If you’re already an avid lifter or are just starting out, having a professional Olympic weight set can help you train in the comfort of your own home gym. Unlike other weightlifting plates, these specific plate selections are made to meet the current standards allowed by the International Olympic Association in terms of dimensions and weights. This makes them perfect for people training to be in the Olympics or those who simply want to use IOC regulations for their workouts.
With so many options available to purchase, picking out the best Olympic weight set can be difficult and even confusing for some people. To help you in your efforts, some of the top Olympic weight lifting plate packages available have been analyzed and reviewed in this convenient guide. You can pick your next weight set from one of these or use their reviews as a basis of comparison while you shop for your own.
Top 6 Olympic Weight Sets
|#1||XMark Lumberjack Set||Best overall. Perfect for heavy lifting.|
|#2||CAP Barbell Set||From a reputable brand.|
|#3||Troy USA/Serious Steel Fitness 300LB Set||A solidly build package.|
|#4||XMark Rubber Coated Package||Strong and rubber coated.|
|#5||Body-Solid Rubber Grip Set||From a well-known brand and rubber coated.|
|#6||Gold's Gym 300 lb Barbell Set||Everyone knows Golds Gym and their weights are great!|
To help you get started shopping for an Olympic plate set, six popular bundles were compiled and analyzed. Use these reviews to see what some of the trusted brands have to offer. You can also use the information to help you analyze others on your own. Information was pulled from product descriptions as well as user reviews to give you a good idea of what each one has to offer.
#1 – XMark Lumberjack Olympic Bar and Weight Plate Set
XMark Fitness is known for providing high quality fitness equipment for affordable prices and the Lumberjack Olympic set is no exception. This comes with a premium seven-foot barbell as well as a selection of weight plates. You can choose how much weight to buy with options ranging from 155 pounds to 365 pounds. These are made up of Texas Star rubber-coated plates ranging from 2.5 pounds to 45 pounds.
The barbell is durable and coated with black manganese phosphate to protect against rust and to provide better hand grip than the usual black oxide coating. There are also knurling marks combined with the casing to improve grip without creating a rough knurl. The barbell can hold up to 700 pounds of weight making it ideal for exercise by heavier lifters, too.
As for the bumper plates, they have strong rubber casings covering cast iron to create a durable package meant to last a long time. They create a snug fit on the barbell but are easy to pick up thanks to the star design leaving plenty of open space to grip the bumper plate tightly.
While this measures up, there are a few pros and cons worth mentioning.
- Easy loading, unloading, and general handling
- Knurl isn’t as rough as other barbells
- Good for Olympic training as well as CrossFit training
- Doesn’t include collars
- Has a strong rubber smell
- Not as flexible as other barbells
#2 – CAP Barbell Olympic Weight Plates Set
This weight collection includes a 40-pound black oxide barbell with a 500-pound weight capacity and 255 pounds worth of weight plates. This includes two 45-pound plates, two 35-pound plates, two 25-pound plates, two 10-pound plates, four 5-pound plates, and two 2.5-pound plates. The set includes cast iron plates that have a baked enamel coating instead of an exterior encasing so they’re protected from the elements but may cause damage to your floors or other items if the plates fall or are dropped during training.
The barbell features diamond knurling that is described as a medium depth to help reduce slipping. It’s finished with black oxide to help prevent the bar from rusting quickly. This also helps the plates load on and off smoothly.
Some pros and cons were noted in user reviews. Consider them before making a purchase decision.
- Includes two spring clip collars
- Trusted fitness equipment brand
- Comparatively affordable
- Harder handling than other plates with open spaces to grip
- Barbell isn’t the typical 45 pounds allowed by the International Olympic Committee
- Bar not suitable for lifting more than 500 pounds
#3 – Troy USA/Serious Steel Fitness 300LB Olympic Set
Troy USA is an American fitness company that’s been in business since 1988. This specific Olympic weight set features 300 pounds of weights made up of 14 weight plates ranging from 2.5 pounds to 45 pounds. The plates are made of cast iron and have a grey or black enamel finish adorned with raised silver letters and numbers to make each plate easily identifiable. There is no rubber or vinyl coating so they may cause damage to your floor or other items if the fall or you drop them during training.
The barbell is seven feet long and two inches in diameter and weighs in at 44 pounds. It is available in a chrome finish or a black finish and comes with two spring collars that help hold the plates in position.
Consider these pros and cons when comparing Olympic plates with this Troy barbell set.
- Barbell has a 600-pound capacity
- Notable high-quality customer service
- Lack of grip holes makes harder handling
- Quality issues including sharp edges on weight plates
#4 – XMark Rubber Coated Tri-Grip Olympic Plate Weight Package
Another standout bundle from XMark Fitness is their Tri-Grip weight package. This is available in several different weight ranges and is one of the more affordable packages available. Like others, it comes with a barbell as well as bumper plates.
Specifically, this comes with a standard 7-foot Olympic barbell coated in black manganese phosphate to protect against abrasions as well as corrosion. This also provides a better grip than other coatings, especially when combined with a tough knurl. The bar weighs 38 pounds which is under the typical 45-pound standard but it has an impressive 700-pound weight capacity.
As for the weight plates, the break down will vary depending on which collection you select. To give you some idea of what you’ll get, the 115-pound set is made up of two 25-pound plates, four 10-pound plates, four 5-pound plates, and two 2.5-pound weights. All plates feature the company’s tri-grip design that boasts comfortable openings for you to grab when loading and unloading your Olympic bar. They also have rubber coating instead of enamel coating which can better protect your surroundings when training.
Here are some of the notable highs and lows for this set.
- Better handling than other plates
- More affordable than others
- Complaints about chemical byproducts and bad odors from rubber exterior
- Olympic barbell doesn’t meet the 45-pound default allowed by the International Olympic Committee
#5 – Body-Solid Rubber Grip Olympic Sets
This specific Olympic weight set features quad-grip design weight plates that create easy handling when compared to solid plates that only have a raised lip for you to grab. More so, the weights are coated in durable rubber to protect the plates from the elements while also protecting your walls, floors, and furnishings. This makes them impact-resistant, too, so the exterior won’t split, peel off, or crack.
The weights in the 300-pound collections include two 45-pound plates, two 35-pound plates, two 25-pound plates, two 10-pound plates, four 5-pound plates, and two 2.5-pound weights. This also comes with an IOC-compliant 7-foot bar that weighs the default 45 pounds. This also comes with two spring collars to hold the weights in place. The barbell is available in both black and chrome so you can choose the finish you prefer.
Like other, there are some pros and cons that are worth considering.
- Knurling is strong but not too aggressive
- The set falls within International Olympic Committee standards
- Strong odor from the rubber
- Service issues with third-party sellers
#6 – Gold’s Gym 300 lb Olympic Barbell Weight Set
Gold’s Gym typically offers high-quality fitness equipment including this 300-pound Olympic weight set. It includes a 7-foot barbell, spring collars, and 16 weight plates (two 45-pound plates, four 25-pound plates, four 10-pound plates, and six 5-pound plates. The barbell is steel while the plates are cast iron. While the weight plates don’t have a rubber or vinyl coating like some other bundles, they do have grip opening for better handling.
- Ideal for beginner lifters looking to progress over time
- 16 plates included instead of the usual 14 in most other collections
- No 2.5 lbs plates like other sets
- Some reports about poor quality including rusted barbells
- Notable shipping problems
A Subtle Difference between IOC Weights and Retail Olympic Weight Sets
While the Olympic weight package reviewed here meet regulation standards set by the International Olympic Committee in terms of their dimensions and size for sports, there is a clear difference between these sets and the weights used by professional athletes. This key difference is that Olympic regulation weight plates have a special protective layer of rubber coating their exterior.
This feature is purposefully left off of retail sets because the rubber casing would inflate the price for these sets astronomically. Instead, home weight sets use alternative coatings for protection like a rubber and vinyl blend. This protects the weights from rust and damage. Luckily, it doesn’t hurt their function or diminishes your training.
Benefits of Olympic Weight Sets
Besides the obvious benefits regarding Olympic weightlifting and strength training, there are other benefits of Olympic plate collections that you can take advantage of by buying your own equipment. If you’re not sure whether or not an Olympic weightlifting set is good for you, these advantages can help you make a more informed decision.
- Perfect for all Olympic and powerlifting exercises including snatch, the clean and jerk, bench press, squats and deadlift while also being useful for normal workouts like rows and shoulder presses.
- Help improve your speed and power as well as form with regulation International Olympic Committee weights
- Eliminates the need for a pricey gym membership
- Train on your own schedule in the comfort of your own home
Factors to Consider when Shopping
When shopping for a sports Olympic weight package there are certain factors to consider and compare to ensure that the set you buy will function properly and last for a long time. Similarly, you should look for a set that will fit in with your lifestyle as some might not be practical for you even if they’re a well-respected product.
If the product you’re looking at doesn’t measure up in terms of these features, it’s likely that it’s a low-quality set that won’t give you what you’re looking for. In those instances, it’s better to look elsewhere and find something that fits your needs better.
Size and Storage
One of the first things you have to check when shopping for an Olympic plate set is the size. First, you have to make sure that the set you’re looking at meets the International Olympic Committee size regulations. These kinds of weight sets have a seven-foot bar weighing 45 pounds with two-inch ends. There should be 14 weight plates typically totaling around 255 pounds but you can usually buy sets of different weight totals. This can vary, but the weights usually are broken down as such:
- Two 45lb plates
- Two 35lb plates
- Two 25lb plates
- Two 10lb plates
- Four 5lb plates
- Two 2.5lb plates
These are metal plates that usually have a vinyl and rubber coating for protection. If the size of the barbell and plates don’t meet these standards then they might not meet IOC standards and can’t be considered an Olympic weight set. If this is something that matters to you, be sure to double check the IOC measurements and compare them to the set in question.
Besides ensuring the proper dimensions, consider the size of the set including the space needed for a separate rack (if the set doesn’t include it) and compare it to your home gym (or wherever you plan to set up your rack). You want to make sure everything will fit in your space properly while still giving you enough room to properly work out. Most sets don’t come with racks but it’s best to get one to keep everything organized and off the floor.
Consider other ways to store the plates if you aren’t using a rack as they need to be protected from moisture. High levels of humidity or exposure to rain can erode any exposed metal including the barbell so you have to consider storage options when comparing sets.
Design and Finish
Typically, Olympic weight set plates feature two-inch holes to fit the typical seven-foot Olympic bar. They’re made to easily slide into place for practical loading and unloading. Most are made of cast iron with a protective coating making them durable.
This protective coating is important because it keeps the plates from chipping and rusting while also protecting your home from the hard metal plates if they fall or you drop your barbell while training. Rubber coatings are more expensive but many of the weight sets available nowadays use a mix of rubber and vinyl to keep weight sets more affordable.
The collar or clamps that keep the plates in place can be different from one set to another and should be taken into consideration when making a purchase decision. Some of the common options here are spring collars, muscle clamps, lockjaw collars, and strap barbell collars. This determines how tight the plates sit on the barbell and can be the deciding factor for some lifters.
For example, spring collars with rubber clamps hold the plates better than the cheaper steel clamps without covers while lockjaw clamps are considered better than both. Research each collar and see which one fits your needs and preferences best and choose a set featuring that clamp. Similarly, you can look at user reviews and see what lifters say about the collars.
Being able to lift the weight plates safely and easily is an important factor to consider. Most weight plates have a lip around the outer edge to make handling the weights easier but there are also plates that have cutouts that make picking the plates up better. With these cutouts, you won’t have to rely on lifting the plates with just your fingertips. Instead, you’ll be able to grip them properly and safely. If this is a concern for you, look for sets that are easier to handle.
For a set to be a proper Olympic weight set the bar has to be seven feet long and 45 pounds in weight. The standard weight capacity is around 300 pounds but this can vary for people who are heavier lifters. In those instances, you can find weight capacities as high as 1,500 pounds.
Finally, you want to consider the price of each Olympic plate set and compare it to your budget. If you’re looking to spend no more than a certain amount of money, narrow your search by only looking at sets that fall within that range. From there, compare prices and see which set will give you everything you’re looking for at the lowest price.
When doing this, remember that you get what you pay for and sometimes the lower price might be a clue that the quality of the set isn’t as good as other more expensive options. Don’t sacrifice quality for the price if you don’t have to. If you are looking to save money, consider getting a smaller set to start off and buy more weight plates later on when you have more money to invest in your training.
With a little more information on Olympic weight sets at your disposal, you should feel confident to continue shopping for your next set knowing that you can properly separate the high-quality options from the lower ones. Remember to compare all of the available features as well as the pros and cons noted in user reviews. Most importantly, keep your particular needs and preferences in mind to ensure that you get exactly what you’re looking for and nothing less.