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Standard vs. Olympic Weight Sets: What Is the Difference?

Posted on December 06 2023

Standard vs. Olympic Weight Sets: What Is the Difference?

Gone are the days when people relied only on cardio, walking, or jogging to stay fit. Nowadays, weight training has become a crucial part of fitness routines, and having the right set of weights is a vital aspect. Two common types of weight sets available are standard and Olympic sets. Both offer various benefits, but their distinctions can often be confusing for beginners. In this blog, we’ll highlight the differences between standard and Olympic weight sets so that you can make an informed decision and purchase the right one for your workout routine.

Standard Weights

As the name suggests, standard weight sets are relatively standard in size, weight, and measurement. The bars usually measure 1 inch in diameter, while the plates have a center hole of the same size. The standard weight plates typically weigh between 2.5 pounds and 50 pounds. This range can make it challenging for the user to increase the weight gradually, which can hinder serious weight lifters. However, these sets are ideal for people who are just starting to lift or who have limited space, since standard sets take up less room and are cheaper than Olympic sets.

Olympic Weights

Olympic weight sets are commonly used in professional gyms, fitness centers, and competitions. The bars and plates measure 2 inches in diameter and have a center hole of that size. The weight range for the plates starts at 2.5 pounds and goes up to 100 pounds. Olympic sets offer a broader weight range for athletes who need to take their performance to the next level. However, because of their size, Olympic sets take up more room and cost more than standard sets.

Bar Differences

Olympic bars are much sturdier than standard bars. They can bear much more weight, and they offer a better grip. They also spin more easily, reducing the impact of a jerk compared to standard bars. However, traditional bars are suitable for beginners and more affordable than Olympic bars.

Plate Differences

Another significant advantage of Olympic sets is that they have bigger plates, which can be advantageous from a safety perspective. Bigger plates increase the height of the bar, therefore reducing the distance you need to lower the bar during a squat or dead lift. This safety feature can reduce the chances of injury and allow the body to achieve deeper positions during exercises.

Standard and Olympic weight sets are perfect for weight lifting goals, depending on the user’s preference and fitness levels. You should base your decision on your individual fitness goals and space availability. If you’re a beginner or you have limited space, then a standard set will be easy for you to use and manage. If you’re more experienced or looking to elevate your fitness journey, an Olympic set may suit your needs better. Remember that all weight training equipment requires proper maintenance, care, and use to last a long time and allow you to get the best value out of your investment. Happy lifting!