Should you drop weights? The quick answer is NO, but why?

Whether or not it is nobler to drop weights or not drop weights, has been a controversial subject for some time, and ask..”Why have bumper plates if we can’t drop them?” Well, I will try to give you the low down on dropping weights and what it really means from the math to the practical viewpoint.

  1.  Our equipment that is so nice, let’s try to keep it that way. The majority of bars are rated for 400lbs. If you drop a 135lbs 24” from the floor the weight is increased to 810lbs  of impact when it lands on the floor with a ¼ inch bounce. Here is the math: 135lbs (24 inches/.25 inches)=810lbs. That could do some major damage to the bar, weights, rig, floor and maybe someone’s foot with a relatively small weight and drop.
  2. If you are training for a competition, you could get disqualified from the whole meet if the weights are dropped. This does vary depending on the competition.
  3. Bouncing plates can be a danger to you and those around you.
  4. It is kinda like cheating, it is better to do the lift in the whole range. I do know some guys like to drop the last lift holding it as long as possible. You can achieve the same results if you have 2 spotters with you on that last lift. No need to drop it.
  5. Plus, it is a rule, just like putting your bars and weights away is a basic gym etiquette.

Why do you have bumper plates if you don’t want them dropped?

Bumper plates offer you several advantages

  1. When doing Olympic Lifts it’s hard to let the weight down slowly but is an easier set down with bumper plates
  2. Bumper Plates decrease the impact on the floor even when not dropped.
  3. They minimize the impact on the bar
  4. It places the bar at the correct height for training
  5. Here comes the math again. The bumper plates increase the bounce which reduces the amount of impact when it is dropped. For example, a standard plate would bounce much less and the impact would be greater. Let’s say the same weight as figured earlier was used but it bounced 1/16 less the result would increase the impact to thousands of pounds more. No kidding.