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Old 08-23-2005, 08:55 AM   #1
Lee Graves
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Location: Powhatan  VA
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Hey guys...first post and I need your expertise...

It is time to put some money into my home gym...I am going to purchase a set of bumper plates and I would like to know your thoughts on having just an O-Lift Platform vs. putting down horse stall mats for my workout area...

Here are my thoughts for my concrete floor garage:

O-Lift Platform to put in front of my power rack
- $175 for 6x8 platform
- four 4x8 CDX (two cut to 4x6 and 2 cut to 3x8)
- one 4x8 AB (cut to 4x6)
- one 4x6 stall mat (cut into two 2x6 pieces)


Horse Stall Mats to cover corner of my garage for power rack and O-lifts
- $160 for 12x8 corner area of my garage
- four horse stall mats

Any suggestions would be appreciated...thanks

Here is a picture of what I am working with:
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Old 08-23-2005, 11:44 AM   #2
Kenneth Urakawa
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I would guess that you won't see much difference between a full-on platform and a mat or two. We have both here. The platform protects the floor and deadens the impact, obviously, but the mats seem to work just as well, especially with concrete floors.

I suppose you could make the argument that standing on a hard wooden surface will transfer force better than a rubber mat, but I'm certainly not skilled enough to notice the difference. There may also be issues as far as protecting your equipment, but I don't know.

Some of you Oly-types out there may have more insight into the differences, but I'd say for the average user with a concrete floor you could go either way.
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Old 08-23-2005, 11:51 AM   #3
Mark Roughton
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I'd go with the platform. You want a fairly solid, even surface under you for the o-lifts. The mats will compress a little beneath your feet, which will dissipate some of your power transfer. Rubber mats also tend to be "grabby," by which I mean, your feet tend to stick to the first place they make contact, instead of where you originally intended them to land. (Big difference, esp. on heavy split jerks, where if you're really good your feet just sort of glide along the surface until you're in that sweet spot where your arms are locked out. Or so I've heard. Mine are more like SpongeBob, you know, "get down on the deck and flop like a fish.") You don't really want a hard, slippery surface like concrete, but you don't want your lifting surface to be overly sticky, either. Plywood is the best option.

Disclaimer: That's all "in an ideal world" talk. Parking lots, backyards, decks, swimming pools, etc, are all great places for doing olympic lifts. Do them anywhere you can, as often as you can, with whatever equipment you have.
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Old 08-23-2005, 12:37 PM   #4
Eugene R. Allen
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Lee - how many square feet do you have to work with? I have one area that I use for KB and D-Ball and most free standing work that is covered with 9 stall mats. When we toss kettlebells around over there it doesn't really matter where they land. Doing KB work on or near a platform would threaten the wooden surface were you to drop one on it. I have an 8 x 6 platform just as you described that I use exclusively for O-lifts but I have room enough for both. Mark has an excellent point about the stickiness of the surface but I have yet to attain enough O-lift skill to do much more than stomp my feet during the jump and call it good. I do like the feel of the platform better for such lifting but were I to have room for only one surface, I would go with the stall mats as they good for just about anything besides naps.

Josh Everett did a 340 lb clean and jerk PR on stall mats at CFHQ while about 60 certification seminar attendees looked on with mouths agape. The surface didn't seem to hold him back.
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Old 08-23-2005, 12:47 PM   #5
Lee Graves
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It is a 20x20 garage...

I want to make the most out of the space that I will be using...getting the best equipment and functionality that I can afford...even if it is 24 square feet at a time...LOL
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:14 PM   #6
Lincoln Brigham
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Here's a MAJOR point to consider: CDX plywood is much cheaper per square foot than stall mats. One 4x8 sheet of CDX goes for $16-$20, one 4x6 stall mat goes for $50. So whether your platform is one, two, or three layers thick, using CDX for some of it will lower your costs.

For a starter or basic 6x8 Oly platform, you only need THREE pieces of plywood. Two for the first layer, one for the 4x6 center section. Two 2x6 sections of stall mat will make up the outside of the top layer. Even cheaper yet is to use particle board for the bottom layer.

Total cost of a two-layer platform should be as low as $90.
3/4" Particle Board - two @ $10
3/4" CDX - one @ $18-$20
34" stall mat - one @ $50
plus some drywall screws.

Now, if you make it a 3-layer platform and use all CDX for the bottom two layers and maple plywood for the top center section - THEN you're closer to $175-$200. This is what I have.

I'd go with the two-layer $90 platform to start and upgrade to three-layer later on.
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:32 PM   #7
Lee Graves
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Thank you gentlemen for your great advice
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