Best bumper plates buying guide
When you’re starting out at your home gym it’s tempting to just buy cheap, poorly made plates that will do the trick for now. But if you are serious about getting stronger, especially later on when you start hitting PRs you’ll ultimately need better bumpers because these are often used for multiple lifts and can take a lot of abuse.
The best bumper plates are popular mainly because they weigh less than steel plates. For example, 10 kg (22 lbs) competition bumper plates weigh about 8.3 kg (18 lbs), which is 1/4 less compared to the steel equivalent (if you are using new Fringe Sport bumpers). One of the main selling points is also that these won’t damage your floors like steel plates usually do over time.
What are the best bumper plates?
Here we will look at our best bumper plates from the hundreds of bumper plates reviews that we have researched and analyzed in detail.back to menu ↑
What are the types of bumper plates?
There are mainly two types of bumper plates (the difference is the type of steel they use to make these, with comp bumpers using higher quality steel):back to menu ↑
Competition bumper plates are made for exactly that, competitive lifting (you’ll notice these in most CrossFit boxes).back to menu ↑
Training bumpers will last much longer when used regularly in a home gym. However, both types are made to withstand the same amount of weight and abuse.back to menu ↑
What are the benefits of bumper plates?
If you want a home gym that can handle a lot of weight, these are a must because they take a lot of abuse and will last for years.back to menu ↑
save from damage
They will save your floors from damage caused by the steel plates. This means less noise when you’re deadlifting or cleaning up after a workout.back to menu ↑
easy to get for home gym
These are becoming more and more popular, which means that you will be able to find several different brands and types of these in most fitness equipment stores.back to menu ↑
used for multiple exercises
They can be used with a variety of barbell exercises such as squats, deadlifts, presses, etc.back to menu ↑
protection for bars
Plates with 45 lbs or more are usually made of rubber, and these will protect your barbell by acting as a shock absorber. This is especially useful if you have an aggressive deadlifter in your home gym who puts a lot of pressure on the bar when lifting heavyweights.back to menu ↑
low cost per lb
These are a lot cheaper per pound compared to steel plates which is especially important if you’re starting out and don’t want to spend a ton of money on the equipment at first.back to menu ↑
What exercises can you do with bumper plates?back to menu ↑
These are also used for other powerlifting movements such as squats, bench presses, overhead press, etc.back to menu ↑
They are also used for bench press or overhead press.back to menu ↑
These can be used for Olympic weightlifting movements such as snatches, cleans, and jerks.back to menu ↑
Overhead press (using the clean and jerk technique)back to menu ↑
Clean and jerk (you can also use these for other Olympic weightlifting exercises such as snatch, power clean, hang snatches, etc.)back to menu ↑
How to choose the best bumper plates?
These are some of the things you should look at when choosing these:back to menu ↑
When it comes to bumper plates, there are mainly three types of steel used: low carbon steel, stainless steel, and Chromoly-molybdenum alloy. Low carbon is the cheapest version, but tempering makes this quite inflexible. Chromoly is more expensive but also has better durability and slightly increased resilience. Stainless offers increased durability and flex resistance but are also the most expensive.back to menu ↑
Think about your goals and what exercises you’re going to do with them. If you plan on doing Olympic lifts or powerlifting movements, then it’s best that you buy competition bumper plates that are specifically made for these kinds of exercises. On the other hand, if you want to use them for your regular workout at home, then training bumper plates will be a better option since they are a bit more durable and cost a lot less.back to menu ↑
How much weight do you need? How much space do you have in your home gym? This is important because the number of pounds that you need will depend on the maximum weight that you can lift. Keep in mind that if you’re doing powerlifting movements, then it’s best to get more bumpers (and fewer plates) since these are for low reps which means less weight needed overall.back to menu ↑
The dimensions of these will depend on the brand and type, but you should make sure that they fit your designated area in your home gym. You want to look at length, width, diameter, and thickness before buying these. Make sure that they are the right size for your designated area.back to menu ↑
You want to make sure that you invest in the right equipment so do your research first before buying. Remember, the price will depend on the brand, type, material, weight, and size of the plates.back to menu ↑
Aside from price, durability is also another important factor that you should consider when choosing these. Make sure that they are high-quality and will last you a long time.back to menu ↑
Ease of use
There are some bumper plates that are said to have an “easy-to-grab” design, so their shape makes it easy to pick them up. If you lift alone, then this might be something for you to consider since they won’t roll or move whenback to menu ↑
Some bumper plates come with a stand. If you plan to use them for Olympic weightlifting movements, then this is something that you should consider buying since most of these are sold separately.back to menu ↑
When choosing these, make sure that they are made by trusted brands. You can also do your research online or ask for opinions from people who have used these before.back to menu ↑
Some people say it’s not worth investing in bumper plates because they’ll get “beat up” and you’ll be left with unusable bumpers (plus shipping costs to get new ones). I don’t agree with that, but of course, it depends on how often and for what purposes you lift. If you’re a casual powerlifter and don’t rack the bar after squatting/benching, it might be a valid point. But if you put your bumpers on metal J-hooks and drop the bar from overhead or deadlift with them, it’s going to be a lot harder beating up your steel plates (you can even bend them back into shape, so they are still usable).