Musashi
Creative Commons License photo credit: Cronfeld
After writing yesterday’s post regarding my kettlebell workout of death I realized that I’d probably jumped into the deep end in terms of information for those readers who may not even know what kettlebells are.


Outside of old Russia, the military/special forces, secret service, fighters and martial artists, firemen and policemen kettlebells remain largely unknown. Happily this is changing. In the words of Pavel, the man largely responsible for the kettlebell revolution in the US, kettlebells will make you a better man or woman. You only need to take a look at the short list of people who do use kettlebells to know that you should be using one.

A person deeply enmeshed in modern life is much like a soldier in the military. You know you need to undertake physical training to remain fit and healthy so you can continue to effectively do whatever it is you are working at. Be it rifle skills, fighting as a unit, or advancing your career. But you also don’t have much time to spare. That is why the military use kettlebells and why you should to. They are perfectly minimalist and despite that produce outstanding results. So much so that members of the Special Forces take their kettlebells to war with them.

So lets assume that you want to start training with kettlebells. The very first question every kettlebell beginner asks is: What size kettlebell should I start with? If you are healthy adult male then start out with the 16kg kettlebell. This may not sound like much but just how challenging the 16kg kettlebell can be will likely surprise you.

I know of insanely strong men who still make use of their 16kg kettlebell. It is a good place to start because when you work with kettlebells you are practicing not lifting. There is a big and important difference. By practicing with kettlebells you will develop the skill of strength. So it is best to start out easy when trying to pick up a new skill.

If you are a healthy adult male with a strength training background and maybe larger then average in size then the 24kg kettlebell is probably the place to start for you. It is not recommended that you start with anything heavier then this. As with the 16kg kettlebell you will always find uses for your lighter kettlebells.

I personally started out with a 20kg kettlebell because I didn’t have much money and wanted one that would last. Although I hadn’t lifted traditional weights for a number of years I had trained serious combative martial arts for a long time previous to starting with kettlebells. So I thought I would be ok.

I remember my first workout with the kettlebell very clearly. I think it almost killed me. But I stuck with it and rapidly adjusted. The real breakthrough for me came when the technique started to click. When I started to develop some skill. After 7 months I felt I had mastered the 20kg kettlebell and so purchased a 32kg kettlebell and now I’m humbled once again.

If you are a healthy adult female you will want to start with the 8kg kettlebell. What I’ve mentioned about for the men applies for the ladies. This kettlebell will present a challenge but you will rapidly adapt. If you are a stronger then average female then the 12kg kettlebell may be for you.

So there you have it. I cannot recommend kettlebells enough. I have a history of weight lifting from before I was a teenager and have never experienced anything like the effects produced by kettlebells. I would also recommend you look up a Russian fellow named Pavel and buy his video and book called Enter the Kettlebell. Along with the right size kettlebell for you this will give you the very best injury free start.

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