Where to buy kettlebell sets?
For the impatient, skip to the end of this post to find links to places where you can buy kettlebells. For everyone who came here to learn and shorten their research process from two days to one read of a post, get the details. I personally swing a 32kg kettlebell with no problem and have been following the simple and sinister program by Pavel Tsatsoulin religiously for a year.
Why do you want to buy a kettlebell?
Before you go into the question of where to buy your kettlebell to shape up and change your body composition let us stop for a second and ask ourselves why you are considering to buy a kettlebell. There are different types of buyers and use cases for kettlebell's and depending on that your preferred choice of vendor might differ. For me personally, there are these types of buyer's of kettlebells:
- Young Adults who can not afford a full Garage Gym and still want to kick butt
- Stay at home mothers who want to tighten their glutes and lose some weight
- Gym owners who have to equip an entire gym
- Kettlebell athletes
- Powerlifters who need a heavy kettlebell as an upgrade from what is available at their gym
Young adults are most likely to be strapped for cash and still want something that feels sporty. If you place your kettlebells in your gym you can go for the lower price versions with a bad coating, just be aware that your kettlebells are more likely to chip and get rough on the handles. It is also more likely with a lower quality product to get imbalances in the kettlebell itself due to poor production and less weight than you actually ordered. All minor things which still should be considered. A good kettlebell will last you for life were a bad one might only last you for five years. In five years time, however, it is very likely that you are able to replace your kettlebell as by then you are likely to have a job. For young adults who are cash-strapped or got a budget of 100 to spent from their parents, try to get a 12kg, 24kg, and 32kg for this, You do not need more than this. This can be sourced through eBay or Amazon. Amazon has the advantage that it is pretty sure that you will get what is in the picture. With eBay, you might be disappointed to get a less fancy cast iron kettlebell than advertised.
For stay at home mothers who have kids, the cast iron options might not be ideal. I am not a fan of plastic kettlebells and think they are generally crappy compared to iron ones, but in safety scenarios with children around I would opt for plastic. In case your children fall on the kettlebells, chew them, lick them or get some poop on them plastic is more forgiving to the child and easier to clean. Plastic kettlebells are also usually prettier than cast iron. I personally like the "tough man" image with raw iron, scars, and grunting, but I can see how that does not necessarily appeal to the other sex in all cases. Based on this you can go for a set of 8kg, 12kg, and 16kg which should cover you for most scenarios. Again, Amazon or eBay can be the routes to source the kettlebells in these scenarios. If you take your exercising really serious get one of the more professional versions which come in at a higher cost.
Motivations of gym owners who have to equip an entire gym have a few more things to think about.
- Who is your clientele?
- What kind of impression do you want to make on them?
- How much will the kettlebells be used in your gym?
- How many clients will use them at the same time?(= How many do you ACTUALLY Need)
- Which brands do my clients already like?
- How good is the customer serving?
- Will I have to pay to ship?
- Are the kettlebells a standalone purchase or part of the entire purchase for the gym?
Depending on these questions you look into what kind of kettlebells you will order from whom. If you are a gym which is mainly focused on the elderly and women you might not want to go for kettlebells which have skulls and monkey faces on them. If you have a powerlifting den full of hell's angel biker this might just be for them. Another consideration is whether you want to buy all of your equipment from one vendor and might get a couple of kettlebells including a rack thrown in for free. Generally, go for a professional shop which specializes in kettlebells or where a package deal could be possible. Options can be Rogue Fitness, Gym80, Atlantis, Kettlebell Kings or
KettlebellUSA. Also if you order 500kg of kettlebells, check whether shipping is included or prepare to scratch one lat pulley system off your shopping list. Same goes for being smart about getting used plates by the way.
If you are a kettlebell athlete who goes to competitions the gold standard seems to be Paradigm Pro from KettlebllUSA. Most reviews I have looked up by people who tested have them in the top three, more often than not as the winner of their review. I am personally not a kettlebell athlete myself, so
of you feel I have misrepresented the market please leave a comment.
If you are a powerlifter who wants to use kettlebells to take the stress off your lower back from heavy deadlifting, but you still need to move a considerable of weight, the kettlebells which are available in most gyms will not cut it. You might be lucky and have a good strength focused gym in your area, but this is often not the case even in bigger stores. What will be available nearby is a home depot store. Follow these instructions to build your own kettlebell for heavy swings which can be loaded with plates. I would only recommend this approach for seasoned lifters as the t handle as cumbersome to maneuver and has not the same experience as a real kettlebell. As a powerlifter, however, you are most likely concerned with a lot of weight without having to invest a lot of money as you do not compete in kettlebell competitions and have no babies running around the place. Therefore, the T handle is your friend.
What to watch out for in a kettlebell?
There are some things to be considered when you look for kettlebells. The most important are
For the handle, you want to look for one which is slightly bent like a steering wheel and round. The more the kettlebell handle deviates from this design the more painful it will be for you. If it has any sharp corners or funny dangly bits at the side, stay away from it. You want to swing it to achieve your fitness goals, not smash some heads in at carnival in Rio.
If affordable go with kettlebells which are mode from the same cast, even though their weight differs. This will make it easier for you to progress and is doable in the lower weight categories. Once kettlebells get to a certain weight they will get fairly expensive if you do not want them to get bigger as more expensive materials have to be used to weigh them down. If you go for the absolute low budget option you will get kettlebells of various sizes. Not the end of the world, but can get annoying for a week or two when you progress. Also be careful when you look at pictures that plastic kettlebells which weigh more than 20kg are bigger than you might expect.
The design is also important but not from an aesthetic point of view. Make sure that the bottom of the kettlebell is flat and has enough of a radius so that it can support you. Avoid any kind of renegade rows or L sits with kettlebells that weigh less than 20kg. They have a tendency to move under you and a broken wrist will put you out of training for at least half a year. Make also sure that the design is smooth all around and has no protruding logos. If something sticks out from your kettlebell it will get in the way for Turkish get-ups and snatches.
Balance is another point to consider. I have myself never touched a kettlebell which was unbalanced, but if it is it becomes unusable. So if you find something on the internet which is way too good to be true for the price chances are that this is a stolen product or batch of failed produce which did not live up to the quality standards of the manufacturer. A bargain is always nice, but be alert and make triply sure that you actually get what you pay for. A defect kettlebell is flushing money down the drain.
The coating is important if you want your kettlebells to look nice for a long time and avoid that they oxidate. Most high range products already have a good coating. Som of the less pricey cast iron options
have coating of lower quality. Still, its iron, it won't fall apart that easily.
Where to buy kettlebell sets
Apart from eBay and Amazon, there are three stores which come highly recommended to buy kettlebells from.
Is the option for you if you want a big selection of colors and shapes. Not necessarily the preferred choice if you are a powerlifter or professional kettlebell master, but for young adults and stay at home mom's it is a better option than eBay or Amazon in my opinion as the service will be more tailored towards fitness equipment. At eBay and Amazon, you can only send your stuff back.
The choice for everyone who is a bit more serious has the money and likes the nicer things in life. A specialized shop which has everything you need as a competitor and powerlifter.
The gold standard of kettlebells seems to be owned by
Kettlebellusa. You can get similar models for competition purposes from Kettlebell Kings and other vendors, but they stood out the most in the material I researched for this article. This might be just a bias amongst athletes like with rogue fitness in the CrossFit community as they seem to sponsor a lot of events.
Rogue itself, unfortunately, does not live up to their high standards when it comes to kettlebells. AT least that is the impression which I got from several reviews I watched and read. Still, if you are considering a bigger purchase for an entire gym or your own home gym this might work to your advantage in the negotiations to throw the kettlebells into the entire order for free / lower price as you would otherwise source from Kettlebell Kings or
KettlebellUSA. All equipment which I have gotten from Rogue so far was top class.
Buying kettlebells is no rocket science and the costs are relatively low for private use. There is not a lot you can do wrong with them especially if you do not directly buy a set. Keep it simple and do not go fancy. IT is a tool for exercising and does not need to look pretty. The more a kettlebell tries to be pretty the less usable it is in my opinion. For bigger kettlebells or entire gym outfits, do your research as the invest gets quite considerable when you buy in bulk or kettlebells which are heavier than 28kg.
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- How many sets for the kettlebell?
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- When to use kettlebells?
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- Where to buy kettlebell sets?
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