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The 5 Best Olympic Weight Sets (for Next-Level Workouts)

The 5 Best Olympic Weight Sets (for Next-Level Workouts)

What makes one weight lifter stand out from the rest? If you’re in the market for something that will take your workouts to the next level and make massive gains, make sure you find yourself an Olympic weight set. Olympic weight sets are the keys to making you stronger, increasing muscle size and mastering some of the hardest weight lifting exercises you can do.

Not all weight sets are the same, however. In this article, we will lay out and review Fitnessator’s favorite Olympic weight sets. For those who are looking to cut to the chase, we recommend that you head to “The Rundown” section where you’ll find the main products compared in an easy to read chart.

Also, we will make sure you know the basics to picking the best Olympic weight set for your needs so you can get it right the first time and start making gains as soon as possible. Once your new Olympic weight set is delivered and set up, make sure you try our Olympic weight set workout for full-body bulking. Don’t worry! You can do our workout with just weight plates and a barbell, or these can be done with full Olympic weight bench sets.

Olympic Weight Plates vs. Standard Weight Plates

Man Using Weight Sets For FitnessIn your search for the best weight set, it is important to know the differences and similarities between the types of weight plates you can buy. Understanding your options will ensure you make an informed choice. Let’s compare Olympic weight plates and standard plates (and see what the science has to say):

Olympic Weight Plates
Similarities
Standard Weight Plates
Fit on an Olympic bar or a standard bar with adapters.
Olympic barbells can usually hold more weight since it is a thicker bar.
Tend to be more expensive.
Olympic weight lifting may be more effective than other types of training for improving vertical jumps, which is essential for athletic performance.
Both can be used for weight training exercises and weight benefits.
Promotes multi-joint exercises (i.e. plate squats, barbell clean and press) which have been shown to increase efficiency and muscle strength compared to single joint workouts. Single joint workouts are exercises such as a bicep curl with a dumbbell.
Both can be sold as standard or Olympic weight bench sets that include a weight bench, rack, barbell and weights. However, this depends on the package.
Upper body and lower body weight lifting exercises can be done with both types of weight sets. Also, both can help improve function and athletic performance. For exceptional upper body workouts, click here.
Fits only on a standard bar.
You may not be able to put as much weight on a standard barbell since it is thinner. These bars have a tendency to bend with too much weight.
Tend to be cheaper than the Olympic weights.

 

Based on the chart above, there are several differences and similarities to consider when buying weight sets for your home. However, since Olympic weight bench sets tend to be preferred among weight lifting professionals and in commercial gyms, this article will focus specifically on Olympic weight sets.

Keep reading for a list of the best Olympic weight sets available so you can get all of the benefits and make more gains with heavy weight lifting. Don’t forget to compare these products with our snapshot in “The Rundown” section. Also, regardless of which Olympic weight set you choose, be sure to try our Olympic weight set workout below.

Fitnessator’s Top Pick

Fitness Gear Weight Set – The Best 300-lb Olympic Weight Set

Fitness Gear Weight Set Why We Love It:

The Fitness Gear 300-lb Olympic weight set is a great all-around weight set that will accommodate most people. If you have a family or several roommates, everyone can use this weight set since it ranges from the barbell itself to a total of 300 lbs. 

The Research:

Doing barbell and weight plate exercises in the round, that is, exercises done on the open floor without a weight stand or weight bench, are quite beneficial for strength training and rehabilitation. For people with low back pain, doing a deadlift with a weight set like the Fitness Gear weight set may actually help them if performed correctly and safely.

According to one 2015 study, participants with low back pain who were trained on how to properly do a deadlift were able to further increase their strength and functional ability. Deadlifts with an Olympic weight set can not only help you level-up in strength, but they can also help someone level-up in injury rehab! As you can see, Olympic weight set exercises are great for looking great and restoring the body. 

Details:
  • Includes a 7-foot barbell (max capacity is 300 lbs)
  • Package contains weight plate pairs of 2.5, 10, 25, 35 and 45-lb weight plates and four 5-lb weight plates
  • Weight plates have handle grips for easy handling and the ability to engage in weight plate exercises
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods Website Price: $189.98
Things to Consider:

This weight set only includes the weight plates and the barbell. If you’re searching for a weight bench and weight storage stands, check out some of the other retailers from the list. Some retailers have full Olympic weight bench sets.

Customer Reviews:

According to customer reviews, they love getting a full weight set and barbell for under $200. Overall, people rave about the quality of the weight plates, ease of use and ability to securely attach the weight plates to the barbell. 

After several years, one customer stated that the knurling on the barbell wore off, so proper equipment care is essential. Also, compared to other weight plates, the Fitness Gear 45-lb weight plate is more compact than most, so it may feel different for certain exercises like deadlifts and barbell ab rollers.

Who Should Purchase This Product:

For people who need an Olympic weight set that can work with the needs of most weight lifters, the Fitness Gear 300-lb Olympic weight set is the best one to choose. It can seamlessly fit with any existing power rack and/or weight bench. If you would rather do barbell exercises in the round, you can avoid the bulky stand that would take up space in your home gym. 

Fitnessator’s Runner Up

CAP Barbell 300-lb Weight Set – The Best Olympic Weight Set for Power Lifters

CAP Barbell 300-lb Weight Set Why We Love It:

If barbell exercises are your specialty, this Olympic weight set by CAP Barbell is for you. Pack on the pounds for your powerlifting workouts with this no-frills weight set.

Details:
  • Includes a 7-foot barbell
  • Package contains weight plate pairs of 2.5, 10, 25, 35 and 45-lb weight plates and four 5-lb weight plates
  • Weight plates do not have handles for easy handling
  • Walmart Website Price: $239.99
Things to Consider:

If you want ergonomic Olympic weight plates, keep in mind that these weight plates are solid discs. That being said, it may be harder to engage in weight plate workouts like plate squats and oblique crunches. If you like to step away from the barbell and do other exercises with the weight plates alone, choose one of the other products. 

Customer Reviews:

People love the classic, old-school look and feel of this weight plate set. They also love the relatively good price per pound offered, so if you need a weight set at home for a reasonable price, pick either the Fitnessator Top Pick or the Runner Up.

While the plates are the best feature of the package, some customers say that the barbell needs frequent upkeep. Oiling, tightening and cleaning are all things needed to keep the barbell in mint condition. If you like the weight plates but don’t want a high-maintenance bar, customers suggest investing in a separate bar.  

Who Should Purchase This Product:

If you think you will be doing mostly barbell exercises, this is the Olympic weight set for you. With 300 lbs included in this set, most people would be equipped with more than enough weight to make strength improvements. 

Fitnessator’s Honorable Mention

XMark Texas Star Set – The Best Ergonomic Olympic Weight Set

XMark Texas Star Weight Set Why We Love It:

The Texas Star Olympic weight set by XMark is highly customizable based on your budget and how much equipment you need. This product line ranges from purchasing the bar only to a bar and heavy weight combo set. In this review, we’ll cover the heaviest Olympic weight set they offer.

Details:
  • Package contains only the weight plates
  • Package contains two 2.5-lb, four 5-lb, four 10-lb, two 25-lb, two 35-lb and two 45-lb weight plates
  • Each weight plate has 5 grip handles for spaciousness and ease when handling the weight plate
  • XMark Website Price: $516
Things to Consider:

This set only contains weight plates. Before you purchase any Olympic weight set or Olympic weight bench set, you should check the fine print so you’ll know exactly what’s coming in the mail. Some product description pictures may include items that are actually not included in the price you’re paying.

Customer Reviews:

Customers appreciate that this set offers several lighter weight plates. Compared to some of the other sets, the XMark has more 5-lb and 10-lb weight plates, allowing you to ease yourself towards the next higher weight plate.

The biggest con of these weight plates is the price. At first glance, there are many other weight sets that seem similar and yet sell for much less. Remember, however, that the XMark plates are highly ergonomic and have a rubber coating for quiet stacking and protection. 

Who Should Purchase This Product:

If you already have a barbell or weight bench, consider supplementing your home fitness space with these awesome and ergonomic weight plates. These can be used with your current equipment or help you diversify your workouts with weight plate-specific workouts.

The Best Olympic Weight Set for Longevity

X Training Rubber Set

X Training Rubber Weight SetWhy We Love It:

The X Training rubber weight set is a solid heavy weight set that can be passed down for generations. With a protective rubber coating on the plates and secure, solid clips, this Olympic weight set can withstand drops and roughhousing.

Details:
  • Includes a 7-foot barbell
  • Package contains two 10-lb, two 25-lb, two 35-lb and two 45-lb weight plates
  • Weight plates do not have handles for easy handling
  • X Training Website Price: $559
Things to Consider:

Unlike other Olympic weight sets, this set does not include 5-lb or 2.5-lb weights. While you may not need these smaller weights, you will not be able to increase your weight in small increments. Jumping to the next weight plate may be a huge jump, so make sure you are ready for it.

Customer Reviews:

According to one customer, they are able to use these plates (and keep them looking like new) even when dropping them on a concrete floor over and over again. As you can see, these plates are very durable and can withstand rough handling.

One of the main complaints with this Olympic weight set is that they have an intense smell from manufacturing. It is common for weight plates to be treated, however, this product in particular has an odor that lasts for several months after delivery. If you are planning to keep this set inside your home (opposed to a garage), get an air freshener until the smell dissipates!

Who Should Purchase This Product:

Even though you should always try to take care of your gym equipment, the X Training Olympic weight set can stand up to rough exercisers. Also, since this set is one of the pricier ones on the list, you can rest assured that the protective features will increase the longevity of this weight set.

The Best Olympic Weight Set for Endurance

Marcy Weight Set

Marcy Weight Set For FitnessWhy We Love It:

Even though many people may be looking for the weight set that offers the highest amount of weight, that may not be the case for everyone. The Marcy Olympic weight set can be a great addition to a more complete gym that focuses on diversifying the workouts to get the most well-rounded benefits.

Details:
  • Includes a 30-lb Olympic bar
  • Set includes two 25-lb, two 10-lb and two 5-lb weight plates
  • Weight plates are constructed with ergonomic handles
  • Marcy Pro Website Price: $194.99
Things to Consider:

As you may have guessed, it is important to note that this set offers the least amount of weight compared to the other products reviewed in this list. This may be a drawback depending on your weight lifting needs. 

Customer Reviews:

Since you can use these plates as part of a cardio or endurance workout, the main appeal is the ability to burn calories while toning your muscles on this set. With an anti-rust coating, customers like the durability of this set.

One drawback for this set would be that it does not contain the standard 45-lb bar that you find on most other Olympic weight sets. For some people who want to do bare barbell workouts, 30 lbs may not be heavy enough.

Who Should Purchase This Product:

If you are someone who is not a serious heavy weight lifter but who still wants to get the benefits of barbell and weight plate training, the Marcy weight would be the best for you. For some, 110 lbs is more than enough for light weight lifting purposes. Those who are looking for endurance training would benefit the most from this set.

The Rundown on Olympic Weight Sets

With the detailed reviews covered, your head is probably swirling with facts and details for each set. Compare them in this easy side-by-side chart that will help you pinpoint differences between the various products:

Product

Less than $300

Includes a barbell

Ergonomic handles for other exercises

Total plate weight per set

Fitness Gear Olympic set (Top Pick)
X X Yes 260 lbs
CAP Olympic set (Runner Up)
X X No 255 lbs
XMark Texas Star set (Honorable Mention)
Yes 275 lbs
X Training Olympic weight set
X No 230 lbs
Marcy Olympic weight set
X X Yes 80 lbs

 

Sample Olympic Weight Set Workout

Once installed, be sure to try this sample workout routine with your new Olympic weight set. Keep in mind that you may have to modify the exercises to accommodate the weight set you’ve chosen. With a creative outlook, you’ll be able to make any necessary adjustments. However, you’ll see that most exercises can be performed without a full Olympic weight bench set or squat rack.

Also, keep in mind that you’ll have to estimate the best weight to add for each exercise according to your goals and abilities. We didn’t list a specific weight for each exercise, so you’ll have to add that in. Keep in mind that for bulking up, it’s best to go for more weight and minimal repetitions, with a goal of maxing out. However, if your goal is to tone or build your endurance, opt for lighter weight, but aim to get in 10-15 repetitions per set.

Important Note: Before beginning any new exercise plan, always check in with your doctor to make sure that they approve. In particular, be sure you’re cleared for Olympic weight plates exercises.

 

Exercise

Notes

Target Area(s)

Sets

Repetitions

Overhead barbell chest press
Don’t forget to breathe when you do this exercise! Grasp the barbell and press up, keeping your core tight.  If you want to focus on more mega-shredding exercises for your chest, click here. Chest 3 10
Barbell bicep curls
If you only have weight plates or a barbell, have no fear! You can do simultaneous bilateral bicep curls. Interested in more bicep work? Click here. Biceps 3 10
Barbell hip thrust
This exercise is best done with a weight bench. With your lower end hanging off the weight bench and feet on the floor, place your shoulder blades on the weight bench. Place the barbell in the crook of your hips/lap. Start with your buttocks hovering near the floor. In a thrusting motion, press the barbell up until your torso and buttocks are parallel to the floor. Return back to the starting position. Glutes, legs 3 15
Weight plate oblique side crunch
Hold the edge or handle of a weight plate. Then, move it to the side of the body. Dip sideways in the direction of the weight plate, but keep your chest and hips forward facing. Then, crunch over before straightening. You’ll feel the burn in the opposite oblique. Don’t forget to even out by doing crunches on both sides. Oblique 4 15
Barbell clean
Try this one with lower weight until you can master the technique! Legs, glutes, core, chest, arms 2 5
Ab roller with a barbell
Mimicking an ab roller, this exercise involves using weight plates on a barbell. Make use of tight weight clips if you have them. Then, Put the barbell in front of you on the floor. Position yourself on your knees and grasp the barbell with your hands. Roll the barbell away from you, putting yourself in plank position by tightening your core. Then, roll back to where you started. You’ll feel the burn! Abdominals 3 8

 

Before You Purchase

As you can see, even in our small list of the best Olympic weight sets, there is lots of variation. Choosing the best Olympic weight set for you really depends on what other equipment you need. Some weight sets come with stands, barbells and weight benches, whereas others only include the weight plates.

Also, keep in mind what kind of exercises you want to be doing with your Olympic weight set. If you do our sample workout above, you will notice that many of the exercises do not require a lot of equipment. Regardless of which Olympic weight set you choose, you can engage in heavy weight workouts right in the comfort of your own home.

What kind of Olympic weight workouts do you find the most effective? The classics? Innovative workouts? Can weight plates only be used for muscle bulking? Tell us your opinion in the comments below.

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