If you are looking for more information before you buy your next kettlebell, then you are in the right place. We have been using kettlebells for over a decade and have found them to be one of the cost effective, useful and versatile tools when it comes to working out and getting fit. Kettlebells are suitable for regular weight lifting as well as explosive and dynamic movements.
Some fitness experts claim that a single kettlebell is equivalent to a rack of dumbbells when it comes to the variety of exercises that you can perform. I personally think that both tools are great. Dumbbells are more beginner friendly and are easy to learn. Kettlebells on the other hand require more practice and better control of technique. Once you learn the techniques however, they are without equal for burning fat and building muscle fast.
So lets find out more about kettlebells and what are the key points to be aware of before you purchase one for your home gym.
What is a KettleBell?
A kettlebell is a cannonball with an attached handle. That is the way it is described by Pavel Tsatsouline one of the foremost practitioners of Kettlebells and one of its biggest advocates. Kettlebells can be used to perform a variety of exericse types including strength exercises, ballistic exercises, cardio and flexibility exercises.
The main difference between a dumbbell and a kettlebell is the fact that the center of mass of a kettlebell extends beyond the hand. This means that the kettlebell can be swung and controlled. This principle is also used in Indian clubs which are used in traditional akharas in India.
Kettlebells are available in a variety of shapes and sizes today with weights ranging from 2 kg to 48kgs.
What are the main types of KettleBells available?
The two main types of kettlebells available today are Classic Style KettleBells and Competition Style Kettlebells. Classic Style kettlebells are usually made of cast iron. Competition kettlebells may be made of different materials and usually have a colored coating and a steel handle.
The main difference between Classic and Competition style kettlebells is the fact that Competition style kettlebells have the same size for different weights. This is done to ensure that users do not have to adjust their technique based on the size of the kettlebell which is an important consideration in kettlebell competitions.
Classic Cast Iron Kettlebells increase in size for higher weights. Classic Kettlebells are usually cheaper since they are not manufactured to exact specifications like competition bells. In general, I recommend users to purchase a Classic Style kettlebell unless you are planning on entering fitness competitions and are willing to invest in a more expensive competition style kettlebell.
What should I look for when buying a KettleBell?
There are a few things to consider before purchasing a kettlebell. Lets go over them one by one
The first thing to consider is the material of the kettlebell. For almost everyone who is starting out with Kettlebells, I would recommend getting a cast iron kettlebell. These are relatively inexpensive, durable and availale in a variety of weights that will suit all levels of fitness. If you are serious about Kettlebells as a competitive sport, it might make sense to invest in a Competition style steel kettlebell.
I would advise against getting a plastic or vinyl or PVC kettlebell. These kettlebells are usually made of inferior quality materials and are not fit for intense kettlebell workouts. Also not recommended are Kettlebells which have decorations or carvings on them. Serious kettlebell exercises will need to have the kettlebell against your forearm at times and such decorations will not allow this.
Grip and Handle
The grip of the kettlebell is probably the most important aspect of a kettlebell that you should consider. The grip of the kettlebell should be wide enough for you to get both your hands on it comfortably. It should be made of steel or cast iron, both of which can be gripped without slippage. The grip should not be too thin as this will not let you wrap your hands around it. At the same time, it should not be too thick to prevent you from getting a firm hold on it.
The base of most kettlebells is flat to ensure that they can be kept on the floor in a stable position. Make sure that the kettlebell you are planning to purchase has this as well.
In general, a metallic kettlebell should have a smooth finish that does not have any burrs or imperfections that can injure your hands as you use the kettlebell.
In my opinion, a basic cast iron kettlebell without any coatings is best suited for serious exercise. There are kettlebells available with various colored coatings today. I would in general advise against them unless you are going for a competition kettlebell which have colored coatings to mark their weight.
What weight Kettlebell should I buy?
An important consideration is the size of the kettlebell that you should purchase. Standard Kettlebell sizes start at 8Kg and go up in increments on 4K after that, going as high as 48 kg. We have suggested starting kettlebell weights for men and women below.
KettleBell weight for Women
Based on your fitness level, you can purchase a kettlebell as per the guidelines below
- Beginner/Little Fitness Experience Women: 6 – 8KG
- Experienced/Currently Working out Women: 10-12 KG
- Very Fit/Experienced Women: 16KG
KettleBell weight for Men
Based on your fitness level, Men can choose a kettlebell weight as per the guidelines below
- Beginner/Little Fitness Experience Men: 10 – 12KG
- Experienced/Currently Working out Men: 12-16 KG
- Very Fit/Experienced Men: 20KG
Remember, these are just guidelines. If you are unsure of your current fitness level/ability, choosing a lower weight kettlebell is OK. There is a lot of technique involved in kettlebell exercises and you can increase the weight once you are more proficient.
How many Kettlebells should I buy?
Unlike Dumbbells, it is perfectly OK to buy 1 kettlebell. Very few kettlebell exercises require the use of two kettlebells at a time. All kettlebell exercises can in fact be done with a single kettlebell. If the weight becomes too light for you after a period of time, you can purchase a heavier kettlebell and use the lighter kettlebellf for different exercises.
Should I buy an Adjustable KettleBell?
Adjustable Kettlebells are almost never a good idea. The way they are designed and built, they are only good to use when they are used at their full weight. They are also quite expensive and you would be much better served by having kettlebells of different weights if you really need different weights.
KettleBell Buying Guide – Conclusion
KettleBells are an amazing tool for getting strong, fit and lean. With just a single kettlebell you can do a wide variety of exercises that will get you strong, lean and improve your cardiovascular fitness. There are loads of kettlebell purchasing options available in India today. I hope this guide has helped you in making a good purchasing decision when you decide to buy your next kettlebell.