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Can A Man Start With A 24 Kilo Kettlebell?

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.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • T.C. December 31, 2010, 3:06 pm

    I’m 5’10”, 150lbs, in great physical shape, but I still had to start with a 12kg ‘bell. Even starting that small I was able to move up to 16s within months, and now I’m looking at getting a 20kg. I think it’s definitely better to start light to get the movements down, especially if you’re new to the equipment, and then buy the heavier stuff as you progress. It’s worth the extra cost if it will save you from injury.

  • todd May 25, 2011, 6:00 pm

    i just came across this. i’ve been lifting weights for 10 years. i’m 6’1″ 210lbs and can bench/squat/DL >300lbs. i wanted to get one that i could grow into, so i got the 24kg. it def felt heavy initially, but after a couple sessions i feel much more comfortable. i wouldn’t recommend it unless you weigh over 200lbs and are in decent shape though. i’ll def be able to grow into this and get a ton of use from it. my biggest issue right now is gassing myself out too soon. it’s heavy and really gets my heart rate up. i’m trying to figure out decent reps and the proper rest between exercises.

  • Dave August 2, 2011, 10:49 am

    I started with a 24. I’m 5′,11″ 225. Fairly strong. I didn’t want to get a lighter one, then need to buy another. Minimalism is my new mantra when it comes to working out. KB’s. two dumbbells with plates, and a pull up and bar dip bar. Mostly do KB right now.