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What size kettlebell should I start with?

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So after a little Google research you have finally decided that kettlebells are for you, now comes the first question, “What size kettlebell should I start with?”. Of course this depends on a number of factors, the obvious ones being gender and general fitness level. There are many different answers to this question around the web but not many acknowledge the fact that everyone is different and that you need to give different recommendations for different types of people. Because kettlebells are always heavy and because of the swinging movements involved it would be easy to injury yourself by not using the right size kettlebell. Another reason you should take the time to figure out the right weight is because your first experiences with a kettlebell will likely determine wether or not you stick with this exercise program.

You should begin by taking into account a few factors.

Are you recovering from any muscular injuries or do you have chronic problems with a certain joint for example? You will have to take this into account and depending on the problem you should decide wether you need to lower the otherwise appropriate weight.

What weight and height are you? What kind of build are you? You will need to think of the weight of the kettlebell versus your own weight.

How many kettlebells are you buying? Do you plan on doing exercise that require you to lift two at a time? For anyone new to kettlebells I recommend just buying one. Kettlebells are so versatile that you can do a whole workout with just one. If you are buying just one you will want to pick a heavier one.
Are you using the kettlebell as part of an existing exercise regime or will you just be doing kettlebell workouts?

What size kettlebell should I start with
What size kettlebell should I start with?

What is your general fitness level?

Do you have experience with or regularly lift weights?

If we assume that the kettlebell is your dominant tool and that you are just buying one then the general recommendations are sixteen kilograms (twenty six pounds) for a man and eight kilograms (eighteen pounds) for a women to start off. A six kilogram (thirteen pounds) kettlebell is usually appropriate for smaller women with no experience with weight training. No one will ever need to go lower than six kilograms. A woman who has been resistance training regularly should start with and eight while men should start with a sixteen kilogram kettlebell. Women who have been weight training regularly for over a year could start with a twelve kilogram while men could start with a twenty kilogram. Men without weight training experience should probably start with a twelve kilogram one.

These are average recommendations so take into account your own details. You don’t want one that is too light or you won’t get the full benefits from your workouts. Women generally should never need to go below six kilograms unless there are problems with injuries or other exceptions. For men going below twelve kilograms is not recommended.

A light six kilogram will be enough for a petite woman but for men with strength training experience they would hardly notice the weight.

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