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Joseph Amburgey

PVC Parallel bars built into wood stall bars. Possible solution for others

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Joseph Amburgey

If you're a Do It Yourself person, very easy build. If you can build an IKEA bookshelf you should be fine. The only tricky part is figuring out how the connector pieces contribute to overall length. For example, cut two short pieces, 5 inches works. That's 10 inches total in pipe. Then Tightly insert them both into a T connector and you'll get something like 12 -6/8 inches. So the T connector adds 2-6/8 inches. If you don't insert them tight the measurement won't hold up for other T connectors.

Then you need to cut the piping for between the stall bar sides while factoring in how much the rod holders and connectors add to length. You should assemble the cross piece; with the rod holders pressed into the ends push it in between the stall bar sides. It should hold itself in place. Make sure the T connector part, which  you will be inserting the horizontal pieces into (the pipe you'll be holding when doing dips) rest on one of the rungs of the stall bars for support. If you imagine a plane across the front facing part of the stall bar rungs, make sure the head of the connector is behind this plane, sunk in towards the back wall. You don't want them poking into your back when doing leg lifts, etc. Line up the screw holes so you can get to all three of them with a screwdriver. Draw dots into the holes pull all the pipes back out and you have your drill spots.


Any questions feel free to ask.


Mine are 4'6" tall and 4' long. I've seen shoulder and armpit height recommended in other parallel bar builds. I tried to do shoulder height, but my head was going to hit the ceiling. So I dropped a rung down to armpit level. I weight 190 and 1-1/2" PVC feels very sturdy for russian dips. I have large hands, but I wouldn't go any less than 1-1/2 inches PVC with smaller hands.

I went for fingertips to elbow plus 2 fingers for the distance between. Approx 52cm, which is the max I believe for olympic systems. Turns out I got 3 fingers, so I'm a little wide.


It may be better to put the cross piece I have along the front lower than your feet will be in a Russian dip L-Sit. Easy enough change. The higher up it is the more it will reduce the parallel bars from separating. It may be ideal to use some PVC glue for those particular connections especially if you tend to push down and outward during dips. However if you don't have control to press down and not out you probably wouldn't be at this particular progression.

While doing some russian dips I had a bar pull out from the wall T connector. I'll be drilling a hole through the top and dropping a bolt in for both of the connectors to prevent this and the same for the elbows.

So I'd advise when you finish your build to get on it and wiggle around (with your feet underneath you, no L-Sits) to see if you can make something fail.



25ft 1-1/2 schedule 40 PVC

6 T connectors

2 Elbows

2 Metal (sturdy) Circle ended closet rod holders. I had to buy two sets from Home Depot, to get two circle ends, the other end is a drop in end. Picture included at bottom. you could slit the pvc ends to fit onto the drop in end. Not really worth the effort in my opinion.


Tape Measure

Level, 4 feet would be ideal but 2 feet should work.

Reciprocating Saw, or pipe cutter. Anything you have that will work.

Power drill and correct size bit to pre-drill screw holes for closet rod holder screws





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