A weightlifter's workout space is incomplete without weights, and rubber weight plates have become the popular choice for stacking those barbells.
This type of weight plate is popular with fitness freaks, but those new to the scene need to navigate whether rubber is the way to go, what weight options are available, and how much it will set them back.
Rubber weight plates are one of the various weight plate options for those looking to practice free weight programs. Rubber weight plates are made of high-density rubber and are a standard diameter across all weights.
Rubber weight plates are often used for sports like Olympic lifting, where it is common to drop the weights to the floor as part of the game.
The rubber makes the weights more durable. If dropped to the floor, the plates will be protected from damage, as well as the floor.
Unlike most other standard weight plates, where each unique weight is a different diameter, rubber weight plates are generally all the same diameter.
Instead, the plates will vary in thickness and construction, which is preferable. If you drop the bar, all the weights will hit the ground at the same time. The distribution of impact, again, helps prevent damage to the plates or the floor.
Rubber weight plates are often made in varying colors. This is helpful when organising your weights, and makes it easier to find and pick exactly what you are looking to add to your barbell.
Good quality rubber plates are also well-calibrated, meaning that the weight on the bar is exact.
Weight plates, in general, can be unexpectedly pricey - and rubber weight plates tend to be even more expensive than the standard cast iron weight plate.
When looking at the cost of the finished product, the manufacturing and supply process needs to be considered. Weight plates are of course heavy - that is the entire point.
This means that large amounts of high-density raw material are used to make the plate, which is the first major cost involved.
The transportation of the rubber materials to make the product, coupled with the transportation costs once it is made, will be higher because of the heaviness.
Furthermore, as customers, we expect a top-quality finished product - to ensure this is the case, a costly quality control process and thorough labour are needed.
In addition to rubber weight plates being more durable, the calibration that ensures an accurate weight is also a quality that adds to the final price.
Rubber weight plates made of high-density rubber are also commonly referred to as ‘bumper plates’.
Rubber weight plates can weigh anywhere between about 5kg to 25kg. The weights you opt to purchase will depend on your fitness needs: the types of workouts you plan to do, what you can afford, and your weightlifting ability level.