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Homemade Micro Weights

What the heck are homemade micro weights?

When I belonged to a commercial gym, all the dumbbells went up in increments of five pounds. It took me what seemed like forever to jump from benching 70lb dumbbells to 75lb ones. This is why the Ironmaster adjustable dumbbell system appealed to me because you can go up in increment's of 2.5 lbs.

Even with dumbbells that can be adjusted by 2.5 lbs, lifters that have been training for a while find it hard to increase poundage’s by simply adding a 2.5 lb plate, and to keep the bar or especially dumbbells balanced, you have to add two 2.5 lb plates for a minimum total of five lbs.

rogue power rack

This is where micro weights come into play. Sometimes just by adding one or two extra pounds to a certain lift, this can help you break through a plateau or sticking point. While it's not much weight in the grand scheme of things, it may be just enough to stimulate your system into lifting more than it did the workout before. Micro loading works by adding steady increases, however small, to your workouts.

Even if you add just 1 lb a week to your dumbbell presses, that’s over 50 lbs in a year! That’s great progress.


Check out how this weight lifter uses micro weights:

1. Buy a power rack. Not a smith machine, not a cable attachment power rack, but a simple, basic power rack.

2. Get a standard 1" weight bar.

3. Buy plates in pairs; 2-1/2, 5, 7-1/2, 10, 12-1/2, 20, 25, 50, 100 lb weights.

4. Buy steel washers with a 1" diameter opening. 30 washers total.

5. Buy a wall clock with a sweep second hand.

6. Buy a Manta Ray attachment

7. Buy 4 bar clips.

Set up the power rack. They sell them on the internet. Check around for prices. New York Barbell sells good ones. The bar and plates usually can be found at Sports Authority. Buy what you can, a couple each time you have the money, starting with the lightest weight first.

Hardware shops and boat suppliers sell the washers.

Set the support bars about 1" below your shoulder height.

Set the Manta Ray attachment in the center of the bar.

Place the wall clock on the wall about 1 ft below your eye-level height.

Standing, facing the wall clock, squat down slightly and raise up the bar from the power rack, balancing the bar with your hands. Watch the clock. Hold the bar for 1 minute. Slowly lower the bar.

Wait a week.

Next week, put on 6 washers, 3 on one side, 3 on the other. Put 2 bar clips on one side, 2 on the other, to hold the washers on the bar.

Lift, hold, drop.

Come back another week...

Add 6 more washers. Lift, hold, drop.

Come back another week.

When you have put all the washers on the bar, take the washers off and replace them with a couple of 2-1/2 lb. plates.

Weeks go by, add more washers. When you put on all the washers, take them off, and the 2-1/2 lb. plates off, put on the 5 lb. plates, and so on, and so on.

Here is what is happening;

You start out lifting and holding a 15 lb. bar. As time goes by, you SLOWLY increase the weight on the bar and on your body.

As the bar get's heavier and heavier plates, your body muscles have to MORE AND MORE join in to hold up the weight. Your body HAS to get stronger to hold up the weight. Because you are increasing the weight so slowly, your body does not feel the increased weight.

After a while, the weight get's really heavy. One day you are pushing 100 lbs, and heavier! The heavier the weight, the LONGER time you need to recover from the "lift and hold." That is why you spend 1 week between lifting! Muscles grow stronger when you are resting, not during the lifting.

For me;

I started out at about age 40 doing this. I wore a medium shirt, and weighed 190 lbs. As the years went by, I got bigger and heavier, and my shirt size went to large, then xl, and now xxl. My body weight went from 190 lbs. to my present 287 pounds! I am now age 56.

Guys get smaller and weaker as they get older. I got bigger, and stay big and strong. I do not get any bigger as I do not keep increasing my lifting weight. I peaked at 587 pounds of lifting weight. So I cut back the weight 3 times to a present 415 lbs. on the bar. Amazingly, after about 5 current years of lifting the same weight, it still feels REALLY HEAVY.

My body, especially my lower back (80% of your back is muscle), is very strong. I can bend over and pickup fire hydrants at work!

I look forward to age 65- and older.

Complement this with some daily light weights and you will have YEARS of strength and good health.

Article by David Dickeson


Commercially made micro weights are expensive. One way to go cheaper is to make a micro weight out of chain links and a carabiner:

chain micro weight
chain micro weight

Searching Google I found another method posted by bitoy, a poster on a bodybuilding forum. He made these out of pennies!

micro weights

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Each micro weight weighs a half a pound (eighty pennies) so for $1.60 you can make a pair of half pound micro weights. Here's how:

micro weights

2 pieces of cloth (identical in size)

micro weights

2 old shoe laces

micro weights

Place 20 pennies on cloth

micro weights

Wrap and tie

micro weights

Repeat until you have 4 $ .20 stacks wrapped in your cloth

micro weights

Cut excess cloth and you're done.

micro weights

Tie onto a barbell or dumbbell.

Prefer to buy micro loading weights? CLICK HERE


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