View Full Version : A couple of questions in regards to Kettlebells

Doug Emerson
02-23-2009, 11:06 AM
First off. Long time lurker first time poster...been doing some crossfit type workouts for the past 3 to 4 years.

I am a desk jockey and my hobby is surfing, so being a full time cross fitter isn't my thing. I just want to be in the best shape that I can without putting on too much mass. I have a bum knee (tore acl 25 years ago, probably not much cartilage left), so I don't do too much in regards to squats or heavy o lifting.

So, my wife and I just had twins...Needless to say, I won't be going to the gym too often here in the meantime. I want to get some Kettlebells to use at home. I don't know too many techniques, just what I see on the internet. I am thinking of getting 3 kbells. Probably on in the 35lb range one in the 50 lb range and maybe one in the 70 lb range for swings.

I know that I should do a search, but I barely have enough time to ask this question, as all my other time is spent burping, feeding, or changing diapers...Hey that could be a wod :) Anyways I appreciate anyones help and our guidance as one can only do so many pullups and pushups :cool:



Actually, I posted without finishing my question *duh* (lack of sleep) Is it stupid to get 2 kettlebells of the same weight? I'm pretty sure that when using k bells you do one arm at a time for most exercises. I was thinking that I might use them similarly as one would dumbbells...Money is an issue, so I wouldn't want 2 of everything, was thinking of 2 of the smaller bells.

Sam Nutt
02-23-2009, 11:31 AM
Hi Doug -

Welcome to the boards! I bought kettlebells exactly in the weight range you're considering: one each at 1, 1.5 and 2 pood. I got mine from dragondoor.com, where they sold them as a set for around $400, plus whatever shipping was (which may not be inconsequential). I love them. They're much better than the ones I find at my gym. There are certainly a lot of makes out there, of varying price and shape/comfort, so if you can try any out at a gym, CF affiliate, friend's garage, or wherever, I'd recommend it.

As for buying two at the same weight, I don't think that's dumb at all. I get plenty of action out of having a single at each weight, but there's plenty you could do with two 1 or 1.5 pood kettlebells, including thrusters (yay!), push presses, C&Js, etc.

I know there are other gireviks on here, so hopefully you'll get input from them as well.

Gary Ohm
02-23-2009, 01:18 PM
Hi Doug,
Congratulations on the new bundles o' joy. Getting two bells of the same weight is a great idea. I am getting four this weekend. I am getting two 35 pounders and two 53 pounders. A RKC team leader recommended this assortment to me.
I really cannot see myself ever needing any more. I can swing from 35# all the way up to 106# now. Two handed clean and press and two handed snatch are terrific exercises. My 35# bells will be the classic style and my 53# bells will be the "Russian Red" style. The red style has paint over the top that makes the grip bigger and slicker. It is supposed to be harder on your grip and on your calluses. I am looking foreword to getting chimpanzee strong with chimpanzee strong hands to boot.

Up to this point I have been using home made bells from 28# up to 58# with a 1.5" diameter handle. I have been happy so far, but it's time to move up to the big leagues.
Good luck!!

Doug Emerson
02-23-2009, 02:34 PM

I appreciate the input...I only have a quick minute as I am in my cube here at work:) Gary, I am in Arroyo Grande. Where did you get your bells? Anywhere near SLO county? Maybe I can make a trip sometime over the hill and check yours? I'm probably dreaming, but who knows I could get a free moment or two.

I'd like to get some more equipment, but my wife and I are not in a permanent home at the moment....so I don't to pack more crap into the garage until I am in a more permanent location :D

Gary Ohm
02-23-2009, 06:33 PM
Well Heck Doug, of course you can come up to God's country and try my bells. I work at Diablo and we have an outage in full force, so I won't have too much free time until then. But if you like, PM me your home e-mail and/or phone and we can get together. Kettlebells are about ideal for a person in your situation of zero spare room. Four square feet of storage space and you have a pretty darned awesome home gym.

I am getting my bells from an RKC instructor who lives and works in San Jose, but he graduated from Paso High and comes down every few weeks. As far as mailorder, the cheapest I have seen is through www.Christiansfitnessfactory.com . Even if you just went for two 35's to start, you can go a pretty darned long ways with that setup alone.

Another option is www.venuesports.com (www.vsathletics.com) out of SLO. They are located on South Higuera. They sell kettlebells and get them from their main shop in Southern Ca. If one of the guys is going down there he can pick them up on his way back, and you can save on shipping. The stars really have to align for that one, but it is a possibility. Check out both places. Good luck!!

As far as no equipment, there are a few really good body weight web sites out there as well.

Patrick Donnelly
02-23-2009, 07:41 PM
Congratulations on the new bundles o' joy.

When I read that, what immediately popped in my head was:

What? He hasn't bought the kettlebells yet.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Gary, do you have any instructions on how to make the kettlebells with a 1.5" grip? Sounds interesting.

Aaron Gainer
02-23-2009, 09:12 PM
Their worth it for all around strength and endurance. I use it in addition with my barbell program for conditioning and it packs a punch!!!!

Gary Ohm
02-24-2009, 04:35 AM
Patrick, I can tell you how to make them. If my camera had not just eaten itself I could post pictures. I used threaded galvanized pipe and all dimensions are ID. You may have to fiddle with the length to fit your preferences.

The handle is one 5.5"x 1.25" threaded pipe. (1.25" ID gives you 1.5 OD)
One 1.25" to 1" 90 degree reducing elbow
The vertical peice is one 6"x1" threaded pipe. (you can go longer or shorter depending on how it all fits together for you)
One 1" to 3/4" 90 degree reducing elbow
The part that holds the fitness weights is one 6"x3/4" threaded pipe. You put the weights on this. 3/4" pipe perfectly holds the 1" hole of fitness weights. Then put a pipe cap on the end of this. I use big washers to space it better.

It is better with a photo. But what you have is your handle across the top reduced to the vertical piece reduced to the piece that holds the weight. One side is open. The weights will be parallel to your handle.

I have my largest one built up to hold #58 and it feels very sturdy. It is not the same feel as a KB, but it is way cheaper and more adjustable.

Let me know if this helps.

Grissim Connery
02-24-2009, 08:54 AM
you can get plenty of benefits w/o getting them in pairs

Gary Ohm
02-25-2009, 04:32 AM
One certainly can. But the original question was whether it is "stupid" to get them in pairs. The answer is no.

Doug, If you are going to get a number of KB's, I would really suggest two pairs. While you can to probably 80% of the possible exercises with just one, you can get that extra 20% with pairs and have alot of fun. If you are on a tight budget, how about 2x 35# and1 x 53#. THis way you can still get up to your 70# swinging weight... (now I re-read your original post and I just suggested exactly what you originally were going to do...)

Doug Emerson
02-25-2009, 04:20 PM
Thanks for all of the replies folks :) I was thinking that it would be cool to have pairs, so maybe I could do thrusters or practice push presses with them....I know that you can do everything with one bell, but I thought having a pair would be better. That being said, money is somewhat of a limiting factor.

I guess you could have a 35lb in one hand and a 53 in the other for doing a press over head, and then switch bells...I dunno, I'm a full on newb at these. Getting some pointers from someone with experience would definitely be a plus.

All I know is that I need to at least start doing some workouts. I haven't worked out in about 3 weeks except for doing some pull ups, pushups, and practicing some hand stands...I tweaked my shoulder right before the babies were born doing some hang cleans...went a bit heavier than I normally do:p so the rest has come at a good time. Luckily my wife has given me a couple of hall passes to go surfing :D

Doug Emerson
02-25-2009, 04:22 PM
you can get plenty of benefits w/o getting them in pairs

Grissim...from your photo, looks like you have benefit well :D

Grissim Connery
02-26-2009, 03:51 PM
if i'm doing thrusters w/ kb's, i'll vary it up. sometimes i'll cup both hands around the bell, sometimes by the horns, sometimes i'll do one arm thrusters and alternate. the one arm thrusters is pretty interesting because it teaches the corkscrew motion that goes on during presses between your lower and upper body.

i have a 1, 1.5, and 2 pood. i find that if i really need make the motions heavier, i just do OL instead. would i like to have a pair of each? definately, but due to conveniance, money, and space (i keep my kb in a small locker at my school gym, they look pretty ridiculous in there) the single set is quite adequate. the reason that i like having the 2 pood as opposed to a pair of 1 pood and 1.5 pood is for heavy TGUs. i haven't really tried heavy TGUs with a barbell, but the 2 pood is normally ample enough to stimulate the motion well. plus i've had to drop the bell on these before.

honestly though, if you get 2 pairs or a set of 3 diff ones, you're gonna get nearly the same benefits. thus i wouldn't really worry which one you pick. you might have a stronger TGU with a 2 pood while you might have a stronger clean with a pair of 1.5, but are these differences that big a deal? it all really depends on what your goal is.

Gary Ohm
03-08-2009, 04:42 PM
I can finally update a little bit. I got my two 35's and two Russian Red 53's two weeks ago. I have used them as much as I am able and I love them. The reds are a bit slicker in the handle, but I honestly like that. I use a bit of chalk now and then, but I really don't notice any trouble with the slicker grip. Perhaps I have a better than average grip though. Having four bells is a great way to go. So far I have no need for a larger size. I agree with Grissim in that if I want to go really heavy I will break out some Oly style lifts.

How are the kids Doug? Are you sleeping much?:D

Doug Emerson
03-09-2009, 10:05 AM

What brand of bells are we talking? I e-mailed the guys at vs athletics and they responded promptly. I haven't ordered anything yet. How are the VS bells?

Thanks for the update! And, some nights I get more sleep than others :p The kids are doing well...'lil buggers are keeping us busy :D

Gary Ohm
03-10-2009, 04:52 AM
Hi Doug,
I got the dragondoor bells. My 53's are the russian red's, the 35's are standard. If you are having a good communication with VS and if they will give you a good deal I would say go with them. I have never tried the ones they sell though. Glad you are still looking in to all this. Keep up the good work with the little ones.

David Boyle
04-08-2009, 02:39 PM
KBs deliver opt fitness....enough said!

I have 3...16kg-24kg-32kg.

Doug Emerson
04-23-2009, 12:53 PM
Hey, I just got my KB...ordered a 16kg from Rogue Fitness...the bell they sent me is an Ader. I don't know much about KB's but it seems nice. Now I just gotta figure out some routines. Stoked! Once I get this one down a bit, will get a 53 and a 70 :)

Harry Munro
06-15-2009, 03:20 PM
Hey Doug good work on getting the 16, I too am new to kettlebells but from what i've read I think using 2 bells at once is generally only recommended once one has mastered using 1. What does the party think?

Grissim Connery
06-16-2009, 08:25 AM
i don't which party i'm in, but hopefully it's the cool one. i go to a nerd school, so probably not.

yes learning with one kb at first is probably best, but if you work the motion regularly, i don't think you need to wait that long to try 2 and see what it's like.

just have fun. 1 kb is fun. 2 kb's are fun. swing them thangs.

Garrett Smith
06-16-2009, 08:39 AM
Single KB exercises by their nature require more anti-rotational efforts.

Double KB exercises are more "balanced" rotation-wise, so little to no anti-rotation effort is required.

Better to start with a single KB of a lighter weight than to start with one that is too heavy or with two KBs.

I'm personally hoping to get a 40kg GS-style KB and start working on shorter timed sets of LCCJ and snatches one day a week.

Doug Emerson
06-18-2009, 12:24 PM
I only have one KB at the moment. It is the 16kg. It's fun. I'm amazed at how much you can work yourself with just 35lbs :D

I want to get another one. ($ is in tight supply with 2 4 month old babies to feed).

I was thinking of getting a 53lber but might opt for a lighter one (somewhere in the 44 lb range) sorry for the use of lbs instead of kg's. I don't want to hurt myself as I am self taught. I'll get proficient at the 44 lb kb and then move up the ladder.

I have an Ader KB. It is the only KB that I have used...It seems like a good one, but I am not an expert.

Doug Emerson
06-18-2009, 12:27 PM
Stupid question...when you guys are swinging doubles, the kb's are the same weight???

If you don't have the $ for 2 kb's of the same weight; is it not smart to swing 2 kb's of different weights? I figure if you switch off hands, it wouldn't be a big deal. But, I don't want to hurt myself as I have been fighting some nagging injuries lately.

Getting old sucks :p

Garrett Smith
06-18-2009, 12:42 PM
My suggestion in buying KBs to progress:
Start with one, like a 35#. Work on that until bored or it's too light.
Then go to a heavier single KB, like a 44# or 53#. Same thing.
Then get another 35# and start working double KB exercises.

This way, in terms of the weight your posterior chain experiences, you are progressing in a very methodical manner--35#, 53#, then 70# (2 x 35#). If you are buying them piecemeal, that's the way to go (that's what I'm doing now, I sold all of my old doubles of DD KBs so I could get the new GS-style KBs. My first purchase will be a 44#.