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Are Bumper Plates Necessary for Deadlifts or Olympic Lifts?

Are Bumper Plates Necessary for Deadlifts or Olympic Lifts?

When building a home gym, you will be faced with a question: are bumper plates necessary for deadlifts or Olympic lifts? Or can you simply go with iron plates because you are not dealing with too much weight at the moment? Even if you are pretty careful when lowering your weights, do you think you can stick by such circumspection when adding a few more lbs?

With more weight on both sides of your barbell, you will undoubtedly want to drop the whole thing rather than lowering it slowly. At that point, bumper plates become an absolute necessity. But it goes without saying that you will also need a lifting platform or rubber floor padding to reduce the impact further when you drop the weight. These platforms absorb the impact, reducing the risk of your neighbors considering legal options to get you out of your home gym.

Now, let’s discuss the necessity of bumper plates for deadlifts and Olympic lifts.

Bumper Plates for Deadlifts

Are bumper plates necessary for deadlifts? Well, it usually depends on how you want to perform your deadlifts. As it turns out, lowering the weight down without dropping it is possible with deadlifts, even if you add some extra weight to your barbell. However, a controlled lowering of weight will become a bit trickier if you are deadlifting to increase power and speed.

Having that said since deadlifts involve dropping weights from a lower height, using iron plates instead of bumper plates should cause no problem, given that your floor has rubber cushioning. Such a drop will neither shake the floor nor cause much noise.

If you are mixing bumper and iron plates, make sure that both weight plates have an equal diameter. Generally, bumper plates come with a 450mm diameter, so using them with iron plates of the same size will prevent either type from hanging above the floor when you put down the barbell. This consideration will also make it easy to load plates on the barbell sleeve.

Note that mixing bumper and iron plates for deadlifting is a usual practice, even if the weight is dropped after the workout. This drop will be insufficient to cause a rebound.

Bumper Plates for Olympic Lifts

Olympic lifts are a different game altogether compared to deadlifts. When performing Olympic lifts, you have to drop the weight from an overhead height, causing the plates to hit the floor hard. Needless to say, you will have to use bumper plates for these lifts.

Now, you may wonder if it is OK to mix bumper and iron plates when performing Olympic lifts. Well, such an approach will cause put extra pressure on bumper plates, which already come with a definite lifespan. As a result, your bumper plates will wear down much sooner than usual.

Can You Drop Bumper Plates On A Bare Floor?

Let’s get out of the assumption that you are using bumper plates on a rubber-padded floor or a lifting platform. The floor in your garage is bare concrete. So, is it OK to drop bumper plates on such a floor?

As a matter of course, using iron plates in this scenario is a big NO. The metal vs. concrete will result in damage to your floor, plates, and relationship with your neighbors.

Even if you are going for bumper plates here, you have to be watchful of the type of plates you buy. Interestingly, the most expensive the bumper plates, the most easily they get damaged on a bare floor.

Expensive bumper plates come with a lot of metal inside and high-density rubber outside. Both these factors reduce the bounce of these plates significantly. While a higher density of rubber makes bumper plates overall more durable, using these plates on a bare floor is not the best idea due to the hard impact with every drop. If you want to use bumper plates to ensure no damage with higher drops on a bare floor, you have to look for more and softer rubber to soften the impact.

Generally, bumper plates made of crumb rubber do quite well on a bare floor due to their higher bounce. These plates are an ideal choice if you cannot go with rubber flooring at the moment.

Bumper Plates You Don’t Want to Buy for Deadlifts or Olympic Lifts

The necessity of bumper plates for deadlifts is debatable. And as for Olympic lifts, you are going to need these plates. But the discussion about whether or not you need bumper plates for deadlifts and Olympic lifts involves bumper plates with circular circumference. Anything that introduces angularity in this circumference makes bumper plates unsuitable for these workouts.

For instance, many companies manufacture multi-sided or 12-sided bumper plates that facilitate better gripping. The rolling movement of these plates when you drop or set them on the floor after deadlifting is generally unpredictable. These plates are even more terrible when you drop them from an overhead height, typically after an Olympic lift. Most of the time, the corner between every two sides of these plates hit the ground after a drop. As a result, the entire weight may roll right into your shin, potentially causing an injury.

Wrapping Up

Are bumper plates necessary for deadlifts and Olympic lifts? If you are buying plates for deadlifts, you will have to factor in the workout intensity and gym flooring. It will not be a weird decision to use iron plates for deadlifts with adequate padding on the floor. Using bumper plates in such a scenario is entirely up to your preferences.

On the other hand, bumper plates are usually an absolute must when you perform Olympic lifts. High drops with iron plates can prove pretty damaging to the gym floor, even with sufficient rubber padding.

While there are techniques to lower the weight in a controlled fashion with Olympic lifts, such methods are significantly tiresome. You might also end up injuring your wrists if you do not drop the weight. Therefore, you will be better off dropping weight with this workout.

For all these reasons, buying bumper plates is a better option than iron plates. Your deadlifts might not seem hostile to your gym surfaces at the moment, but it is just a matter of time before you add extra weight to your barbell.


ISF Bumper Plates


In the end, it is crucial to choose a trustable source to buy high-quality bumper plates. One of the best resources in this regard is ISF (I Sell Fitness), from which you can purchase the best quality gym equipment, including a complete set of bumper plates. The option that you can choose in this regard is the ISF 260LB Bumper Plate Set, which includes plates of different widths, allowing you to add intensity to your workouts at your will. The denser rubber used in the composition of these plates allows for a lower bounce that is not detrimental to your body and gym surfaces. On top of everything, these plates are available at a discounted price, meaning that you no longer have to spend more to get high-quality weight plates.

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