Are Bumper Plates Lighter: Know The Truth!

Going to the gym and finding two different types of weights? A bumper plate and metal weights?

However, you are finding out it is easier to lift bumper plates than normal ones? The question arises are bumper plates lighter?

The answer is no bumper plates are not lighter. The reason you find them lighter is because of the rubber embalmed around them. It coats the stress. Moreover, it is also a psychological matter too. However, you can also mix bumper plates with normal ones. The result won’t change in this case. 

The above information is very low to fulfill all your queries. The details are included in the full article. So, please read till the end to know everything fully.

Why Do Bumper Plates Appear To Be Lighter?

Bumper plates are NOT less dense than steel or iron. One limitation is the accuracy of construction. If you think why bumper plates are lighter, the answer is here.

A set of Rogue Calibrated steel plates may be 10 grams inaccurate of their claiming. On the other hand, accuracy of Rogue Echo Bumpers can be within 1%. (On a 25kg bumper plate, this translates to a fluctuation of up to 250g.) 

When compared to a bar loaded with calibrated plates, you’ll see differences. This might result in a weight differential of up to 2.2kg for a 220kg lift.

However, this shouldn’t distract you very much. Especially if you lift with the same plates at a home gym on a regular basis. So, you don’t need to think if commercial gym weights are lighter.

What Makes Them Look Lighter?

Bumper plates FEEL lighter with bar whip than with steel equivalents. It is much more visible with numerals. Because their thickness pushes the weights further out to the barbell’s extremities. So, now you get it why do metal plates feel heavier?

The weight is moved away from the lifter by using bumper plates. When the distance increases between us and the weight, the barbell whips more. For example, imagine a high bar squat with the bar on our upper back.

Getting to the bottom of the hole will cause the barbell extremes to slide down with momentum. This will happen only to be bounced back up by the steel barbell. This is why bumper plates are better.

Does It Feel Lighter Due to Psychological Reasons?

A bar filled with bulky bumper plates may lead you to believe it should be heavier. Especially if the other one is a significantly more compact barbell outfitted with calibrated plates. When you go to lift, you may consider the weight to be ‘lighter than you thought.’

It’s quite awesome to see a barbell PACKED with weights – bumpers will do wonders for you.

Difference Between Metal Plates And Bumper Plates

Well if a difference table between metal and bumper plates is given below

Topic To DifferentiateBumper PlatesNormal Plates
DurableYes Yes 
NoiseNo Yes 
RustNo Yes 
Weight AccuracyGood and accurateInaccurate 
Who Should UseWeightlifter professional or recreational.Crossfitters.People lifting weights on the second floor.Bodybuilders or Lifters not dropping a loaded Barbell from OverheadCompetitive powerlifters

Is It Easy to Lift Bumper Plates?

Bumper plates are easier to lift compared to steel or iron weight plates. Bumper plates are often preferable over iron plates. It is mostly because of the encasing. There is an encasing of a dense sheath of rubber in bumper plates. 

This encasing serves as an insulator after the plates are dropped and it absorbs the stress. You may drop the bumper plates from an overhead position when deadlifting. So, damaging the floors shouldn’t be an issue here.

Can You Mix Bumper Plates With Normal Plates

Yes, you obviously can. However, the ratio of bumper plates to iron plates in the mix is something that counts.

There is an ideal technique to blend bumper and iron plates. Add iron plates that are the same or less weight as the bumper plates on your barbell.

For example, let’s say there are two 50-pound bumper plates. The iron plates should be two 50 pounds or less.

As a result, the bumper to iron plate ratio should be 1:1. Equal weight barbell plates are used for protecting your bumper plates, floor, and barbell.

However, bumper plates are meant to handle their own weight. So, a combination of bumper plates with iron may cause them to wear out faster. The added weight of the iron plates causes the bumper plates to bounce and absorb stress when combined with iron plates.

Is Deadlifting Easier With Bumper Plates?

Yes, using bumper plates makes deadlifting much easier. And you may feel like your deadlift is weaker than your squat. Because the mass center at each end of the barbell is farther away from our hands. So, you’ll notice greater strain on the barbell, bending it DOWN towards the earth. This is called a barbell whip.

This means when we draw up, the plates stay DOWN on the ground. Thus it limits the overall height we raise the plates to and the amount of labor. All of these results in an easier lift.

If you feel like it’s unbelievable, consider this: specialty deadlift bars are both LONGER and THINNER. BOTH of these factors improve whip, which makes the deadlift feel easier.

A pertinent topic to consider is if your deadlift with bumpers compares to one without. Of course, your PRs will always be valid. But equipment might limit what you can achieve on any one day.

So, swapping your equipment frequently could make sense to keep note of your setup that day.

Bench Pressing

Is Bench Pressing Easier With Bumper Plates?

You may wonder about can you use bumper plates for bench presses. Well, benching with bumper plates will feel lighter due to greater whip. However, there are certain intricacies to benching with bumpers:

Bumpers are not ideal for benching. Because they contain smooth metal inserts that let the plates move easily on the barbell sleeve. This means they can easily come off when benching unless collars are used, which is rarely a good idea when benching.

The whip is less noticeable . Because the great majority of ordinary lifters bench far less than they squat or deadlift. So, the effect of the whip is less obvious. Also, everyone can’t bench press for long.

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A PAUSE is included in a competition bench press. The whip is therefore less useful (and can be detrimental). Overall, it’s not believable that bench pressing with bumpers is superior to ordinary steel plates.

Is Whipping For Everyone?

Before you chuck out all of your metal plates, remember that not everyone enjoys barbell whip! Some people even despise it.

Depending on your lifting preferences, it might be painful, unexpected, or just plain frustrating. A lot of others may think it’s great, but you may disagree.

Another thing to remember is that there are lots of other elements that influence barbell whips. For example, bar thickness and the tensile strength of the steel used in bar production.

So don’t get rid of anything just yet!


What Are Bumper Plates?

Bumper plates, often known as bumpers, are Olympic weight plates consisting of solid rubber with a steel insert around the center hole to avoid warping and to assist a smooth slide onto a barbell sleeve.

What are bumper plate measurements?

While the majority of bumper plates are 450mm at this stage, several manufacturers do not. Hi-Temp bumpers can range in diameter from 441mm to 450mm, depending on the distributor. Other producers disregard the millimeter specification and instead create them in 17.5′′ diameter.

What’s the lifespan of bumper plates?

Bumper plates usually last for 5 to 10 years. However, proper maintenance and correct use should be there. With good care and proper maintenance, they can last more than 10 years.

Is it possible to deadlift without bumper plates?

Yes, it’s possible to deadlift without bumper plates. Weightlifters often use iron plates for deadlifts. So, it’s not impossible to deadlift without bumper plates.


It’s time to finish the discussion about why do bumper plates feel lighter. Hope you got to know all the ins and outs.

As it’s easier to lift bumper lifts, make sure you’re using them properly. And try to maintain them well. This was all from us this time. Have a good time.

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