Q: What is a kettlebell?
A: A kettlebell is a cast iron (or other heavy metal or metal alloy) weight with a ball like body attached to a handle.
Q: What kind of exercises can one do with a kettlebell?
A: Kettlebells are used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training. By their nature, typical kettlebell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and grip strength. The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work.
Q: What is the difference between kettlebell workouts and your run of the mill gym workouts?
A: Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettlebell exercises often involve large numbers of repetitions. Kettlebell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks. This combination makes the exercise partially aerobic and more similar to High-intensity interval training rather than to traditional weight lifting. In one study, kettlebell enthusiasts performing a 20 minute snatch workout were measured to burn, on average, 13.6 calories/minute aerobically and 6.6 calories/minute anaerobically during the entire workout - "equivalent to running a 6-minute mile pace" (Schnettler, C. ACE FitnessMatters, January/February 2010; vol 16: pp pp 6-10).
Q: Are kettlebell workouts more dangerous than barbell or barbell workouts?
A: The movements used in kettlebell exercise can be dangerous to those who have back or shoulder problems, or a weak core. However, if done properly they can also be very beneficial to health. They offer improved mobility, range of motion and increased strength.
Formatted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettlebell
Q: What is a pood?
A: A pood is a unit of mass roughly equivalent to 16 kg (~35.2 lbs).
Q: What weight is appropriate for a beginner?
A: For workouts, anecdotal weight is 1 pood (roughly 16g/~35 lbs) for a healthy adult male and 0.5 pood (8kg/ ~17.5 lbs) for a healthy adult female.