There are all sorts of pieces of equipment to aid and protect those endeavoring to become Olympic weightlifters, from knee sleeves to wrist supports, from weight belts to lifting shoes, from lifting straps to chalk. But what about protecting the floor? That’s right, the same floor that helps you generate burst from your legs is the very surface that takes a battering each time you drop the barbell back where you found it.
Be kind to your floor and it will be kind to you. Now the first step is to ensure you have adequate protection on the floor to accommodate the plummeting bumper plates after a successful snatch or clean and jerk.
Cheap is NOT an option?
You must invest in the proper mat. Don’t skimp. Don’t go trying to buy gymnastic mats (too soft) or off-purpose mats (mats for horse stalls are not made for humans!). Improper mats can be hazardous to the floor and people using mats during a workout, and when you’re around incredibly heavy object being hoisted and dropped, you really don’t want to mess around with safety.
If you invest today in the proper product designed for the specific purpose then you will be happy down the line (Just like with luggage). But we’re not talking about luggage we’re talking about mats. So now that I’ve convinced you of the importance in opting for only properly rated Olympic-grade mats, what makes a truly good one?
What makes a Olympic Grade Mat?
First review this detail video of quality mat examples at Rogue:
Many mats feature a diamond plate or honeycomb design to lend tactility and stability for feet. Mats typically measure 4’ by 6’ and come in a range of thicknesses, often somewhere between a quarter-inch and three-quarters of an inch.
Other factors to consider will be:
- Whether the rubber seems durable
- How easy it cleans
- Will it need to be cut
- Is it of a sufficient density to handle the tremendous pressures resulting from full barbells being dropped from a standing height?
Because you may have numerous 25 kg (45lb) discs racked on the sleeves, the impact of that barbell on the floor is punishing and will require only the highest grade of thick rubber to protect the floor from the hefty bumper plates.
Recycled rubber is becoming popular across the market, and investing in a recycled product if often a good idea. This is true if for no other reason than just because you’re making an environmentally conscious choice in shopping for a giant piece of rubber, which is a heavily manufactured product that is not particularly healthy for the environment in the first place.
Purchasing a rubber floor mat made from recycled rubber is a wise choice, but only if the recycled rubber used is made from a high grade. Make sure that the mat is rated for weightlifting and not merely other activities that are less high-impact. The wear and tear on the mats over the life of its use requires an investment to be made in the highest quality materials available.
Using floor mats not only ensures the safety and quality of the floor itself, but it helps ensure the safety of all people using the gym. The tactile pattern on the mat will aid with grip and stability, and the mat will have the added benefit of deadening the sounds of dropped weights. At times, concentration can be of paramount importance.
Where can you grab some Quality Matting?
In our next post we analyze if Weightlifting Straps are a Must or a Hazard? Thanks for visiting Olympic Weight Set Review, if you liked this article please use our social buttons to give us the thumbs up.