I’ve been training with Uesaka Bars and Bumpers on and off my entire life. I’ve been lucky enough to be a strength and conditioning coach at some high level D1 colleges. So, I’ve been really spoiled getting to train with top of the line equipment like Uesaka, Eleiko and Werksan.
Up until now though, I have never bought any equipment for personal use.
When I finally got the opportunity to set up my garage gym and start buying equipment, I knew hands down what bars and bumpers I wanted. Uesakas.
It’s generally agreed upon that Uesaka and Eleiko manufacture the best bars and plates in the world. For my money though, (which for the first time it was about to literally be my money) I love Uesaka.
This leads to me to my new relationship with the Uesaka Pro Series Bumper Plates.
Uesaka Pro Series Bumper Plates – Review
You see, I love everything about Uesaka Bumper Plates. I love how balanced they are, their spin, their bounce and their durability. They really are twenty kilos of perfection. However, the one hesitation that comes with purchasing Uesakas though are their price.
Uesaka bars and plates are by no means cheap. A Uesaka bar can set you back almost a grand. You can also spend a thousand dollars or more real quick buying plates too.
So as my heart and my wallet were in the middle of a battle to the death, I stumbled upon the Uesaka Pro Series Bumpers.
The Uesaka Pro Series Bumper Plates are essentially the same as their Training Bumpers… just not as pretty. I know that seems like an odd way to say it, but that is what it is. The Pro Series foregoes the normal coloring of the plates: red, blue, yellow, green. Instead they are a black bumper that has one color stripe that still makes it easy to visually tell the weights apart.
By skipping the coloring process, the manufacturing of the plate becomes cheaper and they pass at least some of those savings on to us. How much cheaper?
A pair of 20kg Training Bumpers are currently $550 on Uesaka’s website. A pair of 20kg Pro Series Bumpers are $506. Still crazy expensive? Absolutely. But, it was just enough to make it a little more justifiable.
Ok. Let’s get down to business now. If you’re here reading this, I’m guessing I don’t need to break down why Uesaka’s are really good, or their specs, etc.
If you’re buying you’re first set of bumper plates, I really wouldn’t recommend buying Uesaka. It would be similar to spending a couple grand on a top of the line Gibson for your very first guitar. Get something a little cheaper and make sure this is where you want to spend a big chunk of money.
What you probably want to are two things…
Are the Uesaka Pro Series as Good as the Training Bumpers?
I’ve been lifting with the Pro Series plates for 6 months now and they are every bit as good as the training bumpers. The spin, balance and bounce are identical to the training bumpers. They also look and perform today exactly how they did the day I took them out of the box so I see no reason so far why the durability would be any different either.
The only difference that I can find between the two is the obvious one – they look different.
And here’s the thing: I don’t think they’re a bad look at all. The longer I’ve had them the more I dig the black look with just the thin stripe of color along the edge. Makes them feel more raw while still performing at a ridiculously high level.
So, that should answer the first question. Here is the second question I’m guessing you have…
Are the Uesaka Pro Series Bumpers worth the Money?
Like I said earlier, I can’t imagine anyone is going to argue whether or not Uesaka plates are awesome. But, with such a high price tag the question becomes, ‘are they worth it?’
My answer to that question is a strong ‘It depends’. As previously stated, if these are your first bumper plates, no they’re not worth it. If you’re a casual lifter I would absolutely not recommend this is where you spend your money. Why spend double the amount of money for a difference in quality you’re probably not even going to notice?
When you’re just starting out a nice pair of bumpers from Titan or Rogue are going to feel awesome.
Even if you’re willing to drop a good bit of money on your garage gym, there are places where that money would be better spent. Get a little nicer rack. Buy some dumbbells. It’s usually not too hard to find other things you really want in your gym.
However, if you consider yourself a serious Olympic lifter, then yes, I highly recommend them. By serious, I don’t mean you have to be lifting in competitions. I’ve never lifted in a competition in my life, but I would consider myself a serious lifter.
Do you perform Olympic lifts multiple times per week? Are you training to increase these lifts? Do you specific goals in these lifts? If you answered yes to all three then you can consider yourself a serious Olympic lifter.
The spot where you may be on the fence is if you’re a serious Crossfitter. Crossfit doesn’t focus exclusively on Olympic lifts, but it does involve them quite a bit. Do you need Uesaka plates, no, probably not. There are plenty of options out there for bumper plates that will work great and cost less.
But, what if you want Uesaka plates? If you’re comfortable spending the money and you decide you want Uesaka plates, you absolutely will not be disappointed.
If you’re trying to build out your garage gym on a budget then the Uesaka Pro Series Bumper Plates are probably not going to be your choice. Nor really should they be.
However, if you’re looking for the best plates money can buy and you want to try to get those plates at a bit of a discount, buy these plates and don’t look back. Sure, you don’t get the signature red, blue and green colors, but who cares?
These bumper plates were one of the very first purchases I made for my garage gym and along with my Uesaka bar, are still my favorite.
That’s it. Hope you found this article helpful. If you did and you know someone else this may be helpful to, consider sharing it with them.