January 22, 2023

Adjustable kettlebell

At our gym, we have over twenty different objects to make you more efficient and effective at the acts of pulling, pushing, squatting, carrying, lifting, throwing and jumping. This is not a flex. OK, maybe it’s a small flex. But do we really need all those different objects in our gym? 

There are gyms that swear by barbells and only barbells. And you know what? They are right. Barbells are absolutely versatile and awesome. They could replace half the objects in our gym and we would be fine. So why have them?

Because there is such a thing as the most optimal or right tool for the job. You can walk around holding a barbell in one hand. But a farmers carry handle will let you carry more weight comfortably.

But there is a downside to the optimal tool approach. There is a limit to how many kettlebells, dumbbells, centermass bells a gym can hold. Enter the adjustable kettlebell. Kettlebells are unique in how their weight is distributed when you hold it. Unlike a dumbbell, where the weight is positioned on either side of the point of contact or a centre mass bell where it wraps around your point of contact, when you hold a kettlebell the weight is positioned 6-10 inches away from where you hold it. That makes the kettlebell the best tool for rowing, carrying and swinging. In fact it is the only tool for swinging. 

So here’s how we built an adjustable kettlebell that could use the same plates used on all our other gym equipment. We welded a circular disc onto a 50 mm rod. We threaded a 25 mm end onto the 50 mm rod. This is the bell part of the kettlebell. We made two lengths. One to hold 50 kgs and the other to hold 25 kgs. 

As for the handle, we took a 32 mm pipe. We bent the pipe on both sides and welded it onto a 8 mm thick ruler shaped piece of metal. We milled a hole in the middle of this ‘ruler’. The ruler sits neatly on the bell. You then screw a nut onto the threaded bell. Voila, you have a kettlebell that can scale from 2.5 kgs to 26 kgs using the same plates that fit on all our other equipment.

About Adarsh

- I run a strength and conditioning facility in Chennai, India
- I work with my clients to make training and eating for better body composition a part of everyday life
- I coach online and in-person
- I design and manufacture strength training equipment for use in our strength training facility