Outdoor Weightlifting Platform

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Introduction: Outdoor Weightlifting Platform

This Instructable will show you how to build an 8’x8’ outdoor weightlifting platform.

Supplies

1 - 1-3/8-in woodboring tri-flute drill bit

10’ - 1” sch 40 galvanized steel plumbing pipe

2’ - 3/4” EMT conduit

2 - 3/8” x 6” galvanized carriage bolts

2- 3/8" galvanized nuts

2- 3/8" galvanized washers

4 - 4” x 5/8” galvanized lag bolts

6 - 5/8” galvanized washers

2 - 12” x 5/8” galvanized bolts

2 - 5/8” galvanized nuts

6 lbs - 3 1/2” deck screws

1 lb - 2 1/2” deck screws

28 - 2x6x8 pressure-treated (PT) boards

2 - 6x6x12’ PT posts

1 - 3/4” 4x8 PT plywood

12 - Concrete deck blocks

500 lbs of gravel

4- 50 lb bags of fast set concrete

Landscape fabric

2- 4’x6’ rubber horse stall mats (Tractor Supply)

Step 1: Set Posts

Clear and level a space a little larger than your platform. Use stakes or marking paint to outline the platform. Mark the holes for the posts 18” from the front of the platform to leave room for a spotter and 44” apart on center (OC). I rented an auger with a 10” bit and dug 3’ deep. Add a few inches of gravel to allow for drainage, insert the post, then plum and brace with scrap 2x4s. I used 100lbs of fast set concrete per post and let it set overnight.

Step 2: Lay the Foundation

Mark off the locations of each deck pier. My back yard has a 10” slope over 8’ so I dug the first row of deck piers 5” deep and built up the back row 5”. Spread at least 2” of gravel under each deck pier and compact the ground. Level each block as you go. To aid water runoff, I added a slight slope (1” over 8’). Add landscaping fabric to prevent weed growth.

Step 3: Build Frame

This plan is designed to support a 2,500 lb hot tub so the 2x6 joists are 12” apart. Cut 7 boards to 93” and use 2, 3-1/2” screws to attach each joist to the rims. Use joists hangers and 2-1/2” screws to attach the joist to the posts.

Step 4: Install the Deck Boards

Layout your deck boards before you fasten them. I found several of my boards were more or less than 8' in length. By laying the boards out first I was able to arrange them so the shorter boards were not as noticeable. Fasten the boards with 2, 3 1/2 inch screws at each joist.

Step 5: Install the Pull Up Bar

Mark the height where you want your pull up bar and drill all the way through the first post using a 1 3/8" bit. For the second hole, you only need to drill halfway through the post. Cut the pipe to size using an angle grinder then slide it in place. Drill a 1/2" hole through the posts and pipe and secure with a 3/8" bolt, washer, and nut. After burning through several drill bits, I ended up buying a tungsten carbide step drill bit to bore through the pipe.

Step 6: Install Plywood and Horse Stall Mats

Mark off and cut notches in the plywood to fit around the posts using an oscillating tool or jigsaw. Secure plywood in place using 2 1/2” deck screws. Cut the horse stall mats to size using a straight edge and razor. You need to make a scoring cut then go gradually deeper with multiple passes with the razor. I cut one mat in half long ways making two 2' x 6' strips. I cut 2' off the second mat short ways then cut that in half again which left me two 2' x 2' squares a 4' x 4' remnant. Use the same method to notch the mats around your posts. You can secure the mats with deck screws but I found the weight of the mats keeps them in place.

Step 7: Install Racking Pins

Get someone to help you mark the various heights for the racking pins. You want the pins a little lower than where the bar sits on your shoulder for squats. I marked holes for squats, incline bench presses, flat bench presses, floor presses, and one with the bar resting on my chest as a safety. Drill 1/2" holes for the lag screws and 3/4" holes for the bolts. Cut your conduit into 1" sections for each racking pin and 6" sections for the safety bar. Add a washer, your conduit spacer, and then insert the bolt. Secure the bolt with another washer and nut. Just hand tighten the nuts so you can remove it if needed.

Note: I used 5/8" lag screws because I had them leftover from another project. However, If you use 5/8" bolts and nuts you could move the pins to different heights.

Step 8: Weight Tree

With the extra 1" pipe I made a weight tree. I cut down the pipe into 12" sections, drilled 3/4 of the way through the 4x4 fence post, and inserted the pipe. The weight of the plate holds the pipe in place, but you could drill through the post and pipe then secure it with a screw or bolt.

Step 9: Links

Here are the plans to build the weight bench, concrete dumbells, and concrete plates.

Adjustable weight bench:

https://www.instructables.com/Weight-Bench-5-posit...

Concrete weights:

Concrete Dumbells:

Step 10: Seal

Thanks to a great suggestion from MattDoesThat, I sealed the platform to protect it from the elements. Once the lumber has dried out and absorbs water it can be sealed. If needed, pressure-wash the platform (I recruited my son to do it 😉).


After letting the wood dry overnight, we used Cabot Australian Timber Oil (Natural) to seal the wood. I chose Cabot because of how well it did on moisture protection in The Great Stain Shootout We brushed the sealer on the posts and used a lambswool stain pad for the floor. The timber oil looks great and water beads up nicely now!

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    15 Comments

    0
    freek herregods
    freek herregods

    2 months ago

    The
    instructable seems nice and is well-arranged. I think it could benefit a lot of
    people to have the European sizes included aswell because not everyone is from
    America. Personally I wouldn’t make something like that because I’m pretty strong
    and I wouldn’t trust such a build to be able to carry really heavy weights. But
    for people who aren’t really into powerlifting or are just using this as a temporary
    ‘pandemic gym’, I think it could be a really great project!

    1
    Rusty V
    Rusty V

    Reply 2 months ago

    Good point about using Metric measurements. That’s not something I thought of. As for the weight the rack can support; the most I have benched pressed on it is 325 lbs and the rack was solid. I have seen similar builds support 1,120 lbs of weight https://youtu.be/1cQ77jySfcA

    0
    freek herregods
    freek herregods

    Reply 2 months ago

    Ah ok didn’t expect that, i’m always surprised about how strong wood can be!

    0
    deltafour1212.
    deltafour1212.

    9 months ago

    I am so... "stealing" this idea

    0
    ventifact
    ventifact

    Question 9 months ago

    I don't see enough safe surface at the rear to accommodate a spotter.

    0
    Rusty V
    Rusty V

    Answer 9 months ago

    I have used a spotter a couple of times with no problem. You could always leave more space in the rear.

    0
    Vighy
    Vighy

    9 months ago

    This is a disaster waiting to happen : after each rainy day this setup gets more and more dangerous - either you coat the wood as suggested or you use metal instead. I don't wanna be there when it breaks in 2.

    0
    Rusty V
    Rusty V

    Reply 9 months ago

    🤣

    0
    MattDoesThat
    MattDoesThat

    9 months ago

    Looks great. I love that you made everything. Id like to make a couple of suggestions.

    The plywood, even pressure treated, will rot eventually if left uncoated. My personal thought is that you could paint it with an epoxy coating with grit in it to provide traction, but any coating that will protect the plywood will extend the life of the station overall.

    My other suggestion is that you install something at the top of each post to protect the endgrain. Water will soak right in there and begin compromising the structure. There again, even pressure treated wood rots. It just takes a little longer. Anything will do as long as it sheds water.

    Great job on the station and the instructable ^_^

    0
    Rusty V
    Rusty V

    Reply 9 months ago

    Great suggestion about sealing the end grain. I plan to seal the plywood once it has dried out and expect to have to replace the plywood eventually.

    0
    ronanry
    ronanry

    Tip 9 months ago

    I would have put 2 horizontal bar on each side just above neck position...to prevent "problem" like you can see on internet of guy who are not anymore able to lift the weight to their normal resting position...you know, for security

    0
    TimothyR11
    TimothyR11

    9 months ago

    That's awesome. I want one.

    0
    Rusty V
    Rusty V

    Reply 9 months ago

    Thanks!

    0
    Rusty V
    Rusty V

    Tip 9 months ago on Step 4

    Use deck screws as spacers between the boards to allow for drainage.