Kettlebell Training: What You Should Know

Happy Friday, Fringe Fam! We're back and rolling into the weekend with all the details on kettlebell training, from A to Z. We love kettlebell training because kettlebells are so extremely versatile, and easy to use even for a beginner. Let's talk some nitty-gritty details of kettlebell training.

History of the Kettlebell

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Originally, kettlebells were not meant for training for fitness. Can you believe that?!

They were used in Russia as measurements for grain, much like a balance scale. These original kettlebells, called girya, look like a cannonball with a handle attached to it. After some time, it was realized that strongmen could perform giant feats of strength with these grain-measuring kettlebells, and thus, kettlebell training for sport was born.

A Russian physician, Vladislav Kraevsky, is said to be the father of Olympic weightlifting, and is said to have popularized kettlebell training in the late 1800s. That seems like a LONG time ago, right? Kettlebells are considered to be the oldest fitness training tools in history, and there's even evidence of kettlebell-like weights being used as far back as the early 1700s. Cool, right?!

Russian kettlebell training for competition includes the clean + jerk and the snatch, but of course, there are many other things that can be done for exercise with a kettlebell. In Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, kettlebells are measured in poods instead of pounds. One pood is equal to 16kg or 36lbs, and 2 pood equates to 32kg or 72lbs. Measuring in pood still floats around the kettlebell training and CrossFit world today across the United States, so if you hear that word you'll know what it means.

For a long time, kettlebell training was not super popular across the US. It wasn't until about 1960 that kettlebell training was introduced widely across the United States, and it wasn't until about 40 years later when CrossFit originated that kettlebell training really started to boom.

Once CrossFit had it's beginnings, there was a mega focus on training with kettlebells through swings, snatches, and clean and jerks that just was not there in the US before the sport came to be. Since then, kettlebell training is and has remained quite mainstream.

Types of Kettlebells

kettlebell comparison


The kind of kettlebells we share with our Fringe Fam are known to be fitness training style kettlebells, made out of iron and generally coated in powder coat for grip, but there is another type for competition. You could easily use our kettlebells for training for competition because of the low weight variance across our models, but competition style kettlebells are a little bit different.

Competition style kettlebells are made from steel instead of iron and are all the same size and shape, regardless of the weight. The only thing that changes in competition kettlebells from bell to bell is the weight, which is contained inside of the steel bell outside.

Both kinds of kettlebells are great for training, but competition kettlebells can run more expensively because the steel bell is slightly more durable than an iron bell. The good news is that if you're not planning on competing in kettlebell competition, you don't need to worry about investing in a competition bell and iron bells will do their job and more.

Why We Love Kettlebells

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Kettlebells are hands down one of our most favorite items to recommend to those with a garage gym, home gym, home training space, or those that live their lives on the road because they're compact, ultra-versatile, and can be used virtually anywhere to get your workout in. We'd consider them a necessity for small gym spaces because you can do so much with them and they don't take up a ton of space like a barbell or squat rack would.

Kettlebells are easy to move around once you've gotten the proper form down to avoid injury. They're easy to store, easy to build muscle with, and one of the best things (in our opinion) to get your heart rate up and build endurance. Is there anything better than a one-stop-shop piece of equipment? This is why kettlebells are a part of our "minimum viable garage gym."


The True Nitty-Gritty

Our kettlebells are made from durable iron and coated in aesthetically pleasing black powder coat, which enhances grip and takes chalk amazingly well for more tack without tearing up your hands. Powder coat is resistant to chipping, too!

Our bells are made differently because there are ZERO seams in the handle, so there will never be a chance of catching a hot spot or ripping your hand open because of a wonky piece of iron on the handle.

These handles are what set us apart - there are no big ugly seams on the underside of the handle, right where you wouldn't want it. Other cheaply made kettlebells are often made in 2-piece molds, which puts them at risk of busting with use because of their shape and the way the iron molds together. We'd hate for that to happen, so we don't build ours that way. Ours are built as ONE piece, with no nasty seams to be found.

Our kettlebells are PERFECT for one or two hand movements. One or both hands will fit comfortably across any size bell so you can do whatever you need or like to with your kettlebells.

Our prime kettlebells are shaped perfectly for comfortable landing when performing snatches. We hate when our wrists get banged up from ill-formed kettlebells, so we made sure ours were rounded on the edges to avoid that. 

One thing that truly sets our kettlebells apart from others is the flat bottom. Flat bottoms in the kettlebell world are GREAT. Our kettlebells will settle nicely after performing swings, cleans, or snatches. Plus, our kettlebells can be used for things like off-set push-ups, planking, and more and there won't be a wobble in sight (from the bell, at least!).

To differentiate between the different weights of our kettlebells, we've included a stripe where the horns meets the bell so you can easily distinguish weight, even in the midst of your toughest wod-brain inducing workouts. You're welcome ;)

Get Yourself a Kettlebell or Two

kettlebells are great for farmers carry

Have we said enough? Kettlebells are NEVER a bad investment as long as you'll use them, practice with them, and get to work. Our kettlebells are perfect for any stage of your fitness journey and no matter where you stand in this Garage Gym Revolution. Check 'em out here, and let us know what you think of them once you've given them a try.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Drop 'em below or send us a message on our site. We'd be happy to get you into kettlebell training and answer any qualms you might have about starting out on a garage gym revolution of your own. The time is now, and the Garage Gym Revolution is holding strong. Join us, Fringe Fam!

As always, lift heavy, lift happy :) 

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