Fractional Plates - are they worth it? Fractional Plates - are they worth it?

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Thread: Fractional Plates - are they worth it?

  1. #1
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    Default Fractional Plates - are they worth it?

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    I've been wondering about fractional weight plates. What is everyone's opinion about their usefulness? Are they completely worthless or should I invest in getting some?

  2. #2
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    I would just get some 1.25lbers. Or I have heard of people make shiftin shit like washers, baseball bat weights, chains etc. I bought 1.25lb ones so that I could make 2.5lb jumps rather than 5lb jumps on the bench and press which is very typical and highly recommended on the program. They were a must when I was doing my LP. Without them you could stall once you're numbers get higher. I can't speak for all the other sized fractional plates though, never had to use em. I would imagine they are for much stronger individuals.

  3. #3
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    I also have 1.25 and they have really helped my bench and press keep moving. I'm not sure I would ever need to go smaller.

  4. #4
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    Yes. I asked Rip what the smallest useful increment was for a typical male trainee and the answer was 1lbs on the overhead press. If you ever plan to train/train with children or women, they'll be invaluable.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Narvaez View Post
    Yes. I asked Rip what the smallest useful increment was for a typical male trainee and the answer was 1lbs on the overhead press. If you ever plan to train/train with children or women, they'll be invaluable.
    before 2005 the smallest increment at Olympic weightlifting competition was 2.5 kilograms, which would roughly correspond to 2.5 pound plates. now the smallest increment is 1 kilogram, which corresponds to 0.5 kg or roughly 1 pound plates. granted, this is for competition, not training, but i think we can take something away from this.

    the typical weight range for various categories of men / women at olympic lifting events is probably 200 - 500 pounds, so we're talking increment of 1 kilogram for on average about 100 - 200 KG weight, so we're talking an increment of 0.5% to 1% or so.

    i'm pretty sure however that 1 kilogram rule at the Olympics was motivated by more than physiology - instead, ONE is an increment that allows you to hit any natural number without getting stupid with decimals. it's just a clean number from mathematical standpoint.

    so, if dealing with pounds perhaps the logical step might indeed be 1 pound.
    Last edited by G1981C; 02-07-2014 at 11:36 PM.

  6. #6
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    I don't get the huge ego people have like they are somehow cutting up their man card if they put a fractional plate on a bar. At some point you are still making progress, but that progress is less than a 5lb jump. Why not use fractionals to eek out that portion of LP?

    I've heard the arguments about them being useless if you take them to a public gym where the slight discrepancies in the weights you're using somehow nullify microloading. Argument seem awful to me. By that logic they nullify your programming to don't they? The variables are the same either way. You're just adding a new constant.

    I think they're useful and you should get them, but don't spend $60 on them.

  7. #7
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    My gym has chains. The collar and small connecting chain weighs 0.6kg. I've been using these to make small jumps on the press. Just remember to wrap them around the bar, the swinging added an interesting variable the first time I tried it.

  8. #8
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    A useful rule of thumb to keep in mind is that, for most useful rep ranges, 1 repetition corresponds to 2.5% of your max. If your press is 135x5x3, adding 5lbs constitutes a 3.7% jump. Do you really expect to make 3.7% performance improvements for any great length of time? Put in another way, would you expect to be do 1.5 more reps every time you repeated a weight? Microplates are not just a good idea; microplates are damn necessary for optimal progress on the press, bench, and power clean. You will NOT get the most from LP without them. In fact, in my opinion, you're not even doing the program if you don't have microplates. I feel that strongly about this subject.

  9. #9
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    I've been stepping my presses 1.25lb/week for 3 months now, using a pair of 12oz baseball-bat weights. (not doing SS)
    Working up to sets of 6 and then stepping 2.5lb to sets of 5 works too.

    Remember that for steps this small you need to consistently use the same bar & plates. There's significant variation in weight between bars and especially in cheap plates, it will swamp your 1.25lb adjustments. I didn't microload at the YMCA, it was too much hassle chasing down & waiting for my favorite equipment. But I lift at home these days, microloading is convenient.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Mugaaz View Post
    I don't get the huge ego people have like they are somehow cutting up their man card if they put a fractional plate on a bar. At some point you are still making progress, but that progress is less than a 5lb jump. Why not use fractionals to eek out that portion of LP?

    I've heard the arguments about them being useless if you take them to a public gym where the slight discrepancies in the weights you're using somehow nullify microloading. Argument seem awful to me. By that logic they nullify your programming to don't they? The variables are the same either way. You're just adding a new constant.

    I think they're useful and you should get them, but don't spend $60 on them.
    I'm guilty of that. I used to hate anything less than a 10lb jump in weight. Now after reading more I realized I could have been micro loading and making some progress instead of stalling and getting frustrated when my overhead and bench press don't go up. I don't care how silly the plates look next to a 45 if it means progress. It does take a little time to get over the "what if I look silly" fear.

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