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View Full Version : Detard's How to on Building an Olympic Platform



Detard
04-12-2007, 07:57 PM
So you've seen them in all the college gyms, commercial gyms, in the Olympics and various other weightlifting venues. You've always wanted one for your home gym but have no idea of how to get one. Instead of spending $500+ from either online or at a local store, why not build your own. What exactly IS an Olympic lifting platform? It is a platform usually 8'x8'x3'' used for Cleans, Snatches, Clean + Jerk, Overhead Squats, Deadlifts, and all variations of these lifts. Having a good lifting platform in your home gym can be beneficial for maintaining your home (floors) and making sure your parents/spouse doesn't kill you for making a ton of noise when you drop that 200lb Clean+Jerk from above your head. A good platform can also aid in the longevity of your plates and bars. In the following words i'll try to explain how you can go from this to this:
http://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1.jpghttp://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1 (29).jpg
for about $185. I got my original plan/dimensions from Ironmind but adapted it to suit my needs.

So as you can see, my platform is only 8'x4'x2.25'' due to space restrictions. (cmon, I still gotta get my rack and benches and stuff in here!) I'm going to split this up into steps so you guys don't have to read one huge paragraph. Here is a quick list of things you need before you get started.

-Power drill
-Wood Glue
-Contact Cement (500mL)
-1'' Wood Screws (about 200)
-Exacto Knife (if your young or inexperienced, get someone else to use this as to save your fingers)
-A Little Bit of Elbow Grease

1. Head over to your favourite fitness store and pickup one 6'x4' rubber mat (3/4'' thick recommended) which will later be cut into three 2'x4' sections (yeah, you'll have some extra material) and lug that sucker back to your car.

2. Take a trip down to a lumber yard and tell the guys that you need 3 sheets of 4'x8'x1/2'' plywood, and one 4'x4'x3/4'' (depending on what thickness rubber you got). You'll wanna grab some screws and a few other things if you don't have them. Check the list above to see if you got all the tools.

3. Start by laying 2 sheets of 4'x8' plywood on top of each-other and lining up the edges.
http://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1.jpg
Flip the top layer of plywood up so that it's standing on edge and load up the bottom piece with wood glue. Lay the wood that is standing on edge, back onto the bottom piece and line up the edges.

4. Kneel on the 2 layers while screwing the pieces together. Try not to stick the screws TOO far into the wood or you'll end up going into the floor below. (Remember, theres only two 1/2'' pieces so far which equals = 1'' for all you math geniuses.) I put the screws in the corners first
http://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1 (16).jpg
then I put 1 screw right in the middle of each edge (between the 2 corner screws) and kept splitting the screws until I had 5 per edge.
http://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1 (21).jpg

5. Repeat step 4 but with the third 4'x8'. At the end of this step you should have all three 4'x8's laying on top of each-other held together by wood glue and screws.
http://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1 (19).jpg

6. Measure 2 feet from each edge <---|--------|---> and mark it off. Load up the middle section (should be 4'x4') with wood glue and lay the 3/4'' plywood on top of the wood glue. (should look something like this)
http://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1 (6).jpg
Screw that 4'x4' piece on the OUTER edges only. DO NOT put screws on the inside edges because you want to have a level/clear surface all along.
http://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1 (2).jpg

7. Next you'll want to slice the rubber into 3 pieces (2 cuts). Measure 2 feet in from the outer edges and grab a straight edge to cut along. Make 2-3 deep cuts then fold the rubber under (it shouldn't be fully cut yet). The slice should be opening up which will allow for a neater cut and less strokes. Finish the cuts and then do the same for the other 4'x4' piece left.
http://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1 (9).jpg

8. The next part is the HARDEST of all. The thing with contact cement is that you need to apply it to BOTH the bottom of the rubber and the top of the wood where it will go. Let it dry for about 5 minutes then *TRY* to butt it up against the middle wood so it's flush. It took me about 8 tries to do it by myself. It definitely would be easier with 2 people.
http://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1 (4).jpg <<<<<< all the contact cement needed to hold the rubber in place.
Make sure you have a window or 2 open aswell because contact cement stanks. Also make sure you don't get it stuck to your fingers or your screwed... I know from experience.

9. I ended up putting a few screws in the corners of the rubber matting because I pulled up a bunch of the glue trying to place it properly. If you do it right then you probably wont need screws in the corners.

Here is the final product.

http://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1 (28).jpg
http://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1 (29).jpg
http://www.ihavelegs.com/images/olympic-platform/smalls/platform1 (30).jpg

There are two pieces left over, 2'x2' which i'm thinking about putting on the top of boxes for box squats and partials or something. What other uses could I use it for?

Sorry If it was a little unclear. Lemme know what you found confusing and i'll try to clarify it or reword it. Good luck!

Heres a link to all the pics. (http://www.ihavelegs.com/olympic-platform.html)

Mike G
04-12-2007, 08:08 PM
Very nice bro. Looks very solid and easy enough for most to do themselves.

Clifford Gillmore
04-13-2007, 03:26 AM
Looks sweet bro! I just covered my entire lifting area with 6mm rubber, I may build a platform for outside though :)

McVein
04-13-2007, 03:47 AM
nice Dan mate! But tell your dad he shouldnt be cutting towareds himself:bash:

manowar669
04-13-2007, 09:27 AM
Nice writeup.

Coke
04-13-2007, 10:19 AM
Nice job man, well illustrated!!

jamrock
04-13-2007, 12:28 PM
Would a thinner piece of rubber mat be good for UNDER the platform? This should really quiet it down..

Wonder how much of a beating that thing can take... Good work!

-Superman-
04-13-2007, 01:54 PM
Is this the same platform that will bounce the weights off when you drop them? If so, I don't see how that can be done if you just use wood, rubber, and cement. I thought you would need some springs or something. Maybe this is not the platform that can do this?

NateDogg
04-13-2007, 02:06 PM
Is this the same platform that will bounce the weights off when you drop them? If so, I don't see how that can be done if you just use wood, rubber, and cement. I thought you would need some springs or something. Maybe this is not the platform that can do this?


The bouncing is usually done with bumper plates which have a rubber coating.

Detard
04-13-2007, 02:18 PM
Is this the same platform that will bounce the weights off when you drop them? If so, I don't see how that can be done if you just use wood, rubber, and cement. I thought you would need some springs or something. Maybe this is not the platform that can do this?

It's not cement. It's called contact cement. It's a type of REALLY strong glue that you need to apply to both sides of the thing you wanna stick down. If I had bumper plates they would bounce off this. The wood is there to provide protection for the floor and to dampen the noise of dropping alot of weight.