Cement Weights vs Iron: Which Weight is Worth the Investment?

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Tonya McIntosh

Tonya McIntosh—The main person behind TGFFitness as its Founder and Chief Editor. Get to know more about Tonya


Cement Weights vs Iron: Which Weight is Worth the Investment?

As someone who’s passionate about fitness and has hands-on experience with both cement weights and iron weights, I can confidently say that each material has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. But which one is better?

Athletes typically prefer iron weights over cement weights because cast iron is denser than concrete, meaning it takes up less space for the same weight. On average, cast iron has three times the density of pure concrete, making it a more compact and practical choice for weightlifting.

In this blog post, I will compare the pros and cons of cement and iron weights to help you make an informed decision when choosing a weight for your workouts.

Can You Make Weights Out of Concrete?

You can make weights out of concrete. Cement weights are the most common form of weightlifting equipment used in home gyms because they are easy to make, inexpensive, and durable. 

Concrete is a strong and durable material that can be molded into various shapes and sizes, making it suitable for use as a weight.

They are also safe for the environment because cement is a naturally occurring material. However, iron models may be better if you want to lift heavier weights for more challenging exercises.

Are Concrete Weights Effective?

Yes, concrete weights are effective. Cement is an excellent material for weightlifting because it is strong, durable, and inexpensive. It is also easy to make into various shapes and sizes to fit your needs.

However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of concrete weights can vary based on the quality of the concrete mix and the manufacturing process.

Poorly made concrete weights may be brittle or prone to cracking, reducing their effectiveness and potentially posing safety risks. As with any weights, it’s important to use high-quality, properly manufactured concrete weights to ensure their effectiveness and safety.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Iron vs. Cement Weights

Here is a detailed discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of both cement and iron weights.


Iron weights are denser than cement, making them better suited for heavier exercises.

They are also more versatile in terms of size and shape options.

In contrast, cement weights are less dense and more appropriate for lighter exercises.

Durability & Lifespan

Iron is a much more durable material than cement, making it the preferred choice for athletes looking to build muscle. 

Iron weights have a longer lifespan and will not crack or chip as concrete models might. 

Concrete weights are more likely to crack and chip over time, making them less suitable for heavy exercises.

Consistent in Size and Shape

Iron weights are easier to mold into different shapes and sizes, making it easier to select the right weight for your exercise routine.

Cement, on the other hand, is a natural material, so it may or may not be consistent in size and shape.

Easily Added to Barbells

Iron weights are easier to add to barbells than cement models, making it easier to customize your exercises.

Most barbells have standard-weight plate sleeves, allowing you to slide the plates onto the bar easily.

Some barbells may have specific size or weight limits, so it’s important to check the specifications of your bar before purchasing weights.

Achieving Results

When it comes to achieving results, iron weights are the preferred choice.

Iron is denser than concrete and provides more resistance during exercises, which can help build muscle strength and tone faster.

Cement weights may be better suited for lighter exercises or beginner athletes.


Iron weights are more expensive than concrete weights due to their density and durability. Cement weights are much cheaper and can be customized to fit your specific needs.

However, iron weights are also more likely to last longer and will not need to be replaced as often as concrete weights.

Cement is a low-cost material, making it a suitable alternative for those with a limited budget. They are also cheaper to produce than iron weights, which makes them a more economical choice.

Is It Cheaper to Make Concrete Weights?

It is usually cheaper to make concrete weights than iron weights. The cost of raw materials and manufacturing is often much lower than that of iron weights.

Additionally, making a custom-sized weight out of cement is simpler since the material can be easily molded into different shapes and sizes.

Why Should I Use Concrete Weight?

Concrete weights can be a great way to add resistance to your workouts without spending much money.

They are also more flexible than iron weights, allowing you to customize the size and shape to fit your specific needs.

Although concrete weights are prone to chipping and cracking as time passes, they still offer sufficient weight for performing light exercises like bodyweight or basic strength training.

Are Concrete Plates Heavier Than Normal Metal Ones?

I can confidently tell you that concrete plates are not heavier than normal metal ones.

In fact, steel is actually heavier than concrete.

To be specific, a cubic yard of concrete weighs roughly between 3,300 to 3,500 pounds, whereas a cubic yard of steel can weigh around 13,000 pounds.

Therefore, if you’re looking for heavier plates to increase your strength, metal plates are the way to go.

Can You Use Regular Barbells with Concrete Weight?

You can use barbells with concrete weights if the specifications of your barbell allow for it.

However, make sure to check how much weight the bar can handle and what size plates fit on it before purchasing or creating weights. Some barbells may have specific sizes or weight limits.

Are Cement Dumbbells Good?

Cement dumbbells can be a great option for those on a budget. They are usually less expensive than iron weights and can be customized to fit your specific needs.

Cement weights are also more flexible than iron ones, making them well-suited for light exercises or beginner athletes.

However, they may only last for a short time and are more prone to cracking or chipping over time.


Iron weights are great for achieving results faster and are more durable than cement models, but they can also be more expensive.

Cement weights are a great budget-friendly option that can be customized to fit your specific needs, but they may only last for a while.

It’s important to check the specifications of your barbell before purchasing any weights, as some bars may have specific sizes or weight limits.

Whatever type of weight you choose, take the necessary safety precautions and practice proper form when exercising. Happy lifting.

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Chief Editor
Tonya McIntosh

Hello there! My name is Tonya McIntosh, and I’m the Founder and Chief Editor of TGFFitness. I’m also a NASM-certified Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer. With eight years of experience under my belt, I’ve found that one of the most common issues my clients struggle with is remaining consistent.

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