There comes a time in ones training journey where incremental increases of the standard gym minimums of 2.5kg can no longer be achieved, however that’s not to say progress has to stall.
Enter the microplate!
Utilizing micro loading is an efficient way to maintain continual progress and break through a plateau. I think using micro plates is extremely beneficial on movements like the bench press and especially the overhead press as this is one lift that is notoriously difficult to maintain progression. There’s no reason however, that microloading can’t be used on bigger lifts such as the squat or deadlift, though I’ve never really had an issue making 2.5-5kg jumps on these. I’ve also found that micro loading works very well when training female clients. Most programs that make use of linear progression, usually aimed at beginners involve increasing the weight (usually 2.5kg) of each lift every session, meaning if your program has you squatting three times a week you will have added 5kg by the end of the training week. Through training females I’ve found that this is not optimal or in some cases achievable, hence making smaller increases suitable.
I’ve recently purchased my own set of microplates totaling 2kg (8 x 0.25kg) and due to their relative light weight and small structure I can take them anywhere with me, provided that “anywhere” I go has an Olympic bar.
Overall the take home message I’m trying to get across is that if you’re stuck in a plateau or want to maintain continual progress on your lifts then getting yourself a set of microplates is a worthy investment because afterall a 1kg PR is still a PR!