When I first got started setting up my garage gym, I didn’t include bumper plate storage in my budget. Matter of fact, it never even occurred to me when I was planning. I was just excited to get my power rack, plates, and the rest of my gear. Needless to say, it didn’t take very long before I was ready to get all my plates off the ground.
As with most fitness equipment, you have many choices. The nice thing about plate storage is that you have not only many products available, but you have the DIY option as well. I’ll show you a couple options from both categories and let you decide which you prefer. Both are fairly inexpensive when compared to actual equipment costs, but going DIY is obviously the cheapest route; assuming you’re handy and you have the time for a project.
DIY Bumper Plate Storage Option #1 – Weight Tree
I found a guide for this weight tree at girlwalksintoabarbell.com. Assuming you have a few basic power tools, the cost to make this is pretty low. It’s only requires a couple 2×4’s and wood dowels; and wood screws. It looks pretty sturdy to me, although you will get less bumper plates on this than you will the iron plates that are shown. Though I guess that’s true with any form of plate storage.
In any case, I think this is a pretty nice looking weight tree. It looks like they put a coat of wood stain on theirs. You could do something similar to make it blend well with your garage decor (for those of you that care).
DIY Bumper Plate Storage #2 – Storage Box
This second option doesn’t even require instructions. All you need to be able to do is make measurements and buy the appropriate amount of 2×4’s and wood screws. It looks pretty nice, makes all the weights easy to get to without having to remove other plates to get to them (like on a weight tree), and can be painted or stained to match your equipment. The best part is that you can make this for very little money; free if you have 2×4’s from a previous project sitting around.
DIY Bumper Plate Storage #3 – Wood Shelves
Again, not much to explain. This shelf is made entirely with 2×4’s and wood screws. It’s just a matter of deciding how big you want the shelf to be and how many tiers you prefer. I personally wouldn’t go for more than 2 shelves with wood as I think you’re asking for stability issues going for a third tier.
One thing to consider when making a shelf like this is to not make it any bigger than it has to be. It doesn’t need to be large enough to hold 1000 pounds of bumpers if you only have 260 pounds of bumpers. Sure, make it big enough for any expected additions in plates, but be reasonable.
Just Buy It Option #1 – Rogue Vertical Weight Tree
I own this weight tree and I love it. It has a small footprint, holds plenty of plates, is very sturdy, and even has optional wheels. So if you don’t feel like making your own weight tree out of wood, you can pick this up for $175 at Rogue. While definitely more expensive than DIY, it’s a couple clicks and you’re done; storage problem solved. I certainly don’t regret buying mine.
Just Buy It Option #2 – Horizontal Plate Rack
A store-bought alternative to the DIY box above, this horizontal weight rack from Rogue accomplishes the same thing. These racks are what you typically see at weightlifting events on either side of the lifting platform. The weights sit upright and are easy to get to, and the rack has wheels and a handle so it can easily be moved around the gym.
This rack is available in a bumper plate and steel plate version. All that means is that the dividing metal bars are set at distances for one kind of plate or another since there are such large differences in plate width. Again, more expensive than making your own, but not everyone has the time for DIY projects. This rack is $155 for the bumper plate version and $195 for the steel plate version.
Just Buy It Option #3 – Serious Storage Shelf
If you want to handle storage for more than your bumpers with a single purchase, maybe this shelf is for you. Each shelf can be made for dumbbells, kettlebells, bumper plates, and medicine balls; you choose them when you buy the shelf. Each shelf can hold over 600 pounds of bumper plates so if you have a ton of bumpers you’ll be set.
The shelf in the picture is 2-tier. There is also a 3-tier available. Prices for the shelf start at $299 before accessories (such as the pegs for even more plate storage, and wheels.) It’s expensive, and not for everyone. Something similar could be made for a lot less money if you are handy and have the time.
Other Bumper Plate Storage Solutions
Hopefully one of these ideas work for you. If not, there is no shortage of products out there for storing bumper plates, and no shortage of possibilities for DIY storage solutions. Get creative with it, it’s your gym afterall.