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Why You Should Care About Your Kettlebell Coating

Why You Should Care About Your Kettlebell Coating

Beginning your strength training can be intimidating: Where do you start? Kettlebell workouts are a great option for beginners looking to burn a lot of calories in a brief amount of time – and an alternative for those who don’t prefer (or like) cardio. They can also be used in a variety of workouts including, HITT, CrossFit, strength training, and more. Free weights also aid in creating better posture, mobility, and coordination.

But first, what is a kettlebell? A kettlebell is a round weight attached to a u-shaped arched handle. Often described as a cannonball with a handle or spoutless teapot, the handle is often referred to as the horns.

However, kettlebells are not a new fad. There is evidence that kettlebells originated in Russia. Referred to as a “girya,” which is a weight made from iron casting, they were originally - “used as counterweights in markets to measure grain and other goods.” – Shortly after the invention of the cannonball with a handle, the people of Russia realized that they could use a “girya,”- to show their strength. Farm workers used giryas for kettlebell swings and presses, and village contests broke out at festivals and town events. The word “girya” was added to Russia’s dictionary in 1704, but its origin dates all the way back to 700 BC.

Today, cast iron kettlebells are high quality and long-lasting. They come in various weight increments, styles, and finishes. Various coatings are used to improve the surface finish of weights and satisfy everyone’s aesthetic preferences. Finishes include powder coating, vinyl, -neoprene-, and urethane to name a few. Many kettlebells also have no finish. All coatings are designed to add a protective layer to the outside of the bell to help prevent chipping, scuffing, corrosion, and rusting.

Vinyl, urethane, and neoprene coatings come in many different colors and designs, which, while aesthetically pleasing, are not always up to competition kettlebell color standards. They are seen as good choices for at-home workouts because the coatings can help prevent accidental damage to floors and walls. These coatings also tend to cover imperfections in the kettlebell.

Vinyl coatings cover up imperfections in the surface quality and are pleasing to the eye. They are most commonly known for their bold colors and flashy designs.

One downside of vinyl coating is that it’s prone to cracking and can become slippery from sweat during a high-intensity workout. The thin coating on the bell can make it difficult to get a secure grip, especially when doing a full-body workout.

There are claims that vinyl, neoprene, and urethane-coated kettlebells have been linked to cancer. There is no evidence to back these claims, but users can still switch their kettlebell coating to avoid exposure to potentially toxic chemicals.

Another kettlebell coating is paint. Although it may be very aesthetically pleasing and can be curated for the user, the paint is prone to chipping over time, leading to corrosion, and rusting.

The last major finish you will find on a kettlebell is powder coat. Powder-coated kettlebells are known for being the sturdiest and are the most found type of fitness equipment - at commercial gyms. They are known for improved grip-ability in comparison to other models and are typically perceived as higher quality for the average kettlebell user. They also feature a trendy back (sometimes, -matte) finish.

Everyone has different uses for kettlebells, and what works for one individual may not work for another because the material used to coat the weight undeniably impacts the user experience. For example, someone who is lifting heavy doing a CrossFit workout may prefer powder coating because of its durability and dependability in achieving a comfortable grip throughout the entire duration of a workout. While in comparison, someone who chooses to work out in the privacy of their homes may prefer vinyl to protect their space from any potential damage.

Choosing the right weight comes down to you. A few topics to keep in mind are:

  • Exercise goals
  • Budget
  • Quality
  • Experience level

Blue Lake Iron offers powder-coated, cast-iron kettlebells with weights ranging in 5-pound increments, starting at 15 pounds. Personal trainers are quick to recommend Blue Lakes Iron Kettlebells because they are durable, cost-effective, and always in stock. Customers' testimonials often mention the quick-turnaround shipping as they received their kettlebell(s) all within a week of ordering. See Blue Lakes Iron kettlebell line up here.