New for 2009! As if you didn't have enough reasons to buy the Ironmaster's Quick-Lock dumbbells over EVERY other adjustable dumbbell, they have developed a new Quick-Lock Kettlebell:
First, a QUICK history of the kettlebell:
The kettlebell was originally used in Russia and Europe as a counter weight for agricultural scales. Being easily accessible, it gained popularity as a tool for feats of strength and competitions.
In 1948, the kettlebell became the tool of choice for training elite Russian military forces. Today you can find the kettlebell in many different countries, used not only in competitions by enthusiasts, but also in sport and general fitness.
Kettlebells allow for complex full body motions that engage the major muscle groups, making it an extremely effective training device. Unlike most dumbbell exercises, muscles are forced to work as a synergistic unit across several planes of motion, all the while maintaining balance and control. Kettlebells are also one of the best tools for targeting the five components of fitness: strength, flexibility, body composition, muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance.
Source: The Great Kettlebell Handbook (highly recommended for beginners like me).
Ironmaster Quick Lock Kettlebell review continues below..
This adjustable kettlebell handle is designed to use the weight plates from the Ironmaster Quick-Lock Dumbbell System.
The Quick-Lock Kettlebell will be sold as just a basic KB handle (22.5 lbs) as an accessory to the Quick-Lock Dumbbells and Ironmaster will also sell weight plates and locking screws in case someone wants extra parts or does not have the QLDBs yet (if you don't have the dumbbells, check them out here). If you use the standard locking screws, the KB handle will go up to 57.5 lbs. If you use the Add on Kit locking screws it will go up to 80 lbs. And, of course, you can adjust the weight up or down in 2.5 lb increments.
Characteristics of a GOOD kettlebell handle
This page from The Great Kettlebell Handbook sums it up nicely:
Ironmaster has done its homework regarding the design of the handle. The shape and ergonomics designed into this KB took a long time to get right through many hours of testing. Here is a photo of one of the first prototypes:
The final handle design is big enough for two handed use but shaped well for single hand. The handle is made of formed steel, which was specially casted into the base for extra strength.
Imagine an adjustable kettlebell handle that actually looks like a kettlebell handle!
Some fitness forum posters have expressed concern over the locking screw becoming loose because of the dynamic nature of KB exercises. The force put on a kettlebell is much greater than the force applied to a dumbbell. One thing you cannot afford with adjustable kettlebells is ANY chance whatsoever that the screws are not tight.
Can you imagine swinging an adjustable KB, and having one or all of the plates flying off?!!
The procedure for adding or removing plates from the KB handle is the same as for the dumbbells: align the arrow on the KB handle with the arrow on the locking screw and turn clockwise a 1/4 turn and the assembly is tight. Obviously to loosen the screws just turn the locking screw counterclockwise.
I don't have any concerns that the locking screw will come loose. Right know the threads in my KB handle are new, but the threads on my locking screw are over two years old. I added 22.5 pounds to this KB handle (total weight 45lbs) and put the KB through a workout.
I did two armed swings; one arm swings; overhead presses; squat style Turkish get ups; and figure eights where you swing the KB under and around your legs. The locking screw was still tight. I have seen some exercises on youtube that might cause the screw to loosen, such as a two handed squat where you hold the KB between your legs and on the downward part of the motion you bang the kettlebell on the floor. This might cause the locking screw to loosen.
Although the locking system is simple and safe, it is good practice to check the tightness of the locking screw between sets.
Regarding my first workout with a kettlebell, the next morning I felt it everywhere, from my arms to shoulders (especially my traps and upper back), my legs and glutes, everywhere! I highly recommend KB training. You will find muscles you didn't know you had!
It does not stick out enough to hit your knuckles while holding the KB, unless you're a knuckle dragging caveman or have really fat, long fingers like my urologist!
One forum poster commented "The handle alone weighs 22.5 lbs and might be a little heavy to start with for certain kettlebell movements". BS! The Great Kettlebell Handbook suggests a man of average strength should start out with a 35lb kettlebell and a strong woman should use a 26 pounder.
If you are a woman of average strength reading this, the handbook suggests starting out with an 18 pounder, meaning you might have to buy a smaller KB and work your way up to the Ironmasters. You should outgrow this 18 pound weight pretty quickly, however.
If you already own the Iron Master Quick Lock dumbbells this option would be a very cost effective way for you to get into kettlebells. This KB handle makes a great accessory to expand the capabilities of your adjustable dumbbells.
Even if you do not own the quick-lock dumbbells, prices for standard kettlebells are around $2 per pound or more. Standard kettlebell weights are: 9,18,26,35,44,53,62, 70.5, 79, 88, 97 lbs. which would cost you well over $1100! Just like with dumbbells, the Ironmaster adjustable KB handle saves a lot of space and money to have only one kettlebell rather than a bunch of different sizes.
This adjustable kettlebell is another great innovation from Ironmaster, and adds to the versatility of their already awesome dumbbell system.
QLKB empty handle weight: 22.5 lbs
Weight range using QLDB standard locking screws: 22.5 - 57.5 lbs.
Weight range using the QLDB Add on Kit locking screws: 57.5-80 lbs.
Adjustable in 2.5 lb increments.
Grip diameter: 1.375"
Hi Barry, Just thought I'd let you know that I purchased Ironmaster dumbbells and the Superbench. You helped me along in this process, by your review on your website and conversing with me on the subject. Have you written a review on Amazon for Ironmaster's dumbbell system? Those reviews helped to solidify my choice for Ironmaster, as well. Again, thanks. Dan
Wow! I just received my dumbbells and I am amazed! I've been weight training for 24 years and have worked/worked out in various gyms and this set is as close as you can come to pro-dumbbells. I have been building my home gym over the last year and even bought a pair of another brand's adjustable dumbbells (rhymes with "power-shock") and your dumbbells rock! My old dumbbells were very awkward and unbalanced especially when I used them with their 130 lb add-on kit. I could not 'wrap-in' which limited my training...and I was staying away from my usual training weights due to the fear of dropping these expensive items and bending them. Finally, I am hitting the weight in my home gym that I used to hit when I was a member in a commercial gym. Thank You!