Fractional Plates: A Game-Changing Investment for Serious Lifters

Fractional Plates: A Game-Changing Investment for Serious Lifters

Close your eyes for a minute and think deeply about when you first started lifting weights.

Remember those magical “noob gains” you experienced for the first few months? Every week, you’d come into the gym excited to hit a new personal record on the bench press. And you’d do just that. You’d crush it!

Gym weightlifting

Some workouts, you’d bump up the weight. In others, you’d crank out more reps. Heck sometimes, you’d even manage to do both! Your lifts were skyrocketing at incredible rates, and you couldn’t wait to push yourself even further.

Unfortunately though, this thrill is only a short lived one. The saying goes that all good things must come to an end, and if you’re like most intermediate lifters out there, those days are long gone.

Once you’re at the intermediate stage of your lifting journey (having done 6-12 months of consistent training), getting stronger becomes much harder. Back in the day, slapping on an extra 5 pounds per week to your Bench Press was a piece of cake. But now, you’d probably have an easier time finding a needle in a haystack than trying to add that much weight in a month!

It’s unfortunate that as time goes by in your lifting journey, your rate of progress slows down considerably. Many lifters let their egos get in the way and refuse to accept this. They try ramping up the weight on the bar just like when they were beginners (5-10 lbs at a time), but to no avail.

Lifters humble enough to recognize human limitations might want to make more modest jumps in weight. But they’ll be disappointed to find that 99% of gyms only have plates going down to 5 lbs.

This forms a serious problem. Your body might be prepared for small jumps of 1-3 lbs, but when it’s required to increase resistance by a minimum of 5 pounds, you just can’t seem to break through and hit a PR.

These unnecessary plateaus can cause serious frustration and even a lack of faith in one’s ability to push past their previous best. It’s true that weightlifting is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one.

Gym weightlifting

Luckily, there’s an extremely powerful piece of equipment (which very few people know about), a secret weapon of sorts designed to solve this exact problem. This piece is a game-changer in bursting through plateaus and building herculean levels of strength as a natural lifter…

…And what is this training tool?

Fractional Plates.

What Are Fractional Plates?

Gym plates

Fractional Plates, also called “Micro Plates”, are miniature, lightweight plates designed to fit on standard Olympic barbells. They come in different sizes, typically ranging between 0.25-1 lb (0.125-0.5 kg) depending upon personal preference.

Why Are Fractional Plates So Useful?

1. They Enable Realistic Stepping Stones:

The main idea with fractional plates is to allow more experienced trainees to increase their lifts in a safer and more consistent manner.

Slap on a pair of fractional plates and you’ll be able to increase the weight on the bar every single workout, just like back in the good ol’ newbie days. They allow you to follow an extremely precise and gradual system of progression, keeping your spirits high and your lifts even higher!

However, this time, rather than a massive 5-10 lbs stride, you’re upping the weight by as little as 1-2 lbs every session.

And yes, while you may scoff at a mere 2 lbs increase when in your novice years you’d add five times that, you need to set aside your ego and learn a thing or two about human limitations. It’s actually simple math. Say you were able to increase bar load by 5 lbs per week… you’d literally be benching over 500 lbs in just two years of training! Obviously, that’ll never happen.

Given your training age, you’re quite frankly too old to make ridiculous 5-10 lbs jumps week after week.

So while it’s okay to reminisce about the beautiful novice era you miss so dearly -when you’d throw on a pair of 44 lbs plates in a matter of months – it’s time you came to terms with reality. You will never experience such rapid progress again. Ever. So just let it go. Those days are behind you.

Gym weightlifting

In fact, anyone who’s been lifting weights for a while knows how painfully slow progress becomes as time goes by. Squats burying you into the ground? Bench Press not budging even after months? Yeah, welcome to the life of an intermediate lifter…

…But don’t throw in the towel just yet! This is where fractional plates truly come in handy. With small and careful weight increments, that (almost ancient) linear progression you once enjoyed, becomes a possibility once again. So get ready to break through some stubborn plateaus… 2 lbs at a time!

2. They Help Build Mental Fortitude:

Another major benefit of fractional plates is the psychological edge they give you.
You probably feel intimidated when making massive 5-10 lbs jumps. Of course, you do. You’re forced to venture into completely uncharted territories with weights far heavier than what you were capable of lifting just a week ago.

But you don’t need to worry any longer. With fractional plates, you can take on challenges in smaller increments. This’ll give you a greater sense of control as you steadily work towards your fitness goals.

There’s a certain sense of mental confidence you get from celebrating small wins, which feels like no other.

You’re also far less likely to get injured when you avoid large jumps in weight. This’ll help build the consistency which you seriously need in your weightlifting journey.

Gym training

How To Properly Use Fractional Plates:

Fractional plates can be used in a variety of ways, such as part of your warm-up routine or as a way to add some extra volume to your lifts.

They are typically used however, in a progressive overload program where you gradually increase weight over time.

Here’s a basic sample workout incorporating fractional plates, to give you an idea of how to use them in your own fitness routine:

Gym plates training


In summary, always remember that slow progress is better than no progress.

And fractional plates are the epitome of steady progress and small wins. They literally make you stronger pound by pound. Instead of entering the gym thinking you’ll surely plateau, you can walk in with a growth mindset, knowing you’ll be better than yesterday.

This is why fractional plates are so valuable, mentally and physically, to all the seasoned lifters out there.

And with both affordability and portability, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t invest in this essential training tool. So go ahead, pick up some fractional plates and get ready for the gains of a lifetime!

About the Author: Yahya Mansoor is a freelance copywriter specializing in men’s fitness. Being a fitness enthusiast himself, he’s passionate about helping other men achieve a healthier lifestyle through engaging and informative blogposts.

Visit yahyamansoor.com to get in touch.

And follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more!