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Fun with Kettlebells!

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Old 10-01-2008, 08:20 AM   #1
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Default Fun with Kettlebells!

I just purcashed a GoFit 7lbs kettlebell. It came with a gofit dvd and I also picked up a Go Fit Kettlebell The Iron Core Way Volume 2. The DVD was on clearence the Kettlebell wasn't. I want to tone my flabby arms and I am thinking this will be my start into weight lifting.
Ok so here's my question.
Is the 7 lbs to light. I looked at the others which happen to be on sale and passed them by because I thought they would be to heavy. I guess I was thinking in the lines of light weight more reps. I believe I read something in the lines of that once. I also don't know the workout with it and thought I couldn't do it anything heavy. Or do you think that I should take this one back and go heavier.

Nelli - This question is for you. (or anyone else with this dvd) I seen you have the above video. In both Volume 1 and 2. Since I only seen Volume 2. Do you think I'm setting myself up for disapoinment or will Volume 2 be fine for someone just starting?

Thanks in advanced everyone!!
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:14 AM   #2
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Volume 2 will be fine for starting. I'd recommend volume 1 as something to mix it up though.

As for 7 lbs, I think that is way too light, I didn't even know they had them that light. Some of the hardcore sites recommend 25 lbs or so as a starting weight for women. I don't though. I think the average woman should start with 15. I would take it back and look for a 15 lb weight. Kettlebells are different than weights and its a different type of movement and works different types of muscles. Its more of a cardio/weight workout.
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Old 11-05-2008, 01:44 PM   #3
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I've been meaning to post some stuff about kettlebells.

Couple things to address:

1) Where to buy kettlebells
You can go for the hardcore kettlebells which are good but expensive and shipping is generally expensive if you can't find good kettlebells in the store. Dragondoor.com seems to be the place for quality kettlebells in various KG sizes. I do not have any of their kettlebells so I can't speak personally for them.

Some cheap kettlebells aren't weighted properly. Also, some kettlebells are clearly designed for men with big hands as they seem to try to put quite a bit of weight into the handles making them thick and hard to hold. The best kettlebells I've found for the price are GoFit. I love GoFit products in general. You can find them at Target and other places like Dick's sporting goods. Amazon.com also sells them but shipping is a bit pricey.

2)What size of kettlebells to buy
Our body is composed of many muscles of various sizes. Slow-twitch, fast-twitch, small, large etc. Kettlebells are primarily designed to work the largest muscles of our body. Legs and back muscles are huge and can handle lots of weight and these are the muscles that kettlebells work primarily. That doesn't mean that other smaller muscles are ignored but they are worked secondarily.

So given the fact that kettlebells work the largest muscles of the body means that you can buy heavier kettlebells. I started with a 15lb kettlebell which I thought was a good introduction to using kettlebells. Primarily, I use a 20lb kettlebell and a 25lb kettlebell for my workouts. I also have a 35lb kettlebell and 45lb kettlebell which I use sometimes. For practical purposes, there is a point of diminishing returns based on size and most people probably would never use something more than a 45lb kettlebell and others may never touch a 45lb kettlebell. So if you are a woman and nervous about using kettlebells, I'd recommend 15 lbs as a starting weight. If you are a bit more confident, I'd say go with at least a 20 lb kettlebell. If you are a guy, I'd look at 25lb kettlebell. I don't think guys get nervous about flinging weights so I wouldn't make a recommendation for a nervous guy

3) Overall buying strategy for kettlebells
I have found that it is useful to have different kettlebell weights for different exercises. Advanced exercises may have you using 2 kettlebells of the same weight but most just require one kettlebell or can be modified for one kettlebell. I'm currently at the point where I want a second kettlebell of the same weight so I plan to buy a 20lb and a 25lb kettlebell soon. Later on down the road, I expect I'll want another 35lb kettlebell as well. Kettlebells are expensive though but so are weights in general. My advice is start small and grow your collection as your addiction grows

4) Kettlebells vs weight lifting
Kettlebells and weight lifting do share commonalities but kettlebells are a bit of a mix of weight lifting and cardio. Kettlebells can give you a total body cardiovascular workout. You will strengthen your muscles but you will also increase your cardiovascular endurance. Pavel Tsatsouline talks about effectiveness of kettlebells in his book "Enter the Kettlebell". He claims that there have been studies based on running where a group would run as part of their training and another group wouldn't run at all but instead did kettlebells. The group that just did kettlebells outran the group that ran for training. That is pretty amazing to think kettlebells can directly affect a totally different activity.

5) Workouts, books, etc
So I bought a couple DVDs and they were decent kettlebell workouts. I bought two books, "Enter the Kettlebell" and "From Russia with Love" which I think are outstanding books. The problem is none of that really helped me focus and create a plan of my own. The two books do have plans but well they didn't fit me. The books did help me develop my form though and I thought they were useful. I had been doing kettlebells intermittently but I didn't have a plan.

So someone sent me a link to Skwigg's blog on her experience with Kettlebelle Body. http://skwigg.tripod.com/blog/index.blog?from=20081022
I looked at the blog and looked at the program. It was a bit expensive for some ebooks. I decided to buy the program though and I have to say I'm glad I did. I finally have a plan that is highly customizeable and gives me different workout plans to do. To be fair, I've only done 3 workouts so far but I'm impressed. It gives me the ability to do my structured but customized workouts, watch what I want on tv and do it within my own timeframe.

6) Anything else ???

Not for now.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:23 PM   #4
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I am surprised to see this thread! My husband has been using kettlebells for years... Gosh, probably 9 or so years... Long before anyone we knew had ever heard of them.

My husband is the fittest, healthiest guy I know, and he got even fitter once he started using them. He is a firefighter in the military, and so he has to have a fit test every year. Every single year, he maxes out his fit test and scores 100 percent on everything (passing is 70). He used to be a runner and a swimmer and a cyclist, and he also weight lifts, but several years back, he stopped running and started replacing running with kettlebell workouts... Ever since then, he gets older and his 1.5 mile run time for the military test gets faster and faster!

I could go on and on about how much he loves his kettlebells. I used to work out with them, but I have not in a long, long time. My husband is planning a kettlebell workout for me right now because he is deploying and I will not have as much time to make it to the gym.

Dragondoor website has info. My husband also bought me a VHS tape (I am sure they sell it on DVD by now) called "From Russia With Love" that is a training tape for women who want to begin working out with KBs.
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:47 PM   #5
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I agree that starting with a 15 lb is best. I actually think it is harder to use a too light of a weight, which may not seem to make sense, but the momentum of the movement is important, and you would not get that as much with 5 or 10 lbs.

I LOVE kettlebells! I have been using them for just over 2 years now (minus most of a recent pregnancy). It is just so time-efficient and fun. I like follow-along DVD workouts, and my favorite is The Busy Woman's Workout interval routines (tabata style - short and very intense). The Kettlebell Goddess Workout (from Dragon Door) was a good follow-along when I was learning the lifts. I resisted kettlebells for a while (DH had encouraged me to try them) because I just could not imagine "flinging" these iron balls around, but I quickly got over that and can't say enough about the great workout they provide!
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:19 AM   #6
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Default Tabatas anyone?

Just learned how to do Kettlebell Swings with my RKC coach, Jen Waak of Fundamentals (Move Fit Fun dot com). She's got some great articles including a weekly Geek Fit Friday that just make me laugh. I did Tabata Swings with a 15# dumbbell tonight and miss her Kettlebells in the gym. Saving up for my own soon. Is anyone on this forum using Kettlebells and doing Tabatas?
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:21 AM   #7
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I know a few people do tabatas but I haven't gotten on board. I use kettlebells off and on in my program. Right now I'm actively using kettlebells.

I have 15, 20 (2 each), 25, 35 and 45 lb kettlebells. They are from GoFit which you can find at Target, Dick's Sporting goods and other various sporting good stores.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:00 PM   #8
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Just wanted to say I had never heard of kettlebells til I read this thread the other day. I got curious, did some more research and got one! I started with 15 lbs, planned to start with 20 but I was surprised at how heavy 15lbs of iron actually is! I've done two short workouts with mine, including a 6 minute tabata today, and I am really really liking it.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrrah View Post
Just wanted to say I had never heard of kettlebells til I read this thread the other day. I got curious, did some more research and got one! I started with 15 lbs, planned to start with 20 but I was surprised at how heavy 15lbs of iron actually is! I've done two short workouts with mine, including a 6 minute tabata today, and I am really really liking it.


Started doing Tabata style thrusters several months ago (July), got great results and then got busy and quit including them. Been walking and running errands and not making enough time for myself. Weight loss slowed from 3 pounds per week to 2 pounds per week. Using dumbbells for now, plan to have my own 12 kg/26 lb Kettlebell in 2 weeks.

When I do them even twice a week, I can't believe the results: inches off my waist, lower blood pressure, slower resting heart rate, better sleep and the fat just melts off! I also do swings which can be done Tabata style.

Starting today I'm renewing my focus on my best heal-my-body tools, I'm setting a new mini-goal of 14 days of:

1. 4 minutes of Tabata style exercise (Thrusters or any of my other prescribed "homework" from my RKC instructor) once per day as a part of my hour workout.
2. No Gluten for 14 days. (Just in case it helps, I'm not sure I have a wheat/gluten issue.)
3. Continue my calorie goal of 1600-1800 calories per day making sure not to fall too low.

Really want to get under 300 by November 24. I'm going to log my Tabatas here after doing them daily and compare my weight loss results for the weeks preceding with the two weeks of Tabatas.

Stay Strong,
RW

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Old 11-15-2009, 07:32 PM   #10
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Thank you ladies for all the great info! I bought the current issue (Nov/Dec 2009) of Muscle and Fitness HERS and read an article they had about kettlebells and the exercises they had with the article look FUN! I can't afford a gym membership and currently workout with Jillian Michaels dvd's (she does a good job of kicking my a$$ and I heard she just wrapped filming a kettlebell dvd. I'll wait a bit and read the reviews first) and I want to add some kettlebells to the mix. I'll definately start with a 15lb'er.


Some folks have posted that they are using two. Is it better to start off buying two or buy maybe one 15lb and one 20lb?

Sorry if this is redundent.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:10 PM   #11
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I'm new to Kettlebells, started in June 2009. Since I started tweeting about my experiences with them (all amazing: lower blood pressure, lower resting heart rate, increased agility and mobility, Increased strength and stamina, resolved pain issues that I had for years, I've been pain free for 5 months), I've noticed that the most respected and knowedgeable Kettlebell instructors fear/dread Jillian's poor technique demonstration. The consensus seems to be that someone is going to get hurt.

Instead I would like to recommend to you The Kettlebell Goddess by Andrea DuCane from Dragon Door and Lauren Brooks from On The Edge Fitness (dot) com has a video I've only heard rabid enthusiasm for The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells. For those of us with a lot of physical issues, Andrea DuCane's Special Populations DVD is an amazing resource.

I started out with a 4 kg/9 lb but within a dozen weeks was into the 12 kg/26 pounds. I'm not far enough along in my rehab to need 2 but I could see owning a pair of 12 kg/26 lb and also a single 16 kg/35 lb. From what I understand 12 kg is standard for women. My trainer is way ahead of me as an RKC certified Kettlebell instructor and seems satisfied that she and most of her female clients are most likely to be most happy with those two: 12 kg and 16 kg. She can get local people Kettlebells without the shipping (which really knocks them out of my price range). It would be worth a $40-70 savings to have a free info meeting with your local RKC instructor, just to buy Kettlebells without having the shipping costs to consider. You can find out who is closest to you at Dragon Door (dot) com under Instructors.

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Old 11-16-2009, 09:23 PM   #12
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So are kettlebells better than traditional dumbells? If so, why/what are the advantages?
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:57 PM   #13
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I personally wouldn't recommend 2 kettlebells of the same size until you start getting more advanced. A 20lb is a good starting weight unless you are absolute beginner to weights/nervous about kettlebells/etc then a 15lb is a good intro weight but I'd expect most women would find it too light in a short period of time.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:00 PM   #14
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Completely unlike dumbbells, no comparison. Working out with an RKC certified Kettlebell instructor should be free for the first session and you can feel the difference yourself. They offer a ballistic workout, engaging your muscles head to toe while simultaneously giving you a great cardio workout.

Our moderator, Nellie, wrote a great post on 11-05-2008, 10:44 AM, #22 in this thread.

They also whittle waists, lift and firm derrieres and melt fat. And as far as I can tell, no other tool has the ability to rehab knees, hips and shoulders the way they do.

You will simply be amazed if you are using hard style technique and eating sensibly.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:25 PM   #15
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Yeah kettlebells are totally different than traditional weight lifting. They use the largest muscles on your body with your smaller muscles assisting. It is also a cardio and weight workout in one. I love my kettlebells so much
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