Best use of space in a small garage?
I train at home in my small and cramped garage, and I'm hoping to pick your brains on best use of space.
I currently have a power rack in there, which is great for the slow lifts. However, it basically fills most of the available space. I'm getting more and more interested in O lifting, but can't lift while the power rack's there (I can just manage to do standing presses in the space between the rack and the wall, but it's a squeeze and no way could I snatch in there). I have no plans to compete, I just want to O lift for the pleasure of it (and for the improved fitness of course).
If I sell the rack I'll have space to put in a platform measuring 8' x 5' 6".
First off, is that a big enough space to safely lift maximal weights? There'll be a little space off to each side, but there'll be a wall directly in front and a freezer and boxed-in pipe work directly behind the platform - so no real margin for error front or back if I dump the weight.
My other concern with this is that I lift alone, and the safety pins in the power rack have always given great peace of mind for squatting and benching. If I go with a platform I'll have to have stand-alone squat stands as there's no room for even a connected pair of stands to be stored, and these obviously won't have safety bars on them. I've seen separate safety rails (e.g. "Pillars of Power" from Ironmind) but they're mega expensive in the UK. The other options are to either build something myself or simply not bother with them.
I'd considered building a pair of small jerk blocks, as they're versatile enough to work as safety blocks for slow lifts, jerk blocks, pulling blocks and plyo boxes; but the max size I could get away with from a storage point of view would be 18" x 3'. Would that be too small to be usable for all these functions? (I'd planned to build them per Greg's article, just on a smaller scale) Is there a better option than blocks altogether?
Anyone have any opinions on this? Basically at the moment I feel like the power rack limits my options too much (i.e. prevents me O lifting) but I don't want to sell it, build a platform, and find myself limited the other way (i.e. struggling with some of the slower lifts).
Thanks in advance for any advice. Oh yeah, and I'll try to post a bit more often than once every 20 months in future...!