Adjusting weights and bumper plates on Olympic barbell in CrossFit weightlifting gym

How to choose the right barbell and weight plates for your home gym

 

Hello fitness friends! The big wide world of weights, bars and accessories can be overwhelming at times – especially if you are just starting out with your weightlifting or strength training journey. In this post, we take you through various types of barbells and weight plate sets so you can have all the information you need when making a purchase for your home gym.

Choosing the right barbell

A barbell is the foundation of your weightlifting and strength training equipment. Although barbells might seem like they’re indestructible pieces of weight training equipment, the quality amongst different barbells varies greatly. Especially when subject to missed lifts, cheap manufacturing and other usage flaws, barbells can get warped, rusted, and even break. Choosing the right barbell will safeguard you against these mishaps down the road.

The first basic factor you’ll want to consider is a men’s vs women’s bar – a distinction based on Olympic specifications. Other factors to consider are the material from which the bar is made, the barbell weight, the ‘whip’ (bounce) of the bar, the sleeves (how much spin the bar will have), and the load capacity.

Take a look at some of the Olympic-standard weightlifting bars AtomicMass offers:

AtomicMass 20kg Chrome Barbell

This Olympic bar is all you require for your intense workouts. If you’re a home user or for a commercial environment this bar will serve its purpose.

  • 2200 long x 28mm diameter shaft
  • Markings on the bar for power lifting and Olympic lifts
  • 680 kg rating (1500lb)
  • Chrome coating
  • 1.2mm knurling provides excellent grip without being to aggressive on the hands.
  • 4 x needle bearings provide an ultra-smooth spin.
  • End sleeves are 410 long and suitable only for Olympic plates. Sleeves are 50mm diameter.
  • Weights and accessories sold separately
  • Comes packed in heavy duty cardboard tube 220cm long x 8cm diameter.

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AtomicMass Women’s 15kg Black Oxide Barbell

This is a 15kg Women’s Barbell that comes with a black oxide finish and 25mm diameter shaft size.

  • 1000lb load rating
  • 2050mm total length
  • 1310mm shaft length between end sleeves
  • Quad needle bearings keep this bar spinning freely
  • Slick black oxide coating
  • 25mm diameter shaft
  • Dual ring markings for powerlifting and Olympic lifts
  • Packed in solid cardboard tube 2050mmlong x 80mm

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AtomicMass 20kg Black Oxide Barbell with Zinc Sleeves

This Olympic bar is all you require for your intense workouts. If you’re a home user or for a commercial environment this bar will serve its purpose.

  • 2200 long x 28mm diameter shaft
  • Markings on the bar for power lifting and Olympic lifts
  • 680 kg rating (1500lb)
  • Slick black zinc coating with zinc sleeves
  • 1.2mm knurling provides excellent grip without being to aggressive on the hands.
  • 4 x needle bearings provide an ultra-smooth spin.
  • End sleeves are 410 long and suitable only for Olympic plates. Sleeves are 50mm diameter.
  • Weights and accessories sold separately
  • Comes packed in heavy duty cardboard tube 220cm long x 8cm diameter.

View more

Choosing the right weight plates

Once you’ve chosen a good barbell suited to your current abilities and goals, you’ll want to invest in a set of weights. There are several factors to consider when shopping for weight plates:

  1. Safety – weight plates with thicker rubber will be safer. If you’re an experienced lifter, you can opt for weight plates that are less-safety focused, whereas if you’re a beginning lifter, the safety factor will weigh more heavily (see what we did there) in your purchasing decision.
  2. Compatibility – you’ll need to check that the weight plate set you’re considering is compatible with your current barbell
  3. Durability – weight plates are subject to cracking around the inner ring and even bending. Be sure to check that the manufacturer produces their plates with high quality materials.
  4. Bounce – be sure to check the manufacturer’s description of the weight plate bounce or perhaps read some reviews from previous customers. You want your weights to have a bit of bounce, but not so much that they come back and hit you in the face!

There are heaps of different kinds of weight plates on the market and sometimes it can be hard to choose. Let’s take a look at the basic types of weight plates…

Standard bumper plates

Also known simply as ‘bumpers’, these bumper plates are made of dense rubber which gives them a lot of bounce when dropped after a lift. The thick rubber on these bumper plates allows them to be safely loaded and dropped without causing injury or damage to the plates, lifting platform or the gym flooring. Bumper plates are always a great option for home gyms because they are safer and quiet than other weight plates.

Coloured/stripe bumper plates

Coloured and coloured strip bumper plates are slightly thicker compared to competition plates, but also slightly thinner compared to other rubber standard bumper plates on the market. Coloured bumper plates follow a weight designation scheme outlined by the IWF and followed by manufacturers throughout the world.

International Weightlifting Federation weight plate colours:

Green = 10 kg

Yellow = 15 kg

Blue= 20 kg

Red = 25 kg

AtomicMass’ stripe bumper plates are made of thick virgin rubber and have coloured stripes and coloured weight markings. They are great looking plates with high end performance.

  • Thinner than most standard rubber bumper plates allowing more weight on the bar.
  • 304 Stainless Steel internal sleeve to fit Olympic Bar
  • Coloured stripe and weight markings in IWF colours
  • 15kg plate is 48mm thick. Black plate with yellow colour stripe and yellow 15kg markings
  • suitable for any commercial, studios or home gym.

 

High-temp plates

Hi-temp weight plates are thicker than other weight plates, which isn’t an issue unless you are putting over 180kg on the bar at once.

AtomicMass’ high-temp weight plates are rubber crumbed and designed to be extremely durable and long lasting. They have a lower bounce and up to 30% noise and vibration reduction makes them perfect for repeated high-intensity usage in any Cross Fit box or commercial gym. Plus, our Hi-Temp bumper plates are backed by a 1 year warranty from the manufacturer (excludes 5kg plates).

 

AtomicMass High-Temp Plate Thickness:

5kg Width: 31mm
10kg Width: 55mm
15kg Width: 72mm
20kg Width: 79.5mm
25kg Width: 94mm

 

Olympic rubber coated bumper plates

Designed for performance, Olympic coated rubber bumper plates are durable and suitable for lifters of all levels. AtmomicMass’ rubber coated Olympic weight plates have an Ezy tri grip and a stainless steel rolled Knurled inner ring. The rolled stainless steel edged on our Olympic rubber coated bumper plates makes for easy glide on/off from your barbell and provides a perfect fit.

 

Olympic competition bumper plates

Competition bumper plates are made for one thing – Olympic weightlifting competitions and training. These are professional-level discs for serious weightlifters. Competition bumper plates are very thin with a dead bounce when dropped.

One of the primary benefits of competition bumper plates is that they are extremely reliable in terms of exact weight. Competition plates generally come in a variety of Olympic standard-certified weights down to the gram, making them a great choice for athletes.

 


 

So now you know more than the average gym-goer – which barbell and weight plate set do you choose for personal use in your own home gym? The answer lies in your fitness level and strength training goals. If you’re a beginner to mid-level lifter looking to outfit your home gym, our AtomicMass 100kg Bumper Plate + Olympic Barbell package is a great place to start (and a great deal too!). If you’re a more serious weightlifter, maybe go for an Olympic barbell and a set of competition bumper plates. Our 140kg competition bumper plate set is a great option for athletes.

Always remember to read the manufacturer’s description to see what materials the products are made with, and check if they offer warranty (*hint: we do!).

 

Click the button below to shop AtomicMass’ complete range of barbells and weight plates:

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