If you own a CrossFit Box or garage gym, you own bumper plates. They're a necessity. Aren't they?
For decades, folks have been doing OLY lifts with steel plates. They catch the clean, and then lower the weight with a little 'clink!' instead of dropping the bar. If they miss, they miss...but they don't drop the bar. You can make a case for bumper plates being safer, but is that the real reason we use them?
Bumper plates save bars, too. That's why gym owners like them. But do your members really care about your bars? After all, you're a millionaire business owner...why can't you take the value of one monthly membership and just buy a new bar? Sarcasm, of course...but many of your members don't know the answer.
The best feature of bumper plates is that they give clients a reward: after 21 thrusters, they can drop the bar. It looks great, adds excitement, and allows your clients to act out a dramatic sport ideal. Volleyball players get to spike the ball; baseball players can throw the ball into the crowd. We get to bail out of snatches.
This is important, because this REWARD is a critical part of the habit-building process. While bumper plates aren't 100% necessary for CrossFit, they do provide an opportunity for a benefit that ONLY they can provide.
A minty, "clean" feeling in your mouth has nothing to do with how toothpaste works (it would work even without the mint extracts and foamers. Both are actually aggravating your gums; that's what gives you the 'cool' sensation.) However, after you've established a tooth-brushing habit as a child, you won't feel finished until you receive that 'reward' sensation of cool mint.
Before toothpaste was popular, PepsoDent went from a near-bankrupt also-ran to dominating over 90% of the tooth-cleaning market by focusing on the reward rather than the benefits. Heck, less than half of the population brushed their teeth at all before PepsoDent helped build the habit.
Shampoo and dishwashing soap are the same, chemically-speaking. The difference is the perfume, colour, and frothing agents. The suds are the reward. Some shampoos (mostly anti-dandruff) employ different skin irritants like mint to give you the 'scrubbed' feeling, and most of us don't feel clean until after we've rinsed away a good lathering.
Most dry dog food is extremely similar to cereal. Missing are the human-friendly flavourings (though some now add artificial flavours like meat and fish.) What's stopping humans from eating them? The bone shape, the brand name, the dog pictures. In one famous study on conditioning, a professor handed out a bowl full of snacks (from which he also ate) for the length of one lecture. Students ate them w ithout a hitch. Afterward, he revealed they were dog treats. Some students vomited. This is the same effect applied in the opposite direction: a cognitive 'penalty' instead of a reward.
For more on these, read this excerpt from The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
For this reason, I prefer coloured bumper plates. Black bumpers are great, and provide many fantastic 'reward' responses to help build habits in your members. Coloured plates make people feel like they're Pyrros Dimas.