Your Garage Gym Needs Bumper Plates

Starting a home gym or garage gym?

Bumper plates will be your best bet.

Sure, iron plates are cheaper (and dirtier and uglier) – but in this article we’ll explain why bumper plates are the better choice.

Bumper plates in their natural habitat - spread all over the floor of the gym
Bumper plates in their natural habitat – spread all over the floor of the gym

This article is sort of tongue-in-cheek.

But there’s some truth to it as well.

Bumper plates - have lots of colors
Bumper plates – have lots of colors

Bumper Plates Are Bigger

Bumper plates are bigger (for the smaller sizes – like the 10kg, 15kg sizes).

Everybody wants to lift the big weight plates, not the little ones.

What’s more impressive? Hoisting two tiny 10kg iron plates or two MASSIVE 10kg bumper plates?

That 10 Kg bumper plate will be the perfect height for exercises that start from the floor.  The 10kg iron plate is not.
That 10 Kg bumper plate will be the perfect height for exercises that start from the floor. The 10kg iron plate is not.

Bumper plates let you do that – without overloading the bar for the exercise at hand.

Think this is a joke? It’s not. Don’t you workout to feel better?

The mental confidence boost of heavy lifting is one of the perks of fitness.

Arm Curls in the Garage Gym
#1 Rule of the Gym: Always Look Cool. Big plates look cooler than small plates. If you look good you feel good.

So, go ahead and slap those 10Kg plates on – and feel good about yourself.

But, perhaps more importantly they put the bar at the correct height for exercises where the bar starts on the floor.

Rogue Fitness Bumper Plate - 10 Kg or about 22 lbs.  It has the same diameter as a 45 Lb olympic plate - and that makes this useful in a lot of situations.
Rogue Fitness Bumper Plate – 10 Kg or about 22 lbs. It has the same diameter as a 45 Lb olympic plate – and that makes this useful in a lot of situations.

Like the deadlift, snatch, or clean and jerk.

Maybe you can deadlift enough such that only the biggest plates are an option – but bumper plates are a great way to get the bar at the right starting height and still have it light enough for a novice lifter or teenager.

Barbell in the rack position

Bumper Plates Make Significantly Less Noise

Bumper plates make less noise.

Bumper plates are all around quieter – because they are made from dense rubber.

it’s hard to show a picture of “quiet” – so here’s some plates instead.

Red plate is 25 kg - or 55 lbs, blue plate is 20 kgs or 44 lbs.
Red plate is 25 kg – or 55 lbs, blue plate is 20 kgs or 44 lbs.

Less noise can be an important factor for a home gym – it’s less annoyance to the rest of your family – or your neighbors.

Bumper Plates Give You More of a Grip Workout

They are harder to pick up.

Bumper plates don’t have any lip like the iron olympic plates do.

Bumper plates are wider than iron plates and have no lip.  Moving them around is a better grip workout.
Bumper plates are wider than iron plates and have no lip. Moving them around is a better grip workout.

Combined with their greater width they are a bigger challenge to pick up – with one hand or two.

And that means more of a grip workout – and that is one of the big benefits of strength training.

Bumper Plates Give You More Exercise Variations

Oh – and I almost forgot – they bounce.

You are less likely to accidentally damage the floor with bumper plates.

That’s the whole reason they exist, of course. They are meant to be dropped from overhead when completing an Olympic lift like the snatch or clean and jerk.

But the practical benefit for you is you are less likely to accidentally damage the floor.

This also makes bumper plates a better option for more exercise variety.

Because with bumper plates you can do the clean and jerk or the snatch.

Can’t you do these with iron plates?

Yes, you can. But it’s a lot more fun with proper bumper plates.

Female trainee about to perform Olympic lift - the clean
Once you have bumper plates (and a place to drop them) you can learn the Olympic lifts the right way. These are the most athletic lifts you can do in the gym for speed and power – and therefore well worth your time.

Bumper Plates Look Cooler

Bumper plates look cool.

Yep, that matters.

With their bright color coding they are easy to distinguish from a distance, and they just look more exotic too.

Colorful bumper plates for the deadlift
Bumper plates let you quickly visually confirm the weight loaded – and they just plain look better. Snazzy deadlift shoes are optional.

Want to impress visitors with your home gym? Have some nicely colored bumper plates.

They also don’t rust and get dingy looking like iron plates – which is a big plus in humid environments.

You say looks don’t matter?

Then why are you working out?

Iron plates tend to get pretty nasty looking over time
Iron plates tend to get pretty nasty looking over time

Downsides to bumper plates

There are some downsides to bumper plates.

They are significantly more expensive than iron plates.

They can get dinged up pretty badly – scuff marks on the rubber (but they still look better than iron with all it’s rust, grime, and paint chips.)

You can’t fit as many on a bar, as compared to iron plates, because they just plain take up more room.

Woman performing deadlifts in the gym
Deadlift with bumper plates. Bumper plates are thicker than iron plates – so you can’t fit as many on the sleeve of the barbell. But does it really matter?
You probably can’t lift that much anyway.

And, it’s hard to find decent bumper plates locally – you really need to order off the internet.

Bumper Plates – In Summary

But, even taking all those things into account – we think bumper plates are the best choice for your home or garage gym.

So that’s what we recommend.

What do you think about bumper plates vs iron plates?

Let us know in the comments.

Bumper plates in a variety of sizes – 10kg (green) , 15kg (yellow), 20 kg (blue), and 25 kg (red).

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*