Start Light Then Work Your Way Up
My first experience using kettlebells was when I purchased a kettlebell set that included 10, 15, 20, and 25 lb. kettlebells. That was almost two years ago. Honestly, I don’t recall using the 10 lb. kettlebell very much but my wife certainly did. For the non-gym goer woman, that would probably be an ideal weight to start with. Myself, an obese out-of-shape man in his mid-thirties, a 15 lb. kettlebell provided quite a challenge.
I had doubts and thought that size was inadequate. That was until I talked to other men that were out of shape as well. Many of them told me how that 15-pound weight kicked their ass. After several 20-minute workout sessions with my first kettlebell, I understood why.
The thing is, kettlebells are designed to engage multiple muscles at once and therefore will burn a lot of calories in a short duration. That means you’re going to be expending a lot of energy as well. You’ll sweat, ache, and probably question why the hell you even began exercising in the first place. After you finish your session, however, you’ll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Give it a couple of weeks to a month of three to five 20-minute workout sessions per week and you’ll absolutely notice results.
One Workout – Multiple Benefits
If it is weight loss you’re after, provided your dieting is in check, the pounds will start to fall off. Perhaps you want to build muscle? That too will happen. I never thought I’d be working out with a 45 lb. kettlebell. That’s still a ways off from the serious lifters swinging around 70+ lb kettlebells, but again – it’s not a competition.
My goals are for me not anyone else to judge. I started using kettlebells purely to lose weight but in the process ended up gaining strength, mobility, and vastly improving my cardio. To call these an added bonus would be an understatement. There’s been a positive health change in my life and gone are worrisome troubles like obesity, sleep apnea, and chronic fatigue. If you dedicate 20 minutes each weekday to kettlebell training, there is no reason why you can’t feel the same either.
Things to Consider When Buying a 15 lb. Kettlebell
Now that I’ve explained why 15 pounds is the right size for the non-gym goer, there are a few things you should understand before making a purchase. Fortunately, at this size, it’ll be a small investment. Unlike some home gym machines which could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, a 15 lb. kettlebell is extremely affordable and at MOST will set you back $40. Price shouldn’t be an issue but you’ll also want to consider:
- Commitment – How serious are you about reaching your fitness goals? If you’re unsure then a single kettlebell should suffice. However, if you are really determined you’ll get a better value if you buy a kettlebell set. This would also allow you to mix your workouts up a little bit by using different sized kettlebells on different days. Maybe you want a shorter workout focused on strength – use a heavier kettlebell. Or if you want to work on cardio then go lighter. More kettlebells provide more options.
- Construction – I’m pretty partial to solid cast-iron kettlebells. At the very least, the core of a kettlebell should be cast-iron (or steel for competition kettlebells). You’ll want to avoid any kettlebells with fillers like cement or sand. Although, if a kettlebell has a vinyl coating, that might better suit your needs and environment.
- Comfort – I swear, I’m not trying to start these all of with C’s! Comfort is important, particularly how you grip the kettlebell handle. Do you prefer a smooth chrome handle or one that is textured? Also, the window area of a 15 lb. kettlebell can be on the smaller side. If you have larger hands and want to easily do two-handed exercises you’ll need to factor that in as well.