How to Build a Deadlift Platform for Home Gym (Easy Guide)

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico | Co-Founder & Marketing Director
Last updated: November 29, 2023
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There are several advantages to adding a do-it-yourself (DIY) weightlifting platform to your home or garage gym.

Both your gear and your floor may be protected by using these platforms. They help to minimize noise and keep you in a state of mind where you can concentrate more on your exercise.

As a certified personal trainer, I have been to many home gyms that utilize a DIY deadlift platform and asked how they built it to suggest the same to some of my clients who struggled with their weights.

I also did a vast amount of research to find easy options for building a homemade deadlift platform for home gyms.

Quick Summary

  • Before building your DIY deadlift platform, you must know the type of platform size you want, either for Olympic lifts or deadlifts.
  • Customizing your lifting platform includes benefits, such as protecting your flooring, weights, and yourself from harm and damage.
  • You can start by marking your allocated lifting platform space before building your deadlift platform.

Making Your Platform

how to build a diy deadlift platform for home gym

Mark out your allocated platform space before you begin creating your deadlift platform.

This may be done with paint, tape, or any other type of marker.

Here is the step-by-step guide on making your deadlift platform:

  1. First, start by cutting the wood. Cutting the huge piece of 3/4" thick plywood may be challenging. However, based on where you buy the board, the store might be able to carve it for you, which could be the easiest alternative if the cut is precise.
  2. After cutting the plywood in two, sand off the scuffs, smooth the edges, and cover the top with polyurethane. Allow the first application of polyurethane to rest overnight before dispensing the second coat.
  3. Using a utility knife with a new blade and 2x4s and a straight edge as a guide, cut the horse stall mats into 2" parts.
  4. Use clamps to grip the 2x4s with the horse stall mat pressed in between.
  5. Then, drill holes where you want your screws to go into the stall mats and maple plywood lifting surface. Following that, insert eight screws into each of the parts.
  6. Spray paint the sides of the OSB black to match the color of everything else.
  7. Put everything together, then attach a few screws through each stall mat.
  8. Remove the maple after they're secure, so you may apply glue before screwing it down.
  9. Add a finishing washer to every screw to give it a more polished appearance.
  10. The final step is to install all of the screws and finishing washers.

"You'll have to have a blade designed exclusively for plywood. The use of the incorrect blade renders the cut much more difficult and perhaps dangerous."

- Kyle Divine, Garage Gym Enthusiast

This deadlift platform's eventual destination is a basement, or where you have your quality squat rack attached.

However, if this is too much labor or lacks the necessary instruments, you can always invest in high-quality equipment, like these best barbells for home gyms.

The 4'x8' will be ideal for the vast majority of individuals.

I advise anyone interested in building the larger 8'x8' weightlifting platform for a home gym garage setup to bring all of the components down after cutting them and assemble them in the basement.

Tools and Material Needed

Circular saw cutting wood

There are two standard sizes, a 4x8 and an 8x8. Let's get into how to build a common 4x8 platform.

The tools needed:

  • Circular saw
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • Straight edge
  • Utility knife
  • Cordless drills
  • Random orbit sander

Material needed:

  • 24 - stainless steel finishing washers
  • One 4 ft. x 6 ft. x 3/4 in. thick rubber horse stall mats
  • One 3/4-in x 4-ft x 8-ft maple plywood (to increase the strength of the material) [1]
  • Elmer's wood glue, 4 Fl oz
  • One 4’x8’ sheet of 5/8” thick oriented strand board (OSB) 5/8-in x 4-ft x 8-ft OSB
  • 24 - #8 1-1/4" flat head Phillips screws
  • Rust-oleum spray paint, satin canyon black (optional)
  • Minwax polyurethane, 1/2 pint, semi-gloss

Why Is Building Your Platform Worth It?

Person lifting deadlift

Building your platform is worth it as it protects your equipment, yourself, and flooring and designates your location.

I contacted two coaches I'd recently worked with and inquired about the advantages of owning their customized platforms.

They both offered similar responses regarding the necessity of customizing platforms.

1. Protects Your Equipment

When you build a weightlifting platform, it may let you dump and slam weights without curving bars or breaking plates.

Dropping significant weight on a platform not designed to absorb the impact sometimes results in bent bars [2].

2. It Designates a Location

Deadlift on platform

They both mentioned that a platform is ideal for allocating space for specific activities.

Others know to keep off the platform if someone uses it, benefiting room organization and preventing injury.

3. Protects Your Floors While Also Promoting Lifter Safety

Platforms prevent cracking and denting of concrete as well as other floorings.

A platform also contributes to a lifter's safety by boosting the capacity of a bar to bounce predictably.

This reduces the possibility of a bar falling into a gap and bouncing onto a lifter or passerby.


Do You Need a Deadlift Platform for a Home Gym?

Yes, you need a deadlift platform for home gyms. Platforms for deadlifting safeguard your concrete floor. They also secure the brass weights and deadlift bar from damage caused by dropping the bar.

How Thick Should the Deadlift Platform Be?

The deadlift platform should be two inches thick. A solid weightlifting platform will provide up to two inches of padding between the floor and your feet.

What Are Deadlift Platforms Made Of?

The deadlift platform is made of plywood and rubber mat. The inner part of the weightlifting platform is wooden, and the outer is made of rubber mats.


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