I don’t think it’s a secret that I have been into grip training for some time now. As you might have read, about a year ago I bought my first pair of olympic grip plates – the HG 2.0 from Fat Gripz . Shortly after I bought them they broke due to me taking out some screws to load more weight on the bar – bummer!
In early November last year, I had an idea after watching yet another video from Anthony Johnson , one of my personal training heroes: To build a set of custom made grip plates with a local stone mason and decorate them myself. It would be a challenge aswell as something fun to do in between lifting – plus would be great advertisement on my upcoming journey to Europe.
So I went down to the stone mason with a rough idea on how I wanted them to look – not really knowing if he would agree are able to do it, but after some talking about my wish list for grip plates, the measurements of the olympic bar-bell and whatnot he said that indeed it could be done.
The order was placed on Thursday November 9th, then at his workshop in February this year I had a visit from him where we did some finishing touches. And finally early May they were ready!
As you can see on the photos there is quite some variation in terms of color on each plate. This is mostly due to me being impatient while letting the concrete dry before I could decorate them. However, I do think they came out rather well and the grip plates have been a joy to use ever since!
In any case, here’s a rundown of my experience on custom made grip plates:
* Cheap – composed of nothing more than concrete + some metal reinforcement. You can save a lot of money compared to more expensive commercial products which often only differ in terms of looks!
* Heavy – at 25 kg each plate is pretty heavy which makes it hard to drop from overhead without bouncing around. In addition for me as a European who trains outside using olympic bars with lots of protective rubber collars the extreme lack of protection from these plates has been very challenging.
* Unstable – moving plates within the rack is very hard due to their extreme “stickiness”. Also when you drop them (which will happen) they bounce in many different directions.
* Unbalanced – because the grip plates are made in one piece, manufacturing tolerances will always be off slightly in terms of equal wearing on all edges/corners which makes lifting heavy weights for repetitions much harder than it could have been.
One thing I would like to add though: Despite these grip plates having their quirks they’ve served me well through months of intensive training sessions and the mental satisfaction that comes from knowing that I built them myself with my own bare hands!
Whys should you buy grip plates from Northern Fitness in Canada?
I’ve been lifting weights for over 20 years now – including many plate loaded machines from all sorts of manufacturers. I’m a personal trainer, strength coach and sports massage therapist/body worker who works with both injury rehabilitation as well as weight training. The grip plates I bought from Northern Fitness are by far the best ones I have ever used! Some reasons why:
* Ingenious concept – they make it easier to use olympic grip plates on a regular type 1″ barbell which is much more common in commercial gyms.
* Well made – The plates are solid and feel like they will last a lifetime if cared for properly (which doesn’t mean you can throw them around).
*icker steel – They have a very nice “click”, which makes picking them up off the ground much easier than any other grip plate I’ve used.
* Decent price – definitely not free, but also not too expensive. This is a proper business with great service and support!