In other articles, I’ve mentioned how I train with and recommend kettlebells for fitness. I’ve also recommended Kettlestacks, which are used in conjunction with weight plates to make a highly cost-effective kettlebell. Though I use them all the time, there are some situations where traditional kettlebells may be indicated.
Kettlebell training can be addictive; it’s effective, fun, and very versatile; it’s possible to train for strength, cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, and just about anything else you can think of. For enthusiasts and very advanced trainees, here are some examples of possible needs for regular solid-metal kettlebells:
- Doing rapid drop-sets, and other exercises requiring rapid weight changes. If you’re really moving fast, it’s easier if you have a whole series of kettlebells that you can drop and pick up quickly – then you’re not spending time changing plates. If you lift with two kettlebells at once, doing double-presses and the like, this becomes even more important.
- You have two favorite exercises that use drastically different amounts of weight. For instance, say you’re using 60 lbs. (about 27kg) for pressing, and then you want to do one-arm swings with 20 lbs. (about 9kg). 40 lbs. is a lot of plates to remove, which may be annoying, so it’s handier to have two separate kettlebells.
- You tend to drop kettlebells. If a kettlebell slips out of your hand, or you’re just lifting a lot of weight and want to drop it, a solid-metal kettlebell can generally take a harder fall than an adjustable kettlebell. This isn’t really an option for me, as I’m often training in my living room.
- Juggling. No, I’m not kidding. Some really, really strong people, like John Brookfield, actually juggle kettlebells. One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen was John juggling a 100-lb. kettlebell. I just laughed in amazement and disbelief. Other strong folks juggle with smaller kettlebells. Some find the solid-metal kettlebell handles to be most comfortable for this, and obviously you have the aforementioned concerns when you drop them. (They also probably either train outside, or they have some pretty busted up floors).
- You just have a lot of money and like to buy lots of fun stuff! 🙂
Mike Mahler is a nationally-known strength trainer who specializes in kettlebell training. He gives workshops, has excellent training ebooks and DVD’s, writes very good articles on advanced training, and has sources for buying traditional solid-metal kettlebells. I can personally attest to the quality of his training materials, and they may be just what you need if you’re looking to move up to a higher level. His site can be found here.*
* Along with believing in the quality of Mike’s products, I am also an affiliate.