Re: Pull-Up Options
Until you find a better solution, you can use your squat rack as a pull-up rig for modified/substitution pull-ups that will be suitable for your current weight & scaling needs. Two options:
1) If your squat rack has safety catches or pull racks: put the bar in the low rack, lay on the floor under the bar, positioned such that the bar is between your chest and eyes, then pull yourself up to the bar. For laying modifications of pull-ups, if your chest is under the bar, it'll feel more like a row and you can lift less of your weight, if your eyes are under the bar, it'll feel more like a pull-up and you'll lift more of your weight. If you bend at the waist, you'll deload a lot of weight, if you keep your body straight and hinge on your heels, you'll add weight back to the movement.
2) If your squat rack DOESN'T have low catches: grab a bench, or a couple chairs, whatever, lay on those instead under the bar, do the same.
3) Once you build your strength, grab a length of rope and two 1 1/4" diameter x 5" electrical conduit nipples from Home Depot to use as handles. Put the bar in the top rack, run the rope through the nipples/handles and hang them over the bar, and lay on the floor. Pull up on the handles higher and higher.
4) Another option, once you build some strength, is to set the squat rack as high as the settings offer and do deloaded and assisted pull ups from that position on your lifting bar. If you hang with your feet out in front of you, legs straight, and your heels on the ground, you'll be deloading your pull ups pretty considerably. Alternatively, if you hang with your knees bent and your feet behind you, with your toes pointed on the ground, you can use your legs to assist your pull ups.
If you do get a cage, but sure you buy one with a proper weight limit. I have a FreeMotion 620BE cage and the pull up limit is 300lbs. I'm sure it would hold more weight and not instantly fail, but as an engineer, I'm also sure that it would compromise the integrity of the unit to overload it regularly.