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Old 04-10-2010, 12:59 PM   #1
Xcobra
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Default Does the Door Gym Pull Up bar work?

Hi guys,

First time posting on these forums. I did some weight lifting in college but I really never worked my back as much as I would have liked to, granted I haven't lifted for about three years. I was looking at a pull up bar you can just use at home and found that the Door Gym has pretty decent reviews. Has any one tried it? Is it stable? I'd appreciate all the responses.
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Old 04-10-2010, 03:01 PM   #2
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Yes its works and very stable, it forces the weight front and back as opposed to up and down that would tear the trim off your door.
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Old 04-10-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
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However it can damage the trim... especially if the foam rips near where it makes contact w/ the door. The first one I had did that, the 2nd one seems to be of better build quality.
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Old 04-10-2010, 03:27 PM   #4
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hmmm ok...not as convincing due to what skace said. I live in an apartment so that would be big no no. I guess I could try and see. I really want to get in shape again.
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:01 PM   #5
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hmmm ok...not as convincing due to what skace said. I live in an apartment so that would be big no no. I guess I could try and see. I really want to get in shape again.
Worst case scenario you have to replace some trim, not a big deal.
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:42 PM   #6
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I think I'll go for it. Only thing to do is take mesurements to see if it'll fit. Thanks for the responses!
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:39 PM   #7
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My physical therapy place has one that has adjustable pulleys for pushups among other things...it would totally be worth the extra money over the normal door gym, if you can find one.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:40 PM   #8
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I've got one in my apartment and so does my neighbour. No issues thus far.
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Old 04-10-2010, 09:39 PM   #9
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Bit the bullet : )...cant wait to try it...
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Old 04-11-2010, 01:24 AM   #10
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Bit the bullet : )...cant wait to try it...
it works well, the iron gym ftw!
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:24 AM   #11
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Had the iron gym and worked very well. Initially can't even do one pull but after a few weeks I'm doing 3 sets of 10 every other day. Wifey says my back looks pretty dang good and I noticed my grips to be pretty strong too.

Only issue for me is that it left black marks on the trim where the foam hits it. BTW, always make sure you remove it after using it coz if you forget and somebody closes the door, it would fall on their head.
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:08 PM   #12
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Had the iron gym and worked very well. Initially can't even do one pull but after a few weeks I'm doing 3 sets of 10 every other day. Wifey says my back looks pretty dang good and I noticed my grips to be pretty strong too.

Only issue for me is that it left black marks on the trim where the foam hits it. BTW, always make sure you remove it after using it coz if you forget and somebody closes the door, it would fall on their head.
Good to hear : ) My back has been my weakest point all this time and I was too lazy to do anything.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:59 AM   #13
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It's good stuff. Very stable. It's kind of annoying to store though. Mine's just laying out.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:19 AM   #14
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However it can damage the trim... especially if the foam rips near where it makes contact w/ the door. The first one I had did that, the 2nd one seems to be of better build quality.
mine did this too. Try wrapping extra foam or small towels around the ends where they press against the trim. Other than that it's great and very convenient.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:32 AM   #15
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Xcobra, I feel it is my duty to give my 2c after seeing how you say you "want to get in shape again". It is quite arrogant of me to assume you cant do even 5 pullups with good form, but I will do so anyway, since it was(still is) the case with me, and countless other people out there. Many folks can quickly jerk themselves up ten times and call this "pullups", but can you do these same ten pullups slowly, with perfect form, bringing yourself ALL THE WAY DOWN and ALL THE WAY UP every time?

Many people get a pullup bar after giving in to the hype and advertisements and after installing the thing and finding out they can hardly pull their body weight even once, they quickly give up, and sometimes give up not only on pullups but on fitness as a whole. Don't let this happen to you.

I find pullups to be an EXTREMELY hard exercise. Perhaps the hardest one there is and ever was. The only excercise that I found to be almost as annoying and hard are pushups, but I am gettign much better at these lately having worked my way up from 1 set of 5 to 3 sets of 25. Pullups are actually often impossible for people who are overweight or severely out of shape.

When I started, I couldn't even do one pullup with good form. If I was to jerk like crazy, and exhale hard on the movement up, I could sqeeze out ONE, but that's as far as it went. I wasnt overweight or anything like that. I am just a pathetic computer geek. ; ) Hell I cant even honestly call myself that, because gaming is what I mostly do, not something really cool like programming or web design.

Anyway, I did lots of research in hopes that I could find something that could help me get to 10 pullups with good form. To my surprise there's hardly any good advice out there.

Some people say to get a friend to hold your legs and help you up. I have no such friends. Other say to use resistance bands suspended from the bar. I found this to help, but only a tiny bit. The motion become unnatural because the band springs you up half way, and you get only "a half of a pullup" everytime.

What I found to be of best help, is the "weight assisted pullup machine" at the gym. Not sure if it's the proper name for it. Off course it needs to be noted that even this machine hardly helps at all....


It's the combination of all of the above things that finally got me to 2-3 pullups with good form. And that's after TWO MONTHS OF TRAINING!!! What gives? I am not taking it easy on myself. I strain myself to the limit and train really hard. I dring protein shakes. I try to watch my diet, and yet, I still hardly improve on my pullups! Ridiculous!

Some people say: "If you can only do 1 pullup, do 20 sets of one.. then 30, then 50... a hundred even.. till you can do 2 pullups, and then work your way up from there". In my experience this doesnt help. Doing 50 sets of one pullup is a very annoying and long task. I get bored and exhausted only after 10 sets of 1. ; )

Using a chair to get up and lowering myself down slowly.... also very annoying, and makes me feel like an idiot having to climb on top of the chair on every "pull down"...

After two months of training, I think that gettign stronger for pullups really doesnt come from pullups alone. (DOH, right? Well, it's not like I didnt know this before. I just tried to ignore this fact as hard as I could) You gotta do plenty of cardio to get your weight down and warm up those muscles... You gotta do all other exercises to just get stronger in general. Gotta watch the diet and all that... and only after doing all those thigns, can you possibly do 10 pullups.

In the "French Legion" they say that "A man who cant pull his own bodyweight 10 times, is just wasting air". When I heared that phrase many years ago, I really took it to heart, but still I cant do even 5 pullups. Hopefully after a year's worth of hard training I can finally do better.

I wrote all this not to whine or b*tch, I am just trying to give eveyone here another perspective from my point of view on pullups. Just somethign to think about for all those that start pullups after a while of not training and think a pullup bar will magically get them stronger and muscular along with some basic workouts every now and then.


PS: IMHO, a door mounted pullup bar is good but not great, because depending on your height it gives very little space for you to perform the pullup. I am 5'9" and I have to bend my legs to do pullups. On the motion up, I cant really bring my chin all the way OVER the bar because my forehead hits the top of the door frame. This can be avoided "somewhat" by trying to keep the head back, but then this makes the whole exercise that much more difficult. I live in an apartament and I installed a door pullup bar AND another one between the walls of the narrow corridor between the bathroom and the bedroom. This gives me the best of two worlds...
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:01 AM   #16
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It's the combination of all of the above things that finally got me to 2-3 pullups with good form. And that's after TWO MONTHS OF TRAINING!!! What gives? I am not taking it easy on myself. I strain myself to the limit and train really hard. I dring protein shakes. I try to watch my diet, and yet, I still hardly improve on my pullups! Ridiculous!
How often do you do pullups? I started very similar to you: I could heave myself up for one but it was ugly. I improved by doing a bunch of different things. I would do chinups (easier, so I could do one with good form at first and 2 or 3 soon after). When I was tired from that I would do negatives (jump to the top and then let myself down as slowly as possible). I spread everything out during the day as much as possible, so there wasn't a short period where I was just beating the crap out of myself, and I focused on doing more sets with a lower number of reps that I knew I could handle, rather than as many reps in a set as possible, so I was doing as many as I could pack in a day, but was never totally beat.

I can't say I've improved all that fast, but to give you some idea, I did my first set of 10 chins at a little over 3 months.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:04 AM   #17
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It's the combination of all of the above things that finally got me to 2-3 pullups with good form. And that's after TWO MONTHS OF TRAINING!!! What gives? I am not taking it easy on myself. I strain myself to the limit and train really hard. I dring protein shakes. I try to watch my diet, and yet, I still hardly improve on my pullups! Ridiculous!
How many sets are you doing? I would focus on doing 3 sets of as many pullups as you can. If you do 10 sets your body can't recover for the next workout.

Pullups are really, really hard. I almost hit 3 sets of 5 in my last workout (got 2 sets of 5 and I failed after 3 pullups on the third set) and as a guy who plays ice hockey, soccer, and rides his bike ~ 90 miles a week, I was very proud of that.

Question for the board - once I get to 3 sets of 5 pullups, should I continue trying to increase the reps, or should I start adding weight? (My goal is strength, so I'm leaning toward adding weight)
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:34 AM   #18
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Part of what you said is right ibex, but part of your problem is exemplified in your own post. You don't want to do reverse/negative pullups because you look stupid on a chair. You don't want to do sets of 1 because it feels like a waste of time. Read your post and maybe you will gain some insight into why you have had so much trouble moving forward on your own.

I happened to go from being unable to do 1 pullup to doing 5 just by starting with negative pullups. And when I couldn't do anything, I'd just hang.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:37 AM   #19
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ibex333 - pull-ups can certainly be hard, but it sounds like you are particularly struggling with them. How much do you weigh? What does your workout routine look like?
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:46 AM   #20
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Many folks can quickly jerk themselves up ten times and call this "pullups", but can you do these same ten pullups slowly, with perfect form, bringing yourself ALL THE WAY DOWN and ALL THE WAY UP every time?
Are you talking about kipping pullups? Aren't they just as effective as dead hangs?
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:25 PM   #21
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Are you talking about kipping pullups? Aren't they just as effective as dead hangs?
No, they are easier. I've seen people do pullups every way you can imagine, quick half-reps, "reps" where the chin bearly gets below the bar before it pops back over again, I can't remember the last time I saw someone doing them right.

I do chins, which are a little easier than pullups, but I go from a dead hang (the bar is high so my feet don't touch the ground) to my chin over the bar without moving my legs at all, and then I return to a hang before starting the next one
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:55 PM   #22
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Sorry I took long to respond. I just got the bar today, installed it relatively quick and set it up. Now, I am 5'9" and weigh about 150lbs and have NEVER trained my back or have done that many pull ups. I totally understand what ibex is saying. I can probably do a decent one (not perfect form) if anything. It is extremely hard, especially for me that I haven't done that type of exercise before.

Now, I am taking it slow, I just did a bunch that were all over the place but my point right now is to get there and get the proper form. As to the height limitation ibex mentioned, I just bend my legs, works nicely. But yes I need to do a little more research in terms of form, I have an general idea but I want to be able to know what I am aiming for.
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:00 AM   #23
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Some people say: "If you can only do 1 pullup, do 20 sets of one.. then 30, then 50... a hundred even.. till you can do 2 pullups, and then work your way up from there". In my experience this doesnt help. Doing 50 sets of one pullup is a very annoying and long task. I get bored and exhausted only after 10 sets of 1.
This seems a tad weak (pun intended). If exercise wasn't hard, you'd get no sense of accomplishment from making any progress. Fwiw, it took me about 75 sets of 1 over the course of 2 weeks before I could consistently do 2 reps of chinups. By the next week I was doing 4 reps. The next week I was doing 2 pullups at a time. It's really not that bad if you have any sort of motivation.

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IMHO, a door mounted pullup bar is good but not great, because depending on your height it gives very little space for you to perform the pullup. I am 5'9" and I have to bend my legs to do pullups. On the motion up, I cant really bring my chin all the way OVER the bar because my forehead hits the top of the door frame. This can be avoided "somewhat" by trying to keep the head back, but then this makes the whole exercise that much more difficult.
I don't see how this is a big deal. I'm 6'2" and my ceiling is around 6'8". My knees are an inch from the floor at the bottom and my head touches the ceiling at the top with my chin just over the bar. The only thing wrong with this is that it makes the exercise too easy because I could go higher. When I occasionally workout elsewhere, I tire earlier because I automatically pull an inch or two higher at the top.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:25 AM   #24
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I'm 6'6 and with my knees bent I can practically still touch the floor when hanging down. I like that fact because it lets me gauge whether I'm going all the way down / etc. Height of the door frame is only an issue with some of the earlier bars. The newer ones that have more attachments, stick out further from the frame so the only issue would be your ceiling height.

Xcobra it is good to work on proper form w/ pullups, at least from my perspective. When I was doing them, I got really good at coming down 2/3rds of the way and then back up. Once I caught myself, I came across the depressing realization that when I properly went all the way down, I was back to 1 pullup again. So do focus on form and whether you are swinging. Pullups are just a very tempting exercise to cheat on I think. Momentum benefits you (in a bad way) even better than it does in a pushup/situp scenario.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:59 AM   #25
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Part of what you said is right ibex, but part of your problem is exemplified in your own post. You don't want to do reverse/negative pullups because you look stupid on a chair. You don't want to do sets of 1 because it feels like a waste of time. Read your post and maybe you will gain some insight into why you have had so much trouble moving forward on your own.

I happened to go from being unable to do 1 pullup to doing 5 just by starting with negative pullups. And when I couldn't do anything, I'd just hang.
You know what? You are absolutely right! Don't get me wrong, I didn't just realize this now, I guess I just tried to accomplish a higher number of pullups without constant, daily repetition. I was browsing this forum yesterday, and I stumbled upon someone's post about pullups where he mentions an article from a website called... "Human Machine" I believe... There is a very interesting article there which talks about the extremely high importance of constant repetition. The guy advises to put up a pullup bar next to your basement or kitchen or whatever, and every time you go to the basement for whatever reason do a set of pullups.. or every time you go into the kitchen to grab something, do a set... etc. etc. I sort of tried doing this a while ago, but back then I gave up on such a brutal routine after only two days... I guess it's time to try this again!

To answer other people's questions, I weighed around 170lbs give or take, at 5'9" and 28 years old. After a really bad case of flu, and lots of working out, I now weigh 155lbs.

I train in the gym around 3-4 times a week. For example 2 days a week I do chest and back, and other two days a week I do arms, shoulders, deadlifts/hyperextension. I do 3 sets of 10-12 on each exercise, with max weight I can comfortably lift.

I find it very difficult to fit ALL exercises within my busy schedule between work and college, and I already spend around hour and a half to two hours in the gym every time. Therefore, I try to exercise at home during late evenings and cover everything I don't do in the gym. For example, I fill my backpack with heavy weights and do squats... I also try to do abs and pushups at home as often as time allows. (Honestly probably by far not as often as I should be doing them)
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