How to Build a Weightlifting Platform

As a fitness enthusiast, one of the most important things I do is workout. However, it’s not always easy finding time in my schedule to find some quality workouts. That’s why I love weightlifting platforms like Mindbody and Spark because they allow you to lift anywhere at any time.

The “weightlifting platform dimensions” is a platform that can be built to allow weightlifters to perform their exercises. The platform should have an area of at least 3 feet by 3 feet, and the height needs to be at least 1 foot.

Garage gym.

I’ve been working out in my garage gym for precisely a year and I really enjoy it. I never have to wait for equipment at the gym since it’s only a trip to my garage.

I’ve been lifting on a piece of 1/4′′ rubber matting for the last year. It’s done its job of providing traction and protecting my garage floor from huge weights being put on the ground (in a controlled manner). However, I’ve never been really happy with it. With those matting, lowering huge weights to the floor was still very noisy. My squat rack was also not secured to the floor in the manner I had it set up. Two 55-pound bumper plates sitting on the rack’s rear legs were the only thing stopping it from toppling over as I racked a big barbell.

For the last several months, I’d been looking for solutions to these problems, and one that kept coming up was installing the kind of weightlifting platform that most strong clubs utilize. So I emailed Matt Reynolds, proprietor of Barbell Logic Online Coaching, a friend and coach, to see what was involved in accomplishing that. He said it was simple and inexpensive, and he volunteered to travel down to Tulsa from Springfield, Missouri, to assist me with building one.

I had a very practical and sharp-looking weightlifting platform in my garage gym after a trip to Home Depot and an hour of labor. It’s helped me with my strength training in a variety of ways, which I’ll go through below, and I’ve really loved using it.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to construct your own weightlifting platform for other garage gym athletes interested in doing the same.

The Advantages of Using a Lifting Platform

Protects the surface of your garage floor. This is perhaps the most compelling argument to construct a platform if you have a garage gym. Dropping and lowering weights on a cement floor with just a rubber pad might cause injury. Matt experienced this at his first house, when he had a garage gym made entirely of hard rubber mats. He conducted a lot of heavy barbell and strongman training, which included a lot of large weights being dropped on the ground. He found a cement floor packed with fractures and holes from years of impact when it came time to relocate. He had to conduct a time-consuming and pricey concrete repair project.

This issue is solved by using a lifting platform. Between the floor and the plates is a layer of thick particle board or plywood and a layer of thick rubber matting.

It safeguards your equipment. Dropping weight on a hard floor (even if coated with a rubber mat) may harm not just the surface but also your equipment. When you drop or lower your weight on a concrete floor, the high force that results may damage bars and bumper plates. A lifting platform absorbs part of the power, allowing you to utilize your home gym equipment for longer periods of time.


Lifting is made safer. Lifting is made safer by using a platform in many ways. For starters, it enables you to quickly fasten your rack to a secure surface, ensuring that it remains in place during all of your lifts. As previously stated, the only item supporting my squat rack before my platform were two 55-pound bumper plates lying on its rear legs. It worked, but while I was performing pull-ups or re-racking a big barbell during squats, my rack was usually a little shaky.

Yes, I could have fastened the rack to my garage floor, but I didn’t want to drill holes in it, and attaching to cement is difficult. With a platform, you just need a few lag screws to secure your squat rack to a firm surface, and you won’t have to drill any holes in your garage floor.

A lifting platform also makes lifting safer by providing a level, even, and firm surface on which to do your lifts. I’d sometimes see bulges under my lifting area with the previous mats because something had gotten below the mats. I’d also have to kick mats back into position now and again to close gaps between them. The lifting platform is no longer a concern.

It makes me feel better. A platform not only makes lifting safer, but it also makes lifting more enjoyable. For starters, the force absorption provided by a lifting platform may make deadlifting more pleasant. Even with a controlled release, dropping a 475-pound bar to a cement floor sends a jolt through your arms that isn’t very pleasant. A raising platform helps to alleviate this.

It also feels better to stand on a platform rather than on the garage floor. It doesn’t feel much different from standing on a cement floor with mats, but it is more equal and level. And there’s something about being a bit higher above the ground that appeals to me!

Lifting is quieter as a result of this. When heavy barbells strike the ground during deadlifts or Olympic lifts, one of the drawbacks of having a garage gym is the noise. When I dropped a 405-pound barbell during a deadlift on a 1/4-inch firm rubber mat, the noise it made could be heard all the way across the house. This was particularly problematic when I conducted early morning exercises since my children’s beds are just over the garage, and the noise would sometimes wake them up.

The thick rubber horse stall mats on the platform, along with the wood foundation, significantly decrease lifting noise. It won’t completely silence the noise, but it will reduce it.

It just seems to be awesome. That’s true, I’ll confess it. One of the reasons I wanted a lifting platform in my garage was because they are just attractive. The black horse stall mats frame a smooth piece of maple plywood with John L. Sullivan inscribed on it, signaling that this is a place where strength is produced. I’ve had the platform in my garage for a few weeks now, and every time I go by, I pause to appreciate it. Stupid? Perhaps. But, in my opinion, anything that provides you a psychological boost and motivates you to exercise is a fantastic idea.


What is the Best Way to Make a Lifting Platform?

It is extremely inexpensive and incredibly simple to construct a lifting platform. It only cost me $170 and took Matt and myself an hour to construct. Here’s how you can do it. You’ll have an 8′ × 8′ platform when you’re done.

A elevating platform will raise you two inches above the ground. Make sure you have enough room above you to allow this. The last thing you want is to install a platform only to discover that you don’t have enough space in your garage for it since your overhead lift’s plates are piercing your ceiling. 

Update: If you wish to utilize this CAD of the project, AoM reader Robert Heffern put it together. 


  • (4) 4′ × 8′ OSB/particle board pieces, 5/8″ thick
  • 1 3/4″ thick smooth maple or oak plywood piece
  • 1 1/4″ construction screws in a box
  • (4) 3 1/2″ lag screws (these are needed to secure your rack to the platform; ensure sure the screw diameter matches the holes in your rack’s feet)
  • (eight) washers
  • (2) 3/4-inch-thick horse stall mats, 4′ x 6′ (I got mine at Tractor Supply Co.)

The total cost of the supplies was about $170.

Note: If you don’t have a pick-up truck, you can rent one for $20 from Home Depot (or most other large box home improvement shops) to transport the full-sized pieces of particle board and plywood.


  • Drilling power
  • With a lot of blades, it’s a box cutter.
  • Make a chalk line
  • edge with a straight edge

Putting Together the Platform

Place the First Particle Board Layer

Particle Board laying on the Floor.

Decide where you want your platform to go since it’s difficult to relocate it without un-anchoring your squat rack from it once it’s there. Place two pieces of particle board next to each other. Make certain there is no space between them.

Place the second layer of particle board on top of the first.

Particle Board laying on the Floor.

Across the initial layer, place your second pieces of plywood in the opposite way as the first. Make it perpendicular to the bottom layer, in other words.

Here’s how it came out in the end:

Particle Board laying on the Floor.

Connect the Particle Boards with Screws

Men Screwing Particle Board Together.

Screw the two layers of particle board together using your drill. Use a lot of screws; the more secure they are, the better. Place one in each corner, then a couple screws along the edges of your newly formed platform.

Screw the Particle Board Togetherwood and secure it with screws.

Man Measuring Plywood.

It’s time to start constructing your lifting platform! Take your excellent piece of plywood and place it right in the centre of the particle board. On either side of the plywood, you should have two feet of particle board (here is where you’ll install your rubber matting). Once it’s in position, use construction screws to secure it to the particle board platform.

First, measure and cut the mat.

Man Measuring Mat.

Measure and draw a line smack dab in the center lengthwise on one of your horse stall mats (the 2′ mark). This will split the mat into two parts, each measuring 2′ x 6′.


Make a straight line along the mat using a chalk line to use as a cutting guide.

Man Cutting Mat.

Cut a scoring line in the mat along your chalk line using your box cutter. When cutting, use a straight edge to guide the blade along the chalk line for increased straightness. Matt simply made it up as he went along, and it turned out alright.

To complete the cut, raise the mat on a sawhorse or anything else, such as a trash can, after you’ve made the score mark.

Install the First Mats and Tighten the Knots

Placing the Mat.

You’ll see in the photo that the 2′ x 6′ mat strips were placed flat against the rear of the platform. The difficulty with it is that it would leave a seam at the front of the platform where our 2′ x 6′ and 2′ x 2′ mat pieces would meet. I didn’t want any seams in this area since here is where I’ll be lifting, and I didn’t want them to split while I’m lowering weights. It also doesn’t look very pleasant. As a result, the 2′ x 6′ mats were moved to be flush with the front of the platform.

Start at the front of the platform and put your freshly cut 2′ x 6′ matting strips on either side of your maple plywood. They should be a great fit in the exposed particle board area. Where you made your cut, there will be a rough edge. We positioned the rough edges of each piece against the maple plywood to create a lovely, clean aesthetic along the platform’s edge. Attach the mats to the particle board underneath with screws.

On each side of the platform, you’ll have two 2′ × 2′ squares of exposed board. Next, we’ll cut mat squares to suit those openings.

Make a second mat by measuring and cutting the first one.

Man setting a Mat.

Alrighty. Let’s add some extra mat to those 2′ × 2′ exposed squares of particle board. To do so, we’ll take our second horse stall mat and, like the first, cut it along the center. We’ll have two 2′ x 6′ mats as a result of this. We’ll only be dealing with one of them, so move one of them out of the way.

Measure and mark a location 2′ down from the top of one of the 2′ x 6′ mats. This will result in a square of 2′ x 2′. Remove it.

Rep the procedure to make a second 2′ x 2′ square.

“What should I do with this remaining matting?” you’re presumably wondering. That is an excellent question. Cut everything into 2′ by 2′ squares and store them in your gym. To execute deficit deadlifts, stack a few on top of each other and stand on them. You may also conduct block pulls by creating two stacks. Boom!

Places and secures the second mat piece

Placing and Adjusting the Mats.

Place the mat pieces on the particle board and secure them with construction screws.

I’m almost done! The squat rack just needs to be bolted to the platform.


Attach the Rack to the Platform using bolts.

Man bolting Rack to the Platform.

It’s time to secure the rack to the platform using bolts. Place your rack on top of the plywood lifting surface at the rear of the lifting platform. You may either make it flush with the rear edge or leave a space between the back edge and the rack.

Drill a pilot hole for the lag screws after the rack is well aligned, as shown above.

Man Tightening the Bolt of the Rack to the Platform.

Using a socket wrench, screw the lag screws through the holes in your rack’s “feet” after the pilot holes have been bored. Make sure there are two washers between the screw head and the rack. Rep for the last three corners.

The Final Product

Garage GYM.

Take a look at it. Isn’t she stunning? In less than an hour, you may have a floor-saving, noise-reducing lifting platform. The maple wood in the centre provides a firm surface to stand on, while the mats on the sides offer a cushion for your barbell’s weights.

Now that you’ve got function, it’s time to add some style. Already, the Gentleman Barbarian flag in the backdrop adds to the ambiance (you can get yours here). However, the platform itself requires one last touch.

John L. Sullivan Logo: The Pièce de Résistance

Vinyl logo on Plywood.

Installing a vinyl logo on a lifting platform is a common way for people to personalize it. Of course, I named mine after none other than John L. Sullivan. It is simple to get a vinyl logo. Fast Signs allows you to upload and purchase a personalized one. It costs about $30, and putting the logo on is simple.

Closeup of the vinyl logo on Plywood.

In case you’re curious, I haven’t had any problems with the logo coming off after a few weeks of lifting on it. Matt’s platform, which he’s been lifting on for years, has a Reynolds Strong logo on it, and it’s still going strong. Furthermore, there are no difficulties with the logo making the lifting surface slick.

Before and after photos

Garage Gym Before renovation.

Garage Gym After renovation.

So there you have it. How to construct a home garage weightlifting platform. I hope you found these guidelines to be helpful. I’d want to thank Matt Reynolds for driving out from Springfield, MO to Tulsa to assist me in putting it together, and for his continuous assistance with my gains!

Until next time, keep lifting hard and being macho.



Building a weightlifting platform is not that difficult. The “diy 6’x8 lifting platform” is a great place to start.

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