Bottom Line Up Front: Onnit.com once again hit the mark big time with this tool for the advanced athlete. This Onnit Primal SteelBell review captures my experience and recommendations on how to use it.
This is my fourth piece of equipment from Onnit. I have one 106lb kettlebell, two steel maces (25 & 15lbs – review here), one 35lb steel club (review pending), and a 30lb SteelBell. All of them are very high quality and with the exception of the kettlebell, which isn’t itself unique, the other pieces are very interesting and offer innovative opportunities to the outside-the-box trainers.
It is simply a neoprene bag willed with steel shot (metal balls). There is a bladder inside the neoprene holding the shot inside. It is reinforced with leather around the edges. That’s it.
Why I Bought It
First, I am always looking for new things to add to the garage gym. As I said, I was sold on Onnit’s quality. I already had 3 med balls/slamballs (12, 20, and 50lbs), but I wanted one in between the 20 and 50. Instead of another slam ball, I chose the SteelBell since it was possible to use like a slamball but appeared to have more other uses.
- This thing is durable. They show you on the produce page how they are abusing it without an issue. I would tend to agree. I have slammed mine into the ground and thrown it into a concrete ball. Doesn’t even phase it.
- It is easy to hold and manipulate. The neoprene is easy to grab at the edges.You can throw it around, lift it, hold it, anything at any edge.
- A lot of options for weight. The bells go from 10 to 50 lbs by 10s. You can get a lot of uses by getting a few different weights.
- They can replace other things. This is effectively a slamball, medicine ball, dumbbell, or even a kettlebell (you can do swings with it). The medicine ball or slamball uses are obvious. But you could hold one of these and do overhead presses or rows. You could hold it in a front rack position for squats. You can carry it in a variety of ways.
I use it in my workouts to add diversity to conditioning sessions. I was going to do a video (still might…) showing 50 ways to use it because as I was brainstorming I thought of so many it was insane. Here are some videos to get you started.
I recommend this to anyone – even beginners. Some equipment is a litlte more advanced, but with this one you can get real basic or real crazy. You can buy just one to have around for a small home gym perhaps for weekend workouts or when you can’t get to the gym. You obviously could use it with a full home gym as well. Even if you already have slamballs or med balls or dumbbells, I’d still get one. It is that versatile.
I wish I had bought these instead of my Dynamax ball (cost way more) or my 50lb slamball. Had I known about these 4 years ago when I started my home gym with a few essential pieces, I would have bought some of these and kettlebells only. I would have gotten 10, 30, and 50lbs to start. Since I had a lot of equipment already, I just got the 30lb this time. Since I wasn’t sure how I’d end up using it, I chose a middle of the road weight. I would recommend 10lbs for a woman, 20 for a normal 180lb man, 30 for a fit man to start with. You can add more to your collection once you try one for yourself.
QUESTION: Have you tried this piece of equipment? Post thoughts to comments?
References & Further Reading