Buying the right Olympic Plates or Plate Package is not as easy as it looks. Let's face it whether you spend $99.00 or $1599.00 on an Olympic weightlifting plate set, you want to obtain the best combination of quality, price and functionality. So do you prioritize quality or price or functionality in the decision process? The smart answer is YES to all three factors. Let's begin by looking at a quick overview and understanding what the choices and options are in Weight Plates.
Weight Plate History
For decades a weight plate was a weight plate. Then starting in the 1960's physical fitness and free weight training exploded onto the scene and Olympic plates were the tool of choice. As training became more specific and specialized, innovation created different types of Olympic weight plates for better performance in each category. And the categories grew to offer a plethora of choices. In the early 1990's Ironcompany was the first online company to provide ease and clarity to the purchasing process with the absolute best deals, packages and selections.
Iron Olympic Plates
Iron Olympic Plates are the beginning point of weightlifting plates. These are time tested and cost effective. Cast iron weightlifting plates are available in many styles such as slim line, deep dish, black or grey color, machined/non-machined accuracy.
These are available in two basic patterns:
- Standard old school barbell plates
- Gripping plates with handles
The Ivanko Premium OM Olympic Machined Barbell Plates are a crowd favorite in the standard Olympic plates for obvious reasons such as smooth finish, machined accuracy and Ivanko OM plates are available with a 1.25 LB size. Plus Ironcompany can put together a custom plate package for your requirements.
In the Grip plate category, Ironcompany offers eight options for your consideration. Grip plates offer control and safety which is a desirable feature in a commercial setting. The top three sellers are the Iron Grip Multi-Sided American Made Weight Plates, the Ivanko Barbell E-Z Lift Iron Olympic Plates with holes and the Ivanko E-Z Lift Iron Olympic Plates with Slotted Grips.
Rubber Olympic Plates and Packages
Rubber-encased Olympic plates are very popular as the rubber-encasing abates the "clanging" noise of iron plates and protects your equipment and racks.
Ironcompany offers twelve different models of Rubber Olympic Plates.
One of the common misconceptions is that rubber-encased Olympic plates can be used in ballistic type movement where plates are dropped. While Rubber Encased Barbell plates are impact resistant, they should not be used in this manner as Solid Rubber Bumper plates are the appropriate plate.
The vast majority of rubber plates are Rubber Grip plates and once you've used grip plates, you understand the popularity. There is an ongoing debate regarding which grip handle configuration is superior. Ironcompany decided to offer it all and let the client decide as we offer the dual grip, tri-grip, quad-grip or multiple-grip. Same with plate color as Ironcompany offers both black and colored plates.
One of the most difficult aspects is deciding on how many pounds of plates and what denominations. We understand this at Ironcompany and on every model, we have provided a "drop down" menu that provides options such as pairs of any size and typical configurations such as 255 lb. set, 630 lb. set, or 1260 lb. set. Ironcompany developed the plate package concept 20 years ago to bring a sense of order to the process. And we're poised to provide a custom quote as needed. Our position is that we work for you.
Solid Rubber Bumper Plate sets
Bumper plates are solid rubber weight plates that are used primarily in Olympic lifting where the plates are dropped. Solid Rubber Bumper Plates will be 17.7" in diameter to evenly distribute the impact when dropped. And while all bumper plate diameters are the same, the plate thickness varies accordingly.
Ironcompany has several manufacturers that provide rubber bumper plates with a metal core where the advantage is a slimmer profile plate such as the Ivanko Barbell IWF Spec Calibrated Bumper Plates.
Rubber Bumper Plates come is in pounds and kilogram sizes with most common sizes being 10 lb., 15 lb., 25 lb., 35 lb. and 45 lb.. Plus if needed 5 lb. and 55 lb. Solid Rubber Bumper Plates are available. Bumper plates are constructed from either crumb rubber or virgin rubber. Crumb rubber is clearly the best seller with virgin rubber being used in colored Bumper plates to achieve a superior solid color for easier size identification.
Ironcompany offers thirteen different models of Rubber Bumper plates.
Each model features several different plate configurations for your consideration.
Top seller for 2015 and 2016 are the USA Made Recycled Crumb Rubber Bumper plate Sets (ICWC-USA). Being American manufactured, these are a solid favorite of military and GSA buyers. Plus their available in every plate configuration that you can imagine. And bulk discounts are available. Also in the "BLACK" color, the Economy Priced Solid Rubber Black Bumper Plates is often a selected choice among buyers.
Colored Bumper Plate buyers are not limited to one or two manufacturers as Ironcompany has eight different models to provide a wide-ranging offering. Here again you can apply the quality/ price/functionality factor in your decision making process.
Urethane Olympic Plate packages
Urethane encased Olympic plates are the highest price upon initial glance. From a performance standpoint, urethane coating is impact resistant and long lasting which is a necessity in heavy use environments where longevity is critical with regard to both aesthetics and functionality. When you factor cost vs. the longevity, Urethane Olympic Plates will always be the consensus choice. That's why the US government and commercial fitness facilities are almost always equipped with Urethane-coated Barbell Plates. Another advantage of Urethane weightlifting plates is the option of customization with your logo. Build client loyalty and your brand at the same time. Help you club or organization stand out from everyone else.
Ironcompany has a strong lineup of urethane plates for your choosing. History has shown that clients do their homework and go with proven high quality products such as the Ivanko OUEZ Premium Urethane Olympic plate and the IRON COMPANY Urethane Olympic Plates with Grips.
Specialty Olympic Plates
Specialty Olympic Plates are divided into three categories:
- Calibrated plates
- Technique plates
- Fractional plates
Ironcompany is proud to offer the Ivanko CBPP Olympic Calibrated Powerlifting Plates that are within 10 grams accuracy and IPF approved. This is a serious tool for customers that are dedicated and disciplined in the powerlifting culture.
Technique plates are the same diameter as 45-LB Olympic plate (17.7" diameter) but weigh only 5 lb. and 15 lb. or the KG equivalent. Technique plates, or "training plates", are constructed from recycled plastic from milk jugs and plastic bottles. Technique plates are used to build proper form and practice in ballistic type movements such as "power cleans" and Olympic lifts.
Fractional weight plates are sort of self-explanatory. When tiny adjustments or micro-loading is required, the fractional plate comes into service. Ironcompany has three options for your selection and the smallest is 3/4 LB. increments and the largest fractional plate is 1-LB.
So you have the facts and believe it or not, this has only scratched the surface. When you need more information, guidance and/or recommendation or just someone to help, reach out to Ironcompany. And learn why we are considered fitness experts.
About the Author
John Sisk is a former US Marine and is passionate about helping others achieve success in the arena of fitness. As a fitness industry veteran of over 40-years, John has the experience, product knowledge, and perspective that are second to none. John was founder and president of Legend Fitness for 29 years before teaming up with IRON COMPANY in 2006. With over 147 manufacturing partners, John has the right tools, experience, and expertise to ensure you get the best products for your fitness application, whether it is for military, commercial, or personal use. This is more than a job; it is a lifetime commitment to helping people. When not at IRON COMPANY, John can be found leading a Bible Study in the inner city or hiking the Appalachian Trail. Contact John here.