Chin-up Bar Review

August 19th, 2008 by Potato

I picked up a new chinup bar a few weeks ago from the fitness source (? — can’t remember the exact name of the store, but it was on Doncaster across the street from Cayne’s). I had gone in there planning to buy one similar to what Netbug has: something that screwed into the doorframe, since 6 screw holes is a lot less damaging and secure than those compression-fit bars can do. The guy ended up selling me on this one though, a Forza Door Gym, $50 with a $10 off sale. It’s kind of neat: it has handholds sticking out so you can position your hands in different ways in the pull-up, and supports itself partly on the top and partly across the door frame. Chin-ups, I’m finding, are a lot harder than they used to be. I think that’s got a lot to do with the fact that I used to be 120 lbs.

Chinup bar
Chinup bar

I’ve put it up in the doorway through to the kitchen, which is a good place for it because it means I do a chin-up or two every time I go in for a snack (I’ve heard it said that abs are made in the kitchen, so hopefully that placement will help). It’s very picky on how thick the door frame can be though, so this is also the only doorway in the whole house that this will work on! The other doors in the house are either too wide so it’s at too much of an angle for the part that goes over the top of the door frame to be at a good angle, or the top trim pieces are too tall: notice in the pictures that on this particular doorway, the wood piece over top of the door is smaller and plainer on the kitchen side (where the chinup bar is going over the top) than on the living room side, where the bar is. The bar only fits on this one doorway and only in the one direction: that fancier wood trim piece on the living room side is too tall for the supporting piece to hook over. I think I would recommend it as a neat, very easily removable chin-up bar (though I don’t remove it since it’s high enough that I don’t fear hitting my head, and will actually use it if it’s out all the time), but you should definitely check your doorways to see if it will fit. My parents’ house, however, seemed to have a lot more doors that fit. For reference, that doorway where it does work is 7″ thick, and the top trim piece is 2.5″ tall. A doorway 9.5″ thick is too much for it to fit, and likewise a top trim piece of 6″ was too big.

Note that it is not completely damage-free: after just about a week of use, there is some damage where the ends have dug into the trim (partly due to the trim coming out at that point so it takes a lot of weight on one small spot). I don’t think that our landlord will get too pissed off about that minor damage though, and it’s still less than I’ve seen compression-fit bars do.

Damage to doorframe

One Response to “Chin-up Bar Review”

  1. Netbug Says:

    Very nice. I was planning on getting one like this, but couldn’t for the reason you stated; the door frame has to be very specific.

    I don’t know how muhc progress you will see with “a few” each time you enter and exit the kitchen, but give it a go. One trick I used at the beginning (which I’m probably going to have to use again when I catch that damn wagon that I fell off a few months ago) was to put an exercise ball under myself with either legs extended in front or bent-knee. It reduces the weight in addition to changing the angle of the pull.