When you will start lifting weights, you will find it much easier to add 5lbs every week. And, you will actually see a lot of muscle gains! You will feel motivated enough to keep continuing this pace for as long as you can.
For some weeks, it will feel challenging but doable. For some weeks, you will actually be able to beat your personal goals.
And then, you will reach a training plateau because your body will start adapting itself to your workout demands. You will no longer get as good results as you used to get when you started your training.
Plus, at some point, adding an extra 5lbs every week would become almost impossible for you. If you try to go too hard, you could risk an injury.
That’s when microloading can help!
In a hurry? Here is a summary of our recommended fractional weight plates
|Name||Weight of the plates||Price|
|Microgainz Fractional Weight Plates||two 0.25lb plates, two 0.5lb plates, two 0.75lb and two 1lb plates||Check Price|
|Trademark Innovations Fractional Weight Plates||Two 0.25lb, two 0.50lb, two weigh 0.75lb, and the rest two weigh 1lbs.||Check Price|
|44SPORT Olympic Fractional Plates||Two plates each of 0.25lb, 0.5lb, 0.75lb, and 1lb||Check Price|
|Hulk Olympic Fractional Weight Plates||set of 8 plates, each weighing 0.5lb||Check Price|
|Iron Bull Strength 0.5 LB Fractional Plates||set of 8 plates, each weighing 0.5lb||Check Price|
Benefits of microloading
As you can guess, there are two major benefits of microloading:
- It helps you add a micro amount of weights every week. So, if 5 lbs seems impossible, you can add 0.5 lb or 1lb. By microloading, you will be able to challenge yourself enough without pushing your body to an extent where it loses its balance and control.
- By adding micro weights, you will be able to delay the onset of your fitness plateau. You will constantly achieve your goals instead of going too fast and then slowing down at the same pace.
What are fractional weight plates?
As we have mentioned in our ‘Microgainz Fractional Weight Plates Review’, they help you take baby steps in weight training because they are available in sets that consist of 0.25lb, 0.5lb, 0.75lbs, and 1lbs plates.
By mixing and matching them, you will be able to add a minimum of 0.5lbs weight, which is fairly manageable because standard plates let you add at least 5lbs (unless you have managed to buy 1lb plates).
Fractional weight plates are often confused with change plates. The main difference between them is that change plates are available in slightly larger denominations. Change plates usually start from 1lbs whereas fractional plates start from 0.25lbs. But, basically, they are the same thing; smaller weight plates.
Who can use fractional weight plates?
But, if you are an absolute beginner, you probably won't need them. As we mentioned above, during the beginning, it is easier to make a 5lbs increment. But, as soon as you start lifting a decent amount of weight, making larger jumps may seem tough and risky. And, that’s when you will need fractional weight plates.
However, if you are not really a strong person and do not feel confident enough to add 5 lbs even during the beginning, you can buy any of the best fractional weight plates we are going to review here.
They are definitely not the cheapest fractional weight plates. You can find numerous other alternatives but we highly recommend Microgainz fractional weight plates because they are calibrated to provide you with the exact weight. They are one of the first products to be introduced in the market.
These fractional weight plates are made in the USA (just in case that matters a lot to you). Plus, they are designed to snugly fit Olympic barbells. Let's look at some other noteworthy features:
Basic features of Microgainz fractional weight plates
- Available in sets of 8 plates and 10 plates. The set of 8 has two 0.25lb plates, two 0.5lb plates, two 0.75lb, and two 1lb plates. The set of 10 has additional 1.25lbs plates.
- They come with a carrying bag for easy storage and carrying.
- The logo and weight of each plate is engraved on it.
- Compatible with Olympic barbells but you can use barbell collars to secure them to 1” barbells too.
- The plates are made of high-quality steel, which makes them durable enough to tolerate drops and ample rough use.
Microgainz fractional weight plates are designed to meet International Powerlifting Federation Guidelines for weight accuracy
This gives it an advantage over many other competitive products that haven’t gone that extra mile to prove their weight accuracy.
They are no color-coded
Not really a deal breaker because the weight value is already engraved on the plate. Plus, the thickness of the plates increases with the increase in weight. So, after a few uses, you won’t find it difficult to figure out the right ones.
But, many buyers have stated that they would prefer color-coded ones. We personally do not like to have too many colors in our gym but that's a personal choice.
Here is our detailed review of Microgainz fractional weight plates.
We are giving this a rating of 5.0 out of 5.0.
These are quite cheaper than the Microgainz fractional weight plates. But they are available in the same standard weight increments. Plus, they are color-coded so you can quickly identify the right pair.
Basic features of Trademark Innovations fractional weight plates
- Comes as a set of 8 plates. Two of them weigh 0.25lb, two 0.50lb, two weigh 0.75lb, and the rest two weigh 1lbs.
- Designed to fit in Olympic barbells.
- Plates are made of steel.
- They are color-coded with their weight imprinted on each plate.
True to their weight
Since these Trademark Innovations fractional weight plates are made in China, you might doubt their weight accuracy. But, numerous buyers have weighed and confirmed that their weight varies by very insignificant amount. Great for people on a budget.
Paint chips easily
You can expect this from any color-coded fractional weight plate. The paint will start chipping within a few months of use. But, do you really care? Home gym equipment are meant for rough use. They shouldn’t look pretty. Rather, they should work as expected.
Doesn’t come with a storage bag
That shouldn’t be a problem if you are planning to use them in your home gym. But, if you want to carry them to your gym, you might want to buy a basic drawstring bag separately.
We are giving this a rating of 4.7 out of 5.0.
These fractional plates are almost the same as the above-mentioned Trademark Innovations fractional weight plates. The only differences are that these plates have the logo of the manufacturer imprinted on them. Plus, they come with a carry bag.
Basic features of 44Sport fractional plates
- Available in a set of 8 plates weighing 0.25lb, 0.5lb, 0.75lb, and 1lb.
- They are compatible with Olympic barbells.
- The outer diameter of the plates is 17.5″, which is slightly smaller than the other competitive products. But, that has nothing to do with their usability.
- The plates are color-coded but you can buy stainless steel ones as well.
The carry bag tears off within no time
That’s a major complaint that the buyers have. The bag does not last beyond a few uses. Moreover, many recent buyers have complained that the bag was missing from their order even though it was advertised. Not really an issue but thought you should know what to expect.
The plates are highly accurate in their weight but may have some imperfections
A lot of buyers actually weighed them and, to their surprise, the plates are pretty much true to their weight. The paint could chip off as expected and the plates could rust too. They also have slight imperfections, which is basically poor manufacturing. But, these are weight plates and they are supposed to be used roughly. So, these are not major complaints.
44Sport change plates have received more than 4-star ratings from 98% of buyers. So, no doubt they are one of the best fractional weight plates for home gyms.
We are giving this a rating of 4.6 out of 5.0.
Unlike other fractional weight plates listed above, these are 8 plates of 0.5 lb each. So, the minimum amount of weight you can add is 1lb and not 0.5lb. Plus, these are bumper plates; not metal plates. So, as expected they do not make crackling noise and they are totally safe to be thrown on the floor.
Basic features of Hulk fractional weight plates
- Comes in a set of 8 plates, each weighing 0.5lb. Sets of 1lbs plates are also available.
- Have a steel core with a thick rubber coating, just like bumper plates.
- Rust and corrosion-resistant.
- Can be used with Olympic barbells.
- Carry bag included.
These plates are exceptionally affordable
That's what people love about them. They are bumper plates and yet, they cost about $10- $15 less than the metal ones.
The weight of the plates is close to what is being advertised. The finishing is perfect too. So, do not assume that they are just cheap products meant for short-term use. Of course, they have their own set of flaws that we are about to discuss, but overall they are one of the best fractional weight plates that we recommend for home gyms.
They are difficult to load
The rubber rubs against the barbell. Not all plates do but some plates are difficult to get in and out of the barbells. The hole diameter should have been a bit wider. But, they aren’t really a struggle.
They are thicker than metal plates and occupy space on the barbell
The metal plates are barely thick enough to occupy much space on the loading sleeves of the barbell but these ones do. They are 10mm thick, which is about ¼th of a 20kg bumper plate. If you are already using too many plates, you might want to go with the metal ones instead.
We are giving this a rating of 4.6 out of 5.0.
If you don’t have a problem with the budget, you should check out these Iron Bull Strength fractional plates. They are hexagonal-shaped metal plates with E-coating to protect them from scratches. Look at the picture above and you will agree with us that they are well-designed and impressive.
Basic features of Iron Bull Strength fractional plates
- Sold as a set of 8 plates, each weighing 0.5lb.
- Compatible with Olympic barbells.
- Iron Bull Strength logo and weight is casted on all the plates
- The E-coating makes them rust and corrosion-free.
- They come with a lifetime warranty.
Do not look like cheap metal plates
That's why they are pricey. Just like any Iron Bull Strength product, these fractional weight plates too are well-built with properly smoothed edges and a near-perfect finish that makes you feel good to have them around in your home gym. The plates are formed by high-precision casting so there is not even the slightest mismatch in their size. They are easy to slide in and out of the barbell.
The plates you get might look different from what is in the pictures
Some buyers have stated that the plates are rather black and shiny instead of being grey and mat as shown in the product pictures. They still look great though but keep in mind that the color and finish might not be exactly what is shown in the images. Not a big deal because, as we keep saying, these are weight plates, not some decorative stuff.
Our Rating: 4.6/5
We are giving this a rating of 4.6 out of 5.0.
We hope this list of the best fractional weight plates helps you find a suitable one for your home gym.
Need something to keep these plates (and others) well-organized in your home gym? Check out this CAP Barbell Olympic 2-Inch Plate Rack.
Need quick recommendations?
The Titan Fitness and Peakform adjustable kettlebells are great for people who are looking for an affordable alternative to the more expensive Bowflex adjustable dumbbells. Similarly, we recommend FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbell to budget-conscious trainers who do not really understand why they should spend more on Bowflex adjustable dumbbells.
Before you go, do not forget to check out our ‘Ultimate Guide to Building a Home Gym’. It is an extensive guide that lists almost every basic thing that you would need to set up your home gym. We keep updating this article/list almost every day, so you won’t miss something important.
Do reach us if you have any queries or recommendations.