How to Keep Weights From Rusting

One primary challenge many weightlifters face, especially with home gym owners, is the eventual rusting of their weights. Because weights are mostly made of iron, they are very susceptible to rusting, either from old age …

One primary challenge many weightlifters face, especially with home gym owners, is the eventual rusting of their weights. Because weights are mostly made of iron, they are very susceptible to rusting, either from old age or poor quality. Nevertheless, this is not a death sentence, as there are several steps you can take to prolong your weight’s longevity. This article will do just that as it will discuss how to keep weights from rusting and offer other tips to help you enjoy your weights. 

From the outset, knowing that water plays a huge role in whether your weights rust is essential. This means weights in an outdoor gym are more likely to rust faster than their indoor gym counterparts. Rusting results from oxidization, a natural metal reaction when it comes in contact with moisture. Because your weights are more likely to come in contact with water and air outside, an outdoor gym is more vulnerable to rusting. Having said that, here are some steps to keep your weights from rusting and increasing their lifespan.

Store them indoors

Right off the bat, this is the best thing you can do to keep your weights from rusting. As earlier said, rust is a factor of oxidation that happens in the presence of air and moisture. This means that keeping your weights out in the open will lead to accelerated rusting. While outside, your weight will be vulnerable to the elements. This results in them being at the receiving end of rainfall, ultraviolet sunlight, and air. Because of this, you are better off keeping your weights inside, whether by using them inside or building a shed to keep them safe from the elements.

📖 Related Article: If you're enjoying this article you may want to also check out: Is an Outdoor Home Gym a Good Idea?

Build a shed

It goes without saying that if you use an outdoor gym, your weights will be outside. An outdoor gym does not automatically mean that you have to suffer the grim fate of using rusted weights. You can build a roofed shed outside to protect your weights from the elements. The type of roof you select generally influences how much protection your equipment will enjoy and for how long. Furthermore, more than just installing a roof, ensure it is properly installed so you do not get any surprising deterioration.

Keep away from water

We have established that water plays a huge role in rusting weights. However, this does not mean your weights are completely safe if you keep them indoors. Many circumstances can bring your indoor weights in contact with water. For example, you may have a burst pipe, spilled water, and, most importantly, sweat. Because of this, you have to take steps to ensure that your indoor plates are free of water at all times.

If all your weights are in one location, you should routinely monitor the location to ensure there are no spillages. Furthermore, you should be more careful with whatever liquid you drink while working out, as they all contain water. Ensure you put its cap on correctly when not in use. You can get the Hydracy Water Bottle with Time Marker to avoid this challenge. Likewise, you should also look out for sweating as it is very easy to overlook. Sweating is common with weightlifting, so you should be on the lookout. You can prevent corrosion from sweat by cleaning your weights after every gym session to keep them dry and moisture-free.

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Buy corrosion-proof weights

Another step to improve your weights’ longevity is to buy more durable, corrosion-resistant weights. These corrosion-resistant weights are often marketed as outdoor gym equipment. They commonly feature corrosion protection and UV resistance, enabling them to withstand the elements better than regular gym equipment. Usually, aluminum or stainless steel weights are less corrosion-resistant than those made from Black Oxide or Bare Steel. The unintended side effect is that while you enjoy your weights for much longer, they typically cost more than regular weights.

💡 Quick Tip: Looking for corrosion-resistant weight plates for your outdoor gym? Try out the Rogue Deep Dish Plates

Rogue Deep Dish Plates

Coat with oil

Coating your weights with oil can also help them fight off corrosion. Many people commonly use oil as a lubricant to keep their metal equipment free-moving and to reduce resistance. However, another contextually relevant ability you can use oil for is its rust-mitigating abilities, as they can form protective barriers against rust. This is because coating your weights with oil will prevent air from reacting with the iron underneath, preventing the chemical reaction from occurring at all. 

However, you should be careful with the equipment you apply the oil on as it can make it very difficult to grip. Because of this, you may be unable to use oil on a barbell, trap bar, or curl bar as it relies on grip. However, you can apply the oil coat on other non-grip equipment like weight plates, machines, and many more.

Apply dry-coating

The principle here is similar to coating with oil. The difference is that there are materials specifically to prevent rusting. However, unlike oil, they do not leave residues on the weight. Recall that you can not apply an oil coat on gym equipment you have to grip. In cases like this, a dry coat is suitable. If the dry coat alternative catches your fancy, try the JENOLITE Rust Converter.

Paint your weights

You can also protect your weights from rusting by painting them. Expectedly, the paint also provides a layer of protection on your weight, preventing air or moisture from coming in contact with the iron underneath and preventing oxidation. When painting your barbell, ensure you are careful with the knurling, as paint can get into it and make it challenging to produce friction when using it. You can cover the knurling with paper or cloth while you paint other parts of the barbell to keep it safe and rough enough for adequate grip when you lift.

💡 Quick Tip: Add WD-40 Original Formula on your weights while painting them to make them easy to slide onto your barbell.

WD-40 Original Formula