T Nation

Home Gym: Reducing Noise from Dropped Lifts

In the two months I’ve been weightlifting at my house, I’ve had three neighbors come over to “talk” (read: bitch) about the noise from dropping the weights. One even had the cops show up at my front door for a noise complaint. I’ve been dropping a barbell loaded with bumpers (MuscleDriver Europe Econ Line) onto half-inch rubber floor mats on top of my cement patio and my cement garage floor, but both are loud as fuck… which does not bother me of course, but I would love to stop the complaints.

So I was considering a few options:
Build a platform - Great for protecting my floor and equipment, but I’m not sure it will reduce the noise at all. Also, a bit pricey (I’m poor) and time consuming to do it right and I tend to suck at building things.

Tires - I’ve heard dropping on tires works well, but random ricochets do seem a bit dangerous. Also, I feel like you’d need good aim and might miss on a missed lift.

Sand - I was considering building a couple sandboxes 1 or 2 feet deep. I feel this would be the quietest option, but also with the same drawbacks as the tires.

So, I know this question has been beaten to death around here but I’ve never seen the noise aspect addressed. Any feedback from someone who’s used or tried any of these is appreciated.

I built my own platform with some plywood and horse stall matting (thick rubber). It’s still pretty loud when I drop the bar on it, but lucky for me no one seems to care. I would think you could reduce the noise substantially by adding a few more layers of padding, for example from a thick piece of carpet. Mine is basically unpadded, it’s just there to protect the floor.

Also, it’s not that expensive or difficult to build. 5 sheets of 3/4inch 4x8 plywood (unfinished sheets can be found for < $20), thick rubber mat cut into 2 2x8 strips (this is the most expensive part of the platform, and you say you already have it), some carpet to reduce the noise, and a box of screws. All of the materials can be had for around $200 and take only an hour or 2 to assemble. You will need a power drill.

Sounds like bull shit. What time of day are you lifting? Check out your local bylaws. You can make as much noise as you like [ie. construction levels] after 7:30am here. So your shit neighbours might not have a leg to stand on if you’re not breaking the law. so check what time construction can start and end. That’s the time you can work out.

-chris

Like Avocado said (look at you, you old bastard, coming out of the woodwork for this) check local bylaws and see what kind of hassle they can actually give you.

Sand could work. I’d go with Avo and Jonty on that one. If you’re not lifting at 2am, they should just buzz off and deal with the noise for a bit.

Maybe this will get through.

On the weightlifting exchange website under references you can find plans for a quiet, low vibration platform. Tried to include the link in my other post but didn’t realize weightlifting exchange counted as a “competitor” site (not like they sell anything, but what do I know).

Jonty that’s a fantastic resource, thanks for sharing. I think I’ll end up doing something quite similar.

Regarding local laws, the police that showed up at my door were pretty understanding and did not fine us. They stated, and I later confirmed by calling the local sheriff’s office, that noise complaints are valid for any time of day and any source of noise, and we could be fined for causing numerous complaints from numerous people. Of course it’s possible they were feeding us a load of bullshit, and I haven’t found anywhere online to confirm or deny it.

It’s also a source of concern because we’re renters and would like to stay in the place, and I’m not sure the landlord would appreciate us pissing off the entire community. The place is also part of a condo association so I’m not sure what kind of sway the association would have towards removing us.

[quote]ape288 wrote:
I built my own platform with some plywood and horse stall matting (thick rubber). It’s still pretty loud when I drop the bar on it, but lucky for me no one seems to care. I would think you could reduce the noise substantially by adding a few more layers of padding, for example from a thick piece of carpet. Mine is basically unpadded, it’s just there to protect the floor.

Also, it’s not that expensive or difficult to build. 5 sheets of 3/4inch 4x8 plywood (unfinished sheets can be found for < $20), thick rubber mat cut into 2 2x8 strips (this is the most expensive part of the platform, and you say you already have it), some carpet to reduce the noise, and a box of screws. All of the materials can be had for around $200 and take only an hour or 2 to assemble. You will need a power drill.[/quote]

I live in a townhouse with neighbors right on the other side of my wall and this is what I did. I also found that doubling the layer of rubber (I use 3/4") drastically reduces the impact of the barbell hitting the floor. The loudest thing now is my iron plates slamming together.

Edit: I should mention that I’m deadlifting, no olympic lifitng.

[quote]Razamataz wrote:
Edit: I should mention that I’m deadlifting, no olympic lifitng.[/quote]
LOLZ, not even close.

[quote]Razamataz wrote:

I live in a townhouse with neighbors right on the other side of my wall and this is what I did. I also found that doubling the layer of rubber (I use 3/4") drastically reduces the impact of the barbell hitting the floor. The loudest thing now is my iron plates slamming together.

Edit: I should mention that I’m deadlifting, no olympic lifitng.[/quote]

The rubber I have is also 3/4". I wish they sold that stuff for cheaper. Throw down a few more layers and you’ll be able to do touch and go reps with your 1rm by just letting the bar bounce right up to lockout =)

I’ve built a platform that I use in my garage. It sits on 3 - 3/4" thick sheets of OSB. I’ve framed the platform with 2"X8" boards on edge creating a 3 section box. I spaced joists with 1.5" between them on edge in the middle section and then screwed 2 sheets of plywood on top that. The two side “drop zones” are then filled with old carpet that I got for free. You could screw it together with deck screws, but I used lag bolts. The carpet filled sections are then topped off with 2 - 3/4" thick horse stall mats to bring them flush with the center of the platform. I got the horse stall mats from a farm cooperative for a very reasonable price. The one I built is 6’X8", but you can build an 8’X8’ which requires less cutting.

This solution works well for me. I don’t rent so it’s important to me that I keep the peace with my neighbors.