I spent my first twelve months of kettlebell training with a couple of Apollos of different sizes. I had been debating whether or not to buy kettlebells online. I had a really hard time reconciling the shipping costs for the longest time. One day I went into our local Play it Again Sports looking for a barbell and lo and behold, there were the first real Russian kettlebells I had ever seen, lined up on the floor.
Most of the research into Girevoy sport that I had done up until then had to do with exercises, benefits of kb lifting, all the marketing stuff. What I hadn’t researched was brands and specifications of all of the different models. This was a good and a bad thing.
It was good because I immediately bought a 24 kilo kettlebell for about $70 and took it home. My strength training was suddenly fun again. Not that it wasn’t fun already, honestly, but the girya introduced some much-needed novelty into my workouts and shocked my system a bit.
It was bad because the Apollo kettlebell is really not the best choice for a beginner. It is not the worst choice in the world, but I really do not believe that they are good weights. The kettlebell handle on an Apollo is very wide and quite tall. This can become problematic during large movements like the snatch in which the bell rests on the back of the wrist. If you ever want to pass benchmarks like the secret service snatch test, it is unlikely that you will be completing them with Apollos, due to the high volume.
I was able to get away with my Apollo practice for a year because I didn’t know any better. I’m not trying to make it sound like I didn’t make progress. I got some very good results. But, I also learned to play guitar on a piece of crap Peavey that cost $100. I made good progress, but I would have gotten further, faster, if I had not had to fight the substandard quality of my instrument.
Apollos also rust very easily. This is not something I personally care about, but if you want your bells to look shiny and new, it isn’t going to happen with this brand. Seriously, they don’t look shiny and new even when they are new!
If you would like more info about various brands, I wrote a much lengthier article which you help you with buying kettlebells.
Apollo Kettlebells review complete.