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Lifting Platform vs Mats for Home Gym


Hi all,

I am in the process of developing my home gym. I am limited with space with around 150 sq. ft. to play with. I want to be able to do Olympic lifts and drop the weight safely.

My dilemma is whether I build a lifting platform like this (http://ironmind.com/ironmind/opencms/Main/homesweathome6.html) or if I just cover the whole area with mats.

Pro's and con's wise: The platform would be best for Olympic lifts and best protect my bumper plates but will take a lot of effort finding materials, cost a bit and take up a lot of space. Just laying mats down over the whole area will be cheaper and easier as well as still giving me lots of space and make the whole area look better. However I am worried just laying down mats on top of concrete could damage my bumpers. I have seen in crossfit gym they tend to drop weights from overhead onto just mats, but I am not sure what mats they use.

Does anyone know if my bumpers would still be protected if I just put some heavy duty mats down? Or is it best to build the platform?

Any advice is much appreciated!


i was in this situation about a year ago when building my gym. not sure where you're located, but this is the best solution:

go to your local country store (if you've got one) and get horse stall mats. there is no other way to find affordable 3/4 inch neoprene rubber mats that are large. i bought two 7x10 mats for $50 a piece. theyre super super heavy duty and can definitely take the weight of the bar since theyre made to take the weight of a horse.

the only thing is they weight about 250 lbs a piece. so rolling them up and getting them into your truck bed takes two pretty strong men or a fork lift.

if youre worried about your concrete, i put plywood down before the horse mats and its done real well.



Plywood and rubber mats from the country place.



This is a great idea. Doubled stable mats over plywood will protect the floor and provide a good lifting surface. My current "platform" takes this form, and gives great protection. They are also cheaper than gym mats.


yeah, the mats have stood up to a lot of abuse.. i've had to move the gym twice now and moving those mats is just awful though. the best way to move them is get two people to roll them up and then slip some tarred rope underneath both ends and make a slip not. that way its just like carrying a log and it wont unroll on you when you try to move it



Hi again,

So I have found a pretty cheap website (UK) that sells horse mats. Could someone just double check these are the type of mats I am looking for? My gym space is 8ft x 18ft so I'll need 6 mats which comes to £180. This website sells two pretty similar mats so not sure which one to go for.

  1. http://www.endurancemats.com/product_info.php?cPath=2&products_id=86

  2. http://www.endurancemats.com/product_info.php?cPath=2&products_id=9


either should be fine. i dont know about shipping those things.. like i said they are HEAVY. its about as close as you can get to a lifting platform without buying the real deal though


These don't need to cover your entire gym mate. They just need to be around where you lift and squat. But if it isn't that much more to cover your whole gym you might as well do it. These will last FOREVER.