T Nation

Bumper Plates Necessary?


I've been looking into buying my own weight set to do the main lifts at home (deadlift, squat and oly lifts) and I was wondering if bumper plates are an absolute must for cleans, snatches etc?

I'll be welding my own power rack and I'll make a platform aswell, but I don't know if the platform will provide enough cushion for weight crashing down.

I'm in highschool so I don't have thousands of dollars to spend and seeing as 2x25kg bumper plates will run me 120 euros (around 170 dollars at the moment?) a complete set of 200+ kilos will run me into the ground.

Cast-iron plates will cost me far far less, but I don't know if the platform will be enough to stop the plates from being destroyed by a dropped jerk/snatch.


I wouldn't say 'necessary' unless you are planning on dropping the weights. Its not easy and sometimes dangerous to try to safely lower max weights from above your head. Regularly dropping iron plates from overhead will destroy your bar and your platform over time though.

One alternative you might consider is getting a partial set of bumpers for snatches/cleans (100 kg for example) and also iron plates for squatting/deadlifting (to combine them with) where you can don't need only bumper plates. By the time you get stronger and need more bumper plates maybe you'll have saved up more money for a full set.


Eventually you are going to need bumper plates if you are serious. It sucks but there is no way around it once you start to go heavier in weight. For now, you can get 2x25kg plates, and use 35s, 25s, 10s, 5s and 2s (in lbs) as the rest of the weight.


Maybe you could build a platform like this...

This has way more give than your typical platform.


Thanks for the advice.

And thanks for the link JPC, it does look softer than other platforms. Seeing as materials are pretty much dirt cheap at the moment, this should save me atleast a couple hundred dollars...


find tires that are close(a little larger in diameter) to the biggest plates you will be using, i forget the name of the peive but you have this 2inch think pipe you attach to it so you can slide them on the bar. Wala bumper plates. got my tires for free on the side of the road, search the web or the thread in here called poor mans equipment thread, thats where i found it


Rubbers would be a wise investment

Looking at it interms of lifetime cost, you're not going to be replacing plates, platforms, and bars every so often with rubbers. With metals, you're gonna be replacing them pretty regularly. I can't really fathom dropping 100kg in metal from an Overhead position.


I would recommend getting the 10kgx2 and 15kgx2 plates to start instead of the single 25kg. this way you can:

A] work up to 70 kg SN/ClJk etc to work your patterning with lighter wieght and then when you get above 70kg in your lifts you have both plates on plus some metal. This gives the landing point of the plates a wider point of impact and will keep your plate for ages. This way the plates support each other and the force is differed over a larger area.



^^^^^^^ Totally agree with this right here. Great way for a beginner!!


If you have the money, I would invest in a pair. There are times where I would like to be able to just drop the plates on the floor after heavy front squats and power cleans!!!


You can also use 2.5lb or 5lb plates. Drill holes to match the lug holes in the rim and bolt them together. A 2.5 on inside and outside should support it very easily and cost less than $20, bolts and all (plus wheels).

EDIT: don't fill the tires to normal pressure!


Bump. Has anyone built their own platform. I would like to try the make the one in the video but need to move first.... might happen soon though.


I built my own platform. It's just 2 3/4" rubber mats on top of each other. 5'x7'. mkes sure my neighbor doesn't come around and bug me about the droping noises.

total cost 139 CAD$





If you wanna get fancy with it, use two 3/4" plywood pieces for the center section. Should give you more power transfer to the floor or ground.


I do overhead lifts outside and drop the weight on soft dirt without problems.


You pretty much can't avoid buying bumper plates.. but don't buy super cheap ones... unless you can find some decent ones used on craigslist or something... try this site, www.bumperplates.biz (safe for work)... They have some good info, but I'd recommend the econ v2's if you want good cheap ones. After you grab a couple 45's or 55's... you can slap on some metal plates.