The pull up mate is a portable piece of kit for training pull ups, chin ups dips and a few other body weight exercises. It comes with a bag for transportation and is easily clicked together in a few minutes.

Now before I begin I should just say that at 6ft, 4inches and 97kg I’m close to this products weight capacity which I believe is 110kg. So just bare that in mind because for someone of my height and weight, this product is far from ideal.

Specifically it’s not sturdy enough or strong enough to cope with me pulling my weight up on it. There’s some give and the tower leans as I pull, and that is a problem when you’re talking about strength development. Let me explain.

As I pull on the bar it leans forward, so I’m expending energy and strength but going nowhere. Now if we were talking about deadlifting, this would be an advantage, the weight continues to sit on the floor as the bar bends. This is what happens on what’s called a whippy bar. However in this context its most definitely not an advantage because I still need to pull my weight to the top and get my chin over the bar to complete a rep. The deadlifter only has to lock out his hips, it doesn’t matter where the weight ends up. So using this bar, I’m expending more energy than is necessary which will fatigue me sooner which will make it harder to get my volume necessary to build muscle/strength and make progress.

Now for a lighter person would this be the case? Maybe not, and there’s lots of positive reviews of the product online with people specifically stating that its sturdy. I can only guess that these people are much lighter than me.

For me, it’s an inferior product to other options such as a door frame pull up bar or wall mounted, with the latter there being the one I would recommend most.

And unfortunately the problems don’t end there.

Dips are the other main exercise that the product developers are advertising this for, however the width for hand placement is too wide. Dips are an awesome upper body exercise and like pull ups, very difficult for the average person on the street to do. To make it easier you would want a narrow hand placement to involve more tricep pushing power. The pull up mate hand position is wide and this puts the pecs into a semi stretched position, which is less than advantageous to start the movement from. The product designers have recognised this as a problem and have produced an attachment that clips to the bars and reduces the width. However, you’ll have to put your hand in your pocket again to get it. That would not sit well with me if I had actually paid for this product.

Going further, the manual that comes with it is a bit of let down. It doesn’t provide any training information or even list out the exercises you can do with the product. I had to go online and search around on Youtube and other places to see what exercises I can do with it.

The adverts for the product mention that you can do 100’s of exercises with it, but no mention of any of them in the manual. Not even some advice on how to do pull ups the main exercise that this is produced for. I think that’s a missed opportunity to engage your customers and get them excited about using it! And lord knows there’s enough people out there struggling to get their first pull up, so I’m sure if they included a beginner program it would be appreciated.

I like the concept of this product, to be able to train my clients in the park and work on pull ups and dips would be a very cool, but I feel this product is just not quite their yet. If they could strengthen it some how without increasing the weight then I’d be all over it. Until then, I’ll give it a serve.

Check out the Pull up mate website here.