What Size Kettlebell?

What Size Kettlebell?

what kettlebell size

One of the most common question I get asked is what size kettlebell do I need? By this, people are usually referring to kettlebell weight. Unfortunately it’s not so straight forward to answer this question as there are lots of things to consider. However, after reading this post you will be able to decide what size kettlebell is most suitable for your needs. If not, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

what size kettlebell

Choosing the right size kettlebell

If you’re reading this guide there is a good chance you’re new to kettlebell training? Well, depending on how regularly you’re planning on working out you’ll need several differently sized kettlebells. The reason for this is because kettlebell workouts involves a variety of different maneuvers. You’ll find that for lower body workouts you’ll need a much heavier kettlebell compared to upper body workouts. For example, an upper body workout typically involves swinging the kettlebell overhead. The chances are that if you have enough strength to swing a kettlebell overhead, it won’t be heavy enough for lower body routines.

Kettlebell sizes

Standard sized kettlebells are available in a variety of different sizes. Kettlebell sizes are usually measured in pounds or kilograms, but sometimes poods. The kettlebell weight is displayed on the front of the kettlebell.

Kettlebell sets are available from 10 pounds all the way up to 80 pounds plus. Although it’s possible to go lower or higher in weight.

Different types of kettlebell

It’s usually at this point that I ask how familiar are you with the different types of kettlebell? The reason I ask this is because it’s now possible complete all of your kettlebell workouts from a single (adjustable) kettlebell weight. Generally speaking there are three different types of kettlebell:

  1. Competiton Kettlebell: Professional grade kettlebells made from solid steel and are all sized identically. That means a 40-pound kettlebell will be identical in size to a 80-pound kettlebell. Competition kettlebells have squarish handles.
  2. Standard Kettlebell: Usually made from cement or iron a standard has a curved handle and increases in size as the weight increases. Adjustable Kettlebell: Allow you to adjust the weight range from a single kettlebell.
  3. Adjustable Kettlebell: Allow you to adjust the weight range from a single kettlebell.

If you’re interested in reading more about the benefits of adjustable kettlebells then go on over to the homepage! Otherwise read on to find out what size kettlebell you’ll need.

Kettlbell workout routines

The next thing you need to consider is the type of kettlebell training you’ll be completing? i.e. if you’re planning on working a specific body area? Or if you’re looking to work the whole body? If you want to work the whole body, you’ll need three different size kettlebells to cover upper, lower and dynamic workouts.

Upper Body: Upper body presses require a lighter size kettlebell as you’re mostly using arm muscles to lift and swing the kettlebell.

Lower Body: Here you’ll use the heaviest of your three kettlebells. That’s because you’ll use additional muscle groups to lift the weight of the bell i.e. legs and back muscles.

Dynamic Exercises: One of the benefits of kettlebell workouts is that they can work multiple muscle groups during a single exercise. Mostly these involve dynamic routines which is where the in-between or middle size kettlebell is used.

What size kettlebell?

Kettlebell sizes for men

Upper Body: Men should start with a 16kg or 35-pound kettlebell.

Lower Body: Start with a 32kg or 70 pound kettlebell.

Dynamic Exercises: Using the scales above, men should start with a 24kg or 53 pound kettlebell.

Kettlebell sizes for women

Upper Body: Women should start with a 6kg or 13 pound kettlebell

Lower Body: Start with a 16kg or 35 pound bell.

Dynamic Exercises: Using the scales above, women should go with a 12kg or 26 pound kettlebell

Beginners size kettlebells

Important Note: The suggested kettlebell weights (above) assume you are in a good shape i.e. you are already working out in the gym. If you’re exercising after a long lay off then you should drop the suggested kettlbell weights down as follows:

Upper body: Men 12kg or 26 pounds. Women 4kg or 9 pounds.

Lower Body: Men 28 kg or 62 pounds. Women 12 kg or 26 pounds.

Dynamic Exercises: Men 20 kg or 44 pounds. Women 8 kg or 18 pounds.


So there you have it. If you want to workout using a standard kettlebell, you’ll need three different size kettlebells. A light kettlebell for upper body routines, a heavy kettlebell for lower body and a middle size kettlebell for dynamic routines.

The alternative is to purchase an adjustable kettlebell as these are available in a variety of different weight ranges and save you having to purchase multiple kettlebells. They also save you a great deal of space.


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