# Big Beam LVL or Glu Lam load capacity to support a gymnast

I need help knowing if I am selecting the correct wood beam.

The load will be all near the center and a 250 pound man will be doing pull ups on it. I would estimate a 1,000 pound dynamic load to be safe.

I am looking at a 3.5in x 12 in x 20ft Big Beam (LP makes it, it's an LVL). It will only be supported at the ends.

How can I calculate the correct beam size? Thanks.

• What is the allowable or desired deflection? – Phil Sweet Feb 9 at 3:54

If you can approximate it as isotropic material, then you can use Euler beam theory to find the stress and compare it to the yield stress:

$$\sigma = My/I$$

• $$\sigma$$ = normal stress

• $$y$$ = distance from neutral plane (midplane of symmetric section beam). Maximum stress occurs at the outside edge so use $$y=h/2$$ where $$h$$ is the height of the beam (12 in).

• $$I$$ = 2nd moment of area of the section about the axis perpendicular to y and also in the plane of the section. For a rectangular section, $$I=b h^3/12$$. $$b$$ is the width of the beam. For other shapes like I-beam, see Google.

• $$M$$ is the bending moment. For a simply-supported beam (is it simply supported?) with point load at the center, the bending moment at the center (where it's maximum), is $$M = FL/4$$. $$F$$=load (1000 lb_f) and $$L$$ = length (20 ft).

Beware that there might be other failure modes too.

• Thank you for the response. I plugged in the numbers and get . – Don Feb 8 at 10:30
• Something's missing from your comment. – user1318499 Feb 9 at 2:48
• What are you suggesting to limit the bending stress too? NDS has free documents available with adjustment factors and formulas that are used for Structural design. – ShadowMan Jul 8 at 21:36