Physical fitness is one of the most important factors of life. Being healthy factors into your mood, your energy, how well you sleep, your personal relationships and how you feel about life. Being healthy is not something that only the rich can afford or that certain people cannot attain. Being healthy and in shape is available to anyone who is willing to put in the hard work to reach their goals. However, some people may not know where to start or how to go about achieving these goals.
While dieting, rest, and nutritional supplements are important in your health goals, so is a quality weightlifting set. This guide is to inform people of the importance of selecting an Olympic weightlifting set that is appropriate for them. Whether you have never lifted a weight before or you are looking to improve your current set, this is a reference for filtering out the many options that are currently available.There are a few different things to first consider when purchasing an Olympic weight set. What weight, size and type of plates and what size or length of bar are important to consider when lifting. Also getting the best price for the optimum quality set and having a reliable warranty is valuable as well.
Components Of A Olympic Weight Set
The first component of your weight set you will want to consider is most likely going to be a barbell. While the length of barbells can vary, official Olympic barbells measure 86 inches (roughly 7 feet) in length for men and 79 inches (6.5 feet) for women. Men’s barbells weigh close to 45 pounds (20 kg) and women’s weigh roughly 30 pounds (15 kg).
With a barbell and a bench you can do exercises for almost every muscle in your upper body. Even without the bench you can use a barbell for curls and triceps exercises to work on developing your arms. Aside from a bench, a barbell is also helpful if you have a squat rack. Squatting is a key exercise for building a strong core. This, in turn, will allow you to lift heavier weights to obtain your goals.
A standard Olympic weight sets package will come with the following (Note: depending on the package you purchase this could vary):
- 1 x 45 lb bar (as mentioned above).
- 2 x 45 lb Plates
- 2 x 35 lb Plates
- 2 x 25 lb Plates
- 2 x 10 lb Plates
- 4 x 5 lb Plates
- 2 x 2.5 lb Plates
These free weights have a standard two-inch diameter that will match other Olympic barbells in case you purchase multiple bars. This culmination of weights is considered the standard 300-pound set (the combined weight of all of the plates and the bar). A 300-pound set is a great purchase for beginners and novice weight lifters alike. With a core 300 pound set in your possession, other plates can be purchased and added to your collection as you progress to heavier weights.
When buying weights, you also want to consider the material they are made of. Typically, free weights are made of either rubber, rubber encased, or metal. If you do not have rubber-padded floors, you may want to stay away from the metal weights in consideration of your gym floors.
Barbells and weights vary in price, depending on the company who makes them. Typically you can expect to pay anywhere from 20 to 80 cents per pound for weights. For example, a 45 pound weight could cost anywhere from $10 to $35.
Top Companies in the Industry
For many years the industry standard for Olympic weightlifting equipment was products from Joe Weider. However many other companies have begun creating quality brands. Rouge Fitness makes quality barbells as well as rubber and metal weights. Pendlay creates another top product line of weights and barbells. Troy and York have also gained significant popularity. These are all top-of-the-line products and you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars for a quality barbell. Their weights are also more expensive than some alternatives. It should be mentioned that you could find a basic Olympic weight lifting set at your local sports store. But as with anything in life, you can expect to get what you pay for. The quality and comfort offered by the higher brands may be more worth it to those looking to optimize their workout regimen and step up to higher levels.
The next set of weights you will want to consider purchasing for your gym is going to be Olympic dumbbells. Dumbbells have many different unique ways of being purchased. While many dumbbells have a set weight, there are also adjustable dumbbells similar to the barbell.
Adjustable dumbbells typically come with two handles, multiple weights and end caps. Many of the weight sets vary in weight and size, but typically come to a total of 80 pounds. The end caps are used to keep the weights on the handles and from not moving while you are lifting.
Click and Lock Systems
A recent innovation in the weightlifting industry has been adjustable weights that work with a “click and lock” system. Rather than having free weights you take on and off, this new system allows you to put the handle into a preset stack of weights. You then select the desired amount of weight and lock it into place. These weight systems, while more expensive, are extremely convenient and save space in a gym.
Fixed Weight Dumbbells
Another option, although found more in health clubs rather than home gyms, are preset dumbbells. Commonly referred to as Hex or Pro Style dumbbells, these handles have weights already built into them and progress in weight amounts. While this is convenient in a gym where there may be many people waiting to use weights and it is not necessarily space-friendly for a home gym.
Hex dumbbells usually cost around 40 cents per pound. You can also expect to see the same prices per pound for free weights, as with the dumbbell weights (anywhere from 20 to 80 cents per pound). PowerBlock and Bowflex (SelectTech) both make “click and lock” weights that will cost around $300. Although it seems to be more expensive, when you add up the numerous free weights you would have to purchase the “click and lock” systems sometimes work out to be a better financial deal. Furthermore, the quality of PowerBlock and Bowflex is highly renowned in the weightlifting industry. PowerBlock even comes with a 10-year warranty and the Bowflex counterpart offers a two-year warranty on plates and parts.
As with anything in life, weightlifting will take time to progress and there are very few shortcuts. However, for anyone who is serious about their health and getting into shape, a great starting place is an Olympic weightlifting set. If you begin with this, you can then fine-tune your workout regimen to what works best for you.
In our next article we look at Pendlay and Review their Weight Set. Thanks for visiting www.olympicweightsetreview.com, if you liked this article please use our social buttons to give us the thumbs up.
by John B.