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-   -   A couple of questions in regards to Kettlebells (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3914)

Doug Emerson 02-23-2009 11:06 AM

A couple of questions in regards to Kettlebells
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


Originally Posted by Gary Ohm (Post 51390)
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...)

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