The kettlebells I have been swinging every day have been too light from the beginning. I have been cycling between a 12kg, a 16kg, and a 20kg competition kettlebell but really should have been putting the work in and struggled with my 24kg kettlebell instead. Maybe you’re swinging a kettlebell that’s too light for you.
Mind you, 24kg is possibly too heavy for some of the other kettlebell workouts like the Turkish get-up (TGU) and the clean and press; however, the kind of full-body ballistic workout that the two-hand swing really demands the sort of benefits that a heavy weight provided by a 24kg kettlebell now—and a 32kg later—offers.
And, because the two-hand kettlebell swing is a full-body ballistic movement, tapping a chain of the strongest muscles in the body, I can really swing well above my actual strength. I personally recommend the 24 kg – 53 lb Metrixx® Elite Precision E-Coat Kettlebell by Kettlebells USA.
I will still use my 8kg, 12kg, 16kg, and 20kg kettlebells for kettlebell exercises like the around the world, the kettlebell sit up, the figure 8, the one-hand swing, the tactical lunge, the sumo deadlift high pulls, the clean, the clean and press, the goblet squat, the single arm pull, the single arm overhead square, and, of course, the Turkish get-up—I don’t think I’ll ever be a one-kettlebell does everything Girevik like quite a few people I know who just carry a 32kg kettlebell with them—two whole pood!
Recommended kettlebell weights according to Pavel Tsatsouline via Kettlebell Simple & Sinister:
|Need Right Now||Will Need Soon|
|Average Strength Woman||8kg, 12kg, 16kg||20kg, 24kg|
|Strong Woman||12kg, 16kg, 20kg||24kg|
|Average Strength Man||16kg, 24kg||32kg|
|Strong Man||24kg, 32kg||36kg, 40kg|
How Heavy a Kettlebell Should You Buy?
The weight of the kettlebell you should buy depends on your fitness level, experience, and goals. As a general guideline:
- Beginners should start with a lighter weight (8-16 kg) and gradually increase as they become stronger and more experienced.
- Men typically use kettlebells weighing 16-32 kg, while women tend to use 8-24 kg.
- If you’re aiming for overall fitness or full-body strength and endurance, a range of weights from 16-24 kg can be suitable.
- For specific exercises or movements, a lighter or heavier kettlebell may be necessary.
It is always recommended to seek advice from a personal trainer or coach to determine the appropriate weight for you.
Is it Better to Go Heavy or Light with Kettlebells?
The answer depends on your fitness goals.
If you are focused on building strength, then using a heavier kettlebell will be more beneficial as it will challenge your muscles and force them to work harder.
If your focus is on improving cardiovascular fitness and increasing endurance, then using a lighter kettlebell with a higher number of repetitions will be more appropriate.
If you are a beginner, it is recommended to start with a lighter weight and gradually increase as you become stronger and more experienced. This will help prevent injury and allow you to master proper form and technique.
It is important to remember that using a kettlebell of any weight can provide a full-body workout and be an effective tool for achieving your fitness goals. The key is to find a weight that challenges you and allows you to perform each exercise with proper form.