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Kettlebell Benefits of doubles VS singles?

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Opiaswing

Level 5 Valued Member
So I am considering getting a second 48kg or a 80kg..

I currently have a 64kg and a 48 (54kg with weight on the bottom)..

I can clean the 64kg comfortably for multiple reps, but am looking for the next stage in my training.

So far the only perk i can think of is those 80kg swings. I feel goblet squats wouldnt be feasible and if they were they would be limited by my upper strength than my legs..

On the other hand, two 48kgs (made to 54kg) would not only give me 108kg swings, but heavy rack squats, double cleans and other exercises like shrugs, etc..

Can I get some input on this? THe 48kg will save a lot and im pretty dead set on that option, but just wondering of the perks of doubles as up to now I have only done singles.
 

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member
@Opiaswing
Honestly, I don't really see the point of an 80kg KB for almost anyone.

For heavily loading the ballistic hinge, double cleans are great and you can do them with bells that you can actually use for other things. Or get or make a T-handle for super heavy swings. There are a number of good manufactured ones out there that are much cheaper than an 80kg KB and give you versatility in loading. Strongergrip makes loadable swing handles that can be used with one hand, if you don't want to limited to two hand swings by a t-shaped handle.

I also think there is a point of diminishing returns in super heavy swings, but that's more a matter of personal preference and philosophy.

For super heavy get ups or bent presses, there's always the barbell, which I understand can also be used for other exercises as well ;-).
 

Maine-ah KB

Level 7 Valued Member
Double 48's sound like the most versatile option for presses, cleans and dfsq's. the only reason to go for 80 is if you want to really heavy one arm swings (the best kind of swing IMHO) and work on Bent press TGU without altering your technique to barbell movements. also Holy Cannoli your REALY Strong! good work!
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 6 Valued Member
I feel goblet squats wouldnt be feasible and if they were they would be limited by my upper strength than my legs..
If you do squats for leg-strength then KBs are not a good option. Double 48s frontsquats are super hard, but only for the midsection, front delts and on your breathing.
For the legs it's still only 96Kg, though.
I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but if you do any kind of bilateral squat with KBs (goblet squat, FSQ, double FSQs) and your legs are your weak link in the movement then that's an issue that needs to be adressed.
Single Leg work is a different animal though. Something like airborne lunges with double KBs will build serious strength.

Like @Maine-ah KB said the double 48s are more versatile. So get them.

I share @Steve W.'s opinion on heavy swings.
So far I have seen only a few guys actually swinging a KB that's 80Kg or heavier. The keyword here is "actually". There are videos of people doing heavy "swings", but in reality those are no swings. They hold onto and resist the forces of the weight that's swinging by itself because of the pendulum effect.
Holding onto the weight and resisting its forces is without a doubt a feat of strength, but that still doesn't make it a swing.
Look at Bud Jeffries and Bret Contreras. That's more or less resisting the weight and holding onto it:

And now compare that to Coach Cambio, who's the only one actually swinging the weight:

What's your reason for super heavy swings (double 48 or single 80) that swings with 48/54Kg can't do for you?
Max strength? Get a barbell and deadlift heavy.
Max explosiveness? Get a barbell and do heavy power cleans and power snatches.
More strength-endurance? Just do longer sets or same sets but more of them with the 48/54Kg.

Can I get some input on this? The 48kg will save a lot and im pretty dead set on that option, but just wondering of the perks of doubles as up to now I have only done singles.
Have you done doubles before so you know that they are for you?
I've made the mistake of buying double KBs in the beginning and once I started working with doubles I realized that I don't like it. Swinging anything bigger than double 24s between my legs feels uncomfortable, because of the very wide stance. I once swung a pair of 40s and it's among the most weird and most uncomfortable feelings I ever experienced in my training history.
So I sold all of my second KBs and stayed with single KB work instead. Of course even though I managed to get a good price for them it was still a loss.
So try out double 48s or double 40s for some time and buy that second 48 only after you're sure that double work (especially double work with those heavy KBs that are very big in size) is something that you like doing.
 

Opiaswing

Level 5 Valued Member
If you do squats for leg-strength then KBs are not a good option. Double 48s frontsquats are super hard, but only for the midsection, front delts and on your breathing.
For the legs it's still only 96Kg, though.
I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but if you do any kind of bilateral squat with KBs (goblet squat, FSQ, double FSQs) and your legs are your weak link in the movement then that's an issue that needs to be adressed.
Single Leg work is a different animal though. Something like airborne lunges with double KBs will build serious strength.

Like @Maine-ah KB said the double 48s are more versatile. So get them.

I share @Steve W.'s opinion on heavy swings.
So far I have seen only a few guys actually swinging a KB that's 80Kg or heavier. The keyword here is "actually". There are videos of people doing heavy "swings", but in reality those are no swings. They hold onto and resist the forces of the weight that's swinging by itself because of the pendulum effect.
Holding onto the weight and resisting its forces is without a doubt a feat of strength, but that still doesn't make it a swing.
Look at Bud Jeffries and Bret Contreras. That's more or less resisting the weight and holding onto it:

And now compare that to Coach Cambio, who's the only one actually swinging the weight:

What's your reason for super heavy swings (double 48 or single 80) that swings with 48/54Kg can't do for you?
Max strength? Get a barbell and deadlift heavy.
Max explosiveness? Get a barbell and do heavy power cleans and power snatches.
More strength-endurance? Just do longer sets or same sets but more of them with the 48/54Kg.


Have you done doubles before so you know that they are for you?
I've made the mistake of buying double KBs in the beginning and once I started working with doubles I realized that I don't like it. Swinging anything bigger than double 24s between my legs feels uncomfortable, because of the very wide stance. I once swung a pair of 40s and it's among the most weird and most uncomfortable feelings I ever experienced in my training history.
So I sold all of my second KBs and stayed with single KB work instead. Of course even though I managed to get a good price for them it was still a loss.
So try out double 48s or double 40s for some time and buy that second 48 only after you're sure that double work (especially double work with those heavy KBs that are very big in size) is something that you like doing.

I'm not looking for max anything; I train out of the enjoyment of training and feeling/getting stronger. With my current bells I feel somewhat limited in terms of leg training. If I could clean the 64kg + 54kg together then there is potential for heavier legs, but that is difficult.

However whilst I am not looking for max strength or power, it would still be nice to progress and get stronger, and double 54kg cleans - although not max weight as barbells could be - are still markedly heavier than single 64kg cleans which i currently have access to.

Edit: An afterthought; would working on heavy snatches as opposed to buying another bell just for heavier squats/swings be a better idea? I remember when I first started working on cleans with the 48kg after just being able to swing it and I noticed it hit my posterior chain so hard just like when I first started swinging - I guess the extra explosiveness required was a shock. Would the same thing apply to snatches? Perhaps it would be best to master all of these posterior chain exercises before simply moving on to heavier variations of other lower body dominant ones. I can hardly believe I would have a lacking posterior chain or overall body strength if I could snatch the 64kg!

What do you think?
 
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damogari

Level 7 Valued Member
dit: An afterthought; would working on heavy snatches as opposed to buying another bell just for heavier squats/swings be a better idea?
That sounds like a great idea. I don't really liked kettlebell ballistics until I tried kb snatches. It of course depends on your goals, but for me heavy snatching is the main reason I use kettlebells nowadays. You are strong like hell, so 48kg should not be a big challenge for you. Working up to 64kg would be something really epic.

On the other side I don't really know if going above 64kg for single movements is worth it, I personally plan to dominate all movements with Beast in future (still a lot of work to do), but for everything heavier I think that barbell is the answer (especially for squats/leg development). Double movements are also great if they are comfortable for you, so adding a twin to your 48/54kg bell is a thing worth considering.
 

Riley O'Neill

Level 3 Valued Member
I personally like doubles at lower weights for more ballistic movements such as double snatches and cleans and jerks. I have a pair of 20kg (actually 45pound, not true metric) and I will do them in sets of 4-10. I would like an extra 16kg so I can drop down to doing double snatches with those. I also like double presses, Two hands anyhow from a bent press, double kick stand deadlift. Double swings though? Not my favorite.

Something I have observed on YouTube watching folks swing seriously heavy kettlebells is that the speed slows down drastically. Its likely that the lighter weight had more power to it because it was moving so much faster. I think of swings as pulses of maximum power, what ever the combination of mass and speed results in the greatest pulse of power should be favored as the best for power swings. As the energy is E=M*V^2, speeding up the swing requires more energy than going to a heavier swing at the same velocity. The thing is though, mass is easy to gauge and velocity, not so much. However you can gauge that a swing that leaves the hips and reaches a height that is still under the belt is going considerably slower than a swing which goes to neck level.
 

Maine-ah KB

Level 7 Valued Member
Snatches are an amazing lift! I'm only capable of snatching the 28k (haven't tested that in a while) at the moment but its maintained my 40kg swing nicely. also for a what the heck effect I hit PB's in TGU after not doing it for more then a month. Its an amazing lift!

edit:should probably note I also pressed 2 times a week when I hit the TGU pr.
 
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Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
I can't imagine anyone doing anything at all with a 64kg kettlebell "comfortably". Totally out of my league this discussion.

Do you press the kettlebells? If not, there's something to think about. 1 arm swings perhaps? Clean and press, snatch. TGUs? Clean and jerk. Push press. Windmill. Goblet curls. Suitcase carries. Rack carries. Isometric holds.
 

Shawn90

Level 5 Valued Member
+1 for another Beast. I think its a more versatile option.

And me bows to your strength :0
 

Mirek

Level 6 Valued Member
As a someone who likes doubles I'd say get another 48 bell.

Yes, two 48s will give you "only" 96kg swing, but you can also do squats, presses and, ultimately, snatches.
 
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