Free Weight

Free Weight Quantities In Your High School Weight Room

In this article, let’s focus on high school programs and identify your core student-athlete who will be in the weight room. This will help determine what quantities of plates, dumbbells, kettlebells and other accessories you should invest in during your space’s build-out.

One thing you can count on, regardless of the population your weight room serves, is that you will need a sufficient inventory of plates and dumbbells, and likely a selection of kettlebells, medicine balls, and the like. Now, here’s an obvious yet crucially important fact.

Weight = $$$

You can roughly anticipate an average cost of $2 per pound for free weights. If you happen to be on a restrictive budget, you’re going to find that poundage — in the form of free weights — can eat up a significant amount of your funds if you don’t determine appropriate quantities. The last thing you want to see is a stack of untouched 10s in plate storage while your athletes are fighting over the 45s. Not only have you over-spent, but you’ve bottle-necked your strength program.

Your weight room needs to be equipped with different weight categories based on the population you will be training. The options could be boys only, girls only, or a hybrid model. Of course, this is a generalization. If you are training a girl’s Olympic weightlifting team, that is different than planning for, say, a boy’s general PE program. Common sense dictates, but there is no denying that generalizing your audience by program and gender can guide your inventory decisions.

Here is a useful guide to quantities based on your lifters:

High school girls only or girls/boys middle school weight room

1. Per Squat rack

  • Bumper plates – 45lb x 1 to 2 pair / 35lb x 1 pair / 25lb x 1 pair / 10lb x 1 pair.
  • Small Plates – 25lb x 1 pair / 10lb x 2 pair / 5lb x 2 pair / 2.5lb x 2 pair.
  • Bars – 45lb x 1 / 15lb x 1 / Hex x 1.
  • TRX Strap x 1.
  • Belts – xs x 1 / sm x 1 / med x 1 / Lrg x 1.
  • Bands – 1 to 2 of each tension.

2. Dumbbells – 2 sets of 2.5lb to 60lb in pairs. Appropriate Rack Storage.

3. Kettlebells – 3 each of 9lb / 13lb / 18lb / 26lb / 35lb / 44lb. Appropriate Rack Storage.

4. Med Balls (suggest slam balls or soft med balls) – 2 to 3 each of 6lb / 8lb / 10lb / 12lb / 14lb / 18lb / 20lb. Appropriate Storage.

High school boys only weight room

1. Per Squat rack

  • Bumper plates – 45lb x 3 to 4 pair / 35lb x 1 pair / 25lb x 1 pair / 10lb x 1 pair.
  • Small Plates – 25lb x 2 pair / 10lb x 2 pair / 5lb x 2 pair / 2.5lb x 2 pair.
  • Bars – 45lb x 1 / *15lb x 1 (suggest at only ½ total # of racks) / Hex x 1.
  • TRX Strap x 1.
  • Belts – sm x 1 / med x 1 / Lrg x 1 / XL x 1.
  • Bands – 2 of each tension.

2. Dumbbells – 2 sets of 2.5lb to 100lb in pairs. Appropriate Rack Storage.

3. Kettlebells – 3 each of 9lb / 13lb / 18lb / 26lb / 35lb / 44lb / 53lb / 62lb / 70lb / 80lb / 88lb. Appropriate Rack Storage.

4. Med Balls (suggest slam balls or soft med balls) – 3 each of 10lb / 12lb / 14lb / 18lb / 20lb / 25lb / 30lb. Appropriate Storage

High school girls and boys weight room

1. Per Squat rack

  • Bumper plates – 45lb x 3 to 4 pair / 35lb x 1 pair / 25lb x 1 pair / 10lb x 1 pair.
  • Small Plates – 25lb x 2 pair / 10lb x 2 pair / 5lb x 2 pair / 2.5lb x 2 pair.
  • Bars – 45lb x 1 / 15lb x 1 / Hex x 1.
  • TRX Strap x 1.
  • Belts – xs x 1 / sm x 2 / med x 2 / Lrg x 2 / XL x 1
  • Bands – 2 of each tension.

2. Dumbbells – 2 to 3 sets of 2.5lb to 100lb in pairs. Appropriate Rack Storage.

3. Kettlebells – 3 to 4 each of 9lb / 13lb / 18lb / 26lb / 35lb / 44lb / 53lb / 62lb / 70lb / 80lb / 88lb. Appropriate Rack Storage.

4. Med Balls (suggest slam balls or soft med balls) – 3 to 5 each of 10lb / 12lb / 14lb / 18lb / 20lb / 25lb / 30lb. Appropriate Storage.

Most of the time, a standard commercial-grade bench will serve anyone fine. If, however, your lifters are large in body mass and/or capacity, or if your program includes competition lifting, you may want to explore any of a variety of specialty benches, which include Olympic and competition benches, or benches featuring wider pads.

In conclusion, although determining your free weight inventory can seem elementary at first glance, giving this the proper time and attention can drastically affect your budget, and perhaps more importantly, your program’s overall success.

This article was written by Kevin Yoxall. Coach Yox joins Dynamic Fitness and Strength after spending the last year with the XFL – Dallas Renegades. Prior to the Renegades, Coach Yoxall had stops as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Midway Independent School District, East Central Independent School District, Rice University, and Strake Jesuit School in Houston. Prior to Strake, Yoxall was the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Auburn University for 14 years. Yoxall earned his undergraduate degree from East Texas State and began his coaching career in 1987 at TCU as a graduate assistant. Two years later after earning his Master’s in Physical Education, he was promoted to the head strength coaching position with the Horned Frogs. He left Fort Worth in 1992 to take over the conditioning programs at Minnesota, then moved west in 1996 to guide the strength and conditioning program at UCLA before moving on to Auburn in January of 1999.

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