Disc training: the complete guide

Allenamento bilancieri dischi

Discs are essential to increase the weight on the barbell and thus make the exercises more difficult and incremental.

Using the same weights over and over again won’t help you increase muscle strength. To achieve this goal, you have to gradually increase the load and put yourself to the test more and more to achieve better results.

Do I really need to train with barbells ? And which discs do I buy ?

Today you will have the answer to your questions and, in addition, I will give you some suggestions for your workouts; are you ready ?

So let’s get started !

Discs and barbells: why use them

The barbell is an essential piece of equipment if you want to lift more and more weight, and along with a healthy and balanced diet, it also helps you lose weight and improve your body composition.

Let’s see the benefits…


If you want to increase or decrease the weight you lift with the barbell there is no problem, just insert more or fewer plates and you’re done.

This allows you to be much freer and save money because you will only need one tool and you will not have to buy more if you want to increase the load, as is the case with dumbbells or kettlebells.

With barbells you just need to buy new gym plates if the ones you have are not heavy enough but the shaft will remain the same.

It’s a tool you’ll always need and use even when your performance increases.

In the event that you are going to systematically lift heavy loads, you can choose to possibly take a weightlifting belt to increase core stability and improve your performance but it depends on your level.


An advantage of the barbell is certainly its versatility because you can use it to perform many exercises such as squats, clean and jerks, deadlifts, bench presses, hip thrusts and many others.

It will allow you to carry out a complete workout that will work both on the upper and lower part of your body without the need for a thousand machines.

And its adaptability will certainly come in handy because depending on the exercise you will be able to load more or less weight without complications.

You won’t have to wait for a machine in the gym to become free, but you will be able to do various exercises with the same equipment and this will definitely save you time.

Full-body workout

As we said before, you will be able to do many multi-joint exercises that will involve several muscles at a time.

This will allow you not only to train your whole body in a balanced and complete way, increase your muscle strength and power, but you will also improve your coordination.

Limited space

The advantage of having a barbell and its discs is certainly the little space it takes up.

In case you train at home, space can be a problem and a tool that takes up as little space as possible is always a good solution.

Once you’re done with your workout, you can remove the plates from the barbell and move them to a closet or cupboard.

Practical and comfortable.

Disc training

To sum up, we can therefore say that barbells are great for saving time, space and money due to their adaptability and versatility. If you don’t know which equipment to buy to train at home, I can assure you that the barbell will be an excellent investment.

Types of discs

You should know that there are not only different types of barbells but also discs.

Mainly there are 2 types of discs: rubber (or bumper plate) and steel: let’s see the differences.

Bumper plate

The bumper plates are durable rubber discs with a steel core.

The rubber will allow you to drop the barbell to the ground without risking breaking the floor or the lifting platform because the material will absorb the blow.

In addition, you will avoid making a lot of noise, as happens when using steel discs: if you train at home, the neighbors will surely be happy! If, on the other hand, you use the plates in the gym, you will also avoid disturbing others.

Bumper plates are therefore considered safer and are recommended for beginners who need to learn to let go of weight safely.

Steel discs

These discs are created by pouring molten steel into the molds. When it cools down, you’ll have your steel discs hard and durable.

They are easier to grip than bumper plates and are just as durable as rubber discs. They will last for many years without any problems, if you buy them quality of course.

Given the advantages of bumper plates, why should I buy steel ones ?

If you don’t practice exercises where you have to let go of the barbell, as you do in CrossFit, then steel plates are a good investment.

In addition, if in your training schedule there are both exercises to be done with bumper plates and others with steel plates, having both becomes a necessity.

If you have a choice, then I would recommend bumper plates so you don’t have to worry about it if you drop the weight.

Barbell training with discs

We have seen that the barbell can be used in many exercises such as snatching, clean and jerk, and squats, to name a few.

Weight barbell training

Today we will look at 2 very important movements together: bench presses and hip thrusts. We will understand how to carry them out and what mistakes to avoid in order to perform these exercises in the correct and therefore most effective way.

Bench press

Bench press is a multi-joint exercise that focuses on your upper body and specifically on the pectoralis major, triceps, and anterior deltoid.

Start by lying on the bench with your feet firmly on the ground to give yourself stability.

Then hold the barbell with the right grip: it should be neither too tight nor too loose. If you use an Olympic barbell you will have already marked the points where you will need to place your hands.

Slowly detach the barbell from the rack and bring it on top of you.

Once the weight is stabilized, start going down until it touches your chest with the barbell. At this point, push and return to the starting position.

To carry out this exercise in the best possible way, I would like to give you some advice.

First of all, remember to breathe correctly: inhale before lowering the weight towards you, stay in apnea and exhale when you are back to the starting position.

A mistake that is often seen concerns the shoulders.

You always have to maintain the joint set-up.

To achieve this, you need to move your shoulders away from your ears and keep your shoulder blades in adduction. Train yourself to maintain this position throughout the movement, it will allow you to increase the load and avoid injuries.

As for the bench to use, you can choose the one flat to focus on the central chest.

If you want to alternate stimuli and vary your training, you can decide to do the stretches on incline or declined bench.

With the incline bench press, you will train your high chest more, while with the declined bench press, you will focus on your low chest.

Hip thrust

Also in this case we are talking about a multi-joint exercise that focuses on the lower body; In particular, we are going to work on the glutes and hamstrings.

You will have a different stress than the “classic heavy” because, in the hip thrust, the glute will not be recruited in pre-stretching conditions and will reach the highest point of tension in the position of maximum shortening.

This will allow you to vary the stimulation of the buttock.

Then pay close attention to the initial setting: it is important to carry out the exercise in the correct way otherwise, in addition to not training your muscles effectively, you could hurt yourself.

So how does hip thrust do it the right way ?

First of all, sit on the ground by placing a bench behind you on which you will then rest your upper back.

Extend your knees and bring the barbell to your pelvis.

In case you are going to load a lot it is advisable to use a cushioning cushion, a mat or towel, will make lifting more comfortable.

Bend your knees 90° with your feet a little wider than your shoulders and your toes slightly turned outwards.

The tibiae should be perpendicular to the floor.

Rest your upper back on the edge of the bench press and grasp the barbell with both hands in a prone grip.

This is the starting position.

Now inhale, push by focusing on your heels and exhale slowly.

You must bring your pelvis to its maximum height but you must not force the extension beyond 180°, to avoid stressing your back too much.

At this point you can insert a pause of one or two seconds in maximum contraction of the buttocks.

And finally, descend slowly returning to the starting position as you progressively inhale.

Remember to keep your chin close to your sternum to create a slight tension in your neck and before performing the first repetition, especially if you are learning, it would be best to try the weightless movement once or twice, in order to check that you have the right posture and setting.


In this article, we have discovered all the advantages of the barbell: complete training, saving money and space, versatility and adaptability.

We then analyzed the difference between steel and rubber discs and saw how to do bench presses and hip thrusts, two excellent exercises to include in your training plan.

I hope this guide has been helpful to you and I wish you a good workout!



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