Now that you are curious about the sport of kettlebell lifting and want to learn more and get started, you are probably wondering:

What size kettlebell should I start with?

This is an area in which you, as a novice starting a kettlebell exercise program, should be in complete control. The caveat is that as a beginner, you do not know much about kettlebells and rely on the advice of those who are more seasoned to help you with your selection. You will find yourself approaching instructors and asking "What size kettlebell should I start with?" repeatedly. You want to trust them and take their advice; they are after all, far more experienced than you.

One common complaint I found is that several felt as though many of the answers were vague or felt scripted. Further inquiring revealed those answers were based on general guidelines and traditions passed down without ever having their validity questioned. They may work for the few who conform to the parameters but they fall short when individual variations are taken into consideration. There is more to selecting a load than gender or ambiguous guidelines.

A few other factors, though rarely mentioned, are of much higher importance when helping the novice lifter select his or her first kettlebell. If you consider yourself a neophyte and are wondering "What size kettlebell should I start with?" remember this is a big decision and should not be taken casually. This bell will determine whether the sport suits you and is something you want to pursue, or if you had enough after a couple of weeks and are ready to part ways.

Now that we understand the importance of selecting a proper size kettlebell, how do we go about it? What are the neglected but crucial factors determining the size of the kettlebell for the novice lifter? What will provide a reasonable challenge without overwhelming the apprentice? Please take the following into account when getting ready to purchase your first bell.

Let's consider your kettlebell experience
Are you a complete novice or do you have some exposure? Yes, experienced lifters are excluded, if you are experienced you should be well acquainted with your working loads. Experience and learning make a big difference in how a load is perceived during execution.

How about exercise experience?
Are you a beginner who has had very little or no exposure to exercise in general? Or do you have some time under your belt? Or are you a former or currently competitive athlete? Or a recreational athlete? Or simply a well seasoned fitness enthusiast? Yes those factors play a huge role on how well acquainted with motion you are and what level of movement awareness you have developed.

Let's not forget structural issues
Is the individual of sound structural health or recovering from musculoskeletal issues? How about minor chronic ailments? You cannot overlook those factors.

Consider the magnitude of the load is in relation to the lifter.
Six kilos may be more than sufficient for a petite female while barely noticeable on a brawny, seasoned fitness enthusiast.

Lastly,what about gender differences?
From my experience, unlike the traditional approach, I have not found gender to be a key factor when determining initial loads. Overall, women did not require different loads from their male counterparts when all the aforementioned factors were taken into account.

It is difficult to illustrate the process without summarizing it. I have created a table to help you with your decision making. Click on the link below to access the table and select the appropriate kettlebell for you. On the left column, you have the constant of bodyweight. Yes, constant in the sense you are not going to wake up 20 or 30 pounds lighter in the next two days or two weeks. On top, you have the circumstances dictating the condition of the participant. Suggested loads are given for each combination. If you find yourself under two or more circumstances, simply average the load. Again, these are only suggestions and should not be taken as the final word. There's always the chance they may not be right for you. Click the link below to see the table, clear your doubts, and get your kettebell. Happy and safe training.

Kettlebell Size Selection Table

Author's Bio: 

Israel A. Sanchez is Bainbridge Island's top Strength and Conditioning expert. He helps his clients overcome major pain issues and puts them back in the path of amazing fitness. Visit his blog at Coach Izzy Talks Fitness.

Israel is available for presentations and lectures on the topic of Exercise, Health, Fitness, and all things Strength.