Olympic Barbell Weights – Specs Dimensions and Guide

Even though most barbells weigh a little from the get go, you will usually need weights to be able to push yourself in the large, mass and strength building exercises. You should always be careful about not getting injured and putting unnecessary strain on your tendons and muscles, but this shouldn’t be an excuse for not stacking up the weights on your bar and lifting explosively and aggressively.

Featured Guide: Buying the BEST Barbell Set 

As long as you maintain relatively good technique and have spent at least a couple of months priming your tendons for heavy lifting you should be fine. Not only is lifting heavy a lot more fun and challenging, it is essential if you ever want to gain muscle or strength.

You only get stronger because your muscles feel that they are not strong enough for the weight you are lifting and therefore try to compensate by building more muscle and getting stronger in this way. If however, your muscles already think that they are strong enough because you are not pushing yourself, they will see no reason to get stronger and bigger.

The most important thing is to see how wide the holes of your barbells are, there are usually two types with the most common one being 25 mm (one inch) wide. Obviously you want your weights to have the same measurement as your barbell.

The following is a list of the Olympic plates; these are also the most common barbell weights:

Olympic Colour Coding for Bumper Plates (Weights)

Colour Weight (kg) Weight (lb)
 RED 25 55.12
 BLUE 20 44.09
 YELLOW 15 33.07
 GREEN 10 22.05
 WHITE 5 11.02
 RED 2.5 5.51
 BLUE 2 4.41
 YELLOW 1.5 3.31
 GREEN 1 2.20
 WHITE 0.5 1.10

Buying Olympic Barbell Weights

When starting your search for the weights that are going to fit your needs the best it is very important to take a couple things into consideration in order to get the best results with both your training and your new purchase.

First of all you want to see what your ambition levels are and whether you are counting on seeing a lot of improvement and strength increase over the next 12 months or whether you are training more in order to stay in shape and don’t necessarily have the need to lift a lot more in 12 months time, it is essential that you stay brutally honest with yourself when answering this question.

If your situation is the latter, you won’t need a lot of heavy plates, if however your goal is to really push yourself and get significantly stronger over the next couple of months, you will need as many plates as possible so you can have a constant weight progression.

Make sure you are decide how much you are willing to spend on your new barbell weights and promise yourself that you won’t exceed this amount no matter what! It is very easy to exceed your budget with thousands of dollars on training equipment if you don’t make a serious decision from the get go.

Make sure you get a couple of the heavy ones and as many as possible of the lighter plates.