There are a lot of different brands out there. I’ll briefly discuss the ones I have experience with below, in order of awesomeness.
Dragon Door Kettlebells
Try them and you’ll agree: The Dragon Door RKC models are the best out there. It’s hard to really appreciate the quality of these unless you’ve tried some others like I have. They’re pricey but they’re worth it.
I put these next. They’re comparable in quality to the DD bells, but cost a bit less. I’ve heard people complain about the handles, but I’ve never had any trouble with mine.
Perform Better makes regular kettlebells, which I haven’t used. But I haven’t ever heard a complaint about them. Where I really love Perform Better is their competition kettlebells. Competition kettlebells are the ones used in Girevoy Sport, the traditional Russian sport of kettlebell lifting. There are differences in size and the shape of the handle, but the main thing is: all of the weights are the same size. Whether you’re using a 32kg or a 12kg kettlebell, they are the same size kettlebells. This is how they standardize things for the competitions.
Speaking of those competitions, they are true tests of mental toughness and grit. Hardstyle kettlebell training is more of a sprint, but Girevoy sport–practiced by crazy people called Giriveks–is a marathon.The events are a lot more formidable than they sound: the kettlebell snatch, clean and jerk, and long cycle.
I spent my first 12 months of kettlebell training using Apollos that I found in a used Sporting Goods store. For most kettlebell exercises, they suck. Now, don’t get me wrong–I made a lot of progress in that year using my Apollos and I still have four of them, but they are crappy fitness equipment. The handles are really wide and long. This really matters once you’re doing lifts where the kettlebell rack on your forearm impacts your performance.
For swings, the core of kettlebell training, Apollos are pretty okay. But, even for swings, I’ve had some clients I’ve trained who have bigger thighs than they would like. Most of my female clients want to use the kettlebells for fat loss. The size of the handle on the Apollos made even swings hard for this woman because the handle was so wide she couldn’t get her thighs out of the way.
Other kettlebell brands that I haven’t used, but that you can research
A word of warning
It’s a bad idea to buy a kettlebell in a Shopko, Sports Authority, Barnes and Noble, or Target. Do it if you must, but they’re absolutely horrible.
Kettlebell Snatch Domination
This is a product from my friend Logan Christopher. Logan is one of only three men to hit 301 snatches in 10 minutes with the 24 kilo bell. His kettlebell snatch domination DVD set shows exactly how he did it. incredible stuff.
Oh, and if you’re going to buy a bell, I highly recommend grabbing a Gymboss timer. Great little gadget and the price is right.