Tom and I made two pairs of parallettes yesterday. We had fun doing this beginner-level handy project together. First we bought two 10-foot PVC pipes in the 1-1/4 inch size, 16 end caps, 8 elbows, 8 tees, and a small bottle of Red Hot Blue PVC cement. Use this stuff outside! It reeks!
Before we started, I wiped all the PVC with Windex because it was very dusty and the bottle of cement wanted it clean.
The measurements we cut from the pipe, for two pairs:
4 long cross-pieces: 18 inches
4 uprights: 6.25 inches
16 horizontal feet (base): 5 inches for each side of each tee
Tom did most of the cutting, and I did most of the gluing. Our work space was our patio with a tarp over it.
How we assembled it:
Using the PVC cement, assemble the base feet first, then insert the uprights. Put an elbow on one end of the long cross-piece. Glue this onto one of the uprights and peer down it to align it properly. Then add the other elbow and upright/base that you assembled earlier. Press the whole thing down on a level surface quickly before the glue sets to make sure it’s all level and aligned.
Finishing this project is guaranteed to make you able to do a 60-second L-sit as soon as your cement cures. I wish.
Next, I really want to put up a pull-up bar in the yard. We’d use big dimensional lumber, like 6 x 6 by 10 feet long, set two feet down in cement, and a piece of pipe running between them at 7 feet 6 inches above the ground. This is a more intermediate handy project and we keep waffling on whether to do it. I want the pull-up bar but have no confidence in our ability to properly mix cement, let alone get the uprights aligned right. Tom feels that since we have access to the gym (plus a pull-up bar attached to the basement ceiling) we don’t need a freestanding pull-up bar. But if we had one, it would be lots more fun than using our low-clearance one downstairs, for sure. We could use it for hip-pullovers and we could throw rings over it too.

4 thoughts on “Parallettes”

  1. Now, I think you’re using your FitNotes forum to push Tom into doing that outdoors project. (Just teasing).
    I think that’d be really fun, in that you’d have the open air around you, and all the beauty to remind you why you’d like a fit body.
    Don’t they make really easy cement from Home Depot or something these days? It can’t be as tricky as it used to be. The only issue would be the leveling part, and the trick there is to just stay attentive when it gets to the last little phase of curing. (I think).
    Sounds like fun in your area with these projects. Keep us posted!

  2. Chris, you make it sound a lot easier than it appears in my mind! And I guess by now we should be in shape for a little backyard hole-digging and cement-hauling…

  3. Of COURSE I make it sound easier. I’m over here NOT building anything like it. Heck, I felt accomplished when I threw the rope over my beam and got it seated properly. That’s a HECK of a project for non-builders. But then again, it’s also very do-able. Kind of like your CrossFit challenges. They all seemed insurmountable when you hadn’t accomplished them yet. Right?

  4. Yeah, it probably is a “doable” challenge, and you’re right, a side effect of these hard and sometimes unfamiliar workouts is that they make me feel more competent in general to tackle new things. I should be able to apply that to handyman projects.

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