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Kettlebells, how much weight?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by DinoHunter View Post
    Dont think they ship to Scotland...

    I wish I could find them locally so I could at least test the weight. Need to go find my old weights and see what they are... At least should give me an idea...
    If I were you I'd have a look on Amazon, some decent iron cast bells available. Think a 16kg would be a good investment for you. Make sure to spend some time with an RKC/Strongfirst instructor as it is important to get the basis movements right. Kettlebells have transformed my life but it is crucial to master the technique first as otherwise you can hurt yourself quite easily.


    • #17
      I've been taking a kettlebell class since February, and I started out with a 12 kg kettlebell, and I'm now up to a 16 kg kettlebell. I'm a guy -- not terribly strong but not weak either. Every other guy who has started the class has started with a 12 (one guy with an 8 though). The women in the class start at a 4/6/8 kg kettlebell. One woman now uses a 14 for the swing but an 8 or 12 for all other exercises. The instructor is a woman, and she's literally a worldclass competitive bodybuilder, and the heaviest she goes is a 16 kg kettlebell.

      The thing is, you'll always be able to swing a heavier kettlebell than you can, for example, press. So, I'm sure that you could swing a 16 kg kettlebell provided your technique is good (my advice is to watch as many videos as you can, but only trust someone who is visibly using hip drive rather than arms/back to swing -- the proper swing technique is very similar to the motion you'd use to do a box jump, except you don't leave the floor -- your arms are only there to hold on to the kettlebell, not to move it).

      Also keep in mind that a kettlebell's weight is off-center. So, if you can lift a 16 kg dumbbell, a 16 kg kettlebell will be more of a challenge.

      If you plan to use a kettlebell for lots of different exercises, one is probably not enough. In class, I'll typically use 2 12's or a 14 & 16 (we only have one of each for the class) for squats. You can also do double kettlebell swings and cleans. So one possibility is to get 2 12 kg kettlebells.

      I know it is hard trying to figure out a weight to get before you've really tried it. I was in the same situation with clubbells. I ordered a pair and wish I had gotten them about 1 kg lighter, but it isn't a big deal either way.

      Good luck.
      My primal journal


      • #18
        Oh. And on the material for a kettlebell. We have a bunch of different ones in class, so I can speak from experience. Do NOT get the plastic/concrete ones. They are terrible. The handles are too smooth when you are sweaty but at the same time have uncomfortable ridges on them. Plus, I'm afraid if I every dropped one that it would shatter. The standard iron ones are fine ... if you are using them inside, I'd get ones with the coating so they don't scratch your floor. We also have some steel competition style kettlebells, and at first I hated them because they are a lot larger than the iron kettlebells of the same weight. But having worked with them for a while, I've decided that I prefer the steel ones. The big advantage of them is that they are the same size no matter the weight, and the handles are big enough to fit both hands on. A lot of iron ones (I think especially cheaper ones) have handles that are too small to comfortably hold with 2 hands. Plus, the competition style seem better balanced for swinging and just feel better overall to me now. But all in all, you won't go wrong with a good iron one, but don't get the plastic/concrete type.
        My primal journal


        • #19
          I tend to use 12 or 16kg kettlebells... 8kg if I'm feeling weak during single arm presses! Usually we just do kettlebell swings and I'll choose the weight based on how many we do in a row!

          I would only go heavier for something like the sumo dead lift high pull and for that I'd use 20kg.

          Oh and I am small and female! Not exactly weak... But not massively strong either!

          Honestly I think it's good to try them out first! They sell kettlebells in my local sporting store in a range of weights, so that's where I'd go if I wanted to buy some, even if just to try them out.