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Monday, November 17, 2008

My home made pull-up bar

If you're tall like me you might not like some of the "door frame" pull up bar options out there. I'm 6'2", have long arms, and when I'm hanging from a door frame mounted pull up bar with my knees bent my knees are seriously about 8" from the floor. I don't feel like I can get an effective workout with these options. They work well, but they aren't my preference.

So, I decided to make my own pull up bar. And, it cost me less than $25 at Home Depot. The basic design is a few lengths of 3/4" pre-threaded pipe, some pipe elbows, and some 3/4" floor flanges. I didn't use the pre-cut and threaded pipe since I had access to some pipe, and a pipe cutter and threading machine. However, you could easily pick up a few sections to your desired size. My dimensions are 42" wide, 8" in length from the ceiling which works well and gives me plenty of room for my noggin above the bar. Check out the pictures below.










Now, I put the pipe pieces together with the elbows and secured them tightly with a pipe wrench, and ensured they were square and level. I then attached the floor flanges securely. As you can see I also used a 2"x6" board. I marked out where the bar would line up on the 2x6, marked the hole locations and pre-drilled the holes where the floor flanges would be mounted.



I also pre-drilled and made sure to countersink the holes where the 2x6 would mount to the ceiling. I secured the board to the ceiling with some 3" long wood screws, ensuring that I was very secure into the floor beams. After the beam was secure, I mounted the pull up bar to the 2x6 with some #14, 2.5 in. wood screws.



Finally, I'd recommend getting your wife to try out the bar first. When I was sure it could handle my beautiful wife Monica, I tried next. (If your wife happens to be much heavier than you...skip this step.)



I'd like to caution all of you that you need to use your own judgement regarding how secure this bar will be. Mine seems rock solid currently, but like any piece of equipment you might hang from, check it regularly to make sure its still solid. If it seems to develop any wiggles or jiggles, you aren't secure and discontinue use.



******UPDATE*******


This by far is the most popular post to date on my blog. So I figured I'd write a bit more.


One thing I've noticed as I've gotten stronger and more confident at pull ups is that the problem I thought I had wasn't a problem at all. When doing pull ups from my door frame mounted bar, I was concerned with my feet hitting the floor. Funny thing is, now that I have the strength to go out and do 10 pull ups, I don't notice this anymore. I just cross my feet, bend my legs and crank out some pull-ups. Funny thing how excuses go away once you get stronger huh?

That being said, I now use my door frame mounted bar about as much as my home made bar. It mainly depends how cold it is outside and whether or not my wife's car is in the garage. Going forward, I'd probably be just happy with a door frame mounted pull up bar. That being said, the best door frame mounted bar is easily the P90X pull up bar pictured here. if you are looking to get a bar like this, please visit my coach page and click "shop for products." You can get this bar through me for $49.95 plus S&H.


14 comments:

  1. thanks for the good luck wishes! i looked through your blog today and your descriptions of the workouts have def given myself (and my friend sean) a good perspective of what to expect. good luck with the rest of p90x!!!

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  2. Thanks for the blog. I'm thinking of building one of these in my garage. 42" seems a bit long for me...I'm thinking 30". Do you think that would be long enough?

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  3. Brian,

    I did 42" to allow me to get in some wide grip pull ups. I don't know if 30" would be wide enough for me, in face I'm pretty sure that would be a bit snug.

    John

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  4. I'm 5' 8" and I'm doing P90X also, I want to be able to go wide ...maybe I should go 36". Thanks for responding, John.

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  5. I just made one in my garage following your instructions. I went with 60" and 9" shorter pieces. It worked out well! Attached the 2 x 6 to 4 rafters.

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  6. SecretsSanctuaryMay 20, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    Nice, I agree with you on what you said about people often making excuses not to do challenging exercises. I had the same issue with comercial doorframe pull up bar feeling too low, even though I am not that tall. To solve the problem, I did L-Sit Pullups.

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  7. Just built one today in my basement and it works great. I had a pull-up assist machine but didn't like it because I couldn't do close grip. Im doing p90x so i built the 4 foot one. Thanks Faze

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  8. I went to Home Depot today to get what I needed. Only had 48" pieces, and I was only able to get 6" length for the shorter pieces. Do you think this will still give me enough room?

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  9. Thanks I am going to try this in my garage

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  10. I still love that this post gets a lot of hits. Thanks for all the comments!

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  11. Hey thanks for posting this! I actually went out and picked up 48" pre-threaded galvanized pipe, two 6" pieces, and some galvanized elbows and flanges...problem is it is VERY difficult to screw on those elbows even with pipe wrenches...I'm about half-way there, but they don't seem to want to budge beyond that...I don't know much about pipes, so if you have any tips/techniques you could share about how to properly secure the pipe connections it would be much appreciated! Thanks!

    Steve

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  12. We built this last week and love it!! Thank you for the wonderful "recipe!" Now, if only I can do at least one pull up!! Ha ha!!

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  13. Hi John, this looks great. I have been considering a pull-up bar and this is exactly what I am after. The beauty of a home made one is that I can dictate it's dimensions. I have a large supporting beam in my garage that is perfect but I may have to do some research into heavy duty fasteners. Take it easy.

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  14. What type of pipe/flanges/elbows specifically do I need to ask for at Home Depot?

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