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Old 05-23-2010, 09:53 AM   #1
Austin Bray
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Bumper + Iron = Bad Idea?

I'm on a shoestring equipment budget and living in a small college town. The only bumper plates within a 50 mile radius are for the exclusive use of my University's athletics program.

I'm thinking about investing in a pair of 45 lb bumpers and I'm wondering what would happen if I were to use these in conjunction with a pair of my school's 25lb steel plates. would I break the plates? would it eat up my bumpers? tear up the bar?
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:03 AM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Bumper + Iron = Bad Idea?

You should be fine--I've heard of plenty of people who couldn't afford 400lbs of bumpers for their garage gym, so they just got a set of 45s then put smaller iron plates on the bar to make up the rest of whatever they needed. Iron is fine for pretty much everything except the Oly lifts, and if you're trying to deadlift or squat 400+lbs the iron will take up much less space on the bar. If the bumper is the only thing that touches the ground then the iron won't be damaged by dropping the bar.
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:04 AM   #3
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Bumper + Iron = Bad Idea?

My affiliate uses a mixture of bumpers and iron without any problems. You'd just want to make sure that the bumpers are the thickest part of the load -- i.e. that the iron plates don't hit the ground if you have to drop.

For me, 25# bumpers would be a better choice than 45s, but you're probably stronger than I am. It depends on what kind of weight you expect to be putting overhead.

Katherine
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:15 AM   #4
Austin Bray
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Re: Bumper + Iron = Bad Idea?

awesome. thanks.
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Old 05-23-2010, 01:04 PM   #5
Brian Degenaro
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Re: Bumper + Iron = Bad Idea?

25#/10kg metal change is fine, it was used in competitions back in the day before 10kg bumpers were made; anything heavier may be too much. Also make sure that the metal is snug on the bar and there is not much space between sleeve and plate.
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Old 05-23-2010, 04:55 PM   #6
Rob St. Croix
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Re: Bumper + Iron = Bad Idea?

I bought a pair of 45lb and a pair of 25lb bumpers for my Garage. I can make just about any weight combination I normally need with that mixture of bumpers and my old 300lb set of iron plates.

They work just fine together. (For heavy deadlifts and Back-squats I just use a combination of iron and bumper 45s and then I try not to drop it)

Last edited by Rob St. Croix : 05-23-2010 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:09 PM   #7
Casey Raiford
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Re: Bumper + Iron = Bad Idea?

We've been stacking steel and rubber 45s for a couple of years out of necessity and never had any problems.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:21 PM   #8
James White
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Re: Bumper + Iron = Bad Idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob St. Croix View Post
I bought a pair of 45lb and a pair of 25lb bumpers for my Garage. I can make just about any weight combination I normally need with that mixture of bumpers and my old 300lb set of iron plates.

They work just fine together. (For heavy deadlifts and Back-squats I just use a combination of iron and bumper 45s and then I try not to drop it)
AWESOME. Know what my next purchase will be. :-) 45# & 25# (thinking of you, Fran) bumpers.
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:12 PM   #9
Tony Blanksteen
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Re: Bumper + Iron = Bad Idea?

just a quick question:

will you be using the rubber weights at your school's weight-room? Or do you have your own place set up?

The reason I ask is when I went to go lift at my university I had the same problem. Since I already had a full set I asked if I could bring it in to the school gym and was actually denied.

Something to check before purchase.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:02 AM   #10
Jon Gilson
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Re: Bumper + Iron = Bad Idea?

Court,

Bumpers and minimal iron shouldn't present a problem, as others have noted.

The issue of undue wear comes up when you load small diameter "heavy" iron plates (i.e. 10s, 25s, 35s) on top of similar weight bumpers, and the iron doesn't touch the ground.

For example, putting your 25-lb. bumpers on the barbell and then adding a 10-lb. iron plate increases the structural load on the bumper by almost 50% with no extra surface area in contact with the ground. This is a recipe for broken plates, especially when you're dropping Oly Lifts.

As a rule of thumb, I don't stack iron above 10 pounds on bumpers, unless I'm doing a non-dynamic movement, like deadlifting heavy. Then, I'll use 45-lb. iron plates, which do contact the ground and support their own mass.

I hope that helps!

Best,

Jon
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