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Choosing the best kettlebell weight or size for your training is crucial to making sure that you achieve all your workout goals. Too high of weight can lead to incorrect form and injuries. Going too light won’t do you any good in terms of gains. So, the following is a guide to help you pick the best kettlebell size:
Standard Kettlebell Sizes: What sizes do kettlebells come in?
Kettlebells are available in all shapes and sizes, starting from 1lb all the way to over 80 lbs. Kettlebells usually have 4,5 and 9-pound increments in weights. This is why you will see kettlebells with increasing weights like 26, 35, 44 lbs and 15, 20, 25 lbs, and so on in the catalogs of different producers.
Different Kettlebell Types
Essentially there are only 2 types of kettlebells, cast iron kettlebells and competition kettlebells. Cast iron kettlebells are basically slightly slower quality kettlebells that are much cheaper compared to their alternatives.
The main difference is that with higher weights, the kettlebell weight and its handle both get bigger. Cast iron kettlebells are great for home gyms where you want to achieve your goals without breaking the bank. They are rugged, will last you a lifetime, and are easily available in the market, used and brand new!
Competition kettlebells on the other hand are for serious athletes, these are much more expensive than cast iron kettlebells because of their superior quality. Competition kettlebells are highly compressed meaning even with higher and heavier weights, the size of the kettlebell remains the same.
This is great as most people do not want to swing around a huge kettlebell, but rather one that is just as heavy and much smaller is far more suitable. Competition kettlebells are usually used by serious athletes and are often found in most cross fit gyms. The handles have better knurling, making them easier to grip and because of the smaller size, they are more comfortable on your joint health and wrists.
Best Kettlebell Types for Home Workouts
If you are an absolute beginner with no exercise experience, then chances are you might get anxious when joining a gym or have a fear of being judged for performing an exercise wrong. There is nothing wrong with being nervous or anxious especially when you have kettlebell training by your side!
Kettlebell training is one of the best one-stop solutions for building a great physique all in the comfort of your own home! All you need is a bit of free space and a few kettlebells and you are ready to soar the skies.
For beginners and home gyms, cast iron kettlebells should definitely be a priority. These are often dirt cheap if bought used and are very commonly available at almost every online and physical store. These are perfect for making some serious noobie gains and will help you bring a drastic transformation if used properly.
Age and Current Fitness Level
There are many factors that take a toll on how much weight you can use in your training. The most common are age and fitness level. kettlebell weights come in all different sizes because they cater to different audiences.
Age is an important factor because a person can not remain in their prime throughout their whole life, but rather only a specific period of time which is usually when they are young at around 18-30 years old. For most people, this is where they are the strongest, most vigilant, and overall at their absolute prime.
At this period of time, the person can lift the heaviest and therefore has the most potential to gain muscle and achieve all their fitness goals. Over time, however, as your age increases, your strength and stamina slowly deplete.
Fitness level is also an important factor because for beginners, their bodies are not used to any sort of resistance training and therefore it is much harder for them to get the hang of it. Someone who has been working out in a different manner like powerlifting or CrossFit would find it easier to use kettlebells and incorporate them into their routine, as their bodies are used to resistance training.
What Weight Kettlebell for Kids?
Most children around the age of 13 do not really have the genetic capabilities to start building muscle, however, it is important for them to build their cardiovascular endurance at a young age. As they are beginners, a good starter kettlebell weight for most children would be 4-10 lbs.
At this weight, kettlebell training would be efficient and would provide all sorts of physical and mental benefits to their developing bodies. A short kettlebell workout once or twice a week will help create mental and physical discipline that would help these children in all aspects of life including their school life.
What Weight Kettlebell for Adults (All Ages)
Gyms tend to have a variety of kettlebells of different weights. But if you don’t go to the gym and plan to work out at home, then you have to settle with one or two kettlebells. No matter your situation, it is imperative that you pick the right weight kettlebell.
Experts recommend that women start with 10-25-lb kettlebells and males with 25-45 lbs. The key is to pick a weight that challenges you enough to push your body, but you should be able to use it with proper form. When it starts becoming easy to handle, increase it.
Adjustable kettlebells are great for homeowners who have limited funds and space to provide for their fitness goals. These kettlebells allow you to add and remove weight from the stem of the equipment. Most adjustable kettlebells go up to 18-24 kg and are quite versatile. The only main downside is that these can often be a bit costly if bought brand new.
Kettlebell Options and Continuous Training Programs
There are all sorts of great kettlebell training programs available, that if followed properly alongside a good diet, will help you achieve all your fitness-related goals.
As long as you practice progressive overload, proper form, train hard and maintain a clean diet with lots of protein, you will gain all the benefits kettlebell training has to offer.
Essentially most programs last six to eight weeks which is ample time to make huge progress as a beginner. It is hard to pinpoint a specific limit to how long you should train with kettlebells. The reason for this is that progress and gains are not exponential.
It is recommended to stick to whatever program you choose until the end to achieve your desired results. You should remember that even the best program won’t work unless you are willing to work hard and stay consistent.
Kettlebell Sizes For Women
Kettlebell training and its benefits should be utilized by everyone regardless of gender. Although there are some differences in strength between genders because of hormonal differences, this does not mean that there aren’t kettlebell sizes available to cater to these differences.
The average woman with little to no fitness experience should train with a starting weight of around 10-25 lbs depending on age and body weight. This is the perfect range for building muscle, losing fat, strengthening your cardiovascular system, and overall achieving a better quality of life over a period of time.
Kettlebell Sizes For Men
The same goes for men, being biologically stronger due to higher amounts of testosterone in the body, thus being able to lift heavier weights. For the average man, with little to no fitness experience, 25-45 lbs is more than plenty of a weight for kettlebell training.
In this range, you can easily build muscle, lose fat, increase heart health, and much more over a period of time, ultimately allowing you to live a longer, healthier, and overall better life!
Sizes of Kettlebells for Seniors
Whatever your age might be, whatever health status you might be, staying active is essential to ensuring the longevity of a healthy life.
Even for seniors and the elderly, kettlebell training with lighter weight provides many benefits and should be promoted amongst older men and women. Kettlebells are easy on the joints and help tackle any tight muscles you may have. 5-20 lb kettlebells are fine for most senior people depending on their health, age, and fitness experience.
Kettlebell Sizes for Beginners
Just like with any other exercise or weighted resistance equipment, performing progressive overload is absolutely necessary to avoid injury and to make the most out of your workouts. The same applies to kettlebell training!
For the average male, 25-45 lbs is the perfect weight to start kettlebell training in an efficient manner with proper form. For females, it is around 10-25 lbs. Once you are familiar with the movement patterns, only then should you increase the weight you use.
KETTLEBELL QUALITY MATTERS
There are many kettlebell manufacturers all around the world producing excellent quality kettlebell weights. Buying a higher quality kettlebell weight to start is a long-term investment, a good pair of kettlebells with last you a lifetime, without the knurling wearing off.
The right kettlebell weight to start will make a big difference in how you are able to train, too light and you will just go through the movements which is useless, and, too much weight and you are at risk of injury. Brands like Pro Kettlebell are an excellent option for getting some of the best kettlebells in the game!
How many kettlebells do you need?
The beauty of kettlebell training is its versatility and how easy it is to get a good workout in with kettlebells. If the question arises of how many kettlebells one needs to efficiently be able to target every muscle group properly, then the answer is 2 pairs.
2 pairs of kettlebells are really all you need to achieve all your goals regardless of your fitness level and experience. You will need a pair of heavier weights for compound movements like the clean and jerk, goblet squat, and deadlift. The reason why these movements require heavier weights is that they employ multiple muscle groups and therefore need more weighted resistance to be trained.
The second pair of kettlebells should be a bit lighter which would be used to train isolation-based exercises. Isolation exercises require a lighter kettlebell because only one muscle group is being targeted in the movement, like the seated shoulder press and bicep curl.
Benefits of Kettlebell Workouts
Kettlebell training provides all sorts of different benefits that cater to all different fitness level goals. Below listed are some of the most common benefits that users have found using kettlebells.
Serious Fat Burning Workouts
The average person burns around 700 to 1000 calories an hour from kettlebell training, depending on the intensity of the workout. This makes kettlebell training a great tool for losing fat healthily and quickly.
Burning 2500 calories is the equivalent of burning a pound of fat. Three kettlebell workouts of a decent intensity are enough to lose a pound of fat every week. Although this may not seem like much, over a few months, this will accumulate into a serious body transformation.
Kettlebells make fat loss much easier than mainstream influencers and trainers make it seem. Keep it simple, train hard, eat clean, and be patient to achieve your goals and enjoy the journey as there is no overnight solution to fat loss.
Builds Lean Muscle
Any form of weight training will over time, build muscle and help you develop an admirable physique. The same goes for kettlebell training, whether you prefer swinging full-body movements like single kettlebell swings or if you prefer isolating movement patterns like kettlebell bicep curls.
Kettlebell training has got your muscle-building goals covered as it exercises all the muscle groups needed to help build lean muscle mass, like your shoulders, legs, back, core, and chest.
Greatly improves muscular weaknesses and imbalances
Kettlebell workouts are an excellent option for fixing and reducing muscle imbalances. This is because many kettlebell exercises can be done unilaterally, in other words with one hand.
This helps stimulate and stabilize muscles. Using kettlebells will work these small muscles in rhythmic coordination, setting out stability and balance for the entire movement. As a result, reducing the risk of injury and improving athletic performance, or even helping with everyday house chores.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Size Kettlebell Should I Start With?
More often than not people assume that 5 or 10-lb kettlebells are good enough for a beginner kettlebell workout. However, this is not at all the case if you go too light you are simply wasting your time going through the movements. If you go too heavy, you risk getting injured as you sacrifice form.
It is very important to safely challenge yourself; to do so you must pick a decent weight to work out with. The sweet spot for most kettlebell workouts for most women is 10-25-lb kettlebells, and for men, it’s 25-45 lbs. Anything under this, and you probably won’t break a sweat using them and you’ll just be doing the movements with no real benefits.
The right size for you may also depend on your age, weight, and fitness experience. However, it should be noted that if you choose the right size for you, you will gain all the benefits in the quickest and most efficient manner, that too with the lowest risk of injury.
What Size Kettlebell Should I Get for Weight Loss?
Weight loss takes place when you burn more calories than you eat. Burning 2500 calories is the equivalent of burning one pound of fat, this does not have much relation to the amount of weight you use, except the amount of calories you burn.
Using heavy weights with low reps and high intensity is much better for burning more calories, strength, hypertrophy, and muscle building as compared to lighter kettlebell training. If your focus is to burn as many calories as possible in the smallest amount of time, you should focus on training with kettlebells on the heavier side.
How Do I Know If My Kettlebell Is Too Heavy?
It is essential to know where you stand and not ego lift. Maintaining proper mechanics and technique is the best way to ensure longevity in achieving your fitness goals. If you feel you are sacrificing form or are at risk of injury, just for the sake of lifting heavier weights, it might be time to tone down a little.
You can also take longer rest periods and maybe add a de-load week using lower weights in between weeks of intense exercise. This is a great weight to help your body recover, alongside continuing your training routine.