Best Olympic Weight Sets: Plates That Can Stand Up to Deadlifts

Best Olympic Weight Set


Weight plates (and a weightlifting belt) are a must if you're into heavy lifting. While standard weights will get the job done for some people, Olympic weights might be the upgrade you need. The best Olympic weight sets come with higher weights and are often precision-tested to ensure that the listed weight is accurate. Olympic weights are also made of durable materials, like cast iron or rubber so they'll last through many deadlifts.

Weight sets can range heavily, from 65-pound beginner sets to powerlifting sets that collectively total more than 1,000 pounds. You can also mix and match weight plates to create your own set if you can't find exactly what you're looking for.

The ACTIVE Reviews Team researched and reviewed each weight set on this list, assessing material, finish, weight range, and consumer reviews (among other things). We also considered whether or not the weights were available individually, so you could create your own custom set. After careful deliberation, we narrowed it down to the seven best Olympic weight sets for all your lifting needs.

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The Best Olympic Weight Set - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Olympic Weight Set - REP Fitness Old School Iron

REP Fitness Old School Iron

SPECS

  • Finish: Cast iron with matte finish
  • Weight range: 145-425 lbs. (individual plates are 2.5-45 lbs.)

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REP Fitness is all about straightforward, functional equipment. The plates in this Olympic weight set are made of cast iron coated with a high-quality matte finish for extra durability. They have a classic one-sided design with raised silver lettering that makes it easy to identify the specific weight when you're adding plates to your barbell. Weight is listed in both pounds and kilograms. Each plate also has a deep lip so you can get a firm grip on them even with sweaty hands in between sets.

There are six sets available, starting at 145 pounds and going all the way up to 425 pounds, and the individual plates start at 2.5 pounds and max out at 45 pounds. If you want to mix and match, you can also purchase the plates in pairs, choosing from 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 35, and 45-pound options. Each weight plate has a 52-millimeter center hole that works with all standard barbells, so you can use what you have if you don't want to get a new one from REP.

What We Like

  • 6 sets available
  • Can add more weight plate pairs
  • Easy-to-read design

What We Don't Like

  • No lower weight sets
  • A bit costly

BUY: REP Fitness Old School Iron

Best Budget Olympic Weight Set - XMark Olympic Plates

XMark Olympic Plates

SPECS

  • Finish: Rubber
  • Weight range: 65-415 lbs. (individual plates are 2.5-45 lbs.)

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The XMark Olympic Plates are unique in that they're made of rubber instead of cast iron like many other plates. This makes them highly durable and considerably less noisy when hitting the ground during deadlifts. They have a convenient design with three gripped areas that make them easier to handle and raised lettering that lists weight in pounds and kilograms. The center hole has a steel insert so they glide more easily onto a barbell and don't catch like rubber can.

There are multiple sets available. They start at 65 pounds and go all the way up to 415 pounds, with the individual plates ranging from 2.5 pounds to 45 pounds. You can also purchase the plates in pairs if you want to build your own set or add a few extra plates to an existing one. The downside of these plates is that rubber has a distinctive smell and while it dissipates over time, it may be more apparent if you're sensitive to it.

What We Like

  • Durable rubber design
  • Plates are easy to grip
  • Come in a wide variety of options from pairs to sets

What We Don't Like

  • Characteristic rubber smell 
  • Lettering is the same color as plate

BUY: XMark Olympic Plates

Best Durable Olympic Weight Set - Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates

Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates

SPECS

  • Finish: Powder-coated cast iron
  • Weight range: 358.5-1,108.5 lbs. (individual plates are 0.25-55 lbs.)

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Rogue is well-known in the industry for making high-quality fitness equipment that's built to last. Made of powder-coated cast iron, these Calibrated Steel Plates are one of the most durable Olympic weight sets out there. The plates themselves have a slim design for maximum loading capacity—you can fit up to 1,500 pounds on a single barbell—and calibration plugs (lead on the lower-weight plates and brass on anything over 5 pounds) that ensure the listed weight actually matches what you're lifting.

The plates have the specific weight listed in pounds and each one is color-coded for easier identification during your workouts. They do have a slightly narrower center hole than others—it measures 50.4 millimeters—because they're meant for a really snug fit on a standard barbell. Rogue does call out that this can be a problem if your existing barbell is not closely regulated and held to that standard. The plates are also pretty flat, so they can be harder to grip than others with a deeper lip. There are only two pretty beefy sets available: a 358.5-pound set and a 1,018.5-pound set. But you can mix and match plate pairs from 0.25 pounds to 55 pounds to build your own custom set.

What We Like

  • Color-coded for easier identification
  • Calibrated for precision
  • Slim design for max weight loading

What We Don't Like

  • Only 2 heavy sets available
  • Design makes them harder to grip

BUY: Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates

Best Olympic Weight Set for Beginners - Titan Fitness Urethane Plates

Titan Fitness Urethane Plates

SPECS

  • Finish: Rubber outer; steel core
  • Weight range: 340 lbs. (individual weights are 10-55 lbs.)

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The Titan Fitness Urethane Plates are a gentle entry into the world of Olympic weightlifting. These bumper plates are made of high-quality, durable rubber that's molded over a steel core. Because of this construction, they're quiet and absorb impact on landing, but don't have a ton of bounce. They're also highly precise, thanks to the steel core.

There's only one 340-pound set available, but you can also purchase the plates individually or in pairs. There are 10, 25, 35, 45, and 55-pound options available. Each plate is color-coded for easier identification and has a slightly raised lip for easier gripping. The weight is also listed (in pounds) in raised lettering on the front of weight.

What We Like

  • Sold in a set, individually, or in pairs
  • Color-coded for easier identification
  • Rubber-coated for a softer landing

What We Don't Like

  • Only 1 set available
  • Expensive

BUY: Titan Fitness Urethane Plates

Best Olympic Weight Set for Home Gyms - Iron Bull Training Bumper Plates

Iron Bull Training Bumper Plates

SPECS

  • Finish: Virgin rubber with matte finish
  • Weight range: 10-55 lbs. (individual weights)

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Metal weight plates are precise, but they can quickly damage your floors if you don't have the right gym flooring. These Iron Bull Training Bumper Plates offer the best of both worlds. They're constructed of high-quality stainless steel inserts that are coated in virgin rubber. The rubber is not only extremely durable, but it also absorbs impact when landing so it's easier on your floors.

The weights are color-coded and have raised lettering with the specific weight on the face. Technically, the plates aren't sold as a set, but you can create your own from 10, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 55-pound weights. The weights are sold in singles, so keep that in mind if you're looking for pairs.

What We Like

  • Color-coded
  • Coated in highly durable virgin rubber
  • Wide weight range

What We Don't Like

  • Weights are sold in singles, not pairs or sets
  • On the expensive side

BUY: Iron Bull Training Bumper Plates

Best High-End Olympic Weight Set - Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

SPECS

  • Finish: Virgin rubber
  • Weight range: 160-260 lbs. (individual plates are 10-45 lbs.)

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The Rogue Echo Bumper Plates are a high-end option that's still fairly budget-friendly compared to other similar weights. They're made from virgin rubber, which is the ideal material for plates that are constantly subjected to impact or direct contact with the floor. And despite the rubber construction, they're not too bouncy. Rogue says they have a "dead bounce," which basically means they'll absorb impact when they hit the floor but won't have a lot of pushback.

Each plate has a stainless steel insert for easier gliding onto your barbell, a 50.6-millimeter center hole, and contrasting white lettering that makes it easier to identify the specific weights. There are three sets available: 160 pounds, 230 pounds, and 260 pounds. You can also mix and match from 10, 15, 25, 35, and 45-pound plates to make your own set.

What We Like

  • Durable virgin rubber construction
  • Not too bouncy
  • Stainless steel center hole insert

What We Don't Like

  • Flatter design makes them harder to grip
  • Heavier weight sets not available

BUY: Rogue Echo Bumper Plates

Best Olympic Weight Set for Heavy Lifters - Rogue Competition Plates

Rogue Competition Plates

SPECS

  • Finish: Chrome-plated steel discs; rubber flanges
  • Weight range: 210-320 lbs. (individual plates are 25-55 lbs.)

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If you're a heavy lifter, you probably don't want to mess around with 0.25, 0.5, or 2.5-pound plates. This set from Rogue has only 25, 35, 45, and 55-pound options so you can maximize your load without having to stack up a bunch of smaller plates. The plates have rubber flanges that encase a chrome-plated steel disc for durability with a softer landing. The collar opening is 50.4 millimeters to ensure a stable fit on an Olympic barbell.

The plates have raised lettering that displays the weight in pounds, and each one is color-coded for easier identification during your sets. Like most Rogue plates, they have a flatter design than some other plates so they can be harder to grip. There are three available sets—210, 300, and 320 pounds—or you can purchase the plates in pairs.

What We Like

  • Color-coded for easier identification
  • Rubber flanges for durability
  • Very quiet landing

What We Don't Like

  • Flat design can be hard to grip
  • Limited weight options

BUY: Rogue Competition Plates

How to Choose the Best Olympic Weight Set

When deciding which Olympic weight set is best for you, consider the material and finish, as well as how (and where) you're going to store them.

Material

Olympic weight sets most commonly come in cast iron, steel, and rubber. Cast iron weights are durable and dense, so the weight is more precise. Steel is even more precise than cast iron and resistant to corrosion, but is often more expensive. Rubber can be less precise, but it's ultra-durable and has a softer landing, so it won't mess up your floors as much as other weights can. There's really no "best" material, it just depends on what you're looking for.

Finish

The finish is also important. If you're choosing metal weight plates, it's best to opt for a set that's powder-coated. This makes them highly resistant to wear and tear and easier to maintain. Some steel plates also have a rubber coating, which gives you the best of both worlds: a durable, precise weight with a softer landing.

Storage Requirements

When buying a set of weights, you're going to need a place to store them. If you're buying a smaller set that only includes a handful of weights, you might be able to store them in a closet or slide them under your bed. However, if you're buying a larger set, it makes sense to get some sort of weight storage. Keep this in mind when making your decision and factor it into your budget.

FAQs About Olympic Weight Sets


Why do Olympic weights feel heavier?

Olympic weights can feel heavier because of the material. Steel and cast iron are solid materials that are heavier than their less-rugged counterparts. It's also possible that the weights you're using are heavier; Olympic weight sets often go up to much higher weights than standard sets.

Why are Olympic weights 2 inches?

Olympic weights themselves aren't 2 inches, the center hole that slides onto the barbell is. They are designed to fit Olympic bars rather than standard barbells, which are only 1 inch.

Are Olympic weights worth it?

Olympic weights have a streamlined design and more durable construction than standard weights. They also often come in heavier weights. If you want to make regular lifting a part of your routine, they're worth it.

Are all Olympic bars 45 lbs.?

The standard weight of Olympic bars varies by gender. Men's Olympic bars weigh 44 pounds (or 20 kilograms), while women's Olympic bars weigh 33 pounds (or 15 kilograms).

How much weight is in an Olympic set?

It depends on the set. Some Olympic weight sets have a combined total of 65 pounds, while others go over 1,000. Typically the individual weights cap out at 45 to 55 pounds.

About the Author

Lindsay Boyers

Lindsay is a functional nutritionist, writer, and editor. She has written 15 books and numerous articles on fitness, wellness, and nutrition. Her work appears on Forbes.com, CNET.com, Healthline.com, Garagegymreviews.com, CNN.com, mindbodygreen,com, and LIVESTRONG.com, among others.

See More from Lindsay

Lindsay is a functional nutritionist, writer, and editor. She has written 15 books and numerous articles on fitness, wellness, and nutrition. Her work appears on Forbes.com, CNET.com, Healthline.com, Garagegymreviews.com, CNN.com, mindbodygreen,com, and LIVESTRONG.com, among others.

See More from Lindsay

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