I favour Body Power Rubber Encased Tri-Grip Olympic Plates and all my other plates are this brand. Unfortunately they don’t do any plates smaller than 1.25kg. I wanted some smaller plates, so after a bit of searching I ended up with BodyRip 0.5kg Micro-Weight Plates.
So why do you need micro-weight plates anyway?
Well, the key to gaining strength is to use progressive resistance. That simply means that once you achieve the required number of reps with a particular weight you need to increase the weight you’re using.
To begin with, you might find you can fairly easily increase the weight by 2.5kg, which would be the minimum possible increase on a barbell if your smallest weight plates are 1.25kg (as they are with most weight sets). But as you get stronger there is a point where adding 2.5kg each time becomes increasingly difficult.
You’d notice it first on things like the bench press, shoulder press and isolation exercises like curls or triceps extensions. You might be able to continue increasing by 2.5kg on the bigger compounds – essentially squats and deadlifts – but you’ll probably stall at a 2.5k increase on other exercises.
When you do stall, 0.5kg micro-weight plates can help you continue progressing because you can now increase the weight by 1kg or 2kg instead of 2.5kg.
I would thusly recommend that every gym – home or commercial – should have some micro-weight plates. You’re probably going to want four plates so you can use them on dumbbells too.
These BodyRip plates are fine for the job. I weighed all four of them on a set of electronic kitchen scales and they came in between 504g and 529g, which means they’re accurate to within 0.8-5.8% and you’d hardly notice that sort of difference.
They are of reasonable quality although they’re not up to the quality of my Body Power plates. At £12.99 for four of them it’s hard to complain though. It’s a fairly inexpensive way to enhance your weight training kit.