Updated: Nov 23
The beginner in the area of fitness is faced with so many choices and so much information. (Bro Science) that most of the time leads to confusion, frustration, injury as well as them never making progress and end up quitting altogether. I am starting a series of articles here, that I will hope to get a beginner on track and save them from countless hours and overwhelming confusion. I am not an EXPERT, and I am relaying my specific experiences.
The first and foremost piece of solid advice I cannot emphasize enough is to always a learner, always evaluate, and be willing to adjust as you go. If something does not work, don't do it, simply.
The first area I am going to cover is a basic understanding of the equipment you will be using, we will start with one of the most recognized pieces of equipment, the barbell.
Olympic Bars have surpassed standard bars that were commonly used in most weightlifting facilities. While Olympic bars got their name from being primarily used for Olympic weightlifting, they are now increasingly seen in sports centers, whether commercial gyms or high-performance facilities. Due to their competitive use, these bars have the same length and weight in their male and female versions. The “men’s bars” are slightly longer and heavier, able to handle more weight than the “women’s bars”. The terms “male” and “female” refer to the bars used in competition based on the athlete’s gender.
Standard bars, on the other hand, refer to all non-Olympic bars. They can be easily distinguished by their size and shape, as a standard bar usually has the same diameter throughout the grip area and the ends where the weight plates are loaded. In Olympic bars, however, there is a significant difference between the middle grip area and the ends where the weight plates are added.
Standard Barbell Plates and Olympic Plates are two common types of weight plates used in strength training. Here are the key differences between them:
Standard Barbell Plates have a 1-inch diameter hole, which fits standard or regular barbells with a 1-inch sleeve diameter.
Olympic Plates have a 2-inch diameter hole, designed to fit Olympic barbells with a 2-inch sleeve diameter.
Olympic Plates are typically more accurate in weight compared to Standard Plates. Olympic plates often have a weight tolerance of +/- 2% or less, while standard plates may have a slightly higher weight tolerance.
Size and Diameter:
Olympic Plates tend to be larger in diameter and thickness. A 45-pound Olympic plate is larger than its 45-pound standard counterpart.
Standard Plates are more compact and can be a good option for those with limited storage space.
Standard Plates are only compatible with standard barbells, limiting the types of exercises and weight variations you can use.
Olympic Plates are versatile and can be used with Olympic barbells, which are standard in most gyms. They also allow for a wider range of exercise options.
Olympic Plates are often made to a higher standard and are more durable. They are designed to withstand the rigors of Olympic lifting and can handle drops from overhead lifts.
Standard Plates may not be as robust and are more suitable for less intense lifting activities.
Standard Plates are generally more affordable than Olympic Plates, making them a cost-effective choice for beginners or those with budget constraints.
Olympic Plates are typically more expensive due to their higher quality and precision.
In summary, the choice between Standard Barbell Plates and Olympic Plates depends on your specific needs and goals. If you have an Olympic barbell and engage in serious weightlifting, Olympic Plates are the better option. However, if you're on a budget or have a standard barbell, Standard Plates may suffice for basic strength training exercises.