The first time I saw a Russian kettlebell, the first word out of my mouth was "Finally!" I'd been hemming and hawing as I looked at the prices online. The shipping costs were sickening. But when I finally stumbled onto one of these big iron balls in a secondhand store, I realized that I wouldn't be able to resist, even though it wasn't much cheaper than the online price would have been.

Just a word to anyone reading this who might be wringing their hands over shipping: they don't charge as much per pound online, in my experience. In a store, you might not pay shipping, but I've seen kettlebells selling for as much as $1.80 per pound.

But this is a story about using kettlebells, not buying them. I took that 53 pound beauty home and immediately started with a movement that was too advanced for me: the kettlebell snatch. I had been advised to start with a lighter weight, but like most men my age (and size), I wanted to prove I could start heavy.

This wasn't the worst thing in the world. I didn't get injured, but my progress wasn't quite as fast as I wanted it to be. This changed when I took a step back, got a lighter bell, and got some instruction.

I've now been using these wonderful tools for nearly three years, and my family of weights has grown substantially, from the 12 kilo babies to the 48 kilo monster that I got for Christmas not too long ago. I use them all. I love them all.

You'll hear a lot about how kettlebells are the best for cardio, strength, ballistic movements, speed, etc. I think those are all true at times, but there is one benefit for me that far outweighs them all.

Using kettlebells is fun! It's the most fun I've ever had strength training. That's where real progress comes from: those great training sessions that leave you looking forward to the next one. I get it every single time.

I think you might too!