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Kettlebell FAQ

Kettlebell FAQ

I want to start training with kettlebells.  What size kettlebell should I use? 

For beginners, I recommend starting with a 6kg (13.2 lbs) or 8kg (17.6 lbs) for your lifts until you start to feel comfortable and confident with the weight.  As a beginner, I stuck with the lighter bell for my overhead lifts and single arm work for quite awhile until I felt comfortable with the movements.  I moved up to use the heavier weights for my lower body lifts (deadlifts, swings, squats) a little faster.  Be smart. Listen to your body. 

Beginner: 6kg / 8kg / 10kg

Intermediate: 10kg / 12kg/  14kg

Advanced: 14kg / 16kg / 18kg

I want to buy kettlebells to have at home.  What kind do you recommend?

Perform Better Kettlebells.  Hands down. They are high quality, last a lifetime, and the material is much less prone for sweaty hands slippage compared to other brands I've used.   Which is important to me.  Because I get really sweaty hands.

If you also get really sweaty hands like me, Perform Better can also supply you with some chalk for those swampy palms. 

I want to be able to do kettlebell workouts at home. What other equipment would be useful to have?

Foam rollers

Every time I warm up, I like to use a foam roller to roll out alllllllll the muscles. Click here for a video to learn how to foam roll.  

If you don't want to buy a foam roller, here is a short video I made to show you how to use a kettlebell to roll out those quads.  I recommend these foam rollers.

Yoga straps/Resistance Bands

In my warm ups and cool downs, I also tend to use my yoga straps or resistance bands to assist with the stretches.   

Yoga Blocks

Yoga blocks are another excellent tool to have around the house.  I've used these to assist with mobility limitations to prop up the kettlebell a little higher for the lift, or to squeeze the crap out of between my knees while I'm working on glute bridges. 

*If you click on the links to these products and end up making a purchase, I make a little commission, at no additional cost to you. Pretty sweet, ehh?

How do I know when to go up in weight?

Like I mentioned earlier, as a beginner, stick with the lightest bell you have when you first go through the lifts.  Once you feel comfortable with the technique, pay attention to how you feel during the reps.  For example, the rule of thumb that I like to use is:

  • Ready to move up: If the exercise calls for 5 reps, and you feel like you could do more, you're ready to grab a heavier bell
  • Take it down a notch: Conversely, if the exercise calls for 5 reps and you can barely finish 5, let's take it down a notch
  • Chill here: If the exercise calls for 5 reps and the last 1 or 2 are challenging, you've found the sweet spot.  Stay here until you feel like you're ready to graduate to the next weight. 

What if I only have access to a few light kettlebells at home?  How can I challenge myself without going out and buying another heavier bell?

Just by slowing down the movements, or adding more reps, you can get just as much of a workout from a 10kg as you can from an 20kg.  

Por ejemplo: if the program calls for deadlifts, slow that crap downnnnnn.  From the bottom of the deadlift, pretend as if the bell is stuck to the ground - you should feel your quads, glutes, and lats fire up.  You're like a loaded spring.  As you release the spring, slowly ascend to the top of the deadlift and squeeze the crap outta your butt at the top.  Slow on the descent.  And now try to tell me that was easy.  

Stuck with a few lighter weights at home and want to challenge yourself? Shoot me an email, send me a DM, message me on FB, send me a smoke signal, handwritten note by carrier pidgeon.... and I'll hook you up a few ideas. 

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