Back in September we told you about the small grooves found on the sleeves of most modern olympic barbells, and what it’s all about. As we described, the one problem is they make noise! It’s not fingernails-on-chalkboard bad, but as plates slide onto the bar they do make an annoying and loud sound.

So what do to about it? One solution we posed was to get a York bar, all of which are all still made with smooth sleeves.

The other solution is to use a certain type of weight plate. What you want is a plate with a steel insert in the hole that can’t catch on the barbell’s grooves. Normally you’ll only find that with bumper plates. The one exception is the Troy VTX rubber encased plates.

Troy VTX plates

These totally solve the problem. The smooth, rounded steel insert glides right over the grooves with hardly any more noise that it does on a smooth bar. These are the plates I use personally, and I love them.

Just to be clear, they are NOT bumper plates! The smaller weights are all smaller sized like normal iron plates.