Do you think that all free weights are pretty much the same? While they may have the same materials and the same sizes, you won’t be able to truly judge the structural integrity and durability of a free weight such as a kettlebell.Now you’re wondering how to make the distinction. Sometimes it’s as easy as comparing the reputation of the brands or manufacturers. There’s a lot to consider when buying kettlebells, and weighing the pros and cons of certain brands is just as important as everything else.
Commercial vs Professional Grade Kettlebells
There are two types of kettlebells that you can use – that’s without including adjustable builds, hybrid designs, plastic kettlebells, and other offshoots that won’t actually help you train better.
The two types that you want to focus on are standard cast iron kettlebells and steel kettlebells. The first kind can be found in any sporting goods store and a majority of gyms.
The latter are considered professional-grade or competition kettlebells. They’re a bit more expensive and harder to find and they tend to have the same size regardless of how heavy they are.
They are more difficult to use at first, but in the long run, they offer the most benefits in a kettlebell workout.
Check Out Our Review of the Best Kettlebells Here!
But buying a kettlebell is not just about picking the size or weight or type. Not all kettlebells are created equal, you know. So how do you judge the manufacturer’s competence? You have to study the brand’s history and track record.
There are a lot of popular manufacturers of gym equipment that don’t give the same amount of attention to smaller gym accessories such as free weights, certainly not as much as they give their treadmills, for example.
A brand that’s known for making free weights stands a better chance that the kettlebells are premium quality. Of course, there will always be exceptions to this rule, which is why it’s hard to generalize too much on the subject. Here are the top brands to look for if you’re eyeing a set of kettlebells for your home gym or your new commercial gym. If you’ve been a gym rat for some time, you’ll surely recognize some of these names.
Established decades ago, Life Fitness is one of the leading brands in the fitness industry today. The company has a reputation for manufacturing durable gym equipment for home and commercial use.
Although the main focus is geared toward developing complex machines and high-tech gym accessories, the company also makes smaller items such as dumbbells, barbells, and of course, kettlebells.
The Life Fitness Premium Kettlebell is as sturdy as they come. It features a chrome handle that’s not too slippery and a hard rubber coating for extra protection. The bells are also color-coded which makes weight identification very easy.These kettlebells are great for home use. They range in weight from 10 to 45 lbs., which makes them perfect for very varied kettlebell workouts.
This brand has been around for over 25 years. It caters to both professional athletes and everyday gym rats who want to maximize their workout gains. The products offered are characterized by their durability, ease of use, looks, and the quality customer service that accompanies them.
When it comes to kettlebells, Hammer Strength offers some of the best on the market. They’re perfect for your local gym and just as good to use at home. They’re rugged, have a great grip, and come in a wide selection of sizes and weights.You can find Hammer Strength kettlebells in 10 lbs. to 60 lbs. weights. The manufacturer has something for everybody. Heavy lifters can enjoy the difficulty of handling a big and heavy 60 lbs. kettlebell. At the same time, beginners can make full use of those in the 10 to 30 lbs. range and get a feel for the kettlebell workout trend.
Technogym makes a lot of fitness equipment. This Italian-based company was the official supplier for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2008. It’s not one of the oldest brands in the industry but it is one of the few to garner so much worldwide appreciation and respect for its attention to detail and equipment reliability.
Because this is a European brand, it’s no surprise that the kettlebells are weighed in kilograms. Therefore, you won’t find round numbers in pounds. The heaviest kettlebell made by this company weighs 24 kg or roughly 52 lbs.
What’s interesting about the design is that it mimics a professional-grade steel kettlebell. It has a flat bottom which allows the bell to be used in various ground exercises. Of course, the core is still made of cast iron.The stainless steel handle may be a tad slippery but some talcum powder or a pair of gloves will do the trick. The thick rubber coating protects the bell and yourself from injuries for when you mess up a swing.
There are very few brands more recognizable than CAP Barbell when it comes to free weights. The durability of their kettlebells is spot-on. The entire body is made of cast iron. Both the core and handle are made from the same material, which means that are no weld points that can affect the structural integrity.
Wondering about sizes? This brand really has them all. You can get entry-level 9-lb. kettlebells for dirt cheap that have the same durability as the 88-lb. kettlebells.
The handle design is particularly beginner-friendly. It features a wide opening that makes gripping the kettlebells easier for users with a poor technique. The flat bottom is a nice touch that makes the bells even more versatile.CAP Barbell is a brand truly focused on free weights. If you’re looking for a more experienced brand in this field, there probably isn’t one. The functionality of CAP Barbell products shatters the boundaries of conditioning, cross training workouts, kettlebell workouts, and professional athletic training.
Check Out Our Review of the Best Adjustable Kettlebells Here!
A Final Word
Now that you know what brands to trust, what are you going to do about your workout regimen? Picking out your kettlebells is only about a quarter of the battle. Don’t forget to find and follow a program that caters to your physical conditioning goals and your schedule.Also, don’t forget to master the grip and swing techniques. Some kettlebells may be rubber-coated, but they can still cause serious bruises if mishandled.