Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Trends come and go all the time and in the fitness industry, it's no different. One of the latest trends is the rising popularity of the kettlebell weight sets. Said to build strength, burn fat and improve cardiovascular fitness, have kettlebells come to dethrone traditional dumbbells as the strength training king?!

Well...it depends on what you're goal is. Let me explain.

If you're trying to build muscle and improve strength..

Your best bet will be sticking to traditional dumbbells and barbells if you're trying to improve muscle size and get stronger. Why? That's because kettlebells are pretty limited in terms of their size or weight. The biggest kettlebell goes up to roughly 105 pounds so if you're already lifting more than that, you'll need to find another piece of equipment to gain more strength. Another win for dumbbells is that you're able to adapt them to your needs. You can always add more weight to the bar unlike with a kettlebell (if you have a 10 pound kettlebell, you can't just slap on another 10 pounds).

Limitations in the weight available are not the only reason dumbbells may be a better choice. For instance, if you're doing a front squat with the heaviest kettlebell you can lift, it becomes less of exercise for legs and more about upper body strength. So if your aim for a particular exercise is to challenge your legs, after a certain point kettlebell weights just wouldn't be the best tool to use.

That isn't to say kettlebells are useless...

Because of the unique shape of the kettlebells (it's center of gravity changes during the exercise), its much like most other things we may lift on a day to day basis. In other words, it helps to build functional strength. Also, unlike dumbbells which target only a few muscle groups at a time, kettlebells activate more muscles per exercise leading to more fat burn and weight loss. With kettlebells, you'll also find improvement in your power endurance, or your muscles’ability to repeatedly perform fast, powerful movements during an extended period of time.

So there are benefits to both home workout equipment and there's no need to choose between the two. You can have the best of both worlds by incorporating both into your routine to achieve your best results.

Have you tried working out with kettlebells? Tell me how YOU think it measures up to dumbbells.

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