How Many Kettlebells Do You Need?

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Are you just getting into the exciting and glute-enhancing world of kettlebells?

If so, you’re part of a national trend. More and more people are getting kettlebells and seeing the magic of a gut-busting workout right in the comfort of their own home. In fact, so many people are getting kettlebells these days that we’ve been fielding a lot of kettlebell questions. One of the most common questions we get is, “how many kettlebells do you need?”

If that’s your question, you’ve come to the right place.

One Kettlebell or Two: That Is the Question

Can a single kettlebell offer a good workout, or do I need to buy two? This question, asked by one of my readers, is a really interesting one and although we could go into a lot of words that can be written in response to it, the simple answer is this: you don’t need to buy two!

That’s right, you heard it here, one kettlebell is enough to get an awesome workout, although many people opt for two.

One Kettlebell

A one kettlebell strategy is usually recommended for beginners. Average women should start with a kettlebell weight of around 12kg. Average men should expect to need around 16kg for a good workout. For beginners, men should go for 12kg while women should go for 8kg.

Whatever your type, there are plenty of single kettlebell workouts that can build muscle and build a sweat!

Two Kettlebells

Using two kettlebells is often a level up when you’ve done all the workouts you can with one kettlebell. Two kettlebell users love the workouts they get from two kettlebells and, in many instances, claim these workouts are more intense and lead to better results.

Though it has been shown that you can effectively level up your workout in really interesting ways without upping weight class, it’s true that two kettlebells are more than one. If you really want to see gains, consider adopting two kettlebells.

One or Two Kettlebells? Pros and Cons

There are many reasons why a one kettlebell solution is awesome, and here are some of them.

One Kettlebell Pros:

  • More workout versatility! There is a lot more you can do with a single kettlebell than you can do with two
  • Cheaper! In fact, one kettlebell is fifty percent cheaper than two!
  • Because there are half the kettlebells, there is less spatial negotiation required in a single kettlebell solution
  • More emphasis on the abdomen

There are also some reasons why people don’t like the single kettlebell as much as they do two.

One Kettlebell Cons:

  • One kettlebell can mean longer workouts if it’s arm day
  • Longer workouts means that a single kettlebell is focused on endurance, while two kettlebells focus more on gains, gains, gains
  • Some claim the workout is less. Indeed, the maximum lifted weight is lower!

And what about two kettlebells? Here are the pluses and minuses to the two kettlebell solution.

Two Kettlebell Pros:

  • More weight lifted means more gains
  • Faster workouts on arm day
  • Physically and mentally demanding
  • Technique can be more balanced due to simultaneous movement

Two Kettlebell Cons

  • More expensive
  • Less workout diversity, options are limited with two kettlebells
  • This can be a con as well: two kettlebells are more physically and mentally demanding than a single kettlebell will ever be

Can You Just Break It Down For Me?

After analyzing the pros and cons of both, here’s what I really think.

One Kettlebell

Basically, a one kettlebell option is great for building lean muscle. These longer, endurance-based workouts are perfect for sculpting your body into the image of an adonis or a… female adonis. There is a lot more versatility available, so if you’re someone that gets bored of your workout routine easily, a single kettlebell may be all you need.

Also, you can go for years with a single kettlebell and never need to level up! As we mentioned, you can level your kettlebell workout easily without adding weight.

There are some awesome options for kettlebell workouts out there, but here are some of our favorites.

  • Kettlebell Goblet Squat
  • One-Arm Press
  • Chest-Loaded Swing

Two Kettlebells

If one kettlebell is good for endurance exercises and lean muscle, two kettlebells are good for strength-based workouts. You can see marked improvement quickly with these highly coordinated workouts.

There are really cool options for double kettlebell workouts, but here are some of our favorites.

  • Clean and Press
  • Double Lunges
  • Single Leg Deadlifts

Advancing Your Workout

As I mentioned before, a single kettlebell will suffice for years and years of working out. In fact, depending on your goals, one good purchase of a kettlebell can lead to a lifetime of workouts.

That said, many of us have gotten bored with the single kettlebell workouts and want to try amping up to two. Upgrading from one to two kettlebells is something a lot of people do, and something that is quite easy, so long as you’re staying safe. For a case study, we’ll look at a simple progression of an extremely common kettlebell activity: the lunge.

To start, make sure you’re a master of the lunge without weight. After you’ve mastered that, use your single kettlebell to lunge on both sides. Make sure you’ve mastered that: this might take a number of months.

Just when the lunge with the single kettlebell starts to feel comfortable, you’ll add a second kettlebell. Begin holding these at your side. Once you’ve mastered that (another three-plus months), hold the kettlebells up in the racked position. This will work your legs, core, back, and shoulders all at once.

Go Forth and Lift

If you don’t have a kettlebell yet, now is the time to get one. Buying a kettlebell is an extremely affordable way to get killer workouts, and the internet is full of free workouts for the beginning kettlebell user.

In addition to saving money, getting a good workout, and feeling healthier than you’ve ever felt, you’ll look really cool when you’re working out. I mean, even Mario Lopez (see Mario Lopez’s workout here) uses kettlebells. Now it’s all up to you. Stop wasting time, and press!