Best Bumper Plates and Weight Plate Sets

Top 3 Best Bumper Plates & Weight Plate Sets

In this article I’ll share my thoughts on the top 3 best bumper plates and weight plate sets. In my opinion, the best bumper plates are engineered to fix problems that previously plagued bumper plates. More on this below.

Also, if you’re investing in weight plates, make sure you have a quality olympic barbell to go with them.

1. REP Fitness Bumper Plates (Sets)
2. X Training Bumper Plates (Pairs)
3. XMark Bumper Plates (Sets)

Standard Weight Plates vs Olympic Weight Plates

As you can see this article is about bumper plates, which are a type of weight plate made specifically for olympic barbells. This means they come with a 2 inch diameter hole that fits a 2 inch olympic barbell sleeve.

On the other hand, you have standard weight plates that come with a 1 inch hole that fit a 1 inch standard barbell sleeve

So…

Standard Weight Plates = 1 inch hole

Olympic Weight Plates = 2 inch hole

In a previous article about the best barbells, I discuss the huge benefits of using olympic barbells instead of standard barbells. You just get more training options, usually higher quality equipment and with budget options (see my top 3 picks!).

What is a Bumper Plate?

Bumper plates were designed for competitive weightlifting. Imagine doing a barbell snatch overhead and needing to drop the barbell afterwards… As you can imagine a weight plate material that minimised damaged to the floor and itself was needed. Hence the bumper plate was born.

The dense rubber material makes this possible without doing damage. But it’s also made this way for safety reasons when you’re not able to complete the lift.

Bumper plates give you the ability to perform a great range of movements. All with the ability to drop the barbell to the ground without damaging the floor or plates.

Types of Bumper Plates

Technique Bumper Plates

Technique bumper plates are used when practising lifting techniques. The bumper plates aren’t normally made from rubber. Instead they are made from recycled plastic and are extremely durable.

You might want to consider these if you are an absolute beginner. Otherwise just invest in some training bumper plates.

Training Bumper Plates

These are the plates that you’ll want for doing olympic lifts from home.

Competition Bumper Plates

These types of bumper plates are specifically made for weightlifting competitions. They need to conform to specifications set by the International Weightlifting Federation aka IWF. These specs cover everything from dimensions, tolerances and even colors.

Unless you’re running competitions, you don’t need to worry about these types.

Benefits of Training with Bumper Plates

As mentioned earlier, there are many benefits to using bumper plates over standard weight plates.

Here’s my list:

  1. You can drop the bar from overhead
  2. Safer than standard weight plates
  3. Bumper plates are more durable, therefore last longer.
  4. Reduced noise

What to look for when purchasing bumper plates

Olympic Barbell Compatibility

If you are buying bumper plates, make sure it’s compatible with your barbell at home. Bumper plates are weight plates made specifically for olympic barbells that have a 2 inch diameter sleeve.

Material

Bumper plates are made from a dense rubber material. The best kinds are 100% Virgin Rubber. You can also get recycled rubber aka crumb rubber but it’s not as durable.

Thickness

If you plan on loading your bar up with heaps of weight, it’s important to consider the bumper plate thicknesses. The best brands (like the ones below) have solved this problem by reducing the thickness of the heavier bumpers so you can fit more on the bar. You should be able to fit at least 10x45lb bumpers on your barbell (5x each side) with room to spare for your clamps. I don’t know about you but this is plenty for me!

Bounce

It’s important to consider how much bounce your bumpers will have. I think I speak for most people when I say that a dead bounce or low bounce is preferable.

Bumper plates with low bounce ensure a safer lifting environment. They also mitigate the risk of damaging nearby equipment or walls. The rubber material you’ll want to look for is 100% virgin rubber.

Weight

There’s no point buying 450+ lbs of bumper plates initially if you can’t lift that much. I like to buy enough that allows 6-12 months of progressive overload.

Warranty

Most bumper plates will come with a 3 year warranty (excluding the 10lb plates that usually come with a reduced 6 month warranty).

Best Bumper Plate Reviews

1. REP Fitness Bumper Plates
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The REP Fitness Bumper Plates come in pairs and sets all the way up to 370 lbs. REP Fitness has done a great job addressing problems that other brands still have.

Their bumper plates are designed to produce a dead bounce, reduced rubber odor and more durability. They have even strengthened the 10 lb plate and reduced plate thickness so you can fit more on the bar. And they are among some of the most affordable bumper plates on the market. Highly recommended!

Weight pair options (lbs) = 10, 15, 25, 35, 45

Weight set options (lbs) = 160, 190, 210, 230, 250, 260, 370

10lb plate reinforcement = Yes

Reduced thickness of 45lb plate = Yes

Rubber Material = Solid Virgin Rubber > dead bounce

PROS

Less Rubber Odor

Stronger 10 lb bumper plate

Affordable

CONS

Coloured options are more expensive

2. X Training Bumper Plates
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The X Training Bumper Plates are actually more affordable than my top pick but they don’t package them in sets. Instead you need to pick your own.

But it ends up being cheaper! And they come colored!! All bumper plates come in pairs including: 10lb, 15lb, 25lb, 35lb and 45lb pairs.

These weight plates are a great addition to any home gym.

Weight pair options (lbs) = 10 (green), 15 (black), 25 (yellow), 35 (blue), 45 (red)

Weight set options (lbs) = create your own set

10lb plate reinforcement = No

Reduced thickness of 45lb plate = No

Rubber Material = Solid Rubber > low bounce

PROS

Super affordable!

Color Coded

Well known brand used in many gyms

CONS

You need to create your own set (not really a negative!)

3. XMark Bumper Plates
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The XMark Bumper Plates are very similar to the REP Fitness Bumper Plates in terms of quality and features. The only real difference is the price and more weight plate options.

The XMark Bumper Plates are a little more expensive but they do come color coded. You also have a 55lb pair option and more set options going all the way up to 410lbs.

Weight pair options (lbs) = 10, 15, 25, 35, 45, 55

Weight set options (lbs) = 60, 100, 120, 160, 190, 200, 210, 230, 250, 260, 270, 280, 300, 320, 350, 370, 390, 410

10lb plate reinforcement = Yes

Reduced thickness of 45lb plate = Yes

Rubber Material = Solid Virgin Rubber > dead bounce

PROS

55lb weight plate pair option!

More durable 10lb plates

Engineeredd to IWF Standards

CONS

Potential rubbery smell (but this will dissipate)

Final thoughts about the best bumper plates and weight plate sets

The best bumper plates and weight plate sets are super durable (made from 100% rubber) and affordable enough for home gym setups on a budget. They should get the job done without breaking the bank!

I believe the best bumper plates are from REP Fitness, but closely followed X Training and XMark.

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