Choosing your first Kettlebell Part 2 – Weight

In Part 1 of choosing your first kettlebell we talked about why you would want one in the first place. We touched on the idea that there are three categories of using a kettlebell:

  1. Strength and Power development
  2. Cardiovascular Endurance
  3. Mobility Training

Also on top of this versatility of use the kettlebell is also one of the few serious training tools that you can realistically keep in your own home.

When left unattended in the kitchen, kettlebells gather around bins hoping for scraps of protein (yes, I put some mats in my kitchen…).

Without going into each too much detail, for the serious trainee there’s a good chance your original ‘heavy kettlebell’ will slowly turn into your higher rep kettlebell and maybe even turn into your mobility training kettlebell.

With that in mind we’ll talk about how to choose the weight for your first kettlebell, or preferably, three.

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Willpower is weak

Willpower is weak, few successful people rely on willpower in the long term for success. Sure willpower is like a muscle, we always get that analogy. So let’s take that analogy to its logical conclusion.

To get stronger or more powerful we need to work the muscle, we need to work it hard enough to introduce tiny little failures in it. Then we need to leave it alone for a period of time so that it can recover and improve.

If we work it too hard, it will break big time and not improve as it recovers. Also we’ll have had to wait a long time for it to recover so we can use it again. If we don’t allow it enough time to recover, over time it will not be able to restore itself to even its starting level of strength.

The same is true of willpower. If we exercise it to a certain degree everyday and don’t overly rely upon it, it will get stronger. If we try to overly rely on it… it may work for a short spell but invariably we end up gorging on Jaffa cakes, vegged out on the sofa watching a Game of Thrones marathon (or is that just me?).

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Iron Yoga

The Turkish Get Up (or TGU) is getting a lot of love recently. As is normal within the fitness industry, the ‘mainstream’ is finally catching up to what those of us on the ‘fringe’ have been doing to create success for the last 10 to 100 years.


Unfortunately it is also being horribly bastardised into some barely recognisable mutant sit up performed with a tiny 4kg kettlebell, also known in our gym as ‘The Earring’ or by my two year old daughter as “Mine! My want two!!!” Look, if a two year old girl wants to walk around the house with one in each hand, then I reckon that they’re probably too light for a grown up.

The TGU is a controlled roll, NOT a sit up! The idea is to pretty much keep your back straight as you ‘roll up’ into a seated position prior to standing up. Think of how you roll out of bed in the morning. Yes there is more than one way to do the TGU, but most of the variations are different expressions of the same principles.

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Primal Realities

Twenty years is a long time. Time enough to see a lot of fads come and go, to see ‘the cutting edge’ information recycled every 3 years or so, and to become a jaded grumpy old man. My journey across the years has seen me train, dabble and immerse myself in lots of different things.

On the martial arts side of things I have trained seriously in a large number of martial systems such as Tai Jitsu, Karate, Judo, Aikido, Wing Chun, Muay Thai, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kali, Silat, MMA, to name a few.

In the fitness side of things I’ve trained in many modalities in many styles, barbell, kettlebell, bodyweight, group exercise, gym based, outdoors, distance running, sprinting. I’ve trained using bodybuilding methodologies, powerlifting, ‘fat loss’, blood-shunting, etc, etc.

Let’s not forget the low fat, high fat, high carb, low carb, fruit diet, salmon diet, liquid diets, etc.

Over this time I seem to have found myself comfortable with, and teaching, two schools of training. One martial system and one strength and conditioning system. Both of which share a lot in common, which is what I want to share. These two schools of training are Dog Brothers Martial Arts (DBMA) and StrongFirst (SF).

strongfirst-logo (1) DBMA

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