After eight long years, I finally built the lifting platform I had read about and dreamed about. Thanks for a 3 bay garage, temperate climate, and the Art of Manliness, I completed the 8’x8′ platform in my garage.

This is my garage before I built the platform.  You can see the horse stall mat in disarray.
Before building the platform.

In October I started compiling the pieces by buying a use squat rack on Craigslist for $80. Then Dick’s had the barbell set and some pads. I bought a flat bench, weight rack, extra barbell, bumper plates and better clamps for the ends of the barbell. We were near a Tractor Supply a month ago, so bought the two 4’x6′ mats. Today I finally rented a truck from Home Depot, bought four OSB boards and one oak plywood board.

Total costs below. I didn’t count the screws or the bit holder for my drill as these will be used for other projects. I used 1″ screws for putting the OSB together and 1 1/4″ screws for screwing the rubber mats into the OSB and the plywood into the OSB.

I went with the OSB instead of plywood as they had this in 5/8″ and the Home Depot lumber expert mentioned that it deals with water better than particle board. I also chose the oak plywood as opposed to fir, since I figured that I’m here and might as well spend the extra $20 now and not regret it in 6 months. And then I talked to a coworker who informed me that it is only an oak veneer on top, so maybe I paid extra for something that didn’t matter.

Just getting the boards out of the truck and arranged on my garage floor was a workout. Finally got the OSB arranged and ready to be screwed together.

Right angles are your friend.
I didn’t have a long straightedge or someone to hold the chalk line so I measured 1′ increments to lay out the grid.
Using the carpenter’s square to space the screws.
The finished OSB screwed together.
Next the screwed in plywood, only around the perimeter.
Finished layout.

I used some extra rubber mat pieces to prop up the weight rack off to the right and some other to protect the floor from weights. Brett McKay and Matt Reynolds said they did it in an hour, but it took me the better part of a day. Other note: I did not bolt the squat rack into the platform as I am leaving room for potentially buying a sturdier rack in the future. This one only holds 300lbs so I’m close to maxing out this one’s capacity for squat.

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