Olympic Barbell Set Buying Guide

Olympic Barbell Set Buying Guide

My start into weightlifting began with an inauspicious gift of a 110 lb. vinyl weight set on Christmas when I was a young teenager. I had hit the jackpot and the possibilities were endless. It's surprising how many others can relate to this type of introduction.

Weight sets have always been a core component in training, and today the options and complexities are vast. Let Ironcompany guide you through the selection process of our comprehensive array of Olympic Barbell Sets.

Common denominators that any Olympic weightlifting set will have are:

  • Olympic bar that is rated at a minimum of 500 lbs. or greater
  • Pair of Olympic spring collars
  • Olympic plates of 45 lb., 35 lb., 25 lb., 10 lb., 5 lb., & 2 1/2 lb. configurations

Ironcompany has always been on the leading edge of innovation. Back in the 1990s, Ironcompany introduced the 255 lb., 630 lb., and 1,260 lb. barbell plate packages for those that wanted to customize their barbell sets with different types and brands of Olympic bars and Olympic collars. These Olympic plate package configurations have become the "standard" in the industry for Old School Standard Olympic plates to American Made Olympic grip plates with grip handles.

Old School Weightlifting Sets

Old School Barbell Weightlifting Sets

The Old School Olympic Set is the most familiar because it's been around a long time and is still a crowd favorite. You'll still see them in many home gyms, garage gyms, school weight rooms and even some commercial gyms. It is a solid performer that comes complete with Olympic Plates, an Olympic Bar, and Olympic collars. Plus, it's available in 300 lb., 390 lb., 480 lb., and 570 lb. configurations. You choose the Olympic plate color of gray or black. The Old School set is a great value as the Olympic Plates are "solid" iron and will last for years, if not decades. Additionally, there is something intangible about the Old School Barbell Set that makes you view it as an old friend.

Olympic Grip Plate Barbell Sets

Olympic Barbell Plates with Gripping Handles

Progress marches forward, and this is especially true with weightlifting plate sets.

Olympic weight sets with grip-style plates enhance the user experience with an ease of use. Grip plates allow an extra measure of safety. Ironcompany features multiple manufacturers and styles, which allows you to choose between three, four, and more grips per plate. Because liability is reduced during loading and offloading, Olympic grip plates are the norm in commercial fitness facilities.

Rubber-Encased Weight Plate Set

Olympic Weight Set with Rubber Grip Plates

Another advancement with barbell sets is the Rubber-Encased Olympic Barbell Sets. Rubber encasing has three distinct advantages:

  • eliminates the noise from Olympic plates being used
  • protects equipment, floors, and racks
  • maintains the aesthetic appearance of the plates for years

Rubber-encased Olympic Sets are the biggest seller by far in commercial settings.

EZ -Lift Weight Lifting Sets

Ivanko EZ-Lift Olympic Barbell Set

For the connoisseur, the Ivanko 310 lb. Olympic Barbell Set is the pinnacle of Olympic weight sets. Simply put, this weightlifting set is the "best of the best." The bright and vibrant colors identify the rubber-encased Olympic plates by weight. Another feature of the Ivanko barbell plates is the 7-hole plate pattern that makes grabbing and carrying them almost effortless. Next, the Competition Bar, Power Bar, and Stainless Steel Bar are all great Olympic bar options to choose from based on your particular application. All of these are a minimum 200,000-PSI strength, IPF approved, and made in the U.S.A. And holding it all together will be the Olympic Chrome Pressure Ring Spin Lock collars, which offer the best holding power in the industry.

York Bar dimensions

Bumper Plate Barbell Sets

Olympic Rubber Bumper Plate Barbell Sets

With the introduction of CrossFit, Olympic barbell sets that use solid rubber bumper plates have exploded in popularity. Today, bumper plate weightlifting sets are a common site in garage gyms, CrossFit boxes, sports performance centers and many other locations that incorporate Olympic style weightlifting into their training regimes. Olympic weight sets with bumper plates usually include a few key tools to enhance their functionality. First, a good weightlifting bar or Power bar that can withstand daily punishment in harsh commercial environments without falling apart is essential. Olympic barbell collars that remain securely locked to the bar when dropped is an important safety factor to the lifter as well as bystanders. And thick, solid rubber deadlifting mats are used to protect the bumper plate barbell set and sub-floor from damage caused by repetitive, heavy lifting. Bumper plate weightlifting sets can also be used with weightlifting rigs, half cages and power cages just like any other Olympic barbell set.

Urethane Encased Barbell Sets

Olympic Barbell Sets with Urethane Weight Plates

Any club owner quickly recognizes that the Olympic weight sets with urethane encased barbell plates are the pinnacle of all weightlifting sets. For the club or commercial gym owner, the advantages of urethane are loud and clear and include:

  • Longer lasting protection superior to any other coating means a longer lasting investment. Urethane will not crack or peel off and will perform flawlessly for many years.
  • No harsh odor like other weight plate coatings can provide.
  • Better accuracy through higher quality. Urethane weight plates are a high end product, often being manufactured in the United States, and are held to a higher standard then most other plate options. Weight tolerances that are +/- 2% are common.

Appropriate Purchase

At Ironcompany, we understand that helping people is what sets us apart from the competition. If you don't find an Olympic Set that fits your needs, let us know. We will be eager to put together any combination of plates, Olympic Bars, and collars that you will need.

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.