Which pull-up bar should I buy?
November 13, 2008 6:39 PM   Subscribe

I need a pull up bar for home use. Which one should I get?

I've looked at previous mentions of pull-up bars here, but no one talks about the pros or cons of which bar to get. There are so many available.

I live in a rental so I don't want to permanently damage anything and I can't do a major project. I have housemates so if I have to stick it in a door frame it should probably be really easy to remove and put back up as I don't want them upset about it.

I want a pretty stable bar with grips that don't hurt and don't decay into a neoprene-y mess either.
posted by nat to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I got one of these recently and it works great. It just hooks over the molding on the door frame. I've only had it a couple months, however, so I can't tell you how well the grips will hold up over time.
posted by clarahamster at 6:50 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

The LA Times Health section recently did a feature on pull-up bars.
posted by invisible ink at 6:55 PM on November 13, 2008

seconding that doorgym that clara has, I got mine two years ago and it's still holding up like a champ. The only minor complaint I have is that the screws need to be tightened about monthly, not a big deal but somewhat annoying, not enough for me not to recommend it. My roomate weighs around 250 lbs and it holds him, but I think that's more impressive for the door than the pull up bar.
posted by BrnP84 at 6:56 PM on November 13, 2008

You MUST be sure that bars which are designed to fit over the moulding around your door, like the door gym linked above, actually can do so. Some doorways have moulding too tall to work.
posted by galaksit at 7:40 PM on November 13, 2008

also recommending something like the doorgym.
posted by senseigmg at 8:13 PM on November 13, 2008

i've taken my old fashioned screw mounted one to several rentals. filled in the holes with colored putty when i left. also set it up in a closet doorway once, and once in a garage rafter.
posted by lester at 8:30 PM on November 13, 2008

Response by poster: galaksit- how do I know if the moulding is too tall?
posted by nat at 9:16 PM on November 13, 2008

I've been loving my Perfect Pullup
posted by scottMontgomery at 11:38 PM on November 13, 2008

Best answer: how do I know if the moulding is too tall?

According to the FAQ on the doorgym site, the casing has to be between 1 1/2" to 3 1/2". It also lists the depth to the wall and the size of the door jamb (what it calls wall thickness). The build it yourself link shows the guy using it on small casing (about 2" to 2 1/4", his house is older so that casing may be even smaller). The doorgym photographs are being used on large casing (about 3 1/4" to 3 1/2").

Most newer houses and apartments should have either large or small casing. The larger casing is usually on the main level and the smaller casing usually goes on the second level and in the basement. Some houses will have base blocks, corner blocks and casing that usually runs 4" to 5". More than likely your place will work just fine. Really big, really small, or no casing is the exception, not the rule.

The doorgym website says it supports up to 300 lbs. Depending on how the casing was installed, the top may be held on by no more than a few brads or staples across the bead and a couple of brads or staples in the corners to lock the top and sides together. More than likely it would be fine, but I would be very careful. The casing is meant to hide the hole the door sits in and to look pretty. It's not really meant to have a lot of pressure applied to it.

I apologize for being much more technical than just saying to measure your casing and pointing you to the faq. I got carried away.
posted by robtf3 at 1:39 AM on November 14, 2008

I use a powertrainer pull up bar and am very happy with it. It has a slightly different design to the door gym.
posted by timmow at 2:57 AM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

the doorgym is great. I have one as well.
posted by zennoshinjou at 5:00 AM on November 14, 2008

Unfortunately you do have to read the small print as robtf3 says. And do your measurements to be SURE it will fit. I tried to, got it wrong, and now have an (almost) useless bar. I say almost because supposedly you can use it for varying push up position and for sit ups, but I haven't.

Older houses are a culprit here.
posted by galaksit at 8:29 AM on November 14, 2008

Just put some casters on the bottom of your bar and you can pull it where ever you want.

posted by Mr. Gunn at 4:37 PM on November 14, 2008

Response by poster: Looks like I can't do the doorgym (older house, casing ranges from 4" to significantly taller, and from 3/4" thick to 1"). Thanks for the warnings, and I'll try out other options..
posted by nat at 8:37 AM on November 15, 2008

If you have the space, I´d recommend just getting a freestanding tower. They´re not as expensive as they used to be and you´ll be able to do pullups without bending your legs and have an easier setup for various ab exercises.
posted by concrete at 2:48 PM on November 15, 2008

Response by poster: Follow-up time: I got the Altus 3-in-1 bar. It's comfortable to use and was easy to install.

But I got busy and left the bar in longer than normal, and now I can't get the damn thing back out. This may be something dumb I've done, or it may be the bar, dunno.
posted by nat at 12:21 AM on December 14, 2008

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