Have you ever wondered about the best (and most efficient) combination of Olympic weight plates for your home gym? Well, I’ve spent a good bit of time thinking about this very topic, and wanted to share my thoughts.
For starters, I live in the United States, so I’m thinking in terms of pounds. The best setup might differ a bit if you’re using kg plates, though there are some rough equivalents (e.g., a blue 20 kg plate ≈ 45 lbs) between the two.
With that as a backdrop, and working from the bottom up, here is what I’d suggest for a typical home gym:
- 1 pair of 2.5 lb plates
- 1 pair of 5 lb plates
- 2 pairs of 10 lb plates
- 1 pair of 25 lb plates
- However many pairs of 45 lb plates you need
This plate combination will let you quickly make any 5 lb increment of weight that you want. If you outgrow your collection, just add more 45 lb plates. Yes, you could add a pair of 35 lb plates to this mix, but they’re redundant and (imho) unnecessary, so I’d skip them.
Beyond the above, I would suggest a pair of 1.25 lb plates, as these let you make micro adjustments for lifts where 5 lb increments might be too large, or when your progress has slowed. I have some, and I really like being able to fine-tune my lifts when the need arises.