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:
Gloves added too much bulk and prevented me from developing any calluses
Grips work OK on the pull-up bar, but I hated switching between exercises with these attached to my wrists.
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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.
I had the manufacturer do an initial production run of the thin leather, and we were in business!