Here's the deal, Fringe Fam. Bumper plates can make, or break, your gym experience and your gains. That's a fact. We'd never steer you wrong, and that's why you should buy our plates. (Especially the color ones while they're on sale). Hear us out.
It's VERY important that you invest in some great, quality plates for your garage gym and your barbell. Trust us, we're not just telling you this because we sell them.
A good, quality set of plates is crucial for your home gym, garage gym, community gym, whatever. It's true when they say, "you get what you pay for."
There's a few things that constitute a great set of bumper or iron plates, and we'll break them down for you.
The Diameter Difference
First, there's a difference between Standard and Olympic plates, whether iron or bumper plates. The diameter of the center ring in a Standard plate sits at 1", which is 1" smaller than the diameter of the hole in the center of an Olympic-standard plate. Sometimes, the outer diameter varies too, which can make things all sorts of confusing when you're trying to load a barbell.
Standard bars, like the ones you'll find at big box stores most often, have 1" diameter sleeves that take specific plates with a 1" diameter, like the ones we mentioned above. Those are NOT the plates we have on our site. These plates are often made with less-durable materials and have less usability because they're made to fit a bar with sleeves of a specific 1" diameter, and these are not typically the barbells you'll find around the fitness industry. These barbells are also much less durable and made of poorer quality, which can limit your gains as they typically feature a lower weight limit than Olympic-standard barbells, and they don't spin as well, if at all.
Olympic barbells, on the other hand, feature a 2" sleeve that take plates with a 2" diameter in the center. These are the kind of barbells and plates we sell on our site, and are more popularly found in garage gyms, community gyms, and box gyms.
So, with all that set straight, here's why it's important to invest in a good, quality set of bumper plates.
Let's try to avoid this:
It would be terribly unfortunate for you to invest in a great, beautiful, durable barbell and get a set of bumper plates that don't fit. It can go either way with barbells and bumper plates, so it's best to invest in a good piece of equipment for both options.
If you get yourself a great barbell, that barbell deserves a great pair or set of bumper plates to go with it. A barbell with 2" diameter sleeves will only work with a pair of plates with a 2" diameter in the middle, and the same goes for a barbell with 1" sleeves and plates with a 1" diameter in the middle.
The Quality Difference
Great, durable bumper plates are not going to wear out quickly, even the 10lb plates. Our bumper plates are built to the highest standards. Our Milspecs are designed to fit the standards of the US Military and the ACFT. We mean business when we design our plates because we know how much a good set (or bad set) of plates can impact a home or community gym.
Most of our bumper plates are made of the most durable virgin rubber (unless they're crumb or iron) and have a high durometer, which means that they're dense as heck and don't bounce all over the place when dropped (even the 10s!) so you don't have to go chasing your barbell in the middle of your workout.
Plus, a super-durable virgin rubber means that our plates won't break, bend, or crack (if stored in proper conditions). To demonstrate, our fearless leader, PK and has put our bumpers through some wild tests just so demonstrate how tough they really are.
Exhibit A: Off the roof at Fringe Sport HQ
Exhibit B: The Torture Test
We don't recommend you try these things at home, so we've done these tests for you. All of our bumper plates meet these standards, so you don't have to worry about cracking, breaking, bending (or taco-ing, as some might call it), even from our ten pound plates.
We've got amazing competition-style bumper plates, regular black plates, Milspec bumper plates, and even pizza and donut plates, and we've made sure that they're built to the highest standards so you can buy once, and get your fitness on for a long, long time without worrying about bumper plates. If iron plates are more your type, we have those too.
If you're wondering what the difference between iron and bumper plates might look like, check out the video below.
If you have more questions about how to choose the right kind of bumper plates or barbell, check out our blog or send us a message! We'd be happy to help you find the garage gym gear of your dreams and send you on your way to your strongest, fittest self.
As always, lift good, quality, heavy weights, lift happy :)