Hail to the Dinosaurs!
Several readers have asked about my
lifting platform and how I built it.
So let's cover that in today's post.
Lifting platforms are a great addition
to your home gym -- and they're pretty
much a MUST if you plan to do serious
Olympic lifting. But the good news is,
they're inexpensive and easy to build.
The dimensions are 8 ft. x 8 ft.
I began by laying two 4 ft. x 8 ft.
sheets of 3/4 inch rubber gym mats
on the floor of the garage. That
gave me an 8 ft. x 8 ft. area covered
with heavy duty rubber mats. That may
not have been necessary, and some
people don't do it, but I figured
it would be good insurance to help
prevent cracking the floor.
Next, I placed two 4 ft. x 8 ft. sheets
of 3/4" plywood on top of the rubber
matting, lying them next to each other
so they fit the 8 ft. x 8 ft. area.
Then I laid two more sheets of plywood
on top of the first two sheets.
The bottom sheets of plywood run east
and west. The top sheets run north
and south. I face north when I lift,
so the seam between the two top sheets
of plywood is between my feet. If the
top sheets ran east and west, my feet
would be on top of or close to the seam,
and sooner or later I'd catch my shoe
in it -- which is not good if you're
doing a squat clean or a squat
After laying the plywood in position, I
screwed the top sheets to the bottom
sheets. Some people prefer to glue them
together. That would probably work fine.
Of course, I made sure all the screws
were drilled deep, with the heads level
with or slightly below the surface of the
wood, and I didn't use any where my feet
would be going. Again, the last thing you
want is to catch your foot on something
while you're lifting.
That gave me a platform that was 2.25
inches thick -- 3/4 of an inch of hard
rubber topped by 1.5 inches of plywood.
To finish it off, I laid two long strips
of 3/4 inch rubber gym matting on each
of the platform, where the plates of the
bar go. The strips are 8 ft. long and 2
feet wide. That leaves me a lifting area
that's 4 feet x 8 feet.
And that's how I did it. The whole thing
cost less than a hundred clams.
I made the platform about ten years ago,
and it's had plenty of hard use over the
years, but it's held up just fine. Of
course, Trudi and I are the only ones
who use it, and we're both good about
NOT dropping the weight to often. Actually,
she's better at it than I am. She NEVER
drops the bar -- but I do sometimes, like
if I miss a heavy lift. But those are rare,
and that's probably helped the platform hold
Still, if the platform were to need repairs
or replacement, it wouldn't take much in
time, clams or carpentry to get it fixed.
And I have to say this -- that 8 ft. x 8 ft.
platform is a GREAT place to train. In fact,
it's one of my favorite places in the
As always, thanks for reading and have a
great day. If you train today, make it a
Yours in strength,
P.S. I have more tips for home gym training
in Strength, Muscle and Power -- and plenty
of great home gym workouts in all of my books,
including Chalk and Sweat:
P.S. 2. My other books and courses are right
P.S. 3. Thought for the day: "The place where
you stand and hold a barbell is one of the most
important places in the world." -- Brooks Kubik