The Intelligent & Relentless Pursuit of Muscle™
Powerlifting
 
Question for Overseas Lifters
1 2 Next Last
 

Tim Henriques
Contributor

Join date: Dec 2006
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 1416

I have a question for those lifters that train overseas. Forgive my ignorance but I have not traveled to England/Asia/Russia yet. I know in measuring weights most overseas use kilos, I was wondering in the gyms do most gyms have kilo measured plates (ie the weight itself says it is 25 kg, 20 kg, etc) or are the actual weights most people are using similar to what we have in America which is 45, 35, 25, 10, 5, 2.5 lb weight plates?

I am asking this because when I look a bar loaded with the pound plates I instantly know how much weight it is just by looking at it and I imagine most American lifters are in the same situation, but if I see a bar loaded with kilo plates I have to add it up each time. I was wondering if our overseas counterparts all instantly knew what a kilo bar would look like but would have to add up the pound plates or if the pound plates were still popular outside of America?

Thanks for the info.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

kingtiger
Level

Join date: May 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 34

Hey Tim

Its going to depend on the company that makes the plate, some have lbs and kilos listed others just kilos
When reading American weight training articles etc, you basically do the math each time a weight is listed in lbs.

I hope it helps

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

zimdude7
Level

Join date: Sep 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 32

Hi Tim,
I live in China so I guess I know what you mean. In Beijing most plates are measured in kilo's, and when if I load up/see a bar with 2 20's on each side i instantly know its 100kg/220 pounds. So yeah, I guess we're kind of similar? But I know for a fact that when I go to America, I always have to add up the pounds (when I first went, I thought the bar was 44 pounds because all bars in china are 20kg).
But if you think about it, 20kg is quite close to 45 pounds, 10kg close to 25 pounds, and etc. So that makes life easier.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Svidragailov
Level

Join date: Sep 2012
Location:
Posts: 1

I live in Japan and all the plates I've ever used have been labelled with kilos, going 20, 15, 10, 5, 2.5, and then the occasional 1.25 kilo plates being standard.

You're right about seeing things in kilos; when I see a bar loaded with three big plates I assume it's 140 kilos rather than 315 lbs, and I have to stop and think about what plates to use when I go back to the states. It's never really a big deal until you get into heavier weights, as a bar loaded with 5 plates in Japan would be 220kgs (484lbs) versus 495 in the U.S.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Tim Henriques
Contributor

Join date: Dec 2006
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 1416

zimdude7 wrote:
Hi Tim,
I live in China so I guess I know what you mean. In Beijing most plates are measured in kilo's, and when if I load up/see a bar with 2 20's on each side i instantly know its 100kg/220 pounds. So yeah, I guess we're kind of similar? But I know for a fact that when I go to America, I always have to add up the pounds (when I first went, I thought the bar was 44 pounds because all bars in china are 20kg).
But if you think about it, 20kg is quite close to 45 pounds, 10kg close to 25 pounds, and etc. So that makes life easier.


Thanks for the info. Actually in America most bars really are 44 lbs everyone just rounds up to 45, we would use the same bars but added with the collars (2.5 kg each) we get 55 lbs (25 kg). A lot of shitty bars however range in weight from 42-48 lbs.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Terry Gibbs
Level

Join date: Jan 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 93

Trained in Helsinki "Voimapuoti" a little out of town last April, had everything, buffalo, cambered, chains bands, some unreal benches monster DBs two monolifts, very liitle room stand around except on the platforms..

everything in kilos, and my fav was a beutiful pair of 50kg Eliko bumper plates, ... if only I could have power cleaned them that day ... sigh

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

ChrisH19
Level

Join date: Nov 2011
Location: England
Posts: 53

I've only seen kilo plates in gyms in England.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Webbykun
Level

Join date: Jun 2009
Location:
Posts: 111

Hey Tim I'm from England. I've only ever seen kilo plates, but some give the respective pound weights too, but they're not 45lbs. They usually say 20kg and 44lbs.

Yes, I can look at a bar and pretty much know how much it weighs without adding up. When I see Americans posting about lbs they lifted, I usually have to convert it into kilos to get an idea of how much it is. Although after doing this for a while I've kinda become familiar with how heavy things are in lbs.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

MegaDavo891
Level

Join date: Mar 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 495

I've only ever lifted in kilos, but reading a lot of T-Nation, EliteFTS etc gives you a pretty good grasp of (roughly) what the conversion is, without having to grab a calculator, particularly when its 20kg/45lb increments. The difficult part is seeing people make 5 and 10lb PRs and expecting 5 and 10kg PRs to be as frequent.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

kgildner
Level

Join date: Sep 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 986

I train at a commercial gym here in Germany (don't judge! It's actually pretty well-equipped) and the plate assortment is as follows: 1.25 kg, 2.5 kg, 5 kg, 10 kg, 15 kg. We're missing the 20-kg plates, which would be nice for the larger compound lifts. The main problem, though, is that these are smaller in diameter than standard olympic-sized plates, which means that I need to deadlift from on top of 5-kg plates in order to achieve the proper spinal alignment and distance to the floor. If I move house in the next year or two I might seek out a gym that has stations with olympic or--better yet!--bumper plates.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Triceptaurus
Level

Join date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 241

Australia: kilo plates, like most of the rest of the world.

It's one of the things that really annoys me with US based sites in that they are talking in lb when the vast majority of powerlifting done on the planet is in kilos. In fact, I would hazard a guess that any decent US federation would have their comps in kilos as that is the international standard, they just report it in pounds. It might have been elitefts that had conversion tables for US lifters for some comps.

Same with the Olympics. Everything is in kilos. US commentators find it irresistable to convert to pounds, making the whole thing an annoying experience.

The kilo standard is shown in the US lb plates. I mean, why 45lb? Why not 50? Why a 44lb bar and not a 45, or even a 50 or a 40? Because they are all near equivalents to the kilo standard.

Sorry for the rant. It's just a pisser having to deal with 18th century standards.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

banco
Level

Join date: Dec 2006
Location:
Posts: 37

MegaDavo891 wrote:
I've only ever lifted in kilos, but reading a lot of T-Nation, EliteFTS etc gives you a pretty good grasp of (roughly) what the conversion is, without having to grab a calculator, particularly when its 20kg/45lb increments. The difficult part is seeing people make 5 and 10lb PRs and expecting 5 and 10kg PRs to be as frequent.


Trick to convert it in your head is times it by two and add 10%.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

florelius
Level

Join date: Jan 2009
Location: Norway
Posts: 3103

I am from Norway and have for the most part seen kg plates, but I had a weight set as a kid and I think they where kg plates based on lbs because instead of 0,50kg plates for instance they where 0,65kg.

Whenever I see someone post about lifts in Pounds I make a simple an unaccurate conversion in my head, like for example: 5lb = 2,5kg, 10lb = 5kg, 100lb = 45kg, 200lb = 90kg, 300lb = 135kg. Not accurate perhaps, but I feel it gives me a rough understanding of what you imperial guys are talking about.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

panzerfaust
Level

Join date: Jan 2012
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1445

Yeah in New Zealand you see the occasional rogue lb plate, and some with both numerical systems labeled.
But 90% of the time it's all in kgs.

Everyone knows a bar is 20kg and a two plates each side brings you to 100kgs.

25, 20, 15, 10, 5, 2.5, 1.25 (kgs) are the common plate sizes I have in my basement.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

bluebrasil
Level

Join date: Feb 2011
Location: Scotland
Posts: 403

Never seen a gym in the UK that wasnt kilos.

bar is 20

proper collars are 2.5

discs come in 1.25, 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25

25's dont get used much so the "big" plate is a 20

one plate either side is 60 (few use proper collars and all ignore the weight of spring collars)
two plates is 100
3 plates is 140
4 plates is 180
etc

and by looking you can do the maths automatically

but as we work in pounds for general items such as buying food (a pound of apples etc) and as we weigh ourselves in "stones" which are 14 pounds, we are generally bilingual in the languages of pounds and kilos

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

bluebrasil
Level

Join date: Feb 2011
Location: Scotland
Posts: 403

oh, yes, another thing, we dont train "overseas". you do. : )

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

kpsnap
Level

Join date: Feb 2010
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 6947

Yep. Most gym bars are 44 lb.

And I've never been to a meet in the US where the weight is not in kilos.

It is a shame that Americans don't use the metric system. It's easier to work with.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

csulli
Level 1

Join date: May 2012
Location: Tennessee, USA
Posts: 7134

Can you all stop decreasing all my lifts by 1 pound please?!

I'm gonna put my hands over my ears and repeat to myself that the bar is 45lbs.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

Tom240
Level

Join date: May 2012
Location: England
Posts: 31

I'm from England and my (commercial) gym uses really old Ivanko plates which are in lbs. Confused the hell out of me for a few weeks...

I like talking in lbs though, seems more 'hardcore' for some reason

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

MegaDavo891
Level

Join date: Mar 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 495

Another thing that's cool about being familiar with both (besides being able to put US lifts in perspective) is there's another set of milestones. So if you deadlift say 250kg, you can aim for 600lb before looking at 300kg as the next big landmark.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

sufiandy
Level 1

Join date: Aug 2009
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 2851

If I was training overseas for a long period of time I would just change my training log to be in kilos and adjust all lifts accordingly. All goals would be in kg and I wouldn't care about the lbs anymore.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

jjackkrash
Level 3

Join date: Apr 2009
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 6399

So, to 20KG plates are typically the "big ones," which are roughly the same as the 45 lbs. plates in the U.S., which are the "big ones"? Sounds pretty easy to "eyeball" then, regardless of whether you are used to lbs. or kilos.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

mkral55
Level 2

Join date: May 2010
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 865

Triceptaurus wrote:
Australia: kilo plates, like most of the rest of the world.

It's one of the things that really annoys me with US based sites in that they are talking in lb when the vast majority of powerlifting done on the planet is in kilos. In fact, I would hazard a guess that any decent US federation would have their comps in kilos as that is the international standard, they just report it in pounds. It might have been elitefts that had conversion tables for US lifters for some comps.

Same with the Olympics. Everything is in kilos. US commentators find it irresistable to convert to pounds, making the whole thing an annoying experience.

The kilo standard is shown in the US lb plates. I mean, why 45lb? Why not 50? Why a 44lb bar and not a 45, or even a 50 or a 40? Because they are all near equivalents to the kilo standard.

Sorry for the rant. It's just a pisser having to deal with 18th century standards.



Yeah theres really no good reason for using non-metric measuring systems other than "because thats the way it is"

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

animus
Level 2

Join date: Jun 2009
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 348

jjackkrash wrote:
So, to 20KG plates are typically the "big ones," which are roughly the same as the 45 lbs. plates in the U.S., which are the "big ones"? Sounds pretty easy to "eyeball" then, regardless of whether you are used to lbs. or kilos.


Changes as the weight goes up. The discrepancy becomes greater and greater.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
 

GoCal
Level

Join date: Sep 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 116

Having lived in Oz for a couple of years, I am getting pretty used to the metric measures. The math for kilos to pounds is easy, a bit longer the other way around. Since all the plates are similar in size, just measured differently, it looks the same as back in the states. Since the big plates are almost identical, I can always quickly tell if someone is lifting heavy.

It did take a while and where I was thrown a few times was on the pin loaded machines. I remember when I first started going to the gym being a little dismayed with only being able to manage 70 pounds for sets of lat pulldowns. It was only on walking home that I realized I was working with 154 pounds and didn?t feel quite so weak.

Really though, it doesn?t matter unless I am going to compete what I lift. It only matters to me is that can monitor my lifts so I can program and progress on them. It does sound better to say lifts in pounds though, 440 pounds sounds heavier than 200 kilos. Once you lift it though, it weighs just the same!

I probably have progressed faster working with kilos in some ways though, because it was harder to be intimidated by a weight. I just would work up to a max and then track that.

  Post New Thread | Reply | Quote | Report
1 2 Next Last