T Nation

What Weight Kettlebell?

Kettlebells are on my list for a Christmas exclusively of training gear. However having not used them before (train at home so no gym access) can anyone suggest what weight to go for. I’m going to buy Pavel’s warrior book and follow his ideas, so I want to obviouly get the maximum size I can before it’s too heavy to use efficiently.

If general max strength levels can be used as a guide;

Squat @180kg
Bench @130kg
Dead @200kg

Cheers

Even with pretty good numbers like you have, I think a 53# KB would be a good place to start. Maybe two of them, for clean and jerks, two-handed swings, etc. Moving a heavy kettlebell around is no joke if you’re not used to it, and I’ve heard of some very strong guys who manage a great workout using just a 35.

Only buy 1 and see if it is too heavy or light. After you figure out that then buy another one at a different weight and reassess; then maybe – MAYBE! – buy a second one. They are just way too expensive to buy 2 at a time, as far as my money is concerned.

Luckily my guy has them and I was able to determine quite quickly that 35 lbs was too light and 53 was too heavy for my beginner routines. I am not going to buy one until I get conditioned enough to use a 53 lber.

I love KBs just because they are awesome for training unilateral movements which does not require 2 KBs.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Only buy 1 and see if it is too heavy or light. After you figure out that then buy another one at a different weight and reassess; then maybe – MAYBE! – buy a second one. They are just way too expensive to buy 2 at a time, as far as my money is concerned.

Luckily my guy has them and I was able to determine quite quickly that 35 lbs was too light and 53 was too heavy for my beginner routines. I am not going to buy one until I get conditioned enough to use a 53 lber.

I love KBs just because they are awesome for training unilateral movements which does not require 2 KBs.[/quote]

-Yeah, very true, brought up some things I didn’t think about. OP, can you try out kettlebells at a gym, friend’s place, or a store to see what feels right?

How fucking awesome is this

http://www.kettlebells.com.au/store/adjustable-kettlebell.html

[quote]tassietaekwon wrote:
How fucking awesome is this

http://www.kettlebells.com.au/store/adjustable-kettlebell.html

[/quote]

Not awesome at all, if you ask me. They charge $260,- for that thing.
That’s ridiculous. Quite frankly, you can get a whole lot of kettlebells for that kind of money if you take your time and look out for a good offer.

I don’t think it’s that ridiculous at all, you are getting a whole lot of kettlebells for that money, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, 36 and 40kg.

To buy them singularly from the same site would cost $845, with similar prices on dragondoor, australiankettlebells.com.au, ironwoody and down at my local sports store. So, ok, you have to adjust the weight, which apparently is pretty simple, but it mights be a pain, say, if you’re trying to do complexes or something, but then, when doing complexes with a BB most people don’t change weight…so…I dunno. For supersets it would be a pain.

You might be able to find a better deal online somewhere. But then, remember, to get the same set of it would cost you for 208kg’s of shipping, rather than 40kg. Here in Aus that means about 3x as much.

If you happen to live in a city where there are multiple retailers selling kb’s, then great! If you can find a set for less than $250, then that’s great too. If you don’t need (won’t use) such a wide range of weights, then you can pay less to get just the couple that you will use. (although on the aforementioned sites a single 40kg kb costs around $130)

I didn’t really pay that much attention to the price, I was talking more about the concept being awesome, but still, I think it represents decent value for money.

Ironwoody also have “kettlegrips”, which I’m disappointed to see only has the capacity to take 1inch hole plates, and I assume that most people only have the (close to) 2inch hole olympic plates. Still, buying a bunch of 1inch hole plates from Kmart or Walmart of whatever is probably going to end up a fair bit cheaper. Sure, they don’t look as nice a real kb, but the effect would be the same.

http://www.mbodystrength.com/kettlebells.html

Some of the better deals I’ve seen.

Those prices are ok, not great, though.

Now I know this isn’t going to work out for most of you guys (living in the US and stuff), but check out www.gorillasports.de (more precisely, http://www.gorillasports.de/Gewichte/Kettlebells:::9_17.html ), you get a 28 for under â?¬45,- there. Do the math, that’s just below â?¬2,-/kg. Also, as a regular customer, you get 15% - 25% off, as a bonus.

Lately, they’ve been reducing their offer, eliminating everything over 28kg. This sucks. Luckily, I bought my heavier weights (32kg) before the stock change.

[quote]bigquig wrote:
Even with pretty good numbers like you have, I think a 53# KB would be a good place to start. Maybe two of them, for clean and jerks, two-handed swings, etc. Moving a heavy kettlebell around is no joke if you’re not used to it, and I’ve heard of some very strong guys who manage a great workout using just a 35.[/quote]

I agree, maybe a 53 pounder/ 24kg, or 35 pounder/16kg. Check out dragondoor.com, and read some of the info on kettlebells and the will guide you in the right direction. you can also order hardstyle a catalog of some of the items they sell on the site. in the part were they discuss kettlebell sizes and were to start i think you would do well to go with the 53lb.

Get a Dragon Door. They’re the best brand I’ve tried. You can find an RKC in your area and buy them there without having to pay shipping if you’re lucky.

I’d recommend starting with a 16 kg. But you’re strong enough that it wouldn’t be a big deal to start with a 24 kg.

I’d also shy away from adjustable. Part of the reason why cast-iron is the best is because the weight is evenly distributed within the 'bell. Also, they’re durable. It’s often necessary to drop a kettlebell, and I confident when I’m using a solid 'bell.

I found the learning curve with Kettlebells to be fairly steep, getting the technique down. Once you get the swing under control with a light weight, you progress to heavier weights fairly quickly, Thats what I found anyway.

I started with a 16kg, within 2 weeks I was using a 32kg, not the same rep scheme but you see where I am going. I had every weight between 16 and 40 kg, now I just use a 20kg for a warm up complex, I like the Gym jones one personally, or tabata conditioning, double 32kgs and a 40kg kettlebell. They are challenging enough at the moment, as I got some great exercises by Steve Cotter off youtube.

I dont use them exclusively, They are just a tool, it’s just my opinion, I’m not saying it’s right.

[quote]evo2008 wrote:
Kettlebells are on my list for a Christmas exclusively of training gear. However having not used them before (train at home so no gym access) can anyone suggest what weight to go for. I’m going to buy Pavel’s warrior book and follow his ideas, so I want to obviouly get the maximum size I can before it’s too heavy to use efficiently.

If general max strength levels can be used as a guide;

Squat @180kg
Bench @130kg
Dead @200kg

Cheers[/quote]
don’t know if you bought this yet but pavel’s naked warrior book isn’t kettlebells. if you mean kenneth jay’s viking warrior conditioning then that’s fine, but you will need a 16k for that and some experience. pavel’s all round best kettlebell book is enter the kettlebell, and you could start with a 24k for that one. don’t worry about doubles until you have gained some experience.
hope this helps.

Evo, our strength is about the same and I just got 2 30lb kb’s. They’re not “heavy”, but right now I just use 'em for conditioning twice a week and they’re more than good. Once my fitness level increases I’ll probably jump to the 50’s. I use 'em more for active recovery and conditioning though, so you should adjust depending on your goals.

Would you ask anyone what a good starting weight is if you were thinking about buying a couple dumbbells? It depends on what the hell you’re going to do with the things. I’m sure you could find uses for any size kettlebell you buy.

[quote]Professor Chaos wrote:
Would you ask anyone what a good starting weight is if you were thinking about buying a couple dumbbells? It depends on what the hell you’re going to do with the things. I’m sure you could find uses for any size kettlebell you buy.[/quote]

but then again you wouldn’t invest in kettlebells to do stuff you could do with a couple of dumbells, that would be a waste of money. you would only buy kettlebells to do excercises/conditioning programs where the kettlebell is the most appropriate tool for the job.

thats when asking which size to buy makes sense.

[quote]alit4 wrote:

[quote]Professor Chaos wrote:
Would you ask anyone what a good starting weight is if you were thinking about buying a couple dumbbells? It depends on what the hell you’re going to do with the things. I’m sure you could find uses for any size kettlebell you buy.[/quote]

but then again you wouldn’t invest in kettlebells to do stuff you could do with a couple of dumbells, that would be a waste of money. you would only buy kettlebells to do excercises/conditioning programs where the kettlebell is the most appropriate tool for the job.

thats when asking which size to buy makes sense.[/quote]

You think the appropriate size to practice the long cycle to prep for a competition is the same size you would want to use for Turkish Get-Ups?

I don’t have a problem recommending a size to OP, I’d simply like to know what he’s planning on doing with the kb’s in order to do so effectively.

I am a competitive kettlebell lifter (both long cycle and biathlon), and I don’t have any idea how you could throw out a random number to a guy without more information.

[quote]evo2008 wrote:
Kettlebells are on my list for a Christmas exclusively of training gear. However having not used them before (train at home so no gym access) can anyone suggest what weight to go for. I’m going to buy Pavel’s warrior book and follow his ideas, so I want to obviouly get the maximum size I can before it’s too heavy to use efficiently.

If general max strength levels can be used as a guide;

Squat @180kg
Bench @130kg
Dead @200kg

Cheers[/quote]

You’re apparentaly stronger than me, so I’d go for the heaviest I can get (afford) for swings and snatches. Probably a 32 for turkish get ups and presses… if you have two of them, you can do renegade rows / renegade pushups, I kind of love them.

[quote]Professor Chaos wrote:

[quote]alit4 wrote:

[quote]Professor Chaos wrote:
Would you ask anyone what a good starting weight is if you were thinking about buying a couple dumbbells? It depends on what the hell you’re going to do with the things. I’m sure you could find uses for any size kettlebell you buy.[/quote]

but then again you wouldn’t invest in kettlebells to do stuff you could do with a couple of dumbells, that would be a waste of money. you would only buy kettlebells to do excercises/conditioning programs where the kettlebell is the most appropriate tool for the job.

thats when asking which size to buy makes sense.[/quote]

You think the appropriate size to practice the long cycle to prep for a competition is the same size you would want to use for Turkish Get-Ups?[/quote]

why not?

[/quote]I don’t have a problem recommending a size to OP, I’d simply like to know what he’s planning on doing with the kb’s in order to do so effectively.[/quote]

agree totally. that’s why my recommendations were purely directed to the programs in the earlier post i made.

[/quote]I am a competitive kettlebell lifter (both long cycle and biathlon), and I don’t have any idea how you could throw out a random number to a guy without more information.[/quote]

cool!

i am not a competitve kettlebell lifter but do have some experience of the above mentioned pavel/kenneth jay programs.