If you are planning to set up a home gym to focus on your weight training, then you need to invest in a good set of weight plates. These are the huge heavy disk-shaped plates you see on barbells and leg press machines, and you can use them to add more weight and intensity to your workouts.

It is easy to think that weight plates are all the same since they pretty much look the same. But they are not. If you start looking around the market, you’ll discover that they are available in various sizes and weights—and that some types of weight plates are more versatile than others. If you are serious at bulking up and building your muscle mass, it is incredibly important to know the different types of weight plates.

  • Olympic weight plates – This is the standard size of most weight plates and is used in most fitness studios. The diameter of the center hole is two inches. Weights range from 1.25kg to 50kg. This is perhaps the most versatile plate for commercial bars and gym equipment.
  • Standard weight plates – If Olympic weight plates are for weightlifting competitions, standard weight plates are for home gyms. It has a smaller 1-inch-diameter hole and will not fit Olympic bars.
  • Studio weight plates – This type of plate is the smallest, having only a 30mm-diameter center hole. It is easy to identify as it is often coated with brightly colored rubber with handles. These are available in different weights from 0.5kg to 25kg.

To buy the right weight plates, you must consider the type and intensity of weight lifting exercises that you do. As mentioned, Olympic weight plates are for bodybuilders and serious lifters. If you are only a novice or beginner, you might want to start with easier and smaller standard weight plates.

When buying weight plates online, make sure to read the specifications carefully. Read about the materials they are made of and the handle design because these factors will affect your workouts.