The Silence of the WODs

By Ahmik Jones

In Equipment

October 27, 2010

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Dealing with angry neighbors complaining about the noise? Ahmik Jones shows you how to build a lifting platform that’ll keep athletes and neighbors happy.

We had a problem that has unfortunately been very common among affiliates. Despite the fact that we had brought our new landlord and neighbor over twice to observe workouts prior to signing our lease—and we dropped heavy weights from overhead right in front of him—and despite his assurances that similar sounds would not be a problem next to his accounting office, we were threatened with legal action if we did not stop dropping weights during business hours within a few months of moving into our new space.

Our landlord suggested that we somehow pad the whole floor in order to eliminate the vibrations, which unfortunately would have been prohibitively expensive. Therefore, we started researching sound-damping platforms in hopes of stopping the vibrations at the source. We found plans online, but it looked like some of the design was overkill, and we wanted an 8-foot square platform so there would be room for a squat rack or stand. Because I needed to build several, I had to have an efficient design. I consulted my brother in law, an architect, and he agreed. He recommended some places that the design could be changed, and I made some changes of my own.

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9 Comments on “The Silence of the WODs”

1

wrote …

I like it. 3/4 in plywood o everything?

2

wrote …

what about ballistic tiles... I've heard great things about these for noise absorption (used in indoor gun ranges)

3

wrote …

Their neighbors think they are loud... Our neighbors are a company that provides light and sound for entertainment venues. When they do what they do in their box, you can't hear yourself think in our box. But it's pretty cool because they are jamming out testing their sound system, it's like our box becomes their sub woofer.

4

wrote …

stupid question...but I wonder if anyone has solved the problem of doing the olympic lifts in a 2nd or 3rd floor apartment? I'm assuming this would not work if you have neighbors UNDER you, not just next door...i don't think any platform could absorb the shocks of 1RM clean and jerks without cracking the ceiling of the person living below you.

5

wrote …

Alex,

I think that you should do it anyway.

6

wrote …

Nice write-up Ahmik.

We dealt with a similar situation when we first moved into our place- we have an "artist" who is a follower of some weird Eastern meditation/philosophy who literally believes that one of his masters was able to one-arm press 1700lb through force of will alone. You can see where this went and the stable platform of logic this guy was going to be coming from. Fortunately he was not the landlord and has not threatened legal action.

We ended up making "crash pads" which consist of some martial arts floor padding we found stored in our roof from the previous tenant. We cut and stacked the pads into 2ft x 2ft x 6in shapes and duct taped the whole thing together. It looks ghetto but it worked really well. It ended up being quite a score b/c at the time we were just starting out and didn't want to spend a dime of funds on anything we didn't have to. Total cost = 4 rolls of duct tape. We got lucky though- if we had to build platforms such as your we'd have spent almost 2K.

Our next place we are going to look for a free-standing structure. Other than going out of the way to create platforms such as these there's really no other good option.

Lastly, a question- what do you guys do for WODs where 20 people show up and the Rx'd weight is something moderately heavy which WILL be dropped, say 135lb thruster or hang power clean? When I was at your place in March you didn't have that many platforms. Do you just tell your athletes to set the bars down and no dumping?

Thanks.

7

wrote …

Alex,
That is an interesting question that I have been trying figure out myself. I actually have my gym on the 2nd floor of a 3 story house that had each floor converted into individual apartments. So I live in the second floor apartment and my bedroom is my gym. The only solution I have heard was from a buddy of mine who told me to get old tires, plywood, and horse stall mats. Basically, he suggested mounting the horse stall mats to the plywood and then setting it on the old tires. I have never tried this, but that was his suggestion. Obviously, the idea is that the tires would absorb the shock of the barbell being dropped. To be honest, even if this did work, I still wouldn't trust the floor just because this house is old and well, maintenance is not my landlord's strong suit. As a matter of fact, my landlord has no strong suit besides cashing rent checks...

So, my gym can accommodate just about every exercise except rope climbs and wallball shots. The main draw back is that I can never go heavy on the Oly lifts or deadlifts because I can't drop the barbell. I am fortunate that this house has a huge patio that, as long as the Pennsylvania weather permits, I can do a lot of things outside on it. When I am doing heavy deadlifts or Oly lifts, I set up shop out there. Really any chance that I can get to workout outside, I take it. When I put together my home gym, I bought a lot of equipment that was portable so that I can somewhat easily transport it outside to this patio or to a local park in my area.

8

wrote …

Ahmik: Great artikle! It seems to me as you have included a Sketch-Up drawing of the platform and the components. Can you export the drawing to the 3D warehouse at Google so others can download them? If you to: Can you post the name of the file here, so we can find it?

9

Josh Groves wrote …

Awesome to see this kind of content! This is a great benefit to the community.

Thanks!

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