P90X Day 0: Fit Test

Ok. So I’m already 1 day behind schedule and I haven’t even started the official 90 day program yet!  But, it’s… not… my… fault.  I had intended to do the fit test yesterday, so I could have a couple of days between the fit test and the start of the program as recommended.  It was not to be.

Problem 1: the pull up bar didn’t fit because the depth of my door frame is 7″, and apparently no self supporting pull up bar works on door frames exceeding 6″.  So I googled around and found a helpful post by “Kevin” in the comments section of this site.  He describes how to modify the P90X pull up bar to work with 7+” door frames.  I don’t have the P90X bar, so I had to modify his instructions to work with the Iron Gym bar.  My adjustments are detailed at the end of this post.  Anyway, the modifications to the pull up bar required trip(s) to the hardware store, drilling holes through metal and assembling.

Problem 2: Just as I was successfully completing this, multiple teenagers started appearing in my basement–the garden level, as I like to call it 🙂 — to hang out with Daniel and watch movies and eat pizza for the evening.  That was it.  I was kicked out of my work out area and did not perform the fit test as planned.

This morning, I performed the fit test.

The Good: In general, I did pretty well, passing most of the minimum requirements by a decent margin. I was breathing hard by the end, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

The Bad: You may have picked up on the fact that I said I passed “most” of the requirements.  Unfortunately, I did fail one.  P90X recommends that men can do a minimum of 3 pull ups.  After all the work modifying the and installing the pull up bar yesterday, I failed the pull up test.

The Ugly: So how many pull ups was I able to knock out?  Zero.  That’s right. Zero. I knew this was coming.  I weigh 164 lbs so all I can confess is weakness!  The P90X Fitness Guide offers some consolation.  Not to worry, it says “…many people won’t be able to do any pull-ups when starting P90X.”

I’m starting the program tomorrow.  I’ve got a mixed doubles tennis match in the early afternoon, followed by an Eagle court of honor.  So, I’ll be doing P90X day 1 tomorrow evening.


The Pull Up Bar Mod:

To those with extra thick door frames who still want a pull-up bar in their own home:
The Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar – Extreme Edition can be easily modified with a drill and a few parts out of your local hardware store’s plumbing section. I ordered this bar without checking how thick a door frame was supported, and so I had to elongate the backstay. I brought the pieces of the pullup bar with me to the hardware store to ensure I was buying components that fit. I highly recommend this so you can avoid a second trip to purchase a 50 cent bolt.

This can be done with two each of the following:

  • 2 ½″ by 1/2″ nipple (steel, for joining two female sections of pipe)
  • 2 ½″ by 3/8″ nipple
  • 1/2″ to 3/8″ reducing coupler
  • 1/4″ bolt at least 1 3/8″ long with locking washer and domed nut

The 3/8″ nipple should fit inside the smaller tube (the one that goes inside the tubes of the backstay).

The 1/2″ nipple should fit inside the large tube of the backstay.

Screw on the reducing coupler to the 3/8″ nipple, and then screw the 1/2″ nipple into the reducing coupler. Gently tighten with a wrench.

Insert the 3/8″ nipple end into the small tube and connect the larger tube to the other end with the 1/2” nipple.

You will need to drill through both ends of each joined nipple while staying aligned with the existing holes in the Iron Gym pullup bar’s frame. Having a vice makes this much easier and increases the accuracy of your drilling. Use a 1/4″ drillbit. Once this is done on both assembled nipples, join the two sections with the nipple extenders and bolt in place. You will need two additional bolts to attach the 1/2” end of each nipple to the backstay tubes.  A 1/4″ bolt at least 1 3/8″ long should be used together with a nylon nut.

This modification expands the pullup bar by at least 3″, thick enough for my giant 7 ½″ door frames.


As requested, here are some pictures:

This entry was posted in P90X, Round 1 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to P90X Day 0: Fit Test

  1. JJ says:

    What kind of drill and bit did you use? Reason I ask is because the fittings are hard to drill through I broke the bit I used and didnt even get 1 hole done. Thanks for the help

    • I used a regular drill, with a vice to hold the bar in place. For a drill bit, I used a cobalt 13/64″ bit for hard metal. Your size may vary based on your bolts used.

  2. Eric says:

    Has the pull up bar held up? I just went to my local lowes and grabbed the piping that you suggested to get…I’m just wondering how it’s been working for you? Any troubles?


  3. LilaA says:

    Thanks for the pics!!

    Now I see how it all comes together!!

    Downside…no more excuses 😉

  4. LilaA says:

    Great blog!! I too have a thick door way and need to modify my pull up bar. Can you please post a pic of your modified bar??


  5. AkiraK says:

    Don’t worry about the pull-up “requirement.” I failed it when I started the first round as well…after 90 days I was able to do 5 L-pull-ups quite easily. I’m starting my second round the same day you are (Jan 23rd), so we can certainly help each other stay motivated.

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s