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Splitting or Cracking Posts (also known as Checking)

Splitting or Cracking Posts (also known as Checking)

Whilst we use the best sources of timber available to us (within a price) when constructing your garden gym, it is almost inevitable that cracking/splitting (known as checking) will occur weeks or months after installation. This can be especially prevalent during the hot summer months. Remember – wood is a natural product and will split.  

100% Full refund prior to installation

If after reading this article you would like cancel your order prior to installation or delivery of DIY products then you will be entitled to a 100% refund.  If you go ahead with the installation and subsequently do not like the appearance then unfortunately there will me nothing we can do.

Splitting timber is a common concern for all!

  • We use several companies in the UK to supply timber and we have found that ALL of the timber used regardless of the source is susceptible to ‘splitting’ or ‘cracking’.
  • This is a problem that ALL timber suppliers face and all suppliers of play equipment and gazebos etc.

The information provided here is to give you an understanding of what to expect after you have our installation team install your gym.

What to expect after your outdoor gym is installed?

The following images show how the wood can crack/split usually during the summer months as the wood dries /adapts naturally to the outside environment.

cracking posts

  • In 99% of all cases the cracks, which may appear as defects, will NOT affect the structural integrity of your gym.
  • At times, as the weather heats up, the cracks can appear almost overnight and at first can be somewhat alarming.  But this is the nature of wood.  This is something that will most likely happen but it is not something to be alarmed about.
  • Because the cracks often run down the centre of the wood it can look like the bolts that attach the pull up bars to the posts are causing the wood to split.  This is NOT the case.

Further research

We also DON’T want you to just take our word for it.  So below are links to other website that discuss in detail ‘Checking’ (cracking/splitting) of wooden posts.

What can you do?

As the structural integrity is NOT affected the short answer is you don’t have to do anything.  In fact, during the winter months we often find that the cracks subside as their is more moisture in the air. 

However from an aesthetic perspective this an area that we are currently investigating and will be updating this page over the coming weeks. 

Taking care of your posts

Whilst the posts are pressure treated for outdoor use, we do as standard  recommend applying an oil based stain or weather resistant treatment to the timber posts on an annual basis as part of your general maintenance program (more of which is discussed as part of the installation process). The oil can be easily applied to penetrate into the cracks to help in the overall preservation of the timber.

100% Full refund prior to installation

If after reading this article you would like cancel your order prior to installation or delivery of DIY products then you will be entitled to a 100% refund. If you go ahead with the installation and subsequently do not like the appearance then unfortunately there will me nothing we can do.

Remember, the most important thing is that the bars feel secure and solid.  

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Metal Monkey Bar with Outdoor Pull Up Bar

Metal Monkey Bar for Garden
  • Case Study: The Miller Family
  • Product Purchased: Monkey Bar and 5ft Pull Up Bar
  • Tallest Bar Height: 2.4 Metres
  • Added Extras: Foot Hold bar, 16 inch multi use bar, swing, sanding and oiling
  • Family Members: 2 x Adults 2 x Children
  • Adult Age: 40+
  • Children Age: 8 & 12

Choosing Xorbars to Install an Outdoor Gym

We take a great deal of pride in our installation expertise which is why we were pleased to recieve the following correspondence from Mr Miller:

“My question concerns the installation. This is really important for me because I would much prefer to pay you guys to install for me.  Is my understanding correct? It would assist massively of you could do the install!”

About the Family 

The Turner family are based in Gloucestershire, Dad enjoys his long distance running and climbing, Mum mostly does her running but does circuit training once a week and is looking to use the Olympic rings to do back rows and to develop her upper body strength. The daughter aged 8 loves her climbing, she has been climbing the tree in the garden with a rope attached but has been asking for monkey bars for a while. The son aged 12, is coming into his teenage years and started to want more body definition, wanting to build on his ‘guns’ as young boys do and  like every young boy, he really wanted a pull up bar.

The previous equipment in the garden was an old swing which was being disposed off.  They were adding a swing to the new Xorbars set up.

Designing the Perfect Outdoor Gym 

The family wanted something that would fit into the space at the end of the garden next to the existing trampoline, this way it wouldn’t impose on the rest of the garden.metal monkey bars garden

Getting the Height of the Pull up Bars to fit the Whole Family 

The monkey bar was installed at the height 2.40 meters, which is the general height that most people opt for. This meant that Dad being 5ft 11 had the height set so that he had to do a little jump to reach the monkey bars.

8 year old’s can use Adult Equipment

The 8 year old daughter tried out the monkey bar and easily got up and off the equipment smoothly and safely she can also jump down from the full height bar.

Narrow Access to Garden

There was a small narrow covered passage way from the front of the house to the rear garden which meant that help was required to carry the 12ft posts to ensure that no damage occurred. Andrew was happy to assist in carrying the posts with the Xorbars installer. The duration of the installation took 1 day.

Future Extension to the Gym

After discussing different training methods/moves with the customer, they are now considering extending the gym next year. Mum and dad were extremely pleased that it is easy to add on other bars so this will grow with the family and their training requirements.

Dip bars are one really nice addition which can be easily incorporated into this set up by adding them to the end of the monkey bars.

Adjustable Height of the Pull Up Bar

The posts have been installed so that that the pull up bar can be raised at a later date to accommodate Olympic rings.  Foot bars can be added to the bottom of the posts so that the bar can still be reached for standard pull ups.

Customer Review 

[blockquote author=”” link=”” target=”_blank”]Communications before the installation were prompt and professional. On the day, James arrived precisely on time, he talked to us about our needs and made sure that he fully understand what we wanted out of the installation, and then he set to work in the most efficient and organised manner one could imagine. During the installation, he came up with ideas and proposals for altering the height and location of certain bars, all of which made complete sense. And at the end of the day, he tidied away and left no mess whatsoever. We have been left with a fabulous set up that has been receiving daily use from all of us, small and large![/blockquote]

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Swapping Scaffolding Poles for a Professional Outdoor Gym

outdoor garden gym station

Swapping Scaffolding Poles for a Professional Outdoor Gym

The following case study looks at the Ghavi family and the installation of their new Xorbars outdoor gym.  Our case studies are designed to help you find your perfect garden gym.


  • Client: The Ghavi Family
  • Product Purchased: Warrior Gym
  • Tallest Bar Height: 2.4 Metres
  • Added Extras: mini bars, sanding and oiling
  • Family Members: 2 x Adults 2 x Children
  • Adult Age: 40+
  • Children Age: 5 & 7



About the Family

A lovely family base in Oxford, Dad and Mum early 40’s and two energetic girls aged 7 and 5, were looking for a set up the would work for them all!

The girls had been climbing on scaffolding that has been surrounding the house for the last year

and due to their new found love of climbing so much, the parents felt that they wanted something to keep them climbing now that scaffolding had gone.

Through various conversations with ourselves here at Xorbars, the family wanted something that they could all use on all year round, a home gym for all ages where they could train and have fun with family and friends.

Designing the Perfect Outdoor Gym

Mum and dad started off designing their own gym, looking at lots of different options, but by the end of the design process they decided that the Warrior Gym had everything they required and was the one to go for.

“We would like an installed pack combining stuff for kids and grown ups” 

Getting the Height of the Pull up Bars to fit the Whole Family

The gym was installed at 2.40 metres which is the general height that most people opt for. This was so dad being the tallest (5ft 11) had to do a little jump to reach the monkey bars. There were some additions to the Warrior Gym, mum and dad opted to have 4 ladder bars on one side of the monkey bar, this is ideal for smaller children aged 5 to 6. For older kids then usually 3 ladders bars are sufficient. Two were also added to the other side so that the kids could climb down but also so that dad could look at training to do the human flag.


First Time Using the Outdoor Gym

On the day of installation the children are given 5 minutes to see how it feels. Then they have to leave it for 2to 3 days. Both of the girls were so excited to get to use the gym, and they loved it! They flowed easily from each section of the Warrior set up, in fact the five year old girl could swing on the monkey bars and miss out every other rung which was impressive. Big smiles all round, happy children and parents really pleased with the end result.

Gym Installation Time

The duration of the installation took 2 days, it was a harder than a usual installation because the roots off the large redwood pine tree (which was sited behind the set up) caused a lot of trouble. But the customer achieved the look they wanted as the gym blending in perfectly with the garden.

The previous equipment the children had in the garden was a freestanding metal climbing frame, but this had become unstable and also too low for them now.

Customer Review

[blockquote author=”” link=”” target=”_blank”]“Great communication before installation and during. James worked through rain to dig holes in our root laden ground and kept cheerful throughout. After finishing James then stayed late to talk the family through how to use the bars safely. We are more than happy with the installation and the materials used are high quality. I would highly recommend Xorbars to anyone. Thanks!”[/blockquote]

A Final Word from the Kids

As the installer left the premises he could hear the girls busily arranging for all their friends to come over 3 days after the installation to show them their new and exciting gym.

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The School of Calisthenics

School of Calisthenics

The School of Calisthenics will see you now!

We have some exciting news.  We have been working with the guys at ‘The School of Calisthenics’ based in Nottingham and we are pleased to announce that Xorbars will be endorsing their calisthenics training programs along with their workshops and classes.

The School Of Calisthenics

Why Choose the School of Calisthenics?

There are many training programs, videos and people out there offering their incite into calisthenics training and like with all things some of it is good and some of it no so.  Here at Xorbars we take a great deal of pride in our calisthenics products and therefore will only tell you about people and companies that take the same level of pride in what they do.

These guys are serious professionals. We are talking Sports Science Degrees here not that quick two week course on personal training.  They clearly understand the human body and how to maximize your training progression quickly and safely.  So what are you waiting for?  Take a look at the three main ways the School of Calisthenics can help you achieve the impossible!

The Calisthenics Framework to Training

The School of Calisthenics Framework provides athletes with a progressive system that enables students to learn and achieve the various skills and movements in calisthenics. The calisthenics framework used by the School of Calisthenics caters for all ability levels, and will provide you with the exercises necessary to begin or support your calisthenics journey. Applying the framework and training at the right level of difficulty will support you to achieve your calisthenics goals.

All you have to do is add is some time, persistence and consistency. Do that and the framework will take you there.

Options 1: Download their Calisthenics Training Books

The School of Calisthenics has free training books on calsithenics as well as some specialist training books on those must master movements like the human flag – and yes with these guys, you really can do it.

Option 2: Sign up for their Virtual Classroom

  • Beginners Online Training Classroom: Follow the weekly beginners lessons to develop your skills, build strength and get fit. With lessons and tests on mobility, strength and skill development.
  • Join the Virtual Classroom and become part of a community of like minded calisthenics ‘students’ to help support and encourage each other.
  • Challenge yourself and develop your calisthenics skills at your own pace with lessons, hints and tips from our expert tutors.
  • Powered by Edufii, a purpose built app designed for coaching and education our tutors will give you personal individualised coaching and feedback.
  • Don’t get stuck and frustrated, join the virtual classroom and get coached from anywhere in the world.
  • Sign up for the Beginners Classroom for only £9.99 ($12.49) per month.

Option 3: Take Part in their Calisthenics Workshop

That’s right!  You can actually train with these super fit guys and take your calisthenics training to the next level. The tutors provide workshops not just teaching the School of Calisthenics Framework but educating you in understanding how to develop and to continue to progress your calisthenics journey.

“Great progressions and suitable for all levels. Stimulated both mind and muscle. The tutors created a great learning environment which was challenging but fun!” – Owen Jackson

School of Calisthenics
39 Fernleigh Avenue,
Tel: 07738008145