I’ve used kettlebells since 2001 and I’ve been a trainer and coach since 2008. In that time, I’ve logged thousands of hours utilizing multiple styles and brands of kettlebells. I’ve made mostly good purchases and a few bad ones that I learned from quickly. There are 2 vendors I use personally and recommend to everyone Pro Kettlebells & Kettlebell Kings. They are my favorite brands for several reasons:
The ONLY competition kettlebell that is MADE IN THE USA.
Offers 2 sizes; the Atlas (roughly 20% smaller) and the Apollo
Full range of weights from 4-34 KG in 2 KG increments allows for safe progression
Ergonomic design with patented indents to allow smoother and deeper insertion for a more comfortable lift, a tighter rack position, and better results
Textured zinc finish gives grip right out of the box, and allows it to take chalk incredibly well
Wide, gripable base which acts as a second handle for many exercises
Hollow core allows insertion of magnetic plates for incremental loading
They offer a full range of kettlebells, not just one or two types.
Shipping is included in their prices, and they ship FAST!
Customer service is EXCELLENT, and they responds to issues quickly.
Top quality & great value. Their kettlebells come with a lifetime warranty, all of their products I’ve used were excellent quality, and they have over 2,000 five star verified reviews!!!
*Full disclosure, I am an ambassador for Pro Kettlebell & Kettlebell Kings because I love their products and had excellent personal experiences with them. They are the only kettlebell brands I am affiliated with, and they are the brands I personally own and use.
Competition kettlebells (used in Kettlebell Sport competitions) have the same size dimensions regardless of the weight of the kettlebell (228 millimeters x 210 millimeters x handle diameter 33-35 millimeters). In order to be approved for use in competition, the bell must weigh within 100 grams of the specified weight.
Because the bell dimensions remain consistent regardless of weight, any bell will always fit your hands and forearms in the exact same way. This ensures that once you learn the correct technique of a particular movement that your mechanics does not need to change as the weight increases. This is highly preferable for lifters of all skill levels, but especially important for anyone who would like to compete in kettlebell sport. I only train with competition style kettlebells, and with rare exceptions that is all I use with my clients.
If you plan on using your bells only sparingly then the lower cost may be appealing to you. However, if you plan to use your bells extensively or you are interested in potentially competing in kettlebell sport I would strongly advise spending a little more for a competition style kettlebell.
Competition Kettlebell | 4 kg - 48 kg | $54.99 - $399.99
Competition kettlebells are made of steel and are all the same size regardless of weight for a uniform training experience at all times. Kettlebell Kings competition kettlebells have 33 or 35 mm handles, and are designed for high repetition exercises.
Cast Iron Kettlebells
Traditional cast iron kettlebells are made using molds of varying sizes with smaller molds for smaller bells larger molds for heavier bells. That means every bell will be slightly different in size and shape, and even the best manufacturers have significant variances in size between weights. Handle thickness will increase as the bell size also increases.
Typically a cast-iron bell will be smaller in size than a competition bell until you get to 50+ lbs. The smaller size gives them a different center of gravity, make the lighter weights easier to handle for people smaller in stature, and allows greater range of motion in certain movements.
These variances mean your technique will change slightly each time you use a heavier or lighter bell, as will the areas of stress placed on your hands and forearm for ballistic and rack/pressing movements.
Powder Coat Kettlebell | 4 kg - 92 kg | $54.99 - $399.99
Powder Coat kettlebells are made from Cast Iron and then painted with Powder Coating to protect the iron, hold chalk and improve grip texture for grueling workouts. Powder Coating is one of the most durable types of paint available on top of kettlebells.
When I first started coaching kettlebell clients, I advised them to stay away from adjustable bells because they were cumbersome to adjust and significantly lacked durability. Times have changed and adjustable kettlebells have come a long way in recent years. They’re now worth considering as a cost effective way to maximize the available weight increments available to you while occupying minimal space. One good adjustable kettlebell can replace a half dozen individual fixed weight bells and save you over $1,000.
12-32 KG Adjustable Competition Kettlebell | $249.99
I usually recommend competition bells over fitness bells for clients, and I am a big fan of the adjustable competition bell because it allows 1 KG incremental progress in weight without needing to buy new bells. That saves a lot of space and money versus buying multiple bells.
10-40 LB Adjustable Fitness Kettlebell |$129.99
7 Kettlebells in One! The weighted plates in the kettlebell can easily be unlocked and removed to adjust the weight of the kettlebell to 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 or 40 pounds. This is a great option if you are new to kettlebells and unsure what weight to start with or if you have very limited space.