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Neil Kanterman 01-01-2012 10:18 AM

Garage Gym! Advice sought..
While I belong to a local box that I love, I have put together a nice little space primarily for lifting. I definitely want to be able to drill olympic lifts there. I picked up an awesome power rack on craiglist, and right now it's on 4 4x6 stall mats. The garage is graded towards the front and barbells on the ground tend to roll making it a pain.

1. If I keep the stall mats, what have you all done to deal with the grading in your garages? I'm not much of a contractor, but I imagine some sand leveled out would work for under the stall mats.

2. I am considering building an 8x8 lifting platform for in front of the rack. If I do that, how have any of you leveled the platform to deal with the grading?

3. My garage has an electric opener overhead unfortunately right in the area that I would want the platform to be. How tall is the standard homemade platform? I don't think the barbell after a jerk is going to be high enough to hit the opener, but I'd like to be sure before building it.

edit: Just measured and the bottom of the garage opener is 7'3" from the floor. I'm 5'9" My forearm is 12" long, so it seems I would have about 6" of room above the barbell while standing on the floor with the bar over head with my feet on the floor.

Nalin Prabhu 01-01-2012 10:27 AM

Re: Garage Gym! Advice sought..

That's what I did. 1 3/4" thick overall.

2 layers of 1/2" OSB finished with a layer of 3/4" plywood flanked by the 3/4" stall mat.

WFS link.. hopefully you can see it since it's off facebook.

Neil Kanterman 01-01-2012 10:32 AM

Re: Garage Gym! Advice sought..
I see the picture and it looks great. How did you level it?

Nalin Prabhu 01-01-2012 10:38 AM

Re: Garage Gym! Advice sought..
Either I go lucky or my garage is pretty level.
Plus the platform is facing a side wall, so if there was any grade to the garage, it's across the width of the platform and the weights don't roll.

Keith Miller 01-01-2012 12:28 PM

Re: Garage Gym! Advice sought..
Couple of ways to go on this. I didn't do anything to level my platform, but mine was turned sideways from the grading. On squats it would feel like one leg was shorter than the other, but I just dealt with it. If it rolls, you can just put a lip on the edge of the platform to keep the bar from rolling off it, most people keep hold of the barbell while setting up for a lift.

The main way I've seen people level their platform is to use thin plywood, like 1/8" and cut a few pieces at different lengths to even out the grading. To me, this seems like too much work, but that's just me.

Michael Kelley 01-02-2012 01:51 PM

Re: Garage Gym! Advice sought..
My weights like to roll towards the base of the platform for the same reason. My trick is to place a couple of bumpers I'm not using in the path of the weights, which seems to work out fine.

Thom Wendelboe 01-02-2012 03:54 PM

Re: Garage Gym! Advice sought..
I put a bunch of cardboard under my platform until the plates stopped. I would just lift the platform up and my partner would arrange some cardboard. We would put a 45lb plate on the platform and see where we needed to add more. Seems to have worked so far.

Lincoln Brigham 01-02-2012 11:03 PM

Re: Garage Gym! Advice sought..
I used a bunch of cardboard to level my platform. Typical garages will have about 1" or 1.5" of slope for an 8' platform.

Essentially what you need is cardboard in the following dimensions:
etc. until you've built up a base that slopes from zero to 1" or so in the front. On top of that put layer of 8' x 8' plywood. Then put your platform on that.

Neil Kanterman 01-03-2012 09:14 AM

Re: Garage Gym! Advice sought..
I wouldn't think it would be stable with all the loose cardboard under there.

Brad Petri 01-03-2012 01:54 PM

Re: Garage Gym! Advice sought..
I used several layers of cardboard under my platform to level it. I've been using it for about 6 months, its compressed a little but its done well so far and is solid.

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