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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bouncing plates can be a danger to you and those around you.
- 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.
- 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
- When doing Olympic Lifts it’s hard to let the weight down slowly but is an easier set down with bumper plates
- Bumper Plates decrease the impact on the floor even when not dropped.
- They minimize the impact on the bar
- It places the bar at the correct height for training
- 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.