Most normal olympic weight plates are available in the predetermined weights of 2.5lbs, 5lbs, 10lbs, 25lbs, 45lbs, etc. By using these plates, the least amount of weight you can add to your barbell is 5lbs.
Now, 5lbs may not sound like a big deal to a beginner but if you are already lifting a decent weight, you may not be able to add an extra 5lbs every week. Plus, many times adding 5lbs of weight may not be practically possible. For example, an extra 5lbs might feel like 50lbs when used for bench pressing.
If you want to lift progressively higher weights, you have to take baby steps so you don’t go too harsh and end up injuring yourself or reach that fitness plateau any time soon.
Silent Unboxing Video
Fractional weight plates let you take baby steps in weight training
Also known as change plates, they are available in much smaller weight increments. For example, the Microgainz fractional weight plate that we are going to review here comes with a set that has plates weighing 0.25lb, 0.50lb, 0.75lb, and 1lb. Using these plates, the minimum weight that you can add to the barbell is 0.5lbs.
Now, adding 0.5lb will be much easier than 5 lbs or maybe 2lbs (if you have 1lb plates). You will be able to make constant progress without feeling sore and tired every day.
You can read this article on ‘What are Fractional Weight Plates and How Should They Be Used?’ for more details.
A lot of companies manufacture fractional weight plates and most of them have the standard weights that we have listed above. We have tested many of them and have come up with a list of Best Fractional Weight Plates for people who are looking for honest and reliable recommendations.
Here, we will provide you with a detailed review of the Microgainz fraction weight plates, which was one of the first few products introduced in the market.
Noteworthy features of Microgainz fractional weight plates
- Comes in a set of 8 plates (two 0.25lb, two 0.5 lb, two 0.75lb, and two 1lb)
- The plates are made of sintered steel. For those of you who don’t know, the sintering process of steel significantly increases its strength and impact resistance. So, even though they look fragile, they are designed to tolerate drops, throws, and other forms of rough use.
- All of them have the same inner and outer diameter. They only vary in thickness.
- They have a 2” inner diameter, which makes them suitable for Olympic barbells.
- They are not color-coded but the logo and weight are pressed into the plates to avoid any confusion.
- Made in the USA.
Color-coding would be nice
That’s the only issue people have with these Microgainz fractional weight plates. But, we like them the way they are!
Some competitive products such as the Trademark Innovations Fractional Weight Plates and 44SPORT Olympic Fractional Plates are color-coded, so you can quickly figure which ones you need. But, Microgainz fractional weight plates have the same coating. The thickness varies, as expected, but you will still have to check the plate to find out if you are using the matching ones.
Color coding helps but the paint starts chipping sooner than expected and the plates start looking really pretty bad. The standard black coating is better because it won’t affect the aesthetics. Plus, we personally do not like to have lots of yellow, red, and blue colors around us in our home gym.
A great product available at a competitive price
Most fractional weight plates available online are made in China. Check out the Trademark Innovations Fractional Weight Plates and 44SPORT Olympic Fractional Plates. They look almost the same. It seems as if they are manufactured in the same factory and sold by different companies under different brand names.
These Chinese products cost as much as the Microgainz fractional weight plates, which are made in the US.
As we mentioned above, the Microgainz change plates are made of sintered steel and are calibrated to weigh exactly as mentioned by the manufacturer. They are designed to meet International Powerlifting Federation Guidelines for weight accuracy. The Chinese products make no such claims.
Since all these products are competitively priced, we would rather go with the Microgainz fractional plates instead of the Chinese ones. They come well packed in a cardboard box. The plates are separated with cardboard inserts, so they don’t scratch up during transit. Plus, you will also get a carry bag.
They fit well on Olympic barbells
Watch our Microgainz fraction weight plate review video above to see how easily they slide into the barbells.
Their measurement is so accurate that the plates snugly sit on the barbell but, obviously, we would recommend you to use a barbell collar unless you are using just these plates and nothing else. Even then, you should use barbell collars so the plates don’t rattle and make you feel nervous or slide off and damage the floor or worse, fall on your feet.
Here are some Best Barbell Collars that we recommend for your home gym.
We are giving this a rating of 5.0 out of 5.0.
We are very skeptical about giving a 5-star rating to a product but the Microgainz weight plate deserves it. It is a fairly simple product that can help you make micro increments.
Other home gym products that let you add a smaller amount of weights to your training are adjustable dumbbells and kettlebells. We have tested a number of them and have created individual lists of best adjustable dumbbells and best adjustable kettlebells. If you are looking for affordable products, do check out FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbell and Titan and Peakform Adjustable Kettlebells because the Bowflex products are significantly expensive.
We keep testing and reviewing many such space-saving, affordable, good-quality home gym products on our website. Do check out our ‘The Ultimate Guide to Building a Home Gym’ article for a detailed list.
If you want us to review a specific product or have a question in mind regarding any of the products that we have reviewed, please feel free to get in touch with us.