With plenty of standardized bars, plates and kettlebell, it’s exciting to see how CrossFit affiliates customize their pullup bars. I made a big effort to research pullup bar setups across the country and I’m writing this post to share our ideas and help affiliate owners and athletes everywhere strive toward perfect pullup bar setups.
Goals for our Pullup Bar Installation and Design:
- The bars needed to be fixed, immobile and have minimal flex. Too many pullup bar setups flex or sway with the weight of a bunch of kippers. With a certain amount of flex, you could argue the bars create a mechanical advantage as they rebound to their original position.
- The bars needed to be extra safe. I’m not going to name affiliates, but the screw and pipe fitting isn’t working based on what I’ve heard. That piping isn’t meant to bear weight and merely screwing pipe into studs or concrete doesn’t provide enough strength. I’ve heard multiple horror stories of the pipe breaking or it coming off the wall WHILE A CLIENT IS ON THE BAR. This would not be acceptable for our box. The extra money was worth protecting our clients.
- We wanted a design that we could refit into a new space if we grew.
- We wanted 8ft and 6ft bars at least 30 inches off the wall. I liked CrossFit Fairfax’s heights for pullup bars and decided to replicate that in our gym, but with slightly different dimensions.
- We wanted to save space in our gym, meaning that building a cage or something that rises from the ground wasn’t going to work.
- 35 Feet Long with 22 Feet of 8′ high pullup bars and 13 feet of 6′ high bar
- Steel was about 1.25″ exterior circumference
- Cross-bars every 5 feet for ring dips and extra pullup stations
- Hanging from the ceiling with cross bars installed into the wall for extra support
- 32 inches off wall including 2×6’s
How We Did It
- We found a big welding company that has experience doing structural welding and fabrication called “Quality Welding.” Jason, the owner, took our specifications and did the final work on designing and making sure the design came out to what we wanted.
- We purposely didn’t go with smaller welders because the job required structural knowledge and experience which we couldn’t find anywhere else in Charlottesville.
- Jason and his team fabricated the two major sections (which you can see in the below photo gallery) at their shop and trucked them in. They bent and welded the steel, sanded down all the burrs and rough edges and did a really clean job for us.
- They installed 2x6s against the wall for the horizontal bars. They then welded a support beam to the metal frame in our building. They installed the horizontal bars and then proceeded to weld vertical bars between the support bars and the fabricated piece.
- They drilled holes into the ceiling tiles, so that the bar install looked super clean.
- The onsite install took two guys 7 hours without a break. I promised them a case of beer if they finished before 5pm. They did.
Our trainers and athletes love our pullup bars. They are extremely solid, safe and have very little flex even with a bunch of people swinging on them. In the future, I would extend them off the wall slightly further because very tall people might have problems hitting feet if they face the wall. We did waste some space with the part that changes heights, but besides that the design is really clean, saves a lot of space and meets our needs. We spent about $2,500 on the setup and think its well worth it.
What are your thoughts?
Full gallery after the break.