On Wednesday the UPS man brought me a lovely package. Inside was this pretty pink kettlebell. Perform Better is having a heck of a summer sale and I snatched this baby right up.
Ha, ha! Snatched. Kettlebell… snatched. Ahem.
Okay, continuing on. It’s one of their competition style bells. With the discount and great shipping (only $10 to ship this – half what everyone else wanted) it turned out to be not much more expensive than the cheapo ones at WalMart. The main reason I wanted this one was to work on high-rep snatches, like a snatch test or eventually a 10 minute competition style set.
Competition style bells are made of steel instead of iron and they are all the same circumference, so it looks a lot heavier than it really is.
The handle is also bare metal and sanded, supposedly making it more comfortable and easier to hold chalk.
I read somewhere that the handles on the comp bells are supposed to be smaller, which excited me because I have teeny tiny little hands. Honestly, I couldn’t tell any difference between this one and my other bells as far as size. I definitely do like the smooth steel handle much better than the iron bells, but I do not have a high quality iron bell to compare it to. Honestly, I was a little disappointed in the quality of the PB bell handle. It looks like someone just took a grinder and ran it over the handle a few times. There are definitely a few rough spots on the underside of the handle, though not as bad as my iron bells.
This is the inside of the handle of my Gold’s Gym bell purchased at WalMart. As you can see the coating is chipping off and it is quite rough. I’ve done snatch workouts with this bell and not surprisingly, it does tend to tear my hands up. It was probably like this when I bought it and I didn’t know enough to check at the time.
The inside handle of my Go Fit kettlebell purchased at Scheel’s. No chipping, but there is a rough seam there. It’s not as bad as the Gold’s bell, but not as good as the Perform Better bell.
I’m about as far from a kettlebell expert as you can get, but these are my observations. If you are a beginner or on a budget and want a bell to practice high rep snatches or competition lifts, the Perform Better competition bell is a good buy. I don’t have any other comp bells to compare it to, and if someone wants to send me one to review feel free!
If you are a CrossFitter or general fitness enthusiast and you are only going to use your bells for swings, carries or get-ups, don’t bother with a comp bell. My Gold’s Gym and Go Fit bells are more than adequate for that.
Overall, my initial reaction when I opened the box was disappointment. The bell body is rougher than I thought it would be and has dents and divots in it. There are no obvious tape jobs like is discussed here but there are spots for sure where there was some application of bondo, and the paint job is not the best as there are thick drip marks in several places. But this was the cheapest competition bell I’ve ever found, so I guess I got what I paid for.
I was considering buying a 12kg competition bell from Perform Better but I will probably save my pennies and go with a different brand. Something like this, for instance.