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Old 01-27-2008, 09:32 PM   #1
Zachary Cohn
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Home built muscle-up bar

(Quick note, you can also read this on my blog, www.zaccohn.com and see the pictures that go along with it. I didn't want to load this thread up with 17 pictures, so I left them out, but they really help a lot in understanding what I'm talking about. And what we went through is kind of funny.)

So Artem, Charlie and I have been working on muscleups lately, and we've been quite distraught that we can't practice them in our apartment. Well.. no longer. We ordered a pullup bar, and decided to start constructing.

We decided the best place to put it would be in the stairwell, mostly because that was the only place that had enough room below and above. We pretty much immediately ran into a snag. We were using my new (and crappy) studfinder, and we discovered that the studs on one side of the wall were at 0ft, 2ft, 4ft, etc. On the other side of the wall, the studs were 1ft, 3ft, 5ft, etc... So obviously, we couldn't have our muscle-up bar be diagonal, so back to the drawing board.

After a couple of days, we came up with an idea. After a quick email to Mark Toorock from Primal Fitness to get some carpentry advice (and to make sure that our contraption doesn't explode and kill all of us), multiple trips to Home Depot (we kept forgetting things), we came out with two 2x6s, a box of 4" wood screws, a new (and better) studfinder, a drill, and a pack of drill bits.

So, without further adeiu: HOW TO BUILD YOUR MUSCLEUP BAR IN A STAIRWELL

Step 1) Mark all the studs on both walls. This is important, because we discovered that our studs were off.

Step 2) Buy lots of wood. Our studs were two feet apart, so we bought two 2x6's (one for each wall), six feet long.

Step 3) Hold up one of the boards against the wall. Make sure it's level by using a level, and mark where you want to keep it.

Step 4) Holding one board against the wall, mark where the studs cross the board. It would be best to cross three sets of studs, for maximum stability (This is important so the bar/wood does not rip off the wall and come crashing down, killing 7).

Step 5) Once you know where the centers of the studs are behind the board, mark where you want to drill your screws. Three screws, vertically, per stud should do the trick.

Step 6) With the board still up on the wall, drill your pilot holes where you want your screws to go, so the hole goes through both the board and the stud.

Step 7) Now it gets tricky. We were having some issues getting the screws to screw in, so we ended screwing a second, slightly larger pilot hole about an inch into the boards through the original pilot hole. The smooth part of the screws, past the thread, was getting stuck in the wood.

Step 8) Once your pilot holes are all drilled, and the pilot holes in the wood have been redrilled, screw two screws into the wood until they stick out about half an inch or so in the back. Insert these into their holes, and it should force the rest of the holes down the rest of the wood to line up.

Step 9) Drill the rest of the screws into their respective holes. Note: Support the wood on the other end until more of the screws are in. We were having some... issues... with damaged screws and holes.

Step 10) Repeat Steps 3-9 for the other wall. Make sure that the boards are on the same level.

Step 11) Figure out where you want the muscleup bar. You don't want it too close to the top of the steps or else you'll have to worry about hitting steps when you're doing your pullups, or you'll have to worry about people walking into the bar. You also don't want it too close to the bottom of the steps, because (at least in our case) there's a wall there, inhibiting movement.

Step 12) Put the bracket against the wood, mark the holes, and screw in the screws.

Step 13) Repeat Step 12 on the other side.

Step 14) Slide muscleup bar into place.

Step 15) DO A MUSCLEUP.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:08 AM   #2
Aaron Trent
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Re: Home built muscle-up bar

That is a cool tutorial, but may I suggest that you could use iron or galvanized steel piping for the bar. It should grip better than that slick bar, hold chalk better, and it will only cost $6-8 at Lowes.
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:39 AM   #3
Jeff Wendt
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Re: Home built muscle-up bar

It's good, but I just foresee a day when you jump down from the bar, and miss a landing and fall down the steps.

Wonder if you could make some sort of platform that could go over the steps and make a small level area under the bar. Perhaps make another pair of boards on the sides down where your feet would be, and put nice removable platform on those. Perhaps something attached to the wall on hinges...
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:50 PM   #4
Richard Gonzalez
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Re: Home built muscle-up bar

Thanks for posting this.

I can forsee this in my near future.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:58 PM   #5
Zachary Cohn
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Re: Home built muscle-up bar

Jeff- We're way ahead of you. I'm planning on building a platform that's about three steps long. It will rest on the high step, and has two supports on locking hinges (for easy storage) that will support the other side and go down to the third step or so.

It's safe for now though (as long as we're not doing anything to failure). If you swing just a tad you can get some solid footing on the steps and let go of the bar.
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