The Best Bumper Plate Brands Money Can Get You!
July 11th 2019
Bumper plates, or bumpers, are heavy plates used for Olympic lifting and strength training usually seen on a barbell. They vary in weight and in size. These plates are usually made of rubber for safe dropping to the floor from an overhead position or lift to reduce the damage of the lifting platform, the bar, or the plates themselves. You can also see these plates made from steel but can involve a higher risk of damage to your equipment however they are commonly seen at local gyms and fitness centers. You can find bumper plates easily on Amazon or from the maker’s website where you can check reviews of the product, but if you’re looking into buying soon, here are some tips.
What are the best bumper plate brands?
- FringeSport Bumper Plates
- Hi-Impact XMark Bumper Plates
- Titan Strength Training Plates
What Should I Look For?
When looking into buying bumper plates think about the style of workouts you plan to be doing and how heavy of a weight you would like to go up to. For instance, if you are deadlifting in the low 400s, thicker bumpers may not mean much for you. However, if you are an elite level athlete or better, it would be in your best interest to purchase competition bumper plates. And if you are in another world of strength, it would be better to just get 450 mm disks to add to your collection.
You can purchase plates as either a set or as a pair. Of course, you want them to be durable and last a long time especially when you’re investing in your own fitness space! While they all may look the same, they may be made differently that can affect the longevity of your plates. Looking for a dead bounce will allow you to use the plates and the barbell in a smaller space whereas a higher bounce may cause rollaway. A good thing to note is that rubber plates are generally designed to be dropped safely, where steel plates are made to be stacked on the bar.
It is also important that you know what you are training for so that you can buy an appropriate weight set or pair. For example, if you are weightlifting, you should be using bumper plates. If you are bodybuilding or strength training with a lot of deadlifts, you may want to use bumper plates but it is not a necessity. If you barely touch barbell movements, a bumper plate set would be a nice addition to your home gym but definitely not a must-purchase (because your sport does not require you to stress your plates).
Another great tip is looking into the quality of the steel center that will be in contact with the bar. Check the technology to assure that over time when dropping the bar, the steel center won’t deform or crack. For an overall long-lasting plate set, here are some easy to buy options:
This set has durable rubber giving you up to 260lbs of weight with a wide variety of plates. This will come with a pair of 45, 35, 25, 15, and 10lbs plates making a full set. These were specifically manufactured for safe dropping from an overhead position with a precise amount of dead bounce making them safe for small spaces such as your garage or home gym. For a long-lasting sturdy plate that will allow you to move up in weight as you try new exercises. Made of rubber, these plates will have little to no smell. Make sure to check that the diameter of the steel center will fit around your bar.
XMark made these plates with an all-natural virgin rubber resulting in a slimmer look and structured dead bounce but may have a stronger smell than other plates. This brand is also very confident about the steel center and its durability and ease of an Olympic bar for long-lasting use. While they do warn about the rubber smell on brand new plates, they claim it fades over time. Keep in mind that rubber plates are usually shipped with an oil covering them to keep them nice while in transit. This oil can be easily wiped away when placing them in your space.
If you’re looking for a little more style in your home gym these will be your go-to plate set. You can purchase these plates in a wide variety of weight sets and even add colored collars. These were also designed to have a thinner profile allowing you to stack more on the bar before your lift. This is a great go-to especially if you’re starting out. As you get more and more comfortable with dropping your plates, this will be a great set for you.
This will be your high steel quality bumper plate for Olympic and competitive lifting. They come with a wide steel center and a dead bounce when dropped overhead. With competition plates, you typically have to purchase by the pair instead of a set, but these will overall give you what you are looking for when training heavily. These are color-coded for you to easily find the weight you are looking for. They have been tested by Olympic weight lifters to assure a trusting product for those who purchase them.
This brand is not as well known, but they sell a great set of plates when you are just starting out in your home gym. These will give you the feel of strength training as a beginner, so you can know what you want without breaking the bank. They can be a little bit more flexible than other brands, but still, have a good amount of bounce and little to no damage on equipment.
Brands of bumper plates may vary in quality. Over time some plates may deform or be lower in durability right off the bat. As said before, that is why it is important to know which kind of lifting you plan to use your plates with the most. For example, FringeSport looked into the science of the rubber and steel they put into their plates. They test their products with Olympic weight lifters before putting them on the market. Read more about their story here. Brands like Titan are great for beginners because they are not designed for long-duration overhead dropping. They can be used for ab work, bench press, or deadlift for a more long-lasting set. Check out their policies and other products here. As a good tip, make sure to check customer reviews on the website you are purchasing from. Some may have had an experience that may be beneficial for your situation and gym.
Before looking into your plates remember that different brands will give you a different workout. Strength training such as bicep curls and overhead presses are different and require less structure than doing a full squat clean or an Olympic lift. For more information, check out each of these brand’s styles to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck!