The Giant Robot Gym: My DIY Platform Build

I’ve gotten pretty serious into my training and instead of just merely lifting for aesthetics, powerlifting has now become a passion of mine. I live in a pretty remote area and with my limited amount of time that I can possibly train (I train at 430 am most weekdays) and the only gym being severely under equipped, I decided to build a garage gym. (They only have one barbell and one power rack that is a severe joke.)

Here’s the build over the weekend.

What I started with.

Then some sketching. I used Adobe Illustrator to get my thoughts down after measuring the space. Drawn in 0.25″ to 1′ scale.

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One materials buy.

Platform build
Laying out the first 4 foot platform.

Platform build
I used Simpson Strong Ties with 1″ screws that I had leftover from another build from a few years ago. Went really quick.

Platform build
Tic marks.

Platform build
First and second plywood screwed down. My cordless drill ran out of juice, so I resorted to the 30+ year old drill my dad gave me to screw the plywood down.

Platform build
I took a small detour before completing the 3 foot platform and installed this halogen lamp that I picked up a few weeks prior for $10 at a rummage sale. It has two settings and this cute little turtle hanging off the pull switch.

Platform build
The cute turtle. What should I name him?

Platform build
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3 foot platform. I need to park one of the cars in the garage during the winter which is why I made this platform a bit smaller – I wanted to be confident that I could still pick the platform up off the floor. Also notice the oil/grease stain – there is no way I want to lift directly on that.

Platform build
Both platforms together with horse stalls and birch “dry” fitted. Cutting the horse stall mats was pretty easy — took about a half and hour for three cuts — I’ve been cutting for years as a graphic designer. Trick is to score and cut through the “layers” with many passes and a very sharp blade and not in one single pass.

Platform build
And here they are all finished. I still have a few minor details to complete on them, but they are lift ready. Haven’t lifted on them yet, but hope too tomorrow.

You might have noticed that there is no glue used with the construction, this is because we intended to move out of this condo (whether we sell or not) by next fall and I don’t want anything permanent. I can just unscrew it and move it. Also, I kept the 8 foot long and 1 foot wide pieces for my new space. These lifting decks will be reconfigured to work in my expected new basement without a platform. I will lay another layer of plywood below these sheets and stagger in the cut pieces so make a one thick floor-level solid platform.

All-in-all it took around or under 7 hours to complete.


4 thoughts on “The Giant Robot Gym: My DIY Platform Build

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