I have a home garage gym that I'm looking to improve on. I'd like to build a pullup rig in my backyard and I plan on using 6x6's to do it. My plan is to have two 6x6x10's and two 6x6x12's. The tens will go on the outside of the rig, and the 12's will be on the inside.

My intent is to have two normal pullup bars on the outside of the rig and then have the inside of the rig tall enough to build both a salmon ladder and hang gymnastics rings on it for muscle ups.

I'd like to sink the posts as shallow as possible (for maximum height) while still ensuring that it's sturdy enough to use, but have no idea how deep this is and I can't find any references that deal with 6x6's.

I expect them to be around 5ft apart from one another in a straight line, not a box.

How deep should I sink the poles and what are the tradeoffs? I definitely plan on cementing them in the ground.


  • general rule of thumb: 1/3 of post height needs to be in the ground. So a 12' post needs to be 4' in the ground. – DA01 May 29 '14 at 2:15
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    also, I don't know how big you are, but I imagine a 4x6 would more than suffice...if not just 4x4s. – DA01 May 29 '14 at 2:16
  • 2x6 and your A-frame idea should easily hold an NFL lineman, or 3 normal folks. – Ecnerwal May 29 '14 at 3:02
  • I'll probably end up with using 6x4s. Thanks. – Malcoda May 30 '14 at 2:09

General rule is 1/3 of the post needs to be in the ground. However, if the aim is to get a lot of height, consider going with an a-frame structure--essentially a swing set.

Instead of burying anything in the ground, anchor it with earth screws (essentially a large screw used to anchor swing sets).

So if you are using 12' lengths, and the base is 6' apart, you could still have about 11' of height without having to bury them at all (albeit you'll need extra material to make it an a-frame with two sides + cross bracing)


If height is your primary concern, you might be able to use something like this Simpson Strong-Tie which would be available at your local hardware or home improvement store.

These won't be as strong compared to burying the post a few feet. Make sure to check the manufacture specs to ensure it can withstand the forces you are expecting.

(source: homedepot.ca)

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