Which Type of Weight Plate is Best for a Home Gym?

You are far from alone if you built a home gym during the pandemic. The global market saw a 25% growth in 2020, and Canadians were a part of the unprecedented evolution. Furthermore, it has created a noticeable mindset shift in which millions of people now actively prefer lifting weight plates and hitting the treadmill from the comfort of their homes. 

There are many benefits to be gained from a home gym setup, including but not limited to;

  • Increased privacy, meaning no embarrassment and no watchful eyes. 
  • Optimal convenience, not least because you remove the need for travel.
  • Avoid the cost of a gym membership and PT services.
  • Improved safety and hygiene in the post-Covid world.
  • A chance to finally do something with your garage or garden building.


Perhaps the most attractive feature is that you can build a home gym that is perfectly tailored to your needs. Finding suitable weight plates will help you achieve the best results.


    Why Weight Plates Are Essential for Your Home Gym

    The first question you need to ask when buying weights for your home gym is whether they are the best solution for your needs. Barbell weight plates are ideal for many reasons, such as;

    • Barbells facilitate a range of exercises, offering the chance to gain a full-body workout.
    • They can be used with squat racks and half racks, meaning that they won't take up too much room.
    • There is the option to add more weight as you get stronger, making them perfect for the whole of your fitness journey.

    Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, or feel fitter doesn't matter. Weight plates will be a great addition to your gym.


        A Guide to Weight Plates: The Sizes

        Home gym weight plates are available in a variety of weights. They are often available in pairs of 2.5lb, 5lb, 10lb, and other increments up to 50lbs. They can be added to barbells for a range of exercises. However, when considering the size of your weight plates, you also need to consider Olympic v Standard size. The terms are in relation to the bar being used;

        • Standard weight plates have a 1" hole for the bar to thread through.
        • Olympic weight plates have a 2" hole for the bar to thread through.


        It's important to select the right size for your bar. Otherwise, you either won't be able to get the weight plates onto the bar or you'll find that the Olympic plates do not sit securely on your standard bar. 

        Once you know the size of your bar and the desired weight plates, you can think about building a setup with the right type of weights. 


        A Guide to Weight Plates: Different Types Explained

        When buying weight plates for your home gym, it is equally important to consider the type of material. The most common options are detailed below:



        Bumper plates are made from rubber and are often designed in bright colours, using different colours to indicate each weight. They are made from a dense rubber that will not scratch or crack floors, while they can also provide the aesthetic of competing.

        The bumper plates are more expensive than some of the other material choices, while they can take up a little extra space due to their increased thickness. When buying weight plates for your home gym, a standard solution is more cost-effective than competition plates.


        Competition plates

        Competition weight plates are a subset of bumper plates designed with elite competition in mind. They are certified by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and colour-coded and made to the right weight, diameter, and collar size.

        They are more expensive and often deemed unnecessary for beginners or casual lifters. However, serious lifters looking for a product that can serve them for many years may be positioned to vindicate the costs.

        Cast iron

        Cast iron weight plates are a prevalent choice for home gyms because they are often the most affordable option on the market. They additionally offer outstanding durability and will not move around if you lock them in tightly to the bar.

        However, you may wish to avoid using them in a garage gym or other humid setting as they are vulnerable to rusting. Meanwhile, users should know that they can leave marks on the floor, which is why you must take care when setting them back on the ground.


        Steel plates and carbon steel plates are usually more expensive than both cast iron but maybe a little less prone to rust. They are thinner than bumper-weight plates but will create a lot of noise when dropped. Their simple design can work very well for home gyms. 

        The weight plates are made from solid steel and are particularly well suited to powerlifting, not least because you can thread a lot of plates onto the barbell. If you intend to lift big, either now or in the future, they can be your choice.



        The term calibrated does not relate to a specific material. Instead, it simply means that the weight has been accurately calibrated. This means that the weights are very precise (within 0.25%) while they are also thinner than Olympic or bumper-style plates.

        Calibrated plates are most commonly available for both cat iron and steel. They may include a decorative nickel coating or a zinc coating to protect the plates from rusting. This can make them a very good choice for home gyms despite the slight price increase.



        Urethane composite weight plates are expensive but very durable, which is why they regularly feature in commercial gyms. They are another form of rubber manufactured specifically for weightlifting plates and can feature on dumbbells too.

        They do boast a unique feel, which many home gym users enjoy despite their obvious primary function of being used in commercial gyms. You may also hear them referred to as polyurethane, which is another name for the chemical property.


          The Final Word on Weight Plates

          When buying weight plates for your gym, you should know that each material's resistance level is the same. Ultimately, then, you will look for a product that looks good, is suited to your home gym setting, and matches your intended use. The thinner materials may be better if you are planning to power lift heavy weights. Rubber bumpers are better if looking to protect the floors and avoid rust.


          For further information about finding the best weight plates for your home gym, contact Squat Rack Canada today.

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