How to build an Olympic weightlifting platform

This article first appeared at Straight to the Bar.

Ready for some pounding!

This is an easy design for an eight-foot square platform that will stand up to your heavy training for a long time to come. Protect your floor, your weights, and your knees by lifting at home on a proper training platform.

You’ll Need

  • Four sheets of 3/4-inch CDX plywood
  • One sheet of AB or AC plywood
  • One 8’ x 4’ horse stall (rubber) mat
  • About five tubes of industrial-strength adhesive
  • Calking gun
  • 1 ¼” wood screws
  • Drill
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Square
  • Chalk/string straight line drawing tool


  1. Lay two sheets of CDX plywood lengthwise side by side in the direction you will face to lift.
  2. Spread adhesive.
  3. Lay two sheets of CDX plywood crosswise on top of bottom sheets.
  4. Screw sheets together 2” from edges, 16” apart, around perimeter and along insides edges of top sheets.
  5. Measure and mark for center plywood sheet, running parallel with bottom sheets. (My camera crapped out on me for the next few steps. Grrrr!)
  6. Glue on higher-grade plywood sheet with better side facing up.
  7. Screw top sheet along 4’ edges ONLY.
  8. Cut stall mat in half lengthwise. How to: Lay two boards parallel with gap between them. Lay mat over boards. Draw chalk line down the center. Use reciprocating saw to cut mat into two 8’ x 2’ strips.

  9. Spread adhesive and lay down mat strips along both sides of top plywood.



My husband and I built my home platform this way, based on a design by Jim Schmitz, as explained in an article on Ironmind by Randy Strossen. We varied only on the adhesive and the mat. I’m contributing my version for some added detail, the technical writing format, and the suggestion of the horse stall mats - Thanks to Tom Hirtz for that idea.

1 comment:

Horse Stall Mats said...

Nice lens! About 40+ years ago they never even used mats...our stable in California was next to a Rock Quarry, when they closed it, they threw away rubber weight scale mats. We retrieved them to use in the horse stall mats. They were heavy (1.5") thick and long, we cute them up and used them in our stalls. I brought them with us to Missouri and then sold the house & barn leaving the mats there. I was happy to see mats here in Wisconsin...never even knew they had them for sale. Too bad I did not think to make a business out of the mats.