Pull UpsLearn how to do pull-ups at home. Pull-up bars such as the Iron Gym are reviewed.
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Pull-ups build strong arm muscles. At home, one product that can be used for pull-ups is the Iron Gym. It is sold as a pull-up, chin-up, pushup and dip bar. I cover pull-ups at home—their benefits, challenges, and how to do them.

Iron Gym. I bought the Iron Gym product on the Internet. It cost about $27 USD. The box it was shipped in was fairly small and light. Assembly of the Iron Gym was fast—it did not require any special tools.

Putting on the door. Next, I needed to find a good door for the Iron Gym. I found that the closet door was sufficient for the bar installation. It was a walk-in closet in my apartment unit.

Adding the clip. There is a small metal bracket that comes with the Iron Gym. You need to simply place it on the wood surrounding the door. This is easy to do. I had no problem with it.

And Because I live in an apartment, I cannot add any permanent items, but the metal bracket is not permanent.

Usage. The Iron Gym added an excellent element to my workouts. I did pull-ups and chin-ups on the equipment in the doorway. Also, I take the Iron Gym down and do pushups on the floor with it. Pushups are also an excellent exercise.

Quality. I have had the Iron Gym installed for about six months at this point. The Iron Gym never once fell down or broke the interior of the apartment, but some parts of the Iron Gym have been damaged.

So The padding on the handles, for example, has torn in two places where it rubs the doorway.

And After two years the Iron Gym became worn—the foam padding wore out in places. It still functions correctly.

Problems. There are also some problems with the concept of doing hanging exercises in a doorway. If you want to do hanging leg raises, for example, you cannot do these with your legs straight. For pull-ups and chin-ups, you must bend your knees.

But These are small limitations and do not affect the quality of the exercises to a great extent.

I recommend the Iron Gym for part of any home gym that lacks higher-end equipment such as a power tower. For beginners or temporary gyms, this is an excellent choice. I weigh over 200 pounds (90 kg) and it is sturdy enough.

Home gym. I am often asked about home gym equipment. One common question: How can I do pull-ups at home? There is a cheap and safe way to do pull-ups at home. You just need a door or doorway. Inexpensive equipment is available.

The Iron Gym usually costs about $30. If you have wide doorways, you might not be able to fit it in your place. If you live in a small apartment, make sure you have an average or narrow doorway to place the Iron Gym.

Warning If you have a wide doorway, the equipment will not be long enough to hold. This is problem mostly in smaller homes.

Note A metal bracket is included in the Iron Gym equipment. It helps stabilize the pull-up bar on the door frame.

Story. I have owned and used the Iron Gym in three different homes. I put in my closet door frame in one. In the second, I put it in a bedroom door frame. And in the third, I put it in the bedroom door frame again.

It fit every time but was hardest to adjust properly for the second home. The apartment had wide door frames and this made it harder to place correctly. The Iron Gym works better in some homes than others.

Closet doors The Iron Gym fits some of these—even apartment closet doors. Some doors may be too narrow for a good fit.

Bedroom doors Some of these fit too. Some wide doors, such as in apartments designed for disabled people (wheelchairs) do not work.

Dips. Parallel bar dips are also possible to do at home. I usually recommend just getting a special dip station. This reduces the possibility of injuries. Dips are safer than bench presses if you are working out alone.


In my experience, dips are easier to do than pull-ups. They also work those large chest muscles better. For heavier people—powerlifters—dips are perhaps a better exercise to focus on to get large arms.

This is because exercises that build total-body mass, such as squats, will reduce your pull-up performance. Your lower body simply weighs too much. But dips can be done in more repetitions at these weights.


Summary. Pull-up bars are a good way to build strength. They are not a necessary part of a strength training program. You could instead substitute other exercises or even use a lat pull-down machine if necessary.

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