The kettlebell has exploded in popularity due to its unique ability to support both muscle building and aerobic exercise. Is it an all-in-one piece of training gear that everyone can get a whole lot of mileage from.
Is it any wonder then, that there is so much supply? And yes, TRX, the company behind the famous and much beloved TRX training system, has entered the market with their own model.
So how does it hold up when compared to other companies’ products? And is it worth your time and money? We’ll find out today.
TRX Kettlebell Examined
The currently available model has been gravity cast into a single, mean piece of metal. Its surface has a textured finish, meant to prevent it from slipping from your grasp. It also has a flat bottom, so wherever you put it, it will stay.
The handle is quite comfortable to grip, even if your hands are on the larger side. You likely won’t be needing any chalk for a more secure grasp, though nothing prevents you from using it anyway. Those with particularly large hands however, may have some trouble when grabbing it with both hands. This can actually be a problem with most standard-issue kettlebells, but is always something to keep in mind.
It comes in four weight options: 4 kg, 6 kg, 8 kg, and 12 kg, which is a decent enough range. Of course beginners should start with either the 4 or 6 kg one and work from there. Veterans of kettlebell training may sadly find the 12 kg one to be a bit lacking though, and TRX doesn’t offer anything heavier at present.
When it comes to durability, the TRX Kettlebell holds up great. The finish has proved quite resistant to flaking and peeling, and the fact that the whole thing (as all kettlebells should be) has been cast as a single piece of metal means that it shouldn’t ever break down. You can swing this bad boy around as much as you want, and (barring something like heavy production defects) it will serve you well for a long time.
TRX Kettlebell Pros and Cons
So, in summary:
- Durable and made to last.
- Easy to grip, even without chalk
- Good choice of weight options; from 4 to 12 kilograms.
- The handle may be a bit of the small side.
- Experienced athletes may find themselves wanting for a model heavier than 12 kg.
- At the time of this review, most of their heavier models are in fact out of stock.
TRX Kettlebell Workouts
As it turns out, the very best TRX Kettlebell exercises are—you guessed it, exercises you can do with any other kettlebell. These take the best from cardio and strength training and give you a great return on your investment of time.
Moves that should be your bread and butter include:
A staple of any kettlebell workout, and all-around great exercise. In essence, you stand with your legs apart, grab the kettlebell with both hands, and swing it forward and backward between your legs. Sounds simple? It is, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hit hard after a few swings! This is a compound move, meaning it hits several muscles, but is particularly good for your lower back.
Given that this exercise requires you to have two kettlebells, we initially hesitated putting it on the list. However, the kettlebells improve your basic lunge to such a degree that not mentioning it would be a shame. Take one in each hand, then do your lunges. The additional weight will greatly increase the resistance, and subsequently your gains. Mostly for the glutes and thighs.
Elbows bent, hold the kettlebell over your chest, then slowly bend your knees and finish a standard squat. Squats are a timeless classic, and squats performed with more resistance are just better. You can’t go wrong with this exercise.
Fun fact: the kettlebell is a Russian invention, so you know that things are about to get serious. Jokes aside, Russian twists are an absolutely brutal ab and oblique exercise, made even more effective by adding weight.
These four are pretty much the most accessible and effective kettlebell exercises you can do, ignoring some more specialized moves. Treat them like any other exercise, which means a warm-up, 3-4 sets, 6-12 reps. If it all gets too easy at maximum number, consider investing in a heavier kettlebell.
Kettlebell Iron Circuit Conditioning
But there’s more! The guys at TRX have put their heads together and come up with a program that combines their most popular product (the TRX suspension system, in case it needs to be said) with the kettlebell, supposedly giving you an unmatched workout.
So how does that pan out?
“Decently” is the first word that comes to mind. If the above passage has made you expect some revolutionary way of using suspension bands to aid in kettlebell training, you weren’t the only one. Sadly, that just doesn’t happen in this DVD. Instead, it’s all done in intervals; kettlebell, then bands, and around it goes.
As for the workout itself, it’s not bad by any means. It’s just quite basic, and nothing you couldn’t cobble up on your own. And if you own both products, chances are that you are well beyond that point. And even if you aren’t, you can get far just by using online resources.
In our opinion, Iron Circuit Conditioning is not worth the investment.
The TRX Kettlebell is an excellent product. It used to be rather expensive, but TRX have since shown mercy, and it is now easily affordable. If you’re thinking of getting one, there’s no real reason not to. If they manage to restock in time, that is.
As for the training DVD, only get it if you really want to.
Our Rating: 4.5/5
Fitness enthusiast, suspension training addict. Ditched the gym 5 years ago, never looked back. Passionate about teaching how to build muscle and loose weight using only the force of gravity and your own bodyweight.