T Nation

Substitute for Barbell Plates


Next year I will leave gym and will be traing home due to work... However weight plates for the barbell are too expensive to buy, so I would like to know some cheap or easy-to make alternatives for weight plates for the barbell.
So far I have find nothing worthy or easy to make...

(I need weight plates at least 20 lbs each)...
(I already have a 200 lbs barbell-with weight plates)
Thank you guys!


Well I don't have a DIY weight plate idea but check craigslist. You can probably find some pretty cheap weights there.

Usually at stores it's around $1/lb.


Thank you for you answer David M! However I could hear to any other suggestions regarding home-made stuff, as well! :slightly_smiling:


The best I can think of as far as homemade stuff goes is sand or cement filled casings. I think you're best off putting up the dough. I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but some places sell them reasonably cheap. Do a search and see what you find.


If you live in the US or Canada, check out Play it Again Sports.


It wouldn't be all that stable, but like spar4tee said cement filled casing or buckets full of cement seem to be DIY weights.


for the plates I mean




Get an old tire and rim.
Use a hole saw to cut a hole in the tire.
Fill with sand.
Glue the plug back in the hole.

I have one I carry and drag around the yard. Haven't used on a barbell but it should work if you find the right size. Just put a plate on either size of the rim when loading on a bar to keep it tight.


x3. look around 2hand stores you can find them dirt cheap


Also get bands


Thank you for your replies, best forum ever!
Bands can be a cheap and easy solution, granted that can provide enough resistance. In addition it is difficult to measure the resistance they provide.Chains are good too but more expensive than weights. Home-made-cement stuff are also great but I lack of raw materials.
My conclusion is that I could buy some resistance bands and if I don't find anything to make, I will be forced to buy the actuall plates... Where I live, there are no such things as "sales"... :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:
Thanks for the replies, again!


put chains on your collars.


It's not hard to measure the resistance of bands. Just buy a cheap hanging scale.


It's not hard to measure the resistance of bands. Just buy a cheap hanging scale.


x100. Check Craigslist several times a day and you will find cheap plates sooner than later.


You guys didn't first ask whether he lives in America...


Snatch some sewer caps and drill holes in the center.


/\ Awesome idea.

Tires and hanging things off the bar worked pretty well for me. Ignore my shirtlessness and rounded back. http://tnation.T-Nation.com/hub/hastalles#myLogs/thread//1


Plates can be found in my area for 25 cents a lb. But if your set on diy cement castings surrounded by 2x4s. They are big bulky and hard to cast as even weights