Erik’s Ultra Beginner’s Guide to Kettlebells for Ultra Beginners

I've always been a bit of a fitness nut, but until recently, I had never been particularly fit. When I was a student, I spent most of my time chasing strength and mass gains. I was strong within limited patterns, but I was otherwise weak and inflexible. I was muscular, but not very lean. And the bulk didn't make me look particularly great.

Once I graduated and started working at my first job, maintaining the long gym-sessions became unsustainable, so I started looking for more time-efficient ways to train. I had a little 25 lb. kettlebell from Onnit lying around, and I started to swap lifting sessions with kettlebell training. Rather than spending 2 hours at a gym a few days a week, I found it easier to train for 30-60 minute sessions on most days. I've since picked up more challenging weights, and the change in my fitness has been dramatic. I'm faster, leaner, more flexible, and I generally feel better.

I wouldn't shut up about how cool kettlebells were, and several friends asked me for training resources. I couldn't find a solid starting point for ultra beginners, so I made my own. I tried to collect all the introductory information that I felt I needed as a beginner so the guide ended up longer than I anticipated, but if you're curious about kettlebells, my Ultra Beginner's Guide to Kettlebells should be a good place to start. 

  • Part 1 is a short rant on why kettlebells are efficient training tools, especially for busy people.
  • Part 2 has my thoughts on picking a starting weight and recommendations for buying kettlebells.
  • Part 3 collects a list of helpful videos for basic exercises.
  • Part 4 has a list of helpful videos for slightly more advanced exercises. 
  • Part 5 includes a few resources for training routines and quick recommendations for protecting your arms and hands.

I've only seriously trained with kettlebells for a year or so, and I consider myself a beginner. If you train with kettlebells and you think I'm missing anything, please add a comment.