Having weight plates just lingering around your gym doesn’t look good, makes switching weights more difficult and can even be plain dangerous. What options are there for storing and organizing the weight plates in your home gym?
Storing weight plates on a power rack is often possible if plate pegs are added on. However, this often doesn’t provide enough storage space which is why adding a plate tree can make plate organization in a home gym much easier.
Below you can find the different types of weight plate storage solutions and which ones are the best. There will also be some tips on effectively organizing them.
Why have weight plate storage?
Should you get some weight plate storage for your home gym? In a commercial gym I hope you don’t even have to ask this question but why care at home? There are a few good reasons why you would want something to hang your plates on;
What happens in many home gyms is that the weight plates just end up in one or two piles on the floor. Even people that do have a plate tree often leave plates on the floor because it’s easy. While it obviously works, there are a few drawbacks to leaving your plates on the floor; they get in the way are easy to stub your toe against or even trip over and the smaller plates usually get lost under a big pile. If you have the option to store and organize the weight plates on something else, do it.
Plate storage pegs can help you make switching weights between sets and exercises much easier and smoother. It prevents you from stubbing your toe on that one plate you didn’t see and tripping. In a home gym with metal things everywhere, tripping could have pretty bad effects. A plate tree isn’t that expensive and it’s surely a lot cheaper than the dentist’s bill.
Plate storage also allows you to clean up the look of your gym which will help you get in the mood for a workout. There are plenty of styles of storage so I’m sure you can find something that fits in your gym.
Types of weight plate storage
Let’s take a look at common options to store weight plates in a home (or commercial) gyms.
- Plate tree: The best solution is a plate tree. This is a metal frame with pegs sticking out so you can hang plates on them. There are plate trees in different sizes, shapes and with different amounts of pegs. Getting a large one with many pegs is the best way to organize your weight plates while not taking up too much space.
- A Frame: Similar to the plate tree but instead of a single ‘trunk’ with branches, this is a triangle with pegs coming out. These take up a bit more space although the difference isn’t too big. The shape is a bit different than a plate tree but in practice they are the same.
- Wall: Wall mounted plate pegs are cheap but do require some effort to install. Of course if you’re going to put a lot of weight on them, they have to be mounted very securely in a wall that can handle this. For lighter plates these are good but not so much if you’re going to put 5 x 45 lbs. on them.
- Power rack pegs: Got a power rack? Most of them have plate pegs built in or they can be added on. This is a great, simple and cheap solution that works for most people that have a power rack. You do need some space on the sides to be able to access the plates but if a barbell fits, you can fit too. One problem can be that there are simply not enough pegs to fit and/or organize all the plates. Adding a small plate tree can help a lot and make organization a lot easier. Sometimes the pegs are spaced out in a way that doesn’t allow the largest plates to fit on top of each other. Reserving the rack pegs for smaller plates and using a tree for the big plates is the best option here.
- Horizontal plate holder: Imagine a dish rack but larger and suitable for weight plates. That’s what this is. These are usually designed for bumper plates which are much thicker than normal weight plates. Often they have built in wheels and barbell holders so you can move your whole setup around easily.
Best weight plate storage options
Above you can see a quick description of the different types of weight plate holders. Here are some of the best options you can choose from;
1. Marcy Plate Tree PT-36
Cheap, compact and has 8 plate pegs. Oh and it has a bottle holder! The pegs have a 1” diameter so all plates will fit although 2” plates might be a bit loose but for a plate tree that isn’t too big of an issue.
The total capacity of the rack is 300 lbs. The triangular design means you can access it from every side and there are many pegs but at the same time you’ll need more space around it to access all the pegs. So putting it in a corner is not the best way to place this rack.
2. Body-Solid WT46
This heavy duty plate tree has a massive 1000 lbs. load capacity and can even hold 2 barbells. It’s compact and has six 2” pegs for Olympic style weight plates. The frame is made from steel measuring 2” x 3” and 3” x 3”. That’s the same type of tubing as used for power racks so this plate tree is more than able to handle pretty much anything you throw at it.
3. Cap Olympic Plate Storage Rack
Want something that looks good and brings some color into your gym? This Cap rack is available in blue or orange which brings that nice flash of brightness into a home gym which is usually pretty black and grey.
There are 5 pegs and a barbell holder. The pegs hold 6-7 weight plates on each of them but the load limit is about 300 lbs. so you can’t just fill it up with 45’s. however, It’s design does allow you to put it in a corner so that helps in a small home gym.
4. Cap A-Frame 2” Plate Storage Rack
Simple, affordable and has seven plate pegs to organize your plates perfectly. It has a 500 lbs. load capacity and weighs only 21.5 pounds by itself. It’s made to accommodate all different types and sizes of weight plates as long as they are of the 2” inner hole variety.
On one side you can hang 45 and 35 lbs. plates on top of each other while lighter plates go on the other side or in the middle.
5. XMark Commercial Plate Tree
Need to move your weight plates around a lot? Here is a super sturdy rack with four wheels for easy transportation. Two of the wheels have brakes on them so you don’t have to worry about it rolling away when you don’t want it to.
There are seven 2” plate pegs and two holders for Olympic barbells so you can move your whole barbell and weight set around on one rack. They have a version for normal plates and one for bumper plates. The version for bumper plates only has five pegs because that type of plate is much larger. The total capacity is 750 lbs. and this rack is very well built. If you don’t need the wheels, the Body-Solid mentioned above is a better option for most people though since it’s much cheaper.
6. Titan Fitness Wall Mounted 4 Peg Plate Holder
Need something that doesn’t take up any floor space? This four peg plate tree has room for up to 16 x 45 lbs. weight plates. That’s more than you’ll find in any other wall mounted plate tree. Of course smaller weight plates fit as well.
Because this rack has anchor points on the walls but also on the floor. At the same time the bottom is a bit further away from the wall than the top. That means the weight actually pushes into the wall and floor instead of pulling away from the wall. This means a much higher load limit.
7. Yes4All Wall Mounted Weight Plate Holder
Just need a few pegs for lighter plates? Here is a set of two plate pegs that are mounted separately on the wall. They pegs themselves can handle up to 550 lbs. but of course the wall and your mounting method has to be able to support that as well.
This will work great in combination with storage pegs on a power rack. Usually you want just a few more pegs on the rack to organize everything properly. By mounting a few of these on the wall next to the power rack, you’ll be able to organize everything perfectly. The pegs made for 2” plates and are angled up slightly so the plates stay on there securely.
How to organize weight plates
How should you organize weight plates in your gym? Nobody likes digging up that one plate you need from under a 300 lbs. pile between sets. That’s often what leaving them on the floor leads to so that’s not a good way to do it. Plate trees and other storage options give you the option to organize plates in a way that makes your life easier.
However, even if you’ve got all the storage pegs, it doesn’t mean you automatically organize them in the right way. So here are some guidelines that help make your life easier and switching plates easier.
- Each size on its own peg: Ideally you want each weight to have its own peg to make things as easy as possible. This isn’t always possible but try to get close if you can.
- Heavy plates lower: Put heavier plates lower on the plate tree. This does a few things; 1.) Prevents the plate tree from becoming top heavy and toppling over. 2.) grabbing small plates to add on between sets is easier.
- Lighter plates together: Try to avoid mixing the heavy and light plates on one peg. You will always end up with a 5 lbs. plate hidden behind four 45 lbs. plates which you’ll all have to take off to get to the one you want. Taking off 4 x 10 lbs. to get there is a lot easier.
- Put plates back in the same place: Once you’ve organized everything, stick to your system and only change things around if you think that would be easier. Don’t organize everything and then put any random plate on a random peg. That way you’ll be left with a mess after two exercises and you might as well throw the plates on the floor.