T Nation


I am thinking about buying a kettlebell. If you have one, please give me your thoughts on them.

I have a 16kg kbell from Dragondoor. It’s awesome, I love it! Definitely a worthwhile purchase. It’s great for a variety of exercises.

I’d start with the lightest one. There’s a fair amount of technique needed, and it takes awhile to get the hang of it.

I’ve been using a 1 pood (16kg)kettlebell for two weeks now and it kicks my ass, especially doing high rep snatches and cleans. Definitely start with the lightest bell. I also have a 1.5 pood KB (24kg), that I use for presses and low rep cleans and snatches, but I would start with the lightest one.

Just a thought. IronMind sells kettleball handles for $85 a pair. I’ve never used them but they seem to be a more affordable & scalable way to go.

I will probably buy a 8 kg bell.
what exercises do you use them for besides swings and snatches?

What’s the difference between using a kettlebell and a regular dumbell? Is there some advantage to using the k-bell?

The problem with the Kettlebell handles from Ironmind is since they’re really long, they can smash your elbow joints. I would stick with the original and get them from dragondoor. It’s probably best to start off with a 16 kg kettlebell, because the lighter ones may be too light for you (but then again, I don’t know for sure). I have a 16 kg kettlebell, and after training 3 months with it, I wanted a heavier one. They are really fun to play with, and you get a good workout.
After doing 40 1 arm snatches for both arms, all my friends told me how good I looked the next day. Make sure you get Pavel’s video when you order the kettlebell. That way you can get started on your workouts. Have fun, and let me know how it goes.

Besides swings and snatches, you can use the kbell for cleans, jerks, push presses, curls, triceps extensions, military presses, side bends, side press, bent press, windmills, pullovers, floor presses (if you have two kbells), under the leg pass (ab exercise), bent-over rows, overhead squats, deadlifts, or as weight for dips and chins. There are more exercises listed in Pavel’s kbell book and the video. I have both the book and video, and highly recommend them both. If you only get one, get the video. It will show you proper form on the exercises.

As for the advantage of a kbell over a dumbbell, when doing many dynamic exercises (snatches, cleans and even curls), the kbell is harder to use which requires you to use more muscle (this is especially true with curls). Also, the thicker handle works your grip well. And kbells move the correct way when doing snatches and cleans. Try doing cleans with a dumbbell, then try a kbell, and you will see how much better the kbell works.

Nice option, but no better than dumbbells. Different, but not better. Sure, there are things you can do with KBs that you can’t do or can’t do well with DBs, but the reverse is also true. Mostly it’s just something “new” and fun and adds variety and novelty. I won’t say it’s a gimmick, but some do use it in a “gimicky” way. I think some people try to convince buyers that KBs are the missing ingredient and will somehow work wonders that DBs won’t. Yet no pro-bodybuilder ever uses them. Bad example, I know, but the point is there are a lot of great physiques and athletes out there that never use KBs. There’s nothing magic about them and the novelty will wear off for most after a while. Yes, I’d like to have a set, but they wouldn’t replace bars and DBs. Right now I don’t see them being valuable enough to spend the money.

I think that Kettlebells are awesome and I was recntly certified in Kettlebell training by Pavel a few weeks ago. Kettlebells are much harder to handle than dumbbells and when you get good at doing snatches with a KB, a dumbell with the same weight and more will literally fly overhead. I used a fractionalplates.com KB handle for several months and it worked well and is a viable option. However, I prefer the DD kettlebells as they feel much better and do not bang against your forearms as much.

Mike Mahler

I think you will enjoy working with k-bells. There are quite different that working with dumbells. Besides giving a wider spectrum of exercises it may also have you approach you training differently. In faith, Coach Davies

I’ve been utilizing kettlebell type exercises with a dumbell as a workout one or 2 days out of the week. Interestingly enough after following some of Coach Davies workouts for about 6 months or so I finally realized I had been screwing up the kettlebell portion of the workout as I had been doing each kettlebell portion with zero rest between exercises and only a brief 30-45 second rest between circuits. No wonder I always dreaded that portion of the workout!! Going through a kettlebell circuit without rest while incorporating exercises such as high rep swings, snatches, etc. has got to be the most hardcore, puke inducing, torturous workout I’ve ever done and will definitely push the anaerobic threshold wayyyyyy back. I’d highly recommend the workouts to especially any combat type fighters (wrestlers, ju-jitsu, etc, or anyone who just desires awesome conditioning and explosive strength endurance) To those that are familiar can youll describe or point me to some descriptions of the windmill exercise?

kellyb, I thought you were SUPPOSED to do each KB circuit without resting, except for the 45 seconds between each circuit. Did you get different information from coach?

kellyb, the k-bell circuits in Coach Davies’s workouts are nothing more than a warmup. Only use a light weight here; there should be no fatigue. Going heavy on these screws up the rest of the workout, and resting between sets makes it into a 35 minute “warmup” - a bit excessive, don’t you think? After screwing up a few workouts in week 1 like you did, I asked Coach Davies, and he explained all this to me, and added that the main purpose of these is just hip speed and stretching the hip flexors.

I’m just curious, how did you get any benefit from doing the program like this? After doing the same thing a couple times, I couldn’t lift shit in the rest of the workout. Man, that really sucks to find out that you were doing the program wrong over halfway through, after spending some big money on it too. Don’t worry though; if you line Coach Davies wallet with money, he’ll have workouts for you for several more years. Despite the dent it puts in my wallet, Coach D’s programs are so awesome that I intend to continue on after the first 8 weeks end. Good luck with your renegade training.

actually they were part of the workouts coach davies was posting on t-mag during the summer. i asked him about the rests and he said 30-45 seconds between sets and not circuits. It was a handful at first but I got quite used to it soon enough.

I suppose I should have addressed this to anyone using my programs but given your comments I felt it appropriate to note it to you. Anytime you purchase a program from me I ask you to please contact me to discuss all aspects of training, so that there isn’t any confusion and WE are both completely aware of short and long-term goals as well as the method to attack it. If you have a chance, please contact me and we can review any concerns. In faith, Coach Davies

RD, did you actually have the ironmind kbell smash into your elbow? It seems to me that if you clamp the standard barbell plates half way or more down the bar, the plate edges will land on the meaty part of your forearm and not your elbow.