I often get asked
“What do I need for kettlebell training? What do I need to put in my toolbox to have everything for making kettlebell training as comfortable as possible?”
- Exercise or yoga mat
- Chalk for weightlifting
- Workout timer
- Whiteboard and markers
- Notebook to store workouts and results
- Hand scraper/callus rasp
- Tripod for filming
- SSD to store videos
- YouTube account
- Social groups to ask questions
- Foam roller
- Massage gun
- Vibrams five-finger shoes
- Kettlebell t-shirt
- Kettlebell books
As someone who has been working with kettlebells for nearly 2 decades and has traveled all over the world, I know what you need to have in your kettlebell toolbox to enjoy your kettlebell training and maximize the results. Above is a list of the items you should have in your toolbox, the video above explains each item, and you can also read a summary below with a link to purchase each of the items online.
1) Exercise or yoga mat
If you want to work outside and do groundwork or even things like reverse lunges, then you need an exercise/yoga mat. If you work out at home then you want to protect your floor and dampen the noise for your neighbors. Buy exercise/yoga mats online. I also like the jigsaw exercise mats and have used those at home and in the gym.
2) Chalk for weightlifting
If you’re going to endurance work, high reps, and/or you’re working out in a humid environment, you want to use chalk on your kettlebell handle and hands. There are plenty of options for chalk. Weightlifting chalk, powder chalk, chalk ball, liquid chalk, etc. Personally, I’m a big fan of powder chalk, I like the feel of it, and how it flies in the air. Liquid chalk is good for those gyms where they’re not a big fan of chalk.
3) Workout timer
You’ll need a workout timer for AMRAP, FOR TIME, Tabata, and other workouts. A timer is also great to keep track of your progression with FOR TIME workouts. I only use the Cavemantraining Workout Timer as it’s the most flexible timer out there. Unfortunately, only for Android. But you can use any workout timer that works for you.
If you have an older kettlebell or even a new one with a glossy layer of protection on the handle, you want to use sandpaper to sand it down or maintain your kettlebell. I use strips of sandpaper and a sanding sponge.
5) Whiteboard and markers
You’ll need a whiteboard and markers to write your program/workout on so that you can clearly see it during your workout. I also use a whiteboard to keep track of rounds or reps when doing AMRAPs or high volume.
You’ll need a notebook to write down your workouts if you do not have a whiteboard, and/or you can use it to design your rough workout before you pen it down on the whiteboard. A notebook is also great to record the date you completed the workout, and your results like weight, time, reps, etc. to keep track of progression.
7) Hand scraper/callus rasp
I like to call it a hand scraper but you will probably not find those as they call them callus rasp or file. You definately need one of these, if you get nothing else but this, you’re sorted. No matter how good your technique or kettlebell is, you will develop some calluses over a period of time and they need to be maintained. So, get yourself a callus remover today.
8) Tripod for filming
Whether you have a YouTube channel or not, whether you don’t intend to post your videos on social media, you need a tripod to film and assess yourself. If you don’t have a coach to work with then the next best thing, and the only thing that is going to get you to that next level of kettlebell training is to film and review your training. Compare it to videos that have the correct technique, grab your notebook and make notes of points to work on. I prefer and use the flexible tripods, and you’re better of spending a little more to get one that lasts. For camera selection, I use a smartphone, most smartphones these days provide super quality for filming. I also have a GoPro for those times when filming at the beach and a drone for filming more impressive shots.
If you do a lot of filming outside, like myself, then it’s well worth getting a portable charger power bank. I bring two just in case, especially after once having traveled to a beautiful destination that was hard to get to, only to find out I forgot to charge my phones. These power banks can charge your phone but also most other equipment that you might bring along.
9) SSD to store videos
Even if you don’t film or need to store your videos, you should get one of these for backing up your computer. These disks are super handy, super-fast, durable, and provide half a or a full terabyte of storage. I have 5 of these babies to store all our photos and videos. I buy my Samsung SSD from Amazon.
10) YouTube account
A YouTube account is free. You can also sign up for Rumble, Odysee, or other video hosting networks.
11) Social groups to ask questions
Cavemantraining manages some of the best online kettlebell communities with over 150k members combined. You can check them all out on this link.
When uploading your videos, decide whether to upload directly from your phone or transfer the files to your laptop/HDD and then upload from your laptop/desktop. If you upload directly from your phone, make sure to use an app for compression and that you’re connected to your WIFI at home unless you have an unlimited fast data plan. Also, make sure your video is uploaded before you leave the house, otherwise, the upload might have started on your WIFI but will finish while consuming your mobile data. Here are video compression apps for Android.
12) Foam roller
A foam roller is a must, it’s great for the muscles but also the spine. If you have issues sometimes and your spine might be slightly out, roll on your back and enjoy the cracks you might hear of your vertebrae being put in place again. There are flat and foam rollers with a grid, I like both of them, so, if you can afford it, get both.
13) Massage gun
If you don’t get a regular massage then a message gun is the next best thing. You can, of course, perform self-massage, which I actually prefer, but there are also times when I just want to lay there and watch a movie while one arm does the work with the massage gun. The bigger you get them, the more power is behind them, and with the smaller ones you need to push down more, so, it’s a trade-off between portability, money, and functionality.
14) Vibrams five-finger shoes
I’ve been using these for years since the moment they came out, they’re perfect. But as explained in the video, you require a progression to using them, so make sure to check that out before you jump into these things and end up being disappointed. If you put in the time, then these will be the best thing for your feet, ever. If you could only get two items on this list, then let it be the five-finger shoes and callus remover.
15) Kettlebell t-shirt
I used to train without a shirt, but that was before I got a little beer belly, so now I promote kettlebell t-shirts. I used to feel cramped in shirts too, maybe these shirts are just much better than all the others I didn’t use to wear. Give it a try yourself, whatever happens, you’ll definately look cool in a Cavemantraining Kettlebell T-shirt. My favorite shirt is the one with our POCKPOCK.CLANG slogan. If you’ve been training with kbs for a while you know what that’s all about.
16) Kettlebell books
You’ll need kettlebell books to learn everything there is to learn about kettlebell training and then you need kettlebell workout books to put all that knowledge to the test with some of the best kettlebell workouts available. All the books are also available for purchase as a printed version on Amazon.
If you’re like me and travel, hike, or camp with your kettlebell, then you also need a solid backpack and a towel. The backpack to put your kb in. The towel or towels to wrap around the kettlebell, as otherwise, the kettlebell will feel uncomfortable on your back. But, you can also use the towel to carry the kettlebell on your back, i.e. pull the towel through the window and hold the ends of the towel while the kb rests on your back.
I did not put sweatbands on the list as most people use them to dampen the impact of the kettlebell during cleans and snatches. This means they won’t invest the time into learning the proper technique. It also means that their progress will remain at the same level. If you’re using them to wipe sweat, great, that’s what they’re for, so go on and buy yourself a pair.