Olympic weight plates are well suited to heavy lifters and olympic lifters who use barbells with rotating end sleeves. Olympic plates have a central hole that generally varies in size from 50.4mm to 51mm. The looser 51mm diameter is well suited to strength training, whereas a tighter fit around 50.4mm is more desirable for Olympic lifting.
Olympic weight plates come in different types. For strength training we recommend either cast iron or rubber weight plates with grip handles. Cast iron plates don't have central sleeves, which means the area around the sleeve can wear more quickly. Rubber coated weight plates have central sleeves, which protects the central hole from being worn and prevents the barbell from being scratched. Cast olympic plates are powdercoated in a hard wearing hammertone finish to protect the surface from scratching. With either of these plates the grip handles make for very convenient picking up of the plates with one hand. Its easy to pick them up from the floor, rack or barbell.
Next come bumper plates. These are built to be dropped on the floor when performing Olympic lifts. Olympic bumpers are manufactured from solid rubber, and either have reinforced central sleeves, or hubs. The cheaper ECO style bumpers tend to have the sleeves in them, and the more expensive commercial bumpers have large central hubs.