Recently I was a guest on Dr. Tyna Moore’s podcast and we discussed strength training, how to get started, and what types of training are most beneficial for people, especially the middle-aged crowd. One thing we kept circling back to is kettlebell training, and how incredible it is because it gives a fantastic combination of being accessible (most people move well enough to do it safely), available (kettlebells are inexpensive, compact, and you just need a few of them), and best of all effective. One thing I swear by is that proper kettlebell training GETS RESULTS.
The podcast has already brought questions that are some form of, “This sounds great, I really want to start kettlebell training, but I don’t know which kettlebell to get. Can you help?”
Yes, I am happy to help.
To start, you can get by with just one kettlebell, but if you plan to do our Kettlebell Virtual On-Ramp course we strongly recommend starting with a set of four. You will want a matching pair of lighter ones, then another a little heavier, then another a little heavier than that. The weights you should buy will depend on your size and current fitness level, so I think giving some semi-specific examples will be helpful.
- 8kg / 18lbs x 2 (this is your matching pair)
- 12kg / 26lbs x 1
- 16kg / 35lbs x 1
This is the lightest set anyone should buy. Even if you are brand new, have no experience, and are a small person, you still should buy up to the 16kg / 35lbs if you really want to train with kettlebells.
- 12kg / 26lbs x 2 (this is your matching pair)
- 16kg / 35 lbs x 1
- 24kg / 53 lbs x 1
This would be a good set for: A) someone Mira’s size (about 130 pounds) who does have some strength training experience, or B) Someone bigger than Mira (say 170 pound range, give or take) who does not have much strength training experience.
- 16kg / 35lbs x 2 (this is your matching pair)
- 24kg / 53 lbs x 1
- 32kg / 70 lbs x 1
This would be a good set for someone in that 160-170 lb range who does have a baseline fitness level, or someone my size or above who does not have much strength training experience (I weigh 190lbs).
Note that in all three sets the heaviest kettlebell is the combined weight of the matching pair of lighter kettlebells – that is not an accident. Do your best to get a set that is in that range.
If you are going to be taking our Kettlebell Virtual On-Ramp course that we discussed on the podcast, then those sets will be exactly what you are looking for. I reiterate, if you specifically want to take our course, I strongly encourage you to get one of the sets from above, even if you have seen different recommendations elsewhere.
I also suspect people will have questions on WHERE to buy their kettlebells. When I first got into kettlebell training 10+ years ago they were nearly impossible to find. Thankfully, these days they are common place and tons of equipment manufacturers make them. When you are shopping I would recommend you look for these criteria:
- Cast Iron or Ductile Iron (as opposed to “competition kettlebells” which are shaped differently)
- A finish of either e-coat, powder coat, or cerakote. The cerakote finish will be very expensive and probably unnecessary … but they come in tons of cool colors, so if that is important to you then have at it. Otherwise, you get plain black in e-coat or powder coat.
- Avoid anything that has chrome, epoxy, urethane, or rubber on the kettlebell.
- I recommend buying in kilograms rather than pounds, especially if you plan to follow our programs.
While you are shopping, here are a few vendors to explore.
- StrongFirst (these are excellent, and I would look here first. If they have your sizes then get them here)
- Rogue Fitness
- Rep Fitness
- Kettlebells USA
- Kettlebell Kings
- Great Lakes Girya (this is a Canadian company, so if you live up north then look here)
If there are more questions I can help answer for you when it comes to getting started with kettlebell training just shoot us an email, or DM us on Instagram @industrialstrengthgym