How to Build a Kettlebell in 36 Seconds

What you need to know:

  • Time – 36 seconds
  • Cost – $20 or less
  • Difficulty – Insanely easy

Recently, I started training my parents online.  I try to send them everything they need to be fitness nonconformity badasses, and so far it is working out great. Last week, I designed a workout for them that involved kettlebell swings. I knew they did not own a kettlebell so I recommended using an old milk jug filled with sand or even a laundry detergent canister for the swings.

They used the laundry detergent bottle, but they said it wasn’t great.

Garage Training: Access the Guide and learn how I ran a marathon without training, deadlifted 3X my bodyweight and broke USSOCOM Records…Working out in my underwear (Garage) a few times a week for an hour or less.

I visited them this weekend to hang out, let them visit with their new grandson and to talk fitness a little bit. I brought a long with me, as I always do when I travel by car, two kettlebells and a speed rope (just in case).  I let them play with the 1 pood kettlebell (35 lbs.) and they said it was a decent weight but not for high repetitions, since all of this functional fitness and kettlebell training was new to them – I was in complete agreement.

The solution – DIY TIME!!

***First, let me say this is a ‘simple kettlebell’, designed for kettlebell swings only, and on top of that, primarily Russian kettlebell swings. ***

If you are interested in Pavel Tsatsouline’s, Enter The Kettlebell! Strength Secret of The Soviet Supermen, I suggest building the more elaborate homemade KB’s or even purchasing your own. This version is quick, easy and a very cheap way to throw kettlebell swings into your training immediately. As long as you know what this version should be used for…we can now get started.

Step 1: Buy Material

Buy the following:

  • 1 – 1″ galvanized flange
  • 1 – 1″ galvanized t-shape
  • 2 – 5″ long x 1″ diameter galvanized pipe pieces
  • 1 – 6″ long x 1″ diameter galvanized pipe pieces
  • 2 – 1″ galvanized end caps
All materials used.

Step 2: Put it all together

Get ready to start your stopwatch! Also, don’t blink, you may miss it!

In 36 seconds or less, here we go:

Start with the flange.
6″ piece screws into the flange.
T-shape goes on top of the 6″ piece.
5″ piece goes in T-shape (1).
5″ piece goes in T-shape (2).
End caps go on 5″ pieces. Kettlebell complete!

Stop time! How long did it take you?

Steps 3, 4 & 5

  • Step 3 – Remove bottom flange and add weight plates of your choice (5 lbs., 10 lbs).
  • Step 4 – Swing.
  • Step 5 – Get in shape knowing you are not part of the fitness ‘norm’.


*If you feel this is too wide for your legs, or hands, you can buy smaller pieces for your handles. 
*If you need to add more plates but don’t want a larger plate size, just buy a longer vertical pipe and stack more.
*Plates won’t be a snug fit. Use duct tape to widen diameter and dampen the noise.  

Suggested workouts with your new KB:

Broken down into the usual Eo3 Fitness categories.


3 rounds for time


3 rounds for time

  • 400 meter run
  • 1.5 pood Kettlebell swing x 21
  • Pull-ups 12 reps


For time

50-40-30-20 and 10 rep rounds of:

  • Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
  • Box jump, 24 inch box
  • Kettlebell swings, 1.5 pood

Like I said there are more elaborate versions you could create, but this is quick, easy and cheap.

If you have any questions about this project add it to the comments!

If you want to check out any other DIY projects be sure to check out the DIY Corner!


  • Casey

    It seems like the swings would be difficult……you’d have to take a wider stance to compensate for the wide handles

    • Jerred

      That’s why I said if you feel like that would be a problem, buy shorter handles :)

      Also, when I squat my knees spread apart away from each other, as they should, and it was not a problem with these dimensions for me.

  • BriGuyVtine

    double posted

  • BriGuyVtine

    hmm. second attempt. In the four hour body Tim Ferris uses a marine dry sac filled with water as a DIY Kettlebell for about $11. this allows you to do kettlebells on vacation or on the go and has a more traditional handle feel. 5 gallons of water is about 40 lbs. depending on temperature and pressure. having said that this an awesome little diy piece Jerrod. keep up the inspiring ideas.

    • Jerred

      Wow that is really cool! Thanks for sharing!

  • Veeresh

    I am currently using a 20 kg cast iron kettlebell, but when I didn’t have it I did swings with 20 kg Plastic/Rubber encased Grip Plate.
    It was perfect for swings. (though not for cleans and snatches)

    • Jerred

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Pingback: Everything You Need to Know About Kettlebells & Kettlebell Training()

  • jmbeachsurf

    I use 2 x 25 lbs. plates with a towel passing through the “handle loops.” This makes for a great kettlebell substitute, and you can still use your plates when you are done, just remove the towl.

    • Jerred

      Great idea!

  • Pingback: Are you sick of it yet!?()

  • Mike

    Hey Jerrod – Great article!! I just got done building 30 or so 10lb milk jug kettlebells when I recieved your DIY note on KB’s. I must be at the right place! I put on a boot camp and these work great. Keep up the good work and we’ll be preparing for the zombie apocalypse in WI. Mike

    • Jerred

      Thanks Mike! Milk jugs, haven’t done that yet :)

  • Colin

    why not show a picture of the finished product with weights on ???? Pictures of every other step!!

  • Jesse

    Wow i’m definitly going to make one! i have plates with 1 inch holes, do you think those would work with this?

    • Jerred

      If you get the right pipe, yes.

      Sent from Mailbox for iPad

  • james anderson

    Doing one handed swings and changing hands must be tricky with this T bar, not to mention circling the kettle bell around your body

    • Jerred

      Haha no one said it would be easy! This is great for the KB swing, but not ideal for ALL KB movements.

  • Pingback: Getting Serious About Crossfit? Consider Building a Garage Gym! | Garage FITT()

  • Dalerj

    Your home made KB idea is great! One problem, Get all 3/4″ trade size pipe and fittings. 1in. size is too large and won’t fit.