If you’re new to kettlebell training and are looking for what kettlebell to buy or what’s a good kettlebell brand then there is important information to consider before you buy your kettlebells online. Here’s what to look for when buying a kettlebell.
- Kettlebell Buying Guide
- Kettlebell Brands
- Free Shipping
- Buy One or Two Kettlebells?
- What Weight Should I Choose for My First Kettlebell?
- How to Choose a Kettlebell?
- Kettlebell Buying Mistakes to Avoid
- Kettlebell Recommendation
- The Quick Answer
- Kettlebell Workout for Beginners
Kettlebell Buying Guide
One of the most important things to consider when buying a kettlebell is your location and that of the kettlebell you want to buy. As the world’s best kettlebell might be on the other side of the world to you and shipping kettlebells is expensive. Therefore, you want to buy somewhat local to you.
The next thing you want to pay attention to before making a purchase is the quality of the kettlebell, there is no use in spending money on a kettlebell that you will not use or not enjoy using. Some important things to consider:
- Kettlebell Handle
- Kettlebell Window Size and Design
- Material of the Kettlebell
- Coating and Body of the Kettlebell
How the handle sits in your grip and whether it is slippery or not is one of the most important things, as you will be holding the kettlebell whenever you use it. A bad-quality handle can create blisters, ripped skin, or be uncomfortable all the time.
You want to avoid shiny super smooth kettlebell handles and if you do purchase one, don’t be afraid to sand it down and remove the coating. A handle that rusts and you maintain is better than a slippery handle that will affect your grip and cause blisters or ripped skin.
Kettlebell Window Size and Design
The window is the area in which you insert your hand to grip the handle and hold on to the kettlebell when going overhead or rack the kettlebell. It’s the space between the bell, horns, and handle. If this is too small or too big then racking or holding on to the kettlebell be uncomfortable.
There are kettlebells that have a very big window and they can be good for double-arm swings so that the hands can easily fit, however, this large oversized window is usually uncomfortable for anything overhead or in racking. A good competition kettlebell handle is suitable for most hands when used for double-arm swings. It’s not as generous in space but unless you have super big hands, it will do.
Material of the Kettlebell
A hollow kettlebell is good as a kettlebell that’s filled and not produced by a high-quality manufacturer has the potential to make noise or become unbalanced when the inside material moves or becomes loose. A solid kettlebell is also good as there is no potential for anything to come loose.
Coating and Body of the Kettlebell
Things to consider are, will the paint come off easily, or will the coating affect the racking or grip? We do not recommend vinyl, neoprene, or plastic-coated kettlebells. We do recommend powder-coated kettlebells.
For the body of the kettlebell, we do not recommend anything filled with sand or cement. We do recommend steel and cast iron in that order.
We recommend bodies that are solid or hollow (hole in the bottom), and when using fillers make sure the reviews show that the fillers are done professionally and don’t move or make noise.
Good Kettlebell Brands
With generic unknown brands, you can get quality kettlebells but make sure that the kettlebell color coding is correct, i.e. the color matches the weight. This is not an issue for most beginners, however, as you start to get serious with kettlebell training it will become something that you prefer to get right, especially as you start lining up your kettlebell collection in order of weight.
Bells of Steel
Location: Calgary Canada, Toronto Canada, Indianapolis USA
Website: Bells of Steel
Location: Austin Texas USA
Website: Onnit Kettlebells
Website: Maniak Fitness Spain
Some sellers provide free shipping, of course, that does require you to be in the same country or state. Kettlebell Kings offers free shipping within the US. Bells of Steel offers free shipping in the US and Canada. Amazon has free shipping within most countries it operates via Amazon Prime.
Buy One or Two Kettlebells?
Do you need to buy kettlebells in pairs?
Should you buy one or two kettlebells, and if you buy two, should you buy the same size/weight or two different ones?
There is no requirement to buy kettlebells in pairs, especially not if you’re just a beginner with kettlebell training. Double kettlebell work is great and a lot of fun but is more advanced and best left for when the exercises are mastered with one side.
An example of a double kettlebell exercise video follows.
But there are also more basic exercises like the squat which can be performed with two kettlebells. The double kettlebell squat adds more weight and can be performed with a Goblet squat using one kettlebell as well. A video of the double kettlebell squat follows.
If you have the budget, then you should definitely buy two different-sized/weight kettlebells. Buy a lighter weight that can be used for mobility work, shoulder work, curling, and more importantly for warming up. Buy a heavier kettlebell for lifts and ballistic/fast exercises.
If you have the budget to buy 3 kettlebells, approx. $220 to $260 then buy for females 8kg/12lb, 12kg/26lb, and 16kg/35lb, and 12kg/26lb, 16kg/35lb, and 20kg/44lb for males.
If you have the budget to buy 2 kettlebells, approx. $130 to $160 then buy for females 8kg/12lb and 12kg/26lb, and 12kg/26lb and 16kg/35lb for males.
If your budget is small and you can only buy one kettlebell to start with, then buy a 12kg/26lb for females, and a 16kg/35lb for males.
What Weight Should I Choose for My First Kettlebell?
Buying a kettlebell is an investment, so you want to make sure that you make all the right choices. When it comes to picking the right kettlebell weight there are a lot of variables to consider first, and they’re all covered in other articles which will be linked below. A quick and simple answer is 12kg for females and 16kg for males if you’re interested in swings, otherwise, if you want to focus more on overhead work, then 8kg for females and 12kg for males. Adjustable kettlebells are also an option to consider, good reviews about adjustable kettlebells have been seen.
How to Choose a Kettlebell?
What makes a good kettlebell? As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider if you’re serious about buying one or more kettlebells. Research on your part is required.
Kettlebell Buying Mistakes to Avoid
- Buying too heavy
- Buying odd-shaped kettlebells
- Buying too light
- Buying cheap
Males tend to make the mistake of buying too heavy and females tend to make the mistake of buying kettlebells that are too light. Even if you chest press 120kg/264lb in the gym, don’t think that whatever you do with a barbell translates to what you can do with the kettlebell. Especially if you’re moving from classic slow lifts to ballistic exercises, the work you do with other equipment will not transfer. Leave your ego at the door and either try some exercises first in a gym that has kettlebells and make sure that your technique is spot on and you’re actually doing the same amount of reps that you intend to do in your kettlebell program.
If your kettlebell weight is on the heavy side and your technique is slightly off, you will quickly run the risk of common kettlebell issues like tendonitis, etc. On the flip side, if you buy a kettlebell that is too light whether male or female, and you’re going to be doing ballistic exercises like the swing, clean, or snatch, then you will also run into issues as these exercises require to provide some good resistance. Also, for females, if you’re lifting anything lighter than 8kg/18lb that’s fine, but you should be aware that all you’re working on is cardiovascular endurance, assuming you’re working fast and long enough. You will not receive any of the strength benefits that resistance training should provide.
Buying odd-shaped kettlebells is one of the biggest mistakes to make. Onnit sells some cool designs like Gorilla or Skull kettlebells, and they’re cool, but not functional. So, if you want to limit the exercises that you can do while looking cool, go for it.
Some kettlebells are cheap to buy, they’re made out of plastic or other material, have an odd shape, and simply won’t be any good for serious kettlebell training. The following products can’t be considered proper kettlebells and should only be considered by people that know they’re not interested in getting the most out of kettlebell training and/or getting serious with it. Videos of kettlebell exercises that can’t be done with them or will be uncomfortable will be listed after the following photos.
Some of these products are advertised as soft, and when beginners pick up a kettlebell without learning the proper form and technique, they will find them uncomfortable and then fall for the sales tactic of ‘soft kettlebells’. But there really is no such thing as a proper kettlebell that’s soft. These are different products, again, these will be ok for some people that are not considering doing many different kettlebell exercises, will never go up in weight, etc.
Bionic Body Soft Kettlebell
Advertised as: Heavy-duty and soft materials — this kettle bell is constructed of soft materials that prevent damages and injuries from accidental drops. Buy.
NZG Iron Sand Soft Kettlebell
Advertised as: Single soft kettlebell weight with a soft base & sturdy handles. Buy.
Odd Shaped Kettlebells
Bowflex SelectTech Kettlebell
Advertised as: Adjustable weights in a compact design. Buy.
Cement Plastic Kettlebell
Advertised as: Plastic coating and filled with cement. Buy.
PowerBlock Adjustable Kettlebell
Advertised as: PowerBlock adjustable kettlebell. Durable long-lasting build, innovative workout equipment. Buy.
Cheap Kettlebell Alternative
Something that is sold and advertised as a cheap kettlebell alternative is the Kettlebell Grip. This is a handle in which you can place a dumbbell. This alternative is cheap but not a real solution to replacing kettlebells, the weight distribution is completely different, and the handle is only good for things like rows or lifts. Swinging, racking, or snatching this object is extremely uncomfortable.
With the above-listed kettlebells or kettlebell alternatives, you will not be able to perform some of the following exercises or they will not be safe or comfortable. 3 videos follow. Skip to recommendations.
At Cavemantraining we’ve only experienced custom-made kettlebells ordered and imported by ourselves, kettlebells from Amazon, Maniak Kettlebells, and Kettlebells from Bells of Steel. We have no firsthand experience with the other recommendations.
When it comes to the style of the kettlebell, we prefer to use and recommend competition kettlebells as they’re all the same size no matter the weight. However, the classic kettlebells are usually cheaper than the comp bells.
The Quick Answer
If you have a big budget and aren’t too worried about making some mistakes with your first purchase, then here is the quick answer for buying your first set of kettlebells.
For females, buy competition kettlebells of 3 different weights, 8kg/18lb, 12kg/26lb, and 16kg/35lb.
For males, buy competition kettlebells of 3 different weights, 12kg/26lb, 16kg/35lb, and 20kg/44lb.
For females, buy competition kettlebells of 2 different weights, 8kg/18lb and 12kg/26lb.
For males, buy competition kettlebells of 2 different weights, 12kg/26lb and 16kg/35lb.
For females, buy 1 competition kettlebell of 12kg/26lb.
For males, buy 1 competition kettlebell of 16kg/35lb.
To reduce the cost even further, find a supplier that ships for free, buy classic kettlebells, or buy a second-hand kettlebell that you can pick up locally. Personally, there is nothing better than a good old used kettlebell of high quality with character.
Kettlebell Workout for Beginners
Now that you’ve ordered your first kettlebell, you will need your first workout and more importantly technical information on how to perform that workout and handle that kettlebell safely. We have options available where you buy just the ebook, this is for people with a small budget.
With a medium budget, you can buy the ebook, videos, course, and poster to hang up that shows you how to perform the workout.
For those that want over 200+ kettlebell workouts, coaching, motivation, and are ready to commit to changing their lives, there is the Caveman Inner Circle or Click Play if you’re not on Facebook.
Got all the information you needed to make a decision on what kettlebell to buy? But you’re still not motivated enough? Check out the following video for motivation and come and join us in one of our many online kettlebell communities where people ask questions and get answers.