An important decision when outfitting you home gym is what mix of plates to include. Those 300 lb “starter” sets that you see at big box stores are a convenient starting point, but are they really the best possible mix?
Such sets typically include 2 x 45 lb, 2 x 35 lb, 2 x 25 lb, 2 x 10 lb, 4 x 5 lb, and 2 x 2.5 lb plates, for a total of 255 lbs of iron. Throw in a crappy 45 lb barbell, and you’re up to 300 lbs. Not bad for a starter set.
If you’re building a collection from scratch, you might want to think a bit more about the finer details. In particular, do you really need (or want) 35 lb plates? Think about that for a minute…
Let’s say you’re working with 185 lbs (i.e., 45 + 25 on each side) and you want to bump it to 205. Are you really going to pull off the 25 and add a 35? Or will you just throw on another 10 lbs? I’d do the latter.
Related: What’s the best (cheap) barbell?
Back in high school, many (many!) years ago, we had 35 lb plates. And yes, I will admit that I used them — mostly because my mis-guided teen mind thought that they looked more impressive than 25 plus 10 lbs.
In more recent years, however, none of the gyms that I’ve used have had them. And guess what? I haven’t missed them a bit. Thus, when I was setting up our gym, I opted to skip the 35 lb plates entirely.
What about you? Are you a fan of 35 lb plates? Or not so much?
P.S. Click through to read my thoughts on the best combination of Olympic weight plates for your home gym.