Weight Plates And Weight Discs
Traditionally made of either rubber or cast iron, they now come in a range of colours, finishes and weights. With the different weights you can make up any combined weight on your bar, so increasing incrementally is easy.
Weight lifting equipment comes in all different shapes and sizes and weight plates and discs are no exception to this. Essentially they can be added to Olympic bars and barbells to add resistance.
We can offer you a great selection of weight plates and weight discs but we should mention that working out with weight plates does add stress to your shoulders,arms and upper torso so if you don't want to work with a personal trainer do take advice on how to use them.
Weight Plates Buying Guide
Weight plates are a real staple part of your home gym and will help you target key muscles in your body. If you want to perform free weight exercises then check out the range of weight plates and discs that are available to you.
There are many different weight plates to buy on the market. They include studio, cast iron, rubber coated, technique, bumper and competition weight plates.
So Which Plates to Choose?
Studio Weight Plates
As the title suggest these plates should be purchased if you need them for group exercise or studio classes. They are not intended to be that heavy. They are rubber coated, small, have handles and normally come brightly coloured so you can easily identify different weights.
Cast Iron Weight Plates
Again the clue is in the title, they are made from cast metal and are usually the cheapest form of weight plate you can buy. One of the downsides of them is that they are easily damaged, can damage the floor if you drop them and can be very noisy. They can be a great buy if your budget doesn’t stretch that far but you do need to be careful with them.
These are the same as cast metal but they have rubber coating on them which ensures that they don’t get damaged as cast metal ones do. Some are coated with urethane which are even more durable than rubber. They are also very kind to your floors, they also don’t smell in the way rubber coated plates do so these are great for you if you are bothered by the smell of rubber.
A bumper plate is a solid rubber weight disc which can be used for Olympic lifts and can easily be dropped from a height without damaging either yourself or your floor. A technique plate is a bumper plate, these only come in light weights and are a really good choice if you are starting out with weight training. Training bumper plates can be used for Olympic lifting. Finally, competition bumper plates are so called as they have to meet stringent IWF competition rules. These rules mean that competition plates are very accurate, so the weight you are lifting will be as close to the weight that is stated on it.
Vinyl Weight Plates
These are a great option if your budget is tight. They are made from heavy duty black vinyl filled with compacted cement. They are available in weights from 1.25-15kg. You can also get tri grip vinyl weight plates, the tri grip means that they are easy to load and unload onto weight bars and are very simple to handle.
What's The Difference Between Standard & Olympic Weight Plates?
If you are considering buying weight plates the first thing to do is understand whether you need Olympic or standard weight plates. Essentially the key thing to remember is that Olympic weights fit Olympic weight lifting bars and have a 2” diameter hole, standard weight plates will not fit an Olympic bar and have a 1” diameter hole.
Standard weight plates come in the following sizes-0.5kg, 1.25kg, 2.5 kg, 5kg, 10kg, 15 kg, 20kg, 25 kg. Olympic weights come in 1.25kg, 2.5kg, 5 kg, 10kg, 25 kg and 50kg weights.
You will also sometimes see the term non-standard Olympic plates which are made to fit Olympic sized bars but have a reduced circumference when compared to a traditional Olympic weight plate.
Benefits of Olympic Plates
Olympic weight plates are more stable on the weight lifting bar. They are also more versatile in what you can do with them, so you will find a better range of exercises than with other weights. They will also hold a greater total weight and many power racks are made to accommodate an Olympic bar.
What Else to Buy With Your Weight Plates
Whatever type of weight plates you are buying you may also want to purchase a protective floor covering. This will be essential if you are planning to buy a cast iron weight plate.
Why Use Weight Plates At All?
Many people favour weight plates and barbell sets over weight machines. The main advantage of free weights is that you are required to stabilise yourself in a way that you do not have to with weight machines. The range of movement with free weights also mirrors more closely the real world than a machine. And finally, they are often cheaper and more easily stored than an expensive large weight machine.