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Publication numberUS20050277524 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/927,799
Publication dateDec 15, 2005
Filing dateAug 27, 2004
Priority dateMay 25, 2004
Publication number10927799, 927799, US 2005/0277524 A1, US 2005/277524 A1, US 20050277524 A1, US 20050277524A1, US 2005277524 A1, US 2005277524A1, US-A1-20050277524, US-A1-2005277524, US2005/0277524A1, US2005/277524A1, US20050277524 A1, US20050277524A1, US2005277524 A1, US2005277524A1
InventorsSang-Wook Bae
Original AssigneeSang-Wook Bae
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bench press apparatus
US 20050277524 A1
Abstract
A bench press apparatus is provided with a barbell having weights, a counterweight, a cable whose one end is connected to the barbell with the other end connected to the counterweight, the cable movably supported by a frame, a barbell stopper for stopping a downward movement of the barbell, and a weight load reduction unit for reducing a weight load applied to an exerciser by the weights in order for the exerciser to exercise with a reduced weight load.
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Claims(6)
1. A bench press apparatus comprising:
a barbell having weights;
a counterweight;
a cable whose one end is connected to the barbell with the other end connected to the counterweight, the cable movably supported by a frame;
a barbell stop means for stopping a downward movement of the barbell; and
a weight load reduction means for reducing a weight load applied to an exerciser by the weights in order for the exerciser to exercise with a reduced weight load.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the barbell stop means comprises:
counterweight teeth formed on one lateral surface of the counterweight;
a housing having a pair of guide roller supporting the other lateral surface of the counterweight, the counterweight vertically movable through the housing;
a pedal switch manipulated by the exerciser for triggering stopping of a downward movement of the barbell;
a cylinder adapted to protrude a rod in response to a manipulation of the pedal switch by the exerciser; and
a teeth brake horizontally movable through the housing, the teeth brake having brake teeth engageable with the counterweight teeth and mounted to the rod.
3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the counterweight teeth and the brake teeth have an inclined teeth shape which permits a downward movement of the counterweight when they are engaged with each other.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the weight load reduction means comprises:
a control means through which the exerciser sets predetermined conditions of a protruding speed, a pressing force and a protruding distance;
a pedal switch manipulated by the exerciser;
a cylinder means adapted to protrude a rod according to the predetermined conditions when the pedal switch is manipulated; and
a sheave held at an end of the rod to depress the cable.
5. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the weight load reduction means comprises:
a control means through which the exerciser sets predetermined conditions of a protruding speed, a pressing force and a protruding distance;
a pedal switch manipulated by the exerciser;
a cylinder means adapted to protrude a rod according to the predetermined conditions when the pedal switch is manipulated; and
a sheave held at an end of the rod to depress the cable.
6. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the weight load reduction means comprises:
a control means through which the exerciser sets predetermined conditions of a protruding speed, a pressing force and a protruding distance;
a pedal switch manipulated by the exerciser;
a cylinder means adapted to protrude a rod according to the predetermined conditions when the pedal switch is manipulated; and
a sheave held at an end of the rod to depress the cable.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority benefit of Korean Patent Application No. 20-2004-0014502 filed May 25, 2004, the technical disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a bench press apparatus and, more particularly, to a bench press apparatus having a weight change means which allows the exerciser to achieve optimum weight training benefits without other person's help and a safety means for preventing an accidental falling of a barbell.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A bench press apparatus is an athletic equipment in which the exerciser lies on his back on a bench, holds a barbell resting on a barbell support with a proper separation between his arms and repeatedly raises and lowers a barbell over his chest in order to strengthen the muscles of his chest or arms. In the prior art bench press apparatus, the exerciser has been often injured by unexpected falling of the barbell onto his chin or chest due to his muscle fatigue after the repeated raising and lowering of the barbell for a long time.

As a prior art bench press apparatus designed to prevent such accidents, U.S. Pat. No. 5,217,421 discloses a bench press apparatus having a protection guard formed above a portion of a bench near a neck or chest of the exerciser. U.S. Pat. No. 4,253,662 teaches a bench press apparatus having a barbell suspended by one end of a rope or a chain with the other end connected to a counterweight, and a clutch means mounted to act on a middle of the rope. The clutch means stops the movements of the rope or the chain in response to the manipulation of the exerciser.

However, although the prior art bench press apparatuses described above may be helpful in preventing the accidents, it provides the exerciser with only a limited weight training benefits unless another person helps the exerciser. The reason is as follows:

The bench press apparatus is known to help the muscle growth, to maintain the strength of the muscle and to increase the bone density of the exerciser. In order to maximize such weight training benefits, the exerciser has to repeat the muscle contract and the muscle stretch predetermined times or more. Especially, the optimal muscle growth can be obtained from an exercise of repeating the muscle contract and the muscle stretch in a situation where the weights are being changed. Normally, assistants are necessary for the exercise for the optimal muscle growth of the exerciser, who will change the weights to be held by the exerciser.

However, since it is difficult for the exerciser to be helped by the assistant whenever he exercises by using the bench press apparatus, the prior art apparatuses are not proper for the exercise for the optimal muscle growth in which the weight change has to be performed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a bench press apparatus with a safety device, in which the exerciser can change a weight load exerted by a barbell by himself without any help by the assistant.

Consistent with the foregoing objects, and in accordance with the invention as embodied broadly described herein, a bench press apparatus is provided with a barbell having weights, a counterweight, a cable whose one end is connected to the barbell with the other end connected to the counterweight, the cable movably supported by a frame, a barbell stopper for stopping a downward movement of the barbell, and a weight load reduction unit for reducing a weight load applied to an exerciser by the weights in order for the exerciser to exercise with a reduced weight load.

The above and other objects and features of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiments given in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are, therefore, not to be considered limiting of its scope, the invention will be described with additional specificity and detail through use of the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a bench press apparatus in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 shows a sectional view of a clutch means shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The preferred embodiment of the invention will be described with reference to the drawings.

There is shown in FIG. 1 a perspective view of the inventive bench press apparatus designated with a reference numeral 10. The bench press apparatus includes a base 12 and a frame 11. The base 12 supports upright supports and horizontally extending supports to which various components for the bench press apparatus 10, e.g., a bench 13 are connected. The frame 11 has a sheave 42 rotatably mounted on a frontal upper portion thereof, and a pair of sheaves 43 rotatably mounted on rear upper portions vertically separated from each other.

A pair of lug supports 14, 15 is provided in the bench press apparatus 10, which support a barbell 16 having a bar and weights 17, 18 retained around ends of the bar. The barbell 16 is suspended by one end of a cable 30 whose other end is connected to a counterweight 50.

In an exercise using the bench press apparatus, the exerciser firstly raises the barbell 16 with a plurality of weights 17, 18 from the lug support 14, 15 and repeats the raising and lowering of the barbell 16 predetermined times or until his muscle is exhausted. At the moment, the cable 30 reciprocally travels over the sheaves 42, 43.

In order to prevent the accidental falling of the elevated barbell 16 onto the exerciser due to his muscle fatigue, the inventive bench press apparatus includes a cultch means 60 which functions to stop the movement of the counterweight 50 through an engagement with the counterweight 50 in response to a manipulation of a first pedal switch S1. The inventive bench press apparatus further includes a weight changer 70 for the optimal muscle strengthening of the exerciser. The weight changer 70, as mounted between the pair of sheaves 43, functions to change the weight load caused by the barbell 16 with the weights 17, 18 to a predetermined level during bench-pressing exercise. The weight changer 70 is controlled by a second pedal switch S2.

As shown in FIG. 1, the weight changer 70 includes a piston rod assembly 20 fixed to the frame 11. The piston rod assembly 20 is provided with a sheave 22 a mounted at an end of a rod 22. The sheave 22 a is in rolling contact with the portion of the cable 30 between the pair of sheaves 43 at its external surface.

In the bench-pressing exercising, when the exerciser steps on the second pedal switch S2, the rod 22 protrudes from the assembly 20 in a way that the exerciser previously determined. The exerciser can previously determine, e.g., a distance by which the rod 20 protrudes, which may be proportional to or correspond to the distance of the barbell travel in vertical direction, a pressing force exerted on the cable 30 by the rod 20 for reducing the weight load by the barbell 16, e.g., 5 kgf, 10 kgf, 15 kgf, etc., and a speed at which the rod 20 protrudes. The distance, the pressing force and the speed can be adjusted by means of a control means 90, which may be embodied with various well-known technologies. Detailed description about the control means 90 will be omitted.

As shown in FIG. 2, the counterweight 50 has teeth 51 on its one lateral surface, which are inclined in one direction.

The clutch means 60 includes a housing 61, a pair of guide roller 62, a teeth brake 64, a rod 65, and cylinder 66. The housing 61 is fixed to the frame 11. The counterweight 50 is vertically movable through the housing 61. The guide roller 62 has a groove 62 a formed along a full circumference of the roller 62, with which the other lateral surface of the counterweight 50 is in rolling contact. The pair of guide roller 62 is vertically arranged in the housing 61. The teeth brake 64 is horizontally movably mounted in the housing 61. The teeth brake 64 has teeth 63 on its leading portion, which are also inclined and engagable with the teeth 51 of the counterweight 50. Therefore, the teeth 63 permits the movement of the teeth 51 in one direction but does not permit the teeth movement in contrary direction. The rod 65 is connected to a rear portion of the teeth brake 64. The cylinder 66 is fixed to the frame 11 to be supported by the same.

As shown in FIG. 2, the cylinder 66 is connected to the first pedal switch S1. When the exerciser steps on the first pedal switch S1, the rod 65 of the cylinder 66 advances, whereas, when the exerciser removes his foot from the first pedal switch S1, the rod 65 is retreated. It is well understood to those skilled in the art that various known cylinders are available for this purpose.

When the rod 65 is in the retreated position, the teeth 51 and the teeth 63 are disengaged, so that the counterweight 50 can freely move in the vertical direction through the housing 61, being supported and guided by the pair of guide roller 62. When the rod 65 advances, the teeth 63 also advance and are finally engaged with the teeth 51. At the moment, the counterweight 50 cannot move upwardly and, accordingly, the barbell 16 cannot be moved downwardly. However, a downward movement of the counterweight 50 through the housing 61 is permitted and the barbell 16 can be raised up. This is because the teeth 63, 51 have an inclined shape.

Hereunder, the operation of the inventive bench press apparatus constructed in this manner will be described.

First, the exerciser sets the conditions on the protruding distance of the rod 22, the pressing force by the rod 22 and the protruding speed of the rod 22, under a consideration of his physical condition and his capacity for locomotion, via the control means 9, which can be embodied with well known devices.

Now, the bench press apparatus is in an initial state, where the first pedal switch S1 is not pushed, the rod 65 is in the retreated position, the teeth 51, 63 are disengaged from each other and the counterweight 50 can be freely moved in the vertical direction. Further, the barbell 16 is stably supported by the lug supports 14, 15 and the counterweight 50 is suspended by the tensioned cable 30.

The exerciser lies on the bench 13 and raises the barbell 16 from the lug supports 14, 15. Then the exerciser repeats the raising and the lowering of the barbell 16. In response to this, the cable 30 connected to the barbell 16 at its one end reciprocates over the sheaves 42, 43. The counterweight 50 connected to the other end of the cable 30 also vertically moves, being guided by the pair of guide rollers 62.

While the barbell 16 is raised and lowered by the exerciser, the counterweight 50 can freely move in the vertical direction. For this reason, even if the exerciser rapidly moves the barbell 16, the cable 30 is not deviated from its way, i.e., from the sheaves 42, 43, so that unwanted entanglement of the cable 30 can be prevented.

When the exerciser can no longer move the barbell 16 due to his muscle fatigue after continuous repetition of the raising and the lowering of the barbell 16, he steps on the first pedal switch S1 in order to prevent the barbell 16 from accidentally falling onto his chest. When the first pedal switch S1 is pushed, the rod 65 advances to allow the teeth 63 of the teeth brake 64 to be engaged with the teeth 51 of the counterweight 50, resulting in stopping the upward movement of the counterweight 50.

Meanwhile, after the continuous repetition of the raising and the lowering of the barbell 16, the exerciser reaches the point of momentary muscular failure. It has been known that the exerciser should change or reduce the weight load at that point and then continue the bench-pressing exercise with a reduced weight load for his best bench-pressing benefits.

For this purpose, the exerciser using the inventive bench press apparatus also steps on the second pedal switch S2 in the situation where the teeth 51, 63 are already engaged together due to the advance of the rod 65 by pushing the first pedal switch S1. In response to this, the rod 22 protrudes from the piston rod assembly 20 in a manner that he previously determined via the control means 90, so that the cable 30 is pressed in a certain magnitude of the force. This results in the reduction of the weight load of the barbell 16 applied to the exerciser in proportion to the pressing force.

Under this circumstance, the exerciser can continue the repetition of the raising and the lowering of the barbell 16 with a reduced weight load. Therefore, the exerciser can perform increased number of repetitions of the raising and the lowering of the barbell 16 without the help of the assistant and, hence, can enjoy the best bench-pressing benefits.

The inventive bench press apparatus constructed in this manner can prevent the accidental falling of the elevated barbell onto the exerciser. Further, weight load of a barbell applied to an exerciser can be changed without an assistant. Accordingly, the inventive bench press apparatus can provide the exerciser with many chances to easily increase his muscle strength with reduced costs.

Although the present invention has been described by way of example with respect to the preferred embodiment, it is not limited thereto. Various changes and modifications may be made thereto within the scope of the invention defined by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7585259 *Jan 23, 2006Sep 8, 2009Maxrep Benchcrafters LlcWeightlifting spotting machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/93
International ClassificationA63B21/062, A63B21/078, A63B21/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/1457, A63B21/078, A63B2021/0786, A63B21/00181, A63B2021/0783
European ClassificationA63B21/00T, A63B21/078