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Weightlifting "bumper" plates made from Nike Grind

Photo of Covington
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Jazelyn is a personal trainer in San Diego who has found functional weight-training to help many of her clients. But it’s not so easy to convince her new clients to use weights.


Because many men and women new to the sport are afraid of weight-training.

When she introduces them to weight training, they eventually fall in love with it, but she’s found a new problem. 

Gyms are full of thick black plates that typically weigh too much for someone new to the sport. And the only other option is to lift small plates that make a newbie appear weak. And no one likes to look weak.

When we spoke to Jazelyn about the concept behind Grind Plates, her eyes lit up: “Wait..” she said.

“Will these plates be multi-colored like the wetsuit companies that turn old wetsuits into yoga mats? I’d love that!” she asked.

“Yes!” we replied with enthusiasm. 

She pushed us deeper, “Could you make the 10lb plates bigger? Thicker? It would be great if they were the same size as a 45lb plate, but actually be only like 10lbs or 25lbs. Can you do that?”

“We think so!” we responded. 

“Cool. I’m in. Let me know when I can get them,” she said.  

From there, our concept came to life! 

We reached out to our friends at Rogue Fitness and they too responded with enthusiasm. 

We realized... we aren’t just creating the same old bumper plates used in the gyms currently. We are introducing a whole new market to the sport. 


Grind Plates are rubber bumper plates created from Nike Grind materials and used for functional strength training movements that allow one to safely control the weight: e.g. when lowering overhead lifts, deadlifts, etc. 

In the current market (e.g. Crossfit), rubber bumper plates are typically made from vulcanized rubber, typically from old tires.

Grind Plates would replace the old tires with Nike Grind material. And if we’re going to be totally honest, the idea of Grind Plates by Nike is way sexier than old tires.

Jazelyn's interview

Gordon Dash's interview

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Outsoles
  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

The rubber materials would be compressed at high heat around a 2" stainless steel insert into the shape of bumper plate. The process would similar to the process Rogue currently uses to produce its current bumper plates.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Beginner athletes—most likely female—who are just starting to get into Olympic weightlifting and desire a safe way to learn and develop confidence in the sport.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

How do you envision the idea being introduced to your selected marketplaces? We’ll partner with female fitness influencers and provide them with the product for testing. We’ll also provide first-access to select gyms to get feedback from their members. What obstacles do you foresee and how might they be overcome? Quality of Production: We need to meet the standards already established by Rogue Fitness: design, feel, etc. These would be developed through direct partnership with Rogue Fitness. Lasting Durability: We will test the durability and longevity of the product by stress testing them in high-volume gyms (i.e. Mesa Rim in San Diego) and ask users to use the equipment with perhaps a higher level of thrashing than normal.

How is your idea innovative?

1. Significant amounts of Nike Grind used is achieved via high density vs. surface area. 2. Desirability may be achieved by framing a utilitarian piece of equipment as a fashion piece. 3. From our user interviews, we found that defining characteristics of Nike Grind were actually viewed as strengths instead of shortcomings (e.g. people want lighter weights to be bigger, women care what their weights look like, and people care about the brand of a weight)

What inspired this idea?

One of us saw a pile of weights on the floor during a workout and asked, “Could we make weights using Nike Grind?”

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

Our team met through Seth Godin’s altMBA and share a passion for design thinking. Covington is a coffee shop owner and altMBA coach. Tammy is an engineer, scrum master, CrossFitter, and Olympic weightlifter. Mark is a marketing consultant.

In what city are you located?

Dallas San Diego Columbus

In what country are you located?


Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

Becoming a Top Idea will give us the validation to create our next prototype with Rogue Fitness and begin testing and getting feedback from gyms, athletes, and fitness influencers on the concept's viability, feasibility, and desirability.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kimberley Mendoza

Certainly an innovative idea using old Nike scraps for bumper plates!! Would be hard as there are a lot of competitors, however what differentiates this product is that we are recycling old products and helping the environment!

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