You can safely drop bumper plates on most concrete floors without damaging the plates. Bumper plates are made from rubber in order to absorb and dissipate force without damaging the plates, barbell, or floor. Despite the low risk of damage, it is always a good idea to protect both your floor and your weightlifting equipment by installing rubber mats or a weightlifting platform wherever you are performing exercises where you may drop a weighted barbell onto a paved floor.
Do Rubber Plates Break if You Drop Them on Concrete?
If you purchase good-quality bumper plates and use them responsibly, they will not break when dropped on concrete. Bumper plates are designed to take the shock of being dropped at the completion of many Olympic lifts, including cleans and jerks. A barbell heavily loaded with bumper plates can be dropped onto concrete from overhead without worry.
- Use well-reviewed bumper plates that will stand up to being dropped on concrete surfaces.
- Bumper plates are designed to absorb force and “bounce” to avoid damage when dropped.
- Concrete surfaces do not pose a significant threat to bumper plates.
Although an abrasive concrete surface (such as on some driveways) may scratch or scuff your bumper plates, concrete will not cause significant damage to a good set of plates. Even less expensive crumb rubber plates perform well in a concrete garage gym because they bounce well when dropped. The bounce of the rubber redirects the force of the drop so that the bar and weights will not be damaged.
Do Bumper Plates Damage Concrete Floors?
It is unlikely that you will damage concrete floors by dropping standard bumper plates onto them. However, some low-grade concrete may experience cracking or chipping if heavily loaded barbells are dropped repeatedly in an area. In order to prevent this, lay heavy-duty rubber mats over the concrete gym floor, or install a lifting platform.
- There is a very low chance that your concrete floor will be damaged by dropping bumper plates onto concrete.
- High-quality bumper plates are designed to bounce, transferring the force of the dropped barbell into upward motion.
- If you are performing Olympic lifts that involve repeatedly dropping barbells, invest in a lifting platform or these cushion pads.
- If your regimen does not involve a lot of Olympic lifts, use rubber lifting mats or lift on bare concrete.
Building or purchasing a lifting platform is a great idea if you are performing Olympic lifts in your gym area. If you are repeatedly dropping loaded barbells from overhead, such as during a clean and press, a lifting platform will provide the best protection for your concrete floor. On the other hand, if you are mostly performing exercises with controlled drops, such as deadlifts and hack squats, you can adequately protect your floors with rubber lifting mats.
How Do You Keep Bumper Plates Safe on Concrete Floors?
The best way to prevent damage to your rubber weight plates during weight lifting is by laying a cushioned or rubberized surface on top of concrete. These specialized surfaces help dissipate force. This prevents damage to the plates, barbell, and floor. The best ways to protect your plates from damage are:
- Rubber lifting mats
- A lifting platform
- Cushion pads for weight lifting
In addition to weight lifting mats, make sure not to overload your barbell with a mixture of bumper plates and small-diameter weights. When a loaded barbell is dropped, all of the stress will be absorbed by the bumper plates. If you have a barbell with a thin bumper plate on each side, followed by several small-diameter iron plates, the weight of the barbell and iron plates will all be absorbed by the thin bumper plate. This can cause cracks or damage to the rubber. When possible, load the barbell with at least a 45-pound bumper plate on each side before loading small-diameter iron plates.
Are Bumper Plates Designed to be Dropped?
Bumper plates are designed and engineered with heavy drops in mind. Bumper plates and “training plates” were created as a safe alternative to metal plates when performing Olympic lifts where the weighted barbell is meant to be dropped from overhead.
- Bumper plates are designed to handle being dropped from overhead during compound lifts.
- Iron plates are not designed to be dropped and can be damaged if you drop them.
- Both crumb rubber plates and solid rubber plates can withstand repeated drops on a cement floor.
Iron plates are prone to cracking or breaking when dropped, but bumper plates can be dropped repeatedly. Bumper plates, whether they are made of recycled rubber or virgin rubber are the best type of plates to use if you may drop a loaded barbell.
Can You Drop 10 Pound Bumper Plates?
10-pound bumper plates are much thinner than heavier bumper plates, making them more fragile. When lifting with 10-pound bumpers, you can still drop the barbell as long as it is not loaded with additional, smaller-diameter weights.
- It is safe to drop a barbell loaded with 10-pound bumpers as long as those are the only weights on the bar.
- If you have loaded smaller types of plates along with 10-pound bumpers, do not drop the bar.
- Loading too many small weights onto a bar with 10-pound bumpers can damage your rubber plates.
If small iron plates are added to the barbell where 10-pound bumpers are the largest-diameter weights, do not drop the bar. This can crack or bend the 10-pound bumper plates.
Is Dropping Bumper Plates on Concrete Safe?
It is safe to drop bumper plates on concrete in most instances. Bumper plates are meant to absorb the shock of being dropped without causing damage to the weights, barbell, or floor. In some cases, repeatedly dropping bars loaded with heavy bumper plates may crack concrete, so it is best to lay rubber mats or a lifting platform in the area where weighted barbells may be dropped. To preserve your bumper plates, load the barbell with only bumper plates when possible. Mixing bumper plates with small-diameter iron plates on a bar means that more stress must be absorbed by the bumper plates when the barbell is dropped. This can lead to damaged or warped bumper plates.