How to Make Your Own Bumper Plates on a Budget

Ready to try a spot of Olympic Weightlifting? Make your own 'plates'.

Bumper Plates
Bumper Plates.
You've been into strength training for some time. And now you've decided to incorporate Olympic lifts. You want to Power Clean. But the problem is: you don't have bumper plates. You have normal rubber plates. What do you do?

Well you could buy a set of bumper plates. But this will cost you money. And you end up with twice the number of plates.

Better is to use 2 old tyres & wheels as bumper plates. Easy & cheap. Here's how to make your own bumper plates.

You Might Also Like...

Mike Gillette's 'Rings of Power' explains the various ways to use - progressively - this incredible tool. With clear emphases on both strength and rehabilitation, it's an ideal starting point for many. Particularly the 'over 40' (of which I'm a proud member) crowd. For a glimpse into the world of 'Rings of Power', a brief quote from the review page :
If you care about getting strong, staying strong, and remaining injury free, Rings of Power is essential reading. I incorporated rings into my own training program a couple of years ago and am glad I did. At 45 years old, I am able to continue my strength pursuits unhindered by the joint and tendon injuries that plague many in the over-40 athletic community. - Dr Chris Hardy
Mike Gillette's 'Rings of Power'. Perfect.
NB : To see the other training-related books we recommend, swing by the 'Recommended Reading' page. And for a complete list, head on over to Goodreads.

Tyres & Wheels. Ask your local supplier for 2 old tyres & wheels. They'll often give you these for free. Choose tyres & wheels with these properties:

Bumper Plates
Bumper Plates.

Next you'll need two flanges to fix the wheels on your barbell. These are the only things that will cost you money.

Barbell is 50mm thick. Wheels have a 70mm opening. 70-50 = 20. Divide that by 2. Flanges should be 10mm (0,39inch) thick to fit between barbell & wheels.

You can buy flanges or you can mold them yourself. Don't forget the 4 holes to attach them to your wheels.
If you've done the job right, the flanges will fit perfectly on your wheels.
Bumper Plates
Bumper Plates.
Attach the flanges to your wheels using bolts.
Bumper Plates
Bumper Plates.
You're done.
Now you can put them on your barbell.
Outside collars to make sure they don't move. And you're ready to clean & snatch.

Images courtesy Marcus.

UPDATE : thanks for all the feedback on DIY bumper plates, this approach works extremely well. Love it.

I get a lot of questions regarding a DIY platform to go with it (much like the one pictured above). Kat 'The Mighty Kat' Ricker has a great article on building one :

DIY: How to Build an Olympic Weightlifting Platform

Good stuff. Incidentally, if you end up building one of these, I'd love to hear (and see!) how it goes. Leave a comment below the post, or share the details in the Google+ Community. Cheers.

Mehdi Hadim

Mehdi Hadim is the author of, a blog helping you build muscle and lose fat through strength training.

Like this? Check out :

DIY : How to Build Your Own Tire Sled

Love building your own equipment?

Power Rig for Weightlifting

A DIY rack for Jerk Support and Recovery.

TGIF : weekly round-up (WE Fri 4 Apr 08) Herman 'H.E.' Mann lifting bull.An excellent week here at Straight to the Bar. A few highlights :...

Of course, if you enjoyed these, I'd highly recommend grabbing the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Delivered weekly, and absolutely free.

(there's also a Daily Update, if you're looking for an even larger dose of training-related goodness.)

NB : If you'd like to write a guest post for Straight to the Bar - I love hearing how other people are training - get in touch. And if you've got a fitness competition or seminar coming up, add it to the calendar.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Over to you. Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet :

blog comments powered by Disqus
Straight to the Bar Strength Kit

Are You as Strong as You Could Be?

Grab the Straight to the Bar Strength Kit.

Training Guides, eBooks and of course the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Absolutely free.