Gym Planning

Building a Garage Gym: Olympic vs Bumper Weight Plates

So. You want to lift?

We salute you. And what's more, if you're well on your way to planning your own garage gym, you're going to want to add in some weights.

The problem is, like most things in life, there are so many to choose from. So, unless you're an experienced weight lifter, it can be hard to know what type you should get.

Luckily, the Mirafit team of experts has the solution:


Unfortunately, this isn't always possible. So, to help, we've put together a buyer's guide to help you choose between Olympic Cast Iron Plates and Olympic Rubber Bumper Plates.

Which weight plates should I buy?

Just like any piece of equipment that you invest in for your home gym, what you get really depends on your training regime.

First, let's look at the stats:


Mirafit Cast Iron 2" Olympic Tri Grip Weights

  • Range of sizes – from 1.25kg to 25kg.
  • Cast iron – solid weights that are durable and long lasting
  • Tri grip design – for easy weight loading and unloading. Easy to hold securely.
  • Variety of sizes – smaller weights are smaller in size and not just lighter so they are easily identifiable.
  • Suitable for heavy lifting as well as endurance training.
  • Smaller weights are perfect for incremental increases.
  • Olympic size weights with 2" diameter – can be used with all Olympic bars.
  • Precision cast for greater accuracy.
  • Weights can be used without a bar for bootcamp style training exercises as well as core exercises.
  • Smaller, more slimline weights that take up less space.
  • Silver/grey finish.

Mirafit Black Olympic Rubber Bumper Plates

  • Range of sizes – from 5kg to 25kg.
  • Solid rubber construction for absorbing impact – protects weight bar and flooring.
  • Stainless steel centre ring to help protect your equipment from damage over time.
  • All weights have the same diameter regardless of how heavy they are – creates greater symmetry and is more similar to competition style weights.
  • Suitable for heavy lifting as well as endurance training.
  • Olympic size weights with 2" diameter – can be used with all Olympic bars.
  • Weights can be used without a bar for bootcamp style training exercises as well as core exercises.
  • Black finish for a classic Mirafit black and orange gym. Also available as colour coded weights for quick and easy weight changes – easily identifiable.
  • Can be used as platforms for decline lifts.

Now let's look at the advantages of training with each type of weight plate:

Mirafit Cast Iron 2" Olympic Tri Grip Weights

  • Strength training – there's no magic formula for getting stronger. Even the top weight lifters use low reps and sets with high weights for gaining muscle. However, when you start to hit that wall and going up a notch becomes more and more difficult, incremental increases are going to be the key here. With weights as low as 1.25kg, getting in those all important augmentations – no matter how small – will ultimately carry you through to the next level as you train.
  • Precision training – the tri grip weights are smaller and more slimline which means they can be used on Olympic dumbbell bars as well as barbells. Using dumbbells in your training is ideal for targeting more specific areas as well as isolating individual muscles, one side at a time. This is perfect for addressing any imbalances as well as weak links in the chain.
  • Compound exercises – tri grip weights are ideal for squats and bench presses, so can be used for muscle gaining compound exercises as well as isolation exercises.
  • Train heavy – a more slimline design means you can fit a fair few weights onto the bar (depending on what the max load of your bar is). But generally means you're only limited by weight load and not bar space.
  • Space saving – having a home gym doesn't necessarily require lots of space. But if you're already tight on room, then having weights that are a bit more slimline can really help. The tri grip weights are much slimmer than the bumper plates, so they're ideal for more compact garage gyms.
  • Easy to grip – weights can be a pain to load and unload. The tri grip design of these weights gives you a much more secure hold as you swap the plates around.

Mirafit Black Olympic Rubber Bumper Plates

  • Olympic lifting and powerlifting – these rubber bumper plates have been specifically designed for competition style lifting. That means deadlifts, snatches and the clean and press, where it's most likely you'll be letting the weights drop after you have completed the movement. The rubber composition of these plates allows them to absorb the impact of the drop to help protect your bar and flooring.
  • Deadlifts –  bumper plates are big and brilliant for bulking. Load up your bar and train heavy. The 25kg plates however are quite thick (8.4cm). But unless you're lifting way more than around 220kg (480lb), you won't be limited by bar space.
  • Easy identification – weight changes are a pain but also a necessity. And having to search round for the right weights can slow your training down. The coloured bumper plates are colour coded making it much easier to identify the weight size you need without having to read all the plates first.
  • Smart design – if you've built your gym up with Mirafit gear, you'll be keeping up the black and classic orange combo. And who doesn't want a nice looking gym? Keep in with your theme with black rubber bumper plates.
  • Barbell-free training – bumper plates are great for more bootcamp style training. They help to train your grip and they are the right diameter for keeping your arms parallel. Use them for exercises such as farmer's walks, Russian twists, rotational moves and core work.

In summary

Weights are an essential part to any gym but what type you buy depends on what you like to train the most and how.

To get a full overview of all the different types of weight plate, as well as information on how to use them, head over to the weight plate section of our Product Help Centre.

Got any questions?

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