If you're in the CrossFit or Olympic weightlifting crowd, you already know how important bumper plates are for any fitness program. But are all bumper plates made the same? Like anything, quality varies by brand, and we'll be looking at one brand in particular in this Vulcan Strength Alpha bumper plate review.
But how did they hold up when we reviewed these plates? If you're looking to invest in bumper plates, keep reading this Vulcan Strength Alpha bumper plate review to see if this brand is right for you.
Why Trust Us?
ACTIVE.com's editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated.
What are Bumper Plates?
Bumper plates are designed to be dropped from overhead during Olympic lifts, and they help protect your flooring from being damaged by heavy weights or bars being dropped.
Using bumper plates helps with safety, performance, and overall technique, making them ideal equipment for beginners. They also help reduce noise and protect equipment from impact damage.
A Quick Look at Vulcan Strength Alpha Bumper Plates
By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Sponsorships and affiliate commissions help support our research so we can help you find the best products. Read full affiliate disclosure here.
- Durability: High durability
- Plate Width Options: 6
- Bounce: Low bounce regardless of weight
- Noise: Make approximately 25% less noise when dropped from a height of 9'
Any brand can take a weight plate and wrap it in a colorful coating, but not every bumper plate uses a unique rubber compound that has been shown to reduce bounce and noise.
As we'll discuss more below, Vulcan Strength Alpha bumper plates use a specialized rubber compound for their plates that doesn't just make for a quieter and safer workout, but also a less stinky one. Newer bumper plates, especially ones made from crumb rubber and recycled rubber bumper plates, can stink up your home gym with a distinctive chemical smell. Alpha bumper plates produce less of an unpleasant smell than these plates so you can focus on your workout, not what's in the air.
What We Like
- Unique rubber compound that reduces noise and bounce
- Very loyal customers and great reviews
- Cool design on the plates; camouflage-like pattern
What We Don't Like
- While it is mild, we're not fans of the smell of the bumper plates. With that said, this is unavoidable with new fitness equipment, especially weight plates. Use them in an open-air environment until the smell goes away.
- Vulcan Strength only offers a one-year warranty on the 15-pound and 10-pound bumper plates while the higher weights have a longer warranty
Plate Width Options
Alpha bumper plates have a lower profile when compared to other bumper plates, especially if they are made from crumb rubber or recycled rubber.
Here's a breakdown of all the plate width options along with the corresponding plate color:
- 10 lbs. - 1.17": Grey Fleck
- 15 lbs. - 1.38": Orange Fleck
- 25 lbs. - 1.81": Green Fleck
- 35 lbs. - 2.55": Yellow Fleck
- 45 lbs. - 2.95": Blue Fleck
- 55 lbs. - 3.34": Red Fleck
Vulcan Strength bumper plates aren't your ordinary plates. Your average, run-of-the-mill bumper plates are made to be dropped on rubber flooring or wood platforms only. What do you think will happen if you use regular bumper plates on concrete or asphalt? You'll probably be buying new plates.
Thanks to a patented process and rubber compound that is used exclusively to make Alpha bumper plates, you can drop them outside without having to worry about ruining the rubber.
Vulcan Strength Alpha Bumper Plates are made with a specialized rubber compound that you won't find in other bumper plates. Thanks to the specialized rubber compound they use, the bumper plates offer a low bounce on any surface. So, you shouldn’t have to worry about these plates bouncing dangerously high or skipping away from you.
In addition, the way these bumper plates are designed ensures a snugger fit than crumb rubber or recycled rubber bumper plates. This results in less vibration and wobbling.
If you know that your family, roommates, or neighbors aren't going to like the noise from bumper plates, you can rest assured that they won't even notice while you're training. Based on testing with a decibel meter, the Alpha bumper plates were found to make approximately 25% less noise when dropped from a height of nine feet!
Vulcan Alpha Bumpers vs. Fringe Sport Savage Bumper Plates
When taking a quick look at these two plates, you might mistake one for the other at first glance. And the more you learn about the plates, the more you realize they are competing blow-for-blow.
Both brands have a unique flecked camouflaged look to them, offer a stainless-steel center ring, and are designed to fit tighter than most other plates out there.
The reason that we would suggest going with Vulcan over Fringe is that the former uses an exclusive rubber compound, allowing it to be used inside and outside. Not only can you drop Vulcan plates on concrete but if one were to break, it's most likely going to be covered by their warranty program.
Vulcan Alpha Bumpers vs. Rogue Fleck Bumper Plates
Much like the Fringe Sport bumper plates, you could easily get these two brands of plates confused if you didn't see the brand name across the top.
Rogue makes some incredible equipment, but there are two reasons that we would recommend Vulcan Strength over Rogue:
- First, as mentioned above, Vulcan uses a specialized rubber compound that is unique to their brand, with skyrocketing quality, and durability.
- Second, we're big fans of when a product is made in the United States. You don't have to go far on Amazon to find dozens of fitness products made in China that fall apart within a few weeks of use.
Vulcan Strength bumper plates are one of our favorite brands of bumper plates because we feel like these would be an excellent choice for any lifter—beginner or advanced—who wants to make a smart long-term fitness investment.
Vulcan Strength uses a tough-as-nails rubber compound allowing you to take your workouts inside or outside. And with a generous 48-month warranty, these plates are well-suited for both home and gym use.
FAQs About Vulcan Alpha Bumper Plates
Are Vulcan alpha plates made in the USA?
Yes, all Vulcan bumper plates are made in the USA using a specialized rubber compound.
Are bumper plates good for powerlifting?
Absolutely! Bumper plates that have a low bounce rate, little vibration, and less noise are ideal for powerlifting and Olympic lifting.
Vulcan Strength bumper plates have a low bounce rate and little vibration, but they also come in color-coded weights which makes it easy to identify them during your workout.
How long do bumper plates last?
This is one of those questions that is going to have a different answer depending on who you ask. With proper care and maintenance, bumper plates should last for many years. Obviously the more you use them and how you use them can influence this a lot.
Some bumper plates might break after a few years while others last a couple of decades. It depends on the brand you buy and how you use them.
Vulcan bumper plates have been designed and tested to last for many years. The company is so confident in their product, they offer a warranty of up to 48 months.