11 of the most searched questions about pull up bars ANSWERED

Can you get a six pack doing pull ups? Are door pull up bars safe? These questions and more answered here

most searched questions about pull up bars ANSWERED
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You’ve been admiring the athleticism of calisthenics experts and gymnasts on YouTube for so long now, you've almost gone blind. So you've decided to get a pull up bar. But you have questions. So many questions. Fear not, as I am about to answer all the most searched for questions about pull up bars that Google has to offer. A whole 11 of them!

Pull-up bars can help with everything from losing weight to building a big back and huge arms. Also, you can hang shirts from them on hangers. However, even the best pull up bar won’t help you get a six pack overnight, not will it magically make you get big arms

But if you’re happy to put some effort in, pull up bars can help you get in shape over time using nothing but your own bodyweight. The process is not fast but what’s worth having in life that's achievable fast? That’s right: nothing. Put the work in and you’ll get ripped in good time.

Do pull up bars damage doors?

No, unless you put them up positioned so the door can no longer close, and then repeatedly slam the door. However, they very much can damage door frames

Door pull up bars usually have foam covers to prevent impact damage. However, a real issue is knowing how much weight the door frame itself can support. Since there is no easy way to check how much weight your door frame can bear, you might as well mount your new pull up bar and hope for the best. The chances are that if the frame is timber or uPVC, it'll probably be fine.

If you’re concerned about destroying all the doors at home, get a free standing pull up frame or alternatively, one that can be drilled into the wall, should you have the option to do so (i.e. you’re not in a rented property, and the walls are masonry rather than .

Can you get ripped with just a pull up bar?

Yes, and although pull ups mostly work the upper body – mainly the upper back, lats, biceps and the core for stabilisation – you can do other exercises than just pull ups using a pull up bar. One good example is the hanging leg raise, one of the most effective (and hardest) abs exercises

Legs/glutes are harder to train using pull up bars, you might need a suspension trainer set or you can just always use bodyweight exercises instead. Same goes for the pecs/triceps: these are ‘push’ muscles and you don’t use them much for pull ups. Muscle ups are great for triceps activation but you’ll need to be pretty strong to be able to perform them. You can just do push ups to grow your pecs and triceps. 

person performing chin ups on a pull up bar wearing a navy tank top

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Is it worth buying a pull up bar?

Yes, pull up bars are relatively inexpensive, apart from full size cages and multisystem frames. The only reason why someone would think they aren’t worth the price is because usually, the motivation to workout trails off not long after the purchase so people end up not using the bar enough. Pull up bars are an amazing kit of home gym equipment, should you use them often enough.

How many pull ups is good?

Pull ups are loathed in bodybuilding circles as they are hard to perform, no matter how much muscle mass you’ve got. As a matter of fact, the heavier you are, the more challenging pull ups will get, which if you think about it is great for progression.

To answer the question, being able to do any pull ups is better than not doing any, ever. Anyone capable of doing more than a few strict pull ups at a time will surely get everyone looking at them in the gym. Being able to do more than six is great, anything over eight is mind-blowing.

How many pull ups a day?

This is a rather vague question but what I think people mean is how many pull ups should you do in a day to build muscle? If you want to get stronger aim for 2-3 sets of 4-6 reps, use a weighted vest if necessary so the last rep is rather challenging to complete. To increase muscle size, shoot for 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps. Make sure you rest in between sets for at least 30-60 seconds.

Muscular person performing a pull up in a gym topless

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Is pull ups everyday bad?

It depends. I wouldn’t recommend doing a lot of pull ups everyday for a longer period of time but can’t see any problem with doing a few sets. As long as you don’t overexert your muscles it shouldn’t cause any problems, although what overexertion is for you is different to others so please be mindful. People who didn’t exercise much in the past should not start with trying to do pull ups everyday.

Are door pull up bars safe?

Yes, as mentioned above, a decent quality door pull bar is a safe home gym equipment. On the other hand, it doesn’t matter if your pull up bar can hold 135 kg if the door frame caves in under 100 kilos. It’s recommended that you test the frame/pull up bar before use just by hanging with a soft mat under you.

There are still risks, even in this case (e.g. if the frame falls, it might fall on your head), so please be extra careful if you’re unsure. Best would be to get someone to supervise the effort and help you during the workout, a.k.a. a gym buddy.

What are the benefits of pull ups?

Pull up is a compound exercise, meaning it works multiple muscles at the same time, but it’s especially beneficial for building back and grip strength. Being a compound exercise, it burns more calories than isolation exercises such as the biceps curl, which is better for boosting metabolism and fat burning. A stronger upper back can help you with keeping a better posture too. 

Person doing pull up in gym

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do pull ups reduce belly fat?

Yes, pull ups can be part of a regular exercising routine and that – combined with a healthy, balanced diet – can reduce belly fat. However, doing three pull ups a day won’t reduce body weight, especially if you keep on rewarding yourself with more food after the workouts. Find your maintenance calories, swap quick release carbs with fibrous food and you will see positive results soon enough. More about macros for weight loss can be read here.

Is 100 pull ups a day good?

It depends. Doing 100 pull ups a day for a short period of time (a week or so) can improve your pull up performance, in theory anyway, assuming you space out the pull ups throughout the day and follow a decent recovery protocol. The latter involves good sleep, plenty of liquids and a healthy diet. You must also focus on good form and perform pull ups in a controlled fashion, maximising muscle activation.

I wouldn’t recommend doing this many pull ups to people who are new to exercising, are struggling with obesity or very thin, and to people who aren’t fit in general as this type of training puts a lot of stress on the body. Just like the 10,000-swing kettlebell challenge, the ‘100 pull ups a day challenge’ shouldn’t be done too often.

11. 'Do pull ups give you a six pack?'

No, just doing pull ups won’t give anyone a six pack as the only way to get a six pack is to lose belly fat and work the abs, and you only use the abs for stabilising the body during pull ups. The aforementioned hanging leg raises can potentially help you get a six pack bat again, just doing a few of those a day won’t do the trick.

Matt Kollat
Matt Kollat

Matt is a fitness fanatic (a.k.a. fitness and nutrition writer) who's been rambling on about all things health and fitness for over two years now here at T3. His achievements include a short-lived fitness podcast called Fit Mentality Podcast and being a judge on the Fit&Well Awards 2021. In his free time, he works out at home, runs, cycles and loves a good ol' walk around the city. He writes about general fitness stuff, fitness tech, workouts, workout gear/equipment, nutrition and much, much more.