Friday, September 24, 2010

The Scoop On... Kettlebells, A Fantastic Way To Burn Fat!

I first became aware of kettlebells about 5 years ago after seeing them on The Biggest Loser UK; I found them really intriguing and was amazed by their weight loss results that I saw on the show. I knew that I just had to buy one, and so began my love of kettlebells. They’re kind of like a cannon ball with a handle and are available in a variety of weights, they’re becoming more and more popular and it seems that they’re now even being used by many celebrities (J’Lo, Katherine Heigl, Kim Cattrall, Jennifer Aniston, and Penelope Cruz to name but a few).

You’d normally associate weight lifting with men and building bulk, but this is not the case with kettlebells. They are fantastic for women and fat burning, burning up to 1500 calories per hour and they sculpt the body brilliantly in the process. Normally you’d need to do separate cardio and toning exercises, but with these, you get both – and at the same time too. This is because your whole body has to move to swing the bell around and stabilise it, giving your core a fantastic workout, now if that’s not good news then I don’t know what is.

I’m not going to say that using kettlebells is an easy option; they’re not a miracle treatment that requires no effort. You still need to eat well and work hard with them, they’re heavy and it’s tiring – well it is exercise, isn’t it; but they are worth it. The results you can get when you put the effort in are nothing short of awe inspiring. Take my mate Jodie Prenger for instance, the results she achieved by incorporating kettlebells into her healthy eating and exercise regime were gobsmacking and if you don’t believe me then you should take a look at this before and after photo:

Kettlebells come in all different colours and designs; you can get fully cast iron ones, cast iron ones with a vinyl base, acrylic handle bells with a vinyl or neoprene base, ones made from rubber, kettlebells that can be filled and adjustable ones too. Personally I would go for one with an acrylic or chrome handle as I find them to have less friction, which means less chance of getting any blisters on your hands from the friction; but it’s a personal choice as to which one you think works best for you!

For a female beginner I would suggest something around the 4-8kg mark as a starting kettlebell weight, as you’re not looking to build up muscle (although this is possible if this is what you are aiming for, as a male or female by using a heavier weight) probably building up to about 12kg as you get fitter. To look at the price of kettlebells, they vary greatly depending on what kind you get and also what weight (which is why I won’t go into costs as it would take forever), but if you compare them to gym memberships or other cardio and toning equipment for the home then you can see that they’re actually quite good value. Below are a few places that I’ve found online that would be worth a look on your kettlebell search.

If you’re a member of a gym then they may have kettlebell classes there, and you should definitely enquire because it’s obviously safer to have somebody there as you start learning how to use the bells both safely and effectively. However if they don’t do classes, or you’re not a member of a gym then don’t let that put you off as there are some good instructional DVDs available to purchase online such as:

Kettlebells, The Iron Core Way (3 Volumes available by drop down menu) -

Kettleworx (You get a light weight kettlebell 2.25kg approx included in the price here) -

PLEASE do NOT be tempted by this DVD (10 Minute Solution - Ultimate Kettleball Fat Burner - Andrea Ambandos), it has nothing to do with kettlebells other than the cover of the DVD, they don’t even use a kettlebell in the workout on there; and quite frankly, some of the exercises that they do with their DUMBELL would be very dangerous to do with a kettlebell.

The other alternative would be to hire a personal kettlebell trainer – and they can teach you, help you, keep you motivated and generally kick your bottom if you’re lagging; but they are much more expensive so I wouldn’t suggest this as your only option as I know that not everybody has the funds spare to do this. If you are looking for one to one training then you won’t go far wrong booking somebody like Angie Dowds, if she can fit you in and if you are in or can get to London. She is the queen of kettlebells and her website and contact details are here:

EDIT - 23rd November 2011 - I never ever thought I would have to edit this post for this tragic reason. Unfortunately Angie Dowds is no longer with us - I'm sure you'll have all read it in the papers or online, so I won't go into those details. Such a huge loss to the world, but it was a pleasure and an honour to have known and trained with her in the past! RIP Angie. xx

I really need to get back to using mine as I stopped because I was poorly, so doing this post has inspired me to dig out my bell and start using it again – even just a little bit, to ease myself into it again. This is the only downside with doing kettlebells at home; motivating yourself, but this happens with a lot of ‘at home’ exercise equipment, and a lot of the time even gym memberships away from the home go unused, so don’t let it put you off if you’re considering giving it a go.

Please note, I have no affiliation to any of the websites mentioned above. I have an Amazon search box that you are free to use, but none of my links or recommendations to them are connected to this.


  1. I got a new tattoo last week! I've known for a while now that I wanted to get a tattoo with an image of a kettlebell, I just wasn't sure how I wanted it translated into a more feminine design. kettlebell workshop

  2. You there, this is really good post here. Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming. Burn Calories


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