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Weight Plates: A Guide to Different Types
Buying weight plates can seem a little confusing at first. You can consider multiple different types of plates, and choosing the right ones isn't something you can do on instinct. Whether you're purchasing them for your home or commercial gym, and whether they're intended for casual use or something more serious, you need to know your options. Fortunately, it's not too difficult to understand the differences between the types of weight plates that are available.
This guide will take you through some of the most common options to make the right decision for your needs.
One of the most basic options for weight plates is cast iron plates. Iron is typical for weight plates, but it can be made with other materials, such as steel. Iron plates are the least expensive option if you're looking for traditional weight plates. Bare iron is an option, but it can produce a lot of noise and rust over time. So iron weight plates are usually coated to provide them with extra protection.
Rubber-Coated Iron Plates
Iron plates are typically coated with either rubber or urethane. Rubber is durable, making it a good choice, but it quickly shows scratches and blemishes. However, although rubber coated iron weight plates won't look new, they will last long.
One negative side of rubber-coated plates is that they can smell, particularly if you buy cheaper ones. But rubber is generally inexpensive, so even spending a bit more won't break the bank.
Iron plates coated with urethane are durable and don't scratch like rubber. They're also missing the smell of rubber, which is another plus. They are also often thinner, which means they take up less space.Contact Our Team
Bumper plates can be dropped without damaging the floor. However, using them on protective flooring is still a good idea. They're quieter and can be easier to handle. A lot of people also prefer the look of them over traditional weight plates.
One of the major differences with bumper plates is that the diameter remains the same as the weight changes. Only the thickness changes, whereas the diameter, also changes with traditional plates. You will sometimes find smaller 10lb and 15lb plates have different diameters because they're less durable. However, good-quality plates will all be the same diameter. Bumper plates are always round, too, whereas traditional plates can be hexagonal.
Weight plates can also be made from steel. Steel plates can also be coated with rubber or urethane, and they don't risk rusting. They are more expensive than cast iron, but standard steel plates are still more affordable than calibrated competition plates.
These plates have handles that make them easy to move around. That has made them a popular choice for commercial gyms, and they're also becoming more popular in home gyms. Similarly to iron plates, rubber coating is cheaper, but urethane can last longer.
Competition Bumper Plates
Weight plates can also be calibrated so that they can be used in competitions. Calibrated plates are made to a greater degree of accuracy to eliminate discrepancies between plates. This means that you can ensure each side of a barbell is balanced, among other benefits. Calibrated plates are colour-coded so that you know which weight is just from the colour.
People who enjoy high-impact training such as weightlifting typically enjoy using bumper plates. They are made to fit an Olympic barbell to be used for training and competitions.
Competition Steel Plates
Competition and calibrated plates can also be steel plates. Cast iron calibrated plates are made with a mould, whereas steel plates are made with a lathe. They are cut to accuracy and don't require additional materials to be added to make them the correct weight. They are finished with a coating of zinc or nickel to protect them against the elements and prevent rust.
Steel competition plates are designed for accuracy so that competitors know exactly what they're lifting. But they can also be a good choice at home if you're serious about lifting or in your commercial gym to provide something special for members.
Before buying weight plates, ensure you're familiar with the different options. Different types of weight plates are suitable for varying needs, environments, and goals, as well as budgets. Please take a look at our weight plates to discover the options that are available to you.Contact Our Team