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The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Weight Plates: Types, Sizes, and Uses

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Weight Plates: Types, Sizes, and Uses

Want to get started with weightlifting? But not sure how to begin? It can be a daunting task, as many sellers are offering various types and sizes of weight plates.  Fortunately, our guide is here to offer you comprehensive information and helpful advice on making a good buying decision.

If you are not sure about the right weight plates to meet your needs, continue reading to help you make a wise decision.

Types of Weight Plates

Here are some common types of weight plates you’ll come across. Understand them and then decide which ones are right for you. 

Standard-sized cast iron plates

These are basic and affordable options with good stability. These standard-sized cast iron grip plates enable you to hold the weight securely while lifting.

Rubber grip plates

These plates offer more traction to ensure they don’t slide while lifting.

Urethane bumper plates

These are noise-free plates even when dropped. Plus, these are intended to last longer compared to rubber options. 

12-sided plates

They provide better stability when lifting. Meanwhile, 6-shooter plates are easier to move or store with handles molded into either side.

Olympic-sized iron plates

They come with a larger diameter to easily fit Olympic bars more conveniently than standard ones.

Change plates

Thanks to these plates, you can conveniently add small weights between reps with accuracy. Plus, fraction plates are useful for tightening muscles when you stretch or lift them.

Studio plates

These are smaller and thinner, to ensure there’s no unwanted noise.

Wagon wheel plates

It consists of two round pieces linked with spokes for a distinct design with an elegant visual appeal.

Rubber bumper plates

They are impact-resistant plates for safe lifting while providing more cushioning compared to other plates.

Crumb bumper plates

These plates consist of rubber with tiny particles within the equipment for extra durability. Meanwhile, the technique bumper plates boast thicker edges for aiding form at the time of Olympic lifts.

Competition bumper plates

It appears like standard plates but comes with better accuracy ratings. So, they are best for professional weightlifters.

Uses of Weight Plates

The weight plates are very versatile fitness tools, which are useful for different types of exercises. Hence, they can help you boost your endurance, strength, and overall fitness. You can use these circular discs with different weights for:

  • Strength Training:

The weight plates are great for building strength and muscles. You can load them on barbells or dumbbells for exercises, such as deadlifts, squats, and bench presses.

  • Functional Fitness:

Weight plates are good for functional movements, replicating real-life activities. These are great for enhancing balance, stability, and coordination. Hence, they make a valuable tool for exercises, like Turkish get-ups or overhead plate carries.

  • Cardio Workouts:

You may add weight plates to your cardio exercises as well to intensify the workout session with more resistance. It’s good for exercises, such as step-ups, lunges, or plate twists. This increases the calorie burn and heart rate. 

  • Rehabilitation:

The lighter weight plates are useful in rehabilitation and therapy sessions for slowly rebuilding strength after injuries. This offers a safe and better resistance.

  • Core Workouts:

When you place weight plates on your abdomen during certain exercises, it can challenge your core muscles. It’s great for exercises like plate crunches or Russian twists to engage your midsection.

Sizes of Weight Plates

The standard weight plates usually weigh ranging from 2.75 pounds to 55 pounds. However, you can also find plates with 100 pounds of weight. 

In many gyms, you may come across barbells with weight plates of standard 45 pounds each. Considering the weight of the barbell to be around 45 pounds, it means with one plate of 45 pounds on each side, you’d lift a total of 135 pounds.

Given below is the calculation of your lifts today with 45-pound barbell and 45-pound weight plates:

  • One plate on each side: 135 pounds
  • Two plates on each side: 225 pounds
  • Three plates on each side: 315 pounds
  • Four plates on each side: 405 pounds

It means if anyone says they listed “one plate bench,” they are indicating that they lifted a bar with one 45-pound plate on either side with a total of 135 pounds.


When beginning your weightlifting journey, it’s vital to buy the right weight plates for your requirements. It is important to choose the right fitness equipment in Melbourne, whether you are buying from a website or in-store. Lastly, make sure to use your plates safely with proper cleaning, oiling, and storage. Hence, your equipment can last a long duration.
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