Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pull Up Bars for Comfort or for Challenge

On the topic of pull up bar thickness, it’s been fun searching other blogs and chat boards to “hear” what others have said, especially for those who have attempted to build their own. That trip to the hardware store, “hook up” with a local steel shop or conversation with a neighborhood plumber always seems to result in some confusion…before finding success ultimately. First of all, like all industries I suppose, steel guys have their own language; standard pipe vs. mechanical pipe, hot rolled rounds vs. piping, tubes, flats, channels, etc. If you want to put your hands around a 1 ?” bar, it’s a 1 inch pipe, 1” inch around your hands is a 3/4” pipe; go figure. Sizes vary depending on the actual material and the weight and thickness of the actual metal all varies too. Luckily, that’s why there are steel guys out there to worry this stuff so we don’t have to.Putting all that aside, it would appear that there is general agreement that the thickness of choice for a standard pull up bar is just about 1 ?” thick when measuring the outside diameter. This provides for a comfortable grip for
the majority of athletes and satisfies the training needs of most in common situations. A trainer friend of mine jumped up on a new bar system just after we installed them and she said “ah, these are just perfect” a reference to comfort I suppose.For additional challenge however, one might opt for thicker bars. There is no question that thick bar pull up work will do wonders for your grip and forearm strength. Even thicker bars yet, may not be practical for everyday work outs, but they too have their place and strength benefits. We have made?and have installed some ultra thick bars from 2 1/2″ to 3 1/2″ thick diameter or more?for some guys looking for a sick test of grip strength.? Depending on the thickness, this is NOT an easy pull up!Often, we simply adapt to what we have available to us. Or, if you are like me, you find yourself pulling yourself up on just about anything that you come across that looks like it will hold. I had to contain myself on a recent weekend trip to New York City heading downtown on the E train holding on to the overhead grab bars; they were just about 1 ?” in diameter in my estimation, they were definitely comfortable….and clipping along at 50+ miles an hour on a crowded subway train would have been quite the challenge.

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