About Rubber Bumper Plates
“Bumpers” for short, are a type of weight plate for Olympic bars. They are made almost entirely of dense rubber, with a steel or brass collar in the middle that accepts an Olympic bar.
The plates are Olympic sized, come in both pounds and kilos. Importantly, they offer the same weight range as regular weightlifting or strength training plates. Usually the bumpers come in black, but various colors are readily available.
How to Choose the Right Bumper Plates
Are you ready to throw some weight around your home or garage gym and confused about rubber bumper plates? There are so many plates on the market, such as steel plates, rubber bumper plates, and Olympic plates. But which is the best? We’ve got the lowdown for you right here. The first thing to figure out is what type of training you’ll be doing. Powerlifting, weightlifting or Olympic lifting? Then you can choose the right plates you need.
Four Traits of Quality Rubber Bumper Plates
However, there are much more important details to consider. Recognize these four traits of quality rubber bumper plates when selecting the best for you.
- SLIDING: The bumper’s inner, steel ring should fit the bar’s sleeve well. If not, the weights can slide if the rings are too wide.
- BEND: As known, ten pound weights are thin and fragile. A combination of poor rubber and excess slimness will bend the plates. Further, it results in an imbalanced load, that makes for a shaky pull off the ground.
- Durability: Cracking is the first threat to bumpers. Rubber bumper plates get dropped constantly. Thus if the plates’ quality are bad, they will crack around the inner ring. That imbalances the bar while floor resting.
- Bounce: They must bounce just right, more like a bunny hop.
The Advantages of Rubber Bumper Plates
- Safer: Due to the rubber construction, you can drop a loaded bar safely with no risk of damage to the floor, bar, plates, bystanders or lifters themselves. Doing Olympic lifts, when you drop the weights from overhead, rack position or hips, requires bumpers. For this reason, bumpers are ideal for garage gym use. Simply put, they’re safer. You won’t be stressed out about what’ll happen to your foundation, or if they’ll chip or crack on impact, whether by accident or not.
- Workout Flexibility: Bumper plates also provide future flexibility. Lots of athletes are returning to Olympic lifting again. Even if you don’t find yourself at a fitness level or doing workouts that require them, you may want to invest in them now, so you have the option down the road.
- Quieter: If you’ve ever worked out with steel, you know how quickly gyms can sound like a construction site. No matter how smooth or gentle you are, steel plates can sound like nightmarish church bells. Bumper plates don’t crash together like cymbals in a marching band.
Don’t feel you only have to stock your home gym with bumpers. Some garage gym owners mix & match steel plates and bumpers, and each has its place. If you’re certain bumper plates are the best fit for you, continue and read about the various bumper plate types.