Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Pull Up Bar

There are dozens of different ways to mount of pull up bar. It's a project that's really unique to your situation so there's no way to give a design that everyone can use. That's why I haven't done a project for it yet even though it's a very important piece of lifting equipment. But I finally decided to just shoot a quick video showing you what I did to install a pull up bar in my home gym.

Cost: $15
Project time: a few minutes
Difficulty: You can get the store to cut the pipe if you need to, so all you really have to do is drill out a hole in the wood and screw them into the wall. Very easy.

Tools Needed:
  • Drill
  • Hack saw (optional)
  • Wood boring bit (the size of your pipe, probably 1 inch)
Materials Needed:
  • Two 2x4 studs
  • Long deck screws (probably 3 inch long)
  • length of 1 inch (outer diameter) pipe (how long depends on where you're mounting it).

One thing I forgot to mention in the video is to make sure there is enough room between the wall (above the door) and the bar. If you mount it right in the corner like I did, and the bar is above the door there is not a lot of room. This isn't a big deal for PULL UPS, but if you intend to do CHIN UPS it can create a problem. My hands are small enough to do chin ups too but I can't put my homemade Fat Grips on there and do chin ups with those.

If this is a concern you should consider mounting it back away from the door a bit so you have plenty of room. I can't do that in this case because it's under the stairs so the cealing is angled and the farther away from the door the lower it gets. I have no desire to do fat bar chin ups so it's not an issue for me, but it's something to condise.

Remember this is just an idea. This is showing you what I did. Mounting a Pull Up bar is not a one size fits all project. Take these ideas and custom fit them into your space if you are interested.

- Carl


  1. Great post/video, Carl! I'm glad I stumbled upon your site, and look forward to more from you!

    Do you think there would be any benefit from going with a larger diameter pipe, like increasing grip strength? Obviously you don't want to go *too* large and sacrifice the structural integrity of the 2x4s, but 1.5-2" maybe?

    1. Thick bar work is generally used as assistance. It stresses the grip A LOT more than a normal diameter bar. That means any kind of pulling movement you do, you essentially turn it into a grip strength exercise. That's fine but these movements would be assistance movements and not meant to replace the original exercise.

      Pull ups with a 2 inch bar are very difficult and it will always be your grip that fails first. Pull ups are a great exercise and you wouldn't want to only do them with a thick bar. It would be like deadlifting only with a thick bar. You don't get the full benefit of the lift because your grip always holds you back.

      The better solution is to use a normal diameter bar (28mm about 1 inch) and use something like Fat Grips as a removable solution to make them into a thick bar when you want to do extra grip work.

  2. Hello,

    Great stuff about the bar but unfortunately your video is not open in my browser, so thats why I had not seen your video but like your post very well.

    Thank you...

  3. Would it be possible to add to the squat stand and put up like an empty barbell up high to do your chin-ups or pullups in there?

    Assuming it has the extensions of the saw horses for less likely tipover? Or will it still move too much?

    1. If you're small enough you could perhaps put the empty bar on the squat stands, tuck your legs up, and do them that way. I've done that before. It's not ideal but it works (with the safety stands for support that is). I personally would not build another super high tier as that would put the center of gravity way too high. If you had them bolted to the wall then it would probably be fine. However, if that is really something you're considering you might just want to build a wooden power rack. I don't have plans on this site but there are many others on the net that have done this. I don't know if they have detailed instructions like I do but you could certainly add a pull up bar to a power rack with no problem.

      I simply haven't given enough thought to designing a stand-alone pull up rig so I cannot really give out any "officially endorsed" ideas. Just make sure if you build something that it is completely stable before you use it.

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