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Thread: Platform Question

  1. #1
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    Default Platform Question

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    Looking to upgrade from my Amazon special squat stand to a power rack soon. Currently lifting on 3/4” horse stall mats set up as a 6x8 “platform”.

    Unfortunately my 8 foot ceilings paired with my height will only allow 3/4” inch of platform where I stand, or I will hit the ceiling with the Press. Would it be stable enough to build a 4x8 platform out of 2 sheets of plywood, place it on top of the stall mats, and cut out the space inside the rack? I would leave a horizontal strip 6-12” in depth at the wall connecting the two sides. This will give full depth to bolt into, but wasn’t sure about stability of taking out that middle section.

    The other options I’ve seen are just buying a flat foot design (I would prefer a bolt down for the ability to bolt to a full platform when we move at some point), or to bolt to a couple 2x6 boards to emulate a flat foot design (seems the worst option).

  2. #2
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    The bulk of what makes a rack stable by bolting it down it that it's affixed to the surface on which you're standing. I suppose that, if you had one layer of 3/4" plywood at full width, with the second layer of plywood cut out in the middle to reduce the thickness on which you're standing, then that might work, if you fasten the second layer really well (with a lot of screws and maybe some Liquid Nails or similar adhesive). At that point, you're standing on the bare plywood. Stall mat would go over top of the plywood on the outside of the the "hole" you're considering.

    But this is probably overthinking it. Any reason you can't make a regular 4x8 foot platform with two sheets of plywood with stall mat on top, then just press in front of the rack, from the bare floor? You don't really need safeties in place for that lift.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Donaldson View Post
    The bulk of what makes a rack stable by bolting it down it that it's affixed to the surface on which you're standing. I suppose that, if you had one layer of 3/4" plywood at full width, with the second layer of plywood cut out in the middle to reduce the thickness on which you're standing, then that might work, if you fasten the second layer really well (with a lot of screws and maybe some Liquid Nails or similar adhesive). At that point, you're standing on the bare plywood. Stall mat would go over top of the plywood on the outside of the the "hole" you're considering.

    But this is probably overthinking it. Any reason you can't make a regular 4x8 foot platform with two sheets of plywood with stall mat on top, then just press in front of the rack, from the bare floor? You don't really need safeties in place for that lift.
    Thanks for the reply. That makes sense. The only potential issue I see there is the drop off. Would have to make sure the bench fits within that 4x8 for the bench press, and then figure out if the step up/step down would be a concern with limit presses.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamblinWreck View Post
    Thanks for the reply. That makes sense. The only potential issue I see there is the drop off. Would have to make sure the bench fits within that 4x8 for the bench press, and then figure out if the step up/step down would be a concern with limit presses.
    Your limit presses are never going to be a large enough proportion of your squat for this to be a problem.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamblinWreck View Post
    Thanks for the reply. That makes sense. The only potential issue I see there is the drop off. Would have to make sure the bench fits within that 4x8 for the bench press, and then figure out if the step up/step down would be a concern with limit presses.
    When I started out my garage gym, I had a 4x8 platform and some squat stands, which didn't give me quite enough room for the foot of the bench and the feet of the lifter. I made a supplemental bit of platform to extend that end of the platform. You could do similarly, and only put that down for benching.

    Basically, the potential problem off the front of the rack is not quite being able to get the bar over the center of your foot to unrack it. Playing around with the height might help with that, as well as rolling the bar as far out on the hooks, like for unracking the bench press.

    At worst, I would think using a shallow split stance to unrack, then stepping back is probably something you could get used to, as well. You'd be basically doing the recovery out of a split clean, with a little bit of altitude change. I think you'd want to take each warmup seriously, to get practice as you work up in weight.

    Of course, you're within about an inch or so of the ceiling at lockout - is that with 45s on each side? If so, getting more 25s should buy you 3" and allow you to press inside the rack.

  6. #6
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    Thanks, all. I may just go with a platform and deal with the 45’s ceiling height issue when I get there. It sounds like I’ll have some options.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamblinWreck View Post
    Thanks, all. I may just go with a platform and deal with the 45’s ceiling height issue when I get there. It sounds like I’ll have some options.
    Yah I have the same problem too. I just use 25lb plates and 10s to load my press. 45's on there and I bump the ceiling if I am on the platform.

  8. #8
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    starting strength coach development program
    Thanks for all the comments. Just wanted to share my final setup for anyone going through similar in the future. Having a plywood platform with a bolted down rack is nice. Feels good to have a proper setup, and I would highly recommend it for anyone on the fence.

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