So, it’s finally time to buy yourself some new weight plates, but there is one slight hiccup… how do you know which are the right plates for you?
With such a wide variety of options available, it can be difficult to figure out which weight plates are best suited to your gym space, preferred form of exercise and your budget, so we have taken the guesswork out of it!
We have created this weight plate buyers bible to make the buying process an absolute breeze, enabling you to spend less time fluffing around and more time getting those gains! 💪
Just starting to dabble in strength training? Or maybe you’re building your first home gym? If either (or both) of these sound like you, then standard weight plates are the way to go.
Made from a sturdy cast iron, standard weight plates are typically a lot less expensive compared to rubber or TPU. They are great for beginner to intermediate level weight lifters, as they aren’t going to break the bank but they are definitely going to help you get the job done.
We recommend that more advanced weight lifters opt for rubber or TPU plates, as iron can cause some serious damage to your equipment and/or flooring if they are accidentally dropped.
For this reason, we also strongly suggest that you do not use these plates to perform any overhead movements, such as snatches, overhead presses and back squats (unless you have a squat rack to help you get into the correct position).
Instead, we recommend that you shy away from using standard weight plates for your big, explosive movements, and use them for more isolated exercises that require lower weights. This is not only because standard plates aren’t designed to be dropped, but because they don’t usually have a huge weight range anyway.
Standard weight plates only have a 28-30mm centre hole, meaning that they only fit a standard, 28-30mm barbell. Compared to Olympic bars, standard barbells tend to be smaller in size and they cannot handle as much weight, hence why standard plates aren’t usually that heavy (another reason why they aren’t the best option for seasoned weight lifters).
All in all, standard weight plates are the right choice for you if you aren’t trying to lift like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but rather just looking for an inexpensive alternative that is going to help you get started on your weight lifting journey.
Budget friendly ✓ Durable ✓ Suitable for beginners ✓
When comparing Olympic plates to standard weight plates, just think BIGGER, BIGGER, BIGGER!
Olympic weight plates all feature a 50mm diameter hole, compatible with any Olympic barbell. They tend to offer a much wider and heavier weight range, as Olympic bars are made to handle some serious loads!
Olympic weight plates are used in most commercial gyms, as they are great for all types of exercise from power lifting, cross fit, functional training and bodybuilding.
World Fitness offers both cast iron and rubber Olympic weight plates (not to be confused with rubber coated plates). Although they are the same price, they do differ slightly when it comes to a matter of durability and exercise compatibility.
Compared to the cast iron plates, our rubber weight plates are more resistant to wear and tear. This is due to their protective coating, which is less likely to cause any marks or damage to your equipment or flooring if they are accidentally dropped.
They also feature a steel ring in the centre hole which not only protects your barbell from scratches and dents, but it prevents the rubber from wearing away.
It is important to note that these rubber plates are still not designed to be dropped, however, they are the safer alternative when you’re lifting heavier loads. They are excellent for performing most of your major compound movements, although you should still avoid using them during overhead exercises and Olympic lifts.
Overall, Olympic weight plates are still fairly inexpensive, despite being the better option for most types of exercise. For commercial gym users and advanced weight lifters (who aren’t going to be smashing weights on the floor), we recommend investing in our rubber Olympic weight plates.
Now… bumper plates are where s*** gets serious! These bad boys are compatible with Olympic barbells, however, they offer some major, unmatched differences!
Unlike your regular rubber Olympic weight plates, bumper plates are designed to bounce off the ground, making them the perfect choice if you love to push your limits and perform those massive Olympic movements!
Because of their smooth, bouncy material, bumper plates are the ideal choice for overhead exercises such as snatches and overhead presses, as you can drop them suddenly without fear of causing damage.
Another major difference with bumper plates is that they are all the same size. They only differ in thickness, which is dependent on their weight. As they tend to be larger than most other weight plates, bumpers are much, MUCH better for performing all your dead lift variations, as they are a lot easier to lift off the ground without compromising your back or form.
It’s no surprise that with all these added benefits that bumper plates tend to be a littttle more on the expensive side, but trust us, if you’re serious about lifting weights then they are worth the dosh.
Bouncy ✓ Used Competitively ✓ Suitable for home or commercial use ✓
We hope our weight plate buyer’s guide has helped clear up some questions you have about weight plates, and, as always, if you need any further assistance we welcome you to contact our expert team!