Weights, Dumbbells, Barbells, Kettlebells
Why Buy Weight Plates or Weight Kits?
There are traditionally two types of weight plates available in the UK: these are commonly referred to as 1 inch discs (standard discs) or 2 inch discs (olympic discs). 1 inch plates or Standard weight plates (where the hole in the middle of the disc is approximately 24.7mm in diameter) and 2 inch Olympic weight plates, (hole is approximately 50mm diameter) The 1inch and 2 inch sizes relates to the diameter of the whole in the centre of the disc.
If you want to buy weight plates or weight discs you need to decide whether you want to buy 1” standard weight plates or 2 inch Olympic weight plates.
There are three different types of 1 inch standard weight discs available. 1 inch Standard Chrome plated plates, 1 inch standard Rubber Plates (rubber coated cast iron) and 1” Standard cast iron plates, commonly known as Standard cast disc. Cast weight plates can also be referred to as hammertone weight plates, Hammertone when used with the weight plates and weight discs refers to the paint finish. If you are buying 1” (1 inch) weight plates or standard weight discs, you will need standard 1” bars for them.
There are several different types of Olympic weight plates available. If you are considering buying Olympic weights, consider the following. Hammertone Olympic Plates or Cast Olympic discs are usually the least expensive, these are sometimes referred to as metal discs or metal weight plates. From a lifting and loading point of view, it is best to have a disc designed with a handle, as this makes the Olympic disc easier to load and unload from your barbell. Rubber Radial Olympic Disc (handle design) or Rubber Olympic discs come in black and coloured rubber coatings. Coloured Olympic weight plates usually follow IWF standard (International Weightlifting Federation Standards)10Kg Olympic Plates are Green, 15Kg Olympic Plates are Yellow, 20Kg Olympic Discs are Blue and 25Kg Olympic Discs are Red. Olympic Rubber Radial discs with a handle are easier for loading and unloading your barbell however full rubber encased Olympic discs are better for Powerlifting and heavier duty commercial clubs and gyms that require commercial grade weightlifting equipment. Olympic discs from 1.25Kg, 2.5Kg and 5Kg Olympic Rubber Plates are normally black.
Also available are technique discs or training discs, training plates. These are used to help beginners training for competition Olympic lifting. Training plates normally only come in 2.5Kg and 5Kg. 2.5Kg Olympic technique discs and 5Kg Olympic Technique discs are the same diameter of a 20Kg or 25Kg IWF weightlifting disc.
Things to consider when buying weights or weight kits. Traditionally there have been the standard (1 inch discs and bars) weight kits and Olympic Barbell sets (2 inch). Standard 1 inch weight kits can come as dumbbell sets only and are available from as light as a 10Kg or 15Kg dumbbell set up to a 40Kg or 45Kg dumbbell set or you can buy them as a barbell weights kit only or a combined barbell and dumbbell sets. A common size for a barbell and dumbbell weightlifting kit is 50Kg. Olympic Barbell sets as the title suggests, are usually only available as barbell sets and do not usually come with dumbbell bars. Common sizes of Olympic Barbell sets are 100Kg Olympic Barbell Kit, 140Kg Olympic Barbell Kit and 145Kg Olympic Barbell Kit.
A third category of Barbell sets is Studio Barbell kits. Often used in Body Pump classes at fitness centres although they are also very useful for home exercise. Often Studio barbell sets come with a bar size of 29mm as opposed to the standard 1 inch bar and discs that are sold in the UK. When buying a studio barbell kit the weight and the bar will be compatible, however if buying extra discs for your studio barbell set, it is essential to know the diameter of the barbell end so that you can purchase the correct weight plates.