T Nation

Smooth Sided or Cut Out Plates?


I've got to buy myself an olympic barbell set, because I've just found out the bar I loaded up to 500 lbs last night is only rated for 330!! At least I can justify it to my wife on safety grounds, I mean "do you want me to die?".

I've found a couple of sets (only £10 price difference) one smooth sided the other "tri-grip".

Was going to go for the flat sided, mainly because they look better. Is there any advantage to having grip holes that I'm missing?

Thanks all.


If the choice is between round and hexagonal plates, do NOT under any circumstnaces get the hex plates. They SUCK for deadlifts if you are doing more than a single rep.


Yeah I will not even consider getting hexagonal plates.



You mean grip holes in the plates?


Yep. I mean apart from making it easier to thread a chain through for dips I cant see any advantage, but I wasn't sure if I was missing something.

I mean I've always managed to pick up plates without grip holes but you know..


I personally don't like plates with grip holes. The only ones I have seen are either hex or are smaller than standard 45s.

Your bar is really only made for 330? yeah, go get a better bar. If you were stateside I would recommned a bar from Jessup Gym, best bang for your buck out there.


Hex plates are the devil......


Yeah it's just a cheap home gym type bar. When I bought it 15 years ago I asked the guy how much it could take and he said "more than you could handle". I took that to mean it was probably 800lbs or something. Not 330, the cheeky fucker.

The new bar I'm looking at is good for 700lbs which should do me for a while (probably the rest of my life). If I ever get to the stage where I'm lifting over 700 I'd be thrilled to have to get a new bar!

The plates are standard 450mm diameter.




I have grip holes in my plates at the gym, and they are standard sized. I like them for farmers walks.


<3 my gym.


Now that's the sort of thing I was thinking about, does having grip holes mean they can be used for other exercises (just involving the plates themselves) thereby making them more versatile?

I can't see how the holes can be detrimental as long as the plates are the same weight and diameter.

Thanks for that PMPM.


I misunderstood. My bad.

I like the grip holes for, as you said, running the chain through for dips.


Really? because I tried doing that for dips and it seemed to be even more unbalancing than normal having them swing like that.


Well, running them through the centre hole would smash me in the nuts. Not a fan. Could be solved with a longer chain though.
I also found it easier to load and unload dips since I didn't have to bend over as far.
But, I do see your point about greater swing if the weight is farther from the belt.


Oh, I have seen those plates as PMPM posted. I don't see any downside to those.

But you should be warned that round plates are dangerous. So says my 24 Hour Management.


Well yes, there is great nut smashing fear....


Gosh I hadn't thought about it from a health and safety view point. I will make sure I wear a helmet and elbow and knee pads and will not lift anything over 25kg as recommended by the European Health and Safety Executive.


I like the old fashioned round iron plates without grip holes. Probably because I like the way they fit together and clank when I'm deadlifting with them. No real empirical reason why though.

Also, my gym has kettlebells, so I usually use those with a dip belt. If you are going to do weighted pullups or dips, go for the plates with grip holes if you value your balls.



round plates--no sided stuff! ones i have at home are Gold's Gym from walmart--have grips on them but are round--way cool