Do I really need bumper plates?

This answer might not come as a surprise to you, Fringe Fam: we’re always going to say “yes” when we’re asked if you really need bumper plates. There’s quite a few reasons why we believe that you should always go for bumper plates in your garage gym. Bumper plates are relatively new in the fitness industry, and this question still comes up because bumper plates can sometimes be thought of as a sort of “black sheep” or “vanity piece” although that’s really not the case.

There are few reasons why bumper plates might not be the way for you to go when stocking your garage gym with gains, but those reasons are truly few and far between. Something you might consider a reason *not* to go for bumper plates might be a complete lack of space. If you’re working in a really, really small space and would prefer to outfit your gym space with thick mats to protect your floor, iron plates just might be the way to go for you, especially if you plan on getting as strong as the Hulk and regularly lift more than 2-3 45lb plates on each side.

Now, let’s talk about some of the reasons why you absolutely should opt for bumper plates in your gym. We’re often asked, “do I really need bumper plates?” when we’re working with our strong customers to build out the garage gym of their dreams. The answer depends on space allowance like we talked about above, but in general, we’re always going to say “yes.” There’s plenty of reasons why.

Practicality & Safety

black bumper plates for home gym


Bumper plates are much safer in a garage gym for many reasons. If you’re working out on your own, in small spaces (hear us out - this is contradictory to our argument above and makes sense, which means the kind of plates you invest in is ultimately your decision), or often completing lifts from higher than hip height with or without spotter arms, bumper plates are going to keep you safe.

Iron plates are not the worst option for someone who fits the above bill, but they aren’t as safe as one might hope. Bumper plates, however, allow for failed, dropped, bailed, lifts that are going to fall to the ground and bounce instead of crashing to the ground and staying put, potentially putting you in danger if you can’t get out of the way.

Longevity of your equipment & space

Bumper plates allow for failed back squats at any point in a squat, bailed and failed overhead lifts, etc that can be executed without squashing you or damaging your floor underneath, the barbell, or the plates on the end of your bar.

Our bumper plates are specially designed and formulated with high density and therefore when dropped, perform a low, dead bounce instead of bouncing away like a bouncy-ball and damaging the other equipment or walls in your gym space.

Our bumper plates also keep your floor, barbell, and the bumper plates themselves safe when dropped because the high density rubber bounces instead of crashing down and making craters in your flooring, as can happen with iron plates even when your space is equipped with rubber mats. Even without rubber mats to protect your flooring, our bumper plates can be dropped (even from overhead) without damaging your floor.

Our bumper plates are designed with your precious barbell in mind, and they feature a metal insert that keeps the bumper plate and your barbell from breaking, cracking, or acquiring damage. Can you imagine dropping iron plates in the same fashion? The cracking that might occur in the plates and flooring along with damage the barbell might acquire is one of our worst nightmares. PSA: We sell rubber floor mats for maximum equipment protection

Vanity (but in a cool, stylish, aesthetic, organized fashion)


Yes, vanity can be a tiny little piece of picking your perfect bumper plates. We offer many, many different styles in pounds and kilograms to suit the needs of your garage gym. Maybe you’d like sleek, black plates. We’ve got the hook-up. Maybe something a little wild, like tiger striped colored plates, perhaps? Welcome to the Fringe Sport jungle. We’ve got ‘em. Whatever your style, we’ve got plates for you.

It’s not always about vanity, either. Plates with a color to them, like our Color Bumper Plates or Savage Plates, or even our Contrast Bumper Plates can offer impeccable aesthetics along with super easy organization, coordination, and counting when pushing your heaviest lifts.

If you’re looking for something a little more subdued, yet sleek and amazing to use and look at, our standard Black Bumper Plates are definitely for you. Our black bumper plates are high density, low bounce virgin rubber that, like all of our other bumper plate options, are manufactured to be put to the test time and time again. Plus, they're manufactured NOT to stink up your space like other rubber or iron plates, so your gym won't smell like rubber or rust.

Our bumper plates are tough as nails and meant to be used for maximum gains. We highly, highly recommend that even if you’re tight on space, that you consider bumper plates in your strength journey and in this Garage Gym Revolution. There are many good reasons to at least try them out, and we can guarantee that when you give ours a try, you’ll be hooked and the gains will not be stopped. 

Wondering how many bumper plates you should buy or how strong you should be? Check out some of our recent blogs.

If you have questions about bumper plates or wonder what kind might work best for you, send us a message. We’re happy to help and guide you to your best garage gym experience ever.

As always, lift heavy, lift happy :)

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