Having a bench and barbell at home gives you the opportunity to perform a wide range of exercises in order to get in shape. The barbell is the most versatile piece of gym equipment which you can use to cover any muscle group in your body. As your strength increases, you can add more weight plates to make things more difficult, and to keep on growing. Many people who are looking to buy weights are confused as to whether they should get standard or Olympic weights.
While novice lifters wouldn’t mind getting standard weights, the more experienced lifters know for a fact that Olympic weights are the way to go. Standard weights are cheaper, which is the main reason a lot of people still purchase them. In every other regard, Olympic weights outperform standard ones by a large margin. Here’s what makes Olympic weights the suggested type of weights.
The hole size is the easiest way to differentiate standard weight plates from Olympic weight plates. Olympic ones have a larger hole for the barbell to pass through, making them slightly larger than standard weights of the same weight. If you want to use Olympic plates on standard bars, you’ll probably have to invest in adapters as well, which are quite inexpensive.
Olympic bars are much stronger than standard ones, allowing you to add more Olympic weight plates without fearing that the bar would break or bend. Olympic bars are typically twice as thick as standard bars, which is why the hole size on Olympic plates is larger. Depending on the manufacturer, Olympic bars are safety rated anywhere between 450 to 700kg.
Olympic bars typically feature revolving ends which revolve independently on the bar. This reduces torque during lifts like curls and snatches when the weights can spin. Standard bars that don’t have this feature are much more susceptible to warping over time.
Some types of Olympic plates have convenient grip-style handles built into the weight. This makes them easier to store and move around, and it allows you to conveniently use them for kettlebell and dumbbell-like exercises. Most standard plates don’t have this feature.
If you intend to compete in the future, then getting Olympic weights should be a no-brainer. Competitions use Olympic weights exclusively, so getting used to them is a great idea if you want to perform well in the competition.