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I am considering to buy a barbell set (max. ~120kg) to train at home (2nd floor). However I am not sure about how dangerous this would be to the floor pavement, and how loud this could be to the neighbors.

Now considering the main exercises with barbells targeting lower or total body, I want to know which of them I could do safely (concerning loudness and floor safety) without any additional floor protection or with some mats.

I would guess the following classification:

Without any further protection

  • Romanian deadlifts
  • Bulgarian split squats
  • Zercher squats
  • Barbell thrusters
  • Front and Back squats
  • overhead squats (with relatively light weight)

all of them by sure not in the max rep range.

With some mats like this or this

  • Weighted glute briges
  • weighted hip thrusts

Not possible at all in an appartement

  • regular Deadlifts (because the slight dropping of the weight at the end of the movement)

Dynamic movements where it is the probability higher that one has to let go the barbell at a significant height:

  • Snatches
  • Push jerks
  • Cleans
  • Clean and Jerks

However I don't really know it. For some exercises like overhead squat the bar is pretty high and if you let it go, mats wouldn't help so much because of the height. Even is the weight was not too high. Same may be even true for back and front-squats.

For hip-thrusts and regular deadlifts you may for both have the problem that the weight drops a bit to the ground. However I feel it is easier to control this in weighted hip-thrusts than in deadlifts.

So it would be great if someone with more experience could clarify which exercises would be safe at home without protection, which would be safe with some mats like linked above and which would be unsafe in all cases.

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Can you see if there's any utility room you might be able to rent out, or maybe a little corner of the building's basement? I had a power cage in the basement of an apartment building. It wasn't a big complex so they were pretty cool about it. I wouldn't leave really nice gear down there (bumper plates) but cheapo craigslist stuff wouldn't be a big deal. –  Eric Kaufman Sep 23 at 2:15

1 Answer 1

The mats are a good idea even if you are in a single family home on the ground floor. They will help protect both the floor and your equipment.

Any lift where there is a risk of dropping the weight can't be done in an apartment. It's for the same reason you can't run and jump without bothering your neighbors. Impact noise travels through ceilings and walls even when you take sound-proofing measures. Also in this category would be deadlifts and barbell rows. While the mats do absorb some of the impact, the noise will be something frightful when the bar hits the ground in an apartment.

I would recommend doing Romanian Deadlifts on a raised platform (2" should be enough) so that when you are at the full stretch reflex there is no chance of the bar touching the ground.

Make sure your ceilings are high enough. Measure the ceilings in the room you intend to put the weights (they do vary), and the distance between your fingertips and the ceiling. If you don't have another 450mm / 17.75" then chances are you will hit the ceiling with overhead movements (push press, jerk, strict press, overhead squats). The reason I had you measure from your fingertips is because the bar might go up a little uneven, and this should give you enough extra room so you don't hit the ceiling and bother your upstairs neighbors.

Apartments and weight training don't mix very well. There's a lot you have to consider, and there is very little you can do about impact noise other than build a room inside a room with proper air space and suspended floors. That is not going to be permitted in an apartment. Having a home gym is certainly convenient, but if your home is over someone else's home that does limit what you can do a lot.

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