Strength Training 101

Hello TR community,

I want to get into strength training (and resume running too). There is a lot of great info out there, but I have a specific question.

If I am starting with a kettlebell, what size should I get?

I am 180 lbs, and when I used to run marathons I would bulk up. It was probably nutrition related, but it is still something I am monitoring.

I just started KB training myself last Dec. When I was looking into what KB to start out with, most seemed to recommend a 12 kg bell, 26 lbs. While I could do some exercises with that weight, it was still way too heavy for others.
I’m a machinist by trade so squatting, deadlifting, walking with weights comes naturally for me. So lifts with the 12 kg bell were just right. Now when it came time to do swings or overhead presses of any sorts, trouble came. I noticed also that my left side was so much weaker than my right. Just got an 8kg bell which was just right to challenge my left side while still trying to maintain good form particularly on windmills and turkish getups.
I’m about 5’8" and 170 lbs for comparison. If you can, I’d suggest researching first what lifts you think you might do and then go out to a store to trying out those weights with those lifts. Prob look first at the 8kg, 10kg, and 12 kg bells first.

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I’m 5’8" and approx 150lbs. I started with a 12kg but soon needed more and got a 16kg and 20kg. Different lifts require different weights and in some cases I’d also like to use an 8kg too. 16kg seems to be my current go-to for most exercises.

Of course this is all very dependent on your current build and strength levels. :slight_smile:

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If you are going to go to a gym there will probably be a range of kettle bells to work with.
That would give the option to try the different weight amounts and find what suits you.
If a gym is not in your plans maybe you could go as a guest with a friend which can be free or low cost.

Some gyms may have a low cost trial period.

Kettlebells aren’t inexpensive so you want something you can use that is of benefit to you; neither too light nor too heavy.


You could purchase an adjustable kettlebell. I have one and it’s fine for my purposes.

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Good idea, thank you!

I saw those, but I was not sure they were worth it. Do you mind sharing which one you have?

I have the Bowflex. I bought it because I was in the same position of wondering what weight to buy.

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