What are fractional weight plates?


  • Fractional plates, also known as microplates, are a type of change bar plate with a standard Olympic weight plate diameter but lower weight per plate.
  • Micro change plates can range from 0.25 lbs to max 1lb.
  • Micro or fractional change plates provide a continuous load increment.
  • Training with micro change plates is not only safer but also practical and functional.
  • Fractional plates are designed for all types of weight lifters regardless of their age, level, strength, and risk for injury.

Strength training is sexy; it is awesome and no doubt fun.

But just like the honeymoon period in your relationship, strength training shifts from being fun to drag!

The first few months of lifting weights are all about sore muscles and hunger, but the gains are surprisingly fast, big and noticeable.

And not to forget, the increase in muscle strength and max fat burn is promising progress.

But there’s a limit.

Once you’ve hit the maximum level of your weight training limit, the graph becomes linear.

Even increasing a 1lb regularly won’t make any significant difference.

Are you thinking of jumping to a 10-pound plate per week?

Nah, that’s not going to work either.

Not to forget it’s not humanly possible as well.

Darn! If hitting heavier weights still does not give you the results, then what should you do?

A quick and straightforward answer is “Fractional Plates.”

Fractional Plates – An Essential 2021 Gym Thing!

Fractional plates are a quick fix to strength training pause whether you train in a commercial gym or home gym.

Fractional plates, also known as microplates, are a type of change plates.

These are weight plates but with the lowest weights.

Usually, the change plates come in two weight variations – the one in kilograms and the other in pounds.

The change plates could range between 0.5 kgs to 5 kgs and 1.25 lbs to 10 lbs.

However, the fractional plates provide you with even lower weight options.

In simple words, the fractional plates have half the load as compared to regular change plates.

A fractional plate is available in

Instead of buying individual plates, you can get yourself a fractional plate kit.

Although the price might be a little high, the kit includes several half-pound plates.

So it will allow you to pair the plates to achieve a 2 to 2.5 incremental weight on either end of the barbell.

With fractional micro change plates, you can stack various bumper load sets on your barbell or bench.

Source: Unsplash.com

Why Do You Need Fractional Micro Plates?

After few months of hitting weights, the muscles build tolerance against the average weight load.

Therefore to get bigger and stronger gains, you need to overload your muscles.

And there’s no technique better than progressive overload in strength and resistance training to overload your muscles.

Progression overloading can be done by increasing the number of reps per workout or adding more weight to the barbells.

While repetitive reps with the same amount of Olympic weight plates can give you results, that’s not very practical.

With traditional weight plates, the lifter can move up or down in max 2kgs / 5lbs. 

While that increment can be effective for workouts like squat or deadlift, that’s not enough for other kinds of lifts or resistance training.

Looking for bench exercises for Abs? Then read out the previous post on the nine most effective bench abs workouts.

And without the weight overload, your muscle build training would leave you on a frightening plateau.

Another way is micro loading the bars using microplates, popularly known as fractional change plates.

Unlike the traditional bumper plates, fractional load plates let you increase weights relatively less than 2kgs or 5 pounds.

A normal set of fractional change plates comes in a pair of .25lb, .5 lb, .75lb, and 1lb.

So with fractional micro load plates, you can move up or down intermediately in smaller steps.

Fractional Plates and Construction Material

One of the good things about fractional change plates is that they are manufactured from various materials and are available in different colors.

While it’s a matter of personal preference and budget, the steel manufactured fractional plates are the best choice.

Not only the steel plates are durable, but they are also cost-friendly.

Besides, the fractional steel plates provide a more precise weight/load per plate.

If you want to add some colors to your home or commercial gym, you may choose the rubber-coated fractional microplates.

However, keep in mind that coated micro change plates are expensive.

And in case of money is not the problem for you, rubbercoated fractional weight plates are not functional.

When it comes to fitting, the material doesn’t matter.

Regardless of the material, all fractional plates are constructed to fit on a standard Olympic barbell sleeve (2 in/50 mm).

It means that you can have the same experience of hitting the usual Olympic weight plates.

Benefits of Micro Loading or Training With Fractional Micro Plates

If you haven’t understood why a fractional weight plate set is a ‘must equipment for your home or commercial gym, then here is what you need to know.

Safer, Functional and Practical Load Increment

Many personal fitness trainers recommend weight training with fractional plates.

Unlike the traditional, heavier Olympic 5 pound plates, fractional barbell plates are designed for timid lifters.

With a fractional pound plate, you can gain strength with continuous progress even at a lower rate.

You can weight lift with confidence, without any fear, anxiety, or putting tons of weight on your muscles.

Source: Unsplash.com

Boosted Dumbbell Exercises

Dumbell workouts can be pretty exhausting as they are performed using one arm/hand only.

Now imagine adding a 5 lbs weight plate.

Even just imaging is a dreadful sight.

However, with micro loading, you can easily maximize the effects of dumbbell exercises.

Strength Gains and Rehabilitation for Injured Areas

Do you know that strength/resistance training can prevent injury, rehabilitate an injured muscle, or strengthen a weakened muscular area? Yes, you are reading it correctly.

When lifted with proper form and practice, weight lifting can help you with injured or weakened muscles by making the muscles stronger.

However, we are not suggesting weight training using the traditional Olympic barbell plate set.

If you suffer from a muscular injury or have a weak muscle due to a medical condition or surgery – weight lifting with micro loading can be beneficial and safe.

Excellent For Certain Lifters

One of the best things about fractional bar plates is that they are designed for all types of lifters.

Whether you are an advanced weight lifter, child lifter, or a lifter with a potential risk of injury – the microplates are for everyone.

  • For an advanced level lifter, where a 5 lbs increment is fruitless, a pair of 0.5 lbs microplates can be fruitful. It allows them a continuous weight increment and progress.
  • Be you are a child, young, or beginner weight lifter, hitting 2 kgs is not the best idea. It is because that’s not safe. But since microplates are safer, they can let you workout at a progressive rate without causing the risk of injury.
  • And as mentioned above, micro loading using the microplates can help strengthen or rehabilitate injured/weakened muscles; therefore, experts recommend lifters with risk of injury to training with microplates.


So should you invest in microplates, aka the fractional pound plates? A BIG YES!

The internet is full of reviews and stories of lifters who have incorporated microplates in their resistance training routine.

In our opinion, micro weight plates are a must for gym equipment in 2021.

You can incorporate these plates into almost every routine.

Nothing is satisfying for a hard-core weightlifter to have gained at a continuous progressive rate.

And since traditional plates fail to do so, the microplates are the knight in shining armor.

To sum up the whole discussion, it is worth saying that micro change plates are a one-time must havew investment in your gyms.

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  1. Pingback: Benefits of Rubber Bumper Plates, Are they worth it and FAQs - Ever Fitness

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