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Should I Buy Bumper Plates?


I am interested in setting up a home gym and need to watch my budget. I plan to do normal compound lifts (e.g. bench, squat, row, etc.); however, I also am interested in learning the olympic lifts. I have been thinking about the Crossfit WOD.

What should I buy first -- regular iron barbell set or bumpers? Bumpers are expensive but it would be nice to be able to drop them as necessary. Iron is cheap but might crack my basement floor if I drop them. I guess I could build a fairly cheap lifting platform with plywood and some rubber mats to help on the floor concern.

I have been told that an olympic bar and bumpers are not the best for doing benches, etc. because of their size (cannot load enough weight on them for the non-olympic lifts)and the bar's designed flexibility. I really cannot afford both, so what would you start out with for the best overall use? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.


First I would buy a good bar, you will notice the difference between quality bars and shitty ones. I would then buy one pair of bumpers. They can get a little pricey, but you can pick up a pair of 45's or 20kg for about 130 buck. I dont know your strength level but you can add smaller plates to this as your strength go up. Just fill in with smaller plates then. Get a pair of good collars for the oly lifts.


This was going to be my suggestion. IVANKO (only for comparison) bumper plates have a diameter of 17".

IVANKO cast iron plates have diamters
- 45lb = 17.7"
- 35lb = 14.96"

As metioned, using 35# next to your bumper plates gives you an inch cushion all the way around your cast iron plates. I would expect that would be sufficient cushioning for your attempts.

I would also get two mats to put under the weights on each side to further reduce the impact, but I wouldnt stand on the mat.

hope it helps.




Personally I would go the the solid rubber plates, all poundages are the same height which is nice. Start with a pair of 25lb plates and go from there.
Good luck.


I don't think they recommend using anything heavier than a 10 pound plate next to a bumper plate. The bumper plate has to absorb the force from the combined mass of the iron and the rubber plate, and they aren't designed to take on the additional force from something as heavy as a 35.


Or rather, you should try to use as many bumper plates as possible, with the smallest bumper plate increment being 10 kg. So, the iron plates on a side shouldn't be equal or greater to 10 kg.


Even if the basement floor and plates can take it, dropping a loaded bar without bumpers can easily snap the bar.