Bumper Plate Buying Guide
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Bumper plates are one of the most critical pieces of equipment in any home gym or commercial fitness facility. Whether you are buying your first set of bumper plates or looking to upgrade, this article will present the options for you to make the right choice. With there being many tiers of pricing and quality in the market, it can be difficult in deciding what is the most suitable plates to purchase. As always we recommend researching before committing to any brand, it's far more worthwhile investing in quality and not having to replace equipment in a short space of time. With there being so many offerings in the market today, it's easy to fall for a low price from an unreliable supplier, which leads to disappointment.
Bumper plates by definition are constructed from thick resilient rubber, and allow for the loading and dropping* of barbells during Olympic lifts and compound exercises. They are chosen over steel plates as they allow loaded barbells to be safely dropped onto the correct flooring, without causing damage to the gym or facility. Bumpers are almost always more expensive, however, they are necessary for any overhead CrossFit or Olympic lifting, whereas steel plates are sufficient for very basic barbell training. Another major factor in the popularity of rubber Bumpers is the noise, steel plates are extremely loud in use but rubber Bumpers greatly reduce this problem.
Key things to look out for when buying bumper weight plates:
- Training requirements: Are you training for functional fitness, powerlifting or Olympic weightlifting?
- Durability: Are the plates for a home gym or heavy use commercial facility?
- Budget: Plates can vary hugely in quality and price, from basic rubber plates to competition standard.
- Materials: Virgin rubber will offer a denser slimmer plate with less bounce, whereas recyled rubber plates are cheaper but softer and bounce higher.
- Brand: Do your homework on the best brands for bumper plates, there are plenty of budget options but you want to make a statement and get longlasting performance.
*Again Faster Europe strongly advocate the safe use of weightlifting equipment, including dropping plates safely on appropriate flooring to protect yourself and the equipment.