While looking for ways to change up our current workout program, I came across the Russian Kettlebell.  Kettlebells are typically cast iron "cannonballs" with handles.  They provide a great, well-rounded workout for strength training as well fat loss.  The only downside to Kettlebells that I could see was their cost.  Expect to pay anywhere between $2-4 / lb. for a Kettlebell.  A 20lb Kettlebell will easily cost you $50.

Looking for an inexpensive option, I ran into an article posted to a CrossFit forum (http://www.crossfit.com), which provided details on how to build an inexpensive Kettlebell.  I have since built 5 Kettlebells of various weights and have been extremely impressed by the durability of the product as well as the options we now have when working out at home.

Kettlebell exercises employ a wider range of motion than traditional dumbbells and typically involves swinging and explosive movements that utilize the full body.  Because the weight is off-center from the handle, the movements demand greater stability and really target the core muscles.  

Step 1: Materials & Tools

-1 bag quikrete pre-mixed concrete mix
-1 cheap rubber ball (under $5)
-26" of 3/4" or 1" PVC (sch40)
-Small quantity of sand
-Duct tape

-1 Hacksaw or Jig Saw
-1 Heat Gun or Oven
-1 Bucket (for mixing)
-1 Small Garden Spade or similar tool (for mixing and transferring concrete to the ball)
-1 Pair of Scissors
<p>Wrapped nylon rope through the handle; this hangs down into the cement adding that extra bit of hold and safety. Filled the ball on top of a scale so I could get the weight I needed. When it cures, concrete will lose only about 4% of it's wet weight. Made my finished kettlebell come out to exactly 25lbs (11.3kg). Since I had some pvc,concrete, bolts, and rope laying around, my costs were $2.95 for the thrift store basketball and $0.99 for the cheap black spray paint.</p>
I just made three with one bag of concrete and 3 balls I picked up at the the local goodwill. I didn't use PVC though. I used some left over electrical piping that I could bend/shape. I screwed in a couple screws at the end too. I haven't weighed them yet but guessing they turned out to be ~5 lbs, ~10 and 15 lbs. I had some trouble completely filling the large basketball. The top kept folding over.
<p>Get some steel cable (aka wire rope) and run it through the handle and into the concrete. PVC is too fragile for years of weighted swings and snatches. If that handle breaks at the wrong time, it's a potential injury.</p>
<p>Thanks for this. I have added this to the Diy list thing my son and I will bond over the coming year.</p>
One way to help if you are worried about the handle slipping out is to drill some screws into the pvc close to the ends. This will give your pvc handle &quot;fingers&quot; into the concrete and should keep it from slipping out.
<p>genius !!! thanks</p>
Nice job! I've made several versions of kettlebells myself. I've used pvc handles before but always joined pieces together with fittings and run a chain and concrete through the inside to keep it together. Never thought of heating the pvc to bend it. that's a good idea. To date, though, my favorite handle is re-bar run through black high-pressure hose and bent to the desired shape. Ends are bent a bit so they take a reliable hold in the bell. Those puppies will hold a lot of weight reliably.
75lb kettlebell might be tricky - but you'd save yourself a ton of $ if you do figure something out!. I know that I plan on using some of my old non-olympic style plates to beef up the weight of a few of these by putting the 5-10lb plates on the bottom &amp; crete on top of that. I also plan on using a bit of some used roof rubber that I have laying around to pad the bottoms. Great instructable!
this is a great instructable, kudos. Definitely gonna do this, one suggestion though (pvc electrical conduit is weak stuff), filling the pipe itself with concrete should make it more than strong enough to withstand anything you can throw at it, especially if you know you're going to be a bit rough on your weights.<br><br>But again, great instructable.
I want to make one with a full-size basketball, but I am concerned about the handle falling out eventually. How has yours been holding up?
I've made a couple with full sized basketballs and have not had any problems with any of them. I went with a slightly larger diameter pvc. Also, you'll want to make the handle slightly bigger too so it sits deep enough into the concrete. I think they end up around 25-30lbs or so. Good luck with your build.
I want a 75 lbs kettlebell, but it seems like I'm just gonna have to buy a legitimate kettlebell to get one

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