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What Are Competition Kettlebells?

January 15, 2023 3 min read

What Are Competition Kettlebells?

If you're a fan of kettlebell workouts, you may have heard the term "competition kettlebells" thrown around. But what exactly are they, and how do they differ from regular kettlebells?

Competition kettlebells, also known as professional kettlebells or competition-style kettlebells, are a specialized type of kettlebell designed specifically for use in kettlebell sport competitions. Kettlebell sport, also known as girevoy sport, is a type of strength and endurance competition that involves performing a series of specific kettlebell exercises in a set time period. Competitions are held in a variety of categories based on age, gender, and weight class, and the number of repetitions of each exercise that a competitor can complete within the time limit determines their ranking.

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So what makes competition kettlebells different from regular kettlebells? There are a few key characteristics that set them apart:

Size and Weight

One of the most obvious differences between competition kettlebells and regular kettlebells is their size and weight. Competition kettlebells are designed to conform to strict size and weight guidelines set by kettlebell sport organizations, such as the International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation (IKFF) and the International Union of Kettlebell Lifting (IUKL). These guidelines ensure that all competition kettlebells are uniform in size and weight, allowing for fair and consistent competition.

In general, competition kettlebells are slightly larger and heavier than regular kettlebells. This is because they are designed to be easy to grip and handle for extended periods of time, which is important for the endurance-based nature of kettlebell sport. The specific size and weight of competition kettlebells varies depending on the category and division in which they are used, with lighter kettlebells typically used for women and youth categories and heavier kettlebells used for men's categories.

Construction and Material

Another key difference between competition kettlebells and regular kettlebells is their construction and material. Competition kettlebells are made with a more durable and higher-quality material than regular kettlebells, as they are designed to withstand the rigors of competition use. This is especially important for the handle of the kettlebell, which needs to be strong and smooth enough to allow for easy and comfortable grip during long sets of repetitions.

Competition kettlebells are typically made of cast iron or steel, with a smooth, polished finish on the handle. The handle itself is also wider and thicker than that of a regular kettlebell, making it easier to grip and hold for extended periods of time. Some competition kettlebells also have a slightly flared base, which can help to improve stability when performing certain exercises.

Accuracy and Consistency

One of the main advantages of competition kettlebells is their accuracy and consistency. Because they are designed to meet strict size and weight guidelines, competition kettlebells are much more uniform in size and weight than regular kettlebells. This is especially important for competitions, where even small variations in kettlebell size and weight can have a significant impact on a competitor's performance and ranking.

The accuracy and consistency of competition kettlebells also make them a great choice for serious kettlebell athletes who want to track and measure their progress. With regular kettlebells, it can be difficult to accurately compare your performance from one workout to the next, as the size and weight of the kettlebells can vary widely. With competition kettlebells, you know that you are using the same size and weight kettlebell every time, which allows you to track your progress more accurately and see how you are improving over time.

Price and Availability

One potential drawback of competition kettlebells is their price and availability. Because they are made with higher-quality materials and are more specialized in design, competition kettlebells tend to be more expensive than regular kettlebells. They may also be harder to find, as they are not as widely available as regular kettlebells. However, if you are serious about kettlebell training and competition, or if you just want the best quality kettlebells for your workouts, the extra cost and effort may be worth it.

Are Competition Kettlebells Right for You?

So, are competition kettlebells right for you? It really depends on your goals and needs. If you are a serious kettlebell athlete looking to compete in kettlebell sport competitions, or if you just want the highest-quality kettlebells for your workouts, competition kettlebells may be the way to go. They offer a level of accuracy, consistency, and durability that regular kettlebells simply can't match.

On the other hand, if you are just looking for a basic set of kettlebells for general fitness and conditioning, regular kettlebells may be more than sufficient. They are usually more affordable and widely available, and they can still provide a great workout for most people. Ultimately, the choice between competition kettlebells and regular kettlebells comes down to your individual goals and preferences.