Just read the phrase “weight plate tree” somewhere and now you’re searching for what it is? Well, here’s your answer.
What is a weight plate tree? A plate tree is an upright post with pegs coming out the side to store weight plates on. The shape looks like a tree which is where the name comes from. Plate trees are great for plate organization which keeps your gym tidy and can save time when changing bar weights.
There is a bit more to know about plate trees and if you need one for your home gym. Keep reading to find out more.
What is a weight plate tree?
A weight plate tree is a frame with pegs on it you can use to store your weight plates. The frame can have different shapes and a different amount pegs and consequently store different amounts of plates.
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Many plate trees are an upright post with pegs coming out the side like branches of a tree. That similarity is where the ‘tree’ part of the name comes from. However, there are also other shapes available and some of those are quite popular like the A-frame. The same ‘tree’ word is still used for many of those other versions even though they don’t look like a tree.
This is because most people search for a certain term when they shop for a piece of equipment. It’s just more commonly used that ‘weight plate A-frame storage solution’ or something like that. It’s just a phrase that stuck and people know.
What is a plate tree used for?
A plate tree is used to store and hang weight plates on. Just slide the inner hole of the plate over the pegs on the tree. Usually the pegs have different spacing between them so you can fit different sized plates while taking up the least amount of space.
So the plate tree is a way to store and organize your weight plates. But why would you want that?
Plate organization is good for a few things;
- Tidy look in your gym
- Faster weight changes
- No weight plates to hit your toe against
You don’t really want to permanently store your plates on the floor. They take up a lot of space and get in the way. If your home gym isn’t too big, you can win some space by properly storing your plates. A tidy look in your gym will make it more pleasurable to use. Using your gym more often will result in reaching your goals quicker. A messy looking gym is not fun to use and it might cause you to stop using your gym.
Having your weight plates organized makes weight changes on the bar faster as well. It’s a PITA to be searching for that 2.5 lbs. plate that’s stuck under all the 45’s. It’ll take a minute or more to find if and dig it out. By properly sorting your plates; you know exactly where the weight plates are and where to put the ones you just took off the bar.
Having weight plates on the floor is also a great way to hit your toes against or trip over. Tripping over something in a gym filled with hard metal is not a great plan. It’s easy to just put the plates you took off the bar on the floor. They stay there until the next time you use them. This takes up a ton of place that could be used for other things and keep yourself safe.
Do I need a plate tree in my home gym?
If you need a plate tree for your home gym, depends on a few things.
- How many plates do you have?
- How many different plates do you have?
- How much storage space do you have on your current equipment?
- Do you have a folding power rack?
While most home gyms can certainly benefit from a plate tree, take a look at the explanations below to decide for yourself.
How many plates do you have?
The biggest question to ask yourself is if you have many weight plates. The more plates there are in your gym and are being used, the more useful a plate tree becomes.
If you’ve got more plates than fit on your current storage, a plate tree is a great addition to your home gym.
How much storage space do you have on your current equipment?
That quickly leads to the next point. How much storage space do you already have? Many power racks come with pegs to store plates on. If your power rack doesn’t have them, there are often add-ons available that allow you to add pegs.
While you might be able to get all the plates you have on your power rack, maybe there aren’t enough pegs for proper organization.
You want to be able to fit all the plates on the pegs but also organize your plates well enough. Optimal would be to have a separate for every plate of different weight. So one for 2.5 lbs. one for 5 lbs. etc. This way you’ll be able to take every weight plate you want without having to shift around other weights.
Another thing to consider is the accessibility of the storage on the power rack. Maybe one or both sides are close to a wall and it’s not very comfortable to squeeze in there with a plate. In that case a plate tree can help a lot since you don’t have to go there anymore.
How many different plates do you have?
Again that brings us to the next question. How many different weight plates do you have? Ultimately it’s nice to have a different peg for every different one you’ve got. This allows for optimal organization, looks tidy and saves time when changing weights on the bar.
However, especially heavier plates might not fit all on one peg. They are just too wide to fit many on one peg. So make sure to check the width of your plates and the length of the pegs of the tree you want to get.
Even if you’ve got enough storage space on your power rack, it can be useful to have an extra tree just to make your plate organization more efficient because different plates won’t have to share a peg anymore.
Do you need plates in different locations?
Last but not least is the question if you need your plates in different places of your gym. That’s not so much for the consideration if you should get a plate tree but if you should get a plate tree with wheels.
Most people only use plates for the bar in and around the power rack. In that case a normal plate tree or even the storage on the power rack is sufficient. Some home gyms are actually quite large and have different machines or stations that require weight plates. In that case, getting a tree with wheels under it so it can move around easily is a good plan.
Can you store weight plates on the power rack? Yes, if your power rack has storage pegs attached to it, you can use it to store plates safely. Those pegs are made for this purpose and can be used without worry. It could even stabilize your power rack when it’s not bolted down. The extra weight can help hold down the rack.
Can you store weight plates on the bar? If the bar is resting on the ground, this is not a problem. The weight of the plates is directly transferred to the floor without going through the bar. Putting the bar on stands with plates can potentially be damaging to the bar. It’s only really going to be a problem with high weights and a low quality bar though.