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.

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NB : For a complete list of everything we use and recommend, swing by the reviews area. And of course the Straight to the Bar Store. It's all in there.

To learn how to put it to work, swing by the Guides area.

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.

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