Kettlebell Review: Apollo vs. Dragon Door

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!

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Save up to 30% on Dragon Door's classic Kettelbells

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

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3 Responses to Kettlebell Review: Apollo vs. Dragon Door

  1. Sandy Sommer, RKC says:


    I have to agree with you. I had used some crazy brands better left unstated and once I switched over to Dragon Door Kettlebells the "Feel" was much better. Hope you are well!

  2. Forest says:

    For sure. I was actually surprised that there was that much of a difference between brands! Hope you are well also.

  3. A says:

    Sounds to me like the cheaper Apollo KBs whipped your ass into shape pretty good for the RKC test.

    Are you sure this isnt just a marketing plug for Dragon Door?

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