Best Pull Up Bar – Secured With Tension

I’ve had the “other” pull up bar, that secures on top of the trim of a door and rubs against the trim on the sides. It’s bulky and must be taken down after use to have a functional door. Don’t get me wrong, this product is fine for developing muscle, but it really is a nuisance. However, after switching to this tension secured version, I got rid of the old style for good. The convenience factor alone makes this the best pull up bar option!


As I said, I owned the removable pullup bar pictured below:

Because I was doing the P90X program a while back, I needed a pull up bar. I “installed” this in the downstairs bathroom doorway, because some of the frames were too large and the handles didn’t reach the side. After completing the program, I opted to move it upstairs to my bedroom, where I could bang out a couple reps whenever entering or exiting my room to help build endurance.

The problem was, if I ever needed to close my door, the pull up bar was always in the way. I’d have to take it down and store it somewhere out of the way so I wouldn’t trip over it when entering my room. So it got reserved parking in my closet. If you own this, you know the bar is not easy to break down and can be rather bulky. There had to be a better way.

My girlfriends sister was moving and inquired if I wanted an indoor pull up bar. I responded that I already had a pull up bar, but I’d take it off her hands. The back is a large muscle group so it can be worked a bit more frequently. Therefore, I had planned to install on another door in the house. Anyways, I was a bit shocked to find that it wasn’t the same style as mine. I had found the better way!

Pull Up Bar Features

The Good

Full disclosure, I don’t have this exact model. However, I do have the less expensive version of the pull up bar that’s held in place using tension. Because it is the same concept, I can discuss the benefits, and why I chose this model over my own.

Because the pull up bar was a hand me down, I didn’t even have all of the hardware you get with a new purchase! I won’t lie, I was sweating before I even grabbed the bar. I could just see myself falling on my rear end, and my girlfriend laughing hysterically. However, the bar has no problem holding my weight even without the mounting brackets. The tension it puts on the door frame is enough to support me. For reference, I fluctuate between 195-205 on a regular basis. The handles on my version are made of the same material as the version I already had. Those grips tend to deteriorate over time and don’t appear as heavy duty as the version I’ve listed. That’s the first reason I’ve chosen to display this model.

I mentioned before that I was limited in the doors I could install on. Garren Fitness has taken this into consideration and provides an oversize version of the pull up bar. An option I was unable to find on my version. That’s the second reason why I like this model. Options are good 🙂

The Better

Beyond having solid holding power, this guy doesn’t need to be taken down to close the door. Just place it on the frame on the side opposite where the door closes. Now you have a pull up bar, and a fully functional door. This freed up a ton of space in my closet, and removed the tedious process of put up and take down.

I’ve heard complaints about “bar spin” but I haven’t had any issues. Unless you secure it without tightening properly, or kip during your reps, I don’t imagine you will have problems either. I’m a strict form pull up kind of guy. All the extra movement and momentum resulting from kipping pull ups in a confined area just seems dangerous with any version of an indoor bar.

The Bad and the Ugly

Alright, so there’s give and take. The original version I had left black marks on the trim of the door frame where the handles rubbed. It also left a nasty mark above the top of the trim on the inside where the top piece rests. The tension held version has brackets that screw into the frame, so there is some setup, and if you move you’ll have to patch holes. Beyond that, the only thing I’ve noticed is the trim is separating a bit from the doors frame. Likely, this is because I tightened the bar to compensate for the lack of brackets. This could be fixed with a little caulk, but I’m not selling my house anytime soon and can live with the gap.

Also, I’ve seen some BIG guys at the gym. I don’t know what the weight limit is for this bar, but I wouldn’t recommend for someone who has a much larger build than myself. A couple of my buddies have used it, and they range from 160ish pounds up to about my weight maybe slightly heavier. There haven’t been any accidents, but I can’t vouch for someone who is 250+ plus grabbing the bar and banging out reps.

Final Thoughts

Unless I’ve missed the mark with my writing, I think you know where I stand on this workout tool. It’s the best pull up bar available currently. The freedom and convenience this equipment offers is the key feature of this product. If you’ve got a ton of space, and would rather not have a pull up bar sitting in the doorway, then get the old school version. However, I think most fitness folks will appreciate this gift and will consider it an upgrade from their current pull up bar.

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