Saturday, November 2, 2013

How to Choose the Right Pullup Rig for the Gym

Which Affiliate Rig is right for you?  Free Standing or Wall Mounted
CrossFit Njord's 12 Pole Free Standing Hammerhead Rig

One of the biggest choices to make when opening a gym is whether to go with a Wall Mounted Rig or a Free Standing Rig.  The good news is that neither choice is wrong - both styles are super beneficial in getting athletes to move their bodies well. +CrossFit Nj├Ârd  in Chesapeake, Virginia chose our 12 Pole Free Standing Rig for their gym [Pictured above].

But how do you decide which is right for your gym's layout?  Let's get the easy stuff out of the way... there is no direct advantage to one over the other in terms of exercises that are made available or attachments that will fit.  Both styles allow for:
But Where Does the Wall Mounted Rig Have it's Advantages?  We get this question all the time.  There is no downside or drawback to this style but it does get your gym started well for a lower up front investment.  In fact, we recommend to all starting gyms on a budget that they opt for this style if they have an appropriate wall [concrete, cinder block or stud wall].  The wall mounted rig offers them everything they need at a great startup price.
  • Least Up Front Investment
  • Ideal for Narrow Spaces [20 feet wide and under]
  • Takes up the least amount of space
  • Still allows the use of the wall for HSPU and Wall Balls
  • Can easily be converted to Free Standing as your gym grows

CrossFit Headway's 4 Pole Wall Mounted Rig

Why then would anyone want a Free Standing Rig?  Is it only for show?  Not at all.  It is true that a big 10 Pole or 12 Pole Free Standing Rig brings lots of attention and 'wow factor' when potential clients visit your gym or see images on social media.  And there are other perks that this type of setup brings:
  • Your coaches get the best view of the athletes with this setup
  • Pull Up Bars and Squat Stations on opposing sides means more athletes on it at once
  • Frees up more wall space for equipment storage

Gear Tip:  What is the best way to have multiple athletes using the inside of my rig for pull ups?  When you've got a full class and not enough room on the outside bars for everyone to grab onto, here's our suggestion:  Before the start of the workout, have every athlete go to their pullup station.  That way they can pick the best bar for their height and know that during the workout this is where they go.  If you've got athletes on the inside of the rig, make sure they are facing each other.  That will allow for the most room for kipping. 

Frequently asked questions:
  1. Where is the best place to install my affiliate rig? Great question!  First, no matter if you have a Free Standing or a Wall Mounted Rig, make sure to leave ample space on all sides of the rig for your athletes to get in the prone position [burpees, pushups, V-Ups, etc] or to do double unders.  Depending on your programming, you will most likely have workouts that require the athletes to move on/off the rig and either grab a bar, jump rope or jump onto one of our plyo boxes.  Be sure you have a minimum of 8 feet of clearance all the way around the rig for this.
  2. Should I install the pull up rig on top of my gym flooring or directly on concrete?  We get this one a lot, too.  We see the only advantage to not having flooring underneath is to save some dollars in flooring materials.  But, the total square foot under the rig is not significant.  If there is no flooring under the rig, that portion of the floor becomes a dirt trap and can be difficult to clean. Flooring underneath is recommended and you can set the posts right on top of your flooring.
  3. If I install my affiliate rig on top of rubber, won't it be less stable?  Not enough to be noticeable.  Just take into consideration the extra 1/2" or 3/4"when you buy floor anchors.
  4. What type of floor anchors should I use?  There are two main types of floor anchors - the wedge anchor and the sleeve anchor.  The wedge anchor is the strongest for installation into concrete floors.  Use those.
  5. How long should my floor anchors be?  When installing the posts to the floor [3 anchors per post], it is best to get 3" of embedment into the concrete.  If installing on top of rubber flooring, add the thickness of the flooring into the equation. [If 3/4" flooring, then buy 3-3/4" long anchors.
  6. What are the most common heights to install my pullup bars?  We've designed the Basic Cross Member that when installed at the highest position, the bottom bar is at 7'-6" center of bar from the floor.  This height is one of the most popular for athletes at heights of 5'-8" to 5'-11".  We recommend pullup bars be installed from 7'-4" to 7'-10" to keep your bars at the prime heights for all your athletes.  Our Affiliate Rig poles have holes every 2" in the top third to allow for more than enough variation.  Not all pull up bars need to be at the same height.
  7. Does Hammerhead have single bars for the rig?  We sure do.  Just ask us when you get ready to place your order and we can swap out single bars for any of the pull up bars on the rig. We suggest changing out no more than 50% of the bars to singles to keep the rig as sturdy as possible - those double bars do a lot to keep the rig su[er strong.
Have other questions or comments?  Or if you are ready to outfit your facility see our selection of Free Standing and Wall Mounted Pull Up Rigs.

It is our passion to outfit fitness facilities with great equipment and to pass along great ideas on how to use that equipment to its highest potential.  Let us know if we can help get your gym started or expand your current facility!