Monday, June 09, 2014


I can buy a 110-pound weight set complete with discrete 25-pound, 10-pound and 5-pound plates, barbell/dumbell bars and locking collars, for about $100.

So you'd think that a single 35-pound piece of cast iron in the shape of a cannonball with a handle -- a "kettlebell" -- would cost considerably less than half that.

But you'd be wrong. At the same store (Wal-Mart), it runs almost exactly half that: $49.97.

Some cursory web searching seems to bear out my perception that kettlebells go for somewhere in the neighborhood of  1 1/2 times as much per pound as "traditional weight" sets.

Kettlebells (Photo credit: WilsonB)
What's going on? Demand differential, that's what's going on. Kettlebells are popular, traditional weights less so at the moment, so retailers are charging what they can get for each.

As you might assume from the above, I'm in the market for a 35-pound kettlebell (according to the He-Men of Kettlebell Fame, that's the weight I want to work with). But damned if I'm going to shell out fifty bucks for a simple hunk of metal. I've got other stuff I can use for the moment.

I'm keeping an eye on Craigslist. It's likely to near certainty that there are people out there who did pay big bucks for the things, didn't use them, and are getting tired of stubbing their toes, or of just having fitness equipment stare at them reproachfully all day. I should be able to get one for $10-$20 if I spend a little time watching and am prepared to jump on a deal.

Update: OK, WTF? I finally found a 35-pound kettlebell on Craigslist. For $45. I can get a new one from Wal-Mart for $50 and not have to drive as far! It finally occurred to me to check eBay. I've got one on the way. New. $40, but it comes right to my door. I should probably have waited for the deal of the century, but I'm in a hurry. I've been using light dumbbells and body-only exercises to start getting my back and core in shape. I'm biking every day, have made changes in my diet, am down from 245 pounds to 232 in two months, etc. Now I need to be throwing around more weight to reach my next strength and flexibility (getting full range of movement back in that "frozen shoulder") goals and a reasonably heavy kettlebell makes the most sense for those goals. So I'm making this happen NOW.

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