If you’re looking for a way to perform upper body workouts without spending hundreds of dollars on a full gym setup, the Iron Gym Upper Body Workout Bar can be an excellent low cost and lightweight alternative.
This review takes a look at how the design provides a strong and stable way to perform a variety of bodyweight exercises, as well as a quick summary of the hundreds of highly rated customer reviews.
The Iron Gym workout bar is currently one of the most popular options for home gyms around the world, with a versatile frame design and range of exercise options.
The 4-piece workout bar is quick to assemble straight out of the box, meaning you can start your workouts within minutes.
Using a combination of steel tubing and sections of foam padding to protect your door frame, this upper body workout bar is designed to fit residential doorways from 24 to 32 inches wide.
A lighter, lower cost, and more easily transportable option than your traditional power tower, this means you can even take it with you when you need to train with bodyweight exercises away from home.
The placement of the protective padding and thickness around the bar also makes it much more comfortable to grip than your standard metal bars.
Iron Gym installation
After assembling the Iron Gym workout bar, you should be left with a single thick plastic block that connects the two curved sections.
It’s this block that rests against the opposite side of the door frame to your body when performing pull ups, providing the strength and stability you need to perform the exercise correctly.
With leverage being used in place of any permanent fixtures, this helps to protect your doorframes and walls from any damage, but also means you aren’t limited to working out in one particular room.
When you’re finished with your pull ups, the Iron Gym upper body workout bar can even be used for exercises that strengthen and tone your abs, shoulders, triceps, and chest.
Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar – Features Summary
- Ideal for pull-ups, push-ups, chin-ups, dips, crunches, and more
- Three grip positions, narrow, wide, and neutral
- Uses leverage to hold against the doorway so there are no screws and no damage to door.
- Installs in seconds.
Exercise 1: Push ups
Together with the pull up, the push up is probably one of the most well known bodyweight exercises.
But if you are still performing traditional push ups from the floor, then the chances are you aren’t seeing optimal results from this exercise.
By resting your hands on the floor, you are putting much more pressure on your wrists, which can place them in a vulnerable position.
Aside from the increased risk of injury, you also won’t be able to benefit from the same increased range of motion that push ups from a raised platform can bring.
When placed on the floor, the Iron Gym bar provides you with 3 different grip position options for push ups. Which one you choose will vary depending on which muscle group you want to focus on:
- Wide grip – Targets more of the shoulders and chest
- Narrow grip – More focus on the triceps and inner chest
- Narrow grip on the curved bars – Targets the outer chest and lateral head of the tricep.
The same curved angle of the bars that holds so well in a door frame now supports your bodyweight through the push up.
Exercise 2: Pull ups
Possibly the most well known and highly advertised use of the Iron Gym workout bar is its ability to support different variations of the pull up.
There are 3 hand grip positions to choose from:
- Wide grip overhand
- Close grip underhand (Chin ups)
- Grip in a neutral position with the palms facing
While all 3 variations will train your back and bicep muscles to a certain degree, each option can also have a big impact on the shape and development of your back muscles.
If you’re looking to add width to your upper back, wide grip pull ups will be ideal.
The chin up style can be used more of a way to increase thickness and mass in your middle back and lats, as well as helping to develop your biceps.
Exercise 3: Sit ups / Leg raises
No true upper body workout routine would be complete without an assortment of abs exercises.
While sit ups and crunches can certainly help develop your abs, many people find it difficult to focus on the muscle contraction.
Having your feet anchored to the ground by sliding them under the horizontal bar makes it much easier to achieve a full range of motion, as well as add in twists to also train your obliques.
The width of the bar means you can simply secure it to the base of the frame and start your set.
If you want to switch to isolate more of the lower abdominals, hanging leg raises is one of the best exercises to include in your workouts.
The wider coated grip sections provide a comfortable way to perform the exercise using just the Iron Gym bar and a door frame.
Exercise 4: Bench Dips
Together with the push up, dips is the best compound bodyweight exercise for training your chest, triceps, and shoulders.
Although the range of motion is more limited than on dedicated dip stands, the curved frame of the Iron Gym workout bar still makes it possible to perform bodyweight dips.
With a similar grip position to bench dips, this is an exercise that will work all 3 heads of the tricep.
Tip: Place the Iron Gym bar on a raised, stable platform to increase your range of motion.
Iron Gym Workouts – Putting the exercises together
Even with all of these exercise options, unless you are putting together the correct workout schedule and exercise routine for your training goal then you probably won’t see the results you expect.
Although your training split may depend on other commitments such as school, college, and work, it’s generally best to aim for 3 training sessions per week, with 48 hours of rest and recovery between each. e.g. Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Before your workout it’s important to spend a few minutes stretching and warming up the muscles, to help prevent risk of injury. This can be using a jump rope, treadmill, exercise bike, or any other light cardio.
The following are some sample upper body workout routines, which should take around 20 minutes each. The idea is to combine these with 20 minutes of lower body training on each day, to get a full body workout.
If you’ve already done some research on upper body workout bars, you’re probably aware that there are other designs available which also fit to your door frame.
So what sets the Iron Gym bar apart from the others?
Whether you’re buying a $1,300 treadmill or a $30 workout bar, it’s important to feel confident that what you’re buying is high quality and is capable of doing everything you expect.
The most unbiased way to research other people’s thoughts on the bar before buying is by reading through the customer reviews. But with well over 1,000 reviews rating the Iron Gym workout bar at 4 or 5 stars on Amazon alone, it can be difficult to find the most important information.
That’s why we’ve put together the most frequently mentioned pros and cons in the lists below to act as a quick reference guide:
- Easy installation
- Comfortable grips
- Low price
- Convenient way to perform bodyweight exercises from home, without the need for a bulky power tower
- Strong design makes the bar capable of supporting up to 300 lb
- Heavy duty steel construction
- No permanent fixtures required
- Supports variable grip positions
- Can be used to train all major upper body muscle groups
- No training DVD to help setup your workout plan
- Doesn’t fit all door frames. Important to measure the width of your frame to make sure this bar is the right choice for your home. Take into account the height of the moulding as well as the width.