The pitch: "Turns any door into your own personal gym in just seconds."
April 2009. The Iron Gym is an exercise bar for chin-ups and pull-ups. It mounts in a doorway without tools or permanent attachments, except for a small, unobtrusive clip at the top of the doorframe. Although reviews say the Iron Gym works as advertised, it is somewhat limited because it doesn't fit quite a few standard doors.
The doorway must be the right width (24 to 32 inches wide) and exactly 5.5 to 6 inches thick in order for the Iron Gym to work, users say. Otherwise, it's quick to install and remove without tools, and the parts are padded to protect both doorway and user. Most users find it remarkably sturdy, secure and convenient -- as long as they can find a doorway it fits.
Reviewers also say the Iron Gym exercise bar is relatively quick to assemble out of the box, though we found a few reports of missing parts or a flimsy wrench. It's versatile and effective for chin-ups and pull-ups, though you have to bend your knees to fit in the doorway. You can also do knee raises to strengthen abdominals. A pair of ab straps are designed to facilitate the knee raises. They're advertised as free, but don't come in the box. Instead, you have to mail in a form and pay shipping (*est. $8).
The Iron Gym exercise bar works for sit-ups, deep pushups (with two hand positions) and dips as well. Reviewers say it's fine for all the exercises except dips. The range of motion for dips is so small that you're only doing partial dips, which limits the effectiveness.
Users suggest buying the Iron Gym exercise bar at a local store with a good return policy, since it's hard to tell in advance whether or not it will fit any of your doorways. The Iron Gym website offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, but several users note that both the Iron Gym itself and the shipping charges are higher there than at most retailers.
We found the largest number of user-written reviews and ratings of the Iron Gym at Amazon.com. The review includes a video review that covers assembly and use. A longer, more critical video review (by an exercise equipment retailer) is posted at YouTube.com. We also found useful additional reviews and ratings from users posted at Buzzillions.com, Drugstore.com and InfomercialRatings.com.
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More than 250 users review the Iron Gym exercise bar, giving it a high average rating of 4.5 on a five-point scale. Two videos are also posted here: the manufacturer's TV ad as well as a customer review showing assembly and use for chin ups, pushups and partial dips. About 85 percent of the reviewers here say the Iron Gym works as advertised, but a few others report defective parts. The main complaint from some users is that it doesn't fit any of their doors.
Review: Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar, Contributors to Amazon.com
An exercise-equipment retailer who also runs ExerciseEquipmentReviews.com discusses the Iron Gym, including the entire process of assembly. He tests it in doorways of different widths, noting that a 30-inch doorway is ideal; a narrower doorway makes it awkward to do wide pull-ups. The wrench that's included with the bar doesn't work very well to tighten the bolts, but a 10mm socket wrench does the trick. He concludes that it "does a decent job for the money" but recommends a competing exercise bar, the P90X, for anyone really serious about working out at home. He also warns that pull-ups and chin-ups are very challenging to do.
Review: Iron Gym Review, "ExerciseEquipment", Jan. 28, 2009
Nearly 60 user-written reviews of the Iron Gym exercise bar are published here, and most users give it positive reviews. Some, but not all, of the reviews are drawn from other sites. Among exercise equipment listed at this review site, the Iron Gym ranks eighth; most of the higher-ranking equipment costs a lot more. Several people note that the Iron Gym isn't efficient for doing dips. A few users report that the Iron Gym didn't fit their doorframes or is not sturdy enough. It's also awkward to store when not in use.
Review: Iron Gym as Seen on TV Reviews, Contributors to Buzzillions.com
More than a dozen users review and rate the Iron Gym exercise bar, mostly praising it as convenient and effective. One reviewer complains that it doesn't fit all doorways.
Review: Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar, Contributors to Drugstore.com
Nearly a dozen users weigh in on the Iron Gym here, giving it mostly positive reviews. One notes that it can scuff a doorframe that's painted white. There's also a complaint about high shipping costs it you buy it from the website.
Review: Iron Gym Reviews, Contributors to InfomercialRatings.com