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Inexpensive Sandbag Loading Platform

Following a recent forum thread about sandbag loading, I’ve received several questions about suitable loading platforms.  In the past, I’ve used a homemade wooden bench (that was built for other purposes).  The downside to the bench was the fixed height.

Several months ago, I built an inexpensive platform that I custom fitted to my power rack.  Based on the questions that have come through this week, I’ve snapped a few pictures for those who are interested.

I used 2×4′s to build the platform.  The total lumber cost was approximately 12 dollars.  I simply cut the length to the size of the rack (using six 2×4′s across).  I then stapled an old carpet on top to minimize the chance of splintering.  If carpet is not available, be sure to sand down any jagged edges.

In the image below, you can see how I’ve cut strips of 2×4 to hold the platform together (on the bottom).  The outer strips also serve to keep the platform in place.  The arrows point to where the strips are fitted to the bars of the rack.

A closer view can be seen below

This 12 dollar platform is also easy to store.  It can be placed against the wall when not in use.  It doesn’t take up any room.


The primary benefit to this simple platform is the ability to quickly adjust height.  With a fixed bench, the only available progression is weight.  With a platform and rack, you can quickly change the exercise by adjusting the height of your load.

The downside is that you need a power rack to make use of such a platform.  Power racks are obviously useful investments however (for many other reasons).  Adding a 12 dollar platform that can be stored up against the wall has proved to be a useful addition.  Although certainly not fancy, this is perhaps the easiest piece of homemade equipment you’ll ever build.

As for how you can use it, there are several loading options available.  In the video below, I’ve filmed just a few possible variations.  There are certainly others that you could use as well.

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For more information regarding homemade equipment, be sure to visit the link below.

Homemade Equipment Links

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13 Comments so far

  1. Joe Hashey August 5th, 2009 8:16 pm

    Great Ross! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Joe Crogan August 5th, 2009 9:33 pm

    thats awesome, looks fun!

  3. Björn August 5th, 2009 10:52 pm

    Nice idea, however I think it might be easier to use a wooden pallet, and putting the safetybars through the holes. It might be a hassle to find a right-sized pallet, just my two cents ;)

  4. Administrator August 5th, 2009 11:01 pm

    It isn’t a hassle to find 2×4′s which is why I used them. Anyone can find 2×4′s at a local lumber shop and all that is required is a basic saw and screws to finish the job. Seeking out a pallet that may then need to be cut is a hassle that I’d rather do without.

  5. Chad Armstrong August 6th, 2009 11:58 pm


    You have the most inventive ways to add inexpensive items to an individual’s workout arsenal.

    Great job.



  6. Macoelmeco August 7th, 2009 6:22 am

    Thats cool!!!, just wish i had a power rack :(

  7. Wolfie August 7th, 2009 9:47 am

    I often get lower back ache after doing sandbag complexes and sandbag clean and press tabatas. I try make sure I’m using my legs during the lift and keeping my back straight. Any other ideas?

  8. jeroen August 2nd, 2010 8:42 pm

    also it can act as a platform for box jumps! just make sure you have a high enough seiling before you try it :p

  9. Eddie August 26th, 2010 8:00 pm

    Hi is sand bag training good for weightloss or is it just for improving strength?

  10. Anthony March 1st, 2011 2:30 am

    Hi Ross, I’ve been a fan of your site for a while now. I am currently trying to find a power rack for my garage gym. Are there any that you recommend? Thank you.

  11. Tyciol May 5th, 2011 6:54 am

    Looks like fun.

  12. Blog December 12th, 2013 1:42 pm

    [...] a past entry, I showed how to build an inexpensive platform for sandbag loading.  The same platform that was [...]

  13. RookActual September 25th, 2014 7:16 pm

    Awesome practical strength training, I love this stuff!

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