Washers for Weightlifters : Workout Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016


Current goals: 

+ Squat a plate by my birthday (mid September) (current PR: 125lbs ~56.7kg)
+ Run/walk a mile in under 10 minutes (current PR: 10 mins 48 seconds)
+ Long Term Goal: Run 5k in under half an hour
    Since I spent several days this week visiting family, I didn't get to spend as much time in the gym as I usually do, and don't have anything particularly exciting to report.

    Instead, I thought I'd talk about an alternatvie to a piece of equipment that's very useful, but often very over priced: the 1.25lb plate.

    My gym has 2.5lb plates (total lift will increase by 5lbs), but even those aren't standard, and I've heard of many gyms where the smallest weight increment is 10lbs (~4.5kg)! That is not going to work for someone like me, especially with upper body lifts, But instead of shelling out the $40 or $50 for a set of tiny weights, I bought hardware instead.




    I'd often read people recommending washers instead of microplates, but they didn't often give specifics like where do you buy them from, or how they are sized. My husband and I went looking in a huge home improvement stores first, and didn't find anything remotely big enough to fit on the bar (about 2 inches diameter for a 45lbs bar). The next stop was online, where I nabbed some washers by McMaster-Carr.

    I bought 6 plates so I could have three increments to work with: 1.25, 2.5 and 3.75. Increasing by another 1.25 step would take me to 5lbs, which my gym already had available. My total was $17.26, including delivery to my apartment door (some hardware and construction companies only want to deliver to a business).

    I weighed them each using my food scale and found them to be between 0.6 and 0.639lbs. I usually put the 0.6lb and 0.608lb on one side of the bar, and the 0.602 and 0.606 lb on the other, to keep them balanced and adding a total of 2.419 pounds. Not quite the 2.5 I was hoping for, but pretty damn close.

    The exact items I bought were 6 of << 91081A046 Steel USS Flat Washer, 2" Screw Size, 2.125" ID, 4.500" OD, Packs of 1 >>.


    Other alternatives to washers I've heard of is to use chains (how badass would that be!), wrapping ankle weights around the bar or piling up the collars/clips (although I'm not sure how serious of a suggestion that is).

    Wild Workout Wednesday

    1 comment:

    1. That's such a great idea! My gym has the 2.5lbs but even adding 5lbs can be tough, having smaller increments and building up would be nice.

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