Micro Plates


Yesterday I received my new microplates in the mail. I’m super excited to use them in the upcoming weeks, mainly on my bench press (which is weak), and maybe on my pendlay rows. Might use them on squats and deadlifts depending on how I’m progressing or stalling on increasing them.

Basically they’re 1.25lb each and they’re used when the 2.5lb (5lb total) to add is too much. Right now I’m benching 65lbs consistently for 5-6 reps (no spotter..could probably do more if I had one), but when I jump up to 70lbs I stall at 2 reps. These will allow me to make a smaller increase and hopefully get my reps back up.


Any new fitness finds for you?


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14 Responses to Micro Plates

  1. Oh awesome! I saw this on your twitter feed and was like, OH YAY SHE GOT STRAPS! But these are def just as good haha. I’ve been toying with the idea of microplates because on compound bilateral lifts sometimes a 5lb jump is too much and staying at the same weight is too little.

    Off to find you on bb.com 😉 Hopefully haha

  2. Ah yes, these are the reason I should switch to barbells (I know, I keep bringing this up haha) It’s so hard to make gains on dumbbells because you have to move up a whole 5 lbs per dumbbell.

  3. Amen says:

    Hey! Just favorited your blog — I’ll be a regular follower. You and I are at a very similiar level in our lifting and that’s exciting to me! (I’m a big dork, lawl) I travelled back into your older posts and it seems that we are progressing at a similar rate as well — we even have kind of the same body type! Although I have slightly more fat on me. You might be taller, too. I’m 5′ 4″, and fluctuate between 130 and 137ish lbs.

    Last week I reached a new squat PR of 150×3 (the week before that, 145x5x3 which was also a PR!) and my deadlift record is 185×3. I actually got that about a month ago but have been psyching myself out in the gym lately and rarely go over 175×5 now, haha, I’m working on it…. lifting is such a mental game! (And I always get so excited when I get something new…!)

    That picture of your shins after DLs really hit home, haha! But it’s happening to me less and less since I’ve been getting some tips from my wonderful husband of just over a year, and some random kid at the gym who always gives me (good but) unsolicited advice, haha, so that’s good.

    My bench is in desparate need of attention, and I too have the experience of being able to get 65 lbs for several reps and 70 lbs for only 1 or 2! What’s with that?? =P I’ll be interested to see how your micro plates experience goes. Those are cool; I’ve never even heard of them.

    Excited to follow your progress! Definitely awesome!

    • Ashlei says:

      Hey girl!

      Very impressive lifts! How long have you been at it? I’m 5’9″, so a little taller, but lifts are about the same. Impressed with your squat! I bumped my weight down and started working on box squats lately. They’re pretty challenging!

      Keep pushing yourself in the gym! I bet you could get that DL again for sure. 🙂 Sometimes I psych myself out on squat day, especially if I’m lifting by myself. Haven’t had to bail on a set yet, and don’t want to! I love setting PRs! Hopefully this 4-week cycle of my training program I can get my squat up. PRed my DL two Friday’s ago so that was exciting 185×1.

      How are you avoiding hitting your shins on DLs? I’d be afraid I wasn’t keeping it close enough to my body. When I first started them I had horrible form and my back would hurt afterwards so I make sure to keep it super close to my shins now.

      Yep, I heard that about the unsolicited gym advicegot one of those kids at mine also. That’s awesome your husband is really into lifting too – good support system!

      Bench is so hard to progress on! Get yourself some micro plates on Amazon ($16.50 for the pair, including shipping is what I paid), or throw in DB bench on a different day. I’m excited to use the micro plates tomorrow when I bench. Hopefully bring it up a little. DB benching has helped also – a tip I got from one of my lifting friends instead of benching twice per week with barbells.

      Do you have a blog or a bodybuilding.com profile?

      • Amen says:

        Thank you!! I’ve been at it consistently for about 5 or 6 months now, and inconsistently for months before that. The point at which I got seriously hooked was when I hit 170 on DL and realized, “it’s working! I couldn’t lift that a month ago!” Haven’t fallen off of a consistent schedule since then. 🙂 I do fluctuate in my intensity levels though, unfortuantely. But I figure that being in there and not lifting as heavy is better than not being in there, and I’ll ramp it up next time, which generally happens.

        My husband does box squats! He has had me do them in the past but I’m not fully on board yet, haha. He started using bands, too, since he met this guy at his gym who used to be a strength trainer at West Point. Pretty advanced! Since they started training together, my husband’s squat went from 275 to 375 (which he just got last week!) and that was only over the course of 6 months (so I should be paying more attention to box squats is what that tells me…!)

        Keeping the bar close to your shins is definitely a must. I still hit them sometimes, just less and less lately. What I do now is stand really really close to the bar, feet slightly narrower than shoulder width apart, and tighten up my hamstrings and glutes as much as I can on the way down to grab the bar, so that I’m actually going slow and working hard to get down there to grab it and my shins are already vertical. Keeping shins already vertical at this point means having hips back and therefore knees out of the way! Then I stand up without a snap or a jerk since I’m already tight on the way down. The whole motion is very short, and my legs are more straight the whole time compared to how I used to DL. I used to bend down quickly and grip, then try to flex everything and stand up. (Which was working, and actually how I got 185! But now I have less pain when I’m done with my sets, so I wouldn’t go back to the old way.) This had my lower back and hips too involved, and I had too much movement everywhere before standing, which was wasting energy. Now I think about flexing my glutes and hamstrings and pulling my heels into the floor (the heels thing happened previously, though, too) in a very short movement. Then while putting the weight down, I make sure to keep my hips back (which gets my knees out of the way!) and I end up in the same position that I started in. It took a little while to get used to, but I definitely like it better. Wow that was actually really hard to explain and I had to stand up a million times in my den here and try it out hahaha. Sorry if the description was totally incoherent. It’s one of those “let me show you” type movements I guess!

        So anyway! I won’t judge you if you decided this comment is tl;dr, HAH. If you’re reading this part you either got through the above description or skipped it and good job either way! 😀

        I hope your workout went well today and you had a good experience with the micro plates! I have leg day tomorrow morning and I’m excited.

        I don’t have a blog or a profile on bodybuilding.com… haha I only exist in comment form. 😉 I try to stay off the grid for the most part, even though it’s totally fruitless… the interwebz knowz all!

        Looking forward to your next post! I’m up way too late tonight; time for bed!

      • Ashlei says:

        Yeah I started getting more serious as I saw all my lifts consistently going up. Especially DL like you said 🙂

        I bet the box squats + bands helped bring up your husbands squat for sure! I have to really lower the weight on box squats and it’s a struggle. I think it’s helping me up my regular squats so I’ll take it!

        Thanks for the great DL description. I’m pretty sure I followed along pretty well. It sounds really similar to what I do. Pushing the heels into the ground, flexing the glutes and hammies.

        Thanks for the workout support! Didn’t really get to use the micro plates as much as I wanted to on pendlay rows since I’m still trying to get form right for a good weight. Tomorrow on benching I’m definitely going to use themI did 65lbs last week and I’m sure 70lbs is still too much (a couple weeks ago I tried and could only get 2 measly reps) so I’ll be going for 67.5lbs. Bench is what I really got them for, and then if I start to stall on squats or DLs I’ll use them then also. Going to have to start using chalk when I do DLs and rack pulls from now on. So messy, but my grip got so slippery Friday. :-/

        Talk to you later!

  4. Amen says:

    Hey! Hoping the micro plates worked out well for you! I wanted to tell you that I benched 3 good sets of 70 lbs for 3 reps this week! With no spotter also, and I feel like I possibly could’ve busted out a fourth rep at least on the first two sets… hooray! It’s not much, but it is progress at least. Tomorrow is leg day, and I’m going to try for 155 on squats. I guess I should get to bed then… =P On Monday I DLed 180×4 for 3 sets so at least I’m approaching 185 again… slowly…? We’ll see, hah! Hope you’re doing well!

    • Ashlei says:

      That’s awesome! Way to go on your bench! 🙂 Small increases even 1 rep or 1 more set make a difference. Hope you’ve been having some killer workouts! My hip flexor has been bothering me so I’m laying off squats this week and next week. Tried doing just the bar yesterday and that bothered it so lots of icing. 😦 Nice work on the DL! I’m going to try to PR this week since it’s supposed to be the most intense week of the 4 week training cycle before dropping it down again. Here’s to hoping on Friday! 🙂

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