Lifting weights is noisy.
The heavier the weights and the higher you lift them the more likely you are to have to drop them on the floor.
If you do this it will make a lot of noise, even if you are using quiet bumper plates and a lifting platform.
Weightlifting drop pads provide a brilliant solution which allows you to drop your weights making minimal noise and without causing damage to your barbell or dumbbells.
In a rush? Check out the best weightlifting drop pads below:
Weightlifting drop pads are commonly used in Olympic weightlifting training where movements including the snatch and clean are performed.
This is because the bar will routinely be dropped from overhead, using a drop pad breaks the fall of the barbell, keeping your equipment undamaged and minimising noise.
Even if you have no interest in Olympic weightlifting drop pads can be a great help for anyone who is lifting any kind of weights, whether you’re deadlifting, overhead pressing, squatting or throwing a heavy slam ball around.
Having a pair of drop pads gives you the confidence that you can drop the weight safely and quietly if you need to.
Weightlifting drop pads are a great addition to any gym however they are particularly popular with people who train in their garage, this is because vibrations very easily travel through your garage floor into your house disturbing or waking up whoever you share your home with.
Over time the repeated impact from weights being dropped can also cause cracks and structural damage to your home so drop pads are a necessity for any home gym where lifting weights overhead occurs.
Note: While it may be tempting to swap a drop pad for a big chunk of foam or a heap of blankets - don’t.
These D.I.Y alternatives are nowhere near as dense as drop pads, they have far less impact and can be very dangerous if the bar rolls off and into your shins.
Many gyms use crop pads too, you will most commonly find them in strongman gyms (where lots of overhead pressing occurs), you may also find them in Crossfit and powerlifting gyms too.
If your gym is not a ground floor gym then pads are essential for gym noise reduction, as whoever lives or works underneath you will not be very happy with the earthquake-like vibrations caused by every dropped weight!
As a Crossfit and powerlifting enthusiast, I’ve seen and used a few good (and bad) drop pads over the years so I know what it required to make a decent one.
Full transparency; I haven’t used all of the pads listed below however my experience in using drop pads has given me enough knowledge to work out which actually are the best.
Titan are a big brand in the world of weightlifting.
Their drop pads consists of 6 inches (roughly) of high-density foam covered in vinyl, it has a carry hand for easy transportation around the gym.
It is significantly cheaper than some of the premium pad suppliers such as Rogue or Pound Pad. You can see the difference it makes when dropping a 225lb weight from shoulder height in the video below:
The difference in noise when not using the pads vs when using them is significant, however (particularly when using metal plates) there is still a good amount of noise when they are dropped.
To further reduce noise we recommend that you invest in two pairs of pads so that you have double the cushioning.
These are a great budget option with a high weight capacity (400kg!) that should last a long time.
Measuring 9" (23cm) x 24" (61cm) x 30" (76cm) these are slightly bigger than the Titan pads, weighing 1.8kg each.
They are covered with non-slip PVC and are equipped with handles for easy transportation, they also feature velcro attachments so you can stick one on top of the other if you need to double them up for extra padding.
This product is strictly speaking not a classic drop pad as it is not designed to drop weights from shoulder height or above. It is instead designed specifically to reduce deadlift noise and help improve your technique.
Modelled by Eddie Hall who famously deadlifted a world record 500kg in 2016, the deadlift deadener is available in a couple of different sizes depending on how much you plan on lifting:
If you aren't into Olympic lifting but want a way of quietening your deadlifts then these are a great choice.
The 'Yes4All' weightlifting pad is just under 6 inches thick (5.7" - 14.5cm) and covers an area of 23.5" (60cm) x 29.7" (75.5cm).
It is covered with a PVC leather shell which is held together with extra high-density stitching which will survive a lot of weight being dropped on it.
It also features carrying handles and an all-important breathable zip which means that the pad can 'breath' every time weight is dropped on it, this helps prevents the leather shell from splitting.