When to move up a kettlebell size? (How?) Standards inside

When to move up a kettlebell size? (How?) Standards inside

I got an email from Chad the other day asking when it’s appropriate to move up a kettlebell size.

I thought I’d pass along to you what I told him, in case you found it helpful.

Here’s what I told him:

“It depends on the exercise. 

For example, if you can do 10 sets of 10 on the 2-H Swing, and do it easily (nasal breathing by the time it’s time for the next set), with 60 seconds of rest between sets, or even OTM (On the Minute), then it’s probably time to get a heavier bell.”

What about other exercises?

I typically use the following “tests” with my private clients to determine moving up to the next size bell or bells.

[1]  Single Clean + Press: 10 sets of 5 each side. 30 minutes or less. Preferably 20.

[2]  Double Clean + Press: 10 sets of 5. 30 minutes or less. Preferably 20.

[3]  Double Front Squat: Same as DC+P.

[4]  Snatch: 100 reps in 10 minutes – 5 sets of 10 each side.

[5]  Turkish Get Up: 10 sets of 1+1 in 15 minutes.

This is one of the beautiful things about kettlebell training.

It allows you to build an incredibly large base of “PHYSICAL PREPAREDNESS” when programmed correctly.

As a result, life becomes so much easier and in many cases, you seem to have nearly limitless energy.

Plus, because you’re taking your time, your strength sticks around for years, unlike many forms of traditional workout programming. 

That’s because the Soviets found that strength gained quickly is also strength lost quickly. And vice versa.

Keep taking your time and before you know it, you’ll see exponential strength increases when you look back in your journal.

(For example: The “Strong!” program has you finishing up Phase 2 of the program with 10 sets of 6 using your old Clean + Press 4RM.)


What was once a struggle is now practically effortless. 

So, don’t be in a rush to move up a bell size. 

If you want or need proven programs that will help you move up bell sizes significantly faster than trying to figure it out on your own, I’ll leave some links in the description below.

Stay Strong,



[1]  Minimalist Clean + Press Programming


[2]  Minimalist Clean + Press Programming w/ Variety


[3]  Combination of Clean + Press, Front Squat, and Snatch


[4]  Snatch Only


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