FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to strength training devices and more particularly to a strength training device adapted to be used with a recumbent exercise bicycle.
It is known in the prior art to combine a bicycle type apparatus with frictional devices, or other resistance loads, in a way such that the amount of resistance that a user feels when operating the bicycle apparatus can be adjusted accordingly to enhance the exercising experience.
One example of such a device is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,441,705 to Brown in which the rear wheel of the bicycle drives a flywheel having a variable resistance load. A second type of exercise bicycle apparatus is illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 4,815,730 to Hoffenberg et al. wherein a pivotally mounted member connects to the rear axle of a bicycle to constrain its movement. A support roller, horizontally located on the opposite side of the rear axle relative to the pivot point, supports and applies a frictional load to the rear wheel to enhance resistance during operation.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
Although each of the above U.S. patents provides bicycling apparatus whereby a user's simulated bike riding experience may be enhanced by adding a variable load or resistance to the wheel being driven by the user's legs, neither of these references disclose an apparatus that provides the user a means for strength or weight training the upper body while performing simulated bicycling.
A better understanding of the present invention will be had upon reference to the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which like parts are given like reference numerals and wherein:
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the strength training apparatus as according to the invention.
The present invention provides a strength training apparatus that allows the user to perform upper body weight training exercises while operating a recumbent bicycle.
As best illustrated in FIG. 1, the strength training apparatus 10 includes a support frame 12 upon which training weights and means for lifting the training weights are disposed thereon. The support frame 12 is comprised of a vertical portion 14 that includes at least one weight stack 22. Each weight stack 22 may be provided as a plurality of individual weights 24 which may be selectably joined together to comprise the weight to be lifted by the user during operation. In this manner, the user is able to adjust the amount of weight to be lifted from a very small amount to a larger amount as his or her lifting capability increases.
Each weight stack 22 is preferably disposed on guide rails or guide tracks 26 to ensure that the weights progress vertically in a stable and restricted fashion such that very little lateral movement occurs during the lifting process.
The support frame 12 includes upper 16, middle 18 and lower 20 horizontally extending limbs wherein each limb is operative to support at least one mechanism for allowing the user to perform lifting of the weight stack 22. Additionally, the lower horizontally extending limbs 20 preferably provide a base for the support frame 12 such that the apparatus 10 may be stably supported on a horizontal support surface. It is appreciated that the upper 16, middle 18 and lower 20 horizontally extending limbs are each spaced apart a distance D whereby a recumbent bicycle apparatus B may be positioned there-between. In this manner, the user's ability to operate the recumbent bicycle B is not impeded by the apparatus 10 and the user is positioned for convenient access to the means for lifting the weight stacks while seated on the recumbent bicycle B.
Preferably, the apparatus 10 includes a means for placing the support frame 12 in mechanical communication with the recumbent bicycle B such that the support frame 12 and bicycle B are joined together in a fixedly stable and secure manner. Alternatively, the apparatus 10 may be designed such that the recumbent bicycle B is integrally formed with the support frame 12 such that the apparatus 10 is provided as a pre-manufactured combination strength training apparatus and recumbent bicycle.
The apparatus 10 includes at least one lifting mechanism 30 for allowing a user to lift the weight stacks 22 conveniently and comfortably while riding the recumbent bicycle B. Preferably, the mechanism for lifting the weight stacks 22 is provided in the form of a pulley system 30. The pulley system 30 may include a plurality of pulleys 32 each having a grooved rim within which a cable or cord travels when the weight stack 22 is being lifted by the user.
Each cable 34 is attached to the weight stack 22 at one end and includes a grasping handle 36 at the other end such that the user may take hold of the grasping handles 36 at the upper 16, middle 18 and lower 20 horizontally extending limbs while seated on the bicycle B. It is appreciated that the pulley systems 30 may be either rotatably secured to the support frame 22 or attached via cabling and brackets in a free-floating manner away from the support frame 12. In either case, each pulley 32 is operative to rotate freely about its axis without imputing any additional resistance to the lifting process.
Additionally, the pulley systems 30 on the support frame 12 may be made to be adjustable to various positions on the support frame 12 such that the user may adjust his or her lift angles during strength training to achieve proper form and/or access.
Preferably, the support frame 12 and pulley systems 30 are made from high strength and durable materials such that lifting operations during use do not damage the apparatus or cause injury to the user due to failure. Most preferably, the apparatus is formed of high strength metals which illustratively include iron, steel, brass or the like.
From the foregoing, a strength training apparatus is provided for use with a recumbent bike whereby the user may perform upper body strength training exercises simultaneously with a cardiovascular workout. It is appreciated that various changes to the present invention may be resorted to by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the claims as presented.