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How to Make Your Own Bumper Plates

By Ashley Kemper ; Updated October 25, 2017

Getting fit shouldn't require tons of money or a fancy gym membership. In fact, you can set up a workout space of your own in a garage or spare room using many inexpensive objects. While professional bumper plates (the free weights used in competitive lifting) can run hundreds or thousands of dollars, you can make a set of your own for just a fraction of the cost. Because they are covered in rubber, the bumper plates won't damage floors if they're dropped.

Find a set of old tires with the rims still attached to them.

Drill four holes in each plate weight, making sure the holes match up with existing holes on the tire rims.

Attach the weights to each tire using the nuts and bolts. Make sure the weights are securely tightened in place.

Slide one tire onto each end of the barbell.

Add weight collars to both sides of the tires as needed to make sure the plates stay in place during use.


If weights or tires feel unstable, drill additional holes for extra nuts and bolts to further fasten weights onto the tires.

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