T Nation

I Want To Get Kettlebells


#1

Hey guys. I am graduating from college and just got a job down in DC. I wanted to be able to workout in my apartment and not have to go to a gym. As a result I thought getting some kettlebells would be a great idea. I am currently 150lbs at 5'8''. I want to gain about 10lbs more to fill out and get in really good shape in terms of stregnth and cardio, as well as get a bit bigger.

I am not sure what weight or how many kettlebells I need to get. My max BP is 190lbs, I can clean about 115lbs for 5 sets of 3, I can deadlift 235lbs for 2. What kettlebell weights would you suggest that I get?

Also I know on Pavel's website that he has various books for sale, what do I need to get to start using kettlebells.


#3

Based on those numbers you should probably start with the 16 kg (36 lb.) KB and move up from there. You'll always have use for a lighter KB in the future. Start with one to see if you like it - you may decide you hate KBs and that's fine.

After that you have many options in terms of cast KBs, adjustable KBs, and so forth. I actually prefer doing clean and jerks with 2 KBs as opposed to a barbell. I currently own 6 KBs (5 "adult" ones and one is a little 10 pounder I bought for my kid) and 1 Kettlestack handle - a very good product.

As far as instruction, I don't think the book does the best job of showing the technique for the snatch. I was lucky in that I had taught myself the Olympic lifts and was able to apply that knowledge to KBs. I then met up with some local KBers who taught me how not to bang up my forearm on the snatch. So, I never needed the DVD to learn the technique, but that might be your best option. I've never seen the DVD so I can't comment on its quality. It's not that the technique is hard to learn - if you can power clean you already know about 90% of what you need to clean and snatch a KB - but it's important to learn to not bang up your forearms. Once you're able to do high rep snatches with the 70 lb KB, this will become really important. They're lots of fun and addictive.

For some really inexpensive KBs try Everything Track and Field - about half the price of Dragon Door.

http://www.everythingtrackandfield.com/detail.aspx_Q_ID_E_4277_A_CategoryID_E_292


#4

General reccomendations:

At your strength levels, get the 52 lber if you can only afford one. You'll outgrow the 36 lber quickly. As for getting them over time, get a 52, then 36, then 72, then do it over again.

I've never used kettlestacks or other similar products, but a few of them have been t-jacked so read the reviews and draw your own conclusions.

Get the RKBC dvd over the book if you must make the choice. I'm not sure either is really needed considering how much info is available online about KB training these days.

Good luck.


#5

Normally I would recommend getting the 24 kg/52 lb. KB, but given the numbers posted (235 DL, 115 power clean for 5x3) the 24 kg might be a bit too much. Although I do agree that with a few months it will become light. However, the object of KB lifting is strength-endurance, so the goal is to do more total reps. As you get proficient and buy heavier KBs, you can use the lighter ones for drop sets - very exhausting and effective.


#6

www.detroitbarbell.com has "loadable" kettlebells which are great for moving up in weight.

Have fun with them! I have both "kinds" of kettlebells. I like the dragondoor style because of the handles but I love the versatility of the loadable ones.

Good luck!


#7

If I order from the internet then I have to pay huge shipping costs. Is anyone familiar with stores that carry kettlebells?


#8

I like my kettlebells from Dragon Door. They have thick handles and won't rust. Mike Mahler has a great Kettlebell DVD at his site.

I have all sizes so my wife and kids can use them too. Man, I could go on forever about how great kettlebells are, especially if you are into the fighting arts.

good luck


#9

No, but have you thought about adjustable? There are pros and cons. One of the pros is low shipping costs. Here's a snip from an upcoming article where I review some Ironwoodyfitness.com adjustable Kettle Grips:

Advantages:

  • Adjustable. (Duh!) The standard Kettle Grip model I tested can go from 2 pounds to 52 pounds. The Super Kettle Grip can be loaded up to 93 pounds.

  • Much less expensive than a solid kettlebell, and you only need to buy two adjustable kettlebells at the most. Also less expensive to ship. Ever look at the shipping cost of a solid kettlebell? Ouch. You could ship Russian brides for cheaper than that.

  • Take up less room. Easier to transport, if your gym provides standard plates.

Disadvantages:

  • Because the plates will roll, you can't do push-up exercises on them like you can with most standard kettlebells. Also, tossing and juggling adjustable kettlebells isn't recommended.

  • You have to provide your own standard (one inch hole) plates.

  • Although I found that I could switch loads on the Kettle Stack quickly, it's of course slower than just picking up another kettlebell of a different weight.

  • Some exercises can be a little more uncomfortable with adjustable kettlebells because the plates create edges, unlike the bowling ball style solid 'bells.


#10

There are none, unfortunately. Your best bet would be a Kettlestack - the base model costs about $60 and it's light so shipping is only $5. You add your own weight plates to make any-sized KB you wish. I was a hardcore cast KB user but I bought one just to see what it was like. I think it's a great product.

However, you'll want to really get the technique down if you use one. Because the handle uses weight plates, you'll never get a completely smooth surface like you would with a cast KB. This means that if you have poor technique you'll be banging up your forearms pretty good. But given how much money you'll save, it's a minor issue. I don't mean to scare you with the forearm banging thing because good technique cures all. When I first bought my 52 lb. KB and didn't know what to do I had big bruises on my forearms. Recently, I've snatched the 70 lb. KB for over 10 reps and didn't feel a thing - really.


#11

My understanding about Everything Track and Field is that it's 7.50/order for S&H up to a certain point and then it becomes 10% of the order. The KBs there are less expensive than Dragon Door and the shipping isn't bad at all.
At least that's what I've read so far on this.

Matt


#12

Also, check out www.uskettlebells.com I have one from them and it is a good product. total is $200 bucks, including shipping, but then you can go from 36 lbs to 72 lbs, a total of 9 different increments.


#13

I will defintly have to weigh the odds. If I decide to get regular kettlebells is dragondoor the place to go? I am more than willing to spend extra money on a good kettlebell, because I figure I will have them for years to come, so I want to make a good investment. What differentiates dragondoor kettlebells from other kettlebells on the market?


#14

Check this out for a couple of "homemade kettlebells" if you want to try it out first and already have the plates.

Says ~$12 for that second plan (scroll down to the bottom).

http://www.kettlebell.tv/homemadekb.html

Matthew