Yesterday I wrote about why a barbell should be the fourth addition to your home gym.

Bumper plates follow the barbell purchase because you can’t really use a barbell without also buying weights to put on it.

The Value of Bumper Plates

When you’re shopping for weights to put on a barbell (“plates”), you have three options: iron, bumper, and competition plates.

Iron plates are the thinnest option, making them the best option if you deadlift seriously heavy weight. Traditional bumper plates can only hold around 465-lbs before you run out of room on the barbell sleeve. So if you’re a competitive powerlifter or strongman, these are the logical purchase.

Bumper plates* are the thickest option, but I believe are the most valuable for home-gym athletes. Bumper plates are designed to be dropped to the ground from overhead, unlike iron plates. Not only will bumper plates last you (almost) forever, but they’re also designed to protect the life of a barbell. If you plan to do any snatches or power cleans, you should choose bumper plates over the iron plates.

*If you buy your bumper plates from Rogue Fitness (which I recommend), you have three options: Hi-Temp, Spec, and HG. I recommend the mil-spec bumper plate. You also can’t go wrong with the HG plate, just don’t buy the Hi-Temp bumper plate! I explain why in this video.

Competition plates are the hybrid option. They are a 1/2-inch bigger than the iron plate but a full 1-inch thinner than the spec bumper plate. These are also designed to withstand dropping weight from overhead. Additionally, each weight comes in different colors–which makes it the best looking plate.

The only downside to competition bumper plates are that they are twice the price of a normal plate.


Buy the spec bumper plates and you will never have to buy more. They’re made from recycled tires and can withstand just about anything.

For starters, you want roughly 335-lbs worth of plates. 335-lbs is just a nice number that includes a two pairs of 45’s, and a pair of 35’s, 25’s, 10’s, 5’s, and 2.5’s. Plus, you never want to run out of bumper plates (that’s a pet peeve for most gym goers).


Daily Directive

I’m challenging you right now to workout 50 days in-a-row. Here is your workout for today.

Day 16 (of 50)
For Time:
40-30-20-10 reps of…
Med-Ball Clean
*400 m run between each round

Other Articles in this Series
The Home Gym Series
The Home Gym: Dumbbells
The Home Gym: Gymnastic Rings
The Home Gym: Rower
The Home Gym: Barbell

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