I'm currently obsessed with kettlebells. It's such a fun workout! I love Lauren Brooks's dvds, and her book . This woman knows what she is talking about.
As far as weight, I started out with a 15lb bell while I was learning the exercises and getting my form correct and then moved up. I think Lauren says women can start with 20 or 25 lbs actually. I just felt more comfortable starting out lighter than that. I haven't found a brand of kettlebell that I am really crazy about, but Reebok has been the most decent I can find in my area.
I've been loving the kettlebell also. I don't remember what brand I got from Amazon, but there's a picture of it on one of my first couple of blog posts. I also got a book, and there's a picture of that too.
Between using the techniques described in the book along with trolling YouTube for vids, I put together a 22 minute workout for myself. Boy was I SORE when I first started, but I'm starting to feel strong. I was surprised with the cardio that's required for the workout as well. I do interval training with it and it really gets my heart rate going!
Agreed with the Lauren Brooks suggestion. Safe, effective, PROPER kettlebell training. There is a lot of imitation out there including celebrity trainers (biggest loser) which promote unsafe kettlebell usage and crappy kettlebells!
Buy the ones you will find on dragondoor.com, not the adjustable ones or Wal-Mart type stuff. Get the real thing. The plain black ones are fine, there is also a competition version but that's not necessary for a beginner. Get an 8kg to start with - you don't really need lighter, despite what the fitness fad tells you. Proper kettlebell trainers never start women below 8kg without serious medical exception.
I just recently bought a set from Body-Solid... that I'm happy with so far... They have chrome handles which I like since it's a bit easier on my hands than the all cast iron ones...
I bought a book and DVD by Pavel... So I'm using those for learning the basics right now... but I'll probably look for something a little less intense... And as I start to get more into it... I'll probably take a class... But right now I don't have any plans to swing around those really heavy ones... just yet...
If you want to find useful kettlebell videos search on youtube Valery Fedorenko, Ivan Denisov, Oleh Ilika...they are international champion of the kettlebell competition sport. Learn the proper technique of swing and clean, they are the basis for snatch, jerk and long cycle.
I suggest you to buy two 8kg and one of 12 or 16...not the adjustable ones...cast iron are good, competition ones are better
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