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Publication numberUS20030069108 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/968,661
Publication dateApr 10, 2003
Filing dateOct 1, 2001
Priority dateOct 1, 2001
Publication number09968661, 968661, US 2003/0069108 A1, US 2003/069108 A1, US 20030069108 A1, US 20030069108A1, US 2003069108 A1, US 2003069108A1, US-A1-20030069108, US-A1-2003069108, US2003/0069108A1, US2003/069108A1, US20030069108 A1, US20030069108A1, US2003069108 A1, US2003069108A1
InventorsJeffrey Kaiserman, Michael Rubinstein
Original AssigneeJeffrey Kaiserman, Michael Rubinstein
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercise training and monitoring system
US 20030069108 A1
Abstract
An exercise training and monitoring system for analyzing a workout of a user on an exercise machine. The device includes a portable housing receivable within a cradle positioned on the exercise machine and a sensor lifting and lowering repetitions of weights on the exercise machine. A processor is positioned within the housing and is connected to the sensor for counting a number of repetitions sensed by the sensor and determining a time taken for completing each repetition. The processor compares the number of repetitions counted and time taken to complete each repetition with predetermined values to determine if the user is obtaining an optimal workout. A display is positioned on the housing for providing a visual indication of the number of repetitions counted and the time for completion of each repetition determined by the processor. The display is a touch screen whereby data regarding the user is provided to the processor via contacting with the touch screen or activation of control keys. A speaker generates an audible signal indicative of the determinations of the processor.
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Claims(24)
What is claimed is new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:
1. A device for monitoring and analyzing a workout of a user on exercise machines, said device comprising:
a) a portable housing receivable within a cradle positioned on the exercise machine;
b) means for sensing lifting and lowering repetitions of weights on the exercise machine;
c) a processor positioned within said housing and connected to said sensing means for counting a number of repetitions sensed by said sensing means and determining a time taken for completing each repetition; and
d) a display positioned on said housing and connected to said processor for providing a visual indication of the number of repetitions counted and the time for completion of each repetition determined by said processor.
2. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said display is a touch screen whereby data regarding the user is provided to said processor via said touch screen.
3. The device as recited in claim 2, wherein said processor controls said touch screen to display a plurality of icons for entering data regarding the user, each icon being representative of a respective piece of information and said data being entered via contacting said display at a position of a desired one of said plurality of icons.
4. The device as recited in claim 1, further comprising a plurality of control keys positioned on said housing for entering data concerning the user.
5. The device as recited in claim 4, wherein said plurality of control keys include a start key positioned, wherein activation of said start key causes said sensing means to begin sensing for repetitions.
6. The device as recited in claim 5, wherein said plurality of control keys include a stop key positioned, wherein activation of said start key causes said sensing means to cease sensing for repetitions.
7. The device as recited in claim 1, further comprising a speaker connected to said processor for generating an audible signal indicative of the number of repetitions counted and a time taken to complete each repetition determined by said processor.
8. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said processor compares the number of repetitions counted and time taken to complete each repetition with predetermined values to determine if the user is obtaining an optimal workout.
9. The device as recited in claim 8, wherein said processor generates a signal indicating whether the user is obtaining an optimal workout and said display screen displays an image representative of the determination of said processor.
10. The device as recited in claim 9, further comprising a speaker connected to said processor for generating an audible signal when said processor determines that the repetitions performed by the user are either too fast or too slow to provide an optimal workout.
11. The device as recited in claim 3, wherein said data input using the touch screen includes at least one of a name or code identifying the user, workout criteria for the user, physical criteria of the user, a date and time of a workout, desired results for the workout, and values for optimum workout results.
12. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said display provides a visual display of at least one of advertising and promotional data during use of the device.
13. A system for monitoring and analyzing a workout of a user on an exercise machine, said system comprising:
a) a cradle connected to the exercise machine, said cradle including:
i) means for sensing lifting and lowering repetitions of weights on the exercise machine; and
ii) a first input/output port positioned at a base of the cradle; and
b) a handheld unit including:
i) a portable housing receivable within said cradle;
ii) a processor positioned within said housing;
iii) a second input/output port connected to said processor and positioned on a side of said housing for mating with said first input/output port for connecting said processor to said sensing means, wherein said processor counts a number of repetitions sensed by said sensing means and determines a time taken for completing each repetition; and
iv) a display positioned on said housing and connected to said processor for providing a visual indication of the number of repetitions counted and the time for completion of each repetition determined by said processor.
14. The device as recited in claim 13, wherein said display is a touch screen whereby data regarding the user is provided to said processor via said touch screen.
15. The system as recited in claim 14, wherein said processor controls said touch screen to display a plurality of icons for entering data regarding the user, each icon representative of a respective piece of information and said data is entered by contacting said display at a position of a desired one of said plurality of icons.
16. The system as recited in claim 13, further comprising a plurality of control keys positioned on said housing for entering data concerning the user.
17. The system as recited in claim 16, wherein said plurality of control keys include a start key positioned, wherein activation of said start key causes said sensing means to begin sensing for repetitions.
18. The system as recited in claim 17, wherein said plurality of control keys include a stop key positioned, wherein activation of said start key causes said sensing means to cease sensing for repetitions.
19. The system as recited in claim 13, further comprising a speaker connected to said processor for generating an audible signal indicative of the number of repetitions counted and a time taken to complete each repetition determined by said processor.
20. The system as recited in claim 13, wherein said processor compares the number of repetitions counted and time taken to complete each repetition with predetermined values to determine if the user is obtaining an optimal workout.
21. The system as recited in claim 20, wherein said processor generates a signal indicating whether the user is obtaining an optimal workout and said display screen displays an image representative of the determination of said processor.
22. The system as recited in claim 21, further comprising a speaker connected to said processor for generating an audible signal when said processor determines that the repetitions performed by the user are either too fast or too slow to provide an optimal workout.
23. The system as recited in claim 15, wherein said data input using the touch screen and stylus include at least one of a name or code identifying the user, workout criteria for the user, physical criteria of the user, a date and time of a workout, desired results for the workout, and values for optimum workout results.
24. The device as recited in claim 13, wherein said display provides a visual display of at least one of advertising and promotional data during use of the device.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to exercise monitoring devices and, more specifically, to an exercise training and monitoring system including individual hand held devices able to monitor a weightlifting program of a respective user by sensing the movements of the weights during a workout and determining the number of repetitions and speed of repetitions performed by the user whereby the device is able to determine the effectiveness of the workout for the user.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] Numerous types of training and monitoring devices have been provided in the prior art. FIG. 1 illustrates a person 10 lifting weights 12 on a weight bench 14 in a conventional manner. The user simply lifts the weights 12 off of the stand 16 and continually lowers the weight to his chest 18 and back up into the air again. When the user completes the desired number of repetitions, the weights 12 are placed back upon the stand 16 in an at rest position. In the conventional method of weight lifting, the user does not know if he is working out in an optimal fashion. The only manner of judging the effectiveness of the workout is based upon the feel of the user and whether the user is able to watch the workout in a mirror to thereby critique the form. Alternatively, a user 10 may videotape the workout and view the video tape at a later time. Professional trainers are also used by weightlifters 10 to observe the workout. The trainer can then inform the user 10 if the weights are being lifted at the correct pace and with the correct form for optimal results.

[0005] Other examples of training and monitoring systems are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,784,591; 3,643,943; 3,725,650; 3,848,467; 4,139,764; 4,831,242; 5,410,472; 5,769,755; 5,890,997; 5,893,817; 6,077,193 and 6,132,337 all are illustrative of such prior art.

[0006] A cycle ergometer, comprising: a coupled-together motor-generator unit; a source of electric current for operating the motor portion of said unit; electrical resistance means interposed between said source and said motor portion for controlling the speed of the latter; patient-operable means for effecting rotation of said generator portion; and, means for measuring the output of said generator portion.

[0007] Exercise apparatus such as a treadmill, rowing machine, pedaling device or the like which includes as indicator arranged to be driven at a rate in proportion to the degree of difficulty of the exercise expended for recording work done. The apparatus in its embodiment employs an operating member on which the person exercises and adjustable controls for varying the difficulty of the exercise. The indictor is driven by the operating member through a drive connection, and the apparatus includes adjustment means incorporated in the drive connection which is connected directly to the adjustable controls so that the rate of operation of the indicator is in proportion to the degree of difficulty of the exercise.

[0008] Data obtained in industrial production or office work, such as rate or quantity of output of a machine or a worker, are applied to computers for deriving electric signals characterizing the operation with regard to efficiency, profitableness, etc. Indicator boards are provided having electroluminescent strips or discs, or cathode ray tubes the extent of the luminous portions of which are controlled by the computers.

[0009] A proportional resistance exercise servo device. User interfacing means is connected to a drive shaft so that the user applies force to said drive shaft and vice versa. The device applies braking force to the drive shaft as it is rotated in a first direction by user-exerted force on the interfacing means, in a braking mode; and it applies power to drive the drive shaft in a second direction and thereby exerts force on the interfacing means, in a power mode. Direction reversal means automatically stops the braking at a first limit and thereafter applies power thereto, and automatically stops the power at a second limit and thereafter begins braking it. Both the braking and powering are programmed, but feedback alters the program in accordance with the user's performance. Acceleration and deceleration are controlled. Various performance parameters are displayed or recorded.

[0010] A method and system for monitoring court games is described in which a counter is actuated by a card bearing a pre-determined code. Upon being actuated, the counter is pre-set to a pre-determined period of play for a game in a court with which the monitor is associated. The counter then counts the elapsed period of play and displays to other players waiting to use the court the period of play still remaining, confirming to them in a positive fashion the period they must wait to use the court. Upon expiration of the pre-determined period of play, the event monitor signals this condition permitting the other players to actuate the system and commence their use of the court.

[0011] A control system for a health club which stores user records including user activity data in order to monitor and control use of the club's facilities. A central controller includes a memory for storing the user records including attendance data and accounting data, and a main control which is responsive to the user record data for determining whether a user is authorized to use the club's facilities. The central controller is coupled to various club facilities and equipment such as a computerized scale to prevent use thereof if a user is not authorized. The central controller also stores user history data such as user weight data for the computerized scale to alleviate data storage problems.

[0012] A distributive method of physical rehabilitation and conditioning using an ergometer on which exercise protocols or workouts are performed by a subject is described. The intensity and duration of the workouts are defined as the independent variables and physiological and psychological variables are measured and treated as dependent variables. The exercise protocol is stored on a portable medium and the exercise program further defines a series of successive exercise sessions conducted over time in which the same exercise protocol is repeatedly performed by the subject; and, during the performance of which protocol, physiological and psychological variables are measured. The relative changes in one or more of the dependent variables which occur over the course of the series of sessions of the exercise training program measure progress and provide the basis for modification of the exercise protocol for the next exercise training program for that subject.

[0013] An exercise display system for aiding a user in maintaining a desired exercise intensity level includes input means for inputting relevant physiological information about the user, calculation means for calculating a spectrum of exercise intensity levels, sensor for detecting the physiological condition of the user during exercise, and display means (32) for displaying the user's exercise intensity within a first scale (20) of at least two levels (22) of possible exercise intensities. The scale (20) includes a Below Training Zone (23), a Weight Loss Training Zone (24), a Cardiovascular Training Zone (25), and an Above Training Zone (26). The display means (32) also includes a second scale (28) of subdivisions (30) of intensity levels, e.g., maximum heart rate percentages or range of heart beat rates. The subdivisions (30) may preferably flash or may be caused to turn a specific color when the exerciser's physiological condition is represented by that subdivision. The display system (32) indicates the intensity of the user's exercise within the subdivisions during the user's exercise workout, as received by the sensor.

[0014] A computerized system and method for the design, execution and tracking of exercise programs including portable microprocessor controlled data controllers to instruct and record the actual computed workout for the user. A data communication link transfers data between the data controllers and a computer hosting application software and database files for the particular user, exercise and exercise regimen to create and display a customizable and comprehensive exercise system designed for the particular user.

[0015] A physical exercise apparatus including a hand-propelled lawn mower having an exercise computer for selectively displaying exercise data including speed and the like thereon obtained while mowing a lawn.

[0016] This invention provides a system which allows users to personally create his or her own individual exercise program using any existing type of exercise machine, such as treadmills, bicycles, stair-climbers, weight lifting and the like. The invention provides a point-based incentive program to encourage the user to stay with an exercise program. Each user is supplied a personal data “key” on which is stored the individual's fitness program and on which is stored the person's progress in reaching or maintaining his or her fitness goal. The system provides a continuing incentive to the user to continue his or her exercise program by awarding points for: (i) time the user is on the machine; (ii) time the person indicates their heart rate is at a level that will allow the person to achieve their fitness goal; and/or (iii) time the person's measured heart rate is at a level that will allow the person to achieve his fitness goal. Each users key is personal and transportable so that users who travel can use their personal data key at any facility world-wide that has the data collectors installed.

[0017] This invention discloses an interactive exercise monitoring system including a body mounted motion sensor, and a user sensible output indicator indicating to a user an exercise motion parameter derived from an output of the body mounted motion sensor as well as a desired exercise motion parameter for comparison therewith. A method for interactive exercise monitoring is also disclosed.

[0018] While these units may be suitable for the particular purpose to which they address, they would not be as suitable for the purposes of the present invention as heretofore described.

[0019] It is thus desirable to provide an exercise training and monitoring system which is able to monitor the number of repetitions performed by the user and the speed of the repetitions. It is even further desirable to provide an exercise training and monitoring system which is able to alert the user when the repetitions are being performed at an undesirable or inefficient speed. It is still further desirable to provide an exercise training and monitoring system which is able to store data relating to the user and the workout being performed. It is yet further desirable to provide an exercise training and monitoring system which is able to be releasably positioned within a cradle on an exercise machine. It is still further desirable to provide an exercise training and monitoring system which includes a touch display screen for inputting data relating to the training and workout of the user and displaying data for viewing by the user. It is even further desirable to provide an exercise training and monitoring system wherein the user is able to set the desired workout limits for a subsequent future workout, the data indicative of the set workout limits is downloaded and stored within the monitoring device for use during a subsequent workout. It is yet further desirable to provide an exercise training and monitoring system wherein programmed display prompts are provided to allow the user to increase the set weight and repetition limits. It is even further desirable to provide an exercise training and monitoring system able to be used by numerous different persons to direct each person through a predetermined workout regimen. It is still further desirable to provide an exercise training and monitoring system wherein data set by the user is downloaded to a main computer via at least one of an infrared remote control or by insertion of the monitoring unit into a cradle.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0020] The present invention relates generally to exercise monitoring devices and, more specifically, to an exercise training and monitoring system including individual hand held devices able to monitor a weightlifting program of a respective user by sensing the movements of the weights during a workout and determining the number of repetitions and speed of repetitions performed by the user whereby the device is able to determine the effectiveness of the workout for the user.

[0021] A primary object of the present invention is to provide an exercise training and monitoring system that will overcome the shortcomings of prior art devices.

[0022] Another object of the present invention is to provide an exercise training and monitoring system which is able to sense and monitor movements during a workout to determine the number of repetitions completed by a user during a workout.

[0023] A further object of the present invention is to provide an exercise training and monitoring system which is able to determine the speed of the repetitions and determine if the user is lifting too quickly or too slowly.

[0024] A yet further object of the present invention is to provide an exercise training and monitoring system wherein the device includes a display and the user is able to input data regarding the workout to be performed for use by the device in analyzing the workout.

[0025] A still further object of the present invention is to provide an exercise training and monitoring system wherein the display is a touch screen and the user inputs data in response to a plurality of input prompts displayed on the screen.

[0026] An even further object of the present invention is to provide an exercise training and monitoring system having a plurality of control keys for further inputting data to the device.

[0027] Another object of the present invention is to provide an exercise training and monitoring system including a speaker for generating an audible warning signal upon determining the speed of the repetitions is either too fast or slow.

[0028] A still further object of the present invention is to provide an exercise training and monitoring system wherein the monitoring device is able to be releasably received within a cradle attached to a workout machine.

[0029] An even further object of the present invention is to provide an exercise training and monitoring system that is simple and easy to use.

[0030] A still further object of the present invention is to provide an exercise training and monitoring system that is economical in cost to manufacture.

[0031] Additional objects of the present invention will appear as the description proceeds.

[0032] An exercise training and monitoring system for analyzing a workout of a user on an exercise machine is disclosed by the present invention. The system is preferably installed within a workout facility and includes portable monitoring units which are receivable within cradles positioned on exercise machines within the workout facility. When a user is ready to begin a workout, a monitoring unit will be retrieved from a central station or desk in the facility. Prior to receiving the monitoring unit, data will be stored within the monitoring unit regarding the user and any preset workout limits for the user. A sensor is provided on each machine for sensing the lifting and lowering repetitions of weights on the exercise machine. The sensor is connected to the cradle positioned on the respective exercise machine and is coupled to a monitoring device when received by the cradle. A processor is positioned within the monitoring unit and is connected to the sensor for counting a number of repetitions sensed by the sensor and determining a time taken for completing each repetition. The processor compares the number of repetitions counted and time taken to complete each repetition with predetermined values to determine if the user is obtaining an optimal workout. A display is positioned on the monitoring unit for providing a visual indication of the number of repetitions counted and the time for completion of each repetition determined by the processor. The display is a touch screen whereby data regarding the user is provided to the processor via contacting the touch screen or activation of control keys. A speaker generates an audible signal indicative of the determinations of the processor. The monitoring device is programmed to prompt the user regarding changes to a workout regimen including increasing or decreasing a weight limit and increasing or decreasing a number of repetitions. Upon completion of a workout, the monitoring unit is returned to the central station and data collected regarding the workout is downloaded to a central computer able to store workout data for numerous users. Upon returning to the workout facility for a subsequent workout, the user will be provided with another monitoring unit which has been programmed with the data downloaded to the central computer. A hard copy of the workout data may be provided to the user.

[0033] To the accomplishment of the above and related objects, this invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific construction illustrated and described within the scope of the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

[0034] Various other objects, features and attendant advantages of the present invention wilt become more fully appreciated as the same becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views.

[0035]FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a person lifting weights in a conventional manner;

[0036]FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of a person programming the exercise training and monitoring system of the present invention;

[0037]FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of a person lifting weights using the exercise training and monitoring system of the present invention to guide the workout;

[0038]FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of the exercise training and monitoring system of the present invention;

[0039]FIG. 5 is a block diagram illustrating the components of the exercise training and monitoring system of the present invention; and

[0040]FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the cradle of the exercise training and monitoring system of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE REFERENCED NUMERALS

[0041] Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, the Figures illustrate the exercise training and monitoring system of the present invention. With regard to the reference numerals used, the following numbering is used throughout the various drawing figures.

10 weightlifter
12 weights
14 weight bench
15 handles of weight bench
16 stand for weight bench
18 chest of user
20 exercise training and monitoring system of the present invention
21 monitoring unit
22 touch display screen
24 control keys
32 front side of exercise training and monitoring system
34 data input keys
36 start key
38 stop key
40 side of exercise training and monitoring system
44 cradle for holding exercise training and monitoring system
46 input/output port on exercise training and monitoring system
48 speaker
50 processor
52 power source
54 memory
56 motion sensor within cradle
58 counter
60 clock
62 data input/output port within cradle
64 processor within cradle
66 power source within cradle
68 memory within cradle

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0042] Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, FIGS. 2 through 6 illustrate the exercise training and monitoring system of the present invention indicated generally by the numeral 20.

[0043] The exercise training and monitoring system 20 is preferably installed within a workout facility. The system includes a plurality of portable monitoring units 21 and a cradle 44 is attached to each exercise device within the facility. The cradle 44 is adapted for releasably receiving the monitoring units 21. Prior to beginning a workout, the user will obtain a monitoring unit 21 from a central station within the facility. The monitoring unit 21 is loaded with data regarding the user and the user's workout regimen prior to being provided to the user. The data regarding the user and the user's workout regimen is stored in a central computer and updated upon completion of each workout by the user.

[0044] The exercise training and monitoring system 20 is shown in FIG. 2 with the monitoring unit 21 being programmed with update information by the user 10. The user 10 is shown seated on the weight bench 14 holding the monitoring unit 21. The monitoring unit 21 includes a display screen 22 and a plurality of control keys 24. The display screen 22 is a touch screen providing prompts thereon for input of data and allowing data to be input by touching the corresponding area on the display screen 22. The user inputs information to the monitoring unit 21 and thus also to the exercise training and monitoring system 20 via contact with the touch display screen 22. The control keys 24 are also provided for inputting data as well as controlling operation of the monitoring unit 21. The monitoring unit 21 is of a dimension able to fit comfortably into a cradle 44 connected to the weight bench 14. An input/output port on a base of the monitoring unit 21 mates with an input/output port within the cradle 44 when positioned therein. The cradle 44 and the monitoring unit 21 communicate to monitor the lifting sets of the user 10 as will be explained hereinafter.

[0045] Upon completing the input of data, the user 10 is prepared to begin the workout as shown in FIG. 3. The monitoring unit 21 is positioned within the cradle 44 such that an input/output port 46 as shown in FIG. 4 mates with an input output port 62 as shown in FIG. 6. The user 110 is thus able to workout while the lifting set is being monitored by the monitoring unit 21. A sensor 56 connected to the cradle 44 senses the raising and lowering of the weights 12. The sensor 56 then transmits a signal indicative of the sensed raising and lowering of the weights to the monitoring unit 21. The monitoring unit 21 analyzes the received signals and determines a number of times the weights are raised and lowered and the time it takes to raise and lower the weights. From these determinations the monitoring unit 21 is able to determine if the user is getting an optimal workout or whether the repetitions of lifting and lowering the weights is a speed which is either too fast or slow. The user can review the evaluation on the display screen 22 after working out. The monitoring unit 21 is also able to generate an audible signal through a speaker to alert the user as to the speed of the repetitions during the workout so that the user may make immediate adjustments to the workout.

[0046] A perspective view of a monitoring unit 21 is illustrated in FIG. 4. As can be seen from this figure, the touch display screen 22 is provided on a face side 32 of the monitoring unit 21. Also positioned on the face side 32 are the plurality of control keys 24. The control keys 24 include data input keys 34 as well as a start key 36 and stop key 38. The start key 36 is provided to activate the monitoring unit 21 to begin sensing for movement during lifting of weights 12. The user activates the start key 36 just prior to beginning set of lifts. Upon completion of the set, the user activates the stop key 38. Activation of the stop key 38 controls the monitoring unit 21 to stop sensing for movement and ceases counting of repetitions. When the user 10 is prompted to enter data, the touch screen 22 is contacted at the appropriate prompts displayed thereon. Positioned on a base side of the monitoring unit 21 is an input/output port 46 for mating with an input/output port 62 within the cradle 44. Also provided on the face side 32 is a speaker 48. The speaker 48 provides an audible warning when the monitoring unit 21 determines that the user 10 is completing repetitions too quickly or too slowly for an optimum workout.

[0047] Information concerning the user is input to a central computer by an operator at a central station or downloaded to the central computer from a monitoring device 21 used by the user after a workout. This data includes but is not limited to a name or code identifying the users workout criteria such as levels, e.g. amount lifted and reps performed at that weight, reached for each machine desired to be used. Certain physical criteria such as weight and height of the user may also be input to provide the exercise training and monitoring system 20 as well as the monitoring unit 21 being used with guidelines for determining optimum workout levels. The date and time of each workout can also be input as well as certain data regarding the physical condition of the user and the results desired. The user may also input values for optimum workout results that the exercise training and monitoring system 20 follows when determining the quality of the workout. Upon placing the monitoring unit 21 within the cradle 44 of a particular workout machine, all starting workout information for the identified user 10 will be generated for that particular machine. This information includes the seat position for the machine, the number of reps the user should perform, the amount of weight the user should lift and the proper time frame for completing a proper set of repetitions. Additionally, should the device be controlled by the gym, the gym may sell advertising and promotional space for display on the display screen 22 of the monitoring unit 21.

[0048] A block diagram of the monitoring unit is illustrated in FIG. 5. This figure shows a processor 50 for controlling the functions of the monitoring unit 21. A power source 52 is connected to the processor 50 for supplying power to the monitoring unit 21. A memory unit 54 is also connected to the processor 50 for storing data input by the user, data processed by the processor 50 during past workouts programs used for operating the processor 50 as well as data concerning the user and downloaded from the central computer prior to use of the monitoring unit 21. The data input keys 34, the start key 36 and the stop key 38 are all connected to the processor 50 for inputting data. The display screen 22 is controlled by the processor 50 for displaying prompts for instructing the user to input data, displaying results of a workout determined by the processor 50 and providing data to the processor 50 in response to contacting prompts on the touch screen display 22. The speaker 48 is connected to the processor 50 for generating an audible signal upon determination by the processor 50 that the user is performing repetitions at a rate which is either too slow or too fast for an optimum workout. A counter 58 is connected to the processor 50 for counting the number of repetitions performed between activation of the start key 36 and activation of the stop key 38. A clock 60 monitors and measures the period between both each repetition and for the entire set of repetitions. Based upon timer signals received from the clock 60, the processor 50 is able to calculate the time taken to perform each repetition and the time taken for performing the entire set of repetitions. Upon determining the time taken to perform each repetition and the time taken for performing the entire set of repetitions is either slower or faster than a predetermined optimum value, the processor 50 controls the speaker 48 to generate a signal informing the user 10 that an optimum workout is not being performed and the speed of repetitions should be either increased or decreased.

[0049] A cross sectional view of the cradle 44 is illustrated in FIG. 6. From this view is can be seen that an input/output port 62 is provided in a base of the cradle 44. A processor 64 is coupled to the input/output port 62 for controlling the flow of data therethrough. A power source 66 is connected to the processor 64 for supplying power to the components within the cradle 44. A memory unit 68 is connected to the processor 64 for storing data therein as well as the software for operating the processor 64. A motion sensor 56 is connected to the processor 64 and upon activation of the start key 36, senses the rising and descending motion of the weights 12 during a weightlifting set. For each repetition during which the weights are caused to rise and descend, the motion sensor 56 provides a signal to the processor 64. This signal indicates that a repetition has been completed and is transmitted to the processor 50 of the exercise training and monitoring system 20 via the input/output ports 46 and 62. Upon receipt of the signal from the processor 64, the processor 50 counts the repetitions and determines the amount of time taken to complete the repetition. These values are compared with stored optimal values and the user 10 is alerted to the efficiency of the workout.

[0050] The operation of the exercise training and monitoring system 20 will now be described with reference to the figures. In operation, the exercise training and monitoring system 20 is installed within a workout facility whereby a plurality of monitoring units 21 are available. A cradle 44 is installed on each weight machine along with a sensor 56 for monitoring the movement of the weights during a set of repetitions. Data relating to each user of the system is input and stored in a central computer. This data includes a name or code identifying the user, workout criteria such as levels, e.g. amount lifted and reps performed at that weight, reached for each machine desired to be used. Certain physical criteria such as weight and height of the user may also be input to provide the exercise training and monitoring system 20 as well as the monitoring unit 21 being used with guidelines for determining optimum workout levels. The date and time of each workout can also be input as well as certain data regarding the physical condition of the user and the results desired. The user may also input values for optimum workout results that the exercise training and monitoring system 20 follows when determining the quality of the workout. Upon placing the monitoring unit 21 within the cradle 44 of a particular workout machine, all starting workout information for the identified user 10 will be generated for that particular machine. This information includes the seat position for the machine, the number of reps the user should perform, the amount of weight the user should lift and the proper time frame for completing a proper set of repetitions.

[0051] Upon entry into the facility, the user 10 requests a monitoring unit 21. An operator located at a central station in the facility downloads data concerning the user to the monitoring unit 21 from the central computer. Once the data is downloaded, the monitoring unit 21 is able to coordinate a full workout for the user.

[0052] Upon receipt of the exercise training and monitoring system 20, the user 10 uses the control keys 24 and contact with the touch screen 22 to input data. This data is in response to icons displayed on the touch screen 22. The data input by the user is related to workout criteria such as levels, e.g. amount lifted and reps performed at that weight, reached for each machine desired to be used. The date and time of each workout can also be input as well as certain data regarding the physical condition of the user and the results desired. The user may also input values for optimum workout results that the exercise training and monitoring system 20 and monitoring unit 21 follow when determining the quality of the workout.

[0053] After entry of the needed data, the user selects a machine on which to work out. The user inserts the monitoring unit 21 into the cradle 44 of a particular workout machine. Once inserted, the input/output port 46 of the monitoring unit 21 engages the input/output port 62 within the cradle 44. Upon connecting the input/output ports 46 and 62, the processor 50 is able to communicate with the processor 64. At this time, the processors 50 and 64 generate all starting workout information for the identified user 110 for that particular machine. This information includes the seat position for the machine, the number of reps the user should perform, the amount of weight the user should lift and the proper time frame for completing a proper set of repetitions. Upon determining the information regarding seat position and amount of weight to be lifted by the user, the machine may automatically set the determined positions and levels. The user is now ready to begin working out on the machine.

[0054] Prior to entering the proper lifting position, the user activates the start key 36 to start the sensor 56. The user then enters the proper lifting position and begins working out. Upon each rising and descending motion of the weights 12, the sensor senses a repetition has been performed. The sensor 48 transmits a signal indicating the completion of a repetition to the processor 64 which in turn transmits a signal to the processor 50 via the input/output ports 46 and 62. The processor 50 analyzes the received signal and determines the amount of time taken to complete the repetition using data supplied from the clock 60. The processor 50 also increments the counter 58. Should the processor 50 determine that the time taken to complete the repetition was either too slow or too fast to provide an optimal workout, the speaker 48 is activated to generate an audible signal indicating that the user 10 needs to either increase or decrease the speed of the repetitions being performed. This signal is generated during the set to give the user immediate feedback and allow adjusting of the speed of repetitions during a single set. Upon completion of the set, the user activates the stop button causing the sensor 56 to cease sensing for rising and descending movement of the weights 12.

[0055] After completing the desired number of weightlifting sets, the user removes the monitoring unit 21 from within the cradle 44 and can view the results on the display screen 22. The results are then stored in the memory 54 for future reference. The user then proceeds to the next machine and repeats the above procedure from inserting the monitoring unit 21 into the cradle 44.

[0056] Upon completion of the workout, the user returns the monitoring unit 21 to the central station wherein data input and determined by the monitoring unit 21 is downloaded to the central computer. When the monitoring unit 21 is provided to a subsequent user, data related to the subsequent user is input to the monitoring unit 21 from the central computer and the user works out as described above with the monitoring unit 21.

[0057] The facility operating the exercise training and monitoring system of the present invention is able to download advertising and promotional information to the monitoring units 21. The advertising and promotional units are displayed on the display 22 during use of the monitoring unit 21.

[0058] From the above description it can be seen that the exercise training and monitoring system of the present invention is able to overcome the shortcomings of prior art devices by providing an exercise training and monitoring system which is able to sense and monitor movements during a workout to determine the number of repetitions completed by a user during a workout and determine the speed of the repetitions and determine if the user is lifting too quickly or too slowly. The exercise training and monitoring system includes a touch display for prompting the user for data and allowing the user to input data regarding the workout to be performed for use by the device in analyzing the workout by touching the corresponding icons on the display. The exercise training and monitoring system also includes a plurality of control keys for further inputting data to the device and a speaker for generating an audible warning signal upon determining the speed of the repetitions is either too fast or slow. Furthermore, the exercise training and monitoring system of the present invention is simple and easy to use and economical in cost to manufacture.

[0059] It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together may also find a useful application in other types of methods differing from the type described above.

[0060] While certain novel features of this invention have been shown and described and are pointed out in the annexed claims, it is not intended to be limited to the details above, since it will be understood that various omissions, modifications, substitutions and changes in the forms and details of the device illustrated and in its operation can be made by those skilled in the art without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.

[0061] Without farther analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification482/8
International ClassificationA63B24/00, A63B21/062
Cooperative ClassificationA63B24/00, A63B2220/17, A63B21/062, A63B2220/34
European ClassificationA63B24/00