What Size Kettlebell To Use

One of the most often asked questions folks have when getting started with KB training is what size kettlebell to use

Here’s a video from Anthony DiLugo of www.artofstrength.com – he does a great job of explaining what size kettlebell to start with based on your fitness level, athletic training experience, etc. – I’ve also provided a recap of the points he touches on in the video in the bullet points below it:

Video Recap

  • Kettlebells, unlike American weights, go up incrementally in kilos – 4 kilos, 8 kilos, 12 kilos, 16 kilos, 20 kilos, 24 kilos, etc.
  • Your activity level, fitness level, weight, and size are all factors that go into what size kettlebell you should use.
  • Most inactive women starting out will use an 8 kil0 ‘bell.
  • Active women, who are, for example, runners or used to having their legs loaded with some kind of resistance, could bump up to a 12 kilo or even 16 kilo to start.
  • An inactive man – for example, a 40-year-old who hasn’t worked out in several years, who’s been worried about his family, his career, etc. and not focused on staying in shape, should probably start out with a 16 kilo kettlebell. Very quickly that same individual will graduate up to a 20 or 24 kilo KB.
  • An athletic guy – maybe a runner, a cyclist, an individual who participates in recreational sports – will start with either the 20 or 24 kilo, and at some point may even work up to the 32 kilo (or more).
  • You need to feel your body being loaded with resistance to get proper benefit from kettlebell training. If you are a 120 pound woman and you are in good shape, have strong legs, etc., you cannot properly load your body with a 8 kilo kettlebell – it just won’t work.

After watching the video above, hopefully any questions you have about what size kettlebell to use when starting out have been answered; if you have any further questions, input, etc., please put in your two cents in the comment section below.

Keep training hard and thanks for reading –


Learn more about what size kettlebell to use, the best kettlebell brands, and more additional resources:

Dragon Door Kettlebells – my preferred source for top-notch KB’s

The Kettlebell Basics Swing Manual – my own beginner’s guide to getting started with kettlebells right

Kettlebell + DVD Quick Start Kit

3 thoughts on “What Size Kettlebell To Use

  1. Enrique Olivares

    So, for a 60 year old, former O-lifter, Karate practitioner who discovered the 2 hand kettlebell swing puts new life in old hip thrusts, what size kettlebell for say,
    3-5 sets, 20 reps, good work effort, 75-80% feel?
    My bodyweight is around 195.

    1. admin

      Hi Enrique –

      This would depend on your strength/conditioning level probably –

      Likely a 20 or 24k most likely, maybe a 28k.

      Good luck!


  2. Pingback: What Size Kettlebell to Use (part 2) | Kettlebell Basics

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