Suppose you are one of those people who are focused on taking care of your body and health. In that case, you know that there is little point in acquiring an Olympic barbell without its corresponding discs and fasteners (the Olympic set). Still, by now, you have already realized that there are many types of bumper plates; here, we explain what it is all about.
The Olympic discs would be those weight discs with a central hole of between 50.4 and 53 mm in diameter intended to introduce the 50 mm sleeves of the Olympic bars. They are essential in the training of any strength-loving athlete and an excellent choice for exercising at home. They are used in numerous routines, from classical lifting to Olympic and Crossfit. Therefore, having your ideal disc will be the best investment.
Regarding the types of bumper plates that exist, you should already know that there are many, but let’s start by distinguishing two primary differentiation criteria:
- The first one refers to the weight and outer diameter of the discs and allows to distinguish between the standard and fractional discs.
- The second, strongly linked to the discs’ purpose, refers to the manufacturing material and allows us to differentiate between metal discs and rubber discs or bumpers.
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) technical regulations require that the heaviest weight discs (25,20,15 and 10 kg) have an external diameter of 45 cm.
On the other hand, the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) technical rules state only that the diameter of the giant disc must not exceed 45 cm.
Therefore, standard Olympic discs would be all those with an outer diameter of 450 mm in their heaviest weights or, at least, in the heaviest weight. At the same time, the fractional or intermediate Olympic discs would be all those with a weight of less than 10 kg and an outer diameter of less than 45 cm.
Notwithstanding the above, it is possible to find discs with weights equal to or less than 5 kg but with an external diameter typical of standard discs. They are called technical discs and are intended for learning or improving exercises that start from the ground (e.g., Olympic movements). They are made of plastic and are usually white or red.
Depending on the material of manufacture, you can find metal discs and rubber discs. Currently, the primary use of metal discs is in powerlifting or generic strength training, where the absence of movements that involve dropping the bar to the ground makes the use of rubber on the discs unnecessary. You can find them in cast iron, machined cast iron, rubber/urethane coated and steel calibrated.
Bumper discs or simply bumpers are Olympic discs made entirely of high-density rubber or granulated rubber, except for the central metal washer. Next, the bar sleeves (the core, neck, or collar) are inserted.
When loaded on an Olympic bar, they allow the athlete to drop the bar from above the head without risk of damaging the surface, the discs, or the bar itself. For this reason, they are the CrossFit and weightlifting discs par excellence. Their rebound capacity, durability, and the price will depend on the specific type of bumper disc you choose.
Although training with a barbell and discs will make your routine a complete workout, working out with discs alone also has many advantages, as they are versatile and easy to store. Depending on the weight of the disc you choose, you can perform different movements and work your entire body.
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