How to choose the between Olympic and Standard plates and bars?

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How to choose the between Olympic and Standard plates and bars?

When it comes to weightlifting, choosing the right sort of equipment is the first step towards ensuring that you will reach your goals and get the most out of your equipment.
It can be difficult to choose between Standard and Olympic weight plates and bars wether you're a first time buyer or someone who already owns them.

Olympic ones tend to be less disruptive whilst lifting and more adaptable, whilst standard ones are often the cheaper alternative.

So, how to choose the best plates or bars?

What's the difference between Olympic and Standard bars and weight plates?

There are two types of bars and weight plates, one is called Olympic and has a set size of 2 inches in diameter (where the hole in the middle of the plate is 50mm in diameter). All the Olympic size weight plates and barbells have this diameter.

Things get a bit more complicated when it comes to the so-called Standard size plates and bars. Standard sizes weight plates and bars may have three types of diameter: 25mm, 28mm and 30mm. 25mm diameter is common in the US and UK and is also referred to as Standard 1 inch diameter. In addition, another very common UK and European weight plate and bar size is 30mm (1.18 inches).

Here at Gymzey, we stock products made or designed in Europe so all of the weight plates, barbells and bars we're selling are 30mm (1.18") in diameter.

How to choose the right weight plates?

If you already have barbells or dumbbell bars but aren't sure what size of plates you need, please measure the end diameter of your bar.

If it's your first time buying weight plates or bars you need to decide what type of equipment suits you the best. Since Olympic plates have a 2 inch hole they are generally slightly larger than standard ones of the same weight.

So, for an at home use or other non professional lifting Standard plates seem like better choice because they tend to be cheaper. In addition, they often come in smaller sizes, are thinner and thus, perfect for creating your custom dumbbells set.
Rubber-Coated Standard 30mm Weight Plates - 2 x 1kg Cast Iron 30mm (1.18") Standard Weight Plates 2 x 2.5kg

While Standard plates can't be used on Olympic bars, Olympic plates can easily be used on standard bars with the help of rather inexpensive adaptors.

Another advantage of Olympic weight plates is that they commonly come with grips and can be used as weights in any type of exercise that might require kettlebells or dumbbells. Most Standard plates don't come with grips.

How to choose the right bar or barbell?

Olympic bars are twice as thick as Standard ones, which means that it takes a lot more weight for them to start to bend. Although it should be noted that any high-quality bar always removes to its original shape once the plates have been removed, still, a bending bar can create unwanted motion and make heavier lifts more difficult.

Standard bars are much lighter in comparison to Olympic. They're perfect if you’re starting out, or if you don’t plan to train too heavy.

If you're planning to weight lift at competition level, you should opt for Olympic bars and weights, as these are the only ones that are accepted in competitions. Almost everyone who's interested in lifting on a competitive level, trains exclusively with Olympic bars and weight plates.

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