Going to the gym can be such a drag. It’s like going to work, only shorter, smells worse and costs you money as opposing to earning it. So what’s one to do when it comes to at home fitness. Well, if you have ever remained awake beyond the hours of 1am and onward, then you probably pretty familiar with the endless array of get in shape quick exercise tools. I think it all started back in the mid 90s with that stupid ab crunch machine that was crafted of a few pieces of plastic and a rubber band, or perhaps that sea saw like bike that used your own body weight to shed those unwanted pounds. So the inevitable question comes to mind? What’s a guy like me to do whose in his early 30s who wants to maintain his physique but not attend the always cumbersome gym on a daily basis? Enter the Perfect Push Up and Pull Up.
Now before you throw your skepticism blanket down consider that push ups and pull ups have been the corner stone of muscle building since time began. Which means that these two products have immediate credence no matter how apprehensive you are. But unlike most late night infomercial exercise equipment, the manufacture makes no quibbles about get in shape quick schemes with these products. Nope, you’ll need to dedicate yourself and really try if you want the Perfect Push Up and Pull Up to make a difference. After all, the push up and pull up are not only the corner stone of muscle building, but tend to be a pretty big indicator of one’s muscle strength.
The Perfect Pull Up out of the box looks over whelming and requires installation. But as I’ve already alluded to, these products will require dedication. So anyone looking for a quick out of the box all in one fitness solution I suggest you head to your local grocery store and walk the candy aisle until you break a sweat. In actuality, the Perfect Pull Up is very easy to install. You simply just screw in 4 pieces of metal to your door’s outer frame (not inner, that’s where the door closes). The manufacture provides a guide to help you determine where to drill the screw holes and from there you’ll just need to punch in the screws. I found the guide to be bit cumbersome and inaccurate (paper bends and folds) so I suggest placing the actual pieces on the door after making your marks to see how things will really line up. After the 4 anchor pieces have been installed you just need to hang the actual bar, center the pull up piece and tighten the hex screws. Because some door widths vary slightly, the pull up bar can be adjusted accordingly to insure that you have a snug fit. Again, you’ll want to make sure you install the pieces on the outside part of your door, that way your door can still close, which is an absolute for someone like me who has it installed on their bedroom door (chicken brown cow).
Once it’s installed you’ll just want to insure everything is in place and make sure it won’t snap while you’re in the middle of a pull up. To do this, I suggest just slowing adding weight to the bar by raising your feet off the ground inch by inch until you’re confident it will hold. Don’t tug or swing on the bar since it’s not designed for this kind of activity and could break it.
Included with the Perfect Pull Up are two handles. These handles are designed to hang on the pull up bar and rotate as you do a pull up, hence the Perefect Pull Up. My immediate criticism, and this is more a product of my height (I’m 6′ 1″) and size of my apartment (9′ ceilings) is that using the handles, which ultimately lower you about 8″, make it difficult not to touch the ground with your feet while doing a pull up. As a result, I have to bend my knees at 90 degrees and be cognizant of my leg placement during exercise. In a larger abode, or if you’re shorter you probably won’t find this a problem, though.
The handles are the key to the Perfect Pull Up, so it’s an interesting movement. First things first, the whole process is a bit more comfortable and second to that more natural than the standard fixed pull up or chin up. If you so chose, you don’t have to rotate the handles, but after you’ve experienced the alternative to your childhood exercise I think you’re gonna like what you find. Instead of feeling the exercise in just your back or arms, you’ll feel it in both since the rotation requires you to use both sets of muscles and more.
The best part about the Perfect Pull Up is that it’s not just limited to pull ups. It actually rotates down on a set of hinges (the 2 lower pieces you install) and enables to perform rows as well as an Australian Pull Up, which has you hanging from the bar with your back hovering inches above the ground. Both of these exercises incorporate your other back muscles that the pull up doesn’t accomplish. Thus providing an all around workout. And, believe it or not, I actually enjoyed the Australian Pull Up since the handles, which allow rotation, make it easier to concentrate on the back muscles. I know this may sound too good to be true, but try doing the same exercise at the gym without the handles and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
And it doesn’t stop there. Included in the package (if you so opt) are a set of Ab Straps. I don’t think I need to go into any explanation, but they’re a perfect compliment to the system and actually get you more bang for your buck, so I suggest purchasing them either with or after the fact.
Some things to consider: you’ll want to do the pull ups on the same side that the system is installed otherwise you might hit your head. Also, some people might find it a little cramped, but after sometime you’ll become adjusted, unless of course you’re an extremely broad shouldered person.
Last, and most certainly not least, is the Perfect Push Up. Unlike the Perfect Pull Up, the Perfect Push Up requires no setup and can be used right out of the box. Included in my package was a push up counter, which is just simple a counter that when depressed by your chest tells you how many push ups you’ve completed. My suggestion: don’t bother with the counter unless you can’t count and you want to rob yourself of a complete push up – the height of the counter prevents you from reaching a deep push up.
Build quality wise the Perfect Push Up is extremely solid. The handles rotate on an axis and the bottoms are finished in rubber, allowing them to be used on kitchen floors and other slippery like surfaces. I used them on carpet and despite my floor having some padding to it, they were stable as could be, providing no give and insuring that my wrists didn’t give way or bend. The handles themselves are finished in rubber padding and provide a comfortable grip.
So does it work? There’s no doubt in my mind that a good old fashion push up still builds muscle, but not to the same degree as the Perfect Push Up. Because the Perfect Push Up not only provides appropriate wrist support – the handles allow your wrists to remain straight – it also rotates which engages your inner pectoral as well as your back and believe it or not your core. As a result, I was able to achieve a more all around workout that exhausted me faster than performing normal push ups. When using the Perfect Push Up, though, you’ll need to make sure you really squeeze at the top of your push up and keep your back straight. Because of the added height from the floor, I found it easy to cheat and let my back sag, which doesn’t engage the core as much.
I’m a bit disappointed that I wasn’t provided with the Perfect Dip Bar, but maybe I’ll ask them to send that piece over and amend my review once I’ve got a chance to try it out. I’m not sure if I’d want to dedicated my workouts solely to the Perfect Push Up and Pull Up, but after using it for well over 4 weeks time at 20 minute intervals I’ve convinced it’s a great supplement for the days you can’t make it to the gym. And that’s not to say you can’t use it as a stand alone exercise tool, but given my attention span, or lack there of, I’m convinced I’d be bored with doing the same exercises within weeks.
- Easy to use and install
- Fold out exercise pamphlet guide included
- Well built
- Pull bar with handles too low to ground
- Hinges can get caught and rub off door frame paint
- Push up counter prevents push up