Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Home made chin up bar!

In July I decided to construct my own bar park in the back garden! I wanted to write a how to rough guide but thought I would test them out for a month or 2 first! I had a little look around at a local(ish) park that had some parallel bars and some chin up bars and made a bit of a plan from there!

For the pull up bar, I have the 2 up right posts 7ft out of the ground and about 3.5 ft in the ground. The actual bar is about 40 inches long and is flush on the outer edge of both upright posts. I have a piece of pipe for a second pull up bar to attach and expand to the side, when I can psyche myself up enough for more digging through rocks and clay!

£££££wise I already had the tools, pipe, gravel, bolts, all I bought was a bit of concrete and the wood.
Concrete £4 per bag at B&Q x4 = £16
Wood was about £20-25 ish in total.

Materials For the Pull up bar

  • Wood 2 posts, 10.5 ft long I used 100mm by 45mm which is fine but if I was building again I would try to get a square post that would perhaps be a bit more resistant to any flex in the future.
  • Pipe, some old water pipe of some sort it's an ideal diameter and there is no flex in the pipe. If I join the tip of my thumb with the tip of my index finger, it's that kind of diameter.
  • Postcrete , keep those posts stuck in the ground, ready mixed stuff, just tip the powder into the hole and add water. Piece of cake. Same as HERE
  • Gravel, a couple of handfuls in the bottom of each hole before putting the concrete in
  • 2x long bolts + nuts + washers, I drilled through the post and the bar and put a long bolt through so it would be impossible for the bar to turn.

  • Spade-dig those holes
  • Barrow/Bucket - I didn't have anywhere to throw the dirt so needed to move it away
  • Saw - for wood to cut the posts but maybe you will need a hack saw if you need to trim the pipe to length. I used an angle grinder.
  • Drill - I used a good cordless one, as long as it makes holes you should be sweet as!
  • Drill attachment for holes, I used a big attachment for drilling the holes to slide the pipe into. Handy to have! Don't know what it's called! LIKE THIS 
  • Spanner for tightening the bolts that prevent bar spin-age
  • Spirit Level, check stuff's level!
  • Ladder
  • Hammer - Just in case.

Step by step - How I did it (Just the pull up bar ((tall bit)) first, parallel bars to follow!)
  1. Decide on width of bar
  2. Dig 2 holes for vertical posts 3.5 feet deep , I would have gone to 4 if it wasn't rock and clay beneath my yard! Centre of holes the width of your pipe apart
  3. Put post in hole
  4. Fill with postcrete mix
  5. Add water, straighten up quickly if needed.It sets pretty quick.
  6. Repeat with other post
  7. Once set measure and drill hole for the bar.
  8. Repeat on other post
  9. Drill hole through the bar for the long bolt.
  10. Drill hole through post into bar to secure the bar and prevent spinning!
  11. Push the bar in the holes, push the long bolts through to anchor
  12. Nut and washer on the end, tighten them up!
  13. I then added a bit more Postcrete just to fill the holes up
You could by all means make up the bar on the ground, and drill the posts and assemble it all before putting it into the ground if you like, sinking both vertical legs at the same time. You choose! 

Blank Canvas? The Wooden archway was already here when I moved,
 I screwed the finger board to it  and it's still holding up fine!

Insert holes here. I just lifted the paving and cut away the liner and dug down.

One post in, secured by a box of dirt whilst the concrete set

A Levelling tool is handy to check your set up is straight!

Of all the places for there to be a pipe underground! Right in my hole. I dug around it.

There was barely any good soil bellow my yard, clay or rock it seems!

Both posts in, I added more concrete on top once the bar was in place

Drilled out the big hole about 4 inches down from the top then
drilled in from both sides and my holes lined up!

Nice and flush

The back, Perfect length bolt.

Not sure what this is called but use one to drill out the holes for the bar.

So the bar has been up since early August and is still strong as ever. I added the following week the parallel bars which were also fairly straight forward. Will do a similar blog for those sometime soon!
If you have any questions or want some more specific details drop me a comment I'll do my best to answer.

Once you've built your bar you'll be wanting to know what workouts to do on there right?
Whilst my focus now is on coaching runners you can get the best body weight and calisthenic training advice from either BarStarzz or Progressive Calisthenics . The other option I've looked at and could recommend is the Pull up Solution You're welcome =)

Monday, 5 November 2012

Orbana - Energy Drink Review

Orbana is 'A genuinely healthy energy drink. No spike and crash. No added sugar. No caffeine or taurine. Just natural ingredients. As refreshing as it is energizing'  

I received a couple of sachets to try out, I am not a fan of typical  sugar loaded ''energy'' drinks but Orbana is apparently a bit different. Inside there is a mix of amino acids, sugar, vitamins, anti oxidants and electrolytes rather than just sugar


The taste is reasonable and much better than many other drinks I have been unlucky enough to come across in the past. It is quite faint when mixed 50g per 600ml which I prefer and the flavour I had was a slighty orangey pineappley flavour.  

I had a 50 mile ultra running race which was overnight starting at dusk and thought what better way to try Orbana out? I mixed a sachet up with water on arrival at the race start and sipped away a little during the briefing. Throughout the race I maintained a steady 10 min mile average with a slight drop in speed over the last 10 miles which was hillier and had pretty minimal visibility with low cloud and fading head torch batteries. 

Looking back I used 3 sachets during the race and alternated 1 bottle orbana, 1 water, in total drinking about 3 litres of  fluid during the near 9 hours of running. I never felt a big surge of energy as such but felt quite comfortable throughout the race I had a bit of a gap to play with eventually winning 1 hour 1 min ahead of 2nd position so I didn't have to go all out to exhaustion. 

Tiredness never really hit me despite running into the night I was finished before 2 am, normally I would get tired around dawn during over night runs, I stayed awake the rest of the night and day to prevent any jet lag effect.

I would recommend you give Orbana a try for me it was better than some of the isotonic type drinks I have come across I had no problems at all.

I have used another brand of electrolyte tablets for a couple of years now and never had any trouble with them so for me to change from them would be a big step! 

I had no problems, though generally don't when it comes to nutrition so it's up to you to give it a try and see if it works for you I guess! 

You can find out more on Twitter and their website!

@orbana or www.orbana.com