T Nation

Home Olympic Bumper Set


I'm looking for a decent barbell and set of bumper plates for home. Specifically for my apartment that I can drag outside and do Olympic lifts whenever I feel like it. I've thought about using standard oly plates and a horse mat or something, but I'd prefer to get the real deal.

One problem: there friggin expensive.

I'm looking at the set pictured. It the 160kg York Rubber Bumper Training Set. It's going for $1038 plus s&h. That's WAY more than I want to spend, but I do want quality.

Anyone have any suggestions on where to go online or anywhere between Chicago and Milwaukee?


How about these?


Ok I been thinking of getting something too. Not sure what the difference is between bumper plates and whatever else.

I just want something to squat with, bench, and deadlift. Thats about it.

I also have all tile floors, not sure if thatll make a difference. And if thats an issue.. something that could be kept outside? Not sure

Anyway this is what I was lookin at. Tell me what u think.



holy shnikes that's expensive!!! I'm going to start dipping regular plates in rubber and selling them and retire in a couple of years.

What if you only bought some big plates of bumpers and combine them with regular plates. I would think that as long as you alternate reg with rubber on the bar, you would essentially have the same effect right? (I'm assuming that bumpers would be bigger in diameter so you wouldn't have trouble with even using same weight plates next to each other.

And for the guy who has tile floors, I would recommend using both stall mats and bumpers. Tile floors tend to crack very easily under force and the more dissipation you can get, the better off you'll be.



Check Perform Better and look at their solid and color coded plates. They are high quality and somewhat reasonable. Remember, you dont have to but the whole set right away. I dont know what poundages your lifting but you could always start with just couple of plates and use smaller cast iron plaes in additon to the bumpers.

side note: whaere in WI are you? I'm in Waukesha.


These are a real possibility. Looks like about $650 plus shipping for a full set. I haven't heard of this company before, but saving $400 would be nice.


Bumper plates are plates encased in rubber so you can drop them from overhead and not cause so much damage to the equipment and floor. Also, bumper plates all have the same diameter. If you look at the pic the 10kgs are as big round as the 25kgs.

I think it's a beginner set that will work well for a while if you aren't doing Olympic lifts--don't be fooled by the color coded "bumpers." It isn't high quality (resisting bend, smooth rollers, good design, etc), but theres nothing wrong with that if it meets your needs.


And that's a bargain set. It's easy for other sets to get up to 3 grand.

Bumpers that I've use are the same diameter as most standard olympic 45s. So to go with your idea would require me to alternate with smaller 35s when used on a floor. May or may not be worth it--I'll have to price it out.


Checked it out. I was hoping the had a retail store in the area, but then found out they're in RI.



ive had the same problem as you (with the price). But that is a GREAT price for an olympic set. in fact its a little low, and makes me question the quality. top end olympic sets go for around 3k. the major thing is the bar, most improtant if your doing actual olympic lifting. if youve ever spun the ends on a bar, comparing olympic bars with normal shitty bars, you kno what im talking about. an olympic bar generally runs up to 1k ALONE. the bumper plates arent insanely important (in terms of quality), unless you like to drop them alot. It looks like a great set. Just make sure you get a good set.... if youre really gonna hunt, and are serious about olympic lifting, please dont buy something from sears or some shit. now i may me wrong, but i REALLY dont think, sears would carry anything even remotely good. YORK is your best bet in the states, pretty much your only choice. If you wanted to go IVANKO or even ELEIKO (if you got some cash) youd be lookin at double the price MINIMUM. Hope i was helpful, good luck in finding something.


The $3,000 set has precision plates for use in competition. Most "generic" plates can be off by up to a pound - not good if you're an elite lifter going for a world record. The precision plates are off by only fractions. The other cost factor in these sets is the bar itself. The bearings on these are super smooth to minimize resistance as you flip the bar over on the clean or snatch. CT said that the difference between a crappy bar and a super-smooth Eleiko bar can be as much as 10%, i.e., you can do 10% more weight using the sweet bar as opposed to crap bar.

You don't need the $3,000 set unless you plan on holding Olympic lifting competitions or you really want to compete and are totally anal about the weights you use.

Some people have invested money in an Eleiko bar to get the sweet feel but then bought cheaper bumper plates.

You can do "old school" O lifting and get a regular old set and control the lowering portion of the lift. There's actually somewhat of an advantage to lowering the weight under control - you do the negative portion of the lift which will lead to greater size and strength gains.

A solid rubber set like the York will probably be fine if you're just looking to O lift for you own purposes. I don't think the Sears set has enough rubber on it to give adequate cushioning. You still may want to get a horse mat or if you take the bar outside lift in a grassy area. Dropping the bar will still put stress on the bearings and you want to minimize wear and tear as much as possible.


Buying a "true" Olympic setup was the best damn thing I've ever done ... ok, not really, but it's treated me really, really well. That plus a set of "power rings" has me basically set up at home.

Here's some advice based on what I did (I live in Pittsburgh and have friends that grew up near York, PA so some of this may be more difficult for you ... I went out to York, stayed with my friends parents, drank beer ... there are several nice microbrews with about 45 minutes of York ... and had a good old weekend).

What to purchase?

I own the York "Olympic Training Bar". It is just a little springy and the collar bearings will rotate, but not "freely". This is the bar that comes in the set the original poster has pictured.

For comparison, a friend has the Eleiko bar and the difference is .... WOW. The Eleiko is in a completely different class. There is a York "Olympic Competition Bar" with needle bearing sleeves is closer to the Eleiko (I tried it at the York factory store) ... say about 90% of the Eleiko. But the Eleiko is like ICE.

For your home, I would wholeheartedly recommend the Olympic Training Bar. When you get the money for an Eleiko, the Training Bar can be used for squats, rack pulls, whatever.

There isn't REALLY a need to buy a full set of bumpers. What I would recommend is this:

At minimum:
1 Pair 45lbs bumpers
1 Pair 10lbs bumpers

1 Pair 2.5lbs regular
2 Pair 5lbs regular
1 Pair 10lbs regular
1 Pair 25lbs regular

This will allow you to do any weight up to about 250lbs with the proper spacing from the floor. (Note, you need the extra pair of 5s to get proper spacing with weight near 100lbs ... I didn't account for that and only bought one pair laugh). If you need more weight for your Olympic lifts (you beast!), you could get away adding regular 45s but adding regular 35s would probably be a better idea. If you need more than one set of 35s in addition, get thee to a true Olympic training center and bring back a medal.

1 Pair 45lbs bumpers
1 Pair 25lbs bumpers
1 Pair 10lbs bumpers

1 Pair 2.5lbs regular
1 Pair 5lbs regular
1 Pair 10lbs regular

I like this set up a bit better (and I'm probably going to buy the 25lbs bumpers to make it happen soon). Why? B/c the 10lbs bumpers with a lot of other weight are really flimsy ... ie with a 10lb bumper and a 25+10+5 regular on one side, the 10lb bumper is taking quite a beating.

So, here's what the weights cost me by going in person to the York store (these are approximate since I can't find my receipt ... nix that, I found it ... note, the prices in store are cheaper than from the catalog and they also gave me a discount since I purchased a bunch of stuff). Also, I did the recommended "minimum" above without that extra set of regular 5s.

Bar: 400
Spring Collars: 4
Regular Weight: 42.50 ($0.50 per pound)

Pair 45 bumpers: 99.00 (got a floor display pair at discount)
Pair 10 bumpers: 60.00

Total: 605.50 before tax (and no shipping)

With tax: 640.00

So, the cost to me was about $650.00 for something that functionally approximates that $1200 dollar set. Of course, if you buy the $1200 dollar set, you will add tax and shipping. I forget what the shipping will run, but I think you might be talking double.

Something else you should consider, is that even with the bumper plates, a rubberized flooring is probably essential. Dropping the bumpers on concrete will screw with the bar afterwhile. Some combination of horsemats and rubber flooring should do the trick. Look into a Tractor Supply Company or other farm store for something like this:


If you try to buy it at a "fitness" store, they will become FATTER on YOUR wallet.

I know some of you don't necessarily live in Pennsylvania or even the Northeast part of the country ... but a road trip is always fun! Hey, York is in the heart of Eastern PA's Amish country .... whoa, nelly! There are also other companies through the country you might look into.




Is York's Olympic Training Bar better than the bars that come with most "generic" Olympic weightlifting sets sold in sporting goods stores or is it about the same? I have two Olympic sets (only because it was cheaper to buy a whole new set than it was to buy individual plates, plus it's handy to have two bars for circuits and such) both generic sporting goods store purchases and I definitely have noticed that one bar is better for O lifts than the other.


I believe sears sells separate bumper plates. Your best bet would be to get a couple of the larger bumpers and a good bar. All of the bars I saw at sears were shit.

I bought a decent 185# bumper set at Dunham's for about $100 but it was a closeout.



Absolutely, 100% yes it is better. Your wrists will thank you for years with the York and curse you with the generic.

The York Olympic Training Bar is FAR better than even a high quality, non-revolving bar (say a high quality "powerlifting" bar ... for example, the Texas powerbar or the York powerlifting bar). It is miles better than, say, a CAP bar for doing high velocity lifts.

The Eleiko is as much better than the York Training as the York Training is better than a powerlifting bar which is still better than a CAP type bar.

So, if the Eleiko is perfection at 100% (which I'm happy to say), the York Competition is about 90-95%, the York Training is about 65-70%, the standard powerlifting bar is 45%, and the CAP bar is 15% (all IMHO, of course!).



Mark, thanks for the info.

To all who posted or may be interested in a York bar:

I went to the York site and asked for a quote on some bars. Here was the info I received:

211015/TBK-20 Men's 2200mm 20kg USA Olympic Training Bar 1500# Test
$680.00 with 30.00% discount $476.00

IB-NB-M 2186mm Int'l Needle Bearing Olympic Bar 1800lb# Test, 28mm, 185,000psi (December avail.)
$240.00 with 20.00% discount $192.00

IB-1500 7' Hard Chrome Split Sleeve Int'l Bar 32mm 44lbs $160.00 with 20.00% discount $128.00


If there's any way you can check the diameter of the bar before you buy the set, do so. Power bars are a couple of millimeters thicker than proper Olympic bars, amd you can feel the difference in thickness instantly when you grip them. You can get the correct thickness if you Google USA Weightlifting and go to the Web site, and BTW you should know that Olympic weightlifting has had two sizes of bars for a few years, one 20 kilos and the other 15 kilos (mostly for gals, who tend to have hands that are smaller than guys' hands). Some our powerlifter friends can direct you to sites where you can get the measurements of powerlifting bars.


I have a pair of 45 lb and a pair of 25 lb bumpers I bought from Jesup Gym in Iowa. These are very reasonably priced and have lasted many years.

I have rubber mats underneath where I drop the bar, so I haven't had any problem with the concrete or the bumper plates being damaged.

The rubber composite bumpers (like Jesup Gym and the York set you have pictured) are the way to go for a home gym. The wider plates distribute the weight very well. To save money, you could have a set like this:

Pair of 45 lbs bumpers - 135
Pair of 25 lb bumpers - 185
Pair of 35 lb metal - 255
Pair of 25 lb metal - 305
Pair of 10 lb metal - 325
Pair of 5 lb metal - 335
Pair of 2.5 lb metal - 340

Although if you were regularly dropping clean and jerks with close to 300 lbs, I would recommend getting another pair of bumpers, so you wouldn't have so much metal on the bar at one time.

I have a pair of 10 lb bumpers also (for use by my daughter when she was lifting), but they are rather thin and I would only recommend them if you were working on cleans or snatches with less than 95 lbs. Otherwise, a bumper plus a couple metal plates is more economical.