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Old 08-23-2009, 06:18 PM   #1
Michael Leach
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Thinking about breaking down my platform.. when does the plywood become necessary?

so a couple years ago I built your typical home-made 8'x8' lifting platform with 2 layers of 3/4" plywood and topped with a sheet of 3/4" hardwood plywood and 2' of 3/4" rubber on each side. shortly there after i got a power cage and added another 4' onto the end of the platform for the cage to sit on making the platform 8' x 12'.

and for the past couple years i've stepped on and off and on and off (and on and off and so on...) this platform every time i walk through the garage, switch to different exercises (like pullups, box jumps, etc.), etc, etc.

lately i've been thinking about stripping the platform down to just the top layer of hardwood plywood and the 2' rubber strips and then adding several stall mats around this lifting area to make a nice even area for working out. the other option would be to build up the entire area around the platform using 2 layers of plywood but that would increase the cost significantly. i've made some sketches and I can increase the size from 8'x12' to 16'x16' with 7 additional 4x6 stall mats. to build up all of that would take another 12 sheets of 4x8 plywood. i'm also just kind of annoyed with the height difference of the concrete floor vs the platform and have a feeling i'm gonna twist my ankle or trip over or somehow hurt myself one of these days when i'm about to meet Pukie and keep pushing onward during a WOD.

so my question, when are the 2 layers of plywood really necessary in a lifting platform? i'm a small guy, 5'4" and 135#, my PR for DL is 245#, PR for press is 130# and could probably OHS the same weight; I haven't practiced oly lifts all that much and when I do the weights are pretty low... Say I get my OHS up to 200# and drop my bumpers onto just the 3/4" thick rubber mats - is it really going to be an issue? Or say I drop a 300# DL from full extension... I mean, is the plywood really necessary for a little (weak) guy like me?

thanks!
-mike
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:29 PM   #2
Matt Thomas
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Re: Thinking about breaking down my platform.. when does the plywood become necessary

Don't know what other people's experiences have been, but I can tell you mine.

Have dropped 250 from shoulders (bumper plates).
Dropped (but guided) 230 from overhead (bumper plates).
Bailed on a bunch of OHSs and Snatches at around 200 (bumpers).
Bailed on a back squat in the low-mid 300s once (bumpers/steel)
You could say I "lowered" 410 from full extension on a deadlift because my hands were still on it, but there wasn't much lowering going on. (half bumper, half steel)
I've also dropped a 220 and 240 pound atlas stone from about waist high and mid thigh high.

Some of this stuff I don't do regularly and probably wouldn't suggest it. For example if I planned to continually drop atlas stones I'd probably get more rubber, but then some of it I do quite often. So far I haven't had any problems with concrete or equipment. Hopefully my luck will hold out.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:52 AM   #3
Michael Leach
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Re: Thinking about breaking down my platform.. when does the plywood become necessary

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Originally Posted by Matt Thomas View Post
Don't know what other people's experiences have been, but I can tell you mine.

Have dropped 250 from shoulders (bumper plates).
Dropped (but guided) 230 from overhead (bumper plates).
Bailed on a bunch of OHSs and Snatches at around 200 (bumpers).
Bailed on a back squat in the low-mid 300s once (bumpers/steel)
You could say I "lowered" 410 from full extension on a deadlift because my hands were still on it, but there wasn't much lowering going on. (half bumper, half steel)
I've also dropped a 220 and 240 pound atlas stone from about waist high and mid thigh high.

Some of this stuff I don't do regularly and probably wouldn't suggest it. For example if I planned to continually drop atlas stones I'd probably get more rubber, but then some of it I do quite often. So far I haven't had any problems with concrete or equipment. Hopefully my luck will hold out.
Are you dropping this stuff on 3 layer lifting platform? or just onto stall mats?
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:37 AM   #4
Matt Thomas
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Re: Thinking about breaking down my platform.. when does the plywood become necessary

Just the stall mats.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:51 AM   #5
Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
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Re: Thinking about breaking down my platform.. when does the plywood become necessary

I mean, if you think about it, most affiliates have just a concrete floor with stall mats on top. People drop stuff all the time in those places.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:54 AM   #6
Michael Leach
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Re: Thinking about breaking down my platform.. when does the plywood become necessary

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I mean, if you think about it, most affiliates have just a concrete floor with stall mats on top. People drop stuff all the time in those places.
thats what i was wondering about. i've seen quite a few pictures of setups like that; stall mats are pretty much edge to edge across the entire floor with a few 4x6 or 4x8 sheets of plywood popped in here and there for their oly lifting areas.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:19 PM   #7
Scott Stevens
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Re: Thinking about breaking down my platform.. when does the plywood become necessary

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Originally Posted by Michael Leach View Post
thats what i was wondering about. i've seen quite a few pictures of setups like that; stall mats are pretty much edge to edge across the entire floor with a few 4x6 or 4x8 sheets of plywood popped in here and there for their oly lifting areas.
That's what my affiliate has.

I don't see what the hazard is in dropping bumpers on concrete?
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:04 AM   #8
David Sailor
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Re: Thinking about breaking down my platform.. when does the plywood become necessary

Hi Michael,

I have a home gym, too. It's a single layer of stall mats over the entire area with a cage in one spot. After several years of many drops there is neither damage to the plates nor the floor. I have absolutely no worries about this setup. I have considered substituting a 3/4" piece of plywood for the floor area of the cage and extending out several feet but doing the lifts on rubber is just fine for me. David
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:36 AM   #9
Michael Leach
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Re: Thinking about breaking down my platform.. when does the plywood become necessary

thanks for all the info guys. i'm actually having the garage screened in this morning and i'm still working on finding someone who's willing to make a few bucks delivering 7 or 8 more stall mats
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:33 AM   #10
Michael Leach
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Re: Thinking about breaking down my platform.. when does the plywood become necessary

hmm... So I was getting prices on stall mats and EVA foam tiles from TheRubberMan and now I'm wondering if I should do an area of EVA Foam tiles for stretching/lunges/etc, OR just do the whole floor in stall mats....???

any input?
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