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Equipment (home made or not) and safety **Needs to be a sticky**

Nick Murray

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Nick Murray

I'm a little concerned about the safety some of the home equipment setups people have.

This thread on Reddit's bodyweight training forum shows what happens when you build equipment out of materials that are not fit-for-purpose.

This is the pullup bar the poster built. It broke.

I've read several threads here where posters mentioned they had hurt themselves doing Korean dips, and where stall bars had pulled out of the wall and collapsed.

The general rule of thumb for equipment is that it needs to be 10 times stronger than the usual working load. If you weight 100kg, that's 1000kg, or the weight of a small car.

If the equipment is used for dynamic movements, then - ideally - the rating is 15-20 times.

Most equipment sold in hardware stores is not suitable for dynamic loads (where you are going from upright to inverted, for example).

Never, never, never do anything inverted on a "doorway pullup bar". Better still, just don't use these things. The bars are usually lightweight metal, and there is NO WAY of knowing how well the doorway mouldings are attached - they are not designed to sustain the load of someone hanging off them. I saw a form check in the GB forum of someone doing inverted pike raises using a doorway pullup bar - if it broke, the person could have suffered severe neck injuries.

Wall mountings also need careful consideration (for pullupbars like these, and for stall bars):

* if the wall has a timber or metal frame, at least four 10mm (3/8" ) or 15mm ( 5/8" ) bolts ABOVE the bar (since the bar acts as a lever on the wall) and at least two below the bar.

* if the wall is masonry, you need to be very careful, as masonry walls are designed for vertical loads only. Cinder block/Besser block (the large, hollow, grey concrete bricks) are completely unsafe to use. My recommendation is to use another wall.

* Poured concrete walls are a little safer, but you must get the correct type of fastening - these are an expanding bolt AND a chemical filler that bonds the bolt to the wall.

If you have any doubts, get a qualified builder to help you.

In my opinion, the best option is to spend $300-$600 on a power rack. It's safe, stable and strong. You can move it. You can take it apart. You can insert dowels into the safety bar holes to make stall bars (and use the proper safety bars to hang on to). I've done Korean dips on my power rack, and had no problems with it moving.


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