Kettlebell Weight Selection…The Truth
Another question that I receive very frequently is ” What size kettlebell should I buy?” or ” What size kettlebell should I get for my athletes or clients?”
Here’s the honest answer, there is no good answer. Actually this is good answer but usually not the one people are looking for. The kettlebell is a tool, just like any other tool in your arsenal. Would you ever ask ” What size dumbbell should I buy for my team or clients?” How about medicine balls? Would you ever consider that an entire team or your entire clientele would only need one size medicine ball? I doubt it. So why apply that logic to kettlebell training?
Treat kettlebells like any other training tool. Invest in several weights or sizes. Kettlebells are actually becoming less expensive than dumbbells so price is not the factor it once was.
As you introduce kettlebells into your training program you’ll quickly realize that there is no cookie-cutter weight. You may rock Turkish Get-ups with a 53lb kettlebell but struggle to perform front squats with that same weight.
Your weight and athletic background is not a good determination either. I recently had a 220lb wrestler in one of my kettlebell workshops. He was suffering to perform Turkish Get-ups well with a very small weight for him,26lb. He lacked the shoulder and t-spine mobility to support even that size kettlebell.
However, there were women of much lighter weight using a 26lb kettlebell with beautiful form. They could have gone much heavier even.
So the moral of the story is…don’t assume. Experiment. Experiment with each exercise and experiment with each athlete or client. Most likely they will need different weights for different exercises. This is the bet approach to trying safe and effective.