What are Bumper Plates?
Bumper plates are a type of weight plate that are used with Olympic Barbells. They are made of dense rubber with a steel collar in the middle.
Bumper plates are becoming more commonly used compared to tri-grip plates as they are used in a variety of training types including CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, and strength training. The reason they are now used by Olympic weightlifters compared to the traditional steel plates is that they are safer and more practical to drop and lower after a lift.
Selecting the right bumper plates?
The Hit Fitness bumper plates are sold in pairs and come in both black and a coloured version. There are four key traits that need to be considered when selecting the right ones for you.
- Sliding – the weights should easily slide on and off the barbell but there shouldn’t be too much room as this will cause the weight to slide around during lifting which isn’t ideal.
- Bend – the 5kg plates can often be thin and slightly more fragile than the other weights simply due to its smaller size. There is a fine line between the weight being too thin and too thick so it needs to be the correct weight but still be able to withstand heavy use.
- Durability – Bumpers can be prone to cracking, especially if dropped frequently. Inferior quality plates will begin the crack around the centre ring which can cause imbalances.
- Bounce – Bumper plates should have a slight bounce to them when in use, it should be a very small bounce.
Advantages of Bumper Plates
There are 3 main advantages to bumper plates compared to steel plates or tri-grip plates:
- They are safer. They can be safely dropped from overhead with little to no risk of damaging the floor, platform, bar, plates, or those standing around and the lifter themselves. They are ideal for doing heavy lifting such as deadlifts, cleans and snatches as they can be safely dropped if they weight is too heavy for the lifter.
- They offer workout flexibility. A variety of exercises and training styles can be done using bumper plates.
- They are quieter than traditional steel plates making them better for commercial gym use as they don’t clang together when lifted and they don’t make a lot of noise when dropped.
The Hit Fitness Bumper Plates come in two varieties – the black training bumpers and then the coloured training bumpers.
There is a colour coding scheme that is laid out by the International Weightlifting Federation that has been followed. They are as follows:
- Red is 25kg
- Blue is 20kg
- Yellow is 15kg
- Green is 10kg
The colour coding helps athletes and coaches easily pick the right weights when it can sometimes be a hectic training environment and the colour coding takes the guessing out of the equation.
Bumper plates are mainly used in conjunction with an Olympic barbell and used for exercises such as deadlifts, squats, lunges, snatch, clean & jerks, bench press and many more.