Kettlebell Sets and What to Look for

Kettlebell Sets

Training with kettlebells is a great way to workout. By design they build muscle mass while providing an intense cardio workout. It’s the best of both worlds you could say. Fantastic! Now, where do you start? Well, it starts with getting yourself one of the many kettlebell sets available and by reading my other article on kettlebell training basics

You need a kettlebell set because just one kettlebell limits your exercise options. You can still have a killer workout with just one but it gets more fun and diverse with multiple options.

Does it matter which of the kettlebell sets you buy? Yes! Though it’s not as complicated as you may think. You don’t have to buy a kit per se, just buy one at a time until you create your perfect set.

Personally, I prefer a one-piece solid cast iron kettlebell. Cap, Troy and Onnit make some good ones. Other materials just don’t feel the same for me. I want my workouts to be gritty and hard, and it’s hard to go wrong with solid cast iron for that.

Next is choosing the weight. Trust me, you will underestimate the weight of these suckers. When I went to pick up my first 35lbs kettlebell I thought it was 50 or 60 pounds. The weight is so densely packed that I couldn’t believe how heavy it was! Keep this in mind when selecting your kettlebells. Go to your nearest sports retail store and try these out first if you’re thinking of buying online.

So what kettlebell sets should you get? That varies from person to person. It was tough for me to start with a 35lbs kettlebell, especially when following the Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout DVD. For me, the best bet was starting with a 15lbs, 25lbs and 35lbs kettlebell. With these three you can work your way up to heavier weights, do super sets and drop sets. Another option is to double up and get two of the same weights so you can do certain exercises, such as the double kettlebell swing.

The truth is, there aren’t any one-size fits all kettlebell sets. You need to pick the bells you are most comfortable with and that will give you the best challenge. If you’re curious where I bought my kettlebells, I bought my kettlebells from Amazon.

Kettlebell Training Basics

Kettlebells

Kettlebells were first created in Russia in the 1700s, apparently farmers used to throw them around for fun. In the mid 1900s, kettlebells started being used for physical training and conditioning in Europe and the United States, but they really became popular around the year 2000. Since then really took off, especially with the CrossFit community.

Kettlebell training offers a fantastic combination of strength and cardiovascular training. The exercises that can be performed with them can help increase flexibility and explosiveness. Kettlebell training also makes it much easier to workout at home since you can have a great workout with just one pood (the unit of weight commonly used for kettlebells which is equivalent to 35lbs).

The principle exercise is the kettlebell swing. There are many variations of this exercise, but the most commonly performed swing is with both hands on the kettlebell handle. It begins from a slight squatting position with the kettlebell between the glutes and the floor and with one smooth swing, raising the kettlebell above the head. The swing then returns to the starting position in a controlled form. Both arms are extended through the entire swing and the back is straight. It’s best to start with very light weight until you are comfortable with the movement and increase the weight once you perfect your form.

The great thing about kettlebell training is that it’s a whole body workout. Most, if not all, muscles are triggered when performing kettlebells. Even the tiny little muscles and fibers that are rarely used when lifting with machines and barbells come into play helping to stabilize the weight. You may notice some shaking when holding certain positions initially. Dumbells are similar to kettlebells in this manner.

Kettlebell training offers many benefits and can be easily incorporated into any exercise routine. With a little creativity and imagination you can add a lot of interesting ways to burn calories and build lean body mass. If you run out of ideas, The Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout DVD is a great investment.