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A Comprehensive Guide to Bumper Plates for Strength Training

May 14, 2024 3 min read

A Comprehensive Guide to Bumper Plates for Strength Training

What are Bumper Plates?

Bumper plates are an essential piece of equipment for strength training. They are typically made of rubber or a combination of materials such as plastic and metal, and have a large diameter hole in the middle so they fit onto an Olympic bar. Bumper plates are designed to absorb the shock of being dropped during lifts and help protect your flooring and barbell. They are also great for doing Olympic-style lifts such as snatches, cleans, and jerks.

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The weight of bumper plates can vary from 2.5 pounds up to 45 pounds and come in a variety of colors. While most standard bumper plates are black with white lettering indicating the weight, some manufacturers offer colored plates for those who want to add a little bit of flare to their gym. The most popular brand is Rogue Fitness and their bumper plates come in black, blue, green, and yellow.

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Benefits of Using Bumper Plates

Using bumper plates in strength training has several advantages. First, they are much safer than traditional metal plates when it comes to dropping the barbell after a lift. Dropping weights can cause serious damage to both the floor and the barbell, but bumper plates allow you to drop the bar without worrying about causing any damage.

Bumper plates are also great for improving technique. Since they are designed to be dropped, they provide a great way to practice and perfect form on Olympic lifts. This is especially important for new lifters who are just starting out and need to work on their form before attempting heavier weight.

Finally, bumper plates are great for noise reduction. Unlike metal plates, bumper plates don’t make a loud clanking noise when dropped. This makes them ideal for home gyms or smaller training facilities where sound levels need to be kept low.

Types of Bumper Plates

When shopping for bumper plates, there are several different types to choose from. The two main categories are rubber and urethane. Rubber bumper plates are the most common and are typically made from recycled rubber, while urethane bumper plates are made from a harder, denser material. Urethane plates tend to be more expensive, but they are also more durable and less prone to cracking over time.

In addition to these two categories, there are also specialty plates available. These include fractional plates, which are typically used for very light weightlifting, and custom plates that are designed with specific logos or designs. Fractional plates are available in sizes ranging from 0.25 pounds up to 2.5 pounds, while custom plates can be made to any size and design.

Finally, there are also bumper plate sets available that include a variety of weights. Sets typically include 10 pound, 15 pound, 25 pound, 35 pound, and 45 pound plates. This is a great option for those looking to get a full set of plates without having to buy them individually.

Factors to Consider When Buying Bumper Plates

When buying bumper plates, there are a few factors to consider. The first is the type of plate you want. As mentioned above, there are rubber and urethane plates, as well as specialty and custom plates. Additionally, you should consider the quality of the plates. Higher-end plates are usually more durable and have better finishings, while lower-end plates may not last as long and could have imperfections.

The next factor is the weight of the plates. Most bumper plates come in 10 pound increments, so if you’re looking for lighter weights, you’ll need to purchase fractional plates. Lastly, you should consider the price. Bumper plates range in price from around $50 up to $400 depending on the type, quality, and weight.

Bumper plates are an essential piece of equipment for strength training. They are designed to absorb the shock of being dropped during lifts and help protect your flooring and barbell. There are several types of bumper plates available, including rubber, urethane, fractional, and custom plates. When shopping for bumper plates, consider the type, quality, weight, and price to find the best option for your needs.