That, coupled with the new existential threats of daily existence under the pandemic, meant I was eating a lot of takes out, and food became a distraction from the casual terror of everyday life. Dan John's 10,000 Kettle bell Swing Workout has earned a reputation as a simple, brutal fitness challenge.
The swings are supplemented with squats, presses, or dips for four of the weekly training sessions. John claims that people who have taken on the challenge dropped fat while adding muscle, saw noticeable improvements in posture and body composition, and made significant gains in overall strength.
I wanted a program that didn't require regular gym access while still offering big results to combat my pandemic pounds and general malaise. By the time the challenge was finished four weeks later, I had dropped nearly all the pandemic weight and a quarter of my body fat.
Week 1 of the 10,000 Kettle bell Swing Challenge There are thousands of trainers on the internet insisting their programs are the absolute best way for people to lose weight. You need to expel more energy than you're putting in (this is called a caloric deficit).
That can happen through careful focus on diet, exercise, or most effectively, some combination of the two. To keep me accountable and make sure I actually finished the 10,000 swings, I asked longtime friend and collaborator Diego Lopez, a comedian and model in Brooklyn, to complete the challenge with me.
During the pandemic that's meant coaching clients through Zoom and training sessions in the park. For people looking to improve their fitness with minimal equipment, Lopez has been a strong advocate for kettle bells.
“The kettle bell swing is a phenomenal pattern to strengthen the upright human being,” said Lopez. The first day of training Lopez completed his 500 swings with a 70-pound bell, but struggled with his grip.
The first day of swings (I used a 54-pound bell, as prescribed in John's workout design) and presses took me 38 minutes to complete. By the end of the last set I looked like I’d just stepped out of the shower and every part of my body felt sore.
One of the hardest things about hitting 500 reps in a workout was maintaining good form. Focusing on the hip hinge and being consistent with the swings can get exhausting, but that's kind of the point.
Logging the calories and doing more or less the same workout each day wasn’t sexy, but it did give me a sense of control. With the beauty of hindsight I can understand what a success dropping three pounds in a week is, but it didn't feel that way at the time.
These feelings had more to do with the fact that a big assignment was ramping up at my day job than anything to do with diet or kettle bell swings. I had a huge project due that required late nights and multiple meetings.
My face looked noticeably thinner and clothes that had been feeling tight fit again. Getting a decent workout in at under half an hour was incredibly satisfying, even if I continued to look like Swamp Thing after I was finished.
He cut his record for completing 500 swings to an impressive 17 minutes, and dropped 10 pounds without tweaking his diet. My buddy, Diego Lopez, showing off his results from the program. I dropped 16 pounds in four weeks, going from 210 to 194.
While the 10,000 swing kettle bell challenge didn't leave me with visible abs or a superhero body, it did leave me in a significantly better body composition than when I started, which serves as proof of concept for Dan John's program. I kept hoping to come up with some kind of life changing revelation when I discussed the challenge with friends, but nothing profound came to mind.
If you make a plan, put in hard work, and remain consistent, you'll get results. So really, I think the challenge shows that you don't need a gym or personal trainer to get noticeable results from your workouts.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Kettle bells are easy to store, relatively inexpensive, and provide an efficient way to work nearly every part of the body in a short period of time.
I use a simple five point rating scale to score each kettle bell : I’ve tested multiple kettle bells for this article, but to keep things simple I’m only listing the options that earned at least three stars and up.
The finish on these kettle bells is extremely drippy with no seams or burrs anywhere on the handles or bodies, with a coating that feels like chalk to the touch. Plus, I personally like the fact that these kettle bells are made in the USA by a small company.
Rep Fitness doesn’t bundle shipping into the costs of their products, and their base pricing is very reasonable. These kettle bells are a great value for the price, especially if you live close to Colorado to save on shipping costs.
Rogue Fitness Powder Coat kettle bells are decent, but not standouts. They are a pretty good deal if you live close to Ohio, otherwise the cost of shipping makes them much less appealing.
If you have large hands and prefer an aggressive grip, Rogue powder coat kettle bells could be the right option for you. However, they don’t really stand out enough to differentiate them from the rest of the color-coded powder coat kettle bells I’ve tested.
There are better options in terms of grip and finish, and the non-standard colors they use for weights drive me nuts. Bottom line, don’t pay full price for Perform Better kettle bells.
My review criteria is primarily centered on kettle bells I can use at home and at work with minimal need for chalk. If you’re interested in diving deeper I’ve written a kettle bell buyer’s guide that answers every question I had when I first started.
It also goes into detail on the criteria I look for, but the short version is a clean finish, a durable coating, and a properly sized handle. Cast-iron kettle bells are widely available at many price points, which I consider to be a very good thing.
There are a couple of companies making steel competition-style kettle bells aimed at the home fitness market, which offer the benefit of consistently sized kettle bells without incurring the usual steel competition cost. I’ve developed several kettle bell workouts for the club, ranging in intensity from beginner to high-level intermediate.
All of my workouts are documented on their own page and I plan to add to the list as time goes on. If you prefer to follow along to instructor-led workouts, I also highly recommend the well-designed program put together by Kettle bell Kings via their new Living. Fit online platform.
The Living. Fit programs include workouts for all levels of kettle bell enthusiasts, from beginner to expert. They also have programs targeted for healthy eating and battle ropes for a more well-rounded approach to health and fitness.
According to Tim Ferris the parts are supposed to cost under $10, not counting the weight plates. First, it takes the guesswork out of deciding what size kettle bell to buy for two hand work.
I was able to experiment with different weights to find a starting point I was comfortable with, eventually settling on 20 kg (44lbs). If you don’t already have a background lifting weights or being active, or if you are out of shape, consider working with a certified kettle bell trainer to get instructed in proper technique.
Plumbing parts weren’t designed to sustain a dynamic load swinging in an arc. I’ll get into the details shortly, but I first want to comment on the excellent packaging they used to ship their kettle bells.
This is a far cry from other vendors like Rogue Fitness, who typically just throw the bell in a box with some cardboard shims and hope for the best ¯\_()_/¯ I took this kettle bell outside on a hot Texas summer day to use for an Afterburner workout from my list of Kettle bell Club workouts, and I was able to keep hold of it without resorting to chalk despite my hands sweating like crazy.
This is an important point because the factories where kettle bells are made are dirty, dusty places. There’s lots of dust flying around that accumulates on the surface of the bells while they sit patiently waiting for paint.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, very few companies take the extra step to clean the bells before paint because it adds time and expense to the process. At the time I published this article, Kettle bell Kings is likely the only vendor taking this extra step, which results in a very durable coating.
Most of the cheap kettle bells for sale on Amazon and other discount vendors fall into this category, I’ve even reviewed a few of them for this article. If you’re unfamiliar with Create, it’s an extremely durable thin-film ceramic coating developed primarily for use as a protective finish for firearms.
Create is extremely resistant to abrasion, corrosion and chemicals, and looks pretty cool at the same time. In recent years a little fitness equipment companies have started offering create as a coating option for barbells.
The create coating will cost a little extra, but the added durability means that kettle bell will last practically forever. Additionally, the create option allows for a nearly infinite amount of customization and personalization.
It looks like it could take a decent amount of abuse from a careless shipper, but the lack of reinforcement straps around the box could be an issue if the kettle bell has to travel a long distance. The finish on the Innit kettle bell is clean, although the textured coating is thick enough to potentially mask small imperfections.
Aesthetically, there are spots on the kettle bell where I can see how the coating application ran down the handle and dried, similar to how spray paint drips when applied too thickly. I thought maybe this was a fluke, so I intentionally banged the kettle bells together again with medium force and another chip flaked off.
The coating chipped several more times during the testing period through normal use, mainly from getting bumped against other kettle bells. It’s a small difference, but enough to force an adjustment of technique for exercises like the overhead snatch.
Innit Labs kettle bells are a good budget option, but not the most durable of the bunch. If you do buy these, take wonderful care of them because the finish is prone to chipping.
The finish on the kettle bell is very clean, and although the casting seams are slightly visible on the body due to how thin an e-coating is, they are not prevalent on the handle at all. The Matrix Elite Precision line of kettle bells have a reformulated e-coat intended to increase grip over a traditional e-coating.
The unique aspect of Matrix Precision Elite kettle bell is the redesigned handle. The increased height means the kettle bell will sit just a bit lower on the forearm rather than resting right on the wrist bones, which is more comfortable for some people.
The reformulated e-coat is stickier than the e-coats on the Dragon Door and even the Matrix Classic line. The friction is alleviated with light chalk use though, which is a small trade off for the durability and comfort the Matrix Elite Precision kettle bell provides.
The finish on the Rogue kettle bell is good, although I can feel a few small flecks of excess metal on the handle when I run my hand over it. The powder coat on the Rogue kettle bells is textured, with a feel of fine grit sandpaper.
The handles of the Rogue kettle bells are among the thickest of the test group, making them more suitable for people with large hands. The price is good too, especially if you live close to Ohio and can take advantage of a lower shipping cost.
They are a pretty good deal if you live close to Ohio, otherwise the cost of shipping makes them much less appealing. If you have large hands and prefer an aggressive grip, Rogue powder coat kettle bells could be the right option for you.
CFF offers a full line of athletic equipment, including kettle bells. The form-fitting foam is an extra level of protection that’s typically only used for shipping more costly competition steel kettle bells.
The coating has a slightly aggressive texture, which works very well for maintaining grip without needing chalk. The combination of finish and textured coating will hold a lot of chalk if needed.
It’s clear to me a lot of thought went into the creation of the K2 and it shows in every aspect of the design and packaging. I included Rep Fitness kettle bells in last year’s review, and they garnered four stars during testing.
Not content with that, the folks at Rep Fitness have upped their game by improving on the issues I noted in the previous review. The Rep Fitness kettle bells came well packed, with plenty of foam inserts and even bubble wrap on the 20 kg.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to take him up on this but it’s nice to see this kind of focus on customer service. The powder coating has a very smooth chalk-like texture that provides a decent amount of grip without the need for chalk.
The coating is also really durable, these kettle bells have withstood several hard blows without chipping. They offer an excellent value for the price, especially if you live close to Colorado and you can save on shipping.
Fringe Sport is a strength & conditioning equipment company based in Austin Texas. Since they’re local, I paid them a visit to pick up a few of their Prime Kettle bells to review.
Every Prime Kettle bell comes packaged in a form-fitting cardboard box and wrapped with reinforcement straps. The finish on the Prime Kettle bells is clean and the bottoms are ground completely flat.
The powder coat kettle bell is evenly applied and provides a decent amount of grip. The grip the is on par with the majority of powder coat kettle bells I’ve tested, providing a smooth yet “drippy” texture.
When I first got them, I was surprised at how much larger the handle diameters were when compared to similarly sized kettle bells from other vendors. I’m not a tall guy (5’8”) and many of the people I work with in my kettle bell club are even shorter than I am, both men and women.
The handles do run fairly thick though, so these are a great option for people with large hands. Fringe Sport runs frequent sales, so if you’re patient you could score a pretty good deal on these.
American Barbell is a strength & conditioning equipment company based in San Diego California. Their barbells have a solid reputation in the home gym community, and they’ve somewhat recently added kettle bells to their product lineup.
American Barbell kettle bells have a very clean finish and a slightly textured coat. The bottoms are ground flat and wider than most of the other options, making them a very stable base for exercises like renegade rows.
The handle dimensions overall are on the thinner side of the spectrum, making these kettle bells very comfortable for use by people with smaller hands. Price-wise, American Barbell powder coats are super-cheap, but that savings is offset by the cost of pricing.
For starters, the Titan Fitness kettle bell shipped in a single cardboard box with no padding or reinforcement whatsoever. The Titan kettle bell is the absolute worst I’ve seen so far in terms of how bad the finish was.
I really don’t understand how a big-name fitness company could even think about putting their brand on a product like this. After contacting Titan customer service about a replacement and being told I wouldn’t be able to get one for two months, I simply sent it back.
It’s so bad it has the dubious honor of forcing me to create a ‘zero stars’ rating, because it’s completely unusable. The big draw is the price, I picked up a 35lb cast-iron kettle bell for $40 shipped, which is amazingly cheap.
Considering my experience with another kettle bell in this price range, I didn’t have very high expectations. The bottom is not ground completely flat and the coating is just a glossy black paint.
I tried using it without any chalk and found that the tackiness made it more difficult for me to do snatches and cleans. The handle diameter is on the larger side of the options tested, although I no longer have it available to measure.
On the other hand, if saving money is your primary concern and you’re willing to sacrifice some quality, the Yes4All is hard to beat. I know this because they’ve started selling their own brand of Amazon Basics Kettle bells.
The only difference between them is that the AmazonBasics kettle bell has no branding whatsoever, only the weight stamped on both sides. Just don’t expect much for your money, since the Amazon Basics kettle bell is a cheaply made product.
The bottom is not ground completely flat and the coating is just a glossy black paint. Having said that, it’s still perfectly usable for swings, snatches, cleans, etc and I’d be hard-pressed to find a cheaper option for someone that doesn’t want to spend much on a kettle bell.
The tackiness of the paint makes it more difficult to do snatches and cleans with this kettle bell, but that’s nothing a light dusting of chalk on the handle can’t fix. The handle diameter is on the larger side of the options tested, measurements will be added later.
If saving money is your primary concern and you’re willing to sacrifice some quality, the Amazon Basics kettle bell is a decent option. CAP introduced a new powder coat kettle bell into their product lineup sometime within the last couple of years, and I’m finally including it in the roundup.
The finish on the CAP kettle bell is good, although I can feel a few small flecks of excess metal on the handle when I run my hand over it. The powder coat on the CAP kettle bell is textured, with a feel of fine grit sandpaper.
The handles of the CAP powder coat kettle bells are among the thickest of the test group, making them more suitable for people with large hands. I was learning how to perform the kettle bell snatch at the time I owned these, and the burrs kept digging into my palms during the transitions.
I toughed it out as long as I could but eventually used a metal file to smooth down the handle and make the bell a little more usable. I painted it with Mausoleum to try and stem further rust damage, which is why the kettle bell is colored brown in pictures.
The enamel finish on the large bell was extremely smooth and hard to hold once I broke a sweat. I don’t recommend CAP enamel coated or plain “cast iron” kettle bells for your home gym.
In fact, I actively recommend you stay away from them entirely because you will inevitably rue the day you purchased them. The recognition is reflected in the price because Dragon Door kettle bells are the most expensive option included in this review.
They don’t look great, but the coat on all of them is in okay shape considering they were stored year-round in a garage subject to three years of humid central Texas summers. The ROC kettle bells all have prevalent seams left over from the casting process on the handles.
These seams often pinched the skin of my palms, indicating a poor finishing and grinding process. That extra money is clearly not being invested back into quality control at Dragon Door.
“My advice to you would be to give our latest kettle bells a try on your own and if you are dissatisfied you can of course return them. In fact, several of the companies offer no guarantee whatsoever and will not accept a return at all unless your purchase is defective.
I’m willing to give Dragon Door the benefit of the doubt and assume their newer kettle bells have a higher quality finish than what I currently own. The best things Dragon Door ROC kettle bells offer is a 1-year satisfaction guarantee and a durable coating.
However, given the quality of the competition these factors aren’t enough to offset their substantially higher cost. Whatever it is, the coat provides just enough grip with low friction to allow for high rep work without needing chalk.
The burrs only exist on the smaller kettle bells that I don’t use as much, which might be why they haven’t been an issue for me. One minor nit to pick is with the quality of the paint job on the faces of the kettle bells.
This is a purely cosmetic issue that doesn’t take away from the usability of the kettle bells at all, but it does detract from the overall perception of quality. In case you didn’t know, prior to the pandemic pretty much every brand of kettle bells was manufactured in China.
Then coronavirus hit, people were stuck at home, and supply chains out of China were disrupted. This was the perfect storm for a massive run on fitness equipment, and several months later most companies are still having trouble keeping products in stock.
The finish on the Rogue kettle bell is slightly on the rough side, which isn’t a bad thing because it provides some texture for improved grip. The handle of the Rogue E-Coat kettle bell is probably the thickest of the test group so far, making them more suitable for people with large hands.
To be honest, I was excited to review this kettle bell since it’s the first one I’ve owned that is made in the USA. They are a pretty good deal if you live close to Ohio, otherwise the cost of shipping makes them much less appealing.
USA-Iron is a brand-new player in the kettle bell space, a scrappy upstart company forged in the crucible of the COVID-19 pandemic (see what I did there? As the name implies, USA-Iron is an entirely U.S.-based operation and is among the first few companies to manufacture their own line of kettle bells in the United States.
In case you’ve been asleep for most of 2020, prepare to be rudely awakened…prior to COVID-19 most (if not all) kettle bells were manufactured in China. Then the ‘RNA hit, people were stuck at home, and supply chains out of China were severely disrupted.
This was the perfect storm for a massive run on fitness equipment, and several months later most companies are still having trouble keeping kettle bells in stock. USA-Iron has stepped into the breach producing high quality kettle bells to make sure we can keep on swinging, and I’m very glad they did.
The powder coat finish on USA-Iron kettle bell feels very good in my hand during swings and snatches, with a slightly rough texture. I was told by the company owner that the powder coat paint formulation was specifically chosen to provide some texture for improved grip, and that choice is evident during use.
USA-Iron is one of the few companies I’m aware of that adds a separate wash step to the manufacturing process to clean dust off the kettle bell before the powder coat is applied. This is an important step because the factories where kettle bells are made are dirty, dusty places.
Lots of that dust settles on the surface of the bells while they sit patiently waiting for paint. The end result is a very durable finish with a textured coating that will hold plenty of chalk if needed.
I don’t knock them for this though, since the kettle bells are high quality and some people will really like the thicker handle size. However, people with smaller hands may find the thicker handle size more difficult to hold during longer workout sessions.
If that weren’t reason enough to support them, I like that the company is small and open to feedback, and the people there are very committed to producing a high quality product. The handle dimensions are on the larger end of the spectrum, so if you have small or medium hands you may want to look at other options.
The guy narrating the video, Pavel Tstatsouline, was affiliated with Dragon Door when the video was filmed so the process likely shows how Dragon Door kettle bells were made back in the day. Kettle bell training can be an excellent way to boost your strength considerably, conditioning as well as cardio fitness and just like an adjustable dumbbell, they don’t take up a lot of space, so they are the perfect piece of equipment for a home workout too.
As with all things exercise related, start out with a sensible and measured approach and you can build from there as and when your body tells you it’s time to go heavier. Right now the most important thing is to start incorporating from kettle bell work into your current training program to fast track those fitness results.
Choosing the right kettle bell for you though can be a bit daunting, and you don’t want to splash the cash on something that’s just not suitable weight wise for the results you are looking to achieve. As little as ten years ago your options were reasonably limited when it came to purchasing kettle bells, but these days, plenty of companies do their own versions.
So let’s take a look today at some Best Kettle Bells which will you swinging your way quickly to that honed and toned physique you’ve been struggling to acquire up till now. They are constructed from a single cast without any welded parts, and each individual weight is color-coded with a ring at the base of each handle.
They feature a flat-bottomed design which makes them perfect for a range of exercises including push-ups and renegade rows as well as being easy to store. It has an ergonomic handle that is designed to fit most hands and it feels very similar in terms of resistance.
This Tone Fitness Vinyl Coated Cement Filled Kettle bell Weight is a device that enables you to achieve flexibility, strength, endurance, and stability in your muscles as well as a lifetime of general physical well-being. It is capable of taking on every part of your major body muscles to give you that agility, poise, energy and general fulfillment.
Constructed from a cast-iron molded cement coated with vinyl, its flat bottom ensures stability and guarantees the user a firm grip. Its workout functions include applications in snatches, squats, get-ups and other fitness endurance muscle toning exercises.
It comes in a variety of weights to Improve strength, stamina, and coordination whilst increasing the lung and heart capacity. As a result, it helps enhance agility and speed and will improve significantly cardiovascular disorders, is the preferred choice in workouts to prevent such conditions as heart attack or strokes.
It is prominently color coded and doubly marked in both imperial and metric system units and lets you identify the different weights without difficulty. This little piece of equipment will boost your power, stretch, strength, and endurance and is ideal for use in swings, squats, lifting, and dead lifts.
The Kettle Grip itself weighs less than a pound so is the perfect lightweight solution to back in a bag. It’s a portable, adaptable, and economical solution and a great option for a home gym or for anyone who frequently travels.
Made from vinyl leather and filled with sand, it weighs an impressive 20lbs, which is enough to give you a serious workout. Unlike cheap kettle bell handles, you won’t experience cramp after a couple of reps. Add this to the offset center of gravity and you can perform large movements with superior control.
As a general rule of thumb, if you are a novice to using kettle bell ’s and about to get started out, then the following weights are recommended to get you into the swing of things so to speak! Remember that the action of using a kettle bell is far more dynamic and creates a lot more velocity and movement than working with static dumbbells so even as a slighter framed woman, you’d be surprised at what you can manage to start with versus when you first started out lifting weights.
If you do know that you are committed and will want to incorporate kettle bell training into your program long term then a set of three is a good option so that you have ongoing progression and regression if you ever need it too. Make sure that the seams are smooth as even if you are wearing weight training gloves, uneven handle edges can be a pain and will hinder your enjoyment which will affect your performance.
A good uniform handle size, regardless of the weight, is about 33 mm so check these details before investing. There is a heap of benefits that come with kettle bell training which is why they’ve risen in popularity in gyms globally as well as in home setups.
Depending upon your body shape and size and the effort you are putting in, you should be able to blast up to 20 calories a minute which is the equivalent of the rate you’d be burning if you were fit enough to run a 6-minute mile! Best of all, kettle bells deliver the complete package, and by that, we mean that they improve fitness, strength as well as flexibility.
It’s a ballistic and totally effective way of exercising that sees results in record time. They also require functional movement, the kind that replicates what your body carries out on an everyday basis so again, this makes them highly practical and hugely popular.
The unique shape and design of kettle bell also affect their center of gravity so in order to really complete the exercises correctly you are absolutely required to engage your core and your glutes in stabilizing your body. Because you are involved in mostly dynamic swinging actions, kettle bell training also requires you to be very mindful of what your body is doing.
While we have mentioned progression and increasing your weights and also doubling up for some exercises, the beauty of starting out with kettle bell training is that you really only do need the one, so it’s a small investment overall. For most other types of weighted exercises, you really do need to work out with pairs, for example, dumbbells in each hand or plates either end of a barbell.
Find something you love, switch things up a bit and you just know that you are going to see, feel and experience results. Perhaps one of the biggest concerns that people have when started out kettle bell training is hot to ensure they do it safely without risk of unwanted injury.
There’s no point steering away from the truth if you do perform your exercises incorrectly you could end up putting unnecessary strain on your lower back and shoulder and perhaps also your hips and knees as there are the most vulnerable areas. The great news though is that by following a few essential tips, you can perfect your kettle bell form and have lots of fun safely working out.
Don’t be tempted to stand with your legs too far apart thinking that this will create a more solid base as it will in fact put more strain on your lower back so get into a proper stance with your feet about hip width apart and make sure you start out with a sensible weight. The trick is to build up your strength and endurance so don’t go too heavy to start, especially while you are still honing your technique.
So engage that core, lift with your hips and ensure that your spine is a nice neutral position which again will significantly help to minimize unwanted injuries. Your regular running shoes are not the best choice as they will elevate your heels off the ground which is not a good position for kettle bell workouts.
These will give you a better grip and stop the kettle bell from potentially slipping out of your hand, and you got it, landing on that toe we just mentioned! This unique design, as distinct to a dumbbell, means that the weight is not evenly distributed and this delivers instability, creating counterbalance and the need to really focus on your core while training with this piece of equipment.
A: We highly recommend, as do my professional PT’s and athletes, that you do incorporate kettle bell training into your ongoing fitness program. Incorporating some kettle bell based exercise into your workouts is seriously going to affect your body in nothing but good ways.
They require your hips and legs to generate the force and momentum of the swing while your entire core including your abs, back, and shoulder girdle are called upon to stabilize your body and control your balance and posture. A: The great news here is that yes, you will definitely lose weight, body fat and increase muscle mass by working out with kettle bells.
The kettle bell is ideal for weight loss as its low impact and can really help to torch the fat and accelerate your results and gains. You’ll build solid lean muscle mass and strength while at the same time giving your body a proper cardiovascular workout.
There’s little wonder then than kettle bell training is loved by so many and seen as a bit of a 1-stop-shop for increasing your fat loss results and delivering definition. Ben Coleman is our resident sports and fitness product expert who offers a wide range of information in this field.