After moving house in early 2016 and getting my home gym organised, I needed some Olympic weight plates. The ones I settled on were Body Power Rubber Encased Tri-Grip Olympic Plates.
I wanted rubber encased plates to keep the noise down. I live in a small block of flats in an old building and, whilst the walls are pretty thick, I wanted to make sure I disturb my neighbours as little as possible.
I never intentionally drop the weights and rarely do so accidentally, but I wanted to be covered just in case.
The rubber casing protects the weights too of course. I’ll grant you it is fairly difficult to actually break a weight plate but I have seen a few with chunks out of them over the years.
These Body Power plates also have three roughly triangular holes in them to allow you to get your hands in and lift them about more easily. They call this “tri-grip” and it works very well, particularly with heavy plates. It just makes loading and unloading the bar that bit easier.
There are disadvantages to these sorts of plates though. The fact that they’re encased in rubber and have holes cut out of them for the tri-grip means that they’re a bit thicker and have a larger diameter than other plates that don’t have these features. This meants you won’t fit quite so many on a barbell or dumbbell.
I’ve never found this a particular issue with barbells (I have plenty 20kg and 25kg plates) but the 10kg plates are a little unweildy with dumbbells because of their diameter. A 10kg plate that isn’t rubber encased or tri-grip would have a smaller diameter, making them more comfortable for dumbbell use. Yes, you can use a 10kg plate with dumbbells but it’s not particularly comfortable. I’d say, realistically, you want to make sure you get plenty 5kg plates for dumbbell work.
They’re fairly accurate to their claimed weight too. Having weighed a few of them at random, the worst I found was one that was 4% off (which is 0.8kg on a 20kg plate or 0.2kg on a 5kg plate) but most were spot on. When you bear in mind that I weighed these on bathroom scales, which are probably prone to a little error themselves, I’d say the Body Power plates are fairly accurate.
If you’re just starting out with weight training and building up a set of plates from scratch, I’d recommend:
- 4 x 1.25kg
- 4 x 2.5kg
- 4 x 5kg
I’m recommending four of each of these to accommodate dumbbell work. When your strength progresses, I’d recommend another 4 x 5kg too. Then:
- 2 x 10kg
- 2 x 15kg
- 2 x 20 kg
That’s just for starters. If you can afford it, you can kit out lots of weight plates in advance but, if not, you can just add to your plates as your strength progresses (they do 25kg plates too).
I think these weight plates look pretty neat and they’re tough enough to last a lifetime. The slight awkwardness of the large plates with dumbbells loses them half a point but otherwise I rate them highly.