Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's Size Kettlebells Should I Use?

A lot of people ask me what size kettlebell should I use? 99% of women should start with a 8 KG Kettlebell. 99% of men should start with the 16 kg Kettlebell. Why?

What I have found is that most men try to start too heavy and a lot of women want to start too light. Women tend to be very strong relative to body weight. Men aren't usually as strong as they'd like to think. Certainly there are exceptions to the rule. Some women may need 12 kg to properly get their rears engaged and some men may need 20 kg. If you don't have the proper range of motion needed to be safe that is another issue and you shouldn't even be using a kettlebell until that is corrected.

And gals fear not. Kettlebells won't make you bigger at all. Just doesn't happen if it is your main training tool. Check out this serious display of feminine strength.

To get all the benefits of kettlebell training your posterior chain needs to be engaged. It's not possible to load your posterior with resistance if you aren't using an appropriately sized kettlebell. In addition, you are a lot more likely to "muscle" through it and not do it correctly if it's too light. One of the best corrections for the kettlebell swing seems to be a heavier bell for example. Far more injuries result from using a small kettlebell incorrectly than the right size kettlebell safely.

This is bound to upset some folks, but Kettlenetics isn't kettlebell training. Either dance or do kettlebells. You don't try to marry golf to tennis. Nor is what ever "kettlebell" product the The Firm carries. Each of these companies has taken something that they feel is a hot trend (Remember Kettlebells have been around over 200 years) and watered it down and frankly denigrated it to the point of being unrecognizable. I'm so friggin' sick of seeing these infomercials. Get yourself a certified kettlebell instructor and learn the right way from the get go. Seek maximum and true benefit.

So get the right sized kettlebell and get to work safely and using the appropriate size kettlebell. And even though you will add to your kettlebell collection over time you will still find good use for your 8 or 16 kg kettlebell. I use my 16 all the time to this day.

Sandy Sommer, RKC



At April 29, 2009 at 7:35 AM , Blogger Laura said...

Great post as usual, Sandy. Heavy weights don't hurt people; poor technique does. Heavy weights don't create undesirable bulk; an ill-conceived eating plan does :)

In theory I have nothing against products like Kettlenetics as long as the movements are biomechanically correct. (Never having seen a Kettlenetics workout I have no idea whether that's the case or not.) I just wish they would come up with another term for that kind of training--something that would make it clear that it's "derived from" or "inspired by" kettlebell training and not the real deal.

At April 29, 2009 at 8:50 AM , Blogger Sandy Sommer, RKC said...

Thanks for your post! I have seen clips of kettlenetics and I don't see much benefit and I do see potential for injury even though the bells 4 lbs I think. I really hate to see it watered down as well:)

At May 3, 2009 at 7:04 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

You've said it before, Sandy, but it bears repeating. If you're going to use kettlebells, learn how to do so from an expert. A certified instructor such as an RKC is best. Too much is at stake. If you don't, you'll waste your time and effort and you also have a good chance of getting injured. This goes for all sizes of kettlebells, from kettlebell-ettes to beasts.


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