Kettlebell Recommendations

and Kettlebell Training Tools

I still get a lot of questions about which kettlebells to buy and where to buy them. Truth be told, I have a bunch of different ones, ranging from some locally acquired Apollos to my mail order Perform Better competition kettlebells. They all work for swings, presses, a jerks, and it’s not until you’re becoming a snatch or long cycle fanatic that the special shapes and perfect handles come into play.

Below is the info that I typically send our ‘want to be swinging a kettlebell’ readers when asked.


Kettlebells & Kettlebell Training Tools

In case you are in the market for a few tools for the home gym, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tools with you.
Just remember that you don’t have to have a gym at home to have a home gym. These tools can be used anywhere. Your gym is where you train. After all, our ancestors didn’t have squat racks and barbells, they worked hard and got strong as a result. You and I don’t really work all that hard, so we have to make do. Check it out!



With kettlebells you can press, pull, swing, squat, deadlift, and get your cardio on, all in a small area. They just look cool, too. …and you’ll look pretty cool using it! You. Are. Awesome.

First Place Kettlebells (pictured above) – This is the most cost effective kettlebell choice. It’s cool looking in its basic black, plus it’s got a rubber base so it won’t mess up your tile floor. Black is slimming. Remember that.

First Place Vinyl Coated Kettlebells – These are the same as the ones above, but coated in colored vinyl. They are pretty and colorful, and they also have the rubbery base for your precious floor’s sake.

First Place Competition Kettlebells – This is the style of kettlebell pictured in the banner. The picture was taken at my friend Chris Bathke’s Portland Oregon gym. This is the style to get if you’re going to compete in Kettlebell Sport (yes, it’s a real sport…). The other benefit is that they are all the same physical size, no matter what they weigh. They are also more stable for doing things like renegade rows, which can be tough with the lighter of the standard kettlebells, since the base of support can be small.

What kettlebell weights should you buy to start?

Girls should probably go heavier than they think and guys should probably go lighter. Nothing personal, ladies, but you’re stronger than you think. A bag of dog food is 18-25lbs and you already lift that, right?

Guys, don’t underestimate the power of swinging 16 kilos. That’s only about 35 pounds, but when I tell you to swing it for five minutes straight, 35lbs might seem heavy.

A decent starting point for females is a 12kg and a 16kg, while a guy might start with a 16kg and a 20kg. If you’re a couple who trains together, you can even start with a 12, a 16, and a 20, which means you can go light or go heavy, as long as you stick together.


The Gymboss is your best bet in the timer category. I like that it has a vibrate feature, so if you’re training in public, you’re not annoying people with little beeps. This thing is great for intervals, HIIT, or just timing your supersets.

Wrist bands

Yes, it’s a sweatband for the wrist, but it really comes in handy to protect your wrists from the kettlebell once you start to jerk, press, and snatch. Trust me! Just be sure to take them off before you go out in public.

Suspension Trainer

The Jungle Gym XT is my current choice. It’s easy to use and feels very solid. The heel cups are a great add and make doing leg work worth it. It comes with an “over the door” mount for inside use, too.

Other Stuff

You can do so much with so little… You don’t need much else. A jump rope, maybe. If you train on concrete, a rubbery mat could be nice. Music and decent lighting can help, too.

If you have questions or need help getting started in setting up your own home workout space, drop me a line!


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