Pick the Right Olympic Weight Set for Your Goals

Let’s face it: Weights aren’t cheap. In fact, they’ll probably be amongst the most expensive items on your home gym shopping list. Thankfully, there’s a way to bring that cost down: buy your weights as a set.

But with so many options out there, how do you ensure you’re investing in the right set that aligns with your fitness goals, experience level, and budget? 

We’ve got you covered.

This article showcases all of our weight sets and details what fitness levels and goals each one is best suited for. By the end, you’ll know exactly which Barbell Standard Olympic Weight Set is right for you.

Factors When Choosing a Weight Set

As you read about each of the sets, keep in mind not only how much weight you need but also your fitness level, your goals, and the type of exercises you plan on doing during your workouts.

By considering these factors, you can be confident that you’re choosing a set suitable for your current weightlifting capabilities that won’t limit you as you grow stronger and need to increase the intensity of your workouts.

90-lb Olympic Weight Set

Our 90lb includes one pair of 25lb weights, one pair of 10lb weights, one pair of 5lb weights, and four 2.5lb weights.

90 LB Weight Set is Best if You...

Are New To Weightlifting/Returning After A Break

    This set is an excellent choice if you’re new to weightlifting or have been away from weightlifting for a while and are looking to jump back in. The lighter weights in this set will help you master the correct form and complete reps with a full range of motion without feeling like you’re struggling. (This is critical for preventing injuries.) 
    As you grow stronger over time, you’ll be able to slowly incorporate the heavier weights in this set to accommodate your increased fitness level. At your max, this set will allow you to lift 90 lbs. Then, you can upgrade by investing in a heavier set of weights or by buying another pair of plates to add on.

    Plan To Incorporate Weightlifting Into Overall Fitness Routine

      Most people in this category won’t need more than 90 lbs of weight. This set provides ample options for varied exercises to target different muscle groups, ensuring a well-rounded fitness routine.

      Want To Focus On Upper Body Exercises

        This set comes with many light-weight options, perfect for upper-body exercises, although it can also be used for lower-body exercises. The heaviest plates are 25 lbs, making the set ideal for exercises like shoulder presses, bicep curls, and chest flys. 

        180-lb Olympic Weight Set

        180lb Weight Set is Best if You...

        Are Ready To Level Up In Weight/Are At An Intermediate Weightlifting Level

          If you’re ready to level up from the 90-lb set, this is the next one to use. The heaviest plates are 45 lbs, compared to the 90-lb set's 25-lb heaviest weight, so you’re adding on a good amount of weight. The max is double at 180 lbs, allowing for plenty of room to grow.

          Want To Focus On Increasing Strength

            This set is designed for those looking to push their strength training to the next level. With heavier plates ranging up to 45 lbs, you can progressively increase the intensity of your workouts to build muscle and increase strength.

            Plan To Focus On Total Body Weightlifting Workouts

              This set comes with a good mix of light and heavy weights, which is ideal for someone who plans to do total-body weightlifting workouts. The light weights, 2.5 lbs. - 25 lbs., are perfect for the upper body, while the heavier weights, 45 lbs. - 180 lbs., are ideal for lower body exercises like squats and lunges. 

              250-lb Olympic Weight Set

              250 lb Weight Set is Best if You...

              Are At An Advanced Weightlifting Level

                This is the second heaviest set we offer. The 270-lb. set is only 20 lbs heavier than this one, so it is a good option for advanced lifters. This set also offers more variety of weights compared to the 270-lb. set for different weight-loading combos.

                Want To Focus On Increasing Muscle Mass

                  The 250-lb Olympic Weight Set is perfect for those aiming to pack on muscle mass. With a wide range of heavy plates available, ranging from 2.5 lbs to 45 lbs, you can customize your workouts to maximize muscle hypertrophy. Whether you're performing compound lifts like squats and deadlifts or isolation exercises targeting specific muscle groups, this set provides the necessary weight to challenge your muscles and stimulate growth effectively.

                  270-lb Olympic Weight Set

                  Our 270-lb Olympic Weight Set is our heavy-duty option, consisting of four 45-lb plates, two 25-pounders, and a pair of tens. Experienced bodybuilders and powerlifters will find this set particularly suitable for their training regimens, offering ample room for progression. 


                  Should I Invest in a Storage Rack for My Plates?

                  Investing in a storage rack for your plates can be a smart decision, especially if you have a home gym or limited space. A storage rack helps keep your weight plates organized and easily accessible and prevents them from cluttering your workout area.

                  Our weight plate tree and bar storage rack provides the storage ultimate solution.

                   40-lb Olympic Weight Set

                  Our 40-lb Olympic Weight Set is our lightest-weight set, consisting of a pair of tens, a pair of fives, and a four-pack of two and a half pound plates. Best for lifters just getting their feet wet or looking to fill our their change plate selection for quicker transitions between lifts.

                  Choose Weight By Fitness Goals

                  Your training goals will help direct your Olympic weight set choices. Whether your main goal is to increase muscle mass, hit a specific benchmark, or simply start incorporating weightlifting into your overall fitness routine, we’ve got you covered. 

                  Increasing Muscle Mass and Strength

                  If your goal is to increase muscle mass and strength, you need a set with plenty of room for progressive weight increase. You’ll be performing sets in the 5-8 rep range, so choosing a set with a range of heavier weights will ensure you have enough weight to build muscle and accommodate your increasing strength level.

                  We recommend our 250-lb Olympic weight set for mass and strength building.

                  Weightlifting as part of General Fitness

                  If you plan on lifting weights as part of your overall fitness routine or as part of your cross-training routine, you’ll want to buy a set that combines lighter and heavier weights. You’ll need a wide range of weights because you’ll be doing a much wider range of exercises. The mix of light and heavy weights will also help you avoid a plateau by keeping your muscles challenged.

                  We recommend our 180-lb Olympic weight set for general fitness or cross-training. 

                  Choose Weight by Exercise Type

                  Different types of exercises require different types of weights, so it's also important to consider the type of exercises you plan on doing. One way to categorize exercises is by whether they are compound or isolation exercises. Compound exercises involve multiple muscle groups and joints working together, while isolation exercises target specific muscles.

                  Compound Exercises

                  If your workout routine focuses on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, you'll want to select a weight set that includes heavier weights. These exercises engage large muscle groups simultaneously, especially in the lower body, requiring heavier loads to stimulate growth and strength development effectively.

                  Choose our 250 or 270-lb set if you’ll be including compound exercises in your workouts. 

                  Isolation Exercises

                  Isolation exercises such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, and lateral raises target specific muscle groups. Lighter weights are typically sufficient for these exercises, allowing for better control over movement and a wider range of motion. Lighter weights are beneficial for isolating and sculpting individual muscles without risking injury from excessive strain.

                  Choose our 90 or 180-lb set if you’ll be including compound exercises in your workouts. 

                  Total Body Workouts

                  A weight set with a mix of heavy and light weights is ideal for those incorporating a variety of exercises into their routine, including compound and isolation movements. This versatility ensures you have the right tools for each exercise, whether you're focusing on building overall strength or sculpting specific muscle groups.

                  Choose our 180-lb or 250-lb set if you’ll be doing both compound and isolation exercises in your workouts. 

                  Wrap Up

                  Whether you're a beginner looking to master proper form, an intermediate lifter ready to level up, or an advanced athlete aiming to increase muscle mass, we have a weight set tailored to your requirements. Our range of options, from the 90-lb set for newcomers to the 270-lb set for advanced lifters, ensures that you can progress safely and effectively.

                  Not sure what else you need to equip your home gym? Check out our complete guide to setting up a functional safe home gym. [Link to home gym set up article].