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Old 04-27-2009, 09:25 AM   #1
Sam Ser
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well, that didn't work...

hey there, you handy crossfitters, i'm asking for your help!

let me explain:

i wanted something i could use for inverted rows (also called body rows) -- not only for myself, but even more so for my wife, and for my few clients who can't do pull-ups. ideally, it would be 1) cheap, 2) light and 3) easy to build. i recall seeing a product that is basically a little metal hurdle that would be perfect... but i can't find the web site anymore, and i'd like to build something more cheaply than that anyway. so i looked up the paralettes instructions from the cf journal and extrapolated.

it didn't work.

ok, here's the deal: my local hardware store has 40mm-diameter (roughly 1.5") pvc pipes for sale -- in 4 meter lengths. that's 13' (plus an inch), which is lots more than the 10' called for when making paralettes. no problem, i need my rowing bar to be taller than paralettes anyway.

now, the paralettes call for 24" of length for the bars, 8" for the "legs" and 5" for each side of the "feet". (in metric, that's roughly 60cm, 20cm and 12.5cm each.)

for rowing, i figured i'd need about 36" (about 91cm) of width for the top bar. i figured the "feet" should be longer for more support, so i figured 10" each for those (8 x 25cm) would be plenty sturdy. i wasn't sure how tall the thing should be, but round numbers left me with these dimensions:

top bar = 1 meter
legs = 1 meter each
feet = 1/4 meter
total = 4 meters

doesn't that work out nice and neat?

well, yeah, but the darn thing is a bit too tall to reach from the ground and, worse than that, it's too "soft" in the middle. i don't trust it, and i don't expect anyone else to, either.

now, i'm not certain that the pvc is the same thickness as the pvc suggested for the paralettes. but this seemed pretty strong -- and besides, it's all they've got for this size. the joints aren't the same as in the journal article, either; they are the screw-on type. actually, that's nice, because they stay on nice and tight and they didn't require me to prime and glue the parts together. and yes, it's solid there.

in any case, it seems to my (non-engineering, only slightly handy) mind that the problem is in the length of the top bar, which is a full 40". i know that's a lot more than the paralettes' 24" length, but i didn't think that the difference in integrity would be so great. so my first question is this: how short does the top bar have to be? going below 30" of width for a row just isn't feasible. and my second question is this: how short do the "legs" have to be to support that bar? 30" seems more reasonable for that, too. but will that be problematic?

i don't mind cutting off the excess. and yes, i know, i can just cut the darn thing without asking for anyone's opinion. but i'd appreciate it if someone who knows better than i (like, pretty much anyone!) could give me some advice before i make any irreversible changes.

thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:29 AM   #2
Kevin Thomas
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Re: well, that didn't work...

Why not make it out of metal pipe? You could make something that you could use for dips as well.

The other, easier answer is to have people do ring rows. If you have a pullup bar, it's easy to adjust the rings low enough to do ring rows. Both affiliates I've spent significant time at use this setup.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:34 AM   #3
Rolando Santos
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Re: well, that didn't work...

I know this is in a completely different direction but I would suggest buying some motorcycle tie down straps at the local hardware store < $10 for a pair. Make sure that they are the 15- 20 ft variety so when you loop them they are long enough. Slip a piece of PVC through it to work as a handle, then loop it around your pull up bar. Now you can use the tie down to adjust to different heights. If you can picture the person is hanging from the PVC handles off the straps that loop around the pull up bar.

The problem you have is the length of PVC spanning from one side to the other. If you use one strap per hand and cut the PVC to 6 in it will feel like a handle and won't flex over the shorter span.

This being said I would recommend making some "poor man's" rings out of PVC instead because the straight edge of the 6 in piece will cut into the straps over time. So if you want it to last you have to curve the PVC by heating. Do a search for this in the forum it has been discussed at length...
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:36 AM   #4
Scott Erb
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Re: well, that didn't work...

+1 rings
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:10 AM   #5
Sam Ser
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Re: well, that didn't work...

appreciate the comments, guys, but you're all missing something: i'm using the rowing bar IN PLACE OF A PULL-UP BAR! so simply using a pull-up bar, or hanging rings off a pull-up bar, is out of the question.

and using metal pipe is both expensive and heavy, which goes against my requirements of being cheap and light.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:43 AM   #6
Sara Fleming
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Re: well, that didn't work...

Sam,

Here's what I give out to all my beginner clients:

1 piece of 10 foot rope
2 4.5 inch pieces of PVC pipe

Thread the ends of the rope through the pipe and tie it in a knot. You now have a rope with two handles that you can throw over something. It shortens the rope to about 6-7 feet.

BUT WAIT!!!!

I bought a bunch of these: (scroll down page to see fit-tube door attachments)

http://www.simplefitnesssolutions.co...%20attachments (wfs)

And ran my rope through it and now the rope can be hung on the top of any door simply by closing it. But make sure the door closes towards you, not away so that it is supported by the frame and not the locking mechanism.

You now have a pair of "rings" that you can use for bodyrows simply by leaning away from the door. They work great and the door attachment hasn't failed on anyone yet. I have clients who weight up to 250 lbs.

Also, if they want to exercise outside, it works in car doors and the ropes can just loop around the roof rack, swing set, etc.

Sara
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:17 PM   #7
Sam Ser
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Re: well, that didn't work...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara Fleming View Post
Sam,

Here's what I give out to all my beginner clients:

1 piece of 10 foot rope
2 4.5 inch pieces of PVC pipe

Thread the ends of the rope through the pipe and tie it in a knot. You now have a rope with two handles that you can throw over something. It shortens the rope to about 6-7 feet.

BUT WAIT!!!!

I bought a bunch of these: (scroll down page to see fit-tube door attachments)

http://www.simplefitnesssolutions.co...%20attachments (wfs)

And ran my rope through it and now the rope can be hung on the top of any door simply by closing it. But make sure the door closes towards you, not away so that it is supported by the frame and not the locking mechanism.

You now have a pair of "rings" that you can use for bodyrows simply by leaning away from the door. They work great and the door attachment hasn't failed on anyone yet. I have clients who weight up to 250 lbs.

Also, if they want to exercise outside, it works in car doors and the ropes can just loop around the roof rack, swing set, etc.

Sara

hmm... you're definitely on to something.

i'm training folks in the park, so the door thingy won't work. but i do have a set of those tubes (including the door thingy, you know) and some handles. i could just get some rope or something and attach it to the handles, as you suggest.

now, i also have a set of elite 2 rings coming this week... but the single rope and handles means instant set-up. perfect!

...man, why didn't i think of that?!

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Old 04-27-2009, 05:03 PM   #8
Sara Fleming
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Re: well, that didn't work...

I trained a large group with these ropes in a room with beams. I hung ropes that I had knotted a loop into both ends with a D-ring that had a screw closure around the beam and just threaded the pullup rope through the ring, basically making a big circle connected by the ring. For the higher beams, I just hung a length of chain to make the ropes lower. It looked a bit like I was outfitting a torture chamber, but it worked. If you had a nicely branched tree or swing set at your disposal, you could try that as well.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:26 AM   #9
Sam Ser
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Re: well, that didn't work...

okay, i went back and cut the 40" pipes down to 30". that's the right height and the right width for the rows... and the top bar barely sags now... but the thing still wobbles.

i am concluding that, to make this work, i would need a fairly strong metal. and i'm not going that route.

i'll try sara's ideas for improvised rings instead.

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Old 04-28-2009, 07:58 AM   #10
Neil Beevers
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Re: well, that didn't work...

I take it you are talking about the Lebert Equalizer (wfs). I dont know how much you paid for the original length of PVC, but I would buy a second one and do it with these dimensions:

Top Bar - 24inch (2 feet)
Legs - 30inch (2 1/2 feet)
Base - whatever is left over cut into 4 equal lengths.

Im asuming you are making them for your clients to use 2 at a time, as a way of also doing dips on. Otherwise ignore what I just said as 2 feet might not be wide enough.

Yours,
Beev
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