Types of Weight Plates - Pros & Cons

Weight plates are a simple yet hugely important part of any weight training routine. Lifting weights is key to a balanced exercise routine. It can help you to increase strength, maintain a healthy weight, and promote longevity. If you’re looking to invest in weight plates in your routine, it can be difficult to know where to start. Let’s take a look at the various types of weight plates to narrow down your options. 

In this article: 

  • What are Weight Plates?
  • The Different Types of Weight Plates?
  • Which Weight Plates Should You Choose?

What are Weight Plates?


 

Weight plates are round discs that you put on the end of a barbell to lift weights. Weight plates come in different sizes, weights, and materials. The best option depends on your abilities and how you plan on using them. 

In general, you have two size options when it comes to bars and plates. You will come across standard and Olympic plates and bars. Standard bars and plates have a one-inch diameter hole. 

Confusingly, Olympic bars and plates tend to be the standard across gyms. These have a diameter hole of two inches. Although standard and Olympic pieces of equipment are pretty similar, you will have wider access to high-quality equipment if you buy Olympic weights and bars. Most proper weightlifting gyms will use Olympic barbells and weight plates as they are more durable and versatile for lifting heavy weights, squats, and deadlifts. 

The Different Types of Weight Plates


 

When it comes to weight plates, your first decision is to decide between standard and Olympic size. The next stage is to choose between traditional or bumper weight plates. Here are the pros and cons of different types of weight plates. 

Traditional Weight Plates 


 

Weight plates come in different types of materials. When referring to traditional or standard weight plates, you’re looking at iron plates. The good thing about iron plates is that you can usually find them second hand at an affordable price. While they won’t be the prettiest of things, they will do the job. 

Cast iron weight plates are super durable and resilient. You don’t need to worry about cracks or chips. They are often the most economical choice. But, one thing to know is that you need to be careful leaving them outside or in a humid environment as they can be susceptible to rust. Another issue with iron plates is that you can’t drop them as you might damage the floor. You have to lower the weights to the floor gently. 

Bumper Weight Plates 


 

Bumper weight plates are a common sight in home gyms and commercial gyms alike. Bumper or rubber weight plates are kinder to the floor. You can drop them from a height without damaging the floor. These weight plates are made entirely from rubber and have a little bounce to them. 

Rubber tends to be more expensive than iron, so bumper weight plates are usually more expensive than cast iron ones. Because bumper plates use rubber, you can generally find a wider variety of colours and contrasting details to make your weight set stand out. 

Which Weight Plates Should You Choose?


 

Weight plates are usually circular in shape or hexagonal. Olympic weight plates go with Olympic barbells. You will also come across terms like training, competition, bumper, and technique, which describe specific kinds of Olympic plates. To a casual lifter, there’s not a huge difference. But, competition plates are monitored closely to make sure they weigh a certain amount for competitions purposes. Here are weight plate options to add to your gym toolkit. 

Proud Olympic Quad-Grip Weight Plates

The Proud Olympic-Grip Weight Plates are steel plates with a rubber coating. The four ergonomic handles make them easy to handle and pick up, making them easy to use in place of kettlebells or dumbbells. You can use these weight plates alone or with a barbell to increase strength, endurance training, and flexibility. 

SuperStrong Olympic Bumper Weight Plate


 

You can buy the SuperStrong Olympic Bumper Weight Plates in pairs starting at 5kg and going all the way up to 100kg. The robust bumper plates are made from recycled rubber and dramatically reduce noises compared to other types of weight plate materials. The rubber material protects the bar, plate, and floor from damage even with repetitive dropping. 

Proud Bumper Training Plates 150kg Set


 

The Proud Bumper Training Plates 150kg Set is made from steel enclosed in a high-density rubber. The set consists of a range of weight plates for versatile training. They are suitable for CrossFit, strength, bodybuilding, and functional training. The plate set is very robust and ideal for any fitness setting. 


It’s a good idea to build your training around Olympic bars and weight plates. That way, you will have access to more products. When you’re buying plates at home, it comes down to your budget and the space you have available. Invest in high-quality weight plates that can handle everything you need and last for years.