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The 5 Best Weight Plates (To Tone Up and Bulk Up)

The 5 Best Weight Plates (To Tone Up and Bulk Up)

If you work out multiple times per week and yet you aren’t meeting your fitness goals, then it’s time to up your game. What makes fitness models and bodybuilders (both male and female) look so cut? How come you don’t look like them even though you’re pushing yourself to the limit day after day? If you’ve been asking yourself these questions, then it’s time to change your routine and add some weight plates and weight vests.

Weight plates and weight vest plates can help both men and women get more toned, cut, and defined. In this article, we will look at Fitnessator’s top picks in weight plates. Also, we will look at the research behind weight plates and how you can look ripped and lean while using weight plates.

After reading the reviews, be sure to check out our easy-to-read product comparison chart in “The Rundown” section. Once you have your new weight plate set delivered to your home, then be sure to try our hardcore weight plate workout. Our workout can help you start making next level gains. Don’t wait a moment longer to springboard your workout routine to improve yourself!

The Best Essential Weight Plates for You 

There are lots of weight plate sets out there to choose from! Luckily, we only include the best ones to consider in this article. Read the reviews below and be sure to skip down to “The Rundown” for side-by-side comparisons.

Fitnessator’s Top Pick

X Training Premium Black Bumper Set – The Best Rubber Weight Plates

X Training Premium Black Bumper SetWhy We Love It:

We chose the X Training Black Bumper rubber weight plate set as the Fitnessator’s Top Pick because of its heavy duty, highly durable rubber coating. This set is great for long term heavy usage and won’t be damaged with a little rough handling. If you’re prepping for mega gains and lots of usage, then this is the best weight plate set for you.

The Research:

If you want to be able to push harder, do more sets, and/or lift more weight, research shows that proper shock absorption protocols are extremely important. Rubberized weight plates, exercise taping, and proper alignment and form are all ways to reduce shock and fatigue during exercise. Consider these methods if you are concerned about exercise wear and tear. Doing so may actually help you perform better with strength training exercises.

Details:
  • Package includes weight plates only
  • The 260-lb set includes two 10-lb, two 15-lb, two 25-lb, two 35-lb, and two 45-lb weight plates
  • These plates are Olympic weight plates and are compatible with Olympic barbells and/or standard barbells with adaptors
  • X Training Equipment Website Price: $419
Things to Consider:

Keep in mind that this package only comes with the rubber weight plates. While you can buy an Olympic barbell with your purchase, a basic barbell will cost you an additional $140 (or more)!

Customer Reviews:

One of the main reasons people purchase this product is for the protective rubber coating. Not only does this rubber coating protect the weight plates themselves, but people also love that these plates do not damage their floors. According to one customer, these rubber weight plates do not leave marks or chips in the concrete floor of their home gym.

On the other hand, customers complain of a really intense smell that does not go away, even after months of use. While it is common for a manufacture to treat the weight plates, make sure you have a well-ventilated fitness space if you will be purchasing this set.

Who Should Purchase This Product:

Since this rubber weight plate set supplies up to 260 lbs, then this would be great for someone who wants to bulk up, build muscle, and increase strength right at home. Also, if you already have all the accessories you need for the best rubber weight plates, then this set can fit nicely with Olympic (or even standard weight) equipment.

Fitnessator’s Runner Up

XMark Texas Star Set – The Best Olympic Weight Plates

XMark Texas Star Weight Plates SetWhy We Love It:

The XMark Texas Star Olympic weight set is able to be customized based on your budget and exactly what equipment you need. Therefore, you can choose to purchase just the bar or a complete bar and weight plate set. In this article, we are specifically reviewing the heaviest Olympic weight plate set they offer. 

Details:
  • Only weight plates are included in this particular review
  • This package includes two 2.5-lb, four 5-lb, four 10-lb, two 25-lb, two 35-lb, and two 45-lb weight plates
  • Ergonomic weight plates with 5 grips for easy handling
  • XMark Website Price: $516
Things to Consider:

Above all, remember that the set we’re reviewing only contains the weight plates. Before you purchase any weight plates, make sure you know exactly what is (and what is not) included in the price. If you search online, then you may find that some product description images include items that are actually not included in the package! 

Customer Reviews:

One of the main assets to this Olympic weight set is that it offers a wide variety of weight plate pairs and sizes. In comparison to the XMark, other sets do not contain as many sizes of plates and in small increments. That being said, the XMark Olympic weight set can help you ease into the next weight plate.

According to customers, some claim that the price is higher than the competitors without necessarily being of higher quality. While this may be true, keep in mind that Olympic weight plates tend to be more expensive on average than other types of weight plates. If you’re still not convinced, then remember that these are rubber-coated weight plates that have ergonomic features to do additional exercises.

Who Should Purchase This Product:

Above all, if you already have a barbell, weight bench, or other applicable equipment for weight plates, consider supplementing your fitness space with the XMark Olympic weight plates. Olympic weight plates are often compatible with both Olympic barbells and standard barbells.

Fitnessator’s Honorable Mention

CAP Barbell Weight Set – The Best Standard Weight Plate Set

CAP Barbell Weight Set Why We Love It:

We love this cheap standard weight plate set because it can offer you a moderate amount of weight for a moderate price. Since this set has numerous weight plates in several increments, you can bulk up or increase toning with both heavy weight and lightweight resistance training.

Details:
  • Set includes a standard barbell, collar locks, and standard weight plates
  • Contains six 2.5-lb, six 5-lb, four 10-pound, and two 25-lb weights
  • Total barbell capacity is 100 lbs on either side
  • Supreme Gym Equipment Website Price: $160.08

Things to Consider:

As you will see in our “Choosing the Best Weight Plates for You,” standard weight plates can only be used with standard barbells. Since this is a standard set, you will have to purchase all standard weight plate equipment. If you already have Olympic weights that you want to use with this standard weight set, then you will need the appropriate adaptors.

Customer Reviews:

Per customer reviews, people like the ergonomic handles on the weight plates. Because of these handles, people typically use the weight plates on a barbell or by themselves for resistance exercises.

The main complaints from customers pertain to the delivery and package handling process. Several customers noticed scratches on the weight plates due to poor packaging. Before purchasing the product, consider investigating how the set will be shipped and if the company will replace damaged goods.

Who Should Purchase This Product:

If you’re in the market for a cheap standard weight plate set, this is the best option for you. Since this product is less than $200, this could give you the opportunity to buy other useful exercise equipment for your home fitness space.

The Best Weight Vest Plates for Men 

RunMax Weight Plate Vest for Men 
RunMax Weight Plate Vest for Men Why We Love It:

Pack on the pounds with this vest! If you already are maxing out on the barbell, then consider adding up to 120 extra pounds to get cut and build muscle. So, this weight vest could be exactly what you need to make even more gains than you have already accomplished. 

Details:
  • Weight vests range from 20 to 120 lbs
  • Weight is adjustable (different weight vest plates can be removed on the vest)
  • Weights and vest are included in the price
  • Walmart Website Price: $289
Things to Consider:

Unfortunately, this weight vest for men is a one size fits all product. Be sure to read more customer reviews and refer to the product description so that you know if you will fit well in this vest.

Customer Reviews:

While we consider this product as the “best for men,” women have used this product as well. If you are a woman who wants to add on a lot of weight, then this could be the better vest to choose. However, keep reading to find out the best weight vest for women and then make a decision based on your needs.

On the other hand, customers say that this weight vest is rather bulky. If you are thinking about doing cardio exercises or lots of bending movements, then this vest may be too bulky to work with.

Who Should Purchase This Product:

A weight vest can be a great stand-alone piece or you can layer it by wearing it during other heavy weight exercises such as a barbell squat. Others like to do stair climbing with a weighted vest for extra calorie burn and muscle stimulation.

The Best Weight Vest Plates for Women

CAP Barbell Weight Plate Vest for Women

CAP Barbell Weight Plate Vest for WomenWhy We Love It:

This is a great weight vest for women because it is contoured and cropped to better fit the female body. With a 30-lb weight vest plate, you can use this weight vest to engage in intense cardio, add on more weight for a squat, or do daily activities while burning calories to lose weight.

Details:
  • Contoured front to better accommodate the female body
  • Weight is adjustable (different weight vest plates can be removed on the vest)
  • Machine washable
  • Walmart Website Price: $67.54
Things to Consider:

Unfortunately, this weight vest for women is a one size fits all product. As you will see in the customer reviews, this one vest does not fit all sizes and body types! Be sure to read more customer reviews and refer to the product description so that you know if you will fit well in this vest. 

Customer Reviews:

According to customer reviews, women rave about the female-specific contouring of this weight plate vest. Since it can accommodate a large bosom and is cropped, women can easily do abdominal crunches without feeling suffocated by the vest.

Per one customer, this vest does not come in an extra small size. That being said, if you are small, then you may not be able to completely tighten the vest until it is snug. When doing cardio, you make find that the vest bounces around a bit if you have a small frame and/or bosom. 

Who Should Purchase This Product:

Just like the other weight vest, you can use this weight vest by itself for lunges, bodyweight squats, and cardio exercises. If you’re a woman trying to lose weight, then this product could help you burn more calories during the day since wearing this vest during daily tasks would be quite a workout!

Choosing the Best Weight Plates for You

Man Choosing What Weight Plate To UseWeight plates come in all different shapes, sizes, and types. Which is the best for you? As you consider which option is the best for your needs, we have a few things to keep in mind about purchasing a weight plate set.

Olympic weight plates versus standard weight plates

Olympic weight plates have a 2-inch diameter hole and fit on a 2-inch diameter barbell. On the other hand, standard weight plates have a 1-inch diameter hole and can only fit on a 1-inch standard barbell. However, with the proper adaptors, Olympic weight plates can be used on a standard bar. Overall, if you are an athlete, then consider an Olympic weight plate set. Research shows Olympic weight plate training may have a superior effect on athletic performance when compared to other types of lifting (1).

Are weight plate vests worth it?

If you’ve hit a plateau, or if you already exercise and still aren’t reaching your goals, then a weighted vest may be the exact thing to add to your workout routine. Weighted vests can be used to increase weight during an exercise but also can be used outside of your workout time. According to the research, weighted vests offer several additional benefits if they are worn outside of weight training:

  • Calorie burn during non-exercise activities
  • Improved bone density and strength, decreasing the risk of bone fracture (2)
  • Added intensity during weighted cardio exercises

Make sure you think about these things before investing in a weight plate set. Above all, weight plates are great additions to a home gym, so make sure you pick the right one to last a lifetime! The best weight plate set for you is one that complements your other equipment and provides the exercises you need to reach your goals.

The Rundown on Weight Plates 

Now that we’ve reviewed the Fitnessator’s top picks in weight plates, here’s a breakdown to help you compare them all:

Product

Less than $300

Contains weight plates + additional items

Rubber coated

Total weight per set

X Training Bumper set (Top Pick) Yes 260 lbs
XMark Texas Star set (Runner Up) Yes  275 lbs
CAP Barbell standard weight set (Honorable Mention) X X No 135 lbs
RunMax weight plate vest (Men) X X N/A 120 lbs
CAP Barbell weight plate vest (Women) X X N/A 30 lbs

 

Sample Weight Plate Workout

Once your weight plates come in, don’t miss out on our sample workout! Depending on which type of weight plate set you choose, you may need to revise the exercises we provide. Some of these exercises can be enhanced with barbells, a squat rack, or a pull-up bar. Like always, if you don’t have exactly the right equipment for these exercises, then improvise in a safe manner! As you will see, a majority of the exercises can be done without a total home gym.

Above all, it is up to you to determine the proper weight for your needs, goals, and equipment available. Therefore, we did not include specific weights for each exercise. In general, if you want to bulk up, then add more weight to “max out” and limit the number of repetitions you do. If you want toning or endurance training, then lower the weight so that you can get in 10 to 15 repetitions per set.

Disclaimer: Before starting any exercise routine, be sure to check with your doctor that you are cleared for specific exercises, especially ones that use weight plates.

Exercise

Notes

Target Area(s)

Sets

Repetitions

Overhead barbell chest press
Above all, make sure to breathe during this exercise! Using your barbell, press up from the chest and keep your core tight. Also, this could be done with only a weight plate if needed. If you need even more great chest exercises, then click here. Chest 3 10
Weighted pull-ups
You can do this exercise with a weight belt and weight plate, or you can do this with your new weight vest plates. If you need more bicep workouts, then click here. Biceps, back, chest 3 10
Weight plate oblique side crunch
Using only a weight plate, hold the edge or handle (as you would with a brief case) and bring it to the side of your body. Bend sideways towards the weight plate while keeping your chest and hips in line facing front. Crunch over and straighten for each repetition. If you do it right, then you should feel a burn in the opposite oblique. Make sure to do these crunches on both sides! Oblique 4 15
Ab roller with a barbell
This exercise mimics that of an ab roller. Place a weight plate on either side of the barbell. If you have tight weight clips, make sure to use them! Set the weighted barbell on the floor in front of you. While on your knees, place both hands on the barbell and roll the barbell away from you as far as possible and roll back to the start. This is a hard exercise! Abdominals 3 8
Weight plate plank
This exercise may be best performed with a weight plate vest. However, if you’re using a weight plate, place the plate on your back. The weight plate should rest somewhere between your shoulders and pelvis. Once the weight plate is positioned, get in the plank position and hold until the interval is over. Abdominals 4 1 minute intervals

 

Before You Purchase

After reading this article, you may still be unsure which is the best weight plate set for you. Also, you may feel pressured to make the right decision since certain weight plates are compatible with other equipment and some are not. Therefore, you want to make the right choice!

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you are making the final decision on purchasing a weight plate set:

  • Do I already have certain equipment that is only compatible with standard weight plates or Olympic weight plates?
  • What exercises do I want to do with my weight plates? Do I need a power rack or other weight sets to get the workout I want?
  • Compared to the exercise equipment I already have and what equipment I will need in the future, how much can I spend on a weight plate set?
  • Do I need a weight plate set, or will I just need to purchase the plates?
  • Would it be beneficial for me to buy both weight plates and a weight plate vest?

Asking yourself these questions will help you determine the best weight plates for you. Also, don’t forget to refer back to “The Rundown” chart when doing product comparisons.

What kind of weight plates do you like to have at home? Do you ever layer with a weight vest while doing a weight plate exercise? Tell us your opinion in the comments below.

 

 

 

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