What size Kettlebells should I be using?

kettlebell rack

Kettlebells – Selecting The Right Weight

What size Kettlebells should I be using?

They come in many shapes and sizes but that wasn’t always the way. When kettlebells re-emerged from hiding in 2001 popularized by Pavel Tsatsouline the only weights available were 16kg, 24kg and 32kg. These were the traditional sizes used in Russia and the kettlebell was measured in ‘poods’ 1 pood was 16kg, 1.5 poods 24kg & 2 poods 32kg.

Kettlebell size 2kg

A 2kg kettlebell is very small. Great for kids

The Russian way of thinking was that if you are a boy use 16kgs, a man who demands strength and endurance a 24kg. The 32 was reserved for very big men and circus performers. Now 15 years later we have the luxury of choosing from a 2kg kettlebell up to 90kg bells that are used in CrossFit and Strongman comps for farmers walks.

So let’s get to it what size do you use?

I recommend that women start with an 8kg and men a 16kg. Why so light you said in your mind, well that is so you can learn the correct technique for the basic exercises and so you don’t get hurt and end up hating kbells. The shape of the kbell is very different to a perfectly shaped dumbell so a lighter weight feels a lot heavier.

Very quickly you will go up to the next weight, women the 12 and blokes the 24kg. Realistically these would be the only weights you will ever need, but we are not going to stop there. When you are proficient with one kettlebell it is time to go back to the first weights we used and use two kettlebells!

Many Kettlebells 4-40kg

Double kettlebell exercises are much harder than single bell exercises and really take your kettlebell skills to the next level.

The plan:

  • Women 12kg, Men 16kg – Learn how to correctly clean, swing and press them
  • Next, Women 16kg, Men 24kg – Practice the previous exercises if your technique starts to fail drop back to the start weight
  • Finally, try double cleans, swings and presses with the lighter kettlebells


If you are only going to buy one kettlebell, men buy a 24 and women a 12kg and see a qualified instructor to learn the exercises and watch your fitness skyrocket. There are a countless number of kettlebell exercises but it’s important to start with basics to get the feel of the movements. If you would like a kettlebell workout plan, for fitness and fatloss go here.



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