Which Kettlebells Should I Buy?

July 23, 2021
4 minute read

Written by Travis Mattern from Fitness Education Online

As a young trainer I remember my first big investment into any equipment. It was a set of grungy looking cast iron kettlebells, 4kg-20kg. For me, it was a lot of money and at the time, at least 10 years ago, there weren’t a plethora of quality fitness stores to buy from. Kettlebells definitely weren’t available in Kmart or Aldi! These bells have served me really well over the years and are still in pretty good nick. But, if I had my time again (in today’s buying climate), what kettlebells would I buy? I’m going to give you a bit of a breakdown on which bells I think are the ones to buy and the reasons why.

The first thing to understand is that there are several different types of kettlebells on the market and they vary from bell to bell, far more than say different sets of dumbbells. Realistically there are three key types of kettlebells which you could buy; Plastic, Cast Iron and Pro-grade/Competition Style.

Plastic Kettlebells

These are typically the absolute cheapest on the market and are typically found in stores like; Big W, Kmart, Aldi and probably even more specific sports chain stores like Rebel.  With these kettlebells, I would include the vinyl wrapped, or the neoprene wrapped bells in this category. Would I/do I recommend anyone buy these bells?

No. Here’s why. In a nutshell, they vary too much from each bell. What I primarily am referring to here are the handle size and the bell size. Sometimes the handles are wide enough for 4 hands, sometimes they’re so thick you can’t close your hand around it, sometimes there’s a plastic seem running through the middle, and often it could be all of the above, whilst also being different every time you use a different weight (we’ll get into the importance of this a little bit later).

My personal opinion is that people buy these for two reasons:

  1. They’re cheap
  2. They’re less intimidating to beginners than a big ball of metal!

Only buy these types of kettlebells if you’re after a doorstop or just want to use something heavy. If you want to learn the art of kettlebells, avoid them.

Cast Iron Kettlebells

Cast iron bells, I suppose, are the ‘coolest’ ones. They’re grungy, hand, cold, only for the hardcore. One thing is for sure they can take a beating and last forever!!

However, these essentially have the same problem as the plastic kettlebells. There is no consistency to the shape or size of either the handle or the actual bell.

 So would I recommend you buy these bells? No. But, with a less strong opinion compared to the plastic kettlebells. Why? Well if they’re good enough for Pavel Tsatsouline, well they should be good enough for anyone!!

I mentioned my first set of kettlebells were a cast iron set and would I buy them again with my knowledge now?


Pro-grade or Competition Kettlebells

Now, these are the gold standard in kettlebells! Yes, you will get better quality ones and for sticklers there are also minor variations in how the weight is set, but I’m going to assume you’re not reading this if you’re a giveory sport competitor.

If you’ve got this far, you’ll probably know why I recommend these kettlebells. Consistency! The handles, the bell, the whole thing, should be identical from weight to weigh. 8kg, 12kg, 32kg, 48kg, it shouldn’t matter, apart from the colouring they should look and feel (despite the weight difference) identical.

Why is this so important?

Because, it allows for the user to develop a consistent technique no matter the weight being used. If you’re using kettlebells for just goblet squats and bent over rows, this isn’t that important. But, if you’re doing anything where the kettlebell is in the rack position, or on the back of the forearm, such as cleans, snatches, Turkish getups, the consistent size and shape definitely helps.

So, what kettlebells should you buy? I suppose the answer is how do you want to use them? If you’re just using them for basic level movements at home, maybe you can save some cash and if you’re just after some hard arse looking equipment buy the ones with the gorilla face on them. But, if you want to use them to learn more complex movements, are serious about learning techniques and progressing through the weights, spend a few extra dollars and get the pro-grade or competition bells.

If you’re a personal trainer and you’re looking to upskill yourself in kettlebells, at Fitness Education Online we have a wide array of Fitness Australia registered CEC courses – including courses specifically focused on kettlebells!

Thank you for checking out  Fitness Education Online Blog!

Blue Side BG

Fitness Education Online are one of the leading providers in the world when it comes to the professional development of Personal Trainers. We have over 30 registered AUSactive CEC courses.  Click here to check them out!


About The Author: Travis Mattern
Co-founder and Director at Fitness Education Online

Travis is the co founder and director at Fitness Education Online. Fitness Education Online are one of the leading organisations in the world when it comes to providing CEC courses for Personal Trainers. Check out their website below to see their range of Fitness Australia registered courses.

Follow & Connect

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Post
How to become a Personal Trainer in Australia (2024)
What is a Group Exercise Leader?
Do I Need an ABN as a Personal Trainer?
Can I Deliver Outdoor Fitness with Certificate III in Australia?
How to Become a Group Fitness Instructor in Australia
Does an Exercise Science Degree Qualify you as a Personal Trainer in Australia
Best Personal Trainer Insurance Options in Australia (2024 Version)
5 ways to support weight loss and maintain muscle mass
What is SIS30321? Exploring the New Standard in Fitness Certification
What is a Gym Instructor?
How much does a Personal Trainer earn in Australia?
How difficult is a Personal Trainer Course?
Everything Cortisol
Everything Oestrogen: Essential Knowledge for Fitness Professionals
Supporting Clients with Endometriosis: Insights and Strategies for Fitness Professionals
The Fitness Pro's Guide to Embracing Period Dysfunction: Why It's a Game Changer
The Hidden Key to Optimising Your Client's Fitness: Tracking the Menstrual Cycle
The PCOS Advantage: A Game-Changing Guide for Fitness
What is the difference between Cert 3 and 4 in Fitness
Osteoporosis: How Diet, Exercise And Lifestyle Can Help Fight Osteoporosis
ANZAC Day Workout
Do you need a Cert III in Fitness before a Cert IV?
How Much Do Personal Trainers Make
How to become a Personal Trainer in Australia
Fitness Registration Bodies in Australia
Fitness Expo 2023
Personal Trainer Cancellation Policy
Adult Exercise Pre Screening Tool
How long does a Cert 3 in Fitness take?
Boxing Bag Workout: The “10, 2, 2”
12 Days of Christmas Workout
Functional Training Circuit for Small Group Training and Bootcamp
Fitness Games for Bootcamp: The “1, 2, 3” Game
Boxing Partner Workout
Boxing Drills using a Resistance Band
Boxing Workout for Bootcamp – “The EMOM”
Is exercise alone enough to lose a significant amount of weight without changing other lifestyle factors?
Boxing Workout for Bootcamp: The “Power / Speed” Drill
Personal Trainer Success Story: Karla on Online learning
Personal Trainer Success Story: Terry “Go for it regardless of your age"
Boxing Drills for Bootcamp: The “4 Combo’s: 4 uppercuts”
Personal Trainer Success Story: Jane Juggling a career and family life
Kickboxing Drills for Bootcamp: “3 Body Rips, 3 Roundhouse Kicks”
Boxing Circuit Workout Ideas: The Agility Ladder Interval Drill
Kickboxing for Bootcamp and Group Fitness: Should I use “Thai Pads” or a “Kick Shield”
Bariatrics 101
What Does Cert 3 In Fitness Allow You To Do ?
How to raise your rates as Personal Trainer
Mastering your day to maximize your efficiency as a Rent Based PT in 2022
Supporting the Bigger Client
Boxing Workout for Bootcamp 15, 30, 45, 60
Boxing Workout Ideas for Bootcamp: “The 2-10’s”
How To Structure a Boxing Workout for Bootcamp
“Exercise Considerations for the Bigger Client”… Health and fitness at any size
Should Women Stop Lifting Heavy Weights During Menopause?
Boxing Circuit Workout Ideas: The “Punch, Run, Bodyweight”
Boxing Courses for Personal Trainers: Should you do one?
How to Become a Highly Profitable Rent based Personal Trainer in 2022!
One Arm Kettlebell Row: 5 of The Best Variations Available
To weigh or not to weigh? Should Trainers Ditch The Scales Once and For All?
5 Questions every Fitness Professional should be asking their female clients... (especially when aged 37+)
How to Run a 30-Day Plank Challenge… Sub30 Style!
How to Help Female Clients Work With Their Hormones
10 Steps To Launch Your Fitness Coaching Business Online
Ep 322: Matt from Virtfit - the #1 fitness software/app for PTs
1 2 3 229

Want to hear about our latest post, podcast, and bootcamp idea?

Copyright 2022 Fitness Education Online All Rights Reserved
Google Rating
Based on 311 reviews