In recent months, we have received a multitude of emails requesting a guide on how to build platforms: I have condensed our years of experience building platforms into a simple, how-to format anyone can reference and follow. Over the years, our ten platforms have been able to sustain the vigorous training schedule of over 50 in-house athletes. There are many ways to build platforms, but this is how we build ours:
Step 1: Gather Materials
Disclaimer: Due to Texas weather being 50 degrees one day and 105 degrees the next, we used a triple layer method which is not necessary, but highly suggested for longevity.
4 – 3/4 inch 4 feet x 8 feet plywood
1 3/4 inch 4 feet x 8 feet Sande Plywood (or Birch)
2 4 feet x 6 feet horse stall mats (Tractor Supply)
X-Acto Cutting Knife
1 Box Grip Rite 1-1/4 in Construction Screw
Compact Drill with appropriate bit
Step 2: Where Do I Build It?
Find a level and appropriate space. You need exactly 8×8 for your platform and I would suggest at LEAST 2 feet of space around each side of your platform for bouncing barbells, walking space, etc. You also want a dry surface that is AS LEVEL AS POSSIBLE. Indoors is ideal, but a covered location is a must.
Step 3: Assemble Your Platform
Place two of your pieces of plywood side-by-side. Ensure that they are exactly where you want your platform because moving a fully built platform is not an easy task.
Place two more pieces of plywood side-by-side on-top of the existing pieces, perpendicular to the boards underneath. Place screws matching the locations shown on diagram with X’s.
Next, cut one stall mat length wise using the X-Acto knife into two, 2’x6′ pieces. Then, cut the other stall mat into one, 2’x4′ piece, and then into two, 2’x2′ pieces.
Stack one 2’x6′ and one 2’x2′ piece along the side of the platform to create one side of the platform where the plates on a loaded barbell will land. Then, place the piece of Sande Plywood (or Birch) next to it. Finally place the remaining 2’x6′ and 2’x2′ stacked on the other side of the topper.
Secure both rubber and wood as shown below:
We suggest NOT placing screws on the inside of the rubber where the barbell could land. We have found that when you do, the plates will hit them, as the rubber is forgiving and this will place small nicks into your plates. The rubber stays put with the outer screws and your plates stay unscathed.
In order to keep your platform clean, functional, and aesthetic as long as possible, we suggest cleaning both your rubber and wood once a week. This can be done by mopping the rubber sections and using wood cleaner to take up any blemishes. We also suggest sweeping your platform after each training session so that dirt does not becoming ingrained into the wood.
If you have any additional questions regarding this article or setting up your gym, please email Brittany at firstname.lastname@example.org.