Whether you are a fitness enthusiast or just want to stay in shape, a pull up bar is guaranteed to keep you fit and toned at home. What’s even better is that this fitness bar is simple to build and also very affordable.
All you need is a few, easily available building materials, tools/equipment and some time off of your weekend. Today we take a look at what it takes to build your very own pull up bar outside.
Before you jump right into building a pull up bar outside, you first need to have a well laid-out plan which will cover all the things you need to run a successful DIY project. The plan highlights the pull up bar design and the tools or materials you need. A plan also ensures that you stay within your budget and avoid buying what you do not require.
To build a fully functional, sturdy pull up bar in your backyard, you will need the following materials;
There are two factors to consider when thinking about posts, the lengths and quantity. The length of the posts used is determined by the height of the user(s). A recommended length however can be about 10 – 12 ft. Pole thickness is also important.
A sturdy pole which can accommodate the weight of an average-sized man is about 5 x 5 inches. Quantity or the number of poles you need is determined by the pull up bar design you choose to go with. Typically, you will require just 2 poles.
The easiest pull up bar you can build will typically require just one steel bar. However, if you choose to go with, say a parallel pull up bar design, then you will need at least two bars.
In terms of pole thickness, at least 33mm of steel tubing should do the trick. However, if you have a bigger body build, choosing bars of greater thickness will ensure nothing breaks off apart from your workout sweat.
Poles can be mounted to the posts either by using welded brackets or mounting cups. Both options are great, it just comes down to personal preference.
Other materials you’ll require include;
- 5-10 bags of concrete
- 2 bags of Postcrete*
*Postcrete is a ready-to-use mixture of cement, additives and sand which come in handy in building projects which require fixing wooden, metal or concrete posts. Postcrete is usually sold in 44lbs. tear-proof and weather resistant bags.
- Fence paint, Spray Paint (Red Oxide Paint)
- Paint brush
- Tape Measure
- Drill and 9-10 mm drill bit
- Spirit level
The Building Process
Once you have everything you need, it’s time to begin building the pull up bar as follows:
Step 1: Adding Marks
Make a mark on the ground where you want one pole to stand and then measure a distance of at least 5 ft. and make another mark. These marks represent where the posts will be mounted.
Step 2: Digging the Holes
Using the spade, dig square holes of about 10 x 10 inches and make sure that the marks you made are directly at the center of the hole. Depth of the hole is determined by the post length you go with.
It you’re using 10 ft. posts, ensure that the hole is at least 3 ft. deep. If you opt for a lengthier post, say 11 ft. make sure that the depth is at least 4 ft. This will guarantee that the pole does not become loose over time.
Step 3: Adding Gravel and fixing Posts
Now that you have your holes dug, pour about at least 3 inches of gravel in the hole. Gravel is arguably the most important material you require since it prevents the wood from rotting away, something which would interfere with the structural integrity of your pull up bar.
Paint the post with fence paint to preserve aesthetics and prevent rotting as well. After drying, fix each post in its respective hole, remembering to check that both posts are level (Use Spirit Level).
Step 5: Adding Postcrete and Concrete
Add the Postcrete mixture as per the instructions on the plastic bag. Ensure that the mixture is well set. This is important since Postcrete has a drying time of less than 10 minutes.
Also remember to check that the posts are level. Add the concrete and leave to settle for about 1-2 days. At each stage, it is important to check the level of each pole and that the flat top edge of each post is running parallel to the other.
Step 6: Mounting the Pole
Once the posts are firmly fixed to the ground, it’s time to fix the pole/bar. Using the tape measure, measure the distance from one post to the other where you want the pole fixed. These measurements will be used by your local fabricator or steel merchant to cut the correct length of pole.
As mentioned earlier, you can either fix the pole by using one with welded brackets of mounting cups. The drill bit will help you fix the mounting cups on the posts. Welded bar mounts are easier to mount and come already drilled-into by your pole merchant.
Using your drill, make holes on the wood where the bolts will attach to the wood. It is recommended that you use a drill bit that is a millimeter smaller than the actual diameter of the bolt. This ensures it won’t easily come off.
Step 7: Adding Finishing Touches
Once you’ve fixed the pole to the posts, all that’s left is to paint it to protect against rust and wear from the elements. Use red oxide paint to coat the pole after you’ve cleaned it. It also gives the entire project better aesthetics.
So there you have it. A simple, yet well-detailed guide on how to build a pull up bar outside. Remember to consider the right post and pole thickness. Follow this easy guide and you’ll be doing your favorite pull-ups, dips and gain real upper body muscles in no time.