Weight training can be extremely helpful alongside your MMA and BJJ training. Technique is of course the most important element, but what many people try to hide is just how important strength, cardio and general athleticism is with these sports.
To excel at MMA, boxing, kickboxing, BJJ, etc. you have to be a complete athlete. It doesn’t matter how good your timing is if you just don’t have the strength behind you to make it count when you need it to.
It doesn’t matter how hard you hit if you’re winded after the first flurry of punches. It doesn’t matter how good your top game in BJJ is if you’re too weak to get the fight there. This is where weight training comes in.
But not all weight training is created equal in regards to athletic performance. Training like a bodybuilder is the fastest way to add essentially useless weight and muscle to your frame without much strength increases. You’ll just be bigger and slower and find it harder to make weight.
You have to do specific strength training to increase your strength.
The only problem, is that in certain gym chains over the world you can actually be kicked out and banned from gyms from doing the movements that you need to do to gain strength. Putting down the barbell after a set of heavy deadlifts can have your membership cancelled just like that. Whilst strength gyms exist, they are few and far between in relation to just how many commercial gyms are out there. There just might not be one anywhere near your location.
The best thing you can do is by your own barbells and your own set of bumper plates so you can lift as hard and heavy as you can in your own gym. You could buy any set of plates but if you’re doing big, strength exercises then you’ll want bumper plates. Normal plates will make far too much noise, especially if they’re iron, and can easily damage your flooring. Bumper plates are designed to combat both these problems. Bumper plates also stop the bar from flying violently back up at you when you chuck it down.
Best Bumper Plates Reviewed
XMark Fitness Hi-Impact, Low Bounce Olympic Bumper Plates
XMark fitness offer weights of 10 pounds all the way up 55 pounds, with several options of how many pairs of each you would like. You could stock up and get all the weights and combinations you could possibly need just from XMark alone and not have to get anything new/replacements for many years to come.
XMark test their bumper plates rigorously to make sure they can withstand a brutal beat-down that no human being could possibly inflict on them. For example, their 45 pound plates have withstood drop-testing of 12,000 drops from approximately 6 feet high at 7 drops per minute.
They are also manufactured from 90% virgin rubber, featuring a slim profile and a dead bounce. You don’t have to worry about the bar moving fast and unpredictably when you set it down after a tough set of snatches.
X Training Equipment Premium Colour Bumper Plates
These are the kinds of bumper plates you’d expect to see in a fully kitted out strength gym. These vibrant colours aren’t there just to look nice; they allow you quickly and easily identify what weights you need and where in the gym to find them without going on a long search for a 45 pound plate.
These can be purchased in singles, pairs and even entire weighted sets. If you’re new to lifting or are just not entirely sure which weights you need, how many, etc. it might be a good idea to just buy a pre-configured set and let X Training Equipment do all the work for you.
The thick, dense rubber has been designed to be as durable as possible whilst still drastically reducing the bounce of the plates. You can throw these plates down as hard as you can without the coloured rubber coming away from the iron beneath.
Rage Fitness Olympic Bumper Plates
These plates are all sold individually, making it perfect for the trainer who needs to replace plates or for those who know exactly what they need and how many without being confined to buying pairs and sets.
These bumper plates are perfect for those who are both new and old to strength training and even those putting their bodies, and their equipment, under heavy stress with new CrossFit style workouts.
The rubber on the plates have been designed to be both easy on your floors and your hands, making them easy to slip on and off the bar as quickly as possible so you’re not wasting your rest time by grappling with individual plates.
Steelbody Olympic Rubber Barbell Plates
Steelbody have designed bumper plates to withstand heavy and frequent drops without making the plate overly bulky or unwieldy. The plates are rather sleek and low-profile and are even waterproof for those who like to take their workouts outside.
This smaller profile plate is created by using a denser concentration of rubber which also makes it able to withstand more impact and to just generally last longer without breaking apart of coming away from the metal.
The centre sleeve is also made of stainless steel that allows them to move as smooth as possible when being loaded onto a quality bar. The plates are also 2 inches in diameter which makes them perfectly compatible with olympic barbells.
CAP Barbell Premium Black Bumper Plates
As their name suggests, CAP Barbell have forged their name and reputation by crafting the best possible barbells and workout equipment that money can buy. Their bumper plates are no different.
These plates are as tough and durable as they come, being able to fall from great heights again and again without breaking and crumbling or bouncing back into your face at great speed. The cast iron core beneath the rubber exterior is evenly weighted so as to create no weak points where it can crack or splinter off.
As bumper plates are made out of rubber, they can often have a rubbery, tyre-like odour that some find unpleasant. CAP Barbell have ensured that these bumper plates are as odour-free as they can possibly be to save your nostrils from any discomfort.
You cannot use purely iron plates when doing strength training. Strength movements, like the snatch, require you to lift and explode with violent force in order to lift larger amounts of weight. Unlike in bodybuilding, you do not want your body to sustain this dangerous weight on it’s way down and thus need to it to fall to the ground. This is where bumper plates come in. The rubber absorbs the impact which stops the iron from breaking and also stops the bar and weight from bouncing up and possibly causing an accident and/or injury.
Save yourself, and your flooring, by going for rubber bumper plates.