What Is The Point of Bumper Plates?
Whether you are building a gym from scratch or looking to add new equipment, buying new weight plates will be on top of your mind. At this stage, you may be wondering if purchasing bumper plates is a more viable option than buying iron plates.
The best weight plates are very versatile that can be found in a variety of shapes. It is important to know their specifics in order to better choose them and buy a weight that is adapted to our bodies and the nature of our exercises. This article describes what bumper plates are and what is the whole point of buying bumper plates.
What are Bumper Plates?
These solid rubber plates come with an iron hub in the center and are made for dropping from an overhead height. The typical application of these plates is seen in clean and jerk exercises, the ones stereotypically performed in Olympics lifts.
It is worth mentioning that bumper plates are not some rubber-coated plates, which consist primarily of cast iron and come with a mere rubber coating on the outside. These plates are not like car tires either that are comparatively soft. Instead, these consist of highly dense rubber with a high shore durometer rating.
Generally, these plates have a lower bounce, ensuring significant cushioning to the flooring. However, some types of bumper plates are a bit more bouncy due to a softer composition. We at ISF like the dead bounce variety.
Bumper Plates and Olympic Lifts
Bumper plates are typically ideal for Olympic lifts, which consist of clean-and-jerk workouts. These plates will help ensure the prolonged life of everything from the bars to plates to the floor.
Alternatively, you can go without bumper plates if you are doing cleans and skipping the jerks. These exercises usually involve manageable weights and do not require max attempts. Hence, you will lower the weight in a controlled manner with each rep.
Are Bumper Plates Necessary in Deadlifts?
Deadlifts do not involve lifting weights beyond the height of the groin, so they do not result in high drops. Even so, you may think of using bumper plates if you want to drop the weight from that height instead of lowering it slowly.
Generally, you can get away with traditional plates if there is rubber flooring. On the other hand, you will need to use iron weights if you are lifting over 500 lbs. There is no hard and fast rule on when to use bumper plates on deadlifts. Generally, it is more viable to use bumper plates, even if you are not dropping weight with your reps.
Bumper Plates and CrossFit
There is a lot of dropping weight on the floor when it comes to CrossFit exercises. These exercises require you to push your limits, resulting in exhaustion that usually leads to an urge to drop weight from a reasonable height. For this reason, bumper plates are a natural fit for various CrossFit exercises. These plates are specifically helpful when you plan on performing CrossFit exercises at your home gym. Since you won’t be squeezing too much weight, the bar will have enough room for thicker plates such as bumper plates.
Options Available in Bumper Plates
Going for bumper plates allows you to look at a range of options. These plates come in different colors and weight variations. You can also look through some material options. However, if you want to choose between the most generalized forms of bumper plates, you can pick competition or training plates.
Competition plates are what their name suggests: they are used in competitive weight lifting. Hence, these bumper plates meet predetermined universal standards. However, these plates aren’t of much use in a home gym.
Training plates, on the other hand, are ideal for home gyms and training purposes. The fact of the matter is most competitive lifters train with training plates. These plates help save a significant amount of money and help with every kind of training that involves using a typical bumper plate.
The only difference here is competition plates come with exact IWF specifications regarding collar size, diameter, and weight. These plates are also comparatively less bouncy to ensure optimum safety.
Interestingly, standard training plates usually comply with all the above standards. Nonetheless, you have to ensure that the training plates you choose are from a reputable manufacturing company.
Benefits of Bumper Plates
- These plates won’t crack the floor
Gym flooring is usually well-cushioned against hard impacts caused by weights and dumbbells. Still, gym flooring may not survive much if you drop iron plates from the overhead height repeatedly. Therefore, your best bet is to get bumper plates and become fearless when dropping them after some tough reps.
Whether you engage in deadlifting, high pulls, or any exercise that ends up with the weight coming down to the floor, bumper plates provide optimum protection to your flooring.
- Uniform sizing
Bumper plates come with uniform sizing, meaning that all these plates come with the same diameter. However, these plates vary in thickness.
One of the advantages of this uniform sizing is that all plates hit the ground at the same time when you drop the bar. Therefore, the force gets distributed across a larger area, preventing damage to the plates and your floor. ISF 10lb plates for example are slightly thinner diameter to allow for them to absorb slightly less impact since they are the thinnest and thus the weakest plates.
Another advantage of a larger diameter of bumper plates is that you don’t necessarily have to use heavier plates when you need lighter weights. Plates with larger diameters allow you to get your legs and hips under the bar more conveniently.
- Safe for Olympic lifts
Exercises like jerks, snatches, and squats won’t allow you to lower weights gradually without injuring yourself. So, you would want to drop those weights to avoid those injuries. Fortunately, bumper plates allow you to drop weights when you are unable to lower them gradually.
- Highly durable
Despite all the dropping and harsher handlings, bumper plates are more durable than you might have imagined. Generally, steel iron plates are vulnerable to rusting due to wet or humid conditions. Alternatively, bumper plates come with a metal core wrapped in a thicker rubber of very fine quality. The current ISF plates are our third iteration. We have extensively human drop tested our plates onto concrete to failure in order to study the results and make improvements to the rubber formula. ISF Bumper Plates are manufactured by a Senior Polymer Engineer.
If you are building a home gym, you may be wondering whether to choose iron plates or bumper plates. Well, choosing bumper plates may be your best decision at this moment. You might start Olympic lifts in the future if you are not doing them today. At that point, these bumper plates will come in handy.
In general, bumper plates are more versatile and durable and do not make you cringe when you drop these weights on the floor.
Most of the time, you may not want to hear clanging iron. Especially if you have set up a gym in your garage, you do not want your neighbors or other family members getting annoyed by the sound of banging iron. Although bumper plates are not entirely soundless, they are generally significantly quieter than iron plates.
How to Find the Best Bumper Plates?
All in all, the purpose of bumper plates is to keep you, gym equipment, flooring, and others around you safe when you drop weights. The high-density rubber used with these weights ensures a lower, dead bounce, which means the weight won’t jump back to hit the drywall, or more importantly, you.
Nonetheless, it all comes down to your choice of provider when it comes to buying bumper plates. At ISF Fitness Equipment, we offer top-quality bumper plates that use premium natural black rubber to cover the metallic insert. Our low-bounce rubber is highly durable and suitable for every kind of Olympic weight lifting. Available in different weights and specifications, ISF bumper plates allow you to complete your gym equipment without shopping around from too many resources. On top of everything, you won’t be breaking your bank when shopping from us. We offer national shipping across the USA and free local pickup of fitness equipment at one of our New Jersey or Florida fitness equipment warehouses. Check out our very durable and highly rated bumper plates here to add to your home or commercial gym.