There's a reason that professionals and serious athletes choose olympic style plates. They are a higher quality plate, but more than that, they meet the regulations put forth by the IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) and are the weights used for the Olympics. This makes Olympic plates the standard of plates among weightlifters. Standard plates fit a smaller, less durable bar and are only used for home use. The standard bar is likely to bend and remain bent with heavy use (over 200 lbs), while the Olympic bars that we sell are strong durable bars that will remain straight, even with heavy weight use. Additionally standard bars have a 1" diameter while Olympic style bars will have just under a 2" diameter.
While we sell a few standard plates for home use, the majority of the plates we sell are Olympic style quality plates.
1- Size and strength. Olympic style plates are 2 inches in diameter. The Olympic bars are just under 2" which is different than the standard size of 1" diameter bars. You don't want to mix olympic style plates for standard bars. Plus while standard bars tend to bend with weights over 200 pounds, Olympic style bars can handle weights of 700 pounds, 1000 pounds, and 1500 pounds, depending on the bar. Additionally Olympic plates are standardized so you can mix and match from various manufactures offered on this site. Standard plates don't have any specific guidelines and so often plates from various manufactures don't fit the standard bars from other manufactures.
2- Accuracy. Olympic plates are held to a higher quality level. Small weight variances may not seem like a big deal in weightlifting, but add up as your weight training increases. It's necessary to know and rely upon your weight plates for training.
3- Stability. Olympic bars are thicker on the ends which makes them more stable and easier to load. Olympic plates won't tip when weights up to 45 lbs. are loaded on one end, whereas standard bars will almost always tip over when loading.
4. Torque free. Olympic bars have sleeves on the end. These sleeves rotate during the workout so that there isn't added torque to work through. This helps greatly during any exercise where the bar is rotated, even slightly.
5. Option Variety. Olympic plates offer the greatest selection of plate style. From bumper to grip to rubber encased plates, Olympic plates offer the most variety.