I had been looking for the perfect strength-conditioning workout for a long time.
To be honest, I’m a bit scared to use barbell free weights because the idea of lifting a massive weight over my head and body seems a bit dangerous. I enjoy using the strength training machines at the gym, but I also want something I can use at home. Buying a machine for home is out of the question because they are so big and I’m planning on moving soon. Body weight exercises are a good option, but I’m not a heavy guy, so the upper limit of weight I can lift with bodyweight exercises is limited.
What I was looking for was a set of weights that are compact, versatile, and safe. I was looking for something I could do every day in my office for a few minutes to increase my strength. As you already know, kettlebells were what I was looking for.
Disclaimer: In this article, I discuss my own opinions and observations on health topics. I am not a doctor. The information here is only observations and opinions, not medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any changes that might affect your health.
Kettlebells are cannonballs with handles. They can be ligament-tearingly heavy—some are over 100 pounds—so you do need proper instruction on how to use them correctly.
Proper instruction for kettlebells is easy to get, though. Just download and read Kettlebell Simple & Sinister by Pavel Tsatsouline for clear step-by-step directions on how to get started.
In the book, Pavel recommends using three kettlebell weights. The three weights you use depends on your gender and level of fitness, but for average men (which I consider myself to be) the weights are 16kg, 24kg, and 32kg (35lbs, 53lbs, and 71lbs). I bought a bundle of all three of these weights at kettlebellsusa.com.
Kettlebells are not cheap, but they will not only last for your lifetime but probably also the lifetimes of all of your descendants. However, if you just don’t have that kind of money to spend, there are other ways to start kettlebells.
Starting Kettlebells for $100: Or you don’t have to spend all the money at once. Buy and read Kettlebell Simple & Sinister and buy the lightest kettlebell weight he recommends (16kg in my case). Then once you’re ready to move up in weight, buy the next weight. I’ve been practicing kettlebells for a couple of weeks now, but I haven’t touched the two heavier weights yet. Those are for after I master the 16kg, which will take a few more weeks.
Starting Kettlebells for $300 (Pavel-approved method): Buy and read Kettlebell Simple & Sinister. Buy the three weights Pavel recommends in his book (in my case, 16kg, 24kg, and 32kg). “Don’t be a sissy” and get moving.