The Best Pull Up Bar Diameter


Best Pull Up Bar Diameter

My guess is you’re on this page for one of two different reasons:

First, you’re building your own DIY Pullup Bar Setup and you’re trying to figure out what the best pull up bar diameter is so you can buy the correct size pipe for your build.

Or

You’re buying a pull-up bar and you want to make sure the diameter is correct for what you want.

Either way, you’re in the right place.

The most common pull up bar diameter is a 1.25″ outer diameter. The pull-up bars used for the Army Combat Fitness Test (the original standard) are 1.5″, but can have a variance between 1.25″ and 1.75″.

The 1.25″ outer diameter is the size you’re going to come across most often when shopping for a pull-up bar and is also the size I would recommend if you’re trying to build your own.

To give you a few more points of reference I’m going to share with you a few common pull-up bars you can buy. Finally, if you’re building your own, make sure you understand the difference between inner and out diameter.

So, what is the best diameter for a pull-up bar? Let’s dig in.

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Common Pull-Up Bar Diameters

Closeup of Hands on Pull-Up Bar

Here are a few of the most popular pull-up bars for garages and home gyms. I also included a couple of popular racks that come with pull-up bars. What you’ll notice really quick when it comes to pull up bar dimensions is that 1.25″ is pretty much the standard across the board.

Brand Pull Up Bar Diameter More Info
Titan Adjustable Depth Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar* 1.25″ More Info
Rogue P-3 Pull-Up System 1.25″ More Info
Fringe Sport Squat Rack with Pull-Up Bar – Garage Series 1.25″ More Info
Rogue S-2 Squat Stand 1.25″ More Info

*This Titan Pull-Up bar is the pull-up bar that I have in my own garage gym. (I also recently purchased a Titan T-3 Power Rack that comes with both a Standard 1.25″ bar and a 2″ Fat Bar.

Diameter vs Outer Diameter

If you’re building your own pull-up bar, there is one thing to keep in mind when shopping for pipe regarding pull up bar thickness.

There is a difference between the inner and outer diameter of a pipe. The listed diameter when you’re buying a pipe will generally be the inner diameter.

Take this pipe from Home Depot for example. The pipe is listed as a 1″ x 48″ Black Steel Pipe. The inner diameter is 1.05″, but the outer diameter is 1.315″.

Make sure to look through the full specs to get a pipe that is the proper outer diameter for what you want.

Also, for what it’s worth, I’ve talked to a few friends who have tried to go with a 3/4″ x 48″ pipe and while it didn’t break, it did flex a little more than what they felt comfortable with.

Fat Grip Pull-Up Bars

Pull Up Bar on Titan T3 Rack
My Titan T3 Rack actually came with both a regular grip (1.25″) bar and a fat grip (2″) bar.

Looking for a fat grip pull-up bar? What is the diameter of fat grip bars?

First, not to get too off-topic, but why would you want a fat grip pull-up bar?

As you can probably imagine, a fat grip bar is extra challenging for your grip. So if you want to develop a really strong grip, like say you’re training for American Ninja Warrior (only sort of joking there), then a fat grip bar would be perfect.

Fat Grip Bars are typically 2″. These are a little harder to find, but a fat grip option is actually available for the Rogue Rack in the table above.

Pull-Up Bar Length

We’ve discussed diameter, now let’s briefly talk about length. Pull-Up Bar Length is really only something to concern yourself with if you’re building your own.

Obviously if you’re pull-up bar is attached to your rack then it’s going to be determined by the width of the rack which is typically about 4 feet wide. Most wall-mounted pull-up bars will be around 4 feet wide as well.

If you are building your own chin up bar, then just keep in mind the wider you make the bar the more stress your bodyweight will put on it. Make sure the materials you decide to use will be able to withstand the length you want to make it.

Grips For Pull Up Bars

Do you have a standard size pull-up bar, but you really want to be able to do fat grip pullups? Good news – there is an easy solution for that.

There is a product called Fat Gripz that are made out of a hard rubber-like material that wraps around the bar. They can turn any pull-up bar (or barbell or dumbbell for that matter) into a fat grip bar. They also come in multiple diameters so you can essentially make the bar as thick as you like.

I’ve been using them with my athletes for years and they work amazingly and will last you forever.

Final Thoughts

1.25″ is the standard size for pull-up bars. Anything thinner than that may end up causing you some stability and/or durability issues. A slightly bigger bar won’t make that noticeable of a difference until you get up around a 2″ diameter which is standard for a fat grip bar aka thick bar.

References

Army Combat Fitness Test

Ryan Horton

Horton Barbell was created by Ryan Horton who has served as a Sports Performance Coach for almost 20 years. My mission is to create a training resource to help as many coaches and athletes as possible maximize athletic potential.

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