Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gear Tips for the Affiliate - Kettlebells

Easily one of the smartest choices in outfitting your gym is the kettlebell.
Kettlebells are a very versatile training tool that you can incorporate many ways.

Kettlebells are one of our all time favorite pieces of equipment.  Why is that??  It's because they follow one of our golden rules...

If you can't use a piece of equipment five or more ways, then don't start your gym with it.

Sure, there are some great pieces out there, but dollar for dollar, the equipment that you can incorporate into your training in multiple ways is by far the best investment.

The kettlebell is truly 'king' when it comes to versatility.  Here's just a few of the exercises that you can perform with it:

  • Deadlifts
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Cleans
  • Thrusters
  • Snatches
  • Figure Eights
  • Halos
  • Overhead Squats
  • Goblet Squats
  • Windmills
  • Push Presses
  • Weighted Lunges
  • Weighted Squats
We've easily rattled off more than a dozen movements with just one piece of equipment and there are more.  And one of the distinct advantages of the kettlebell is that it opens up a much greater range of motion than say a barbell, for instance.  Try performing a Halo with a Barbell.  Wait...seriously, don't do that :D

The only challenge that comes with the kettlebell is knowing what size to buy and how many.  For the Garage Gym athlete, we wrote a blog on how to choose the best sized kettlebells for your strength level.  You can view that here.  For the gym owner we've got some different advice.

We were talking with a potential client out of Philadelphia, PA the other day and this was one of his top questions:

How many kettlebells and what sizes are the most important to start with?  That's a great question by the way and one that we get asked all the time.

Here's one formula that we've found to give the gym owner the widest variety of sizes and quantities without emptying the bank account.  The top prescribed weights for kettlebells are 35lb-55lb-70lb.  You've got to have those in the gym, no question.  If you are preparing for 5 athletes a class, we recommend 2 of each of these.  If preparing for 10 athletes, then get 4 of each.  Ok - that's the easy part.

What do you do with athletes that walk in the door that are not prepared for those prescribed weights?  We suggest giving them two lighter weight options.  We like this mix of kettlebells 15lb-25lb-35lb-45lb-55lb-70lb [shown above].  Getting two to four of the 'odd' sized kettlebells is the best mix.  Why two lighter weight options?

When you've prescribed 55lb/35lb kettlebell swings on the board, the advanced athletes grab the prescribed weight, the intermediate athletes grab 45lb/25lb kettlebells and the beginners can choose 35lb/15lb.  Is this a perfect formula? No...but for the vast majority of the time, it works well.  If one or two of your athletes are foreced into a heavier weight than they are comfortable with then you can always adjust the reps or the movement.

Opening a gym or expanding your current one?  Or have any specific questions you'd like to see us address? Send us a note = sales@HammerheadFitness.com