Best Gym Weight Plates (For Home Gyms Gym Owners)
Whether you are planning to create your own home gym, or you own a gym and are looking to upgrade, you need to know what you are going to buy to ensure your gym is well equipped.
This is especially important for all of you gym owners out there, as stocking your gym up with low quality weight plates is a surefire way to lose members.
After all is said and done, it begs to ask the question, what are the best gym weight plates for you to get?
There are plenty of different choices out there and if you are creating your home gym, you might be a little confused about what is best.
Before I jump right into my review of some of the best gym weight plates out there, I first want to talk about gym plates and the main difference between them.
For the most part, you are going to encounter two types of plates at the gym, iron plates, and bumper plates. I’ll give you guys a quick rundown of these gym plates so you understand exactly what you are getting with each one.
Iron plates are you tried, tested, and true gym plates for bodybuilders. I love going to bodybuilding gyms because I know I am going to see a ton of these around, creating that real gritty vibe.
Just as they sound, iron plates are made completely of molten iron that has been cooled and hardened into a circular shape. What you are going to notice with iron plates is that generally they are all the same shape.
This is because manufacturers want to follow Olympic guidelines and produce weights that abide by what is set for bodybuilding.
Why You Should Consider Iron Plates
If you are looking for that gritty vibe as I mentioned before, you are going to love getting yourself some iron weights.
Words can’t even describe how I feel when I put a couple of 45’s on both ends and then crush a personal best. Where else do you think the term pumping iron came from?
Aside from giving you that great aesthetic, iron weights are generally much easier to grab and carry around.
Iron plates will typically have a grab hole or two in them and if they don’t you’ll notice they are quite rough which makes them easy to carry around. If I’m going to be racking a ton of gym plates, I’m going to want to use iron.
Finally, one of the best things about iron plates is their durability. Iron plates are built to last, but the same goes for bumper plates as well.
A traditional iron plate will be around in your home or gym for years to come and it will see a lot of usage throughout that time. Overall, iron plates are great and some of the best gym weight plates out there are made of iron.
When Should You Use Iron Plates?
So I’ve covered the why you should consider using iron plates, it’s now time to talk about when. If you are going to go for that traditional bodybuilding workout, you can do no wrong with a good weight set of iron plates. With bodybuilding you are focused on slow calculated movements so the iron will be perfect for this.
If you are someone who gently sets their weights down after a set, you are going to love using iron plates. As I’ve mentioned I always love that feeling of racking them up and lifting.
If you have a home gym and with protective flooring, you can also consider using iron plates. Iron will quickly run your gym floor if you don’t have the right padding, but if you do, feel free to use it all you want.
Bumper plates, unlike iron are made primarily out of rubber. There is a heavy steel core in the centre of the gym plate that gives it its weight, but other than that, the rest is a heavy duty durable rubber.
Just because they are rubber however does not mean they are soft and can be thrown around. Bumper plates still provide quite the punch when dropped, albeit to a much lesser extent than iron plates.
You will find some gyms out using bumper plates and a good weight set of bumper plates can be some of the best gym plates out there. Just like I did with iron, let’s cover the why and when of these plates.
Why You Should Consider Bumper Plates
Bumper plates are great if you want to do fast or heavy exercises. If you are planning to slam out a quick set CrossFit style, you have to be going as hard as you possibly can.
That means you’re going to be dropping some weights at the end of your set. If you drop an iron weight, it is going to crack and break, however bumper plates are made to withstand that type of impact.
If you are planning on punishing your gym plates and throwing them to the ground after every set, you should definitely get bumper plates.
They will withstand the beating you give to them and then some. Because of this, they also make for a good durable long term investment for either your home gym or the gym you own.
When Should You Use Bumper Plates?
If you are working out in an area without protective flooring, you should be using bumper plates 100% of the time.
No matter how gently you try to set iron weights down, you are going to scratch and damage the flooring. This does not mean throw your bumper plates on an unpadded surface, you still have to be careful when doing it.
If you are a beginner to the scene, you might also make a few mistakes when either lifting the weights or racking them.
If an iron plate were to fall, you’d be looking at quite a bit of money lost if it cracks. Going with the durable brand will help ensure everything stays in working order.
Iron Plates vs. Bumper Plates
At the end of the day, both of these contain some of the best gym weight plates out there. You have to consider what workouts you are going to be doing and what is around you.
If you are a gym owner, you are going to have to take a look at what crowd you are going to want to attract.
There is no right or wrong answer for these as most of it comes down to personal feel.
However, I will always recommend going with bumper plates for a beginner as they allow you to get your workouts in without having to worry about much more
Now that I’ve covered the two types of materials out there, it’s time that I jump into the heavy duty stuff. What are the best gym weight plates for lifting at your home gym or using at your regular gym. Here are some of my personal favourites.
Our Top 7 Gym Weight Plates
#1. Rogue KG Training Bumper Plates (Editor's Choice)
You’re going to see a lot of rogue on this list and there is a reason for it. Rogue has some of the best gym weight plates out there and have a great selection of bumper plates. What do these plates have to offer?
If you’ve worked out, there is a good chance that you have used this weight set and given them a good lift.
These bumper plates come in both kg and lbs allowing you to get which option suits you better.
What I love about the Rogue KG Training Bumper Plates is that they are extremely versatile and can be used for all kinds of lifts.
Each weight is going to have a diameter of 450MM with the thickness from there depending on how heavy the weight is.
Another thing I absolutely love about these plates is that they don’t provide me with ‘cheat lifts’ like other bumper plates do.
Because they are rubber, bumper plates sometimes have a bit of bounce to them, especially when you are lifting them off the ground.
I hate this because it robs me of that initial burst of energy needed when lifting. With the Rogue KG Training, this help is minimal if there at all. You are going to be getting a ton of benefits to using these bumper plates and trust me when I say they at times feel like iron plates.
Rogue KG Training Bumper Plates are also completely black aside from a few colours which can help you quickly differentiate what weight they are. They are fantastic for both crossfit and bodybuilding.
You might be asking, what’s the catch. Unfortunately, all of this comes at a high price point. If you are serious about lifting however, this is a great investment as they are one of the best gym weight plates out there and you will not be disappointed at all.
#2. Rogue KG Competition Plates (Runner-Up)
You’re probably not surprised to see another Rogue product on the best weight plates list after I spoke so highly of them. Rogue keeps it going with a fantastic weight set that is known as the KG Competition Bumper Plates.
This is going to make whatever gym you have stand out from the rest and really put you on top.
What do these plates have to offer? I’m not kidding when I say these are some of the best gym weight plates out there and they are essentially a complete upgrade over the Rogue KG Training Bumper Plates.
Essentially take those plates, multiply it by two, and you get the KG Competition Plates.
These bumper plates have an extremely high quality look and feel, the designed lip edge in the plates makes them incredibly easy to move around and pick up. Coming in at the same size as the KG training plates, these are going to crush the competition and you are going to feel great using them.
You thought the KG Training plates were expensive? I have some bad news for you in the case. These plates are quite expensive, but the price is definitely worth it for what you are getting. If you are planning to take things seriously, you need some of the best gym weight plates out there to accompany you on your journey.
#3. Rogue Echo Plates
I swear after talking about the Rogue Echo Plates I’ll talk about some other brands, but these are too good to not be mentioned.
What makes the Rogue Echo Plates some of the best gym weight plates out there is the price.
Remember when I said the only downsides to the other two Rogue products were the initial investment?
Rogue seems to understand this as well so they set out to create a budget friendly model for all of you who are looking to get ripped, but still have some pocket money.
Now, just because they are much cheaper does not mean they are low quality. In fact, they are one of the most positively reviewed bumper plate weight sets on the market. They are incredibly durable and affordable and can definitely help you train.
I do have to talk about the downsides when it comes to these plates however so you can be informed. Many customers have complained about these bumper plates having a weird smell so please use them in an area that is well ventilated.
Here’s the big issue I have with these plates however. I hate that they give me that bounce and help me cheat on my lifts.
Trust me when I say this, if you are planning on training for a competition, you should definitely invest in the other Rogue plates. You will get accustomed to this bounce and it will mess you up come competition time.
They also only come in pounds and are slightly larger than the KG variant when comparing it pound for pound so that might be an issue for you as well.
Overall, there are some downsides to these weights, but that budget friendly option makes it one of the best gym weight plates out there and I highly recommend it for those who are either beginners or are looking to save some money.
#4. AmGym Bumper Plates
It’s time I move on and talk about some other brands. AmGym Bumper plates aren’t as good as Rogue plates, but they still are quite nice and will get the job done.
These are another budget friendly option but they come with similar downsides to the Rogue Echo Plates.
That being said however, these babies have a much lower bounce rating, getting rid of that cheating feeling that I hated with the Rogue Echo.
In terms of size the AmGym Bumper Plates are slightly larger than even the Rogue Echo plates so make sure you have the space in your home gym or gym center for these weights.
When it comes to looking at these bumper plates, you simply are getting what you pay for. There isn’t really anything bad to say about these plates, but there isn’t really anything amazing to talk about either, especially after mentioning what Rogue is doing.
The AmGym Bumper Plates will definitely survive plenty of drops and from my own use with them, they have taken a beating and responded quite well to it every time.
I do enjoy these for my HIIT workouts and when I’m working out on surfaces I need to keep safe. These guys aren’t the best gym weight plates out there, but you will still be happy with what you are getting for the price.
#5. CAP Barbell Olympic Plates
With CAP, we are now diving into some of the iron plates on the list and I have to say, they have always worked quite well for me.
CAP has been around as a favourite for gyms for quite some time, but how do they stack up in today’s day and age.
First off, I do have to say when I opened the box they unleashed quite the vile smell.
Ventilation is definitely needed when you are going to be opening these things up. As for quality, overall I would say they are fairly solid.
Some of the plates out there were a little inaccurate but it wasn’t off by too too much. What I loved about these guys were the holes for grip that they had. Remember when I mentioned that iron plates were easier to carry around and rack up? These plates are the walking definition of it, with nice gaps for me to grip and carry them around.
Just remember that these are iron plates so you definitely cannot beat them up and throw them around. They are a fantastic cast iron plate however and are some of the best gym weight plates around if you are looking for that classic bodybuilding look.
#6. Xtreme Monkey Bumper Plates
The first thing I have to mention about the Xtreme Monkey Bumper Plates is that they use a material of rubber that is very durable considering that they are not the highest quality.
The two big things you are going to notice with the Xtreme Monkey Bumper Plates is that it is going to have little to no bounce for a bumper plate, and that drop noise is going to be significantly reduced.
This makes it one of the best gym weight plates for working out in an area where you need to be quiet like an apartment, but still want to fire off some quick reps.
Another positive to these weights is that they did not have that nasty rubber smell that many bumper plates have at a similar price point. I like these plates and the speckled pattern they chose. They are a great compromise if you are looking for a great low bounce bumper plate without spending top dollar.
#7. Rogue Hi-Temp Bumper Plates
Finally, I had to jump back to Rogue and talk about their Hi-Temp Bumper Plates.
These plates are made of vulcanized rubber and a 2” stainless steel insert, making them practically indestructible.
I have noticed some very slight imperfections in the plates, but I have no problem with that as I am going to be getting the most durable bumper plates out there.
What are the downsides to this plate? While it is one of the best gym weight plates when it comes to durability, it also has an extreme amount of bounce to it.
If you know me, I hate that bounce as it robs me from getting a complete workout. There are a ton of weight sets however with this so you can get exactly what you want.
Finally with these plates they are rather thick and you might be quite limited on the barbell because of this, especially if you are going to be lifting heavy. If you aren’t competing and want a plate that you know is going to last for years, then you should consider picking these up.
Hopefully you have a good idea of what kind of plates you want to get for your gym. There are so many options out there and it is tough to figure out what the best gym weight plates are. I have my own personal favorites which I will continue to use however and strongly recommend you take a shot at them also.
Our #1 Recommendation - Rogue KG Training Bumper Plates
Rogue KG Training Bumper Plates
The Best Best Gym Weight Plates (For Home Gyms & Gym Owners)