Picking Bumpers

Brandon’s latest videos go over plates. Great, we love plates! Amazing how much can be said about these things you stick on the barbell to weigh it down.

One thing I never thought of: Urethane competition-style bumpers are crazy hard to pick up flat off the floor. They’re so slippery smooth, and like all comp bumpers they have no rounded edges, making the usual trick of butting your shoes up against them to lever the other end up ineffective. Durability-wise, urethane will last longer if it’s an olympic lifting setting where they get pounded all day long. Otherwise, go with rubber bumpers.

See our guide on the anchoring system that some of the best bumper plates include, to stop the hub from coming loose.

Picking Iron Plates

As far as iron plates, we recommend you avoid the cheapest cast-iron plates if you can afford it. Go with something that has a weight tolerance of 2%, or even 4%. Without it, the cheapest plates can be off weight by more than 5%. That’s too much.

The ones with any kind of guaranteed tolerance are actually more dead-on in weight than suggested, because the manufacturer is not going to risk having to toss out a portion of them. They are cast, then milled on some or all edges to a precise diameter, which also gives them a pretty precise weight.

Starting Kettlebell Work

They’re so useful for doing many different movements.

For only doing swings, almost anything will work.

Personally, I like the thinner 1.25″ handled kettlebells because I do kettlebell snatches. With a reasonable 1.25″ (33mm) handle it’s less risky that way for it to slip out of my hand the way I feel like a 1.5″ handle will someday.

I have lots more to say about kettlebells and so far have not written any article about them. Leave me a note if you want me to write more, such as recommended weights to get, handle texture, body type, etc.

A Way Around Low Ceilings

I’ve written about power racks for low ceilings, but not the issue of hitting your plates against the ceiling when overhead pressing.

Titan Fitness has an inexpensive specialty bar that could help. See their Yukon Bar. Those extra few inches may be all you need.

This could keep your plates low enough to miss the ceiling