Truth be told, this blog post isn’t so much a review of a particular brand of Kettlebell, rather it is a review of Kettlebells as a whole and why I like using them for strength training. I have been training with weights since I was in my mid teens, during that time I have used many different used all sorts of equipment such as, dumbbells, barbells and machines. In all honestly I like them all, if used correctly, you can practically get fit with any piece of fitness equipment. Based on my experience and research, when it comes to developing strength and size, there is no substitute for the barbell, the main reason for this is the amount of weight you can hold on a barbell.
However, when it comes to versatility, cost and storage, based on my own experience, it is hard to beat out a Kettlebell. These are some of the reasons why I like Kettlebells (having said that, I also own other pieces of equipment, such as Barbells and Dumbbells):
1) There a lot of different types of exercises you can do with them, ranging from “standard” exercises you can do with dumbbells and barbells, such as squats, military press and bench press, to more dynamic exercises such as Kettlebell swings, clean and press, snatches. In one Google search, it listed over 45 different exercises. So with one piece of equipment, you can train both strength and cardio, combined with dynamic and ballistic exercises, such as snatches and swings, you also have a great tool for weight loss and cardio.
2) They take up less space than dumbbells and barbells.
3) Their thick handle is good for training grip strength, in particular due to their shape, I find them very effective for exercises like farmers walks.
4) You don’t need much room for training, in fact you can train inside a shed.
5) When used properly, they are great for developing strength.
6) In my opinion, they provide “realism” for strength training. What I mean by realism is that when you look at loads in real life, you carry them by a handle that is off set from a load, like a bag, a jerry can or bucket. While a dumbbell or barbell can hold more weight and no doubt you can develop great strength with them. When you look at it closely, with dumbbells and barbells, you are holding the weight very close to their centre of gravity, which doesn’t really match reality.
(ABOVE) Like a Kettlebell, when you are holding a load in real life, you are usually holding it but the handle, such as a jerry can, bucket or bag.
Ideally, to get the most out of strength training, I honestly believe that training with a barbell, and combined with kettlebells, provides the best of both worlds in terms of strength, conditioning and realism for training. However, if you are stuck with one tool, you will be hard press to find a tool more versatile than the Kettlebell.