Kettlebells Are Too Heavy for CrossFitters

Maybe you’re experiencing problems due to constant wrist hyperextension from working with the barbell, racking, pressing etc. Working with kettlebells properly can avoid some of these issues, good hand insertion, good racking etc. And to top it off, you heard someone saying:

“Kettlebells can be fun as well!”
Taco Fleur, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer


So let’s say you wanted to translate some of your regular barbell work to kettlebells, things like snatches, presses, jerks, cleans etc. what weight would you have to use? If you can strict press 80kg with the barbell would that mean you could strict press 40kg with one kettlebell? If you can easily clean 100kg with the barbell, does that then mean you can easily clean two 48kg kettlebells?

No, no and no, the weight distribution and unilateral qualities of the kettlebell will make you think twice about simply converting your bb weight to kb weight. It’s not that kettlebells are too heavy for crossfitters, the kettlebell is just a different beast to tame, different rules and different complexities.

Deduct 20 to 30% of your 1RM


I guarantee you that if your 1RM strict press is 80kg with the barbell that this doesn’t translate to you pressing one or two 40kg kettlebells! There is much more stability work involved with the kb and you should deduct 20 to 30% of your 1RM to get your approximate weight when working with kettlebells.


With a barbell press you can pull the bar apart to create more stability, with kettlebells there is nothing in between the bells but your own body that needs to stabilize the weights. More flexibility in the shoulders is also required for overhead work. For example if you’re doing overhead squats, you’ll have to position the weights right above your shoulders and there is no pull apart ‘V’ that can be created. The different weight distribution also means that the weight will keep pulling, where as with the barbell you can balance the weight in such a way that it’s positioned right above the support of your skeletal system. All these qualities provide more complexity, and complexity can be good when it comes to training.



Over 46 minutes on warming up and kettlebell presses, all completely free, INSANE! Don’t watch it, it’s a trap….


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