How I Invented the Lev Fitness Pull-up Bar Wrap

I’ve been doing pull-ups as part of my workout routine for 20 years (ouch, just typing that makes me feel old!). This is a great exercise because it works arms, core, back, and grip, with almost no equipment needed. The problem that I have is that my grip strength is generally the first thing that fatigues. I’ve tried these solutions, but they didn’t work for me:

Lifting gloves add too much bulk

Gloves added too much bulk and prevented me from developing any calluses

Grips just get in the way

Grips work OK on the pull-up bar, but I hated switching between exercises with these attached to my wrists.

Tape is too tacky and doesn't last.

Tape gets tacky, wrecks my calluses, and isn’t very durable

I’ve had the idea bouncing around in my head for a few years to wrap leather pieces around a pull-up bar. First, I tried to find it for sale, but it didn’t exist! So I bought some supplies online and got to work.

The very first prototype of our leather pull-up bar wrap

My first idea was to make a very wide, single piece of leather to wrap around an entire bar. The problem was that wrapping a piece of leather that wide around a pull-up bar is almost impossible without getting a lot of bunching and twisting. So I cut the wide piece into squares and tried them out.

I really liked how they worked and needed to see how it would look coming out of a manufacturing facility. The first batch that came back were…not good.

Second prototype of our leather pull-up bar wrap

It matched my design, but the material was a cheap, artificial leather. It slipped around the bar and actually made it harder to grip (maybe a new grip-developing product?)

The 100% genuine leather pull-up bar wrap

I tried again, but made sure that the material was 100% genuine leather. The next set that I got back were perfect! The leather was super thin, didn’t rotate around the bar, made the bar easier to grip (even when sweaty), and it protected my calluses. But I still had to make sure they were perfect.

Too thick leather

I asked the manufacturer to try one with thicker leather, and I immediately hated it! It made the bar feel twice as thick and rotated too easily around the bar. One thing that I did like was the logo placement.

Lev Leather pull-up bar wraps.

I had the manufacturer do an initial production run of the thin leather, and we were in business!

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