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Power rack weight/floor safety


Harriet

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So we might be moving, and I might be thinking about making my own gym for lifting on the second floor or attic floor. So.... I was thinking a rack and bars would probably only be about 400kg (I am small and cannot lift more than 100kg yet. I think a rack is about 100kg, bench 30kg, bar 20kg, set of plates 160kg, plate stand 20kg? flooring 20kg? ). That won't break the floor, will it? Not even in an oldfashioned building in Ye Olde Münich, Bavaria? What if it were 500kg? Surely pianos, beds, cupboards and all the people at the hip party weigh more than that, right?

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8 hours ago, Harriet said:

So we might be moving, and I might be thinking about making my own gym for lifting on the second floor or attic floor. So.... I was thinking a rack and bars would probably only be about 400kg (I am small and cannot lift more than 100kg yet. I think a rack is about 100kg, bench 30kg, bar 20kg, set of plates 160kg, plate stand 20kg? flooring 20kg? ). That won't break the floor, will it? Not even in an oldfashioned building in Ye Olde Münich, Bavaria? What if it were 500kg? Surely pianos, beds, cupboards and all the people at the hip party weigh more than that, right?

I'd ask any structural engineers over there what load they think a floor can handle. They'd be the best equipped to know.

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10 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I'd ask any structural engineers over there what load they think a floor can handle. They'd be the best equipped to know.

 

I will linguee 'structural engineer' into german. Thanks! Though obviously I can only hire an engineer *after* we move, so I just wanted to check that it's not stupid or impossible. It doesn't seem like it should be, because I reckon people and pianos are quite heavy and are often found on second and third floors.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

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2 hours ago, Isaac Robertson said:

better ask the engineer who constructed the house, man. But I don't think it's safe to place it in the attic area. Maybe 2nd floor is possible

 

Alas, I am not sure the engineer is still alive. What's the difference between attic and second floor in terms of safety? (Oh, and do we mean second including ground floor, or excluding it? International translation confusion)

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

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Cannot vouch for the credentials of this guy, but everything in this article sounds right to me:

https://gymcrafter.com/home-gym-second-floor/

 

Highlights are:

Assuming the house was built to code (which isn't a guarantee, and we're talking US building codes, which also vary by region), a second floor should be able to hold 30 to 40 pounds/square foot.

Within the above weight limit, spread your weight across the room as much as possible. Try to avoid placing weight in the middle of a floor joist and use plywood/some type of platform to spread weight across multiple floor joists.

Make sure you account for any rubber flooring in your weight, that stuff gets heavy.

If you're doing any type of lifting that involves dropping weights, don't do it on the second floor.

If you have any basement/garage options, that's a better spot for the gym, even if it's cold/dirty/not as comfortable as second floor.

You are unlikely to have a catastrophic failure that sends you through the floor. What is more likely is that you will cause long term structural damage where the floor joists start sagging, which will mostly manifest in doors/windows jamming and possible drywall or plaster cracking.

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42 minutes ago, Artemis Prime said:

Cannot vouch for the credentials of this guy, but everything in this article sounds right to me:

https://gymcrafter.com/home-gym-second-floor/

 

Highlights are:

Assuming the house was built to code (which isn't a guarantee, and we're talking US building codes, which also vary by region), a second floor should be able to hold 30 to 40 pounds/square foot.

Within the above weight limit, spread your weight across the room as much as possible. Try to avoid placing weight in the middle of a floor joist and use plywood/some type of platform to spread weight across multiple floor joists.

Make sure you account for any rubber flooring in your weight, that stuff gets heavy.

If you're doing any type of lifting that involves dropping weights, don't do it on the second floor.

If you have any basement/garage options, that's a better spot for the gym, even if it's cold/dirty/not as comfortable as second floor.

You are unlikely to have a catastrophic failure that sends you through the floor. What is more likely is that you will cause long term structural damage where the floor joists start sagging, which will mostly manifest in doors/windows jamming and possible drywall or plaster cracking.

 

That's the article I found! 😀 It all sounds very sensible, really, but I was just worried about taking the advice of a random internet blog. I think I shall proceed with the assumption that it's like possible and safe, but still get an engineer's advice before building it all. Just in case. Might as well do it properly.

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:

I think I shall proceed with the assumption that it's like possible and safe, but still get an engineer's advice before building it all

 

It's definitely possible. I mean, a 2 story barn can feasibly hold several thousand pounds of hay, but it's all about whether or not it was built to support that kind of weight. I would think the biggest issue with a rack is that most of your weight is concentrated in one spot, so when you're not using them I would definitely keep your plates and bars as spread out as possible. 

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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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24 minutes ago, Artemis Prime said:

 

It's definitely possible. I mean, a 2 story barn can feasibly hold several thousand pounds of hay, but it's all about whether or not it was built to support that kind of weight. I would think the biggest issue with a rack is that most of your weight is concentrated in one spot, so when you're not using them I would definitely keep your plates and bars as spread out as possible. 


Yeah, I would do that. And if I got a lighter weight half rack... and I can't lift that much yet... and I'm not that heavy myself... There'd only be a few hundred kilos in one spot.

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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On 9/13/2021 at 7:50 PM, Artemis Prime said:

second floor should be able to hold 30 to 40 pounds/square foot

What does this number actually mean? 🤔 It can't be a max load since that'd be saying that anything heavier than a small child will cause structural damage.

 

Anecdotally, our 1910s office gym has been working great. The biggest concern I'd have is neighbors as it does get loud and clanky. Some things can be solved by a bit of rubber padding, but I'd still choose my neighbours wisely. 😉

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34 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

What does this number actually mean? 🤔 It can't be a max load since that'd be saying that anything heavier than a small child will cause structural damage.

 

Well, small children can be quite destructive.

 

It's max load for the entire room. So a 10x10 room should be able to support 3,000 to 4,000 pounds. I'd really just take that as a ballpark figure since a lot of other factors come into play, although the main two are probably how  evenly distributed the weight is and whether it's dynamic or static. 

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"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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Just now, Artemis Prime said:

Well, small children can be quite destructive.

 

It's max load for the entire room. So a 10x10 room should be able to support 3,000 to 4,000 pounds. I'd really just take that as a ballpark figure since a lot of other factors come into play, although the main two are probably how  evenly distributed the weight is and whether it's dynamic or static. 

Fair point. 😆

 

That makes a lot more sense. So unless you're in a lifting cupboard or are the Hulk it should be good.

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4 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Fair point. 😆

 

That makes a lot more sense. So unless you're in a lifting cupboard or are the Hulk it should be good.

For some reason a lifting cupboard sounds oddly appealing to me. It just sounds like such a cozy place to hide away and get strong.

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"For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline". - 2 Timothy 1:7

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." -Gandalf

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1 hour ago, Mad Hatter said:

I thought so too as I was writing it out. :D 

 

Yet not advised for structural reasons.

But what if it's a cupboard on the floor in a one storey house with a concrete foundation?

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14 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Fair point. 😆

 

That makes a lot more sense. So unless you're in a lifting cupboard or are the Hulk it should be good.

 

I'm certainly not the hulk, not even part time, and cuboards would reduce elbow room

 

14 hours ago, Artemis Prime said:

For some reason a lifting cupboard sounds oddly appealing to me. It just sounds like such a cozy place to hide away and get strong.

 

But elbows!

 

12 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

But what if it's a cupboard on the floor in a one storey house with a concrete foundation?


You'd be safe but have no space for elbows

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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19 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Pretty sure your elbows are not wider than a bar. :D 

 

It occurs to me the bar isn't going to fit in the cupboard, either. 😐

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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30-40 psf live load is probably on the low end, nvm the hilariously massive factor of safety built into anything not made of steel.  Practically speaking people weigh more than anything else.  Big 250 lb dude doing jumping jacks is loading the structure waaaay more 500 lbs of plates spread over the 4x4 footprint of a power rack.  Its almost impossible to load a residential or commercial structure with floor loads great enough to seriously stress the structure, hence why buildings and homes (and floors within) falling down from being overloaded isn't really a thing (putting in a pool supported by the structure though isn't a great idea...).

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23 hours ago, Waldo said:

30-40 psf live load is probably on the low end, nvm the hilariously massive factor of safety built into anything not made of steel.  Practically speaking people weigh more than anything else.  Big 250 lb dude doing jumping jacks is loading the structure waaaay more 500 lbs of plates spread over the 4x4 footprint of a power rack.  Its almost impossible to load a residential or commercial structure with floor loads great enough to seriously stress the structure, hence why buildings and homes (and floors within) falling down from being overloaded isn't really a thing (putting in a pool supported by the structure though isn't a great idea...).

 

People are the heaviest! We should lift people! But they're harder to grasp firmly. Than barbells, I mean.

 

But seriously, thanks for chiming in! Since I made the post we've found an actual place. We will have a cellar (90% below ground but with windows that let fresh air in) and I can make whatever gym I want down there, no worries. Now I just need to figure out everything I need. Mats? Flooring? Thingamajigs? I'm very excited. The only downside is the ceiling is too low for OHP or snatches or anything like that.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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11 hours ago, Harriet said:

People are the heaviest! We should lift people!

 

I believe that is called "bodyweight training". Which is awesome, but unfortunately suffering from a deplorable lack of barbells.

 

As for what you need, I spent a lot of time looking at this about a year and a half ago.... 

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2 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

I believe that is called "bodyweight training". Which is awesome, but unfortunately suffering from a deplorable lack of barbells.

 

True, I don't have to worry about gripping myself hard enough not to drop me. But the more I train the lighter I get, which is the opposite of how weights should go. They should go up. Up to the sun. One billion units.

 

2 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

As for what you need, I spent a lot of time looking at this about a year and a half ago.... 

 

Neato! Thankyou. Saved for later.

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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