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Plates are the weight that provides the resistance on your journey to getting stronger. They vary in size, weight, and material, and should be available in any real gym. You can, of course, stack plates onto a barbell; but you can also grab plate by itself to add resistance in movements such as plate Russian twists, overhead plate lunges, weighted walk/run, plyometric push-ups, or burpees onto a plate.

Why Plates: Free weights including dumbbells, barbells with plates, or plates by themselves are more functional and effective than machines (which isolate muscles) because they train the body the way it’s intended to work: as a coordinated unit.

Kinds of Plates: There are three kinds of plates most commonly used in functional fitness: bumper plates, competition plates, and fractional (change) plates. Bumper plates, the most common, are built to withstand being dropped repeatedly. Competition plates are higher-quality, color-coded to distinguish weights, and don’t bounce when dropped. Both have a diameter of 445mm (standard). Fractional/change plates are small, typically metal plates used to add a small amount of weight to a barbell—perfect for when you’re inching toward your one rep max.

Let’s lift some damn weight! The WODs below incorporate Plates as standalone equipment (If you want to load plates onto a barbell, see Barbell WODs).