Rigs- Which one do I buy?
Whether it’s a medicine ball being slammed, an olympic bar being dropped, or a kettlebell being swung, affiliate gym gear takes a lot of abuse, and eventually, most of it will need to be replaced. However, one staple piece of equipment that should never need to be replaced in your box or Garage-Gym, is the pull up rig. If chosen correctly this piece of equipment should last you a lifetime.
There are two types of Rigs: Free-Standing and Wall Mounted. Both have the same configuration of 4ft & 6ft Sections, meaning a 20ft rig would look like this: 4ft section-6ft section-4ft section-6ft section. Alternating the 4ft and 6ft sections provides stability to the rig.
Free Standing- Free Standing Rigs are great because they allow athletes to use the rig on all four sides. We highly recommend a free standing rig if you have enough space to put the rig in the center of the room. The posts are anchored then bolted into the floor.
Wall Mounted- Wall mounted rigs are great because they are less expensive than free standing rigs and use less floor space. The downside of a wall-mounted rig is that it can only be used on 3 sides. The posts must be bolted into the floor and the connectors bars bolted into a wall.
Uprights/Gauge of Steel- The uprights create the strength and stability of the rig. The most common dimensions of the steel posts are 2” x 2”, 2.5” x 2.5”, 2” x 3” and 3” x 3”. These numbers denote the width of the posts in inches, wider posts equal more strength and stability. To get an understanding of dimensions, picture a local stop sign post, they are typically 2”x2”. If you have experienced HIIT, imagine 10 athletes doing kipping pull-ups at the same time. The rig must withstand the movement and force of multiple athletes swinging violently on the rig at one time. We recommend that you purchase a 2” x 3” or 3” x 3” 11 gauge steel rig, the difference in price is minimal when comparing a 2” x 2” or 2.5” x 2.5” to a 3” x 3” rig, and the 3” x 3” is well worth the extra money. 2.5”x 2.5” rigs are typically manufactured in China and are more often that not, lower quality. When being quoted on a rig from a manufacturer or company, be sure to ask for the dimensions of the steel.
Rig Options- rigs are awesome because they are modular. You can customize them to your own specifications with: Monkey bars, off-set bars, dirty south bars, flying pull up bars, j-cups, saftey bar attachments or landmines. There are many things to consider when customizing your posts, such as height (8 to 15ft), hole placement and color. When shopping for a rig, inquire to see what features are standard and what are considered upgrades. Standard rigs typically include 9ft posts, j-cups for every 4ft section and double bar connectors.
Manufacturing Process- We highly recommend you purchase a pull-up rig that is manufactured in the US, as the welds are much stronger and the products themselves undergo a higher level of quality control than those manufactured overseas. A common result of a poor manufacturing process is the rusting and chipping of the powder coating around the edges and holes of the posts. Many manufacturers, US and overseas, don’t take the time to properly blast and wash the metal after the laser cutting, therefore the powder coating does not properly adhere to the the metal. If the powder coating process is done correctly, 5 years from now your rig will look brand new and will not show any wear.
Hardware- Pull Up Rigs are only as strong as their welds and bolts. A great question to ask the rig manufacturer is what size hardware/bolts (that connect the pull up bars to the posts) are included. High quality rigs will use a minimum of Grade Five 5/8” bolts. Mega rigs that have strong 3”x 3” steel tubing as the connectors between posts will use 1” bolts. Some manufacturers use 3/8” bolts which we feel are not as strong. Be sure to ask!
When shopping for a pull-up rig, have a look at the attachments such as safety bars or j-cups. This will give you a good feeling for the amount of pride, effort and quality control the manufacturer puts into their rigs. Spend the time, do your research, make the right decision, and purchase a pull up rig that will last you a lifetime.
5 Questions to ask :
- What are the dimensions of the uprights?
- Where is the rig manufactured?
- What is included with the Pull Up Rig?
- What size are the bolts?
- What is the warranty against rusting or chipping (powder coating)?