guide to bumper plates

Want to know everything you ever wanted to know about bumper plates, hitemps, competition bumper plates, Rogue rubber coated plates, and more? Check out this article for more.

First of all, what are bumper plates?

Bumper plates are commonly found in most gyms. They are weight plates with a thick rubber coating, known as bumpers. These make them safe to drop from great heights onto tile floors at a gym without damaging the barbell, the floor, or anybody else. Bumper plates are made up of an iron or steel core and are meant to be used with 50mm (Olympic) barbells.

Bumper plates are equal in diameter, as opposed to ordinary weight plates, which include a varied diameter for each weight. When doing CrossFit, it's common to utilize bumper plates to perform various exercises. They're quieter and have less bounce than metal or rubber plates.

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Check out this video series for more tips on bumper plates and bumper plate sets that you might be missing!


Bumper Plate Tips

Bumper Plates Tip 1: Bumper plates should only be used for either Olympic lifting, to silence your lifts if you have an apartment or area where you need to be quiet while lifting, or if you are trying to prevent damage to your floor. Otherwise, regular cast iron Olympic plates can be used for training. Hitemp bumpers are made out of recycled rubber, and while they have a low "durometer" rating, and more bounce than a competition bumper plate, they are excellent economy plates!

Bumper Plates Tips 2: When trying to buy smaller "change" plates for bumper plates, the smaller sizes like 5lb and 2.5lb are very expensive, and often hard to find. Hitemp does make smaller change plates, but the only reason you need bumper plate change plates is for consistency or silence during a lift. Otherwise, use a regular cast iron, or machined plate for lifting.

Bumper Plates Tip 3: A "durometer" rating is essentially a rating of how "bouncy" a bumper plate is during a lift. Hitemp bumper plates have a low durometer rating around 75, which means they bounce more than say a competition bumper plate, which has a durometer rating of around 90. This additional bounciness actually gives you a slight advantage during deadlifts, as the bumper plate gives more springiness to the lift at the bottom, and can help you getting the weight back off during the ground during a set.

Bumper plates come in all different types of durometer ratings, choose one which suits your training style the best, and allows you to throw, drop or bounce those Olympic weights in whatever manner you see fit!

Bumper Plates Tip 4: Bumper plates are advantageous for lifting from the ground because they allow you to lift at the full height, instead of at a deficit. An iron 45lb plate has a diameter of approximately 17.5", however the other weight sizes are generally smaller in diameter. However, 45lb, 35lb, 25lb, 15lb, or 10lb bumper plates all have a 17.5" diameter!

With bumper plates, you never run into any issues with height! So whether you are doing deadlifts, rows, or anything from the ground, the barbell will always be in the same position in relation to the floor, regardless of the bumper plate weight.

Bumper Plates Tip 5: Are you looking for highly accurate bumper plates? First, you need to ask why that's a necessary qualification. Hitemp bumper plates, for example, while not competition style, are already highly accurate within about .5lbs. Competition bumper plates are accurate within a few grams, but unless you are lifting competitively, there really is no need to go with competition style bumper plates. Competitive Olympic lifters will really be the only ones to benefit from this type of bumper plate, as the weight needs to be dead-on accurate at all times for competition.

What kind of bumper plates do you like? Tell us in the comments below!

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