Monday, January 25, 2010

EXPERIMENT: Garage Pullup Bar (AKA Lou's Trapeze)

Recall a previous post about the Again Faster portable pullup bar. Well I wanted to try something out, mostly because at home I had been doing pullups on my gym rings. So I suspended a 25# Oly bar from some nylon webbing for this new contraption. If you look at the 2x4 cross-member, you can see the industrial carabiners I attach the rings to. I couldn't use that hardware because I have them spaced at the standard 50cm. I needed the straps to be wider than that for my natural pullup grip. After I figured out an acceptable height from the floor and ceiling, I proudly stood back and told myself, "Nice. Why didn't I think of this earlier?"

Then I proceeded to do my "100 pullups for time" workout.

Whoa! It sucked big time. The effort needed to do pullups on this trapeze equaled about a +10# or +15# pullup. The bar was swinging much more violently that I had hoped. I quickly fell behind on my regular pace of 2 pullups per 12 seconds. My last run at that WO was under ten minutes. With some recent weight loss and hard workouts, I figured I could AT LEAST match a sub-1o performance. Well I finished totally wrecked at 17:10.

I never got into a rhythm. My palms and fingers got blistered. My abs and lats were on fire. I didn't get the typical "sucking wind" feeling I usually get from this test. Instead it was a total strain on my musculature: lats, back, forearms, hands, etc. That is why I say it felt as if I was wearing a 10-15# vest, or hanging a similar weight from a belt chain. Each pullup from #1 was harder.

I blame this on the swinging motion of the trapeze. I have used Tom G's and Jim Q's portable pullup bars many times before with success. But for some reason, this suspended bar was WAY more challenging. Maybe it was because the drop was longer. Both Tom and Jim's bars were attached closer to the rigid object (ceiling), which might have kept the swing to a minimum. Any other hypotheses?

I won't be doing all that much work with this pullup bar....or will I? Maybe I'll wear some gloves and force myself to conquer this challenge. Afterall, if I can master the trapeze, I will laugh at pullups from a stationary bar.


Andrew 69 said...

The higher it would be, the less swing you would have...strap movement from middle (hanging position) to 1/2 inch either way (one inch total movement range, for example) would result in much less movement of the bar at a height closer to the beam (higher off the ground). Lowering it, the straps barely would move at the top for all the movement you are doing down at bar level. not sure how much higher you can put it to be able to use it may have trouble getting up there and your head may be too close to ceiling...worth a shot at different heights, but definitely could see how the lower it goes, the harder it gets!

rubadub said...

You could have 4 superficial bits of wood nailed into the joist on both sides to stop the bar being able to swing as it is trapped between them, the straps/rope would still be bearing the load