What Are Bumper Plates and Should You Buy Them?
Bumper plates, often known as "bumper," are iron or steel cores encased in a thick rubber protective layer and used with typical 50mm Olympic barbells. They can be dropped without causing damage on a gym-tile floor.
Rubber bumper plates appear to be considerably larger than steel plates. Even dense rubber is lighter per cubic centimeter than steel, so you'll need more of it to make a plate that weighs the same. A bigger plate results from more material.
Bumpers are plates designed for competitive lifting. They're constructed of a firm rubber that won't harm itself, the lifter, or your floor if they're dropped. It's just something to keep in mind: dropping weights on your floor repeatedly will damage your floor, regardless of whether it's rubberized bumper plates.
The two rubber-coated steel plates are designed to bounce, so there's little danger of damaging the plate or the barbell when dropped even from overhead. The plates are covered in rubber because they're intended to bounce, avoiding damage to the middle metal ring and barbell sleeves. If a lift is stopped without a spotter, for example, a barbell squat, the bar can be safely lowered and bailed without harming the plates, barbell, or floor beneath it.
Bumper plates are not only quiet when used, which is quite useful in crowded or busy gyms, but they can also be used anywhere in the gym where there is adequate flooring thanks to the thick rubber covering.
A bumper plate has a long lifespan. These things will endure for many years if properly cared for. For example, don't subject them to extreme heat or cold.
Bumper plates have one distinct feature: their size. Bumper plates are all the same diameter, unlike standard weight plates, where each unique weight is also a different diameter. Instead of varying in physical size--45 lbs. being the largest and then working down from there--they vary in thickness and construction. This has distinct advantages. Also, they're safer to use, which is crucial in strength training.
These are not to be confused with Olympic weight plates that have a very thin rubber covering to prevent scratches. When you drop one of these plates, it will shatter when it hits the ground.
Bumper plates are composed of rubber, therefore they can withstand the force of a fall. They have a little bit of ‘give' to take in the impact because it is quite thick rubber. Bumpers bounce somewhat after being dropped, but not so much that they are hazardous.
The most popular color of bumper plates is black. It's been around for a while. It's gritty. It's appropriate in a workplace gym. If that's your deal, black is the color to choose. The best bumper plate companies like Vulcan and others, make colored bumper plates as well. If you go with black, be sure to apply colored tape to the edges of the plates so you can tell which is which.
Bumper plates offer you a lot of bang for your buck and are extremely durable, so it's recommend to buy a set if you're serious about lifting. They're meant to be thrown around. Iron plates, on the other hand, always make your heart skip a beat when they strike the ground by accident.