One of the most frequently asked questions I hear from kettlebell user beginners is what weight should they use. Especially if they are thinking of investing in a kettlebell for themselves! Choosing the correct starting weight with a kettlebell is absolutely key to success. If you choose a weight that is too heavy for you, you may end up not being able to do some of the exercises, or the exercises end up being too hard and you get burnt out. Conversely, if you choose a weight that is not heavy enough then you won’t be getting the best return on your workout! Your muscles won’t be challenged and you’ll have a harder time getting the results you want.
If you feel like you’re ready to get started with working out with kettlebells, but you’re not sure where to start- you’ve definitely come to the right place.
Following, you will find the information you need in order to choose the proper weight and perform the exercises with proper form.
Problem with Choosing a Kettlebell Weight to Start With
Typically, kettlebell training is combined with HIIT, or high intensity interval training sets. This is defined as short stretches of intense workouts with short periods of rest between each set. In order to maintain the proper form, you’ll need to choose a weight that is proportionate with your skill level- which will be low at first.
However, there are some problems with choosing a kettlebell weight based on your personal training experience. For example, if you’ve never trained before, the beginner weights may seem too heavy for you.
On the other hand, if you’ve been training for many years, the beginner weights may seem too light for you. Therefore, you need to get rid of all of your current perceptions of weights and consider the kettlebell as something new and different.
You must be open, listen, and be willing to learn. Even though you may feel like you don’t need it, it’s a good idea to have at least one session with a kettlebell professional. This will make all the difference in the world in the results you achieve.
One thing you must understand is that kettlebell training is different than typical isolation training. You’re going to be using multiple groups of muscles in full-body movements. You have most likely never trained this way before.
Best Starting Weight for Women
The professionals recommend that women start with 18 pounds. This is a weight that’s not too heavy but not too light. When it comes to kettlebell training, the difference is the way that you lift the weight. Kettlebell training is different than isolation lifts such as a dumbbell curl, in that the kettlebell will be using multiple groups of muscles.
You’re not lifting with just one arm or leg- you’re using your core, your upper body, and your lower body for most lifts. Therefore, an 18 pound kettlebell really isn’t that heavy even though a beginner might lift it (the wrong way) and think it’s too much for her.
One of the major mistakes people make is using a weight that’s too light. If you’re lifting weights that are too light, you can push through a lift instead of using the proper form. You’ll be throwing the weight around like it’s nothing, which means you’ll never be able to perfect your form and move to heavier weights. This means that you’ll never achieve the benefits of kettlebell training.
Best Starting Weight for Men
The professionals recommend that men start with a 35 pound kettlebell. However, while a woman may think that her 18 pounds is too heavy, a man is going to think 35 pounds is too light for him because he can bench much more all day long. However, again, you must remember that kettlebell workouts are much different than standard workouts.
So, sure, 35 pounds may not be too much for a deadlift, squat, or barbell curl- you’re not doing those. Even if you are doing the same movements, it’ll be different than you’re used to. A kettlebell workout will be involving muscles that you may not have ever felt before. You will find that your upper legs, back, and abs will be on fire during the very first session.
Therefore, while you may think that 35 pounds “isn’t heavy enough”- keep in mind that you need that weight in order to maintain proper form through a movement. However, make sure that you work with a professional to learn what the proper form is.
Choose the Right One
When you start looking, you’ll find that there is a wide variety of kettlebells on the market today. No matter what your level of expertise- you are sure to find one to suit you. Here are some tips:
Choose one that has a chip resistant coating. You want it to be smooth enough to build your stamina without causing irritation to your hands- with just the right texture to take gym talk. A good quality set of kettlebells will have handles that are smooth and curved so that you can grip them anywhere on the handle, not just the top.
Choose one that has plenty of clearance from the handle to the bell to allow for bone stacking in snatch/press lifts as well as obtuse shape so that you can grip the sides of the handle. Be sure it’s smooth so that you don’t tear your hands apart when you’re working out with them.
Choose kettlebells that have high contrast letters so that you can easily see which one you are using. In addition, make sure they come with a lifetime guarantee.
Check out our Reviews and Buyer’s Guide for the best kettlebells on the market HERE.
Kettlebells are the hot new thing on the fitness scene. Make sure that you take the time to choose the right one. Don’t overestimate or underestimate what you are capable of. You are getting a whole body workout with kettlebells, not an isolation.