Updated: May 10, 2021
It’s time to take your gym to the next level – Mount Olympus-level! These 5 best bumper plates will add a new dimension to your training.
Okay, so when the gyms closed you decided to build one in your home. Bravo to you! But now you’re probably getting a bit board of the stationary bike, kettlebell and resistance band (though I think it’s an impossibility to get board of kettlebells). So now you’ve decided to take your home gym to a whole new level. Either that or you’ve been watching too many Dmitry Klokov videos on YouTube. Well, an Olympic bar and a set of bumper plates will certainly do that!
If up to now you’ve been using those key pieces of exercise kit, they will certainly help you keep in shape, toned and trim. However, there’s only so far kettlebells and resistance bands can take you if your training ambitions are to build strength. Also, it’s almost impossible to find an adequate substitute for the complex exercises that you can perform on a loaded Olympic bar; such as snatches, clean and jerk, the fabled front squat, deadlifts, to name but a few.
That being the case, you need an Olympic bar and some weights to slide on the end. But not all weights were created equal. The standard solid cast iron plates are fine if it’s the gym floor you’re pockmarking. Not fine if you’re training at home. That’s the great thing about bumper plates, they are kinder on whatever surface you happen to be training on.
In addition, unlike solid cast iron plates, bumps can be dropped from head height – which is, of course, what they are designed for. If you’re new to Olympic lifting, as we all were once, you might be wondering why you’d want to drop the bar. After all, isn’t the eccentric phase crucial for developing strength and control?
Though the answer to that question is a resounding Yes, it is only so when the loads are manageable. When the bar is heavily loaded, and the weight is hoisted high above the head as it is with the snatch, to return the bar to the floor using eccentric contraction would pose a significant injury risk factor to the lifter. It’s for this reason why you’ll see Olympic lifters and CrossFit athletes drop the bar. Also, if the objective of the competition is to get the bar above the head only (as it is in the snatch and clean and jerk), it would waste a lot of energy to return it to the floor under muscle contraction.
Right, enough waffle, if you’re looking to invest in an Olympic set-up here are our picks for the five best bumper plates on the market.
1: EXTREME FITNESS® Hi-Temp Olympic Bumper Plates
Product overview (click image for availability)
Made from solid rubber all the way through which ensures superior shock absorption properties.
Available weights: 5kg, 10kg, 15kg, 20kg, 25kg.
All weights are colour coded.