Below, we will go over the international color code if you need ideas and want to follow the standard. Competition style bells are usually all one color (pictured below), indicating the weight.
You can have a look at our Powder Coat, and CompetitionKettlebell pages to decide which style you prefer, black with a stripe or kettle bells that are all one color. We recommend you read more about receiving a quick, free, dynamic kettle bells workout every week you can click below.
Also, we recommend you subscribe to our posts, so we can notify you when we publish more in this series. Following is the color table for the kettle bell weight in kilos and pounds.
Kettle bell Weight Color CodingColorWeight in kilosWeight in poundsPink8 kg17.6 lbsBlue12 kg26.4 lbsYellow16 kg35.2 lbsPurple20 kg44.0 lbsGreen24 kg52.8 lbsOrange28 kg61.6 lbsRed32 kg70.4 lbsGrey36 kg79.2 lbsWhite40 kg88.0 lbsSilver44 kg96.8 lbsGold48 kg105.6 lbs Color coding your kettle bells can help with group classes and allow the instructor to give clear direction when it comes to weight usage.
I’ve added bands to all of my kettle bells to help with ease of use and this is as much for me, as it is for the rest of the internet. I didn’t make this up, it is an internationally agreed upon Kettlebellcompetition treaty deal.
A 16-kilogram (35 lb) competitionkettlebell Arthur Saxon with a kettle bell, cover of The Text Book of Weight-Lifting (1910)The Russian girl (, plural girl) was a type of metal weight, primarily used to weigh crops in the 18th century. They began to be used for recreational and competition strength athletics in Russia and Europe in the late 19th century.
The birth of competitive kettle bell lifting or Gregory sport ( ) is dated to 1885, with the founding of the “Circle for Amateur Athletics” ( ). Russian girl are traditionally measured in weight by Food, corresponding to 16.38 kilograms (36.1 lb).
The English term kettle bell has been in use since the early 20th century. Similar weights used in Classical Greece were the halter, comparable to the modern kettle bell in terms of movements.
Variants of the kettle bell include bags filled with sand, water, or steel shot. By their nature, typical kettle bell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength.
The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work. Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettle bell exercises involve large numbers of repetitions in the sport, and can also involve large reps in normal training.
Kettle bell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks. This combination makes the exercise partially aerobic and more similar to high-intensity interval training rather than to traditional weight lifting.
Like movements performed with any exercise tool, they can be dangerous to those who have back or shoulder problems, or a weak core, when performed without proper education and progression. They can offer improved mobility, range of motion, agility, cardio vascular endurance, mental toughness and increased strength.
The following is a list of common exercises that are uniquely suited to the kettle bell for one reason or another. A kettle bell exercise that combines the lunge, bridge and side plank in a slow, controlled movement.
Keeping the arm holding the bell extended vertically, the athlete transitions from lying supine on the floor to standing, and back again. As with the other slow exercises (the windmill, get-up, and halo), this drill improves shoulder mobility and stabilization.
It starts lying on the ground with the kettle bell over the shoulder in a straight arm position, as in the top of a floor press, but with the other arm along the floor straight overhead. The trainee then gradually turns their body away from the kettle bell until they are lying partially on their front.
The kettle bell is held hanging in one arm and moved smoothly around the body, switching hands in front and behind. Also called a front leg pass, this is a backward lunge, circling the bell around the front leg, returning to the standing position, and repeating.
Like the slingshot, but the bell is swung forward until the arms are parallel to the ground. Starting with the bell in the rack, the bell is pushed away to the side slightly, the swung down to the other side in front of the body, and reversed back up into the rack.
A variation of the press where the other arm assists by pushing open palm against the ball. Stand on one leg and hold the kettle bell with the opposite arm.
By then lowering and raising the kettle bell you can work stabilization and power. A press utilizing a bent-leg windmill position to lift heavier weight than is otherwise possible.
One bell is rowed to the chest while maintaining the plank position, then returned to the ground and repeated with the other arm. Alternatively performed with a single kettle bell, one arm at a time.
This requires more control than an ordinary push up and results in a greater range of motion. Feet may be elevated to increase the difficulty, until the trainee is performing a handstand push-up on the kettle bells.
In any movement involving the rack or overhead position, the kettle bell can be held with the ball in an open palm (sometimes called the waiter hold) for a greater stabilization challenge, or for even more precise control and added grip challenge, the bottom-up hold, squeezing the kettle bell by the handle upside-down. Holding a single kettle bell in the rack position bottom-up with two hands (“by the horns”) makes for goblet exercise variants.
Conventional swing: The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell. Hang clean: The kettle bell is held in the rack position (resting on the forearm in the crook of the elbow, with the elbow against the chest), lowered to below the knees, and then thrust back up in to the rack.
The kettle bell is held in one hand, lowered to behind the knees via hip hinge, swung to an overhead position and held stable, before repeating the movement. Jerk: As a push press, but with two dips, for more leg assistance (as in the barbell clean and jerk) Thruster: A rack squat with a press at the top using momentum from the squat.
Pistol squat: A single-leg squat with one leg held straight in front parallel to the ground, holding the bell in the goblet or rack position. An easier variant for those with less hip mobility is to perform the squat parallel to a step or ledge, so that the foot of the free leg can dip beneath the pushing leg at the bottom.
Carry: Walking with the kettle bell held in various positions, such as suitcase, rack, goblet, or overhead. Row: While bent over anywhere from 45 degrees to parallel with the ground, the kettle bell is held hanging from a straight arm, pulled up to the hips or laterally, and lowered again.
Keeping the bell arm vertical, the upper body is bent to one side and rotated until the other hand is touching the floor. The single kettle bell version is called the suitcase walk.
These build grip strength while challenging your core, hips, back and traps. The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell.
The key to a good kettle bell swing is effectively thrusting the hips, not bending too much at the knees, and sending the weight forwards, as opposed to squatting the weight up, or lifting with the arms. The one-arm swing presents a significant anti-twisting challenge, and can be used with an alternating catch switching between arms.
Within those variations there are plenty more variations, some are, but not limited to: pace, movement, speed, power, grip, the direction of thumb, elbow flexion, knee flexion. The kettle bell has more than 25 grips that can be employed, to provide variety, challenge different muscles, increase or decrease complexity, and work on proprioception.
Competitive lifter (Greek) performing jerk with 32 kg kettle bells (rack position). Contemporary kettle bell training is represented basically by five styles. Hard style has its roots in powerlifting and Gj-rykarate training, particularly hobo undo concepts.
With emphasis on the “hard” component and borrowing the concept of time, the Hard style focuses on strength and power and duality of relaxation and tension. Gregory, sometimes referred to as the fluid style in comparison to the Hard style, represents the training regimen for the competitive sport of kettle bell lifting, focusing on strength endurance.
Juggling is a training style where the practitioner releases and catches the kettle bell with all manner of spins and flips around the body. Kettle bell training is extremely broad and caters to many goals, some being, but not limited to: mobility, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, strength, speed and power.
The sport can be compared to what the CrossFit Games is to CrossFit, however, the sport has been much longer in existence, and is only recently gaining more popularity worldwide, with women participating as well. One such example being Valerie Wazowski, who at age 52, was the first US female lifter in the veteran age category to achieve Master of Sport in 24 kg Kettle bell Long Cycle.
21 (1908), p. 505: “PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE USING SCHMIDT'S Celebrated 'MONARCH' DUMB-BELL, BAR BELL AND KETTLE BELL SYSTEM”; also spelled KETTLE-BELLS (with hyphen) in a 1910 advertisement for the “Automatic Exerciser”) ^ a b c Rathbone, Andy (2009-01-04). “The kettle bell way: Focused workouts mimic the movements of everyday activities”.
Blast Fat & Build Strength With Innovative Equipment!” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 542-544 ^ a b Iv ill, Laura (2008-11-22).
“Exclusive ACE research examines the fitness benefits of kettle bells” (PDF). Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 125-127 ^ Kettle bell Swing Vs. High Pull”.
^ “The Kettle bell Clean, Stop Banging Your Wrists | The Complete Guide”. Unfortunately, I was the kind of guy who felt I had to be either a 100% hard style or sport style Greek.
Recently I've made it my goal to get back in shape and I've decided to follow Pavel's simple & sinister program along with windmills, chin-ups/pull-ups, push-ups and snatches sprinkled on top. I'm currently in the market to buy some kettle bells and I ran into the classic cast-iron vs competition roadblock. Then I ran into Mike Salem (not literally... just via the internet) and really enjoyed how even though he practiced HS/GS movements, his preferred bells were competition style.
I'm just curious about how the strong first community feels about using a competition bell with HS training... would Pavel call me a “big sissy”? On a side note, I personally enjoy being able to travel with my kettle bells and always felt that iron-cast bells where indestructible and could handle the outdoors better.
Whereas competition bells tend to leave paint marks on surfaces and would scratch up more easily. Also, I live in Florida where it's hot and humid, so I'm not sure which style would hold up better to this weather.
A few reasons I prefer Cast iron bells:- For 2 hand heavy swings I prefer cast iron as the corners of the handle are rounded vs. competition bells being kind of squared off. They're a little thinner than most cast iron bells, but not by much, and I find them more comfortable.
The bare steel handles have a little grain to the surface that works well with and without chalk. The top of the handle is a little wider than some other competition KB's so there is a good amount of gripping room, and the 90 degree bend at the horns is less constricting to my fingers.
If you flip your cleans and snatches over the top, the competition bells are a little slower. The tighter geometry of the cast iron bells lets them flip a little more responsively.
The cast iron bells are also better for bottom up carries and presses. I ALWAYS reach for my KB USA Paradigm Pros instead of my cast iron bells of the same weight, with the one exception of bottom up work.
Steve W. you have a lot of experience with both, do you have to grip them differently for presses? Below a comparison of wrist extension for competition style and cast iron KB. If you plan to achieve Sinister, or attend one of our instructor certifications, or anything like that, then you have a reason not to do competition style bells.
But at the end of the day, unless you're pushing your personal limits, I don't think you'll find a lot of difference. I'll take the opportunity to ask: I have found that the competition style kettle bell doesn't allow me to extend the wrist for presses or TGU, so that the fist is in line with the forearm like a punch.
I have a 12 kg cast iron bell (DragonDoor) that hits my forearm in a painful way no matter how I adjust my grip >:-(. I like the colored cast iron KBS from Wilkerson (UK).
Colored Cast Iron Kettle bells The most important thing for me was the handle clearance, as I have large hands. Does anyone know which type is more durable and resistant to rust (especially in hot and humid conditions)? As for cast-iron I was looking at Kettle bell Kings, KB USA and Rogue.
Steve Grades I don’t plan to compete in GS but I do enjoy doing snatches for 5/10 min for strength endurance. Does anyone know which type is more durable and resistant to rust (especially in hot and humid conditions)? As for cast-iron I was looking at Kettle bell Kings, KB USA and Rogue.
Steve Grades I don’t plan to compete in GS but I do enjoy doing snatches for 5/10 min for strength endurance. I have cast iron bells from Rogue, coat from KettlebellsUSA, and powder coat from Kettle bell Kings.
Pavel Mack I have a couple cast iron bells and I do prefer them for HS training. So a competition bell would be great for GS lifts and good for HS practicing... whereas an iron cast bell would be great for HS but bad for GS training.
I prefer the look of cast iron as well but I feel comp bells will at least allow me to train in both styles. I recently came across this video and I think it put things in perspective.