Review: the iron gym

This may come as a surprise to all four of our regular readers, but from the time I started elementary school until I graduated 17 years later (That’s a joke. It only took me 16 years to graduate), I was never considered a top-of-the-line physical specimen.

The great thing about graduating at the age of 23 was being able to buy beer for all of my classmates.

To prove it, I failed to qualify for a Presidential Fitness Award.

I’m not in the least bit jealous of these young and athletic punk asses.

Both Reagan and Bush the Elder looked at my little chart, admiring my mad skills in the shuttle run and sit-up challenge. But, one thing always held me back… my inability to do a single pull-up.

“You have to work on your arm strength, there, you limp-dick wimpy boy.”

In the mid 90’s, fed up with my low percentile ranking among the high-school aged male student’s muscularity, I decided I’d finally do something about it.


No, no… not steroids.

I lived with my Dad a couple of blocks away from a riverside park, that had a small playground.  On said playground?

Monkey bars.

For weeks, I would walk down to the park every night, head over to the monkey bars, and try with every fiber of strength I could muster to do a chin-up.

To no avail.

But, I kept at it.  And soon I had my first chin-up.  Then my second.  Before long, I was rattling off six or seven pull-ups without getting tired.

Then I went to college.  Away from the monkey bars.  In an area where people who visit playgrounds in the middle of the night were killed for their pocket change.

Other than the occasional request of friends to pull myself onto the dorm’s roof to rescue hacky sacks that had been errantly kicked up there, I didn’t have any reason or desire to keep up with the exercise routine.

i was the healthiest of the foot bag kickers… though Presidents don’t just hand out awards for that kind of thing.

My arm strength diminished.  I gained 40 pounds.  My days of doing pull-ups were over.

Back in January, I ordered an Iron Gym.

Seeing as though I’m too busy, or lazy, or both to get to the park every day, The Iron Gym brings the monkey bars… or a single monkey bar, really…. to me.

And I’m not too lazy or busy to walk across the living room

My apologies to Lance. The joke was there, and I had to… I just had to.

Besides, most monkey bars are made of metal, and get slick when wet… so outdoor chin-ups in the rain are an accident waiting to happen.

The Iron Gym’s multiple grips are all foam-covered, making it the Lincoln Town Car of pull-up bars.

There are only a couple of very minor things about the bar that I’m not keen on.

First, the assembly instructions weren’t clear about which screw belonged where.  No worries, as it was properly put together after  a brief period of confusion and cursing the Iron Gym’s technical writers.

Second, the bar does leave black scuff marks around the trim in the door frames.  So, unless you have black door frames… like Anne Rice, I’m guessing, it’s good to be wary of that.

Black molding is so completely, completely Goth.

Just trivialities, though.

I can, once again, do six pull ups with relative ease.

All in all, with the possible exception of the Health E-Cigarette, the Iron Gym is far and away the As Seen On TV product that I’ve found the most useful.

Where to Buy: Iron Gym at

Price: $29.95 + S & H

Dude, why did you have to poke fun of Lance Armstrong like that, you insensitive prick?: You’re absolutely right. I could have picked on John Kruk just as easily.

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