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Old 05-17-2014, 05:01 PM   #1
Mark Ritchie
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Pull-up rig: free standing or against the wall?

Building a new gym, on the site of thee old tennis courts. Huge space for outside work as well as inside. The gym will be a 12m x 24m canopy. No walls yet -- we will build them or drop shipping containers on the side.

I've seen and used rigs that are freestanding and ones that are bolted to a wall.

Thoughts on pros and cons of each?
Mark Ritchie
CrossFit Chiang Mai (CFCNX)
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:09 PM   #2
Marshall Flagg
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Re: Pull-up rig: free standing or against the wall?

Unless you have a massive open space, a wall mount is better. Rigs take up valuable floor space for a few squat racks and a ton of pull up bars. I'd rather have a bunch of rogue S 2 squat racks/pull up bars and a cage or two than a massive rig.

Rigs look sexy as hell and are like Legos with regard to their versatility. If you have no ceiling to hang rings/ropes/ten foot targets etc. then rigs, wallmount or freestanding, certainly become appealing.

Shoot, I been on pull up rigs built out of old Home Depot style racks that were good to go. So pull up rigs can be done cheaply and be very efffective
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:16 AM   #3
Jon Gilson
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Re: Pull-up rig: free standing or against the wall?


We almost always recommend our clients go with wall-mounted rigs, for precisely the reasons Marshall mentioned. In addition to being less space-intensive, wall-mounted rigs have half the number of uprights as their free-standing cousins, making them much, much less expensive.

At the end of the day, free floor space should guide every decision in setting up your space; the cost is just a bonus.

Keep in mind that the footprint of the rig must include both the rig itself AND the space around it that needs to stay clear for it to be useful during a workout.

Let's take an example:

24' free standing competition rig (our top-end, super-premium offering), before any volume discounting:
Price: $5199
Squat Stations: 6
Pullup Space: ~20 athletes
Sq. Footage Occupied by the Rig: (~7' x 26') = 183 sq ft
Usable space needed in each direction for safety, etc: 6'
Total Sq Feet Occupied: ((7' + 6' +6')*(26' + 6 '+ 6')) = (19' x 38') = 722 sq ft

24' wall mounted competition rig:
Price: $3299
Squat Stations: 3
Pullup Space: ~13
Sq. Footage Occupied by the Rig = 183 sq ft.
Usable space needed in front and beside the rig: 6'
Total Sq. Footage Occupied: ((7' +6')*(26' + 6 '+ 6')) = (13' x 38') =494 sq ft

$1900 savings
-3 squat stations
-7 pullup berths
+228 sq feet

Perhaps even more important than the footprint difference (which allows you to fit about four more clients in the space), a free-standing rig breaks up your space and your sight lines. This makes it hard to teach larger groups.

If it were my choice, for a class of 20, I'd build a 34' wall mount (4/6/4/6/4/6/4) and have two additional squat stands that could be moved in and out of storage as needed.

The only way I'd go with a 24' freestanding is if I had a very large amount of space that I was never planning on bringing to full occupancy.

I hope this helps you make your decision.


"Good intentions are no excuse for incompetence." -Peter Drucker
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:56 AM   #4
Mark Ritchie
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Re: Pull-up rig: free standing or against the wall?

Thanks Jon! Super helpful.

We don't have any walls yet (we have a freestanding canopy), but are trying to get our hands on a couple of shipping containers. So that adds to the issue.

We will do freestanding if we have to (more stable), but will do wall mounted if we get the containers.

Mark Ritchie
CrossFit Chiang Mai (CFCNX)
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:10 AM   #5
Daniel Wu
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Re: Pull-up rig: free standing or against the wall?

Definitely go with the wall rig. We have a 50' wall rig with 5 squat stations. It can easily fit 15 people doing pull ups on it. We use a couple extra squat racks if the class gets big and we can't have people share racks due to height/weight issues.

The only problem we run into is that the rig area can get crowded if you have HSPU/wall balls and pull ups/T2B going at once, since every is clustered around the wall. Our space is odd because we don't have tons of wall space. One side of the gym is all weightlifting platforms, and the other side is open roll up doors.
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