How to Install a DIY Pull up Bar in Your Garage Gym

Are you looking to build up your body but don’t want to spend your hard earned money on a globo-gym membership?

Need to find a way to knock out a quick workout but only have a few dollars to spend?

Check out these easy tips to set up your own Do It Yourself DIY pull up bar in your garage gym.

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You will quickly be on your way to doing workouts in a short amount of time.


In your garage space or upstairs closet you may have exposed wooden beams. With a tape measure check the spacing of the beams in the ceiling (joist).

For best results you will want to mount the pull up bar to more than one beam. Joist are typically spaced 16 inches apart.

exf rings vs suspension trainerQuestion: I can’t do a pull up or chin up. What is the best way to learn?

I would use wooden gymnastic rings and set them up so that your feet touch the ground.

Then I would slowly pull myself back up to the rings like rowing.

We call these ring rows and they are a very good way to begin learning how to do pull ups.


Get everything ready and then attach the mounting board with lag bolts or appropriate screws. You may want to drill pilot holes to make it easier to screw in. Use at least two bolts for each joist. Once mounted, test the board to make sure it does not shift.


Lightly weight the pull up bar to test its ability to hold you. Then add your weight (you may want to put a pad underneath in case the pull up bar shifts. Then swing back and forth and finally – do a pull up. Congrats – your now have your own pull up bar in your  garage gym.

Questions from athletes in our gym and our readers online.

Question: “Coach, what are some other ingenious ways to attach a chin up bar to the a beam?”.

I have seen a bar placed through the rafters and then secured with webbing. When you are pulling down on the bar it can’t be pulled through the rafter so it is very secure. I am trying to find a photo and will post it up.

Question: My hands get ripped when I do a lot of pull ups. What can I do to help prevent  or at least repair them? There are a lot of hand repair products out on the market. One that I like is RipFix.

Check out RipFix by Winnies, the ultimate hand repair cream and callus treatment for home fitness gym enthusiasts. This 1.34 oz tin is your complete hand care solution, perfect for preventing and treating rough, dry, and ripped hands. Made with a proprietary blend of camphor, coconut oil, and other natural ingredients, RipFix hydrates your skin deeply and accelerates healing.

Whether you’re a gymnast, weight lifter, rock climber, or engage in any activity that causes hand injuries, RipFix is essential in your gym bag. It’s easy to use anytime, including before bed to heal your hands while you sleep. Say goodbye to painful tears and hello to faster recovery with RipFix, the trusted choice for athletes’ hand care needs.

Question: What is a good diameter for a garage pull up bar? A good size pull up bar diameter is 1 and a quarter to 1.5 inches. The pull up bar at BUDS Navy SEAL training is 2 inches in diameter. The fatter bar is harder to perform pull ups on. Practice now on a fatter bar if you plan on going into the Special Forces pipeline.

About the Author:


Brad McLeod went through Navy SEAL training Hell Week twice after training all the wrong ways. A year later he went back and finished the drill.

Are you interested in training for an endurance event like SEALFIT 20X, GORUCK or a Spartan Race? Do you want to increase your human potential so that you can move faster towards your goals?

Do you have a big event on the horizon and you want to finish the drill?

Looking to get out of a rut and push forward to beat yesterday now?

Get individual coaching from SGPT Coach Brad McLeod. Check out coaching here:

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