If you’re looking to get big and jacked, the first thing you need is a gym, or at least somewhere to workout. The next thing that you need will be weights and gym equipment. Everybody has different fitness goals and aspirations in mind when it comes to working out. Some people want to tone up, some people want to lose some fat, and some people want to get insanely jacked! Whatever you’re looking to get from your training, free weights are considered essential by most people. If you’re building a gym, you’ll need weight plates, but knowing which plates to purchase is not as easy as you may have thought. To make life a little easier, here’s a look at the ultimate weight plate buying guide so you know exactly what to kit your gym out with.
Weight plate sizes
Now, we aren’t talking about the weight of the plates here, we’re instead talking about the size of the centre hole of the weight plates. You see, weight plates come in two sizes: Olympic, and standard. Olympic weight plates have a 2inch diameter hole in the centre, whereas standard weight plates only have a 1inch diameter hole in the centre. Standard weight plates are generally considered useful for beginners only, as they will not fit Olympic bars or machines. If a commercial gym is using standard weight plates and bars instead of Olympic plates, well, not to beat about the bush, it probably sucks!
Now we’re talking about the actual weights. When you buy weight plates, you need to know which sizes you need.
Now, for convenience, most people purchase weight sets, which come as a bundle and provide a selection of different weights. So, for example, you may get 4 x 1.25kg, 4 x 2.5kg, 4 x 5kg, 2 x 10kg, 2 x 15kg, 2 x 20kg and 2 x 25kg in a set. In terms of weights, most weight plates will begin at 1.25kg (though some smaller sizes are out there) and will typically go up t0 50kg. 20kg weight plates seem to be most popular in commercial gyms, though the weights you buy are entirely up to you.
Rubber or cast iron
Another thing to consider when purchasing weight plates is what you want them to be made from. Cast iron weight plates are generally made from solid iron and are simply painted. Some plates, however, are encased in rubber. The rubber offers longevity, additional safety, and can help to protect the flooring and the plates themselves. Old school bodybuilders however, love the sound and feel of solid cast iron plates clanging and banging, so again, consider your preferences and requirements.
There are also rubber bumper plates, which are made entirely from rubber and are designed for Olympic lifting and powerlifting competitions and training. They’re called bumper plates because they can be dropped onto the floor safely, which is why they’re made from rubber instead of solid iron. in terms of colour, 5kg plates are usually black, 10kg plates are green, 15kg plates are yellow, 20kg plates are blue, and 25kg plates are red.