Most of us go to the gym and use the equipment without ever wondering how the objects we frequently use were created. Our only focus remains on the fitness goals and what we need to do. However, if you are really interested in knowing the history then here is a little guide on weight plates.
Weight plates are a type of equipment that is mostly used to add resistance to adjustable barbells and dumbbells. This flat and heavy object is used in combination with barbells or dumbbells to produce a bar with a desired total weight for the purpose of physical exercise. Depending on the purpose of the weight and the cost, weight plates vary in the material they are made of. Generally, weight plates are made of steel, cast iron, or sometimes cement-filled plastic. Additionally, they can be round or octagonal with a central hole to fit either standard or Olympic barbells. Due to this, there is a great variation in the available sizes and styles. Let’s dive into the details of the material used in the making of different weight plates.
Weight Plates Categories
There are general categories of weight plates that differ to some extent in the exercises being performed with them. Let’s find out more about these weight plates
Standard Weight Plates
Standard plates are commonly round in shape, made of cast iron and occasionally of steel with a soft rubber coating. Cast iron is shaped by pouring molten iron into the sand in order to shape it. It is further cool down to harden. Mostly cast iron is preferred for it because of its low melting point. It means that it requires less heating in comparison with other iron alloys to turn it into liquid. After this, weight plates are painted, and preferably paint baked on in an oven is used for painting plates. These plates have a small hole of approximately one inch which offers great space to fit smaller commercial barbells or home gym equipment. This weight plate equipment is comparatively lighter and more feasible to handle than Olympic-sized barbells. Moreover, it is considered a good choice for invoice lifters.
Milled Weight Plates
Milled weight plates are made of cast iron (same as mentioned above) but follow a little larger dimensions than required. The second step involves the machine grinding them for edges and faces ultimately bringing the dimensions and weight into spec. Molds are remade when castings are done causing inconsistencies between the runs. However, the milling process makes sure that you get the same shape and size plate despite inconsistencies in the mold.
Milling the plate also removes the imperfections on the surface of the weight plate while grinding out all the undesirable seams. This is necessary otherwise you will see seams on cast iron products that are not milled. It is crucial for the top half of the mold to close over the bottom to contain the molten iron allowing the plates to be removed once solidified. So having done the milling process, weight plates can be reasonably guaranteed to be within 1% (sometimes 2%) of the marked weight.
Olympic weight plates are for serious lifters. Around the world Olympians, power lifters, bodybuilders and sportsmen use Olympic weights in order to add strength and mass as they achieve their fitness goals. From the start to the current day, Olympic weights have developed into carefully built and designed beautifully. You can also perform weight lifting using them at optimum function.
These plates are also called “bumper plates” initially used to weight the bars to help measure the strength. These were initially wide-rimmed and made of solid cast iron. However, when dropped (intentionally or unintentionally) these plates tended to cause damage to the floor due to which they were eventually replaced with steel plates covered in rubber, and it’s much like they are today. You must be very careful while holding them and general wear and tear they may cause.
For their use, you need a complete set of Olympic weights including Olympic plates, an Olympic bar, and a set of Olympic collars for secure lifting. Olympic plates are bigger and heavier than the standard plates having a 2-inch diameter hole in the center of the weight plate. The Olympic bar is 2 inches in diameter (double the size of a regular bar) and weighs 44lbs. It can be extremely heavy adding to maximum strength and muscle growth. So, the Olympic bar and Olympic plate both are made to work around one another to do their job correctly. These plates are made of the best quality material and calibration for proper rotation.
Moreover, the Olympic weight system helps perfectly for a progressive session of resistance training carrying numerous plates of different weights. You need to worry about your age or condition, if you have developed fitness and improved power levels you can add plates to the bar to keep up with the journey. You can do it with standard weight plates doing bench press or bicep curls. However, Olympic weights permit you to be creative. For example, if you don’t really feel like training you can simply take a warm-up weight and clean and press it for ten. Do it by adding some weight and do five. If you are comfortable then add some more and do three. Keep adding the little plates and perform as many singles as you can until you are done.
As we delve deeper into the weight plates we get to know that only this single gym equipment lets you do your favorite exercises. Consequently, you can have muscle strength, a strong core, and a better balance. Next time you will be lifting weight plates you will feel more knowledgeable as we have discussed the basics of weight plates and the material they are made of. Undoubtedly a reasonably calm and knowledgeable mind is very crucial to lift and hoist the large loads from the floor to overhead.