Every Kettlebell Has a Story

Posted: August 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ve had a few questions regarding the brand of kettlebells I use at home, as well as how to choose the right weight to get started.

I often refer to my kettlebells by color, and that’s because I use the PerformBetter brand.  There are several reasons why I prefer this brand over some of the others:

First, the vinyl coated ones have a rubber base on the bottom, making them easier on my floors at home.  It’s one thing to work out at a gym and use whatever they’re offering.  All the kettlebells at my gym are the same color (black) and they are all scuffed up… which is fine for a gym… I don’t have a problem with that… but I do think that when you’re making the investment to bring equipment into your home, you should think about where you’re going to use them.  I don’t have a separate workout room, which means these kettlebells usually end up on the carpet, the hardwood floors or the tile.  Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want to scratch up my floors with the rough edges on the other kettlebells.

The handles on these kettlebells are also a selling point for me.  They are not too wide, which makes them easier to grip.  Also, the shape and curve work well for two-handed swings, and they’ve never given me callouses.

Finally, and this may seem like a minor point, but I really like the ease of scripting a workout by color.  When I draft a new workout, I will often write “yellow” or “green” in the margin.  It’s simple, I find it much easier to calculate reps based on color… (I know Yellow is my easy day, Green is my hard day… Red is just tough all around.)  But scripting my workouts out by color avoids confusion and helps me move quickly through the workout and keep up my level of cardio.

Every Kettlebell Has a Story:


I got little Tinkerbell here (the blue one) as joke for my husband.  It was supposed to be just a gag at 8.8 pounds, but I’ve actually found a good use for it: Kettlebell Windmills.  I hold this one above my head, as I lift a heavier one (usually green) with my lower hand.  This is a great way to get started on windmills.  When you outgrow it, use it as a paperweight at the office… but this should absolutely not be your first kettlebell. (Unless you’re in kindergarten.  Seriously, my 5-year old son does kettlebell squats with this one!)  Start with yellow.

Best "Beginners Kettlebell" for Women

I started training with the yellow kettlebell about 2 years ago, and looking back I would say this is the best “beginners kettlebell” for women at about 17 1/2 pounds.  Even if it feels heavy in the store, remember: you are swinging it, not lifting it like a dumbbell.  There’s a huge difference between lifting and swinging.  If you work out at home with 10 or 15 pound dumbbells, you can absolutely bump up to a heavier kettlebell.  For men, you guys should most likely start heavier so that you can keep your reps low.

Old Greenie

“Old Greenie” has been my friend for a long time now.  He has traveled many places with me (by car) and would be the one I’d pack in my suitcase if it weren’t for the airline restrictions.  At just over 26 pounds, this is a good all-purpose kettlebell for me.  I use it for nearly every exercise at this point and it still challenges me on quite of few of them.  When I just can’t take it anymore, I switch down to yellow for a bit of a break… and that makes yellow and green a great pair.

The Beast

Big Red is my newest addition to my little family of kettlebells.  I came home one afternoon to find it sitting on my doorstep.  Hallelujah!!  (My trainer dropped it off… talk about service… Thank you Dr. Dan, “Kettlebell Trainer Extraordinaire”!)  I’ve been working my way up to this one.  It’s considered the women’s competitive weight and it would probably be the one used in the women’s Olympic competitions if they ever decide to make it an Olympic sport… (which is a discussion for another day!)  This one is challenging.  I use it for two-handed swings and around the worlds… but it is  One… Heavy… Beast!

Here is a kilogram to pounds conversion chart, by color code according to the PerformBetter brand.

Blue 4 kg = 8.8 lbs

Yellow 8 kg = 17.6 lbs

Green 12 kg = 26.4 lbs

Red 16 kg = 35.2 lbs

Silver 20 kg = 44 lbs

If you’ve been following any of my previous posts about Pyramid Training with Kettlebells, then you’ll understand how important it is to have a good spread of kettlebells at your disposal.  If you’re just getting started, use the ones in the gym for now and invest in a single kettlebell for home.

Happy Swinging!


  1. I’m a fan of Tinkerbell, as you know. Thanks for these kettlebell recommendations. I definitely want to work with some before I invest.

  2. Bernie says:

    I am new to kettlebelll training. I’m not as young as most, 53y/o, and recently purchased a new 35lb bell at the local Sports Authority store. I am doing presses and swings. I have a 100lb barbell / dumbbell set. I am using the dumbbells to practice the Turkish get up.

    My goal is to eventually work up to the point where I can perform one arm swings with my 35lb bell.
    Overall, I made a good decision buying my kettlebell.

    I really like your website.

    Bernie…Vero Beach, Florida

    • Great to hear from you, Bernie… and congratulations on getting your first kettlebell! I promise you will be hooked soon! Start with two-handed swings with the new kettlebell, then gradually try the hand-to-hand swings as you get stronger… (maybe practice outside!). the momentum you create here will help you transistion nicely over to the one-handed swings with 16KG!
      Good Luck,

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