What Size Kettlebell To Use

by admin on August 12, 2011

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

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Enrique Olivares August 12, 2011 at 1:51 am

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.


admin August 19, 2011 at 8:42 am

Hi Enrique -

This would depend on your strength/conditioning level probably -

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

Good luck!



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