Have you been the proud owner of a beginner workout set? You know, those cute little sets with a plastic outside and filled with concrete. They work ok, but after a little abuse the plastic cracks and you start breaking out little bits of weight dust on the floor. Real power training requires high quality weight lifting plates to give you safety and adequate weight.
The best weight lifting plates all have one thing in common. They are designed to work on Olympic weight lifting bars, dumbbell bars, and power lifting equipment. They are not designed with those tiny little holes for putting on those little low end home starter kits.
If you are setting up a home gym you will need to make a hard decision. There are two styles of Olympic weight lifting plates which will work great. The standard set is solid metal. They can do serious damage to your floor. Even if you are working out on the concrete floor of your basement or garage the plates can easily take chips out of the concrete. You will drop them. You will at some point put the loaded bar down heavily, count on it.
The second style is virtually identical except they are coated in rubber. Sounds like an obvious choice for your home, but then you need to consider the extra cost of the coated plates, and the fact the rubber casing with wear off over time. Depending on how rough you are the rubber could last for many years, or only a few months.
An idea you may want to do for your rubber coated weights is to only buy a few. Get one set of your heaviest weights rubber coated. Think of it this way, if you have 35 pound plates which are going to be on the bar all the time and are rubber coated, and all your other plates are 25 and under, then the 35 pound plates hit the floor first. This can help you save a little money on buying your plates.
The next temptation when buying weight lifting plates is to focus on large plates. This is fine to a point, but make sure you have a wide selection of smaller plates. As you are training you want to be able to step up in small increments. You want 2.5 pound plates, 5 pound plates, 10 pound plates, and a variety of heavier plates. This allows you to make adjustments in 5 pound increments which is perfect.
As you are choosing your selection of plates keep dumbbells in mind. This requires you have a larger mix of lighter weight lifting plates. You will want 4 of each of the smallest weights so you can adjust and balance your dumbbells properly. Make sure to buy all your plates from a high quality supplier. Weight plates are affordable and buying cheap plates which can break should never be considered.