If you’re riding your bike a couple of miles in to work every other day, you don’t need to go out and drop ten grand on a time trial bike. Accordingly, when I first picked up a kettlebell about a year or so ago, although having several years of experience training others and myself, I didn’t really know what I was doing. To be honest, I was mostly using them for two-handed swings during CrossFit WOD’s (man those are some ugly-ass swings!). So any old kettlebell at that point did just fine. What I’m finding out – and as became apparent as I ramped up my high-rep snatch training in preparation for the RKC snatch test – is that the more advanced you get and the greater variety of kettlebell drills you are going to perform, the more that the quality of the tool you’re using matters!
I used Apollo brand kb’s almost exclusively to train for the RKC certification. The only training I really had with any other type of ‘bells was at a gym where I took some training sessions from another RKC instructor in the area (very highly recommended when starting out, by the way).
The Apollos seemed fine, and honestly, because I was so used to training with them, I didn’t really know any different. My experience with Dragon Door ‘bells at the RKC weekend changed my mind. Leading up to the RKC weekend, I had been hitting my required 100 reps in the snatch test at just abouts five minutes on the dot during training. Amazingly, I hit 100 reps in four minutes flat during the official test! I think part of this was due to being fresh, having rested up a few days before the cert, and also could also have partially been attributed to plain old adrenaline, but I also believe it had something to do with the quality of the ‘bells. The handles were much smoother and the kb’s seemed better balanced. I also prefer the Dragon Door ‘bell as it has a flat bottom instead of a rubber stopper on the bottom – but this is probably just personal preference.
I am in the process now of replacing all of my Apollos with Dragon Door brand kettlebells. I think they’re worth the extra money for sure. I know there are also a lot of other brands out there as well – I’d love to hear about experiences any of you have had, good or bad. Hopefully, this review and my experience will help you with your kettlebell purchasing decision!
Ready to order some dragon door kettlebells for yourself? Click the banner below – prices have recently been dropped by 30%!
Interested in learning more about training with a Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certified Instructor? In the Sacramento, CA area? Take a look at my training page at www.forestvancetraining.com.