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How to Select the Best Bumper Plates for your Home Gym

Weight Plates Buying Guide

Are you ready to lift weights in your home gym or garage gym but haven’t found the right barbell plates. Maybe you’re not sure if steel plates, rubber bumper plates or Olympic plates are the best choice relative to a home gym. We have a detailed barbell sheet shopping guide here to help you choose the best barbell sheet for you. The first thing to decide is which of these weight training exercises you want to do powerlifting, weightlifting or Olympic lifting. This will help you decide which plate barbell plates to use.

  • Weight Plates of Various Sizes
  • Benefits of Using Olympic Weight Plates
  • Olympic Plates of Various Types
  • Rubber Weight Plates
  • Bumper Plate Advantages
  • Competition Bumper plates
  • Take Home

Weight Plates of Various Sizes

If you are considering purchasing weight plates for personal or commercial use, it is critical to get a handle on the differences between these barbell pieces and what feels best for you.

The Olympic barbell piece features a 2 inch (50.6 mm) diameter center hole, which is the most classic size for fitness barbell pieces. This is an advantage over barbell plates without a fixed hole diameter, as they are compatible with all Olympic bars in commercial gyms and most fitness equipment lines, including adaptations for fixed machines in commercial gyms and other free weight machines.

Standard barbell plates used to be the most popular choice for home gyms. However, as more sophisticated, higher standard and more cost effective home gyms have become more popular, the functionality of this choice of barbell piece has changed. Standard barbell plates have only one diameter hole and cannot be used on Olympic bars. Therefore, it is critical to always consider whether the barbell piece you are purchasing is compatible with your Olympic bar!

Studio barbell pieces are specifically designed for group training. They are suitable for the more popular strength training classes in the United States today, where participants usually do not have to handle particularly heavy weights. These disc barbell pieces are usually rubber coated, small in size, have handles, and are brightly colored. They are easy to identify and dispense, and can be quickly inserted and withdrawn from specialized studio weight barbells. They all have a 30 mm diameter center hole.

Benefits of Using Olympic Weight Plates

When it comes to versatility, Olympic barbell pieces are unbeatable. Using Olympic weight barbell pieces compared to regular barbell pieces, they differ as follows.

  • On the weight lifting bar, Olympic weight plates are substantially more stable.
  • They are better quality to use – the number of exercises that can be performed with Olympic weight plates far exceeds the number of exercises that can be performed with regular weight plates.
  • Olympic weight lifting bars are designed to carry more overall weight.
  • Most power racks and weight benches are designed to accommodate 7ft Olympic bars rather than 5ft or 6ft regular bars.

Olympic Plates of Various Types

Olympic plates divided into several categories, including rubber coated plates, technical plates, cushion plates, competitive weight plates, score plates and weightlifting plates.

We have provided an overview of each form of weight plate available for purchase on the market so that you can have a more detailed understanding.

Rubber Weight Plates

Rubber counterweight plates include an additional rubber cover layer for more safety, protection and durability. In a way, the rubber layer protects the weight plate and the floor from unwanted accidents during use. The coating ensures that the weight plates can withstand longer use and are more durable.

Polyurethane coated plates are superior in this medium weight bearing sheet. These plates are the same size and form as rubber plates, but are much stronger than rubber plates and protect against marks and overuse damage. Unlike rubber sheets, polyurethane coated sheets will not leave marks on your floors, walls or other equipment. They also have the advantage of being odorless, whereas other rubber materials can have an unpleasant odor regardless of their quality more or less.

When we talk about rubber coated weight plates, we usually come across situations like “non-standard Olympic plates”, how do we need to go about choosing them at this point? Non-standard Olympic plates are plates designed to fit Olympic size Olympic bars, but with smaller apertures than classic Olympic weight plates.

The presence of a grip engraved on the plate is an important feature that distinguishes it from a regular plate. This makes it easy for the user to lift them off the ground after completing a set of weights and get back on the bar or receive them on the Olympic plate storage. It also makes exercising specific parts of the muscles, such as plate front raises, much easier and can fully reduce the physical effort expended in the process of transporting the plates.

Bumper Plate Advantages

Safer: Since the “end state” of the Olympic lifts is with the barbell overhead or at the shoulders, the rubber construction allows us to safely lower the loaded barbell and reduce the risk of injury to the floor, platform, bar, plates, onlookers or the lifters themselves. Olympic lifts require cushioning when the weight is lowered from above, from the rack position or from the hips. Therefore, bumpers are suitable for use in garage gyms. Simply put, they have a safer cushioning performance. You won’t have to worry about your floor breaking or being damaged, or whether it will crack or split on contact, either accidentally or on purpose.

Workout Flexibility:Bumper plates also provide the front pavement recovery training for many athletes who are returning to Olympic weightlifting. Even if your fitness level or the activities you do don’t need them in the present, you may want to invest in them now so you have more options later.

Quieter: Anyone who has worked out with steel knows how crisp a gym can sound, when your gym is like a construction site. Steel plates, no matter how smooth or soft you are, can sound like the dreaded church bell. Crash plates don’t clash like marching band cymbals to make an unpleasant sound.

Technique Bumper Weight Plates

The demand for bumper plates has been on the rise in recent years. This is probably due to the growing popularity of Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit training and the desire of fitness enthusiasts to participate in this form of training.

A bumper plate is a solid rubber weight disc that is the safest weight piece for Olympic lifts. It can also be lowered from an elevated position during exercises such as snatches and jerks, possessing less danger. Cushion plates are used to create a safe atmosphere and allow for better conditioned workouts to be completed without risk of damage to the floor, equipment or participants.

Coaches and gyms have long used power Olympic lifts in their training, and weightlifting as a discipline is based on this core set of movements that necessitates the use of bumper plates.

The technical plate was one of the first cushion plates that could be used. This plate was simple and consisted of a single piece of rubber with no metal ring around the hole. These plates are only available in light weights and are ideal for new Olympic lifts and to help athletes improve their technique. Technical plates are usually only available in weights of 2.5 kg and 5 kg, and can be utilized for training or competition in the absence of small sets. 

Competition Bumper plates

Competition bumpers are the pinnacle of quality and performance. There are several advantages to using competition bumper plates.

  • Metal to metal contact is avoided by placing a steel disc beneath the rubber surface.
  • Reduces noise significantly, reduces vibration, and keeps bolts tight.
  • The advertised weight is typically accurate to within 10 grams or less.
  • Unbeatable durability.

These professional grade boards will cost you a fortune, but are generally only used in commercial gyms or more advanced training venues. If you are prepared to spend money on such a professional set of equipment, in addition to the benefits mentioned above, the biggest benefit is that using the same equipment for exercise has a better fit for the individual. If you only work out in a home gym, you may not need this overly specialized equipment. In the garage, competition plates are more reliable and longer-lasting than traditional bumpers, but when you consider the price of fit, it’s not the best value-for-money option.

Some companies also offer training versions of race plates. These boards are virtually identical, except that the training boards do not measure weight accurately, so there is no certificate of certification.

Take Home

This weight plate purchase guide should have shed some light on the many types of weight plates that are used for various training regimens.

Knowing your facility’s target demographic or your own fitness objectives can help you determine which plates are best for you.

After you’ve decided on your plates, check out our barbell purchase guide for more information on finishing your kit selection.

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