Bumper Plates Vs Iron Plates: Differences and How to Use Each

Joined the gym and have a minimal idea about strength equipment? You might be one of those who walk into the weight room for the first time and are not sure whether to use iron plates or the colorful plates that can be seen on the rack. Then, this article is going to be very helpful for you! Because in this article, we will tell you the basic differences between bumper plates and iron plates. 

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What are bumper plates? 


Bumper Plates 

Bumper plates are made of steel or iron, covered with protective rubber. Unlike iron plates that are made of cast iron, the bumper plates contain steel or iron in the center with a thick protective layer. Bumper plates come in different colours that define the weight of a particular plate. For example, 44 lbs bumper plates are red in color, 33 lbs plates are yellow and 22 lbs plates are green. These plates are mainly used for deadlift and CrossFit exercises. The plates have rubber coating and are specially designed to be dropped so when you are doing a heavy deadlift, if you drop the barbell with plates on from a height, the plates would not get damaged and they would not damage your floor either.   

These plates should not be confused with certain Olympic plates that have thin rubber coating as a protective layer against scratches. However, if you drop one of those plates, that might break immediately. 

What are iron plates? 


Iron Plates


To quote, the iron plates are the “bread and butter of the old school bodybuilding gyms”. The traditional iron plates are made by pouring molten iron into a sand-based circular shaping tool. The iron plates come in different sizes yet, if you are opting for iron Olympic plates, which you always should, the plates will come in the same regulated sizes. 

What are the benefits of bumper plates?

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If you are planning to buy bumper plates as your home gym equipment, you should know about each of the benefits that you will be getting. So, let’s have a look at the benefits of bumper plates— 

Perfect for power training 

If your workout regime is focused on lifting heavy weight as quickly as you can, then the bumper plates will be perfect for you. Let’s say you are doing a CrossFit exercise. When you are doing an overhead squat or snatch increase, you will have to drop the weights. Bumper plates come with rubber-coating, so you can do it with full confidence and reliance. 

Hard-wearing and persistent 

As the bumper plates are designed to be dropped, the plates are highly durable. You won’t even have to be worried about small scratches. The plates come completely crack-proof as they have a protective rubber coating. Also, investing in bumper plates will go a long way because of their durability. 

What are the benefits of iron Olympic plates?

Perfect for powerlifting 

iron plates

If you are a powerlifter then you might not be comfortable with the bumper plates when you are doing squats or bench press. The iron plates are thinner on the bar, so when you are doing heavy weight lifting, you can add more iron plates to your barbell. 

Provides better grip 

If you hold a bumper plate and an iron plate, you will notice that the iron plates are easy to hoist up, however, the bumper plates do not provide such great grip because of the plastic coating outside. When you are doing exercises with just a single plate, you will need to use a plate that provides a better grip and iron Olympic plates win this match! 


Iron plates will be around you for years after years because you know what they say? “Classics never die!”

When to use bumper plates?  

Bumper plates are the perfect gym equipment for CrossFit exercises as you can lift and move quickly. Majority of the people who workout, use bumper plates for power exercises and CrossFit exercises. If you are a binner then bumper plates would be a safe option for you. Even though you might not lift much, there won’t be any issue if you drop the barbell by mistake.

When to use Iron Olympic plates? 

The bodybuilding workouts can be done perfectly with iron Olympic plates. If you have proper padding on the floor then you can use iron plates for powerlifting as well. 

Bumper plates or iron plates: which one is perfect for a home gym?

When you are choosing gym equipment for your home gym, you need to consider your budget. So, if you are on a budget and can only afford one of these two types, we recommend you should go for bumper plates. Bumper plates will last for a long time and the plates are designed to be thrown and dropped, so you can use them any way you want at your home. Moreover, whenever you drop an iron plate, you might feel like having a small heart attack as the plates tend to crack or break. The bumper plates make less sound than iron plates when dropped, therefore using bumper plates as one of your home gym equipment will keep your family member free of metal noise. 

So, now that you know the basic differences between bumper plates and iron plates, you can easily choose your gym equipment for your home or at your gym. Tell us, which one you are going to use next time when you are doing strength exercises? Also, if you are looking for some great gym equipment on the internet, we have got your back! Visit our website and shop from our great collection of gym equipment.

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