When building up your home gym, sooner or later you will most likely come to a point where you need to choose between Olympic weights or Standard weights. That’s why we decided to make this article and tell you everything you need to know about Olympic Weights vs Standard Weights and making the right choice for your home gym.
Things to Consider
Standard weights, often found in home gyms, are ideal for many people. They are for anyone who isn’t looking for massive gains as part of their body building goals. Olympic weights, on the other hand, offer a higher weight capacity and are therefore ideal for those who have progressed beyond the capabilities of standard weights.
The differences between Olympic and Standard Weights
Standard Weight Lifting bars are one inch (25mm) in diameter on the ends and the middle shaft. They are made to take standard weight plates, which have a 1”/25mm diameter hole. This means they fit snugly and will not wobble about. A standard bar will typically have a limited weight capacity.
Olympic Bars, on the other hand, are one and 31/32 inches (50mm) in diameter and while the ends of an Olympic Bar are 2 inches in diameter (50 mm), the center portion of an Olympic Bar can range from 28mm to 32mm or one and a quarter inches. They can only take Olympic Weight Plates, made with 2-inch diameter holes.
There are also specially made one-inch (25mm) bars, made for women.
What you should never do is mix and match, for example, buy standard weights and Olympic plates, or the other way around, because the weight plates won’t fit the bars.
Advantages and disadvantages of Standard Weights
If you can’t decide which weights to go for, consider the advantages and disadvantages of both of these weights.
Standard bars tend to be cheaper, and understandably given their lower maximum weight capacity. However, standard weights will start flexing badly around 200 pounds. They are likely to bend permanently with heavier loads.
If you are looking to get started in the gym, don’t have a big budget and aren’t planning on pushing really heavy weights any time soon, a standard weight set can be a great option. This will give you a chance to save up while you still don’t require the extra heavy weights, and then splash out on something that you really want once you meet your goals.
Advantages and disadvantages of Olympic Weights
Olympic Bars can withstand a maximum weight load of 750kg which is impressive. And even though they may bend under a heavy load, they will return to straight position - this is due to the quality of the steel used in the bar that determines how well a bar maintains its shape.
Also, Olympic bars are far more stable than standard bars when loading weights. This is due to their added thickness, which basically makes plate loading far safer and convenient.
Additionally, Olympic bars are heavier and thicker on the ends, which makes them far more stable than standard Bars.
Tipping over an Olympic Bar is much more difficult when the bar is racked and you are loading heavy plates, particularly one-side at a time, which is a necessity when lifting alone. You can easily add one or even two Olympic Plates without the bar tipping.
This can’t be done with standard plates without tipping over the bar (one plate/side, added evenly is highly recommended for both types of weights).
Olympic weight plates are available in heavier sizes, ranging from 1.25kg, right up to 50kg.
Many Olympic weights are precision-tested. What this means is that the accuracy of weight is very close. While the accuracy of standard plates, especially cheaper ones, can fluctuate.
Olympic bars usually have revolving ends, also known as “sleeves”. They are made to reduce torque on the bar in certain lifts where the bar needs to rotate quickly. This allows for a smoother lift so the bar can spin inside the weight, which helps reduce strain and injury.
Olympic plates come in a wide variety of options. Let’s take rubber or urethane coated plates as and example - these types of plates can prevent rust, noise and chipping.
Olympic Bumper Plates are made with solid rubber, all the same diameter, so they can be dropped from considerable height, without causing damage to flooring. Grip plates are made with built-in handles for easier and safer movement.
The Armortech Standard Rubber Coated Plate, designed for both professional or home use, is a must for any gym. With a wide rim for ease of carry, the Armortech standard Rubber Coated 3 Holes Weight Plate are built of the finest materials and allow you to just focus on adding more to your bar. The Tri Grip plates are designed to make lifting and loading weights onto bars easier. The rubber coating provides a more aesthetic finish than plain or painted cast iron finishes. The rubber coating also protects against rust and reduces noise of discs "clanking" against each other - rubber also protects floor coverings.
- Ergonomically designed - Tri-Grip Handles for extra grip
- Plates are sold as singles
- For use with all 28mm Standard bars
- Weights perfect for all Bars with a 28mm Diameter
- Embossed with KG’s on sides
- Available in sizes 2.5kg, 5kg, 10kg, 20kg, 25kg
- One-piece forged construction
- Rubber coating prevents rusting of plates
- Upper body strength
Additionally, with these weights you can purchase two types of bars:
7ft standard bar
The 7 foot (220cm) Standard Barbell is made from a one-piece forged construction for durability and effective design. Chrome construction, this 7ft Standard Bar is a great addition to a home gym, or anyone looking to start training at home. The barbell is suitable for most lifts, just add weight plates and you have a variety of exercises.
This Standard Barbell is 7 foot in length and weights 10kg in total. The barbell also comes with competition style knurling and 28mm grip diameter. The bar accepts standard weight plates of 28mm.
6ft Standard Bar
The 6 foot (180cm) Standard Barbell is made from a one-piece forged construction for durability and effective design. Chrome construction, this 6ft Standard Bar is a great addition to a home gym, or anyone looking to start training at home. The barbell is suitable for most lifts, just add weight plates and you have a variety of exercises.
This Standard Barbell is 6 foot in length and weights 7kg in total. The barbell also comes with competition style knurling and 28mm grip diameter. The bar accepts standard 28mm weight plates.
The Armortech Olympic Rubber Coated Plateis designed for both professional or home use. With a wide rim for ease of carry, the Amortech Olympic Rubber Coated 3 Holes Weight Plate are built of the finest materials and allow you to just focus on adding more to your bar. The Tri Grip plates are designed to make lifting and loading weights onto bars easier. The rubber coating provides a more aesthetic finish than plain or painted cast iron finishes. The rubber coating also protects against rust and reduces noise of discs "clanking" against each other - rubber also protects floor coverings.
- Ergonomically designed.
- Tri-Grip Handles.
- Ergonomically designed.
- For use with all Olympic bars and plate loaded gyms and single station machines.
- Weights perfect for all Bars with a 50mm Diameter.
- Embossed with KG’s
- Available in sizes 1.25kg, 2.5kg, 5kg, 10kg, 20kg, 25kg.
- One-piece forged construction -The rubber coating on the plates protects both the plate and your floor from accidental dropping as well as adding extra grip when handling for safety.
- Strength building
Also, consider buying Armortech 6ft Olympic Weight Lifting Barbell, which features 6ft Oly Bar - 50mm sleeve 28mm shaft.
If you’re just starting out weightlifting, consider starting with standard weights and bars. In the beginning the standard equipment will be enough, since it is important to build your strength over time.
Using heavy weights right at the start of your weight lifting journey could result in injury. If you want to lift for a long time and continually build power, you will likely need to upgrade to Olympic.
And if you are trying to equip your gym, and the money is not a problem, we recommend you go for both, and let your clients decide what suits them best.
Ultimately, we gave you the advantages of both of these weights, what comes next is up to you.