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Publication numberUS20050009668 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/876,128
Publication dateJan 13, 2005
Filing dateJun 24, 2004
Priority dateJul 10, 2003
Publication number10876128, 876128, US 2005/0009668 A1, US 2005/009668 A1, US 20050009668 A1, US 20050009668A1, US 2005009668 A1, US 2005009668A1, US-A1-20050009668, US-A1-2005009668, US2005/0009668A1, US2005/009668A1, US20050009668 A1, US20050009668A1, US2005009668 A1, US2005009668A1
InventorsGreg Savettiere, Kenneth Jones, Dean Mohamed
Original AssigneeGreg Savettiere, Jones Kenneth R., Mohamed Dean M.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Elliptical/treadmill exercise apparatus
US 20050009668 A1
Abstract
A common frame and display is employed for use as a treadmill and elliptical exercise apparatus. Interlock switches are used to lock out one system electrically while the other is in use. The elliptical system employs folding pedal arms which engage switches in a folded stowed state to disable or enable each system according to the folded state of the pedal arms. When the arms are folded, the treadmill mode is enabled and the elliptical mode is disabled and when unfolded, the elliptical system is enabled and the treadmill system is disabled. The display displays speed, elevation, and distance traveled in each mode and includes a resistance in each mode to vary the work load on the user.
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Claims(37)
1. An exercise apparatus comprising:
a frame;
an electrically operated motorized treadmill exercise system attached to the frame for use in a treadmill exercise mode; and
an elliptical exercise system attached to the frame for use in an elliptical exercise mode, the treadmill and elliptical exercise systems each being arranged for selective independent exercise use in a corresponding treadmill and elliptical exercise mode.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the treadmill system includes an endless moving belt for treadmill exercising use by a user in the treadmill mode and the elliptical system includes a pair of foot pads for elliptical exercising use by a user in the elliptical mode, the pair of foot pads and belt being arranged in overlying relation in the elliptical mode.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the frame includes a pair of traction strips for stationary support of a user in the treadmill mode, the frame including a pair of guide tracks for use in the elliptical mode by the elliptical system.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the elliptical system includes first and second foot support pedal arms, each arm having first and second ends, the first ends being attached to a corresponding rotatable crank secured to the frame for imparting elliptical motion to the arms, the second end of each arm engaging a corresponding different track during the elliptical motion for imparting reciprocating motion to the second end.
5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the treadmill and elliptical systems include a corresponding electrical circuit include a control circuit for respectively enabling and disabling the electrical circuit of the corresponding one of said treadmill and elliptical systems.
6. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein each foot pad is supported by a corresponding arm having first and second ends, each of which ends being selectively coupled to the frame in the elliptical mode and in a quiescent mode wherein the elliptical system is disabled.
7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the elliptical system includes elongated first and second foot support pedal arms each having opposite first and second ends, said arms each having a stowed disabled position.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein the arms each including a foldable arrangement for folding at a location intermediate the ends for placement in the stowed position.
9. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein the frame includes first and second arm support elements for engaging the first ends in the stowed position and for disabling the elliptical system.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein the treadmill and elliptical systems each include a corresponding display, the frame arm support elements each include a switch for electrically enabling and disabling the treadmill system and for electrically enabling and disabling the elliptical and treadmill system displays.
11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the frame arm support elements comprises a recess in the frame for mating with and receiving the arm first ends, said received arm first ends for engaging and operating the switches.
12. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the treadmill and elliptical systems each have adjacent front and rear ends, said ends being adjacent to each other, further including an elevation device secured to the frame at the front end for elevating the front end in response to enabling the elliptical system.
13. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the treadmill and elliptical systems each have adjacent front ends and adjacent rear ends, further including at least one upright secured to the frame at the front end and a system control and display console secured to the at least one upright for operating the treadmill system and for displaying treadmill and elliptical exercise related data.
14. The apparatus of claim 13 wherein the frame has parallel sides extending to and between frame rear and front ends, and includes a traction and guide strip on each side extending between the rear and front ends.
15. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the frame has parallel sides extending to and between frame rear and front ends, and includes a traction strip on each side extending between the frame rear and front ends, the elliptical system including elongated first and second foot support arms each having opposite first and second ends, the first ends for being rotatably supported relative to the frame at the front end and the second end for reciprocating along the sides on the traction strip.
16. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the elliptical system comprises a crank arrangement including a pulley 124 and first and second cranks secured to the wheel and a pulley 124 support structure for rotatably attaching the pulley 124 to the frame, and first and second elongated foot support arms having first and second ends, wherein the first arm is attached at its first arm end to the first crank and the second arm is attached at its first arm end to the second crank, an arm track supported by the frame between the frame first and second ends, the first and second arms second end being supported by a corresponding track and for reciprocating on the corresponding track in response to rotation of the pulley 124.
17. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein the tracks comprise a traction strip for the treadmill system.
18. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein the arms are each foldable about a medial point between the first and second arm ends.
19. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein the arms are rotatable relative to the pulley 124 and further including at least one upright, the arms being rotatable to an arm disable position folded adjacent to the at least one upright.
20. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein the frame has a front end at the at least one upright and including a treadmill disabling arrangement at the frame front end responsive to the arms being in the disable position.
21. The apparatus of claim 1 including an elevation apparatus connected to the frame and a control to operate the elevation apparatus to elevate the frame relative to a support when the treadmill exercise mode is switched to the elliptical exercise mode.
22. An exercise apparatus comprising:
a frame having front and rear ends and opposite sides;
an upright attached to the frame at the front end;
a tread strip attached to the frame extending between the frame front and rear ends on each side of the frame;
a treadmill exercise system attached to the frame for use in a treadmill exercise mode including an endless belt rotatably secured to the frame between the front and rear ends; and
an elliptical exercise system attached to the frame for use in an elliptical exercise mode, the treadmill and elliptical exercise systems each being arranged for selective exercise use in a corresponding treadmill and elliptical exercise mode, the elliptical exercise system including a pair of elongated pedal arms attached to the frame and exhibiting elliptical motion and overlying the endless belt in one position and arranged to be displaced adjacent to the upright in a foldable stored disabled position.
23. The apparatus of claim 22 including treadmill disabling device coupled to the frame and responsive to the stored position of the arms for disabling the treadmill system and enabling the elliptical system.
24. The apparatus of claim 22 including a display for each said treadmill and elliptical systems wherein the disabling device includes at least one electrical switch for engaging an end of at least one of said arms in the stored position for activating a display for the elliptical system and for disabling the treadmill system.
25. The apparatus of claim 22 including an elevation apparatus for elevating the frame front end.
26. The apparatus of claim 25 including a control responsive to the change of modes for automatically elevating the front end when the treadmill mode is changed to the elliptical mode.
27. An exercise apparatus comprising:
a control and display panel;
a support structure;
an electrically operated motorized treadmill exercise system for use in a treadmill exercise mode; and
an elliptical exercise system for use in an elliptical exercise mode, the treadmill and elliptical exercise systems each being arranged for selective exercise use in a corresponding treadmill and elliptical exercise mode, both systems being coupled to the panel and secured to the support structure.
28. An elliptical exercise system comprising:
apparatus for operating as a combined treadmill system and an elliptical exercise system, each system having a defined exercise path; and
an elevation device for elevating the combined systems to change the path of each system.
29. A combined treadmill elliptical exercise system comprising:
apparatus for operating as a combined treadmill system and an elliptical exercise system; and
a common display and frame for use by both systems.
30. The combined system of claim 29 wherein the treadmill system includes an exercising endless belt and a drive motor for driving the treadmill belt, the system further including a coupling structure for permitting the elliptical system to drive the belt and drive motor during elliptical exercise wherein the driven drive motor is arranged to provide a resistance to the elliptical exercise system
31. The combined system of claim 30 including providing a user selected variable current to the belt drive motor to vary the resistance to the elliptical system.
32. The combined system of claim 29 wherein the treadmill system includes an endless exercise belt and the elliptical system includes a pair of pedal arms each including a foot pad, the arms having a rear end and including a roller at each arm rear end, the roller for rolling on the treadmill belt.
33. The combined system of claim 32 wherein at least one of said rollers has an axle and includes a clutch for limiting the free rolling direction of the at least one roller to only one angular direction about the axle and for locking the at least one roller to the axle in fixed relationship in a rolling direction about the axle opposite the one angular direction.
34. The combined system of claim 33 wherein the roller has a belt interface element of relatively high coefficient of friction to thereby frictionally engage the belt so as to move the belt in response to rearward movement of the corresponding pedal arm in the elliptical system operating mode in the roller locked state, the locked state occurring in the angular direction corresponding to the arm rearward movement.
35. The combined system of claim 33 wherein the at least one roller has a durometer of about Shore A 40-100.
36. The combined system of claim 33 wherein the at least one roller comprises the roller at each pedal arm rear end.
37. The combined system of claim 33 wherein the at least one roller comprises a pair of rollers, one roller at an end of each pedal arm.
Description
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of provisional application Ser. No. 60/486,058 filed Jul. 10, 2003, entitled “Elliptical/Treadmill Exercise Apparatus” and is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.
  • [0002]
    This invention relates to exercise apparatuses and in particular treadmills and elliptical systems.
  • [0003]
    Japanese patent no. 2001-170205 in FIGS. 1 and 2 shows a composite health appliance including a manual endless walking plate comprising a base, rollers and an endless belt combined with a manual freely oscillatory exercise device. The latter is provided with parallel links on a rising frame erected from the base. Right and left foot boards are mounted to the bottom ends of the parallel links to allow oscillatory motion. The walking motion is carried out by folding the parallel links and removing the foot boards from above the endless walking plate.
  • [0004]
    U.S. patent application Publication No. 2002/0082146 shows left and right foot skates which move back and forth in a reciprocal motion. Left and right foot platforms are movably mounted on respective skates and constrained to move up and down in reciprocal fashion. The skates may move back and forth and the foot platforms are free to move up and down, and are shown as pivotally mounted. The foot platforms may be free to move in another embodiment, but the skates are locked. In another mode, the skates may move, but the foot platforms are locked.
  • [0005]
    U.S. patent application Publication No. 2001/0016542 shows a single device which permits simulating walking, stair climbing and cross country skiing. The device has right and left endless foot platforms each comprising a frame, a roller and an endless belt. The platforms are suspended to simulate cross country skiing. The platforms are also arranged to be alternately pivoted to simulate stair climbing or fixed to simulate walking.
  • [0006]
    U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,226,866 and 5,429,563 disclose a trimodal exercise apparatus which simulates stair climbing, a treadmill and cross country skiing. The stair simulation apparatus comprises foot supports which rotate about a pivot. However, none of the above described devices include an elliptical exercising system wherein the feet move in elliptical paths. Stair simulation requires up and down motions of each foot alternately. Cross country skiing entails back and forth sliding motions of the feet. Walking motion entails walking on a moving belt.
  • [0007]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,401,226 also discloses an exercise device for simulating stair climbing, or cross country skiing alone or in combination, or walking, running or cycling. Also the device is foldable for storage. None of these motions is the same as employed in elliptical devices.
  • [0008]
    U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,423,729, 6,149,551; 6,482,130, 5,527,246,; 5,611,757, 5,947,872; 6,190,289 and 6,135,927 disclose elliptical exercise machines. The '289, '729 and '927 patents also show a collapsible frame. The '729 patent shows a rear crank assembly and the '927 patent shows a front crank assembly and also an elongated foldable pedal support with a hinge joint beneath the foot rest support.
  • [0009]
    U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,772,881; 4,679,786; 4,979,731; 5,899,833; 6,149,551; 6,146,313, U.S. Publication No. 2003/0022763 and others illustrate elliptical or other exercise apparatus including the use of tracks or guides for guiding the direction movement of pedal support members.
  • [0010]
    U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,664,646; 4,998,725; 5,016,871; 5,062,626; 5,067,710; 5,336,146; 5,643,153 show treadmills. The '725 patent shows a controller for a treadmill in which signals control the exercise and regulate the heart rate of a user using a speed sensor and elevation control operated by a microprocessor. The '626 patent illustrates a treadmill with a speed adjustment control mechanism arrangement for adjusting the speed of the treadmill belt. The '710 patent shows a computerized exercise cycle machine in which the user selects intensities of the exercise and thus varies the resistance level provided by an adjustable resistance so that the user's target pulse rate can be controlled. The '871 patent discloses a resistance controller. All of the above patents are incorporated by reference herein.
  • [0011]
    The present inventors recognize a need for combined treadmill and elliptical exercise systems that utilize a common frame and control panel to save space and cost.
  • [0012]
    An exercise apparatus according to an aspect of the present invention comprises a frame; an electrically operated motorized treadmill exercise system attached to the frame for use in a treadmill exercise mode; and an elliptical exercise system attached to the frame for use in an elliptical exercise mode, the treadmill and elliptical exercise systems each being arranged for selective exercise use in a corresponding treadmill and elliptical exercise mode.
  • [0013]
    An elliptical exercise system according to another aspect comprises an apparatus for operating as a combined treadmill system and elliptical exercise system each system having a defined exercise path and including an elevation device for elevating the combined systems to change the path of each system.
  • [0014]
    In a further aspect, an elliptical exercise system comprises an apparatus for operating as a combined treadmill system and an elliptical exercise system and includes a common display and frame for use by both systems.
  • [0015]
    In a further aspect, the treadmill system of the combined system includes an exercising endless belt and a drive motor for driving the treadmill belt, the combined system further including a coupling structure for permitting the elliptical system to drive the belt and drive motor during elliptical exercise wherein the driven drive motor is arranged to provide a resistance to the elliptical exercise system.
  • [0016]
    In a further aspect, the combined system includes providing a user selected variable current to the belt drive motor to vary the resistance to the elliptical system.
  • [0017]
    In a still further aspect, the combined system treadmill system includes an endless exercise belt and the elliptical system includes a pair of pedal arms each including a foot pad, the arms having a rear end and including a roller at each arm rear end, the roller for rolling on the treadmill belt.
  • [0018]
    In a further aspect, at least one of the rollers has an axle and includes a clutch for limiting the free rolling direction of the at least one roller to only one angular direction about the axle and for locking the at least one roller to the axle in fixed relationship in a rolling direction about the axle opposite the one angular direction.
  • [0019]
    In a further aspect, the roller has a belt interface element of relatively high coefficient of friction to thereby frictionally engage the belt so as to move the belt in response to rearward movement of the corresponding pedal arm in the elliptical system operating mode in the roller locked state, the locked state occurring in the angular direction corresponding to the arm rearward movement.
  • [0020]
    In a further aspect, the treadmill system includes an endless moving belt for treadmill exercising use by a user in the treadmill mode and the elliptical system includes a pair of foot pads for elliptical exercising use by a user in the elliptical mode, the pair of foot pads and belt being arranged in overlying relation in the elliptical mode.
  • [0021]
    In a further aspect, the frame includes a pair of traction strips for stationary support of a user in the treadmill mode, the frame including a pair of guide tracks for use in the elliptical mode by the elliptical system.
  • [0022]
    In a further aspect, the elliptical system includes first and second foot support arms, each arm having first and second ends, the first ends being attached to a corresponding rotatable crank secured to the frame for imparting elliptical motion to the arms, the second end of each arm engaging a corresponding different track during the elliptical motion for imparting reciprocating motion to the second end.
  • [0023]
    A further aspect includes a circuit for respectively enabling and disabling the elliptical and treadmill systems such that one of said systems is enabled while the other is disabled.
  • [0024]
    In a further aspect, each foot pad is supported by a corresponding arm having first and second ends, each of which ends being selectively coupled to the frame in the elliptical mode and in a quiescent mode wherein the elliptical system is disabled.
  • [0025]
    In a further aspect, the elliptical system includes elongated first and second foot support arms each having opposite first and second ends and which arms have a stowable disabled position.
  • [0026]
    In a further aspect, the arms each include a foldable arrangement for folding intermediate the ends for placement in the stowable position.
  • [0027]
    In a further aspect, the frame includes first and second arm support elements for engaging the first ends in the stowable position and for disabling the elliptical system.
  • [0028]
    In a further aspect, each of the treadmill and elliptical systems includes a corresponding display, each of the frame arm support elements includes a switch for electrically enabling and disabling the treadmill system and for electrically enabling and disabling the elliptical and treadmill system displays.
  • [0029]
    In a further aspect, the frame arm support elements comprise a recess in the frame for mating with and receiving the arm first ends, said received arm first ends for engaging and operating the switches.
  • [0030]
    In a further aspect, each of the treadmill and elliptical systems has adjacent front and rear ends, further including an elevation device secured to the frame at the front ends for elevating the front ends automatically when the elliptical system is placed in its enabled mode.
  • [0031]
    In a further aspect, each of the treadmill and elliptical systems has adjacent front ends and adjacent rear ends, further including at least one upright secured to the frame at the front ends and a system control and display console secured to the at least one upright for operating the treadmill system and for displaying treadmill and elliptical exercise related data.
  • [0032]
    In a further aspect, the frame has parallel sides extending to and between frame rear and front ends, and includes a traction and guide strip on each side extending between the rear and front ends.
  • [0033]
    In a further aspect, the frame has parallel sides extending to and between frame rear and front ends, and includes a traction and guide strip on each side extending between the frame rear and front ends, the elliptical system including elongated first and second foot support arms each having opposite first and second ends, the first ends for being rotatably supported relative to the frame at the front end and the second end for reciprocating along the sides on the traction guide strip in one embodiment, or in the alternative, may reciprocate on the treadmill belt in a second embodiment.
  • [0034]
    In a further aspect, the elliptical system comprises a crank arrangement including a pulley 124 and first and second cranks secured to the wheel and a pulley 124 support structure for rotatably attaching the pulley 124 to the frame, and first and second elongated foot support arms having first and second ends, wherein the first arm is attached at its first arm end to the first crank and the second arm is attached at its first arm end to the second crank, an arm track supported by the frame between the frame first and second ends, the first and second arms second end being supported by a corresponding track and for reciprocating on the corresponding track in response to rotation of the pulley 124.
  • IN THE DRAWING:
  • [0035]
    FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a combined treadmill/elliptical exercise apparatus in an elliptical operating mode according to an aspect of the present invention;
  • [0036]
    FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
  • [0037]
    FIG. 3 is a plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
  • [0038]
    FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 in a treadmill operating mode;
  • [0039]
    FIG. 4 a is a more detailed showing of the region 4 a of FIG. 4 illustrating an interlock switch for enabling and disabling the treadmill system when the elliptical system is respectively placed out of and into the idle quiescent stowed mode;
  • [0040]
    FIG. 4 b is a more detailed view of the elliptical system pedal arm guide track on the traction strips for receiving and guiding the rear end of the pedal arm rollers;
  • [0041]
    FIG. 5 is an exploded view of a portion of the treadmill belt portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
  • [0042]
    FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the upright and control/display portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
  • [0043]
    FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the treadmill system drive mechanism of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
  • [0044]
    FIG. 8 is an exploded view of a portion of the elliptical system mechanism;
  • [0045]
    FIG. 9 is a block schematic diagram of the operating control system of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
  • [0046]
    FIGS. 10 and 11 show respective side and end elevation views of a portion of the support structure for the elliptical apparatus pulley 124;
  • [0047]
    FIGS. 12 and 13 are respective right and left side isometric views of a combined treadmill-elliptical exercise system according to a further embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0048]
    FIG. 14 is a side elevation view of the system of FIGS. 12 and 13;
  • [0049]
    FIG. 15 is a front elevation view of the system of FIGS. 12-14;
  • [0050]
    FIG. 16 is a plan view of the system of FIGS. 12-15;
  • [0051]
    FIG. 17 is an elevation view of the system of FIG. 16 taken at lines 17-17;
  • [0052]
    FIG. 18 is an elevation view of the system of FIG. 16 taken at lines 18-18;
  • [0053]
    FIG. 19 is a front isometric view of the elliptical and treadmill drive mechanisms;
  • [0054]
    FIG. 20 is an exploded isometric view of a representative pedal arm assembly for the elliptical system;
  • [0055]
    FIG. 20 a is a side elevation view of a roller for the pedal arm rear end according to one embodiment;
  • [0056]
    FIG. 20 b is an isometric view of the front hinge member for the pedal arm front section;
  • [0057]
    FIG. 20 c is a fragmented side elevation view of the interlock portion of the front hinge member of FIG. 20 b;
  • [0058]
    FIG. 21 is a sectional elevation view of the assembled pedal arm assembly of FIG. 20;
  • [0059]
    FIGS. 22 and 23 are top front and bottom front respective isometric views of the mounting plate for the mechanisms of FIGS. 17-19;
  • [0060]
    FIG. 24 is an isometric view of a rear hinge member for the hinge used with the assembly of FIG. 20;
  • [0061]
    FIG. 25 is a top plan view of the hinge member of FIG. 24;
  • [0062]
    FIG. 265 is a fragmented side elevation sectional view of the hinge member of FIGS. 24 and 25;
  • [0063]
    FIG. 27 is a fragmented side elevation view of the assembled hinge device of FIGS. 12-16, 20 in the locked deployed mode of the pedal arm sections;
  • [0064]
    FIG. 28 is a side elevation isometric view of a rear pedal arm section;
  • [0065]
    FIG. 29 is an isometric view of the arm section of FIG. 28 with a pedal foot pad mounting plate attached;
  • [0066]
    FIG. 29 a is an inverted isometric view of the mounting plate of FIG. 29; and
  • [0067]
    FIG. 30 is a front elevation view of the front hinge member of FIG. 20 b.
  • [0068]
    In FIG. 1, combined elliptical/treadmill apparatus 2 includes an elliptical system 4 and a treadmill system 6. The systems 4 and 6 are secured to and utilize a common frame 8. An upright assembly 10 is secured to the frame 8. Attached to the upper portion of the upright assembly is a control and display panel 12 for operating both the treadmill and elliptical systems. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 7, the treadmill system 6 includes a belt drive mechanism 14 and an elevation mechanism 16 and the elliptical system 4 includes a mechanism 17.
  • [0069]
    In FIG. 5, the treadmill system 6 of the apparatus 2 is mounted to frame 8 which comprises a right side frame member 18 and a left side frame member 20, both of which members are preferably stamped sheet steel having a generally L-shaped cross section. The frame members 18 and 20 include horizontal legs 18′ and 20′, respectively, and respective vertical legs 22 and 24. An array of preferably parallel steel deck slats 26 are secured by screws (not shown) to the horizontal legs. Secured over the ends of each deck slat 26 juxtaposed with the horizontal legs 18′ and 20′ are resilient bumper assemblies 28 which include a washer, a plastic spacer, e.g., PVC, and an impact absorbing resilient member attached to each of the deck ends by a corresponding post 30.
  • [0070]
    A deck 32 is secured to the upper ends of the posts 30 and resiliently mounted to the frames 18 and 20 by the impact absorbing members of bumper assemblies 28. A frame cover 34 is secured over the assemblies 28 and deck 32 to the frame member 18. A mirror image frame cover 36 is similarly secured to the frame member 20. Each frame cover 34 and 36 has an identical channel 34′ and 36′, FIG. 4, respectively, formed therein, the frame covers being preferably formed of stamped sheet steel.
  • [0071]
    Tread strips 38 and 40 are attached to and over the respective covers 34 and 36. The tread strips 38 and 40 are of conventional material and may be stamped sheet metal. Each strip 38 and 40, best seen in FIG. 4 b, has an upstanding rib 42 extending along the length of the strip. The covers and tread strips are attached to the deck and frame members by screws (not shown). An outer vertical cover 44 may be attached to the frames 18 and 20. In the alternative, the covers 44 and frames 18 and 20 may be one piece extruded aluminum.
  • [0072]
    Four feet 46, which are arcuate stamped sheet steel, are fastened to the underside of the frame members 18 and 20, two in the front region 48 and two in the rear region 50.
  • [0073]
    A pair of end caps 52 are attached to the rear of the frame members 18 and 20.
  • [0074]
    A front belt drive roller 54 and a rear belt idler roller 56 are rotatably attached to the frame members 18 and 20. Bearings (not shown) may be used to attach journals of the rollers to the frame members. A drive pulley 58 (FIG. 5) is attached to the front drive roller 54. An endless belt 60 of conventional material is wrapped about the rollers 54 and 56 and is driven by drive pulley 58. Safety brackets 62 are attached to the rear edge of the deck 32.
  • [0075]
    In FIG. 7, a preferably steel stamped front plate 64 is attached to the frame members 18 and 20 horizontal legs 18′ and 20′, FIG. 5. Additional reinforcing braces or gussets (not shown) may also be used to attach the plate 64 to the frame members. The plate 64 forms part of the frame 8 and supports the drive mechanisms for the treadmill system 6 and the elliptical system 4.
  • [0076]
    In FIG. 7, the treadmill system drive mechanism 14 includes a foam rubber block 66 which is mounted on plate 64. A motor 68, which drives the belt 32, is mounted on bracket 70 which is contoured to receive the circular cylindrical the outer casing surface of motor 68. The bracket 70 is secured (by screws and bolts) over block 66 to the plate 64, the block 66 serving as a vibration damping element. A speed sensor 72 is secured to the motor 68 and is coupled to the panel 12 control circuitry for displaying the motor speed. This indicates the speed of the belt 60, for example, in terms of miles per hour and/or km/hr, as desired by the user. The speed is set by the user by depressing a switch button (not shown) on the panel 12 as typical to change the electrical power applied to the motor 68 to set its speed in a known manner. The speed control switches (not shown) are on the display panel 12, the speed being displayed by the display panel 12.
  • [0077]
    A motor brush assembly 74 is attached to the motor 68. A fly wheel 76 is attached to the motor shaft 78 to which a pulley 80 is also attached. The flywheel is conventional and removes momentary fluctuations in the speed of the belt 32 in the presence of voltage/current fluctuations applied to the motor 68. A drive belt 82 (FIG. 7) operatively engages pulley 80, which is driven by the motor 68. The belt 82 operatively engages the drive pulley 58, FIG. 5, at region 84 for moving the treadmill belt 32 via roller 54, driven by pulley 58.
  • [0078]
    An elevation motor 86 has a casing that includes a support 88 which includes a boss 90. The boss 90 is pivotally attached to bracket 92 by pin 94. The bracket 92 is bolted to plate 64. An elevation screw 96 is rotatably driven by the motor 86. The screw is threaded to nut 98. The nut 98 is pivotally attached to bracket 100 by clevis pins 102, which are rotatably secured to steel bracket 100 at journals 104. The bracket 100 is secured to U-shaped steel elevation leg assembly 106. The assembly 106 includes a cross brace 108 to which the bracket 100 is secured. Two legs 110 are secured to the opposite ends of brace 108. A roller 112 is rotatably secured to the ends of the legs 110 distal the brace 108. A journal bearing 114 is attached to opposite ends of the outside of the legs 110 axially aligned with the brace 108. A washer 116 is at the leg 110 outer surface and encircles the bearing 114. A bearing journal 118 receives the bearing 114 with the washer 116 between the journal 118 and leg 110 outer surface. The journal 118 is fastened to the underside of plate 64. This bearing arrangement is on opposite sides of the assembly 106 at opposite ends of the brace 108. The foregoing elevation arrangement is included in commercially available treadmills.
  • [0079]
    In operation of the elevation mechanism 16, operation of the motor 86 in response to depressing a switch on the control and display panel 12 couples electrical power to the mechanism motor 86 and rotates the screw 96 in a desired elevation direction for lifting or lowering the treadmill front end region 48 (FIG. 1) relative to the floor 87, FIG. 2. This action displaces the nut 98 toward and away from the support 88 in directions 89, FIG. 7. This in turn causes the clevis pins 102 to also displace in the same linear directions and also in rotation directions 122. The bracket 100 forms a rotatable arm that pivots in directions 122 about the axis 120 of bearings 114 (One bearing being shown). As the pins 102 are displaced, the bracket 100 is rotated about the axis 120 in directions 122 about the axis. This rotation also rotates the nut 98 which thus rotates the motor 86 about the axis formed by pin 94 which forms a journal bearing with bracket 92. Rotation of the brace 108 also rotates the legs 110. The legs 110 have a quiescent position shown in FIG. 4 wherein the frame 8 and belt 32 are horizontal and the legs 110 are also horizontal. In this position, the treadmill and elliptical systems are not elevated. This is the treadmill enabled and elliptical exerciser disabled position of the treadmill belt.
  • [0080]
    The elevation motor 86 is operated either automatically by a control program in the system as will be explained below or by the user via an elevation control 222 on the control panel 12. The user operates the elevation motor by closing a switch (not shown) on the display panel 12 (FIG. 9). The switch operates the control 222 (FIG. 9). Operation of the elevation motor rotates the legs 110 to the elevated position represented by one elevated position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The legs 110 rotate against the floor lifting the front end 48 of the apparatus relative to the floor so that the front feet 46 no longer rest on the floor, FIG. 2. The elevation of the front of the apparatus is continuous to any value of inclination to a maximum inclination, such as for example 10-12 degrees inclination, relative to the horizontal, i.e., the floor. This value of inclination is set by the user by use of the control switch button on the control and display panel 12 to be described below. The motor 86 thus rotates the legs 110 between the quiescent position of FIG. 4 with the apparatus horizontal to a maximum elevation to where the apparatus front end is elevated to its highest level to its maximum inclination. The treadmill controls are utilized in commercially available treadmills available from the assignee of the present invention, but with no elliptical system as shown and described herein attached.
  • [0081]
    In FIG. 8, the elliptical system mechanism 17 is shown in more detail. The mechanism 17 comprises a pulley 124. The pulley 124 is rotatably mounted to the frame 8 by two parallel braces 126. The braces 126 are each bolted to a corresponding bracket 128. The brackets 128 are bolted to the mounting plate 64, FIG. 7, forming part of the frame 8 as discussed above. The pulley 124 has a keyed bore 130. A crank shaft 132 has a key 134 that mates with the keyed bore 130. The shaft 132 has two mirror image portions 136 extending from each side of the pulley 124. The shaft portions 136 each have a mirror image crank arm engaging keyed section 138.
  • [0082]
    A crank arm 140 and 142 is attached and locked to each section 138 for rotation with the shaft. The crank arms can not move relative to the crank shaft 132 and rotate with the pulley 124. A shank 144 is secured to each crank arm at its extended end 146.
  • [0083]
    In FIG. 1, the elliptical system 4 includes pedal arm assemblies 5 and 7. Assembly 5 includes a pedal arm 148 and assembly 7 includes a pedal arm 156. The pedal arms 148 and 156 are stamped sheet metal channel or tube. The arm 148 has a relatively long straight section 150 and a shorter circular arcuate section 152 at one end 154. End 154 is rotatably attached to shank 144 (FIG. 8) of crank arm 140 via a bearing (not shown). The pedal arm 156, identical to arm 148, is rotatably attached by a bearing (not shown) at its end, corresponding to end 154, to shank 144 of crank arm 142. The arms 148 and 156 are sufficiently strong to withstand the weight of a person standing thereon. The arms 148 and 156 are curved at their respective ends 154 to provide clearance for the elevation, treadmill and elliptical system mechanisms 14, 16 and 17 (FIG. 3).
  • [0084]
    In FIG. 2, the opposite ends of the pedal arms 148 and 156 receive rollers 158, one roller at each arm end. In FIG. 4 b, roller 158 has a central annular channel 160. The channels 160 ride along and receive a corresponding rib 42, FIG. 4 b, attached to the tread strips 38 and 40.
  • [0085]
    In FIG. 8, a pulley belt 162 rides in a pulley channel 164 in the pulley 124. A flywheel 166, which may be cast metal, is rotatably mounted to shaft 168. The shaft 168 is rotatably mounted to brackets 170. The brackets 170 are mounted on plate 64, FIG. 7. The flywheel 166, at least at its exterior surface, is a ferro-magnetic material that is attracted to magnetic fields. The flywheel 166 has a smooth finish on its outer surface 172.
  • [0086]
    A pulley 174 is attached to the shaft 168. Belt 162 engaged with the pulley 124, FIG. 8, is also engaged with the pulley 174 for rotating the flywheel 166. A magnetic brake shoe 176 is mounted adjacent to the flywheel 172 outer surface. The shoe 176 may include material such as a ferrite and the like that is magnetized when exposed to a current such as yoke cores in a television raster scan system or electrically operated relays and the like. A coil (not shown) is coupled to this material for selectively magnetizing the material creating a magnetic field of a selected flux value corresponding to the amount of resistance desired by the user. A current of selected value applied to the material, as determined by the control 224 (FIG. 9) setting set by the user, induces a magnetic field of different selected values which causes the shoe 176 to be attracted to the flywheel 166 with a force proportional to the magnetic field flux magnitude. When the shoe is selectively magnetized by a selected current value applied to its associated coil, it is attracted to and abuts the flywheel outer surface with a friction load determined by the amount of flux applied to the coil. The friction between the shoe and flywheel provides a resistance that forms a brake which slows the flywheel and also the rotating pulley 124 via the belt 162. This imparts a load on the pedal arms 148 and 156 and thus to the user of the elliptical system.
  • [0087]
    The amount of current is selectively changed by a variable switch and rheostat (not shown) of the control circuit in the control panel 12 to be described to vary the load on the crank arm and thus on the pedals as desired by the user. The user sets the resistance in the flywheel 166 to a desired amount to set the work load offered by the pedal arms.
  • [0088]
    In the alternative, a permanent magnet shoe may be used instead of the shoe described above coupled to a coil. A motor (not shown) moves the magnetic shoe into and out of flux engagement with the flywheel to provide the desired resistance. This latter arrangement is conventional in the prior art.
  • [0089]
    In FIG. 1, a pair of foot pads 178 are mounted fixed to the pedal arms, a foot pad on each arm. The foot pads are mounted on each pedal arm offset therefrom to provide the desired spacing therebetween for a typical user. Brackets or other reinforcing members (not shown) may be used to secure the foot pads, which may be cast metal, in this offset relation.
  • [0090]
    In FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, the pedal arms are each formed of two sections 180 and 182 which are rotatably hinged by a corresponding centrally located hinge 184. Section 180 is rearward of section 182 which includes the arcuate section 152.
  • [0091]
    The hinges 184 permit the sections 180 and 182 to be folded for storage in a stowed position as shown in FIG. 4. Mounted on each of the treadmill tread strips 38 and 40 is a socket assembly 187, FIG. 4 a, forming a pedal arm support element. The socket assembly 187 comprises a socket member 186 which has a semi-cylindrical recess 188. Switches S2, S3 are located in one of the cavities 188. The switches have electrical conductor wires 189 which are connected to the controls 214 and 216 (FIG. 9). If desired, for redundancy and safety, a pair of switches S2 and S3 connected in electrical parallel relation may be in each socket member 186 recess 188 on each tread strip 38 and 40.
  • [0092]
    In the stowed position, in FIG. 4 a, the roller 158 at the end of each of the pedal arms 148 and 156, mates with a recess 188 of a corresponding socket member 186 of socket assembly 187. The socket member 186 serves as an arm support element. Recess 188 receives the rollers to hold the pedal arms locked in the stowed state. Located in the recess 188 and secured to the socket member 186 are electrical switches S2, S3. These switches are preferably a double throw switch as shown for illustration only in FIG. 9. This switch acts as an electrical interlock for the elliptical and treadmill systems, which interlock electrically disables and enables the treadmill mode and the elliptical mode. These modes are set in accordance with whether or not the roller 158 is in the socket recess 188 or disengaged from the recess as shown in FIG. 4 a.
  • [0093]
    When the roller 158 is engaged in the recess 188 (this configuration not being shown), the pedal arms are stowed so that the elliptical system is disabled and the treadmill is ready for use. The switch S2 is engaged and closed (this position not shown in FIG. 9), switch S3 is engaged and open, the treadmill system electronics and control is enabled and the electronic control portion of the elliptical system is disabled.
  • [0094]
    When the roller is disengaged from the recess and the switches S2, S3 are in their normal quiescent mode of FIG. 4 a, S2 is open and S3 is closed. In this position, the treadmill system control electronics are disabled and the elliptical system corresponding pedal arm positions and the control electronics, i.e., the display 12, the speed sensor 125, FIG. 8, and magnetic shoe 176, are enabled and the crank pulley 124 position control 226 releases control of the pulley 124 for free wheeling.
  • [0095]
    Not shown is a cover or cowling that encloses the elliptical mechanism 14 and treadmill mechanism 17. Such a cowling may be molded thermoplastic sheet material. In the alternative to providing the socket assembly on the tread strip 38, the socket assembly may be provided in the cowling. Further, the switches S2 and S3 while preferably located in the recess of the socket assembly, may be located on the display panel 12 for selective operation by the user. Also the switches S2 and S3 may be located at other locations as well for operation by the user, such as on the panel 210 or other portions of the upright assembly 10 or tread strips 38 as desired. The location of these switches is not critical.
  • [0096]
    When the elliptical system is disabled and the treadmill system enabled, the crank arms 140, 142, FIGS. 1-3, are automatically placed by the controls 224 and 226, FIG. 9, into a horizontal position to clear the floor. The treadmill belt is automatically placed horizontal in a quiescent mode by the elevation control 222. This latter placement is in response to control 216 (FIG. 9). This places the treadmill system ready for use. When the elliptical system is enabled and the treadmill system is disabled when the rollers are out of the recess 188, the elevation control 222 in response to control 224 automatically elevates the front crank arm end of the apparatus. This is so that the pedal crank arms 140 and 142 clear the floor when the crank arms are rotated in the elliptical mode use. This will be explained more fully below in the discussion of the circuit of FIG. 9.
  • [0097]
    A speed sensor 125 is secured adjacent to the crank pulley 124. This is a conventional sensor. The wheel may have projections as in conventional speed sensing systems, for example. These projections are magnetic material. The speed sensor 125 senses the presence of the magnetic material of the projections as they rotate past the sensor 125. This action creates electrical pulses each corresponding to a passing projection. The pulses are counted by a counter (not shown). The pulse frequency manifests speed. The control 224, FIG. 9, using the counter counts the pulses generated and is programmed to determine the position of the crank pulley 124 by the count. The control 224 determines the horizontal position of the crank arms based on a given count from a zero position as set by the program in the control 224. The control then rotates the crank pulley 124 to the crank arm horizontal position when the treadmill mode is enabled and the elliptical mode is disabled.
  • [0098]
    In the alternative, the sensor may be optical or of any conventional design for sensing the speed of a rotating wheel. The sensor sends a signal manifesting the crank pulley 124 speed as calculated by the control 224. This signal is applied to the display panel 210 for speed display by display board 212. In the elliptical mode, it should be understood that the crank pulley 124 rotation is induced entirely by the user during exercise. However, as noted above, when in the treadmill mode, the crank pulley position is controlled to place the crank arms horizontal.
  • [0099]
    In FIGS. 1-4 and 6, secured to frame 8 is an upright assembly 10. The assembly 10 comprises respective left and right upright members 190 and 192. The members 190 and 192 each comprise a right and left mirror image U-shaped channel, made of steel or other metal or rigid material. The members 190 and 192 include support beam 194 and a cover 196. The beams 194 of upright members 190 and 192 are fastened at their lower regions to the frame 8 members 18 and 20. The beams 194 have bores 198 for receiving the roller 54, FIG. 5, shafts 200 and mating bearings (not shown). A brace 202 secures the beams 194 at their upper regions in spaced relation. A control panel frame 204 is secured at its ends to the beams 194. The frame 204 is preferably sheet metal and approximately L-shaped in cross section. A cap 206 is attached to the beams over their upper edges. A reading rack assembly member 208 is attached to the frame 204. The member 208 holds user reading material and also other user convenience items during exercise use of the systems. A membrane panel 210 and a display board and circuit board 212 is attached beneath the panel 210, the membrane panel being flexible for operating control switches on the board 212 as known in the electrical art. The use of flexible plastic membranes over electrical switches is well known and commonly used.
  • [0100]
    In the elliptical mode, board 212 displays the elliptical pulley 124 speed manifesting pedal speed as employed in this art, such as pedal cycles per minute or miles per hour and the like, wherein a pedal cycle is one full revolution of a pedal. In FIG. 1, a pedal revolution is completion of one full traverse of the elliptical curve C by either of the pedals 178. The panel board 212 also has switches for manually operating the elevation mode and for applying electrical power to the elliptical system when enabled. In the elliptical mode, such switches for example, also include controlling the flux applied to the brake shoe 176, FIG. 8. The switches also enable the speed mode and related displays of the elliptical system.
  • [0101]
    The panel 210 and board 212 are mounted to the frame 204. A cover 208′ is secured to the frame 204 over the reading rack member 208.
  • [0102]
    In FIG. 9, the control circuitry 214 for operating the treadmill and elliptical systems includes a treadmill control 216 and elliptical system control 224. The treadmill control 216 includes programmed computer programs in a microprocessor for the treadmill system as known in this art and need not be described herein. This control 216 can include circuitry and computer programs for providing various exercise training modes employing different elevations and speeds according to a desired exercise regimen. The control 216 includes circuitry for responding to the elevation sensor 218 for operating the elevation motor 86 via the elevation control 222. This portion of the circuit can also be operated in the elliptical mode. The display panel 210 shows the angle of inclination as measured by the elevation sensor. Also the display panel may show various programs that the user may select (not shown) and are programmable by the control 216. The control 216 also operates the treadmill drive 220 which includes operating the treadmill belt drive motor 68 and related circuitry and is responsive to the speed sensor (not shown) for displaying the belt speed. Switch S1 is a power on and off switch to supply operating power to the apparatus 2. Switch S2 is the treadmill interlock switch which enables and disables the circuitry for operating the treadmill control 216 including the treadmill belt as discussed. With the switch S2 open, the treadmill electronics does not operate the belt 60 which is disabled.
  • [0103]
    Switch S3, which like switch S2, is operated by the engagement of the pedal arm rollers, FIG. 4 a, with these switches as discussed above. One of switches S2 and S3 is open and the other is closed at the same time. With S2 open, S3 is closed and vice versa. Closed switch S3 operates the elliptical system circuitry in control 224. Control 224 is responsive to the sensed speed of the pulley 124 and the pulley 124 calculated position as discussed above for placing the crank arms horizontal in the treadmill mode. Closed switch S2 operates the treadmill. Switches S2 and S3, however, do not disable the elevation control except to limit the lowermost position of the treadmill belt and system frame so as to clear the floor when in the elliptical mode.
  • [0104]
    Control 224 when enabled by closing switch S3 causes the elevation motor to automatically elevate the front end of the frame 8 to a predetermined elevation so that the crank arms 140, 142, FIGS. 2 and 3, will clear the floor during rotation. Control 224 also rotates the crank arms horizontal when it becomes disabled in response to the opening switch S3 and closing switch S2. A small motor M, FIG. 8, is connected to the pulley 174 shaft 168. This motor M is operated when the elliptical system S3 is switched off and control 216 is enabled by closing switch S2 so that the crank arms always are horizontal when switch S2 is closed. This motor M exhibits a negligible load on the pulley 124 when rotated. The reason for the crank arms 140 being horizontal when the elliptical system is off and the treadmill enabled is to insure that the crank arms 140 do not interfere with lowering the treadmill frame to the horizontal position in the treadmill mode, I.e., switch S2 is closed. When the elevation control is manually set to a value less than this crank arm clearance value, it will not operate to lower the elevation below this minimum elevation value in the elliptical mode when switch S3 closed. The manual setting of the elevation to and from the horizontal position of the treadmill belt operates only in the treadmill mode as determined by the switch states of switches S2 and S3.
  • [0105]
    In the alternative, the elliptical mechanism wheel 124 may be attached to the frame at a height sufficiently above the plane of the feet so that the crank arms 140 and 142 clear the floor when the treadmill belt is at its quiescent horizontal lowermost position. In this case, the motor m is not necessary and the crank arms need not be moved to the horizontal position in the treadmill mode. This portion of the circuitry thus may be omitted in this embodiment. The elevation thus can be controlled by the user to move the front of the system from the horizontal to any desired elevation within the range of the elevation control in either the elliptical or treadmill modes.
  • [0106]
    The elevation control 222 when manually operated by the user will set the elevation to any desired inclination in the treadmill mode, FIG. 4, and to any level above the minimum level of the crank arm floor clearance value in the elliptical mode, FIGS. 1 and 2. When the treadmill is enabled, the crank arms will remain horizontal at all times via motor M and sensor 125, which also is an angular pulley 124 position sensor as well in conjunction with counter 129, FIG. 8, which counts the output pulses of the sensor 125. The counts of the counter 129 manifests the pulley 124 position. This position is sensed by the program in the control 224 which ensures the position of the pulley 124 in which the crank arms are horizontal. The power to the counter 129 and motor M is maintained for performing the necessary crank arm position functions in conjunction with the computer control of controls 216 and 224 regardless the switch condition of S2 and S3.
  • [0107]
    The elliptical control 224 receives signals from the sensor 125, FIG. 8, which senses the speed and position of the crank pulley 124 and also is responsive to signals generated by the elevation sensor 101. The sensor 101, FIG. 7, senses the elevation position to provide elevation indication in the elliptical and treadmill modes. Thus, in the elliptical mode, the user knows the elevation as well as the rate of operation of the pedal foot pads.
  • [0108]
    The crank pulley 124, FIG. 8, is coupled to the speed sensor 125 which generates a signal manifesting the speed of the pedals. The control 224 in response to this signal generates a display signal for displaying to the user the rate at which the system is operated via display panel 210, FIG. 9. The user can also elevate the system to any value above a minimum preset floor clearance value via the elliptical system control 224, FIG. 9. This elevation control varies the resistance to the pedal motion and changes the path of motion of the foot pads to simulate different foot motion conditions. The path varies with elevation. However, as noted, the elevation can not be reduced below the value at which the crank arms 140 and 142 must clear the floor 87, FIG. 2, during rotation. This minimum elevation is programmed into the control 224.
  • [0109]
    However, as noted above, in an alternate embodiment, this minimum elevation control is optional, and need not be used wherein the elliptical system wheel 124 is elevated sufficiently above the feet 46 so that the crank arms 140 and 142 always clear the floor in all elevation positions. This is a less costly and preferred embodiment. In this case the elevation may be adjusted from the lowest to highest positions in either the elliptical or treadmill modes.
  • [0110]
    The pedal arm rollers 158 have optional grooves 160 that receive optional ribs 42, FIG. 4 b, to guide the reciprocating motion path of the rear ends of the pedal arms 148 and 156 in the elliptical mode in this embodiment.
  • [0111]
    In operation, assuming the systems are configured as shown in FIG. 4, the treadmill system is enabled and the elliptical system is disabled as determined by the position of the switches S2 and S3 after S1 is closed to apply power to the systems. In the treadmill mode, the user depresses a speed control switch (not shown) on the panel 210 and board 212, FIG. 6. Independently, the elevation 222 control is also enabled by depressing a corresponding switch on the panel 210 and board 212. The user sets the speed and elevation to any desired values at any time. The speed, elevation and distance traveled are displayed on the panel 210 and board 212. The distance is determined by known devices (not shown) such as an odometer (not shown) coupled to the roller 54 or motor 68. At this time, the motor M holds the pulley 124, FIG. 8, crank arms horizontal as shown in FIG. 2. The minimum elevation position of the treadmill is set automatically by the preprogrammed elevation 222 control of control 216 as discussed above to keep the crank arms horizontal. Therefore, the user can not set the elevation of the treadmill below this value. In the alternative, the pulley 124 can be fixed to the frame in a higher position than that shown so that the crank arms always clear the floor, and thus the aspect of the systems for holding the crank arms horizontal may be omitted from the systems including the related components such as motor M and position sensor 129, FIG. 8. When it is desired to end the treadmill program, S1 is opened.
  • [0112]
    To start the treadmill program, the pedal arms are folded to the position of FIG. 4, with their rollers 158 placed in the socket members 186. It should be understood that while only one set of switches S2 and S3 are described above herein, in the alternative there preferably are two sets of such switches. As described in one arrangement the two sets of switches may be in parallel for redundancy. In a further alternative, the two sets of switches are preferably connected in series so that both pedal arms must be in their sockets 186 to enable the treadmill mode. Switch S2 thus may represent two series like switches and similarly S3 may represent two series like switches. Thus the change of the modes of operation to and from the elliptical state can not be made unless both pedal arms are in or out of their corresponding sockets 186. This action of engaging the sockets 186 automatically switches the state of S2 and S3 to the treadmill mode.
  • [0113]
    Motor M is electrically decoupled in the elliptical mode so that the flywheel 172, FIG. 8, and the coupled crank arms can rotate freely. The user then can operate the elevation control 222 switch (not shown) to set the elevation to the desired value above the minimum floor clearance value. Once the pedals are in motion by the user, the speed is displayed on the panel 210 and board 212. The user can also set the load on the pedals by operating the brake control switch (not shown) to set the amount of flux generated by the brake shoe 176, FIG. 8.
  • [0114]
    In the alternative, the user can operate a permanent magnet brake shoe (not shown) to set the resistance. This resistance setting can simulate pedaling up a hill. Also, distance traveled can be displayed by the panel 210 and board 212 using the sensor 125 and counter 129, FIG. 8.
  • [0115]
    In a further embodiment, the rollers 158 can be located on the treadmill belt instead of rolling on the tread strips 38 and 40, as shown for example in the embodiment of FIGS. 12-30. In this case, the pedal arms are bent transversely inwardly toward each other from the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The rear portion of the inwardly bent arms overlies the treadmill belt. The rollers 158 are then preferably replaced with one way clutch rollers (not shown) to provide a resistance in place of the brake described above. This replacement of freely rolling rollers with the clutch rollers is optional and will be explained in detail below.
  • [0116]
    These one way clutch rollers comprise commercially available one way clutch bearings (not shown) coupled to and fixed to and between the roller outer wheel portion and its axle. Such bearings have a clutch mechanism internally coupled to the roller axle and outer wheel portion so that the roller wheel portion can only freely rotate about the axle in one direction. The wheels are locked from rotating in the opposite direction. The clutch mechanism locks the rollers to the axle when the rollers are subject to a rotation force in the opposite rotation direction. This structure is described in more detail in connection with FIG. 20 a.
  • [0117]
    In the elliptical mode, when the pedal arm rollers are reciprocated from the frame rear 50 to the front 48, the rollers freely roll on the belt 60. However, when the rollers are displaced from the front 48 to the rear 50, the rollers are fixed to the pedal arms and do not rotate. No guide track for the rollers is required for this mode.
  • [0118]
    The rollers are made of a relatively high coefficient of friction material. The rollers, for example, may be made of certain plastics and elastomeric materials such as conventional roller skate wheels. These materials are relatively soft having a durometer of about Shore A 40-100. These materials thus provide a relatively high friction coupling of the rollers to the treadmill belt 60. Typically conventional treadmill belts are also made of high friction material.
  • [0119]
    The displacement force of the pedal arms in moving rearward, due to the locked frictional engagement with the treadmill belt via the rollers, pushes the treadmill belt 60 rearward. When the pedal arms moved forward, the wheel freely roll.
  • [0120]
    The treadmill belt drive pulley 58 (FIG. 5) is coupled to the drive motor 68 by drive belt 82, FIG. 7. When the treadmill belt 60 is displaced by the motion of the pedal arms, the pulley 58 also drives the motor 68. In this case, the motor acts as a generator and provides a resistance to the belt 60 displacement. A variable current may be applied to the motor 68 by the preprogrammed control 224 in a reverse direction to vary the resistance of the motor 68 to the belt displacement. The control is programmed so the resistance can be manually changed by the user. The treadmill motor 68 thus also serves as a brake for the elliptical system.
  • [0121]
    In FIGS. 12-16, a further embodiment is illustrated of a treadmill/elliptical exercise apparatus. Apparatus 230 comprises a treadmill system 266 and an elliptical exercise system 268. The apparatus 230 includes a frame 232 which is common to both the treadmill system 266 and elliptical system 268. Frame 232 has substantially the same treadmill deck support structure as shown for frame 8, FIG. 5. One difference is that the mirror image tread strips 234, 234′ are conventional and do not have upstanding ribs such as ribs 42, FIG. 4 b. The ribs of FIG. 4 a are not used in this embodiment because the rollers of the elliptical pedal arms do not roll on the tread strips 234, 234′ as they do in the apparatus of FIGS. 1-4. In addition, a cross member 233 of the frame 232 is connected to the side frame members 235, 235′ at the front of the apparatus and overlying the treadmill belt 270.
  • [0122]
    Mounted on cross member 233 are socket assemblies 187′ which preferably are similar to socket assemblies 187, FIG. 4 a. Assemblies 187′ receive the rollers at the ends of the pedal arms to be described below. Assemblies 187′ also include interlock and treadmill-elliptical mode switching switches S2 and S3, FIG. 9, as described above. The cavities of the assemblies 187′, like assemblies 187, releasably secure the pedal arms in the stowed state, such as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 4.
  • [0123]
    The apparatus 230 has an upright assembly 236 that may be identical to the assembly 10 of the apparatus 2 of FIGS. 1-11. The assembly 236 includes two support posts 237, 237′ attached to the frame 232 and a display and control panel assembly 239 attached to the upper ends of the posts 237, 237′.
  • [0124]
    The treadmill has an endless belt 270 driven by belt drive mechanism 238. Mechanism 238 and elliptical pedal arm mechanism 240 are mounted at the front of the apparatus on a support 242. In FIGS. 22 and 23, the support 242 comprises a preferably stamped steel T-shaped plate 244. Plate 244 has a wide rear section 246 and a narrow forward section 248. The rear section 246 has a rear edge 250 from which an elongated reinforcing lip 252 extends, the lip being bent from the material forming the plate 244. An upwardly extending wall 254 extends from the forward edge 256. Two opposite side walls 258 and 260 extend rearwardly from the front wall opposite side edges and upwardly from respective side edges 262, 264 of the forward section 248. Walls 258, 254 and 260 form a U-shaped member bent from plate 244 at the corresponding edges 256, 262 and 264. These walls serve as a reinforcing gusset support structure for the support plate 244 at the forward end of the plate 244. The lip 252 and the plate 244 are preferably attached to mating frame elements (not shown) of the frame 8 by bolts or welds and so on. Further reinforcing members (not shown) may also be used to reinforce and strengthen the plate 244 and its attachment to frame 232. In the alternative, a frame beam lattice network (not shown) comprising a plurality of beams rather than a plate may be used to support the mechanisms 238 and 240.
  • [0125]
    The treadmill system 266 includes belt drive and idler rollers (not shown), a drive pulley (not shown) and related frame support and deck structures similar to those shown in connection with the FIGS. 1-4 apparatus.
  • [0126]
    In FIGS. 17-19, the treadmill drive mechanism 238 includes a motor 272 coupled by a drive belt (not shown) to the drive roller 273, FIG. 19, secured to the posts 237, 237′ by bearings 275 of the treadmill system 266. The motor 272 drive shaft rotates flywheel 274. The motor 272, flywheel 274 and drive belt and drive pulley may be as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 7 for the FIG. 1 apparatus.
  • [0127]
    The elevation control system may also be the same as the embodiment of the system of FIGS. 1-7. Elevation motor 276 is part of an elevation mechanism 280 that rotates legs 278 to elevate the front end of the apparatus 230 at the upright assembly 236, FIGS. 12 and 14. Mechanism 280 is similar to the elevation mechanism of FIG. 7 described above.
  • [0128]
    The elliptical mechanism 240, FIGS. 17 and 19, includes a shaft 282 rotatably mounted to three spaced bearings 284. The bearings 284 are each secured to a corresponding bearing block member 286 mounted on the plate 244. The block members 286 each have a U-shaped slot 288 through which the shaft 282 passes.
  • [0129]
    A crank arm 290 is fixedly secured to shaft 282 for rotation with the shaft at opposite ends of the shaft. The crank arms 290 are secured exterior the side walls 258 and 260 of the support 242. The crank arms are secured in 180 relative opposite orientations similar to bicycle crank arms. A pedal arm journal shank 292 is secured to an end of the crank arm distal the shaft 282. A bearing 294, FIG. 17, having inner and outer races is secured to each of the shanks 292. The outer race is rotatable relative to the shank and inner race, which is fixed to the shank. A pulley 296 is fixedly secured to and generally centrally of the shaft 282. The pulley 296 is rotated by the rotating shaft 282 which in turn is rotated by the crank arms 290 in response to the exercise of a user in the elliptical mode. A drive belt 298 is driven by the rotating pulley 296.
  • [0130]
    In FIG. 18, flywheel 300 may comprise one integral one piece unit or a serial array of three abutting identical flywheel sections 320, 322 and 324. Each section has a hub 326. Each section has an annular array of speed indicating projections 312 on one face thereof, with only the projections on section 324 being external the flywheel. The projections on sections 320 and 322 face the abutting next adjacent section. The hubs 326 are fixed to shaft 304 so that the flywheel rotates when the shaft rotates. A locking collar 310 locks the three sections 320, 322 and 324 together on the shaft 304.
  • [0131]
    The belt 298 is attached to the hub of section 320 to rotatably drive the flywheel 300 and the shaft 304, the flywheel being fixed to shaft 304. The shaft 304 is rotatably mounted to bearings 306. Bearings 306 are secured to bracket 308 secured to the plate 244. Bracket 308 is U-shaped and bent from steel, the bearings 306 being attached to the spaced apart upstanding legs 314 of the bracket. A speed sensor (not shown) senses the speed of the flywheel 300 via the rotating projections 312 and generates a signal manifesting the flywheel speed and thus the speed of the pedal arms to be described below. This signal is applied to the elliptical system control 224, FIG. 9.
  • [0132]
    In FIGS. 12-15, the elliptical system 268 includes two pedal arm assemblies 330 and 332. Assembly 330 is a mirror image of assembly 332 and otherwise identical to assembly 332. The assembly 330, which is representative, will be described. Assembly 330, FIGS. 20 and 21, includes a pedal arm 334. The pedal arm 334 is preferably stamped sheet metal channel or tube or in the alternative may be an extruded aluminum channel formed into two separate sections 336 and 338. The arm section 336 is relatively long and straight. Section 338 has several arcuate bends 340 and 342. Bend 340 is best seen in FIG. 16. Bend 342 is best seen in FIGS. 14 and 21.
  • [0133]
    Bend 340, FIG. 16, results in section 336 overlying the treadmill belt 270 and, more importantly, results in the spacing d between the sections 336 and 336′ (of the arm assembly 332) which matches the normal spacing between the legs of a user in a most comfortable exercise position. In comparison, in the embodiment of FIG. 3, the pedal arm sections 150 overlie the tread strips 38 and 40 so that the pedal arm rollers can roll on the tread strips, and more particularly, roll on the ribs 42 on the tread steps. In FIG. 16, the sections 336 and 336′ thus are spaced closed together than sections 150.
  • [0134]
    In FIG. 20, the rearmost end 344 of assembly 330 section 336 includes a roller assembly 346. Assembly 346 comprises brackets 348 and 350, axle 252 and roller 354. The brackets 348 and 350 are fastened, e.g., welded, to the arm section 336 end 344. Bracket 350 is U-shaped. The axle 352 passes through the depending legs of the bracket 350 in conventional fashion. The roller 354 rolls on the treadmill belt 270, FIG. 12. The rear end of pedal arm assembly 332 similarly terminates in a roller assembly 346, FIG. 12, and which rolls on the treadmill belt 270.
  • [0135]
    In the alternative, the roller assembly 346 may optionally employ a roller with a one way clutch mechanism as described above. When the rear ends of the pedal arm assemblies 330 and 332 move forward in direction 356, FIG. 12, the rollers 354 roll freely. When the rear ends of the pedal arm assemblies 330 and 332 move rearward in direction 358, however, the rollers can not roll freely and are fixed to the axle such as axle 352 via a clutch mechanism as shown in FIG. 20 a.
  • [0136]
    In FIG. 20 a, for example, roller 360 is mounted on axle 362. The roller 360 has an outer peripheral roller wheel element 364 made of soft durometer as discussed above to provide high friction engagement with the treadmill belt 270, FIG. 12. The clutch mechanism 366 comprises an inner race 368 fixedly secured to the axle, e.g., by way of keyed engagement (not shown), an outer race 370 secured to the outer wheel element 364 and a one way clutch device 372, e.g., preferably similar to a ratchet and resiliently mounted pawl mechanism (not shown) connected to the inner and outer races. The device 372 permits the outer wheel element to rotate in one direction 374 relative to the axle 362. However, the outer wheel element 364 is fixed to the axle by the device 372 when a force is applied to the element 364 tending to rotate the element 364 in a direction 376 opposite direction 374. The element 364 can not rotate about the axle in direction 374 and is locked thereto.
  • [0137]
    Thus, in FIG. 12, when the pedal arm assemblies 330 and 332 move rearward in direction 358, the rollers 360, FIG. 20 a, do not roll on the belt 270. The rollers 360 frictionally engage the belt in relatively fixed relationship during the rearward motion in direction 358. As a result of the relatively fixed engagement, the rollers 360 thus push the belt 270 rearward in direction 358 as the pedals move rearwardly. This motion of the belt 270 is transmitted to the drive pulley and belt connected to the drive motor 272, FIGS. 12 and 19. The motor 272 presents a resistance load to the belt 270 and thus to the pedal arm assemblies 330 and 332 in this rearward displacement of the pedal arm assemblies.
  • [0138]
    This load is made variable by providing a variable current to the motor in a direction reverse to the drive direction induced by the rearward displacement of the pedal arm assemblies. The variable current is manually entered by the user in the elliptical mode by a control knob or lever on the display panel 239 via a circuit in the controls 216 and 224 (FIG. 9). This current value is set by the respective treadmill and elliptical controls 216 and 224, FIG. 9, which are programmed accordingly. Therefore, no additional brake need be provided to the pulley 296 of the elliptical mechanism 240.
  • [0139]
    The forward end 378 of the arm assembly 330, FIGS. 17 and 20, is rotatably attached to shank 292 of crank arm 290 by bearing 294. Bearing 294 is press fitted in bore 382 of the arm section 338 end 378. The pedal arm section of the other assembly 332 (FIG. 12) is rotatably attached by an identical bearing 294 at its front end 378′ to shank 292 of crank arm 290, FIG. 17. The pedal arm sections are sufficiently strong, being metal or other high strength material, tubular in construction, to withstand the weight of a person standing thereon. The arm section 338 of the two front sections of the pedal arms are curved at front bends 342, FIG. 20, to provide clearance for the various mechanisms, FIGS. 12-14.
  • [0140]
    The sections 336 and 338, FIG. 20, are connected by hinge device 380. In FIGS. 20 and 24-27, hinge device 380 comprises a front hinge member 382, a rear hinge member 384, a hinge pin 386, and a locking pin 388. In FIG. 20 b, front hinge member 382 preferably has a solid rectangular head 390 with three mounting bores therethrough. A flange 392 is at one end of the head 390 one piece therewith. The flange 392 extends from each of the four sides of the head forming a shoulder 396 extending about the head 390. A connecting link 394 extends from the flange away from the head 390.
  • [0141]
    Link 394 has two through bores 398 and 400 aligned on longitudinal axis 402, FIG. 20 b. The link 394 has a nose 404. Nose 404, FIG. 30, has a transverse width left to right in the figure that is smaller than the width of the link 394 main body section 406 forming a shoulder 408 The nose 404 terminates in a depending lip 410, FIGS. 20 c and 27. Lip 410 forms a channel 412. The head 390 has three bores 413, FIGS. 20 b, 27, for receiving screws 414. These screws attach the front hinge member 382 head to the arm section 338 inserted inside of the arm section core, FIGS. 20, 27.
  • [0142]
    In FIGS. 24-27, rear hinge member 384 has the general configuration of a tuning fork. Member 384 comprises a solid rectangular head 416 having three bores 418. Bores 418 receive mounting screws 420, which mount the member 384 to the rear arm section 334 (FIG. 20). The hinge member 384 has a U-shaped body 422 extending therefrom. The body 422 includes a base wall 418 one piece and integral with the head 416. A pair of spaced parallel like legs 424, 426, each rectangular in cross section, extend from the base wall parallel to longitudinal axis 440. The legs 424, 426 form a longitudinal axially extending channel 432 therebetween. The base wall 428 has a greater width and height than the head 416 forming a shoulder 430 at all sides of the head 416. The base wall 428 has a thicker section 436 in a direction along the axis 440. Wall section 436 has a lip 434, FIG. 26. Lip 434 forms a channel 438 with the wall 428.
  • [0143]
    In FIG. 24, the legs 424 and 426 each have identical through bores 442, 444 normal to axis 440. Longitudinally spaced from the bores 442 and 44 are respective longitudinally extending through slots 446, 448 in respective legs 424 and 426. Slots 446 and 448 are aligned normal to axis 440.
  • [0144]
    In FIGS. 20 and 27, hinge pin 386 is located in bores 442, 444 of rear hinge member 384 and in bore 400 of front hinge member 382. This pin remains with the hinge members 382 and 384. Pin 386 is a hinge pin about which the hinge members 382 and 384 rotate when the pedal arm sections are folded to the stowed state corresponding to the state of the FIG. 4 embodiment. Locking pin 388, FIG. 20, locks the hinge members in the pedal arm 334 deployed state of FIGS. 12-16 and 20. This pin 388 is removable from the hinge members by the user when it is desired to fold the pedal arm sections 336, 338 to the stowed state.
  • [0145]
    The hinge members locked state is shown in FIG. 27. In this state, the lip 410 of member 382 is engaged with the channel 438 of the member 384. The lip 434 of member 384 is engaged with the channel 412 (FIG. 20 c) of member 382. These engagements, FIG. 27, of the lips form an interlocking structure which further enhances the attachment of the hinge members to each other in the pedal arm deployed state. The hinge 380 front and rear hinge members thus have interdigitated fingers formed by body section 406 of member 382 and legs 424, 426 of member 384.
  • [0146]
    In FIGS. 12-16, 20 and 21, a preferably metal stamped or cast foot pad 450 is secured to pedal arm section 336 via a preferably metal stamped mounting plate 452. In FIGS. 29 and 29 a, the mounting plate 452 comprises an H shaped plate 454. An array of attachment members 456, 458, 460 and 462 are aligned with each other on one side of the plate 454 and bent from plate 454. The members 456-462 are welded to one side of the tubular pedal arm section 336, FIG. 29. A second array of attachment members 464, 466, 468 and 470 are aligned with each other on the other side of the plate 454 and bent from plate 454. The members 464-470 are welded to the other opposite side of the tubular pedal arm section 336, FIG. 29. The foot pad 450, FIG. 20 is then secured to the mounting plate 452 by bolts or welds, for example. The foot pad 450 is mounted symmetrically over the pedal arm section 336. The foot pad 450′ on the other pedal arm assembly 332 section 336′, is mounted in similar fashion, FIG. 12. The other pedal arm assembly 332 components that are mirror images or the same as the components on assembly 330 are identified with the same reference numerals primed (′added) as the assembly 330 reference numerals.
  • [0147]
    In the elliptical system the crank pulleys 124, FIG. 2, and 296, FIG. 12, are shown as driving a crank shaft to which the crank arms are attached. Such pulleys may also be referred to as crank wheels in the alternative. the crank arms may be attached directly to such pulleys instead of to a shaft as shown. In the preferred embodiment, the treadmill frame is elevated to provide clearance for the crank arms in the elliptical mode operation, other implementations may be provided wherein such elevation is not required by elevating the location of the crank pulley shaft so that the crank arms always clear the floor even when the treadmill belt is horizontal. Such elevation of the crank pulley is easily accomplished by raising the crank shaft and associated bearings accordingly. Also while one interlock switching arrangement is shown for enabling and disabling the elliptical and treadmill systems, other arrangements may also be provided. For example, switches may be provided in the hinge assemblies to sense the hinge open or closed state manifesting the deployed or stowed condition of the pedal arm sections. Other arrangements may also be provided for securing the pedal arms stowed such as catches or latches (not shown) attached to the adjacent pedal arm sections at the hinges to mechanically secure the sections to each other and to the posts of the uprights 190. For example, a ring may be attached to the sections 338 and 338′ and a hinged hook may be attached to the uprights for selectively hooking the sections in the stowed state. Also other brake systems may be provided as known in the art to provide resistance to the elliptical system pedal arms. In addition, other elevation systems may be provided to elevate the front end of the frame under control of the user. In addition, the structures shown and described for the pedal arms is by way of example, as other pedal arm structures may be utilized such as I beams, channel members or circular cylindrical pipes by way of example. The electronics described are easily implemented by one of ordinary skill in the computer programming art in view of the described functions. Still other electrically implemented exercise programming functions may be provided as desired as also known in this art. Heart monitors (not shown) utilizing remote transmitters or electrical contact pads on addition user support bars (not shown) may also be utilized as desired as also known in this art.
  • [0148]
    There thus has been shown a combined elliptical and treadmill apparatus using a common frame. It will occur to those of ordinary skill that modifications can be made to the disclosed apparatus which is given by way of example and not limitation. It is intended that the scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification482/66, 482/54
International ClassificationA63B23/04, A63B22/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/225, A63B22/203, A63B2022/0676, A63B22/0664, A63B22/0235, A63B22/0023
European ClassificationA63B22/00B4, A63B22/02B, A63B22/06E