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What Is An Olympic Weight Set?

January 20, 2022 4 min read

what is an olympic weight set

While building your home gym, sooner or later, you’ll have to decide between an Olympic weight set and a standard weight set. Yet, what is an Olympic weight set? 

When it comes to weightlifting, using the right equipment is essential to your success. We’ll lift the mysteries behind the popular Olympic weight set in this guide. 

We’ll find out how they differ from standard weights and why they are an essential tool to have in your home gym.

Meet The Olympic Weight Set

The famousOlympic weight set offers a higher weight capacity than standard weights. 

what is an olympic weight lifting set

This higher weight capacity makes an Olympic weight set ideal for someone looking for massive gains as part of their bodybuilding goals.

If you’ve progressed beyond the capabilities of standard weights, you need to invest in an Olympic weight set.

There are also some other significant differences between Olympic weights and standard weights.

Compatible Equipment

Olympic weights are more compatible than standard weights. For instance, you can use Olympic plates on both a standard and Olympic bar. In contrast, standard plates only work on standard bars. 

So, with a standard weight set, you’ll be limited in the range of weights you can choose from, whereas an Olympic weight set gives you various weight options.

Stronger Material

You don’t have to worry about the bars bending out of shape with an Olympic weight set. A bar that bends or buckles can make it challenging to complete heavy lifts. 

Olympic weights come with bars that are twice as thick as standard bars. So, you can add more weight to an Olympic weight set. 

Even when it starts to bend, the durable material will straighten back out once you’ve removed the weights from the bar.

Less Torque

When lifting heavy weights, torque can easily be the difference between success and failure. 

Luckily, Olympic bars are typically revolving. So, your weight plates can rotate without affecting the bar and your lift. 

You’ll mainly notice the difference when doing a snatch or curl, where the weight plates are prone to spinning. 

Since standard weight sets lack this feature, you may find that your weight set can quickly become warped and damaged.

Larger Hole Size

In the weight lifting world, size does matter! One of the critical features of an Olympic weight set is that the plate’s hole is 2” in diameter. This size means that Olympic weights are typically larger than standard plates. 

Since standard weights have a hole that’s only 1”, you’ll find that they tend to be smaller than Olympic plates. The larger Olympic weight plates mean a better balance and a more accessible lift. 


If you plan on competing at an official level, you’ll need Olympic weights. These are the only weight sets officially recognized by the competitive professional community.

Suppose you want to stay competitive and relevant. In that case, you’ll need to join thousands of other lifters and exclusively use Olympic-grade equipment.

Get More Advantages With An Olympic Weight Set

There are a lot of additional advantages to having thebest Olympic weight set in your home gym. For instance, you won’t accidentally tip over an Olympic weight set that you’ve racked.

Since they are so stable, you can easily add several Olympic plates to the bar, one at a time. Their stability will ensure that the bar doesn’t tip over, making them a great choice if you’re training on your own.

Precision and quality is another key feature in every Olympic weight set. Since many lifters use them competitively, the bars and plates are rigorously tested and measured. 

In sharp contrast, standard weights can deviate quite a bit and are often not as precise as Olympic sets. 

When Do I Need To Get An Olympic Weight Set?

what is the best olympic weight lifting set

Typically newcomers to the weightlifting world will start with standard weights. There’s nothing wrong in doing so. 

Perhaps they’ll use thebest barbell set along with their standard weight lifting set to build muscle and improve their technique. 

The difference is that when they end up outperforming the capability of their lifting equipment. 

Soon they realize that a standard weight set doesn’t offer them the same capacity as an Olympic set.

Since Olympic weights are more durable and offer a more extensive range of weight plates. It’s also a better choice if you plan to push your limits or even compete professionally.

It’s not just strict and professional weightlifters that use Olympic weight sets. Today, most gyms also opt for Olympic weight sets. 

These sets are more durable, compatible with various weights and reliable enough that they’re safer to use by the general public than standard weight lifting sets.

They save their owners money and appeal to a broader variety of gym enthusiasts.

Ready To Take Your Lift To The Next Level?

If you plan on shattering your weight lifting goals, you need equipment to keep up with your demands and goals. 

While standard weight sets may be more affordable, they are ultimately limited and simply inferior to a proper Olympic weight set’s pedigree.

If you’ve liked our guide to the Olympic weight set, you may also enjoy reading ourbarbell vs kettlebell or ourbest barbell collars guides.

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