T Nation

Weigh Your Big Plates


People here might not realize, but your standard olympic plates can be off 3+ % up or down. this might not matter with 2.5s etc. But when you're benching 315 and planning on opening with it, but your plates are light you might be in for a rude awakening if your set is actually 306 and a local meet has plates that weigh heavy.

315 could easily be 306 or 324. My 45s weigh 14.5 pounds heavy total, when we have six on a side. I didn't weigh the 100s since they normally sit in a corner.

Or you could get calibrated Ivankos from Sorinex for roughly 4$ a pound. He has the best prices I've seen and the plates are guaranteed to be within 10 grams on fifty kilos.



This was recently discovered at my gym.

The 45's range from 43lbs to 49lbs. A few people kept noticing it on bench, and I was even noticing it on my deadlift. It's not just having 306 instead of 315..but what if you have 129lbs on one side (3-43#'s), and 147lbs on the other side (3-49#'s).

They decided to weigh each individual plate and label them with stickers now.


I get what you are saying, but if your opener being 324 instead of 306 causes you to miss then you didn't pick your opener very well.
I could see weighing the plates to make sure they aren't way off, but then again you would have to make sure the scale was properly calibrated. It might be fine just for your knowledge, but we have to lift with whatever plates are available at the gym anyway so I'd really rather not know.


I'll bet you that most scales vary from the "true mass" by about 3% as well.


My gym has nothing but calibrated plates. Thank god.


nice gym! and good advice...however; it's my thought that your opener should be such a close call where a 15 lbs difference makes or breaks you. Even with 600 lbs. @ 3% you're looking at a total of 18 lbs...don't open too heavy folks.


Oh yeah. I tell you about that shit.

I tought I did 250kg squat in 2009, but then a few weeks after I got the idea that I had to check the accurate weight of all my plates. To my dismay, I found out that I had lifted 243kg, not 250kg. Oh well, it took another year and a few weeks to get that real 250kg eventually. Later I've always adjusted for this so that I lift what I am supposed to lift. The more you lift, the bigger the difference can be.

But if you progress with the plates you have/use it is still progress. But what feels like a "light" bench session could in theory just be that the sum of the plates you are using are 4kg less than what you lifted the previous session, even if you "apparently" have the same weight on the bar.

The safest bet is probably calibrated plates. And for normal training, this is really no big deal. :slight_smile:


I weighed mine a few months ago, all of em were too heavy except for 2. I guess I'm lucky in the sense that any lifts I make I am almost guaranteed to make anywhere else, but then again having one more plate on the bar is just fun.


I weighed all my plates a few months ago and all but two sets where on. Some as low as 42 some as high as 49


I just count all plates at their stamped weight. If they are 45s, I count them as 45s. Same goes with bars too. They are all 45 unless noted otherwise (some olympic bars say 20kg on the side. 20kg=44lbs). If you were to weigh your plates and bars each time you lifted, it would drive you nuts.


My big point is for competition. Knowing where you are at is a great idea. When I was younger most of my big meets had ivanko plates. Meets seemed a little easier than the gym snd it was good for a pr. I'm sure the plates I lifted with were heavy.

A lot of meets are using gym plates, so weighing them doesn't really matter.


lift in IPF - they are pretty strict with weights being true


As it has always been.


Not to be a boor, but it would take to long to explain themulti federation stuff going on in the USA. I lift locally when healthy or my son lifts locally. This means less travel etc. and you get what you get plate wise. Not all meets have competition plates.

Back in the day when I was in college, the USPF, ADFPA, and APF were the only games in town. We lifted USPF and ADFPA. Many of these meets featured Ivanko calibrated plates, and boy were they sweet!


For me it's my own private gym and I have 14 45s, 4 100s, and assorted 2.5s, 5s, 10s, 25s, 35s, and two bumper 10 kilos. I take the weight on the bar as my log weight, but it is not to hard to weigh my stuff and mark them.

It was curiosity and such getting to me since I was to close to 600. But my big point applies, if you're going into a meet with calibrated plates, it is good to know you were lifting a little heavy in the gym. This could get you 20-40 more lbs on the platform.

Say you are squatting 550, but it's 12 pounds heavy, and you dl 610 and it's fifteen heavy, and you bench 320, but it's 10 heavy, you have 37 lbs there. Choosing a final attempt 5 kilos heavier might be in the bag.