Wednesday Sep 28, 2022

Kettlebell: The Only Option Is a Cast-Iron Bell

As kettlebells become ever more popular the traditional cast-iron kettlebell has been joined by a host of imitators as competitors look to differentiate their products from each other. There are now a range of vinyl-coated, coloured bells and some bells that are even made as two pieces.

Be careful about buying one of these modern vinyl-coated kettlebells because there are a number of significant problems with them as follows;


  • They may look nice but the vinyl coating does not protect your floor or enhance your workout performance. Let’s face it if you drop a hunk of cast iron onto your floor it will damage cast iron kettlebells your floor whether it is covered in vinyl or not
  • The vinyl coating tends to crack and peel easily over time
  • When performing certain exercises the vinyl coating can pinch your skin which can be uncomfortable
  • Once a kettlebell is covered with vinyl coating you can not see the finish of the cast iron. If there are holes in the iron from the original moulding they should be filled with iron, when vinyl coated you cannot check this. This means you cannot be sure you have got the size bell that is indicated on the bell. This becomes more of a problem when you are using two bells of the ‘same size’ as they may not be the same size at all


A well made cast iron kettlebell will last you a lifetime and the only risk to is that it may gather dust if you neglect your workout routines.

As well as cast iron kettlebells and vinyl coated bells there are a couple of other types of kettlebell that have entered the fitness market in the past few years. One is an adjustable bell and the other is a sand filled version (where you fill it with sand yourself);

Adjustable Kettlebell

An adjustable kettlebell is basically as series of weight plates that you add or subtract as needed. In principal this seems a good idea as it aids you to save space and money it is not actually a performance based product. Due to its design it is unwieldy to use and doesn’t distribute the weight like a solid cast iron bell does.

Sand-filled kettlebell

Unfortunately the sand-filled kettlebell performs even worse than an adjustable bell in relation to its weight distribution and its impact on your performance and results. Not to mention you have to purchase a bag of sand and accurately fill your kettlebell with right amount of sand.

The original kettlebells were made in Russia and made from a mould using a single piece of cast iron. The modern alternatives detailed above do not provide any improvements to performance and results to your kettlebell routines so for now a cast iron bell is the only option.


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