Written by James Cooper
Last Updated

If you are new to weight training and looking to buy your first kettlebells one of the key questions most beginners ask is how to know which size of kettlebell would work the best. This article aims to give you a quick guide to choosing the right kettlebell for you.

 

For Beginners

If you are just starting out and have no weight training experience then you should go for a kettlebell which is less than eight kilos, or around 20 lbs. This applies to all beginners and is so that you can get used to the movements without causing yourself injury. 

There is a misconception that kettlebells are the same as dumbbells but they are used very differently, which means the weight and size work differently with your body. With a kettlebell, you are going to be swinging, rather than just lifting. 

Kettlebell workouts also use your muscles in a different way, so don’t buy one thinking you can just use it instead of a dumbbell.

 

For Men New to Kettlebell Training

For men who are already working out but are new to kettlebell training, you should aim to go for a kettlebell that weighs around 16kg or 35 lbs. This would be perfect for an average man who is fit but not used to bench pressing more than 200lbs. 

For men who can bench press more than 200lbs then go for a kettlebell that is around 44lbs or 20kg to start off with. As you progress and get used to using them, you can gradually increase the weight of the kettlebell. 

Within a few months, an average man should be able to progress to a kettlebell of 53lbs or 24kg so it is worth investing in a set to start with and just work your way up through the sizes as you make progress and get stronger. 

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For Women New to Kettlebell Training

Women who have never tried weight lifting or working with kettlebells before, but are otherwise fit, should aim to start with a weight of 18lbs or around 8kg. Using this will soon build up strength and allow you to progress relatively quickly. 

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For women who are already using weights, a kettlebell of 12kg or 26lbs would work better but again, it’s worth investing in a set of kettlebells so that as your strength improves you can easily move to the next level.

 

How Many Kettlebells?

How many kettlebells you need to buy will really depend on the types of exercise which you are undertaking, it’s entirely possible you will only need one but if you want to do leg exercises holding one in each hand then you will need two or more. 

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The advice generally is to buy a set of kettlebells to allow you to progress, so for women starting out you could go for a set of 8kg, 12kg, and 16kg, while men could go for 12kg, 16kg, and 24kg.

Then once you get more advanced you can purchase larger kettlebells if required but with this set of three described above, you will be able to carry out all of the basic kettlebell swing moves and increase the weight as you improve. 

 

Seek Professional Help

If you have never used kettlebells before and are still unsure what size would be the most effective to add to your workout then seek professional help perhaps from your gym instructor, as if you buy ones that are too light they won’t do anything, and if you buy ones that are too heavy you could end up injuring yourself. 

It’s also important to know how to use them correctly once you have bought them as you don’t want to end up with a back injury or leg injury from attempting to swing them without having mastered the right techniques. 

 

Try a Kettlebell Class

If you are still not sure what size to get then why not try a kettlebell class at your local gym and ask to try out the different sizes safely, with supervision, so that you can see which feels comfortable and which feels too heavy, without spending money on them. 

Remember, it should feel heavy if it’s going to be effective and provide you with a good workout and you are more than likely a lot stronger than you might think you are, so getting it right is important if you want an effective workout. 

 

Conclusion

Choosing the right kettlebell size depends on a number of factors but it’s important to bear in mind the way you are going to be using them as well. They are not just weights to be lifted, you will be swinging these around, and so make sure you pick the right ones for your skill and strength level and then enjoy the workout. 

 

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