US 20050003931 A1
An exercise device, method of making the device and a method and system for interaction with an exercise device, in which removable, variable weight may be provided in a housing of the device. Two rotatable handles may be provided in the housing, permitting various hand orientations during exercise. The removable weight may be provided near the center of the exercise device, with the handles substantially outboard the weight. Weight may thus be efficiently added or removed in a central area of the housing between the handles.
1. An exercise device, comprising:
an upper housing,
a lower housing, and
a pair of rotatable handle assemblies between the upper and lower housings, the lower housing including a cavity for receiving a removable weight.
2. The device of
3. The device of
a tray adapted to hold the removable weight, the tray adapted for insertion into the cavity of the lower housing.
4. The device of
5. The device of
a selector knob provided on the device and adapted to be actuated by a user of the device,
an inner selector tube, and
an outer selector tube,
wherein the selector knob is engaged to the inner selector tube to form a subassembly that is rigidly connected to outer tube assembly, and
wherein the outer selector tube includes a plurality a teeth for engaging the removable weight.
6. The device of
a tray adapted to hold the removable weight, the tray adapted for insertion into the cavity of the lower housing, wherein the removable weight is embodied as one or more vertically stacked weight plates in the tray.
7. The device of
8. The device of
9. The device of
the rotational position of the outer selector tube is based on a weight selection position of the selector knob, and
the user actuates the selector knob on the device to a desired weight to align teeth of the outer selector tube so as to engage teeth of one or more given weight plates in the tray to achieve the desired weight and remove the desired weight from the tray.
10. The device of
11. The device of
12. The device of
each rotating handle assembly includes teeth on an outer periphery thereof
the resistance/element has a flexible configuration and is in proximate relationship to the teeth of a given handle assembly for engaging the teeth as the handle assembly is being turned, providing an audible sound and a resistance to the rotational movement.
13. The device of
14. An exercise device, comprising:
an upper housing;
a lower housing, the lower housing provided with a central cavity for insertion of one or more removable weights, each of the upper and lower housings further including a frame and a pair of outer openings, one opening at either side of the central cavity;
a pair of rotating handle assemblies provided in corresponding outer openings; and
a weight selection assembly for selecting a desired amount of weight for insertion in the central cavity.
15. The device of
16. The device of
17. A method of fabricating an exercise device, comprising:
forming an upper housing;
forming a lower housing, each of the upper and lower housing composed of a frame provided with a central opening and an outer opening on either side of the central opening, the lower housing further including a cavity;
forming a weight selection assembly adapted to select a removable weight;
forming a pair of handle assemblies;
inserting each handle assembly in a corresponding outer opening of the lower housing so as to be supported by the lower housing frame;
inserting the weight selection assembly through the central opening in the upper housing; and
attaching the upper housing to the lower housing so that at least a portion of the weight selection assembly extends in the cavity of the lower housing.
18. The method of
forming a tray configured for holding one or more removable weights and of a dimension so as to fit within the cavity of the lower housing for engagement of the one or more removable weights therein by the weight selection assembly.
19. The method of
20. The method of
forming an inner selector tube,
forming a selector knob,
inserting the selector knob into the inner selector tube to form a subassembly,
forming the outer selector tube, and
inserting the subassembly into outer selector tube.
21. A method of determining a fitness score for a workout by a user manipulating an exercise device, comprising:
receiving one or more detected parameters related to spatial movement of the exercise device; and
determining a fitness score related to quality of the workout by the user, based on the received parameter data.
22. The method of
23. The method of
displaying the fitness score for the user.
24. The method of
25. The method of
26. The method of
displaying the fitness score and a comparison of the user's fitness score to fitness scores of other users.
27. The method of
28. An arrangement for tracking movement of a hand-held, free-weight exercise device to determine quality of a workout, comprising:
a plurality of sensors for detecting one or more parameters related to spatial movement of the device by the user during a workout,
a transceiver, and
a processor, the transceiver transmitting the detected parameter data to the processor, the processor determining a quality of the workout by the user based on the received parameter data.
29. The arrangement of
30. The arrangement of
31. A gaming device containing an arrangement as described in
32. A system for tracking a physical workout of a hand-held, free-weight exercise device by a user, comprising:
a plurality of sensors connected to the device for detecting one or more parameters related to spatial movement of the device by the user during the workout;
a first transceiver attached to the device for transmitting the detected parameters over a wireless link;
a second transceiver for receiving the detected parameter data over the link and forwarding the parameter data to a processor,
the processor evaluating the received parameter data to output performance data indicating quality of the workout to the user.
32. The system of
a memory for storing the performance data; and
an interface for receiving input to the processor and for enabling display of the performance data to the user.
33. The system of
34. The system of
35. The system of
36. The system of
37. An exercise device, comprising:
a housing, and
a pair of rotatable handle assemblies,
each rotating handle assembly of the pair arranged on either side of the housing, the housing adapted to hold a removable weight therein so that the removable weight is centrally located in the device.
38. The device of
a tray adapted to hold the removable weight, the tray adapted for insertion into a cavity at an underside of the housing, wherein the removable weight is embodied as one or more vertically stacked weight plates in the tray, and
a weight selector, wherein weight is added or removed within the cavity by placing the exercise device over the tray so that the tray is inserted into the cavity and adjusting the position of the weight selector to engage one or more of the vertically stacked weights in the tray.
39. The device of
a weight selector include a laterally moving selector knob and a selector tube, wherein weight is added or removed by laterally moving the selector knob and selector tube to engage one or more vertically stacked weights.
40. The device of
a central cavity within the housing, the central cavity containing a plurality of weights sleeves, each weight sleeve adapted to house a removable weight.
This application claims domestic priority under 35 U.S.C. §120 to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/483,633 to Mills et al., filed Jul. 1, 2003 in the United States Patent & Trademark Office, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention generally relates to an exercise device, a method of fabricating the device, and a method and system for interaction with an exercise device.
2. Description of Related Art
Today, dumbbells may be generally recognized as the most efficient of strength training devices. They allow extreme flexibility in patterns of movement and allow the athlete to perform a real world training regimen unlike, for example, bungee cord exercises. Therapists prefer dumbbells because dumbbells may reflect everyday movements and the flexibility of a dumbbell may allow the patient to train around joint and muscle trauma. People that train with dumbbells may enjoy productive gains not available with other training modalities because dumbbells generally require balance and involve synergistic muscle groups to contract during the lift. The necessity to balance the dumbbells and coordinate movement of each hand may stress the muscular and nervous system unlike any machine exercise. With machines, a portion of the athlete's musculature can actually relax due to the absence of fully balanced coordination, i.e. one side can push harder than the other.
There are two basic forms of dumbbells: fixed or “pro-style”, and adjustable dumbbells. Fixed dumbbells are individually compact, but are typically sold in sets which typically may be stored on a rack that is bulky and cumbersome. Adjustable dumbbells have historically incorporated plates and locking collars secured to the ends of an extended handle.
Adjustable dumbbells may be the most space and cost efficient exercise equipment. However, adjustable dumbbells may have some drawbacks. One drawback may be the time it takes to change or adjust both dumbbells. Removing and replacing the locking collars and plates may be time consuming, and can be a potential safety hazard if the collars are not securely tightened. Some exercises such as bench presses, inclines and shoulder work typically begin and end with the dumbbells resting on the knees of the user. However, this may be unwieldy and painful if the ends of the dumbbells are not relatively flat.
Various adjustable dumbbells have been developed heretofore. U.S. Pat. No. 4,743,017 to Jaeger, U.S. Pat. No. 4,529,198 to Hettick and U.S. Pat. No. 6,083,144 to Towley, III et al. are representative of the prior art in this regard. Each of these patents, however, addresses only certain aspects of an adjustable dumbbell, such as releasability, interlocking of the weights, etc. Moreover, the exercise devices in each of these references may involve a relatively cumbersome operation to add and/or subtract weight and/or may be somewhat bulky and cumbersome to store.
An exemplary embodiment of the present invention may be directed to an exercise device. The exercise device may include a housing and a pair of rotatable handle assemblies. Each rotating handle assembly of the pair may be arranged on either side of the housing. The housing may be adapted to hold a removable weight therein so that the removable weight is centrally located in the exercise device.
Another exemplary embodiment of the present invention may be directed to an exercise device. The exercise device may include an upper housing and a lower housing. The lower housing may include a central cavity for insertion of one or more removable weights. Each of the upper and lower housings may further include a frame and a pair of outer openings, one opening at either side of the central cavity. The device may include a pair of rotating handle assemblies provided in corresponding outer openings, and a weight selection assembly for selecting a desired amount of weight for insertion in the central cavity.
Another exemplary embodiment of the present invention may be directed to a method of fabricating an exercise device. In the method, an upper housing and a lower housing may be formed. Each of the upper and lower housings may be composed of a frame provided with a central opening and an outer opening on either side of the central opening. The lower housing may further include a cavity. A weight selection assembly may be formed and may be adapted to select a removable weight. A pair of handle assemblies may be formed, and each handle assembly may be inserted in a corresponding outer opening of the lower housing so as to be supported by the lower housing frame. The weight selection assembly may be inserted through the central opening in the upper housing, and the upper housing may be attached to the lower housing so that at least a portion of the weight selection assembly extends in the cavity of the lower housing.
Another exemplary embodiment of the present invention may be directed to a method of determining a fitness score for a workout by a user manipulating an exercise device. In the method, one or more detected parameters related to spatial movement of the exercise device may be received. Based on the received parameter data, a fitness score related to a quality of the workout by the user may be determined.
Another exemplary embodiment of the present invention may be directed to an arrangement for tracking movement of a hand-held, free-weight exercise device to determine quality of a workout. The arrangement may include a plurality of sensors for detecting one or more parameters related to spatial movement of the device by the user during a workout, a transceiver and a processor. The transceiver may transmit the detected parameter data to the processor, and the processor may determine a quality of a workout by the user based on the received parameter data.
Another exemplary embodiment of the present invention may be directed to a system for tracking a physical workout of a hand-held, free-weight exercise device by a user. The system may include a plurality of sensors connected to the device for detecting one or more parameters related to spatial movement of the device by the user during the workout. The system may include a first transceiver attached to the device for transmitting the detected parameters over a link (such as a wireless link), and a second transceiver for receiving the detected parameter data over the link and forwarding the parameter data to a processor. The processor may evaluate the received parameter data to output performance data indicating quality of the workout to the user.
Exemplary embodiments of the present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given herein below and the accompanying drawings, wherein like elements are represented by like reference numerals, which are given by way of illustration only and thus do not limit the exemplary embodiments of the present invention.
In general, the exemplary embodiments of the present invention introduce an exercise device for providing variable weight in a housing of the device. Two rotating handles may be provided in the housing, permitting various hand orientations during exercise. Unlike most dumbbell-type free-weight devices, the removable weight may be provided near the center of the exercise device, with the handles substantially outboard the removable weight. Weight may be efficiently added or removed by placing the exercise device over a separate holding tray and changing the position of a weight selector element on the device. Unused weights may be suitably stored in this holding tray. As will be seen in more detail below, additional features may be incorporated into the rotating handles, including elements that may selectively add sound and/or resistance when the handles are actuated.
A friction washer 113 (which may be composed of a suitable metal, rubber or plastic) may be interposed between inner selector tube 110 and support plate 115, providing a durable wear surface. Below support plate 115, the subassembly 101-110 may be rigidly connected to the outer selector tube 120, which may extend into a lower central opening 106 b in lower housing 20. Opening 106 b provides weight selector assembly 100 access into cavity 25. Thus, rotational input to selector knob 100 may be transmitted through the subassembly 101-110 to outer selector tube 120, while the weight selection assembly 100 (outer selector tube 120, inner selector tube 110 and selector knob 101) is supported by upper housing 10 through support plate 105.
Inner selector tube 110 may be inserted into outer selector tube 120 during initial assembly of the exercise device 1. Fasteners (not shown) may be introduced into holes 111 and 121 to secure the inner selector tube 110 to the outer selector tube 120. The fasteners may be embodied as rivets or screws, although other fasteners may be used, such as snaps between the inner and outer tube, adhesives, ultrasonic welding, and/or posts that provide an interference fit in holes 111 or 121, for example.
The outer selector tube 120 may include a plurality of protrusions or teeth 122, arranged on an outer surface of the outer selector tube 120, as shown in
As shown in
In an aspect, if a given weight plate is selected by the user, all weight plates above the selected weight plate will also be selected. Thus, if weight plate 380 is selected, each of weight plates 310-380 will be held by outer selector tube 120. If weight plate 310 is selected, only that individual weight will be removed from tray 30 and retained by outer selector tube 120, as there are no weight plates above it. This allows the total weight selected to vary from a given minimum to a given maximum weight in tray 30.
As discussed above, weight plate 380 may be permanently attached to tray 30. Thus selection of weight plate 380 corresponds to the maximum weight setting on device 1. Accordingly, tray 30 with all weight plates 310-380 will be retained by outer selector tube 120. This allows use of tray 30 to provide additional weight, and may also provide a clean configuration for storage of exercise device 1.
Unlike weight plates 310-370, weight plate 380 may be permanently attached to tray 30 and does not include spacer elements 390. In this exemplary embodiment, tray 30 weighs approximately the same as the weight of a given spacer element 390. Thus, the weight of weight plate 380−(minus) tray 30 weighs approximately the same as weight plate 370−spacer element 390.
The increments and indicia on label 103 may depend upon the chosen weight range for a particular embodiment of the present invention. In the example of
The weight of the assembly tray 30 minus the weight 380 weighs the same as any of the other weight plates 310-370 with corresponding spacer elements 390. The weight of the tray 30 replaces the weight of the spacer elements 390, so in this example, the tray 30 weighs 1 lb. Accordingly, in this example, the exercise device 1 weighs approximately 4 lb.
Each additional selected weight plate 310-370 adds 2 lb. Thus, the maximum weight possible in this example is seven 2 lb weights, plus the eighth weight plate 380 and tray 30, which weighs two pounds, for a total of 20 lb. As discussed above, the weight increments, maximum and minimum weights are merely exemplary, the exercise device 1 and tray 30 could be adapted to hold different ranges of weights, depending on the desired size of the exercise device 1 and desired accompanying weight. An exemplary range of weight may be between about at least 2 pounds to at least 100 pounds of weight, although conceivably the exercise device 1 could be adapted to hold even greater amounts of weight.
The handle assembly 40 may be mounted between upper housing 10 and lower housing 20 in a manner that allows handle assembly 40 to rotate independently. Thus, it may be possible for a user of the exercise device 1 to change hand orientation while exercising with the exercise device 1. This may provide unique advantages for training desired muscle groups by performing particular exercises.
In this example, the selector switch 60 may have a range of motion between two extreme positions. A first extreme position of selector switch 60 may result in maximum sound and resistance, while at a second extreme position, resistance/sound element 50 is not contacting teeth 411, so there is minimum sound and resistance.
A selector switch 60 and sound resistance element 50 may be provided for each of the two rotating handle assemblies 40 of the exercise device 1. Thus, it may be possible to independently select sound and resistance for one or both of the handle assemblies 40.
In the method, the upper housing 10 may be formed (1410) and the lower housing 20 may be formed (1420) by a suitable fabrication process, described in further detail below. Each of the upper housing 10 and lower housing 20 may be composed of a frame provided with a central opening and a pair of outer openings, one opening at either side of the central opening. The central opening may be openings 106 a and 106 b of
Weight selection assembly 100 may then be formed (1430) by a suitable fabrication process described in further detail below, although this may be formed independent from the upper and lower housing 10 and 20. To form the weight selection assembly 100, the inner selector tube 110 and selector knob 101 may be formed, and the selector knob 101 inserted into the inner selector tube 110 to form the subassembly 101-110. The outer selector tube 120 may be formed, with the subassembly 101-110 inserted into outer selector tube to provide a contiguous weight selection assembly 100. Friction washer 113 and support plate may be provided between the subassembly 101-110 and outer selection tube 120 (see
The rotating handle assemblies 40 may be formed (1440) by a suitable fabrication process described in further detail below, although rotating handle assemblies 40 may also be formed independent from the forming of the upper and lower housing 10 and 20 and weight selection assembly 100. Each handle assembly 40 may be inserted (1450) into a corresponding opening 15 of the lower housing 20 (as shown in
The weight selection assembly 100 may be inserted (1460) through the central opening 106 a in the upper housing 10, and the upper housing 10 with weight selection assembly 100 may be attached (function 1470) to the lower housing 20 so that a portion of the weight selection assembly (e.g., outer selector assembly 120 with teeth 122) extends into the cavity 25 of the lower housing 20. Suitable fasteners may be provided to fixedly secure the upper and lower housings 10 and 20 together, such as rivets, screws, adhesives, etc. Accordingly, fabrication of the exercise device 1 is completed.
Separately, tray 30 may be formed by a suitable fabrication process, described in further detail below. Tray 30 may be formed in a configuration for holding weight plates 310-380 and the dimension adapted so as to comfortably fit within the cavity 25 of the lower housing 20 for engagement of one or more weight plates 310-380 therein by weight selection assembly 100.
In general, individual components of the exercise device 1 described herein may be fabricated primarily from lightweight materials such as moldable plastic. Upper housing 10 and lower housing 20 may be formed by an injection molding process from a high impact plastic, such as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). ABS is an easily machined, tough, low cost rigid thermoplastic material with high impact strength, and may be a desirable material for turning, drilling, milling, sawing, die-cutting, shearing, etc. However, ABS is merely one exemplary material, equivalent materials may include various thermoplastic and thermoset materials that have characteristics similar to ABS. For example, talc-filled polypropylene, high strength polycarbonates such as GE Lexan, or blended plastics may be used instead of or in addition to ABS.
An exemplary injection molding system for forming molded plastic articles may be the Roboshot injection molding machine from Milacron-Fanuc. The Roboshot is one of many known injection molding machines for forming plastic injection molds. Other plastic molding processes such as vacuum forming may be used, but these alternative processes may not provide the structural advantages and cost advantages of injection molding. Alternatively, the upper housing 10 and lower housing 20 may be formed using a metal casting process such as sand casting, die casting, or investment casting, for example.
The weight selection assembly 100 may also be molded of plastic. Selector knob 101 and inner selector tube 110 may be formed by an injection molding process from a high impact plastic such as ABS. Selector knob 101 and inner selector tube 110 may be formed from virtually any plastic or metal material, since they are not critically loaded. The decision of material may be based on factors such as cost and/or appearance considerations.
Outer selector tube 120 may require a more durable material as it requires additional strength. Due to the loads on teeth 122, outer selector tube 120 may be molded of a more durable material than ABS, such as glass-filled nylon. However, the composition of outer selector tube 120 is not limited to glass-filled nylon, any material having similar fracture toughness characteristics to glass-filled nylon may be suitable equivalents Such materials may be characterized as being able to absorb energy without cracking, or materials which do not shatter under substantially sharp impact loads, for example. Metal castings may be used to form outer selector tube 120, as well as machined metal construction. Other high performance molded and composite materials may also be adequate for outer selector tube 120, but may not offer cost advantages as compared to glass-filled nylon, for example.
Support plate 115 may be fabricated from high performance molded or sheet plastic, a suitable light, yet strong metal such as a high-strength, low alloy steel, aluminum, etc., and/or a composite synthetic material such as a carbon fiber/epoxy material, for example. Alternatively, support plate 115 may be incorporated into molded upper housing 10. Friction washer 113 may also be formed from a wide variety of metals and plastics. The function of friction washer 113 is to provide desirable wear surface characteristics at a relatively low cost.
Removable weight tray 30 may be formed from injection molded ABS. However, tray 30 may be molded or machined from a number of different plastic or composite materials, or may be cast from a number of different metals. Cost and weight may play a consideration in choosing the desired process and material for forming tray 30.
The weight plates 300 may be stamped from hot-rolled steel, for example. Alternatively, weight plates 300 may be cut from cold-rolled steel, stamped from a stainless steel alloy, formed of cast metals or machined metals, etc. Further, the weight plates may be formed by a process using heavy filler materials such as concrete or soft lead in a molded or formed outer housing. It is also within the skill of the art to employ other known methods of assembling stamped metal pieces to create the weight plates. A basic requirement is that the weight plates 300 be formed of a strong enough material that the teeth 312-382 are sufficiently durable and at a reasonably accurate enough location on the associated weight plate to successfully engage teeth 122 of the outer selector tube 120.
As discussed above, the spacer elements 390 may be composed of a suitable incompressible metal material used to form the weight plates 300, such as hot-rolled steel, titanium, aluminum, etc. However, spacer elements 390 could be formed of a plastic and/or hard rubber compound. The rubber may provide acceptable noise damping characteristics if only a spacing function is desired for spacer elements 390. Metal may be desirable because it adds weight. The spacer elements 390 may be spot-welded or punched and welded to each of the weight plates 310-370. Rivets, screws, adhesives and other known fasteners within the skill of the art may be used in place of spot welding.
The rotating handle assemblies 40 may be composed of a rigid aluminum tube 420 encased by a soft handle 430 that may be embodied as a foam rubber grip 430, for example. Grip 430 may either be extruded or molded into a desired shape. The ring halves 410 may be formed by an injection molding process of ABS plastic, for example, although a number of alternative methods may be employed to form handle assemblies 40.
For example, the entire assembly could be cast or molded as a single piece of plastic or metal. Alternatively, tube 420 can be formed of any desired material that has sufficient strength to perform under the anticipated loads. Further, the handle assemblies 40 may change based upon the empty weight requirements of the cavity 25. In this example, the empty weight of overall exercise device 1 should be approximately 4 lb. Handle assemblies 40 provide a convenient location to tailor the final empty weight of the exercise device 1 without tray 30 and associated weigh plates 300.
Depending on the design, the empty exercise device may be lightened or weighted based on the materials chosen for the components of the handle assemblies. For example, tube 420 may be a thin-walled aluminum for tube 420. If, by a different choice of material for upper housing 10 and lower housing 20, for example, weight needed to be added to reach 4 lbs empty, tubes 420 could be composed of hollow or solid steel. Filling tube 420 with lead or concrete might significantly alter the weight of the handle assembly 40. Likewise, casting the entire handle assembly 40 from a metal or metal-filled plastic may also increase the weight.
The construction of soft handle 430 may vary based upon factors such as comfort and durability requirements. The shape of soft handle 430 can be molded for maximum comfort or extruded to lower cost, as an example. Similarly, tube 420 could be formed in a contoured shape, eliminating the need for soft handle 430. If the entire handle assembly 40 was molded or formed as an integral part and the central handle region was contoured, the soft handle 430 could be eliminated.
There may be a number of ways to provide sound and resistance for rotating handle assemblies 40. This sound and resistance may be selectable. The sound and resistance element 50 and selector switch 60 in the exemplary embodiment represent a simple contact friction system. However, in addition to friction of flexible elements or springs, the resistance may be generated by fluid viscosity, magnetic induction, or electromagnetism, for example. Sound may be generated by contact friction, air movement, vibration of taut string elements, or may be generated via an electrical/electronic source or device. If additional resistance is required, elastomer friction blocks (not shown) may be added to the existing design.
Method and System for Interacting with an Exercise Device
Although motion tracking systems for weight machines with mechanically constrained movements have been developed, due to the inherent difficulties of tracking devices with free ranges of motion, no known capability is believed to exist for free weight exercise devices. Accordingly, the following method may be adapted for an exercise device such as described above. However, the following method may be implemented in exercise devices other than the device 1 described above, such as conventional free weights, individual weight stations such as weight machines of a NAUTILUS® system, exercise bikes, treadmills, step machines such as STAIRMASTER® machines, etc.
The sensors 1520 may be embodied as at least one of an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a pressure sensor, a proximity sensor, an infrared sensor and an optical sensor, or combinations thereof that detect one or more of the parameters and output a signal (such as an analog signal) that may be converted (i.e., by a suitable A/D converter 1525) into digital data. The digital data may be processed in an intelligent electronic device 1530 provided on the exercise device.
For example, in an embodiment in which the detected parameter data is communicated as an analog signal by the sensor(s) 1520, the signal may be converted to digital data by A/D converter 1525 and processed in a microcontroller 1530 (intelligent electronic device) operatively connected to an output of the A/D converter 1525. The microcontroller 1530 may process the digital data into a suitable form, such as an RF signal containing a data packet, that is transmitted from an antenna 1545 of a transceiver 1540 that is operatively connected to the microcontroller 1530, similar to how packetized voice or data traffic is wirelessly transmitted over an air interface from a cellular phone to a base station transceiver servicing the cellular phone, for example.
For example, if the sensor 1520, via the intelligent microelectronic device 1530, is operatively connected to a miniature RF transceiver 1540 on the exercise device, the detected parameter data may be packetized in the transceiver 1540 and transmitted as part of one or more packets of data wirelessly over a air link 1547 to an antenna 1550 of a remote receiver. The remote receiver may serve as a second transceiver 1555 at a remote location (such as a transceiver that is operatively connected to downstream processing circuitry of a processing station (as shown in
The various sensors, microelectronics and transceiver circuitry may be powered from a suitable power source such as rechargeable secondary battery. Rechargeable secondary batteries for powering portable electronic devices are well known, evidenced by the battery packs used to power low-voltage electronic devices such as cellular phones, personal digital assistants (PDA's) and laptop computers. Accordingly, suitable battery pack candidates may be battery packs consisting of one or more cells having a nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH), nickel cadmium (NiCd) or lithium ion (Li+) cell chemistry with associated electrolyte.
The processing station may be embodied in hardware and/or software as a digital microprocessor 1560 within a suitable personal computer that includes a wireless hub and associated transceiver components and circuitry. However, instead of a digital microprocessor, an analog processor, digital signal processor and/or one or more application specific integrated circuits controlled by a suitable microcontroller or microprocessor may be provided in the processing station, for example. Power may be provided by a suitable AC power source or embedded battery pack as described above.
Users 1510 may communicate with microprocessor 1560 over a suitable encrypted medium such as an encrypted 128-bit secure socket layer (SSL) connection 1578, although the present invention is not limited to this encrypted communication medium. If the processing station is embodied as a server, user 1510 may connect to the server over the internet or from any one of a personal computer, laptop, PDA, etc., using a suitable network interface 1585 such as a web-based internet browser. Further, processing station may be accessible to internal users 1510 via a suitable local area network connection 1580, so that internal users 1510 have access over an intranet for example. Graphical information may be communicated over the 128-bit SSL connection 1578 or LAN 1580, to be displayed on a suitable display device 1587 or 1589 of the user 1510.
The processing station may include a data bus 1576. Bus 1576 may be implemented with conventional bus architectures such as a peripheral components interconnect (PCI) bus that is standard in many computer architectures. Alternative bus architectures such as VMEBUS, NUBUS, address data bus, RAMbus, DDR (double data rate) bus, etc. may be utilized to implement bus 1576.
Microprocessor 1560 represents a central nexus from which all real time and non-real functions in the processing station are performed, such as graphical-user interface (GUI) and browser functions, directing security functions, directing calculations for display and review by the user. Accordingly, microprocessor 1650 may include a GUI 1570 which may be embodied in software as a browser. Browsers are software devices which present an interface to, and interact with, users 1510 of the system 1500. The browser is responsible for formatting and displaying user-interface components (e.g., hypertext, window, etc.) and pictures.
Microprocessor 1560 may invoke cryptographic hardware or software to establish a firewall to protect the processing station from outside security breaches. The cryptographic hardware or software secures all personal information of registered users 1510.
The digital microprocessor 1560 of the processing station may evaluate the received parameter data. The evaluation may include determining a fitness score that takes into account at least one of the age, gender and health/fitness condition of the user 1510. Additional input to the fitness score may include the aforementioned parameters related to spatial movement of the exercise device by the user 1510.
The processing station may include memory 1565 (such as various types of RAM, ROM, optical storage, magnetic disk storage, etc.) for storing or recording the performance data. The processing station may receive inputs from an input device (keypad, mouse, touch screen, etc.) at the user 1510, via interfaces 1580, 1585, bus 1576 and GUI 1570 for enabling display of the performance data via GUI 1570 to the user 1510.
In an aspect, the GUI 1570 may be adapted to enable, via an animated display 1575 at the processing station, a graphic display of a proper form of a selected exercise to help instruct the user 1510. For example, the GUI 1570 may be adapted to graphically mimic, on display 1575 (or displays 1587 and 1589), a particular exercise being performed by the user 1510 in at least one of a real time mode and a playback mode, so as to indicate whether the exercise is performed properly, and/or to display a fitness score for the individual exercise. Further, GUI 1570 may enable the user 1510 to locally or remotely download a given workout plan, or a review of the user's workout history, via at least one of an intranet and the Internet, as discussed above.
Based on the evaluation, the processing station may output performance data related to the workout. In an aspect, the performance data may be related to at least one of a quality measure and quantity measure of the workout. For example, the processing station may output, on display 1575, a single fitness score for the user related to quality of the workout that is based on the evaluation. Alternative, after a series of workouts, a single fitness score may be generated to evaluate the overall workout session.
The fitness score may be displayed locally on a display 1575 at the processing station. Alternatively, the fitness score or other data may be processed in microprocessor 1560 into a suitable form for transmission from the antenna 1550 of transceiver 1155 over an airlink 1590 to a remote location at the user 1510. For example, if the user has an electronic device configured with appropriate transceiver circuitry (wireless PDA, cell phone, wireless PC, etc), the transmitted data may be converted into a suitable digital video image for display at display units 1587, 1589.
In another aspect, the performance data may be displayed in substantially real time (except for minor transmission losses over the air link due to interference or path signal loss) for a specified workout routine. The displayed performance data may include, but is not limited to, graphical data representing a rate of lift of the exercise device during movement by the user, a range of motion of the exercise device during movement by the user and a number of repetitions of the exercise device by the user.
In a further exemplary embodiment, a gaming device with interface (not shown) may be provided for translating physical movements by a user manipulating an exercise device to gaming software of the gaming device displaying an active game. For example, sensory devices 1520 on an exercise device in communication with a suitable software program or algorithm and transceiver circuitry may be adapted to convert spatial movements of the exercise device by the user to ape movements within a displayed game operatively controlled by the gaming device.
Accordingly, the method and system of tracking a physical workout by a user manipulating an exercise device such as a free weight device may offer several benefits. Instantaneous feedback of exercise metrics for range of motion, rate of lift, and number of repetitions may allow a user to adjust their form to obtain maximum muscle workout and reduce potential incidence of injury. Remote hands-free recording of exercise performance provides the user, trainer, or therapist the capability to evaluate the quality of a workout at the end of a session and progress over time. Near-instant feedback and the interactive gaming capabilities may provide an element of mental stimulation to an otherwise boring and tedious experience.
Further, a single fitness score may be output for the user for comparison to other people, thus allowing for friendly competition or just general comparison. This may add a new element to fitness training that can make training more rewarding and enjoyable. Users may also receive a single fitness score representing a consolidation of their entire workout, making it easy to remember and record. Providing a single fitness score may also facilitate the user tracking their own progress.
Device 1′ may include a weight selector assembly which may comprise a selector knob 101′ and a selector tube 120′. Selector tube 120′ may include a plurality of vertically arranged teeth 122′ thereon for engaging teeth 122′ within corresponding slots 312′ of weight plates 300′. The weight selector assembly may slide laterally to align teeth 122′ with corresponding slots 312′ of given weight plates 300′ to engage the desired amount of weight plates 300′ that have been selected based on the lateral movement of the weight selector assembly by a user of the device 1′. There may be provided calibrations on one or more of the weight plates 300′ that tells the user where to align the selector knob 101′. This may be seen through the clear door 13, for example, and may be in equal weight increments, for example.
Accordingly, to pick-up weight, the selector tube 120′ may extend through the slots 312′ as the weight loads from the bottom of device 1′ through lower housing 20′ and is received into a cavity somewhat similar to as shown in
Weight plates 300′ may be configured in several configurations, one of which may be known as a ‘clamshell’ arrangement. Widthwise, the width of the weight plates 300′ may increase from bottom to top, so as to provide individual weight plates 300′ of equal weight which, when engaged by teeth 122′ and secured in device 1′, may maintain the center of gravity of device 1′ generally in the middle of the device 1′, not top heavy or bottom heavy, regardless of which weight plates 300′ are selected.
Although not shown for reasons of clarity, the individual weight plates 300′ may be of different thicknesses and dimensions so as to provide an equal weight for each weight plate 300′. The weight plates 300′ may be configured so that they are stackable in a general vertical orientation, as shown in
Each weight plate 300′ may have one or more openings (not shown for reasons of clarity) other than central opening 312′. Openings may be different for different weight plates 300′, depending on the vertical position of a given weight plate 300′ in the stack shown in
Referring again to
In general, individual components of the exercise device 1′ described herein may be fabricated primarily from moldable lightweight materials such as ABS. The weight plates 300′ may be stamped from hot-rolled steel, cut from cold-rolled steel, stamped from a stainless steel alloy, formed of cast metals or machined metals, or formed by a process using heavy filler materials such as concrete or soft lead in a molded or formed outer housing. A basic requirement is that the weights 300′ be formed of a strong enough material that the teeth are sufficiently durable and at a reasonably accurate enough location on the associated weight plate 300′ to successfully engage teeth 122′ of the 'selector tube 120′. The rotating handle assemblies 40 may be composed of material and formed as described in the previous exemplary embodiment, for example.
Accordingly, the teeth of a given weight plate 300′ placed at different points in each opening 312′ enables the teeth 122′ of the selector tube 120′ to engage a given weight plate 300′ based on the lateral movement of the selector knob 101′ and sector tube 120′ during the weight selection process. A weight plate 300′ orientation of a given plate 300′ may be such that each weight plate 300′ weighs the same and maintains the center of gravity of the device 1′ when secured within the device 1′ by the closing action of the door 13. Door 13, provides a locking mechanism using spring force to secure the individual weight plates 300′ within the device 1′, substantially eliminating the potential for vibration within the device 1′.
The weight sleeves 36 may each contain a removable weight 300″ (not shown). For example, the weight sleeves 36 of cavity 25″ may be configured to store weight between about 5-55 pounds, although this is merely an exemplary range of weight. Device 1″ may further include one or more self-locking spring loaded-mechanisms (not shown for clarity) to secure the weights 300″ in sleeves 36.
The rotating handles 40″ may freely rotate to provide wrist supination (outward rotation) at a desired given angle. The handle assembles 40″ may include a rotatable outer bezel 48 thereon that is calibrated to include a number of handle positions, here shown in terms of degrees from vertical. Positions of the handles may be selectable to exercise a specific muscle group (bicep, tricep, back chest etc, depending on the hand orientation of the user on the device 1″. The user may thus select a free spinning or locked position of supination or pronation (inward rotation) of the wrist.
Device 1″ may thus be a combination of a barbell, dumbbell, and medicine ball. Unlike traditional barbells and dumbbells, weights may be attached centrally, as opposed to the ends. Slots (not shown) with locking mechanisms may be provided in the center of the device 1″ for sleeves 36 of weights 300″ to be installed. Based on the amount of weight installed, the device 1″'s weight load may span a wide range of weight, in upwards of a hundred pounds or more, for example.
Device 1″ may have several alternative configurations, not illustrated herein for reasons of brevity. In an aspect, the device 1″ may include a horizontal handle attached at either end with two shorter handles. The shorter horizontal handles may attach to two vertical handles, which in turn may connect to the lower housing 20″ of the device 1″. Inward of the vertical handles may be medicine ball equivalent sized grips that encapsulate either end of the weight slots. The weight slots may receive the sleeves 36 of weight. Further, the vertical handles may be extended on the bottom of device 1″ to support exactly the same horizontal handle configuration as found on the top of the device 1″. Accordingly, device 1″ of
In another aspect, device 1″ may include two removable, rotating handle assembly modules 40″ that may be operatively attached to either end of the device 1″. The handle modules may provide handholds that can be set to rotate freely clockwise/counter-clockwise, or which may be locked at any angle to work a desired muscle group. The handle modules may be adjustable inward and outward to allow a user to adjust the width of their hand holds as needed. The weight slots, horizontal handles and medicine ball grips may be similar to as described above.
The exemplary embodiments of the present invention being thus described, it will be obvious that the same may be varied in many ways. For example, the exercise device 1, 1′, 1″ may include a housing configured differently than as upper housing 10 and a lower housing 20, such as one piece, multiple piece (>2) or modular connective construction (fixed housing with removable and/or reconfigurable connective modular housing portions), for example. Additionally, a cavity 25 or opening may be provided on the device 1 in places other than centrally located within lower housing 20, as is evident to those having ordinary skill in the art.
Handle assemblies 40 may be configured to provide directional movement other than rotational (lateral, transverse, etc.) within openings 15, for example. Further, one of ordinary skill in the art may adapt rotating handle assemblies 40 to include other structural elements in lieu of teeth to engage resistance/sound element 50, for example. As described above, resistance/sound element 50 and selector switch 60 illustrate one exemplary embodiment, other configurations for providing sound and resistance are evident within the ordinary skill of the art.
Moreover, tray 30 may be configured in one or more alternative yet equivalent structural forms or shapes for holding and/or storing weight plates 300 than the exemplary configuration of
As is evident within the ordinary skill of the art, multiple alternative configurations providing an equivalent function may be substituted for and//or may accompany, the weight selection assembly 100 described herein. For example, there may be provided various alternative structures for selecting weight other than the exemplary selector knob 101, and inner and outer selector tubes 110 and 120 may be replaced by several alternative structures, as would be evident to one having ordinary skill in the art. Alternatively, a single selector tube may be utilized in any of devices 1, 1′, 1″ instead of inner and outer selector tubes 110 and 120.
With regard to
Such variations are not to be regarded as departure from the spirit and scope of the exemplary embodiments of the present invention. All such modifications as would be obvious to one skilled in the art are intended to be included within the scope of the following claims.