What weight to start with kettlebells?
I use a 15 pound kettlebell. It's just about perfect for me to use for Cody's workouts. His exercises use a lot of onehanded movements so you need to keep that in mind, if you can use a 20 pound KB with two hands, it may be way too heavy for only one. If I was doing only 2 handed workouts I'd probably want a much heavier KB.
Guys generally 16-20-24 kg, depending on general beginning strength.
Gals are probably more in (8)-12-16 kg range.
All this depends of course on what you focus on. If you plan on doing. I like heavier bells when doing the swing, but I like lighter one when i do stuff like over head presses. And I also like to have one more light when I start to loose power in my muscles to change down to a lighter bell to finish a work out.
So to sum up you will eventually need light, normal and a heavy one, what actual weight you end up with is of course relative to your strength and muscle endurance. And be ready to buy more to progress the weight to force your body to adapt, but be sure to handle the weight well when you begin and you are learning correct form.
The advice, for what it's worth, on the web is for the average man to start with a 16 kg (~35 lb) kettlebell and for more fit men to start with a 24 kg (~53 lb) kettlebell. Women are advised to start with an 8 kg (~18 lb) kettlebell and more fit women should start with a 12 kg (~26 lb) kettlebell.
That said, you REALLY need to go to abrick and mortar store or a gym and try out the kettlebells and see what works for you. You will not only be swinging the kettlebell using two hands, you will be lifting it over your head with one hand.
The kettlebell should feel somewhat heavy, but you should be able to press it one-handed above your head. It needs to be heavy enough to be a challenge but light enough that won't kill you. If you're just starting, it is always better to err on the side of going lighter and protecting your joints and back. Remember, you need a bell that you can swing around for 10 to 40 minutes. You want to be fatigued after your workout, but you don't want something that will injure you.
I would avoid the plastic sand-filled or cement variety: kettlebells get a lot of torture and the plastic will crack.
Also make sure that the handle is smooth all of the way around and is easy to grip. It doesn't have to be finely polished, but any seams from a mold or sharp bumps will cut into your hand after using it for a while. I would avoid anything with a rubberized handle--you need some slipperiness to transfer back and forth and when you do cleans or snatches.
It's better to err on the side of spending more money for a better bell, than it is to get something that will break quickly, doesn't feel right, or can cause injury. That said, the bell is basically a hunk of metal and you don't need anything fancy. You can definitely go the Dragon's Door or Ader route, quality products but they cost a premium.
I went with MDUSA because it was a good brand at a reasonable price. But KBUSA, Perform Better, GoFit, CapBarbell, Troy, and York etc. all make reasonable bells. For lower end, fitness-store-variety bells (CapBarbell, GoFit, Troy, and York), just examine the handle carefully to make sure that there are no sharp seams or bumps before you buy.
When buying on line, make sure that you calculate in shipping before running to purchase. Shipping will kill you on the heavier bells. I'm not plugging any website, but I bought my 35 kg MDUSA bell on Wayfair--they have free-shipping events on occasion. I saw my chance and scooped up the bell.
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