The basic function of a weight plate is to add an incremental amount of weight to an exercise. This occurs most often by using an adjustable weight barbell or set of adjustable weight dumbbells. These pieces of equipment require the use of weight plates to make the exercises being performed more difficult. The weight plates are added by threading the hole in the center of the plate through the bar. Weight plates are most commonly found on the weight trees that hold them. Each stem of the tree is usually designated for a specific weight amount as the size of the plates dictate their positioning on the tree. When placing the plates on the barbell or dumbbell, they are then kept in place by securing a clamp snuggly against the plate. This method can become somewhat tedious when exercising with a workout buddy as the constant adding and removal of weight plates can slow down the exercise. It is best to work in teams to modify the weight amount quickly.
Weight plates come in a variety of weight increments including: 2.5lbs, 5lbs, 10lbs, 25lbs, 35lbs, 45lbs, and 100lbs. It should be noted that many gyms have phased out the 35lb and 100lb plates do to low usage. It was found that using a 10lb and a 25lb plate was just as easy for the individual performing the exercise while at the same time making the gym itself a lot easier to maintain and keep tidy.
Types of Weight Plates
Not only do weight plates come in various weight increments, but they also come in different shapes and sizes. The most common shapes are perfectly rounded or rounded with a series of straight edges. These edges keep the bar they are attached to from rolling around. Some weight plates are pure metal while others are metal wrapped in rubber. The less popular version of weight plates are made of very dense rubber or rubber that is hollowed out and filled with water.
Weight plates are not solely used with a barbell or set of dumbbells. They can be used individually as well. An exercise like triceps dips makes great use of plates to add additional weight to the exercise. A piece of personal equipment like the dip belt makes great use of plates to increase weight for exercises that usually use one's body weight as resistance. This type of weight increase is necessary to continue building muscle with exercises that rely on body mass.