BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to exercise and fitness equipment. More specifically, the invention is a pulley machine counter for counting exercise repetitions on a weight-lifting machine.
2. Description of the Related Art
Numerous kinds of exercise and fitness equipment have come into popular use to facilitate a workout session. Weight machines of all shapes and sizes are seen in gyms, fitness centers, and homes. Many such machines use a stack of weights that are lifted by the athlete, through some mechanical assembly, to exercise a particular muscle or muscle group. The weights are typically flat plates, arranged in a stack. A lifting mechanism allows the user to vary the weight by selecting one or more of the weights to be lifted. One or more guide rails keep the weights together in a uniform stack.
Common among weight machines are “pulley machines” where a cord, attached to a pulling bar or handle, is routed through one or more pulleys to the weights. The weights are lifted by pulling on the pulling bar or handle. An advantage of pulley machines is that, by adding or repositioning a pulley to change the pull angle of the cord, many different kinds of weight-lifting exercise may be performed with a single machine. Regardless of their configuration, pulley machines are in widespread use in gyms and fitness centers.
A workout session involving lifting weights, whether free-weights or a weight machine such as a pulley machine, is typically performed in a number of sets, each set being a number of repetitions, each repetition being a single lift of the weight. For example, during a workout an athlete may perform three sets of bench presses with each set consisting of fifteen bench press lifts.
To achieve the maximum benefit of a workout session, it is important that each repetition is complete, being a full lift of the weight utilizing the full extension of the muscle or muscle group targeted by the exercise. Thus, for a repetition to “count” toward a full set, the repetition must be complete.
Weight lifters have relied on numerous means to count repetitions during a workout session, from personal trainers counting reps and encouraging proper form and a complete and full lift, to counters incorporated into the weight machine that register a count anytime the weight is moved. Despite the various advantages of the numerous methods and means available to count weight lifting repetitions, none has the convenience and utility of an inexpensive and simple rep counter that will count only a full and complete lift.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,342,028, issued on Jan. 29, 2002 to J. de Sane, discloses a magnetic counter for exercise equipment. A permanent magnet affixed to the weight stack on a weight machine triggers a magnetic sensor on an electronic counter to increment a repetition count when the magnet passes in proximity to the sensor. In one embodiment, the sensor and counter are permanently attached to the weight machine. Permanently attached, the counter is not suited to record a full repetition for all users since, because of their differing physical size and arm length, users will lift the weights to differing maximum lift positions. In another embodiment, the device is temporarily and selectively attached to the weight machine. While this embodiment allows each user to place the counter according to their own needs, the device itself does not facilitate its optimal placement at the top lift position.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,323,237, issued on Apr. 6, 1982 to B. Jungerwirth, discloses an adaptive exercise apparatus that includes a repetition counter. The repetition counter, however, is not a portable device suitable for attachment to and removal from several machines during the course of a workout session.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,270,399, issued on Jun. 2, 1981 to E. Knief, discloses a counter drive mechanism that may be used to convert reciprocating motion into an intermittent rotary motion for driving a decimal counter. The counter drive mechanism shown is more complex than necessary for the needs of a weight machine repetition counter, and is not appropriately adapted for the task.
None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus a pulley machine counter solving the aforementioned problems is desired.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The pulley machine counter is a repetition counter for use with weight lifting machines. The pulley machine counter is particularly well suited for the pulley machine type of weight lifting machine, or any other weight lifting machine having a stack of weights that are lifted along guide rails. A single number wheel is disposed on an axle along with a drive ratchet wheel. This wheel-and-axle assembly is contained within a housing, with the number wheel visible through a window in the housing. A spring-biased pushrod is contained in the housing, oriented to engage with the drive ratchet wheel. When the pushrod is depressed, it engages the drive ratchet wheel to turn the counter wheel a single increment.
A clamp on the housing fastens the counter to the weight lifting machine. The counter will generally be fastened onto one of the weight guide rails and positioned at the top of the weight travel with the pushrod downward. A rubber grip inside the clamp allows for easy and precise placement of the counter. The counter may be attached to the guide rail loosely, somewhat lower than the desired position. The rubber grip will prevent the counter from sliding down along the rail before it is firmly clamped in position.
The user can then perform a single weight lifting repetition, extending the weights to the user's maximum reach. The weights will push the loosely mounted counter into the correct position, where the clamp may be tightened for the duration of its use. Once positioned, the counter will record a repetition only when the weights are lifted fully into the maximum position.
Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a pulley machine counter to count weight lifting repetitions on a weight lifting machine.
It is another object of the invention to provide a pulley machine counter to count only complete weight lifting repetitions on a weight lifting machine.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a pulley machine counter that is easily installable on and removable from a weight lifting machine.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a pulley machine counter that is easily adjustable to count only complete weight lifting repetitions on a weight lifting machine.
It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.
These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.