Why we won't be buying (many) more iron plates

Here at Styrka we pride ourselves on having some of the best equipment available. And when stocking the gym, we purchased quite a few "standard" iron plates. These are the same types of iron plates you will find in gyms all across the country. And we're not going to be buying many more of them. Instead, we're going to focus on purchasing more high-quality training bumpers.

Most people think that standard iron plates (regardless of whether they're rubber coated) are "good enough"; after all, people have been using them to get stronger for decades. But if you're really trying to get the most out of your training program, you need to be able to keep track of your progress. And the unfortunate reality is that "standard" iron plates can vary by as much as +/- 4lbs per plate. Sometimes, if you think you're having a lousy workout, it might not be because you're actually weaker; it could actually be that the plates you're using happen to be heavier than the plates you used last time — even if they're the same brand and labeled as the same weight.

Our Rogue training bumpers, by contrast, are built within a tolerance of +/- 15 grams. In other words, if you load four 45lb plates on the bar, you can be confident you are indeed lifting 225lbs.

Training bumpers are considerably more expensive than standard iron plates — around triple the cost. That means we won't be able to increase our stock of plates as rapidly, but we're going to remain committed to buying only the highest-quality equipment. We'll still have plenty of standard iron plates around for those who like them — and because not all exercises or programs require the precision of high-tolerance plates — but going forward, our focus will be on the training bumpers.