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September 15, 2022

2022 Olympic Plate Buying Guide - All you need to know about Olympic Plates!

In today's blog we are going to run through our range of Olympic weight plates to help you pick the right weight plate for you. With a huge range of Olympic weight plates on the market, knowing which type to suit you best is extremely important, and will also save you money in the long run. We'll run through Tri-Grip, Black Series Bumper Plates, Competition Plates and more. 


One of the most economical options in the Olympic Plate range is the Tri-Grip Olympic Weight Plate. These plates are made from heavy duty rubber that will protect your floors, are easy to handle and are great options for loading onto gym stations pulley systems, or onto the barbell for low to moderate workouts where the weights won’t be dropped onto the ground. These plates are great for topping up weights, with a range from 1.25kg, 2.5kg, all the way to 20kg. It’s always handy to have these plates in your home gym as you’ll be able to push through and increase your weight gradually with smaller increments. The Cortex Tri-Grip Weight Plates will come with a thin integrated steel core that makes loading plates onto the barbell seamless and easy. With 3 gripped handle positions, the tri-grip plates offer easy handling making switching between weights quicker, and also double up as a handheld weight allowing you to do some quick isolation exercises.  

Black Series Bumper Plates 

Next up, we have our Black Series Bumper Plates. These plates are highly recommended if you’re getting into your compound lifts such as deadlifts or squats, as these plates are packed with high density rubber that will keep your floors, walls and workout area protected from damage. All bumper plates will have the same 450mm diameter, giving you the same consistency and height of the bar, when resting on the ground. This is exceptionally important for compound lifts, such as deadlifts, clean & jerk, snack and jerk variations. Our Black Series plates start at 5kg, going up to 25kg, and comes with an inner steel ring making it easy to slide weights on and off the bar.  


Competition Bumper Plates 

If you’re chasing for the best performing and extremely durable bumper plate, look no further than the Competition Bumper Plate Series. Built for competition use, these plates are designed to take a beating, perfect if you’re serious about compound lifts such as deadlifts or clean & jerk variations. Made with the highest quality, highest density polyurethane, these plates are extremely durable and provide minimal bounce. Having no bounce from your barbell is extremely important, as less bounce means less time waiting for your bar to settle for the next rep on your deadlifts, as well as less damage caused by unpredictable bounces if you’re working out in tight spaces in the home gym. The noticeably big, reinforced inner steel ring shows just how sturdy these plates and how well they’ll hold up to the heavy use and impact. Our competition bumper plates are also colour coded making the weights easily identifiable, saving you time while switching plates. Like the Black Series bumper plates, competition plates start at 5kg going up to 25kg.  


Key differences 

Now that you know the key points in each type of weight plate, let’s break down how these plates will suit your needs. 

First let’s talk about the purpose of your home gym. If you’re looking for weight plates to throw onto your machine loaded weights, such as a leg press, gym station or smith machine, Tri-Grip plates will work extremely well.  If you’re looking for a lighter, moderate weight range for bench press, curls and squats, Tri-Grip plates can also be suitable.  

Once you get into the territory of effective workouts such as deadlifts, squats and other extremely effective, high intensity compound lifts, bumper plates are the way to go. A combination of Bumper Plates and Tri-Grip is also a great combo, to help you top up on weights to help you gradually progress. Keep in mind that Tri-Grips can start from as small as 1.25kg per side. If you’re looking for an even smaller increment, we’ve also got a range of fractional weight plates that start at 0.25kg.  

Dropping the plates 

One of our most frequent questions is, which weight plate can be dropped? Most bumper plates can withstand moderate drops, for higher impact drops we recommend going for the competition plates, due to their exceptionally durable build. It is important to note that not all barbells can withstand drops, our ZEUS range will be your best option for high impact drops. For more information on our barbell range, we’ll have a link at the end of the video to see our Olympic barbell comparison video.  

Bounce Factor 

Another really important factor is the bounce factor in these weight plates. The less bounce, the better. At CORTEX we classify the Black Series Bumper Plates as Low Bounce, and the Competition Bumper Plates as minimal bounce. There are other plates such as the Crumb Plate which will offer higher bounce. 


The thickness of the plate is also a great consideration when purchasing your next weight plate. Competition plates are noticeably thinner than most plates, allowing for more plates to fit onto a barbell, gym station or weight tree. If you’re aiming for some serious PBs, you’ll want to fit as much weight as possible.  

From functional training to competition lifting, we’ve got a variety of Olympic weight plates on offer that will suit any lifters needs. If you are starting your weightlifting journey, we have weightlifting packages available online that include both weight plates and barbells. Otherwise, weight plate pairs are available for increasing your current collection. If you have more questions, please reach out to our team. Otherwise, check out our range online. 

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