you can't pack as much weight onto the loading bar. You get a higher packing density with the pancake standard plates.

I ordered the 1 3/8" grip (fixed handle), polished steel model OV with the Nutbuster (hehe) collars. I figured that by loading it (center loaded) with the same sized plates (5 or 10lbs) I could imitate the solid KBs. I originally ordered the 1’ handle but was promply given advice from the company that the 1 3/8" handle was greatly preferred by most of their customers. You really have to take into consideration what part of the KB is going to contact your forearm (snatches) or upper arm (cleans). If the area hitting your body has a small surface area it will do damage ie. you want a larger surface area to dissipate the impact. I think I have permanent bruises from where mine hit doing cleans. I wouldn’t get the rotating handle ones as this would probably increase the velocity with which the KB will hit you. I find gripping the KB hard on my snatches slows the “flipping over” and softens the blow to my forearm. Also proper form will decrease the ballistic impact. If you have any further qns about the model you want, I would email the folks at Piedmont Designs-they are friendly and very knowledgeable.

Thanks Guys! I’ve been camping all weekend, so I did not get a chance to reply sooner. Your suggestions are very good and many of the points you have brought up are extremely helpful. I’m leaning towards the OV model with the 1-3/8 handle, but I’ll have to talk with Coach Davies before I make the final choice. BTW, I’ve read the kettlebell primer (Ouster’s link) and it is a very good piece of writing. I’ll let you guys know what I decide.

I was discussing kettlebell design with a Pavel disciple some months ago and remembered something from our talk about the OV model that you might want to consider. If you aren’t using enough weight to pack the loading bar completely, you’re going to need an extra pair of GINCs or a bunch of spacers to lock the plates in position.

Ouster is right-my KB came with inner collars to secure the wts.