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View Full Version : question about DIY cemented pull up bar


Elliott Williams
07-23-2012, 10:41 AM
So I decided to build a pull up bar in my backyard. The plan was to dig 2.5 foot deep 2.5 foot in diameter holes for 10'x4"x6" four feet away, and then connect with a galvanized pipe.

The issue I'm having is that after using 1 50 pound bag of quick concrete in a hole, it was obviously not strong enough, then I put in another 50 pound bag into the same hole, and now the post is clearly solidly attached to the concrete, but the concrete moves in the dirt more than I had hoped.

So i'm wondering if this will not happen so much once I connect the two posts? should I just add another 50 pound bag of concrete, totaling 150 pounds of concrete per hole? or should I use another hole and another post to have three posts connected for better strength?

I'd like to build something that I can do kips and muscle ups, and I'm 200 pounds if that helps.

Brad Rasmussen
07-23-2012, 02:14 PM
I used 3 bags in my post with no problems. Hopefully you purchased a good quality treated post. Mine is a 6"x6" treated but I've noticed that it has started to twist a little bit. I've been warned that the quality of wood that Menards carries is not that great. I think I will go to an actual lumber yard next time.

Mike Hollister
07-23-2012, 04:40 PM
you used too much concrete b/c you had too big of a hole width relative to depth. You want the concrete just barely around the board, with the dirt providing the structural support. Do you know how much concrete they use to bury wooden telephone poles? None.

Not sure how to help you at this point. I'd start over OR build in a third post to add some stability. You can make it higher and hang rings or lower for shorter people. That's what I'd do if I were you.

Elliott Williams
07-23-2012, 07:04 PM
well one vote for more concrete, one vote for less.

Jason Gusler
07-24-2012, 06:14 AM
When I did mine I used 4x4x10' post and put them 24" into the ground with (1) bag of concrete on each post. Then again my holes were only about 10" in diameter so it took less concrete. At the top I used a threaded galvanized pipe and galvanized floor flanges with 3" wood screws to attach it. http://www.lowes.com/pd_22443-88808-61006_4294822022__?productId=3425240&Ns=p_product_rating%7C1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_rating%7C1&facetInfo= (WFS) I am only 160lbs and was able to kip on it all day long with no problems, a buddy of mine who is around 210 lbs also had no problems. I did notice after a few months and several storms that the post had twisted slightly but was still very structurally sound. Hope this helps. I vote for redig and start again with less concrete.

Elliott Williams
07-24-2012, 07:58 AM
Man, I'm getting so many conflicting responses. The bag said that I needed a hole "at least" 3 times as wide as my post, and since I got 4x6, I figured I needed at least 18" holes, and they ended up being around 22 just because.

I think I'm going to keep going with the too large holes, 3 bags per, and add a third post as a squat rack or rings or something.

thanks for all the responses.

Mike Gin
07-24-2012, 09:14 AM
Ideally you would've poured all the concrete at once because now you have what are called cold joints - so you've lost some strength there. Four bags of conrete all poured together is stronger than 4 bags cured individually. I would consider starting over too - just consider it a WOD. Or as someone mentioned put another posts perpendicular to the others and tie it together with another pullup bar - so you have an "L" shape. That will make it much more rigid and you'll have another pullups station. Doesn't have to be as tall as your original.

Elliott Williams
07-24-2012, 09:24 AM
Ideally you would've poured all the concrete at once because now you have what are called cold joints - so you've lost some strength there. Four bags of conrete all poured together is stronger than 4 bags cured individually. I would consider starting over too - just consider it a WOD. Or as someone mentioned put another posts perpendicular to the others and tie it together with another pullup bar - so you have an "L" shape. That will make it much more rigid and you'll have another pullups station. Doesn't have to be as tall as your original.

thanks. that does make sense. the biggest problem with this whole thing is that i don't have a car. I actually walked to my local home depot with a 12'x4"x6" post... twice, and carried 100 pounds of concrete on another trip. now i'm waiting for my hunting pack to come, and i'll use that to carry 150 pounds of concrete on my back.

So at least point, I don't want to do what's best, just rather make the most out of this situation, which probably means accept the cold joints in one hole, make the second hole much better from what i learned on the first, and if need be, make a third hole for another pull up station to create the L configuration.