I’ve tested many Kettlebell Kings products over the last few years and every single one has been high quality. These new Fitness Edition kettlebells are no exception.
Kettlebell Kings Fitness Edition Kettlebells
I received one 16kg Fitness Edition kettlebell to test and review. Kettlebell Kings are local to me here in Austin, so I picked it up directly from their warehouse on the south side of town.
Since I picked it up instead of having it shipped, I can’t directly evaluate the shipping.
However, every competition-style kettlebell sold by Kettlebell Kings ships in a form-fitting styrofoam mold, which should protect the kettlebell from all but the most reckless of delivery personnel.
There are three very obvious differences between this new line of Fitness Edition kettlebells and the standard Kettlebell Kings competition kettlebell.
First, this new line is denominated in pounds, not kilograms, which is a welcome change for those of us used to thinking in Imperial units instead of those irritatingly sensible metric units.
Second, the Fitness Edition kettlebells have a larger handle window than the standard Kettlebell Kings Competition kettlebells, which makes them a little easier to use for two-hand swings.
Third, and most noticeable, the Fitness Edition kettlebells have two flat indentations on each side of the kettlebell.
These indentations are designed to make supporting the kettlebell on your forearm more comfortable, since the weight is distributed over a larger area of your arm.
I’ll talk more about these indentations in the usability section.
Kettlebell Kings Fitness Edition kettlebells are shipped with a very thin layer of clear coat applied to the handles to protect them from rust during shipping.
The kettlebell handle will be more resistant to rust if you leave the coating on, but it does interfere with grip retention if you don’t use chalk.
I chose to remove the coating from mine with some fine grit sandpaper in order to take full advantage of the grip provided by the pitted finish on the handle.
I’ve been using the Kettlebell Kings Fitness Edition kettlebell for the last few months in my home gym, aka the Fitness Test Lab.
I’ve been working this kettlebell into my regular workouts, which involve a mix of kettlebell and barbell exercises.
When I focus on kettlebell work, I usually do one of the workout routines I’ve put together for my office kettlebell club.
Incidentally, if you’re looking for some free kettlebell workouts you can do at home you can find all my kettlebell club workouts documented here.
Any regular reader of this blog (hi mom!) knows I’m not a big fan of using chalk. I work out in a spare bedroom at home and I can’t be having the mess that comes with using lots of chalk, at least not if I want to stay married!
Thankfully, Kettlebell Kings uses a pitted finish on their bare steel handles, which really helps with grip retention without having to completely rely on chalk.
As I mentioned previously, the handle of the Kettlebell Kings Fitness Edition kettlebell has a wider window than the regular competition kettlebell, which makes it easier to use for two-hand swings. All good there.
The Fitness Edition kettlebell works great for almost every kind of movement I can do with a kettlebell, and the flat side panels make holding the kettlebell in a rack position very comfortable.
However, I found the flat panels to be bothersome for high rep snatch sessions. My technique is not precise enough to have the flat panel land on my forearm 100% of the time, and sometimes it’s the more pronounced edge of the flat panel that hits my arm first. Can I just say, ouch?
To be fair though, this kettlebell is not designed for high rep snatching, that’s what competition kettlebells are for.
As per the product page info, the Fitness Edition kettlebells are intended for use in exercises where more time is spent holding the kettlebell in a rack position than in transitioning between hand positions, so I can’t really knock the flat panels for doing what they’re supposed to do.
The Fitness Edition kettlebells also differ from the standard line of Kettlebell Kings competition kettlebells in how they are constructed.
The standard competition kettlebells are cast as a single piece of steel with a hollow core, whereas the Fitness Edition kettlebells are constructed as a shell with filler material placed inside to make up the bulk of the weight. A base plate is welded on the bottom of the shell to seal the weight inside.
The original single cast design does offer a more balanced weight displacement, but considering this kettlebell is aimed at the general fitness market rather than competitive kettlebell sport I think this is an acceptable tradeoff for the features this kettlebell offers.
I’ve had no problems with the build quality of my Fitness Edition kettlebell and I don’t expect to. Kettlebell Kings is the only kettlebell vendor I know of that offers a lifetime warranty on their products, including this new line of kettlebells.
Just be sure to keep the handles and any exposed metal on the body dry by wiping the kettlebell down after every use in order to avoid rust buildup. This care advice applies to any competition kettlebell, not just Kettlebell Kings, since the bare uncoated steel is susceptible to rust if not kept dry.
It’s fairly common these days to see Cerakote offered as a coating option for barbells by companies like Rogue, American Barbell, and Fringe Sport. Kettlebell Kings is taking the next step by offering Cerakote coatings on their kettlebells.
If you’re unfamiliar with Cerakote, it’s an extremely durable thin-film ceramic coating developed primarily for use as a protective finish for firearms.
Cerakote is extremely resistant to abrasion, corrosion and chemicals, and looks pretty cool at the same time. The cerakote coating will cost a little extra, but the added durability means that kettlebell will last practically forever.
Personally, I like the fact that Cerakote allows for a nearly infinite amount of customization and personalization. Make that bell your own!
The Fitness Edition kettlebells from Kettlebell Kings are a welcome addition for those of us who prefer weights denominated in pounds rather than kilograms. The wider handle window and flat sides make these kettlebells very accessible for home gym use, and they are a great alternative to cast iron kettlebells.
You’ll love the flat sides of the kettlebell if your workout involves a lot of pressing movements, since they do make the rack position much more comfortable. You’ll probably dislike the flat sides if you do a lot of snatching, since having the kettlebell hit your forearm on the edge of the flat side is common, at least for me.
If you want to protect your kettlebell for the long term, consider going with a cerakote coating option. At the time of this review, Kettlebell Kings is the only vendor offering a cerakote coating option for kettlebells. However, this is a great idea and I don’t think it will be long before others follow.
I hope you’ve found this review helpful. If you have any questions I didn’t cover in the review, post them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them!
Kettlebell Kings Fitness Edition Kettlebells
I'm a software product manager with a full-time job, family, and a desire to stay strong, mobile, and fit. I separate fact from fiction to find the most effective and affordable options for home fitness. If you'd like to build your own home gym, start here.