What Kettlebell Weights should you choose? How to Choose a appropriate Kettlebell for yourself?

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Many people often inquire about the ideal kettlebell weight for beginners.

In this brief overview on selecting kettlebell weights, I will outline the recommended starting weights and the number of kettlebells you may require as you progress.

It is important to note that kettlebells are not to be used in the same manner as dumbbells, and therefore, the weights should not be assumed to be equivalent.

Kettlebell exercises incorporate full body movements, engaging numerous muscles simultaneously. Unlike dumbbell training, there are no isolation exercises such as bicep curls or tricep extensions.

This comprehensive approach allows for lifting heavier weights and achieving faster overall body conditioning.

Mastering the kettlebell swing is essential as it is the foundational exercise among all kettlebell exercises.

The Kettlebell Swing is based on our strongest movement pattern: the Deadlift

When you lift an object from the ground, you are employing the deadlift movement pattern.

Therefore, in the context of kettlebell training, it is advisable to begin with this fundamental movement pattern before progressing to the kettlebell swing once you have mastered it.

So what does all this mean?

Starting kettlebell training with the deadlift, the strongest movement pattern, is crucial. Using a light kettlebell won't effectively challenge your body, particularly your hips and legs.

Avoid the common error of buying a kettlebell with the intention of using it like a dumbbell and only doing dumbbell exercises.

Instead, invest in a heavier kettlebell and master the exercises and movements that make kettlebell training highly efficient.

Kettlebell Sizes

Kettlebells are typically found in the following dimensions and categorized using poods, a weight measurement system originating from Russia.

  • 8kg (0.5 Pood)
  • 12kg
  • 16kg (1 Pood)
  • 24kg
  • 32kg (2 Pood)

With the rise in popularity of kettlebell training, numerous manufacturers have begun to provide intermediate sizes to assist individuals in transitioning between weights. The 20kg and 28kg kettlebells are ideal for advancing from one standard size to the next.

What weight kettlebell should a man use?

For men who are starting out, it is recommended to begin with either a 12kg (25lbs) or 16kg (35lbs) kettlebell, especially if they have prior experience with weight training.

As you advance in your training, you can gradually increase the weight to a 20kg or 24kg (53lbs) kettlebell.

While I have trained men using kettlebells weighing more than 24kg (53lbs), it is important to note that for most of your foundational exercises, this weight range should be sufficient.

What weight kettlebell should a woman use?

The recommended starting weight for women who are new to kettlebell training is 8kg (15lbs), while those with prior weight training experience can begin with a 12kg (25lbs) kettlebell.

As you progress, you can gradually increase the weight to 16kg (35lbs). It is common for women to initially find the 8kg (15lbs) kettlebell heavy and feel unable to exercise with it.

However, if you feel that the weight is too heavy, it may be because you are not performing the correct exercises. To achieve the best results, it is important to start with compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups, such as the deadlift movement patterns.

In my experience, I have never trained a woman who started with a kettlebell lighter than 8kg (15lbs).

Remember, women are often stronger than they realize, as they regularly perform tasks like dragging suitcases, carrying shopping bags, or holding children under one arm.

Therefore, it is recommended to start with at least an 8kg (15lbs) kettlebell.

Conclusion to what size kettlebell you should use

Throughout my extensive experience of over two decades teaching kettlebell classes, I have exclusively utilized kettlebells ranging from 8kg (15lbs) to 32kg.

It is important to note that kettlebell training should not be approached in the same manner as dumbbell training, therefore, selecting the appropriate weight should not be determined by dumbbell exercises.

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