Kettlebells: How much weight should I use?

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Kettlebells: How much weight should I start off with?


One of the most common questions I get, is how much weight should I use? This is a question I deal with on a regular basis since I teach Kettlejitsu 6 days a week at Legacy MMA in Burbank. We constantly have new people trying classes. Now if you ask an RKC/SFG person, they base this on your gender. You’re a man, so you should use x amount of weight. My original Kettlebell coach was an RKC guy. He would say since im a man and MMA fighter I should be using 16kg and up. Meanwhile my back was throbbing after each workout. My back pain was a combination of not warming up properly and using too much weight to start off with.

Since I have been Kettlejitsu consistently for about 7 years now, I have learned that a clients safety is a huge concern. People come to me from all fitness levels.  If a man comes to me out of shape, or never had any fitness experience, there is no way I am starting him off with a 16kg kettlebell. That’s almost insuring he will get injured. Ill put a 8kg in his hand and ask him how this feel and is it manageable. This also goes for a woman. Ill put a 10lb bell in their hands and ask them the same thing.

Another thing I do is during our joint mobility and body weight training, I analyze each and every student to see where there fitness level is. After that, it helps me determine how much weight they should or should not use.

So remember, your client’s safety is your main concern when deciding how much weight they should use when it comes to kettlebells. After all, what good is an injured client?

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