Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20020055417 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 08/871,906
Publication dateMay 9, 2002
Filing dateJun 12, 1997
Priority dateJun 12, 1996
Also published asCA2207430A1, DE19723099A1, US6409631
Publication number08871906, 871906, US 2002/0055417 A1, US 2002/055417 A1, US 20020055417 A1, US 20020055417A1, US 2002055417 A1, US 2002055417A1, US-A1-20020055417, US-A1-2002055417, US2002/0055417A1, US2002/055417A1, US20020055417 A1, US20020055417A1, US2002055417 A1, US2002055417A1
InventorsNerio Alessandri
Original AssigneeNerio Alessandri
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Varible configuration exercise machine
US 20020055417 A1
Abstract
The present invention concerns an exercise machine with variable configuration, of the type that includes at least one posture portion and one machine portion, the exercise machine having reading means of a portable medium constituting a device for the storage of protocol data of a user and/or an exercise, motor-driven means for adjusting the relative position between the posture portion and the machine portion, and control means, connected to the reading means and to the motor-driven means, designed to change the relative position between the posture portion and the machine portion in accordance with the protocol data.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(13)
What is claimed
1. An exercise machine with variable configuration of the type that includes at least a posture portion and a machine portion; the said posture portion, being fitted with means designed to allow the positioning of a user in an exercise configuration in which the user can perform a training exercise; the said machine portion being fitted with movement means, accessible to the said user when he/she assumes an exercise position and which can be used by the user to apply an effort designed to contrast, for the performance of the said exercise, a resistance offered by the exercise machine; the exercise machine being characterized in that it includes:
means for reading a portable medium that constitute a data storage device with a portable memory designed to store the data relative to physical measurements and/or to performance techniques concerning the said user and/or the said exercise;
motor-driven means of the relative position between the said posture portion and the said machine portion;
control means connected to the said reading means and to the said motor-driven means, designed to change the relative position between the said posture portion and the said machine portion in accordance with the said protocol data.
2. The exercise machine according to claim 1, characterized in that the said motor-driven means are arranged and operate at least at the said posture portion.
3. The exercise machine according to claim 2, where the said posture portion includes at least one seat, characterized in that the said motor-driven means consist of moving means designed to move the said seat in two ways at least along a direction towards the said machine portion.
4. The exercise machine according to claim 1, characterized in that the said motor-driven means are arranged and operate at least at the said machine portion.
5. The exercise machine according to claim 1, characterized in that the said motor-driven means are arranged and operate at the said posture portion and at the said machine portion.
6. The exercise machine according to claim 1, characterized in that the said portable medium has a memory of the type without the need for contacts.
7. The exercise machine according to claim 1, characterized in that the said portable medium is fitted with an electrically erasable programmable read-only type memory (E2PROM).
8. The exercise machine according to claim 1, characterized in that the said portable medium consists of a waterproof enclosure that contains a memory programmed through magnetic induction.
9. The exercise machine according to claim 1, characterized in that transmission means of a control signal consisting of a radio wave emitter and receiver are envisaged between the said control means and the said motor-driven means.
10. The exercise machine according to claim 1, characterized in that transmission means of a control signal consisting of an electromagnetic wave emitter and receiver are envisaged between the said control means and the said reading means.
11. The exercise machine according to claim 1, where the said resistance offered by the exercise machine is provided by a load that changes in accordance with the exercise to be performed, characterized in that means to adjust the said load are envisaged, connected to the said control means and interlocked to them, so as to change the resistance offered by the machine in accordance with the data stored in the portable medium.
12. The exercise machine according to claim 11, where the said load is changed by combining different weight elements to the said action means, through relative connection means, characterized in that the said means to adjust the said load are arranged and operating at the said connection means.
13. The exercise machine according to claim 11, where the resistance of the machine can be obtained electrically, characterized in that electrical means to adjust the said resistance are envisaged, connected to the said control means and interlocked to them, so as to change the resistance offered by the machine in accordance with the data stored on the portable medium.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to a variable configuration exercise machine, that is to say, an exercise machine that can be adjusted in accordance with the characteristics of the user and/or exercises performed by the user on the machine. For the performance of physical activities such as, for example, different types of exercises in gymnasiums, rehabilitation centers and similar locations, the traditional type of devices, such as barbells, dumb-bells, etc., have been coupled to more complex exercise machines and correlated to their use.
  • [0002]
    The latter envisage a basic frame to which means are connected for physical effort by the user, such as for example a bar or handles or levers, connected to a load that supplies a resistance to the physical effort.
  • [0003]
    The user sits on a seat or other support (a bench for example) and from this position the user performs a series of exercises tailored to the type of sport or rehabilitative movement performed. Currently the seat can be adjusted by the user, for example in height, so that the distance between the seat and bar or handles can be suitably changed. Basically this adjustment is a manual one and must be carried out each time in accordance with a change of exercise or for a different user.
  • [0004]
    This characteristic can considerably affect the positive effects of the exercises because in order to perform them properly the seat must be adequately positioned (or other machine parts that are also adjustable, such as levers) in accordance with the individual's measurements. For this reason an instructor may need to follow the different phases of a training session step by step in order to explain to the user how to keep correct posture while performing the exercises. This also holds true if the same user performs different exercises with the same machine.
  • [0005]
    Moreover, having to adjust the seat or other exercise machine parts may be a nuisance, especially bearing in mind that gym activities are usually recreational and relaxing activities.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    These and other aims are all achieved by the present invention which provides an exercise machine designed to position the machine in its most suitable configuration for performing an exercise both automatically and by means of the reading of data relative to the user and/or the exercises to be performed, memorized on a portable medium.
  • [0007]
    One of the advantages of the present invention is that the machine is self-adjusting, thanks to the fact that specific protocol data are linked with a specific user and/or a specific exercise (or series of exercises), so that the machine adapts the relative positioning between its posture portion and its machine portion in accordance with a specific protocol relative to the user and/or to the exercise to be performed.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0008]
    Further characteristics and advantages of the invention are apparent from the detailed description which follows, with reference to the accompanying drawings, which illustrate preferred embodiments of the invention by way of example and in which:
  • [0009]
    [0009]FIG. 1 is a side view of an embodiment of the present invention, in which an exercise machine is shown with parts cut away and portions shown schematically or by blocks;
  • [0010]
    [0010]FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of another embodiment of the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0011]
    With reference to FIG. 1, the numeral 1 indicates an exercise machine that comprises a basic structure 1′ fitted with a seat 20 for the user and a vertical guide 10 designed to slide a counterweight consisting of a series of small bricks 11 connected, by means of a chain or belt or cable 12 that passes through one or more pulleys 13, to a bar or hand bar 30 that is gripped by the user to perform work generated by lifting the small bricks 11 and by their sliding along the guide 10.
  • [0012]
    Therefore the exercise machine can be schematized in a posture portion 2 designed to allow the positioning of a user and which, in the preferred embodiment described here, consists basically of the seat 20, and a machine portion 3 which is represented by the hand bar 30. In other words, the hand bar provides appropriate action means 30 that can be used by the user to exert an effort designed to contrast, for the execution of the exercise, the resistance offered by the exercise machine by means of the load 10 created by the small bricks.
  • [0013]
    The exercise machine includes means 4 for reading a portable medium 5 constituting a data storage device, fitted with a portable memory designed to store the data relative to the user and/or the exercise to be performed.
  • [0014]
    The portable medium 5 can be of the type called “smart card”, that is to say it can be fitted with an electrically erasable programmable read-only type memory (E2PROM).
  • [0015]
    The medium 5 can be of the type without the need for contacts and, moreover, can consist of a waterproof enclosure that contains a memory programmed through magnetic induction.
  • [0016]
    Motor-driven means 6 are envisaged on the exercise machine 1 for adjusting the relative position between the posture portion 2 and the machine portion 3. The said means are represented in FIG. 1, by way of example only, by a piston 60 that can be extended in height so as to move the seat 20 at least along a vertical direction Y.
  • [0017]
    In particular, according to the specific embodiment illustrated, the seat 20 is supported by a mobile structure 21, which slides in two ways on a vertical upright 22, according to the direction labelled V in the figure.
  • [0018]
    Obviously, with modifications for production purposes, a movement can be envisaged even along the horizontal direction X or in another direction by means of devices that are not shown in the figure.
  • [0019]
    Moreover, control means 7 connected to the reading means 4 and to the motor-driven means 6 are present, designed to change the relative position between the posture portion 2 and the machine portion 3 in accordance with the protocol data stored on the medium 5. In other words, the exercise machine 1 can move the seat 20 in accordance with the size of the user and/or the exercise he/she must perform.
  • [0020]
    Alternatively or in addition to the movement of the posture portion 2, a movement of the machine portion 3 can be envisaged, so as to obtain in any case an adjustment of the relative position between the two portions 2 and 3. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, motor-driven means 6′ are envisaged consisting of a piston arranged and operating between the basic structure 1′ of the machine and an end portion 14 of it that supports the hand bar 30 and that is pivoted on the basic structure 1′ itself, around a horizontal axis 16. After the motor-driven means 6′ are enabled, the end portion 14, and the hand bar 30 supported by the said end portion, can be moved in accordance with the rotation labelled R in FIG. 1, so as to obtain a backward and forward movement between the posture portion 2 and the machine portion 3.
  • [0021]
    The control means 7 can be connected to the motor-driven means 6 through different kinds of transmission means; for example, electric conductors or electromagnetic waves such as radio waves, infrareds, etc.
  • [0022]
    A remote control transmission system can be used even between the control means 7 and the reading means 4.
  • [0023]
    In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the exercise machine 1 is represented by an exercise bike, in which the posture portion 2 is represented by a saddle 29 and by a handle-bar 28 whilst the machine portion is represented by pedals 31, connected to an electromagnetic type resistance 19 (electric motor, alternator).
  • [0024]
    In this solution, the motor-driven means consist of variable extension elements 61 and 62 envisaged at the support rods of the saddle 29 and handle-bar 28. These variable extension elements can move the saddle 29 and the handle-bar 28 at least in accordance with the substantially vertical directions labelled Y′ and Y″. Moreover, in the embodiment in FIG. 2, an adjustment is envisaged in accordance with the rotation labelled z of the rod of the handle-bar 28.
  • [0025]
    In addition to the aforementioned adjustments, an adjustment of the machine load can be envisaged. This operation is simplified in those cases in which the machine resistance can be obtained electrically. In fact, by entering parameters relative to the resistance to offer to the user, among the protocol data stored in the portable medium 5, it is also possible to change this value in accordance with the user and/or the exercises. For example, when using an alternator, as shown schematically by the numeral 19 in FIG. 2, simply change the value of the resistance supplied by the alternator 19 electrically.
  • [0026]
    For production purposes, with appropriate modifications the load can also be changed in an exercise machine in which, as in the embodiment in FIG. 1, the resistance is offered with mechanical type solutions.
  • [0027]
    For example, a selecting device may be envisaged designed to group the small bricks 11 on the relative pin 12′ automatically, in accordance with the data read by the reading means 4 and relative, in particular, to the performance techniques of the exercise. In other words, the said device allows the changing of the total load consisting of the sum of the small bricks that constitute the so-called weight pack.
  • [0028]
    In conclusion, with the present invention an exercise machine is obtained that is able to personalize its configuration in accordance with the person utilizing the machine and the exercise to be performed on it, with changes that substantially can be dimensional or that also concern the resistance value offered to the user. The present invention, thus designed for the said objects, may be subject to numerous modifications and variations, all encompassed by the original design concept. Moreover, all components may be replaced with technically equivalent parts.
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/8
International ClassificationA63B24/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/063, A63B21/4029, A63B21/4047, Y10S482/908, A63B24/00, A63B2225/096, A63B2225/15, A63B22/0605
European ClassificationA63B24/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 13, 1997ASAssignment
Owner name: TECHNOGYM S.R.L., ITALY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ALESSANDRI, NERIO;REEL/FRAME:008612/0390
Effective date: 19970527
Mar 7, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: TECHNOGYM S.P.A., ITALY
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:TECHNOGYM S.R.L.;REEL/FRAME:013821/0765
Effective date: 20020626
Dec 2, 2005FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Dec 28, 2009FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Dec 25, 2013FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12