The price of kettlebells is getting ridiculous. I just don’t know any other way to put it. The price of a lot of fitness equipment is getting out of hand. Thanks to companies like Rogue Fitness, Cap Barbell, and York it’s beginning to look like the price of a home gym will soon require a bank loan. I have always believed in the motto, “you get what you pay for” sometimes though it’s just not accurate. All of the companies above make quality equipment but does it really need to cost so much? Sure they’re made in America but few working Americans in this economy can afford 3-600 dollar barbells and 100 dollar weight plates. For that matter how is it that a one piece lump of cast iron called a kettlebell that weighs 45lbs can cost anywhere from 65 to 95 dollars? The manufacturing process is virtually identical to a cast iron weight plate or dumbbell; molten iron is poured into a sand casting to cool and solidify before being smoothed over and painted.
For most of my life the price of Iron weights has remained pretty constant; at around 1 dollar per pound of weight. Indeed if you buy your equipment at Academy Sports or Dick’s that’s what you’ll pay and even less on weight plates. They may not be rubber bumper plates like those shown in the CrossFit games but they’ll get the job done. Recently I bought a 35lb Kettlebell from Walmart. It’s a quality piece wrapped in a vinyl covering and it cost me $44. Now that I’m interested in something a little more hefty though I’ve noticed a huge gulf in price from this weight to the next size they offer; 45lbs. I just can’t justify $60 for a lump of iron. So following directions straight out of the book “4 Hour Body” I decided to make my own and the result was astounding! For $12 I have made an adjustable kettlebell, which using my own stock of weight plates can be adjusted all the way up to 90lbs.
The parts required can be found in the plumbing section of a big-box home improvement store. I found mine at Home Depot. You will need to purchase the following:
• 1 ¾” t-junction
• 2, ¾”x 3” threaded sections
• 1 ¾” x 12” threaded section
• 1 ¾” wall flange
• 1 Spring clamp
If you can find them, 1 inch diameter pipe is preferable but with the increase in size comes an increase in price. Ideally you’d also want to use 1inch standard weight plates with this but with some ingenuity and foam pipe insulation 2 inch Olympic plates will work fine.
I’ve included pictures to illustrate how everything goes together. It is a simple process and once completed the pieces will form a “t-shaped” unit. I would recommend using thread locker where the bottom flange meets the 12” neck section and also where the handles thread into the t-junction but not where the t-junction threads into the top of the 12” neck, this way you can screw and unscrew it to add or adjust weight. Once completed tighten everything securely and enjoy your new inexpensive and adjustable kettlebell.