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carious

Guest
I've been wanting to build a lifting platform for a while and have decided to clear out the garage and go ahead with it.

It's going to be a 2.4x2.4m platform with plywood base, another 15mm plywood board in the middle and 2x 2400x600 rubber mats either side - the only issue I have with going ahead and building it is the lack of 15mm+ rubber that comes in rolls to cut down to size.
Everywhere I've looked people recommend horse stall mats which I've found plenty of online here in Australia but they all have texture/grooves on top of the mats which would make it incredibly annoying to use barbells on. The only alternative I can see is using gym tiles but they only come in 1x1m tiles which would mean cutting 1/2 of it off and when they're $35+ it seems like a bit of a waste..

Does anyone know of any rubber rolls/mats that have a smooth finish, would be strong/shock absorbent enough and are preferably located in Brisbane?
Thanks!
 

White_Lie

Look at Moi, I'm a Kunce
Just buy a complete setup?
From the forum sponsor, a touch over a grand with the Aussbb discount...then it's fully framed and won't move. 3mx2m and a lot thicker than you're planning on building too.

https://www.flexequipment.com.au/armortech-v2-olympic-lifting-platform

No idea what shipping would be like.

Or cheaper wood, 3.1x2.1m and slightly thinner setup, $850..

http://www.aussiefitness.com.au/p/weightlifting-platform/3250

Otherwise, why are you making it 2.4 x 2.4? Are you limited in size/space? A row of the 1x1m mats on the side would work out a lot better if you can fit it in. I wouldn't bother with the plywood base, just wood in the centre and frame it if possible to keep it all together.

I'd go thinner than 1.2m for the centre wood too. A standard barbell is 137cm to where the plate will sit. You'll only have less than 10cm either side of the middle going with a 1.2m wide insert. Doesn't leave much room for error when lowering a heavy deadlift... I get it's a standard size so makes it easier but it's not difficult to get it cut down.
 
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carious

Guest
I was mainly doing it DIY to save money, would be less than half the price of a store bought platform. If I had 2x 15mm layers of plywood underneath then the 15mm plywood + rubber mats ontop it would be the same depth as the armortech olympic lifting platform.
The reason for doing 2.4x2.4m was space wise and yeah good point about 1.2m being fairly thick for the center piece of ply, I'll make that a bit narrower - 1m should be fine with plenty room for dropping the weight when deadlifting.

The only problem is finding good horse stall mats or I do what you suggested and just have a piece of ply on the floor and lay 1m gym tiles alongside it.
 
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carious

Guest
I'd just get a piece of this (or similar)


Get them to cut it down to 2000x1000x15, then just put 2 1x1m mats on each side. Will give you a 3x2m work area. Sand and varnish... probably only cost you a couple of hundred bucks to make?
I'd prefer to frame it to keep it all from moving. Don't want the ply to slide forwards/backwards when you're on it.

Yeah doing that and framing it would be a good cheap alternative, the intention of having the base for the platform was so the top piece of ply and rubber matting could be screwed into it to stop it from moving. How do you go about using a squat rack/cage on a platform like that, do you think bolting it to the wood would be enough?
 

White_Lie

Look at Moi, I'm a Kunce
Depends on the design and how heavy the rack is. If it's got pegs to store plates on it, it might not even need that. If it was lighter, I'd bolt it in to the garage concrete
 

WoodyAllen

Well-known member
With two layers, just bolt it to the plywood, through both layers. I use a squat/bench combo rack and I have not had movement issues (yet). If it does start to wander, I'll just put two screws through the base into the triple layer floor and it wont move anywhere.

You won't need a frame if you screw the plywood together. Don't use glue, you won't be able to pull it apart and move it when you win the lottery. You are going to screw it together anyway, so why spend more money.

Red Barn sell the smooth sided mats (http://www.jdcflooring.com.au/equine-horse-stall-mats.html). One other factor is that the ribbed mats (yes, they are annoying) are often smooth on one side, so just use them turned over.

My deadlift area is 116cm wide. Collars on a proper barbell are 1.31m apart, which sounds a bit tight but when deadlifting you don't get much lateral shift. If you are doing olympic lifts, they tend to fly about a bit, but you are usually using bumpers for that so hitting the timber is not a problem.

I levelled my garage floor so for 2/3 of the floor area I have a layer of plywood as a base on the levelling wedges then a layer of 10mm then 20mm plywood.

In a commercial gym, the platform sits alone on the floor and may wander a bit. But mine sits of a floor wedged in on three sides by the garage walls and all screwed together, so it's one huge unit. It ain't going nowhere. A power rack screwed into two layers of plywood ain't goin' nowhere, so no need to drill into concrete. If your rack was on the concrete and the platform placed around it, that may require anchoring, but why do that. Just screw it into the plywood and it won't move.
 

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carious

Guest
With two layers, just bolt it to the plywood, through both layers. I use a squat/bench combo rack and I have not had movement issues (yet). If it does start to wander, I'll just put two screws through the base into the triple layer floor and it wont move anywhere.

You won't need a frame if you screw the plywood together. Don't use glue, you won't be able to pull it apart and move it when you win the lottery. You are going to screw it together anyway, so why spend more money.

Red Barn sell the smooth sided mats. One other factor is that the ribbed mats (yes, they are annoying) are often smooth on one side, so just use them turned over.

My deadlift area is 116cm wide. Collars on a proper barbell are 1.31m apart, which sounds a bit tight but when deadlifting you don't get much lateral shift. If you are doing olympic lifts, they tend to fly about a bit, but you are usually using bumpers for that so hitting the timber is not a problem.

I levelled my garage floor so for 2/3 of the floor area I have a layer of plywood as a base on the levelling wedges then a layer of 10mm then 20mm plywood.

In a commercial gym, the platform sits alone on the floor and may wander a bit. But mine sits of a floor wedged in on three sides by the garage walls and all screwed together, so it's one huge unit. It ain't going nowhere. A power rack screwed into two layers of plywood ain't goin' nowhere, so no need to drill into concrete. If your rack was on the concrete and the platform placed around it, that may require anchoring, but why do that. Just screw it into the plywood and it won't move.

That mat that you linked from Red Barn is absolutely perfect and thank you for all the info, I'll just go ahead and screw the rack into the platform and save drilling holes into concrete.
 
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carious

Guest
I was looking at racks to use with the platform and the majority seem to be 49" (1245mm) wide. Which would mean that even if I went with the original 1200mm for the top piece of plywood, I would have to screw it into the rubber mats. Would I be better off going for a design similar to WoodyAllen's where the back 1/2 of the platform is completely plywood? With such a small area of rubber how do you find it works if you ever do anything like cleans?
 

WoodyAllen

Well-known member
I do almost no olympic lifts. I just play around now and then with them to keep my shoulders happy. So my design is for powerlifting only. The competition oly platforms are all wood.
 

White_Lie

Look at Moi, I'm a Kunce
If you're doing Oly lifts, I'd stick to 1000mm wide on the platform.
You can get 900mm racks but they're generally lighter gauge (not that I think the average user would break one at home).

But weren't you planning on a plywood base and then build up on that? So even with a wider rack, it will go thru the rubber but in to the ply base under the matting. Sounds complicated to get it all together though, hence why I would just bolt it to the concrete...
 
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