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Homemade Outdoor Pullup Bar

I always wanted to live by one of those fitness trails, you know where you walk through the woods and every so often on the path there's a workout station like a pullup or sit-up station. Since I don't have a fitness trail nearby, I decided to make one in my back yard.

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Well, at least I'll have ONE station in my backyard:

homemade outdoor pullup bar

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Backbull lat bar with chain attached to my outdoor pullup bar. Last exercise on back day - 10 degrees and lake effect snow:


Homemade outdoor pullup bar materials:

  • 1" x 60" black pipe: $19.97
  • 2 - 1" black pipe floor flanges $12.34
  • 2 - 4x4x10 treated posts $20
  • 2 - Bags of quickcrete concrete mix $9
  • 4 wood screws $??
  • 1 - 1 3/8" wood boring bit $7
  • Total about $69

I started by drilling a 1 3/8" hole through both 4x4x10's 2" from the top. Why 1 3/8"? The outer diameter of a 1" black pipe is 1 1/4" so by drilling a 1 3/8" hole the pipe has enough clearance to slide through the 4x4 with no problems.


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If you read some of my other homemade project web pages, I have stated before I have problems drilling a straight hole. The holes in the 4x4x10 have to be drilled straight through so the pipe goes through easily, so this is how I did it:

homemade outdoor pullup bar

I used a drill guide that I bought for a different project; I think it was $29? The above pic shows it set up to drill a hole through a board. I forgot to take a pic of this set up on 4x4's. I just used two clamps to tightly hold the boards together.

Once I had the hole drilled I set the 4x4x10 on the ground and test fit the 1" pipe through both boards. Next, I tightened a pipe flange onto one end of the pipe with a pipe wrench. NOTE: I screwed the flange onto the pipe backwards, this way the flange would fit flush against the 4x4:

homemade outdoor pullup bar
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I then slid the pipe through both 4x4's and hand tightened the last pipe flange onto the pipe and secured both flanges to the respective 4x4's with wood screws.

With the pull-up station as one solid piece, I made sure the distance between the 4x4's were the same on top and bottom. I marked the hole locations in the grass and began to dig.

Luckily in the Midwest it was a VERY mild winter, the 11th warmest on record because I was digging into clay which is usually rock hard but the ground was soft and moist. It took no longer than 15 minutes to dig a 3 foot deep hole. Why 3 feet? The frost line in my location of Indiana is 30-40", so at 36" deep I was OK.

I then took one shovel full of rock and dumped it into the bottom of the hole so the 4x4 would rest on this and water would drain away from the timber. Now my hole depth was 34", meaning my 10' 4x4 would stick out of the ground 7' 2". My pipe is mounted 2" from the top of the 4x4 so my pullup bar is exactly 7' off the ground. With my arms straight above my head I can do a calf raise and grab the bar.

With the help of my wife, we lifted the pull up station up and set it into the holes. I grabbed some spare boards and stakes and secured and leveled the station in the ground. Last step was to add some quickcrete, then some water and repeat until the hole was filled:

homemade outdoor pullup bar

Conclusion

This project turned out really well. The bar is at the right height; the station is solid; and working out outside in the fresh air and sunshine is really great. Add some gymnastic rings to this set up for a complete upper body workout.


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