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Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates Review (2024)

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Quick Overview

Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates are an excellent solution for achieving smaller weight jumps and improving progressive overload. With several versatile weight increments, you can easily bridge the gap between most dumbells, saving you space and money.

Overall Rating: 9.4/10

Build Quality: 9.5/10

Ease of Use: 9.6/10

Compatibility: 9.4/10

Weight Options: 9.6/10

Price: 9.0/10

Who It’s Right For

  • Home gym dumbbell owners
  • Those looking to bust through training plateaus
  • Someone who wants to fine-tune their programming

Things to Consider

  • 2.5 lb plates don’t fit some adjustable dumbbell brands

It’s no secret that one of the keys to getting stronger is gradually increasing weight as you go.

This concept of progressive overload is simple to comprehend – continually increase weight/reps/frequency to push through plateaus and build strength.

But implementing manageable weight increases from week to week can be a challenge for some, especially home gym owners.

That’s where fractional plates can help, and that’s exactly what we’re looking at in this article.

The Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates are a fantastic home gym solution to bridge the gap between dumbbell increments.

They can save you space and money while helping you get stronger by micro-loading your weights.

In this review, I’ll explain everything you need to know about the Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates. I’ll share the pros and cons and compare them to other popular options, including Rogue and PlateMates.

Let’s dig in.

Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates

Micro Gainz Plates on Dumbbell

I’m a big proponent of adding dumbbells to a home gym. They’re versatile, effective, and space-friendly (especially adjustable dumbbells).

Most dumbbells come in 5 lb increments, which is good, but based on space and budget, some people elect for wider jumps of 10 lbs.

In fact, I recommend 10 lb jumps above 50 lbs for that very reason.

How can you effectively manage progressive overload with 10 lb increments?

Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates.

These add-on fractional weights are easy to use, versatile, and very well-built.

Let’s take a look at the specs and get into the review.

Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates
Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates
Micro Gainz Dumbell Plates are add-on weights to achieve smaller increments without needing to buy extra dumbbells. They're a perfect home gym solution.
Check Price at Micro Gainz Check Price at Amazon

Specs

  • Material: Sintered Steel
  • Clamp: Torsion Spring
  • Weight Options: 1, 1.25, and 2.5 lbs
  • Minimum Hole Size: 1″ (25.4mm)
  • Maximum Hole Size: 2.3″ (59mm)
  • Dimensions: See Chart Below
  • Finish: Matte Black Powdercoat
  • Warranty: 2 Years
  • Made in the USA: Yes

Design

The biggest advantage of Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates is the design. Unlike other options that are looser-fitting or magnetic, these have a torsion spring system for better usability. The internal spring sits between two pieces that are riveted together.

Each plate has a starting hole size of 1″ (25.4mm) and, beneath that, a steeply angled opening. To attach the plates, you simply press them onto the dumbbell shaft. The angle automatically opens the plates to the appropriate diameter, and the spring keeps them in place.

How to Use Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates

The maximum hole opening is around 2.3″ (59mm), meaning the plates will fit the majority of dumbbells and even other implements, like kettlebells.

Their compact size is perfect for home gyms, too. I store them on my Wall Control Panels and pull them off when I need them, but if you don’t have a home gym, they’re easy to toss into a gym bag.

One thing to consider with clamps is that there’s the potential that your skin may get pinched. I haven’t personally experienced this, but if you have wide hands that sit against the plates, it’s possible in some situations.

Overall, the simplicity of these plates is a standout quality. They just work… and they work well.

Build Quality

I’m very impressed with the overall quality of the Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates. The all-steel construction is durable, and the tolerances are excellent across each of the six plates I own.

Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates Fit

One question I had when I first received the plates was how they would operate after regular use for an extended time. That is, would the spring operate and clamp as tightly as it did on day 1? Well, I’ve been using the 1 and 1.25 lb plates since 2021, and they work just as well as they did when I received them.

I appreciate that these are hand-assembled by the owner himself. He clearly takes a lot of pride in his work, and he backs that up with the best warranty in the industry for dumbbell add-on weights.

Weight Increments

The Micro Gainz dumbbell plates come in three sizes, which is one of its biggest advantages. With options for 1, 1.25, and 2.5 lb plates, you can achieve paired increments of 2, 2.5, and 5 lbs. In my experience, this range is ideal for anyone looking to bridge the gap between larger dumbbell increments.

Micro Gainz 1 lb
Micro Gainz 1lb Dumbbell Plate Table Image
Buy 1 lb
Micro Gainz 1.25 lb
Micro Gainz 1.25lb Dumbbell Plate Table Image
Buy 1.25 lb
Micro Gainz 2.5 lb
Micro Gainz 2.5lb Dumbbell Plate Table Image
Buy 2.5 lb
Diameter4.25″4.25″5.25″
Thickness0.25″0.375″0.6″
Accuracy+/- 10 grams+/- 10 grams+/- 20 grams
Pair Weight2 lbs2.5 lbs5 lbs

I recently polled my Instagram audience about their preference for adjustable or fixed dumbbells. While the findings were fairly split, it was interesting to see how people viewed an ideal dumbbell setup. Here are my two favorite setups for a home gym (with Micro Gainz plates):

  1. Fixed Dumbbell Set – Buy fixed dumbbells from 5-50 lbs in 5 lb increments and 60-100 lbs in 10 lb increments. Then add 4x 1.25 and 2.5 lb Micro Gainz plates. This gives you 2.5 lb increments from 5-100 lbs and saves you a lot of money by eliminating the fixed 5 lb jumps between the larger dumbbells (i.e., 55, 65, etc.).
  2. Adjustable/Fixed Blend – Buy a 5-50 lb set of adjustable dumbbells and 60-100 lbs of fixed dumbbells in 10 lb increments. Then add the same Micro Gainz package as above. This is better for those training in smaller spaces or on a tighter budget. You essentially get the same versatility, and the 1.25 lb Micro Gainz plates will accommodate most adjustable dumbbells for 2.5 lb total weight jumps.

I think the 1 lb Micro Gainz plates have less utility, but if you’re looking to fine-tune your progress, they’re a nice addition.

Compatibility

Testing the Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates

One of the biggest benefits of the Micro Gainz dumbbell plates is that they’re compatible with most fixed and adjustable dumbbells. There are two things to look at when determining if they’ll fit your specific dumbbells:

  1. Shaft Length – Measure the length of the dumbbell shaft and deduct the width of both Micro Gainz plates combined. If the remaining length can accommodate the width of your hand, you’re good to go.
  2. Shaft Diameter – In the rare & unlikely case that your dumbbell shaft is too thin, the Micro Gainz plates may spin and slide around. Since more dumbbells have shafts greater than 25.4mm (1″), this likely won’t prevent you from buying them.

I’ve tested the Micro Gainz plates on multiple sets of dumbbells, including fixed and adjustable. They’ve worked on every fixed dumbbell I have, but pay attention to beveled ends. If your dumbbell shaft doesn’t have a full straight handle, it may limit the usable length once you add the plates.

The biggest consideration for adjustable dumbbells is with the 2.5 lb Micro Gainz since they’re wider and have a larger diameter. For instance, that specific plate won’t fit on NÜOBELLs, PowerBlocks, or Pepin handles. However, those dumbbells already offer 5 lb adjustments, so it’s not a big deal.

Fast Fact

Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates also work on barbells and kettlebells by placing them on the barbell shaft and the base of the kettlebell handle.

User Reviews

Micro Gainz receives very positive feedback from users. People love the simple design and the added benefit of micro plates for progressive overload. Overall quality is another highly rated feature.

While there are only a few, most critical comments relate to the larger 2.5 lb plates and how they fit. A couple of users mentioned the plates sliding and pinching, but according to their images, their dumbbells had beveled ends. Make sure to measure the usable length of your dumbbell handles to ensure a proper fit.

Micro Gainz vs. Rogue Add-On Change Plates

Micro Gainz Plates
Rogue Dumbbell Plates
Product
Product
Micro Gainz Plates
Rogue Dumbbell Plates
Weight Increments
Weight Increments
1 / 1.25 / 2.5 lbs
0.5 / 1 / 1.5 lbs
Material
Material
Steel
Rubber (Steel Insert)
Compatibility
Compatibility
Great
Good
Made in USA
Made in USA
Yes
No
Warranty
Warranty
2 Years
1 Year

The Rogue Add-On Change Plates are another option to achieve micro dumbbell jumps. They’re similar in that they also attach to the dumbbell shaft, but that’s where the similarities end. The biggest differences between Micro Gainz and the Rogue Add-Ons are materials, fit, and width.

Unlike the all-steel construction of Micro Gainz Plates, the Rogue Add-Ons are mostly made of rubber. They do have a steel inner ring for rigidity, but the bulk is rubber, making them much wider than Micro Gainz. For instance, the 1 lb Micro Gainz Plate is only 0.25″ wide, while the 1 lb Rogue Plate is 0.62.” Depending on shaft length and hand size, this could make a meaningful impact.

In addition to being wider, the Rogue Plates are also more susceptible to moving since they don’t have a clamping mechanism. The Rogue plates have a fixed 34.1mm (1.35″) hole opening, so if your dumbbells have a thinner shaft, the plates can slide around. Conversely, the Micro Gainz plates start at 25.4mm (1″) and can be expanded to accommodate 59mm (2.3″) diameters. Better yet, the torsion design maintains tightness regardless of the shaft diameter.

Another key difference is that Rogue Plates are available in 0.5, 1, and 1.5 lb increments for pair totals of 1, 2, and 3 lbs. In my experience, this is inferior to the 2, 2.5, and 5 lb pair increments that Micro Gainz offers.

Lastly, Micro Gainz are made in the USA and have a better warranty. While you’ll pay more for them than Rogue, the Micro Gainz plates are more versatile and better designed.

Micro Gainz vs. PlateMate Dumbbell Plates

Micro Gainz Plates
PlateMate Plates
Product
Product
Micro Gainz Plates
PlateMate Plates
Weight Increments
Weight Increments
1 / 1.25 / 2.5 lbs
1.25 / 2.5 lbs
Material
Material
Steel
Steel
Compatibility
Compatibility
Great
Poor
Made in USA
Made in USA
Yes
No
Warranty
Warranty
2 Years
N/A

Another option, PlateMates, adds micro weight to dumbbells by attaching them at the end of dumbbells with magnets. Because of that, they only work on iron dumbbells, removing a lot of the home gym market. That said, there are a couple of benefits.

The first is that PlateMates don’t take up space on the handle, making them potentially better for those with wide hands. The second is that they can fit on Olympic barbell sleeves and, even better, weight plate stacks on cable machines.

Those benefits aside, there are also a couple of drawbacks. The first is that they add to the overall length of the dumbell, which can impact range of motion on some movements. Second, they may need to be reset if you’re coming off a hard set and drop your dumbbells.

PlateMates come in round and hex shapes depending on your dumbbells, and they’re available in 1.25 and 2.5 lb options. They also have a magnetic handle plate concept that works on most dumbbells, but its design is inferior to Micro Gainz, in my opinion. They don’t have a clamp mechanism, and they don’t offer as many weight choices.

Ultimately, I think Micro Gainz is the better choice because of its design, increments, and versatility across all types of dumbbells.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Clamp-style design with great tension
  • Durable sintered steel
  • Fits most dumbbells
  • Available in 1, 1.25, and 2.5 lb increments
  • Great home gym solution for progressive overload
  • 2-year warranty
  • Made in USA

Cons

  • 2.5 lb plates don’t fit some popular adjustable dumbbells
  • May not work well for extra-wide hands

Final Thoughts

Buying a full set of dumbbells can be expensive and take up space in your home gym.

Replacing a portion of them and adding Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates is an easy, affordable way to achieve smaller increments.

Furthermore, they’re a great option for assisting in progressive overload and getting past plateaus by providing fractional increases.

I’m a big fan and regular user of Micro Gainz Plates, and I recommend them to anyone who incorporates dumbbells into their training.

Rating

Build Quality: 9.5/10

Ease of Use: 9.6/10

Compatibility: 9.4/10

Weight Options: 9.6/10

Price: 9.0/10

Final Verdict

Overall: 9.4/10

Buy at Micro Gainz

FAQs

  • Are Fractional Plates Worth it?

    Fractional plates are a great way to increase strength over time. While it may not sound like much when you’re adding such small weight, progressive overload is critical to getting stronger. The compounding effect of even fractional loads can help bust through plateaus and achieve new strength levels.

  • Will Micro Gainz Fit on Any Dumbbell?

    Micro Gainz Plates will fit on most dumbbells, but you should double-check your dumbbell’s handle length and diameter. The smaller 1 and 1.25 lb Micro Gainz Plates are highly compatible with fixed and adjustable dumbbells, but the 2.5 lb plate may be too large for certain options.

  • Can I use Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates on a Barbell?

    Yes! You can add any of the Micro Gainz Dumbbell Plates to the shaft of a barbell for fractional loads. However, if you prefer loading the barbell sleeve, you can purchase the Micro Gainz Olympic Plates. You can also use them on the base of a kettlebell handle, and the clamp design will keep them snug on dynamic movements.

Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.
Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.

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