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Thread: Do any of you guys use fractional plates?

  1. #26
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    You make good points Rhodes. Unfortunately, I have already paid for these plates, so I have to paint them black then at least try them out. I'm going to exhaust the possibility of linear progression for as long as possible (it doesn't get much simpler then adding weight every workout if possible does it? I'm still new enough at this where the simplest of programming will still work), then I'll start messing around with reps and assistance exercises and stuff. If I can get a few more lbs. on of my presses this way before stalling again, then hell ya. But at the point I'm at now, my calf still has not grown into a bull yet. I have a long ways to go until I stall on squats and deads too, so moving up on those will also make me stronger. I'm young and in no rush.

    I have a question for you. Was there ever a time when you struggled to bench 225 lbs. 5 times? I don't know your exact numbers, but I think you're benching over 600 now right? My goal is 315 lbs. for bench and 225 lbs. for OH press.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by brihead301 View Post
    You make good points Rhodes. Unfortunately, I have already paid for these plates, so I have to paint them black then at least try them out. I'm going to exhaust the possibility of linear progression for as long as possible (it doesn't get much simpler then adding weight every workout if possible does it? I'm still new enough at this where the simplest of programming will still work), then I'll start messing around with reps and assistance exercises and stuff. If I can get a few more lbs. on of my presses this way before stalling again, then hell ya. But at the point I'm at now, my calf still has not grown into a bull yet. I have a long ways to go until I stall on squats and deads too, so moving up on those will also make me stronger. I'm young and in no rush.

    I have a question for you. Was there ever a time when you struggled to bench 225 lbs. 5 times? I don't know your exact numbers, but I think you're benching over 600 now right? My goal is 315 lbs. for bench and 225 lbs. for OH press.

    Hell yeah I had trouble with 225. I could barely bench it 1x as a college freshman at a bodyweight of 190. I only benched 285 as a 255lb senior. We've all struggled with lifts. Keep after it. 315 will fall.

  3. #28
    Dr. Dudley-Robey DrDudley-Robey's Avatar
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    Yes, When breaking records at a meet!!!!

  4. #29
    Senior Member brihead301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDudley-Robey View Post
    Yes, When breaking records at a meet!!!!
    Well, you are a tough guy.

  5. #30
    Wannabebig New Member
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    Hi brihead301!

    I know this is a major thread bump, but I am really interested about what happened with your progress with fractional plates back then, as I am currently in the same situation as you were.

    Do you remember what was your approch with microloading back then, and did you make good progress with it? What is your bench press now, and what method de you use to increase it?

    My current bench press is only 5 x 5 at 135, but progress is really slow and I tend to get stuck a couple of weeks when I increase the load by 5 pounds. I just bought a set of fractional plates, and I was wondering if I should continue to bench each workout increasing with only 1lb each time or if I should switch to the Texas Method and alternate intensity...

    Thank you and have a nice day!

  6. #31
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Fractional plates are a complete waste and truly the tools of a highly ineffective system. I.e., if you are resorting to them out of need you are training WRONG.


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  7. #32
    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Fractional plates are a complete waste and truly the tools of a highly ineffective system. I.e., if you are resorting to them out of need you are training WRONG.
    I will absolutely and utterly disagree with you here... but only in ONE instance. When working with light weights (that are maximal for you).

    My rule ov thumb is that anything under around 170lbs (my minimum changes as needed), you could benefit from ONE MORE lighter increment... 1 1/4lb plates (a pair being 2.5lbs). If your bench max is 185, then sure... you should be fine with 2.5's as your smallest plates. But if your max is 150, then the 'baby' plates can really help you get along. The weaker the max (especially under 135lbs), the more you need them.

    My reasoning. Anyone here that can say, bench 315 knows that under maximal circumstances, even meet circumstances, 5lbs more CAN break the lift. The bigger the max, the smaller a deal the extra 5lbs is obviously. My girl benches 150lbs max. For her to try and push into heavily plateau'd PR territory she has to add a minimum ov 5lbs. If my max is say, 450lbs thats equivalent to a 15lb MINIMUM jump. I think most 450+ benchers would walk right out ov any gym that had nothing smaller than a 15lb plate. As soon as we started working with the 1 1/4lb plates, her lifts (that have been plateau'd for years and years... shes an elite lifter), everything started to move again. I've seen it work time and time again where other trainers and their 2.5lb plates fail.

    I see no need for 1lb, or 1/2lb plates, or any other increment aside from 1 1/4lb plates.

    But again, and i stress, this ONLY applies to women (or weak men perhaps) that have maxes that are less than say, 150-170lbs. If you're working on a lift that already has two plates a side on the bar, these wont help a bit. In fact, i can guarantee that unless your gym has extremely expensive Ivanko, Eleiko, or Leoko plates the differences between the different plates, just as a variance in casting quality from the factory will add up to more or less than 1-2lbs...
    Last edited by Judas; 05-03-2013 at 03:49 AM.

  8. #33
    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    On another semi-related note... Olympic weightlifters DO use incremental plates. The 'one-kilo rule' has done away with the typical 2.5, 5 and 7.5lb increments... in favor ov 1, 2, 3 and 4kg increments. The sets you buy come with .5kg, 1kg, 1.5kg, 2kg, and 2.5kg change plates. Olympic lifters up to the very elite Gods will be seen sliding as little as a .5kg plate on the bar to make a difference. Funny how different that sport is that with the strongest lifters in the world a kilo will make or break a lift.

  9. #34
    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Fractional plates are a complete waste and truly the tools of a highly ineffective system. I.e., if you are resorting to them out of need you are training WRONG.

    Agreed. Just get the weight on the bar close to what you need and smash it. I can't feel the difference between 1000 and 1001 on the bar and what marginal improvement I might get from moving the extra pound isn't worth it's weight in doo doo......
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  10. #35
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judas View Post
    On another semi-related note... Olympic weightlifters DO use incremental plates. The 'one-kilo rule' has done away with the typical 2.5, 5 and 7.5lb increments... in favor ov 1, 2, 3 and 4kg increments. The sets you buy come with .5kg, 1kg, 1.5kg, 2kg, and 2.5kg change plates. Olympic lifters up to the very elite Gods will be seen sliding as little as a .5kg plate on the bar to make a difference. Funny how different that sport is that with the strongest lifters in the world a kilo will make or break a lift.
    The strongest in the world? Hmmm

    I'm curious where you got the information the best O-lifters use .5 kg plates?


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  11. #36
    Wannabebig Member 700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theBarzeen View Post
    Agreed. Just get the weight on the bar close to what you need and smash it. I can't feel the difference between 1000 and 1001 on the bar and what marginal improvement I might get from moving the extra pound isn't worth it's weight in doo doo......
    Playing devil's advocate: is a 1000lbs to 1001lbs difference really comparable to a lifter trying to go from 150 to 151 on a lift?

    Aren't fractional plates just another tool?
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 700 View Post
    Playing devil's advocate: is a 1000lbs to 1001lbs difference really comparable to a lifter trying to go from 150 to 151 on a lift?

    Aren't fractional plates just another tool?
    They are, but the problem is people get too caught up in the numbers and ultimately they end up cutting themselves short. To me a fractional plate is a 10 lb plate, or on a bad day a 5 lb plate. Anything less is just a waste of time. I need to get my head straight and lift instead of farting around focusing on the math of what kind of a difference 5 lbs of bar weight will make.


    For someone like my wife, who moves about 1/3 to 1/4 of the weight I do depending on the lift, then yeah, she can use 2.5 lb plates for her fractional lifts. it makes sense. We have exactly 2 pair of 2.5 lb plates in my gym, for my wife to use.... everything else is a multiple of 5.

    Anything less is for children and those who need to learn to lift correctly.
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  13. #38
    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    The strongest in the world? Hmmm
    In my opinion, yes.

    I'm curious where you got the information the best O-lifters use .5 kg plates?
    In Olympic lifting, a 1kg PR is still a PR, even if the bar weight is over 250kg. The '1-kilo rule' that came into play not too long ago did away with the 2.5lb increment (well, for them it was 1.25kg) and everything went to 1kg increments. Thats in comp, and in training. Further... this rule change came about just recently (within last decade), at a time when lifters are getting stronger and stronger... hell, even approaching, and in some cases exceeding old weight-class records (when drug testing was a complete joke). You would think if a 1kg increment was meaningless they'd be going the other way with minimum increments.

    That said, Olympic lifting is a lot different than powerlifting in one key pertinent way... it is a LOT more hit or miss. There is no grinding out maxes, nor saving botched or misgrooved lifts. In powerlifting you can get fairly far out ov line and still save a lift, so maybe the increments dont need to be so minute. In weightlifting, even the elite ov the elite can miss a lift due to an extra 1kg... it can be the difference ov the bar just not getting high enough to secure overhead... and NO amount ov strength or grinding will overcome that.

    Further still, if it happens at the elite level, then you can be sure its common at the beginner/intermediate/advanced level... where 1kg is proportionately more weight still. I know weightlifters that count even squat PR's in 1kg increments. I personally think thats a bit silly, but many dont, and some are pretty damn good.

  14. #39
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judas View Post
    In my opinion, yes.



    In Olympic lifting, a 1kg PR is still a PR, even if the bar weight is over 250kg. The '1-kilo rule' that came into play not too long ago did away with the 2.5lb increment (well, for them it was 1.25kg) and everything went to 1kg increments. Thats in comp, and in training. Further... this rule change came about just recently (within last decade), at a time when lifters are getting stronger and stronger... hell, even approaching, and in some cases exceeding old weight-class records (when drug testing was a complete joke). You would think if a 1kg increment was meaningless they'd be going the other way with minimum increments.

    That said, Olympic lifting is a lot different than powerlifting in one key pertinent way... it is a LOT more hit or miss. There is no grinding out maxes, nor saving botched or misgrooved lifts. In powerlifting you can get fairly far out ov line and still save a lift, so maybe the increments dont need to be so minute. In weightlifting, even the elite ov the elite can miss a lift due to an extra 1kg... it can be the difference ov the bar just not getting high enough to secure overhead... and NO amount ov strength or grinding will overcome that.

    Further still, if it happens at the elite level, then you can be sure its common at the beginner/intermediate/advanced level... where 1kg is proportionately more weight still. I know weightlifters that count even squat PR's in 1kg increments. I personally think thats a bit silly, but many dont, and some are pretty damn good.
    You didn't answer my question. I want to see where it says any elite or high level O-lifter regularly uses fractional plates in his or her training. I've seen more than one training video of the best of the best O-lifters and have never seen a fractional plate on the bar.


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  15. #40
    Senior Member Judas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    You didn't answer my question. I want to see where it says any elite or high level O-lifter regularly uses fractional plates in his or her training. I've seen more than one training video of the best of the best O-lifters and have never seen a fractional plate on the bar.
    Maybe you need to watch more videos? Trust me, it happens. Why would i lie about it? Again, many Olympic program styles revolve around PR's or PR attempts, and in that sport, they come as low as 1kg. No different than when a powerlifter inches their numbers up bit by bit... 5lbs here, 5lbs there... and over time it adds up. Olympics just use smaller increments is all.

    Granted i will give you that a lot ov Olympic clubs (not the majority, but many) still use the basic 1.25/2.5/5kg plates, i trained at one just last week.

  16. #41
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judas View Post
    Maybe you need to watch more videos? Trust me, it happens. Why would i lie about it? Again, many Olympic program styles revolve around PR's or PR attempts, and in that sport, they come as low as 1kg. No different than when a powerlifter inches their numbers up bit by bit... 5lbs here, 5lbs there... and over time it adds up. Olympics just use smaller increments is all.

    Granted i will give you that a lot ov Olympic clubs (not the majority, but many) still use the basic 1.25/2.5/5kg plates, i trained at one just last week.
    I didn't say you were lying. I think you are misinformed, and or overstated your idea. A PR is a PR, but again, show me a video with a fractional plate being used by a world class O-lifter. You tell me to watch more videos, I am happy to do so. Provide some links.


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