Once you have gone through the decision to buy a kettlebell and you know which brand you want, you have to decide which weight to use. I don’t know if men have any greater talent than the ability to convince themselves that they are more advanced in strength training than they are. Those are the men who are going to be annoyed when they read Enter The Kettlebell and see that they should start, not with a 24 kilo kettlebell, but with a 16, or 35 pounder.
You have to ask yourself what exactly are you doing to do with the kettlebell. What program are you going to be following? If you have your heart set on a kettlebell routine and you intend to follow it to the letter no matter what, then I would use whatever weight that program calls for.
However, starting with a 24 is not the worst thing in the world, in my opinion. I did. It depends on what you want to do with your bells. Should most men start out snatching a 24? Probably not, but I don’t know why a man weighing over 140 lbs couldn’t start swinging with a 24.
Should a grown man start out trying to press a 24? Maybe not, but I would ask how much that man weighs? If he is a shredded 250 he might get bored pressing a measly 16 kilo bell right away.
How about squats? Deadlifts? Of course, the 24 is not going to allow progress in these gigantic movements as possible, not if muscle building is the goal.
But movements like the Turkish Get Up and the kettlebell snatch are different animals. I wholeheartedly would advise any man to swallow his ego and start small (maybe even smaller than the 16) for these movements, regardless of bodyweight or training experience. I’m not a stickler for form, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t safe and unsafe to even the untrained eye. If you move through the movement safely–whether or not your form is textbook is irrelevant to me–it’s probably too heavy.
Kettlebells have the potential to change your life in a lot of great ways. They can also change your life horribly if you don’t respect them. When in doubt, start small.
But I started with a 24 and it didn’t kill me. Try to be honest and know your limits. You’ll be fine.