Best Competition Bumper Plates

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This article is a detailed competition bumper plates buying guide. Here, I have discussed the major differences between competition bumper plates and regular bumper plates. I have also answered some of the common FAQs. And, as expected from a buying guide, I have also shared brief reviews of some of the best competition bumper plates

Since these plates are meant for advanced trainers, you would also need a high-end barbell, barbell collars, drop pads, and a barbell jack.  

Competition bumper plates are expensive, so if you don’t actually need them, you can go with the budget-friendly options. I have already created a list of the best budget bumper plates for home gyms.

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In a hurry? Here are our top picks!

Name Our Rating Price
Eleiko IWF Weightlifting competition bumper plates 5 Check Pricing
Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Plates 4.8 Check Pricing
REP Fitness Competition bumper plates 4.7 Check Pricing
Rogue Competition Bumper Plates 4.6 Check Pricing
Titan Fitness Elite bumper plates 4.6 Check Pricing
CAP Barbell Competition Bumper Plates 4.1 Check Pricing

Our Picks

#1 - Eleiko IWF Weightlifting competition bumper plates

Eleiko competition bumper plates

What we think

Eleiko competition bumper plates are not just designed as per IWF standards. They are approved by IWF for use in competitions, which makes them the most reliable weight plates for athletes, bodybuilders, and others who often train hard and rough. They are made of SBR rubber, which has a high resistance to wear and tear. The center core is made of two thick discs, which helps make them slimmer than other competition bumper plates. The weight tolerance of +/- 0.05% of the stated weight. They have undergone 1,00,000 drop-test and come with 10-year warranty.

Pros

  • Approved by IWF
  • Have undergone 1,00,000 drop test
  • Have weight tolerance of +/- 0.05% of the states weight
  • Made of heavy-duty abrasion-resistant SBR rubber
  • Uses a patented design for steel disc which makes them absorb most of the shock and last longer
  • Have a slim profile

Cons

  • None as such

Summary

Meticulously crafted bumper plates approved by IWF.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 5 out of 5.0.

#2 - Fringe Sport Competition Bumper Plates

Fringe Sport competition bumper plates

What we think

If you are an advanced trainer or a military person who wants affordable but good quality competition bumper plates for your home gym, you have quite a few options to choose from and the Fringe Sport Competition bumper plates are one of them. Being affordable, they are definitely not as good as the ones meant for competition training but they are more than enough for people who love to train hard. The durometer rating is 90, which could have been better but still works unless you tend to drop your weights every time you finish a rep. The steel insert is made of two discs connected with 5 bolts. These plates are made of high-quality virgin rubber and calibrated to provide you with an exact weight.

Pros

  • Affordable than other competitive products
  • Have a low bounce with a durometer rating of 90
  • The edges of the steel inserts are embedded inside the rubber to prevent metal to metal contact
  • Weight tolerance is +/- 10 grams

Cons

  • None as such

Summary

Affordable competition bumper plates for budding athletes and people who love to train hard.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.8 out of 5.0.

#3 - REP Fitness Competition bumper plates

REP Fitness competition bumper plates

What we think

REP Fitness competition bumper plates are one of the most affordable options meant for budding athletes, fitness freaks, and bodybuilders. If you are preparing for competitions, you may want to go with something better such as Rogue or Eleiko but if they are out of your budget, REP plates should work. 

As expected, these competition bumper plates are made of virgin rubber, so they are almost odorless. They have a durometer/shore rating of 92, which indicates an almost dead bounce. The center steel hub has a patented design, which, according to the manufacturer, helps make the plates last longer. It consists of steel discs and a steel ring. Together, they absorb most of the impact of the dropping. 

Another interesting thing about the REP Fitness competition bumper plates is that they are tested for more than 30,000 drops. They have IWF specified dimensions and a weight accuracy of +/- 10 grams of the stated weight. We couldn’t find any major flaws with these competition bumper plates. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Has a durometer rating of 92
  • Tested for 30,000 drops
  • Come with 5-year warranty
  • Has a steel hub made of two discs and a steel ring which helps prolong the life of the plates

Cons

  • None as such

Summary

Probably the only affordable competition bumper plate tested for 30,000 drops.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.7 out of 5.0.

#4 - Rogue Competition Bumper Plates

What we think

Rogue Competition bumper plates are used in CrossFit games and are designed as per IWF specifications. No wonder why they are one of the best competition bumper plates for fitness enthusiasts as well as seasoned athletes. 

They have a durometer rating of 94, which means they have a dead bounce, something that really helps protect your barbells and minimize the time between your reps. The core is made of two steel discs secured with 6 bolts. The edges of the core are embedded in rubber and the edges of the plates are raised so there is absolutely no metal to metal contact, something that helps minimize the clanking noise of metal. 

Talking about the cons, we couldn’t find any major issue with the Rogue competition bumper plates.

Pros

  • Have a durometer rating of 94
  • Have a dead bounce
  • Have a thin profile
  • The edges of the steel core is embedded in the rubber to prevent metal to metal contact
  • The lettering on the plates are raised letters and they enhance the overall look of the plates

Cons

  • None as such

Summary

High-end competition bumper plate for world-class lifters as well as budding athletes.

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.6 out of 5.0.

#5 - Titan Fitness Elite bumper plates

Titan Elite competition bumper plates

What we think

Titan Fitness Elite bumper plates are available in black and colored versions as well as in lbs and Kgs. As expected from Titan, these plates are cheaper than other competition bumper plates. But, despite being cheaper, they are manufactured as per IWF specifications, which means they are compatible with Olympic barbells and have a high weight accuracy of +/- 10 grams of the stated weight of the plates. This is very important to ensure that you are training with the exact weight you want to lift. Cheaper weight plates usually are not that accurate. 

Titan competition bumper plates are made of virgin rubber and have a durometer rating of 90, which is as per IWF standard. But, since they are affordable, we guess they may not last long if dropped frequently. We may be wrong though because numerous buyers have stated that these competition weight plates are beautifully crafted and made to last for a long time. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Designed as per IWF standards
  • Available in black for budget-conscious buyers
  • Have a durometer rating of 90 which provides a dead bounce to the plates

Cons

  • None as such but they remain in backorder most of the time

Summary

Durable and precision-made plates for hardcore trainers

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.6 out of 5.0.

#6 - CAP Barbell Competition Bumper Plates

CAP barbell competition plates

What we think

CAP barbell competition bumper plates are pretty basic products designed for recreational trainers and home gym owners who do not usually train roughly. As expected from a competition-grade product, they are designed with precision, so their weight hardly varies by +/- 5 grams of their stated weight. The seller hasn’t mentioned anything about its bounciness but I expect them to have a dead bounce with a durometer/shore rating of 90 or more. What bothers me most is the price at which they are sold currently. This could be a temporary surge to cash in on the high demand, so buy them only if you get a good deal or if they are exactly what you are looking for.

Pros

  • Good product for recreational lifters
  • Designed as per IWF standards so compatibility won’t be an issue
  • Have a dead bounce
  • Have a high weight tolerance of +/- 5 grams of the stated weight

Cons

  • Inadequate information provided by the seller leaving a lot of scope for assumptions
  • Currently too expensive than what I would like them to be

Summary

Good product but buy only if you get a good deal

Rating


We are giving this a rating of 4.1 out of 5.0.

Buying Guide and Frequently Asked Questions

Difference between competition bumper plates and standard bumper plates 

As I mentioned above, I have already reviewed many standard/budget bumper plates such as AMGYM LB Bumper Plates, REP Fitness Black Bumper Plates, Titan Fitness LB Economy Black Bumper Plates, etc. They are good for beginners and intermediate-level trainers. Advanced trainers too can use them provided they do not use them roughly. However, if you are training heavy, I highly recommend you get a set of competition bumper plates, so you can train better, especially if you are preparing for competitions. 

Here are some major reasons why competition bumper plates are a better option if you lift or aspire to lift a crazy amount of weight. 

Competition bumper plates are thinner than standard bumper plates 

Their thinner profile is the main reason why athletes, bodybuilders, and competition trainers prefer to use them. You can load more competition bumper plates on your barbell than standard plates. Even if you can add one extra plate on each side, it will still be a significant amount of weight. Plus, there will be ample space to add a barbell collar and prevent the plates from sliding off. 

Competition bumper plates have a big and thick steel hub whereas standard bumper plates only have inserts 

Some inserts are hooked whereas others are just reinforced. No matter what, the standard bumper plates are not meant to be dropped regularly because the inserts have a very limited contact area with the rubber surrounding them. If used roughly, the inserts could loosen up or worse come out, making the plates useless. 

To address this issue, competition bumper plates come with thicker, bigger steel hubs, whose edges are thoroughly embedded inside the rubber. The steel hub could be made of just one disc or multiple discs joined using bolts. As obvious, the steel hub is significantly heavy. That's the reason why competition plates have managed to have a thinner profile. 

Here is what the steel hub does other than helping the plates become thinner: 

  • It provides a larger contact area with the rubber. 
  • It helps absorb the shock generated due to dropping, so only a minimum of it is passed to the rubber. 

These things help increase the durability of the plates, even when they are dropped regularly. In fact, competition plates are meant for Olympic trainers who lift so heavy that they frequently end up dropping their barbell because bringing it safely back to the rack becomes almost impossible. 

Some of the best competition bumper plates that I have reviewed have been tested for their durability by dropping them from a height. For example; the Eleiko IWF-approved competition bumper plates are tested for more than 100,000 drops and the REP Fitness competition bumper plates are tested for 30,000 drops. 

Competition bumper plates have a dead bounce 

They usually have a durometer rating of more than 90 whereas the standard plates have a rating of around 85. The cheaper ones made of recycled rubber are rated for around 70. The higher the rating, the less will be the bounce. 

Wondering why dead bounce is so important that the athletes don’t mind spending three/four times more? 

The more the plates bounce, the faster they will wear off. Plus, the more they bounce, the more you will have to chase them around in the gym. Imagine if they bounce and hit you on your face or if they bounce off your weightlifting platform and damage the floor or hit the wall, etc. If the plates bounce too much, they will take time to become ready for your next rep. 

That’s why dead bounce is a crucial feature for competition bumper plates

Competition bumper plates are designed as per IWF standards 

Since their primary use is to train for competitions (IWF and others), most manufacturers adhere to IWF standards so the trainers can practice precisely, with less error, and get maximum benefits. 

If you are training for competitions this could be a big help. Here is what the adherence to IWF specifications means:  

  • The plates will have a fixed diameter of 450mm. 
  • They will have a standard 2” hole diameter, making them compatible with all the barbells that are also designed as per IWF standards. 
  • They have a high weight tolerance/ accuracy. Their weight will hardly vary by +/- 25 grams from their stated weight. The standard plates do not have such high weight accuracy. You may believe you are lifting 90 lbs but the actual weight of your plates may be much less than that. 

Most competition bumper plates are designed as per IWF standards but they haven’t got IWF approval. That's because it is a long and costly process. But, a few like Eleiko competition bumper plates are approved by IWF, if that's what you are looking for. 

FAQs on competition bumper plates 

What Is the Difference Between Training Bumper Plates and Competition Bumper Plates?

The standard bumper plates are also known as training bumper plates. 

They are more affordable and bouncier than competition bumper plates. I have already listed the other differences above. 

What Is the Official Height for Competition Bumper Plates?

As per International Weightlifting Federation, the Olympic plates are required to have a height of 18” i.e. 450 mm, irrespective of their weight. 

Who Makes the Cheapest Competition Bumper Plates?

You can find a number of affordable competition bumper plates on Amazon and Academy Sports and Outdoors. But, I generally do not recommend them because they may not be manufactured as per IWF standards. Their weight may not be highly accurate and their quality may not be good enough to last for years of rough use. 

If you are low on budget, Titan Fitness competition bumper plates should be the most suitable and reliable option for you. 

Where Can You Buy Competition Bumper Plates in Canada?

You can buy competition bumper plates in Canada from Amazon or Rogue Canada, Bells of Steel Canada, and Fringesport. Currently, Titan Fitness and REP Fitness do not ship outside the US. 

What Size Wrench to Tighten Competition Bumper Plates?

5/16″ allen wrench should be the best choice. 

What Are Thin Red Bumper Plates Used for Competition?

Competition bumper plates are color-coded for easy identification. The red color is used for plates weighing 25kg/55 lbs. The blue is used for 20kg/45lbs. The yellow color indicates 15kg/35lbs. The green color is used for 10kg/25lbs plates. 

Wrap Up

I hope I was able to provide you all necessary details regarding competition plates and their benefits. If you buy any of the products I have recommended, please share your experience/feedback with me. I will be glad to hear from you. 

For doubts/suggestions, you can email me or leave a comment.