Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20070004569 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/160,621
Publication dateJan 4, 2007
Filing dateJun 30, 2005
Priority dateJun 30, 2005
Publication number11160621, 160621, US 2007/0004569 A1, US 2007/004569 A1, US 20070004569 A1, US 20070004569A1, US 2007004569 A1, US 2007004569A1, US-A1-20070004569, US-A1-2007004569, US2007/0004569A1, US2007/004569A1, US20070004569 A1, US20070004569A1, US2007004569 A1, US2007004569A1
InventorsGuofang Cao
Original AssigneeGuofang Cao
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Weight plates stacking system for fitness training equipment
US 20070004569 A1
Abstract
Weight stack selection system for fitness equipment. Central stem having offset lateral movement is eliminated by present invention. The select pin is easier for insertion to the selected desired weight due to the lack of accumulated thickness the plagued the industry. And an intuitive Auto-Off selection box is also added to make the equipment more user-friendly, allowing user to simply pushed in the desired weight for training.
Images(29)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(6)
1. Weight stack selection system for fitness equipment, comprising:
a. A plurality of link-connectors that can be connected vertically;
b. A plurality of weight plates where each weight plate further having a vertical center hole for engageably receiving one link-connector; and,
c. A select pin that can be slidably fitted through the side of one weight plate to one link-connector, whereby a set number of weight plates above the point of said select pin is selected when said select pin is inserted through said weight plate and link-connector.
2. Weight stack selection system for fitness equipment, comprising:
a. A plurality of link-connectors that can be connected vertically;
b. A plurality of weight plates where each weight plate further having a vertical center hole for engageably receiving one link-connector;
c. A plurality of link pins where each pin can be slidably fitted through the side of one weight plate to one link-connector to form a stack of selected plates above the point of said link pin; and,
d. Means for user selection of one link pin in said selection system when multiple weight plates are vertically stacked together along with respective link-connectors fitted into the weight plates.
3. The selection system of claim 2, wherein the means for user selection of one link pin to achieve selection of desired weight is a lever design wherein a select pin parallel to the link pin is used and connected to said link pin by a lever pivoting at mid point of said lever, to create reverse travel of the link pin relative to the movement of said select pin.
4. The selection system of claim 2, wherein the means for user selection of one link pin to achieve selection of desired weight is by an on-off toggle control, wherein a select pin parallel to the link pin is used and connected to said link pin by a centrally located gear wheel that creates a reverse travel of the link pin relative to the movement of said select pin, and further having a on-off toggle control switch on the select pin.
5. The selection system of claim 3, wherein the means for user selection of one link pin to achieve selection of desired weight further having an auto-off selection box comprising:
i. a case with a plurality of short slots and long slots on the front and back sides, respectively, of said case;
ii. a long plate having the same number of long slots matching the long slots on said case;
iii. a plurality of wedges for insertion in and through said long and short slots;
iv. a pull spring connecting said case with said long plate; and,
v. a plurality of push spring at tip of each wedge producing pushing out force when the long slots are open.
6. The selection system of claim 4, wherein the means for user selection of one link pin to achieve selection of desired weight further having an auto-off selection box comprising:
i. a case with a plurality of short slots and long slots on the front and back sides, respectively, of said case;
ii. a long plate having the same number of long slots matching the long slots on said case;
iii. a plurality of wedges for insertion in and through said long and short slots;
iv. a pull spring connecting said case with said long plate; and,
v. a plurality of push spring at tip of each wedge producing pushing out force when the long slots are open.
Description
FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to an improved design and construction of fitness training equipment wherein users can select the desired amount of weight from a stack of weight plates.

Selectable amount of weight is commonly found on many fitness training equipment. A popular method is by using a central stem going down the center holes of a stack of weight plates, wherein an insertion pin can be inserted through a hole on the side of each weight plate and through the central stem, forming the point of pick-up when users are engaging in exercising, as shown in FIG. 1. All the weight plates above the point of insertion pin will be the desired total weight. When users pull the cable, all the plates below the point of insertion pin will NOT be selected.

This type of popular weight selection system, as depicted in FIG. 1 has at least three problems plaguing the industry:

a. The hole on the side of each weight plate has to match (be aligned) with the correspondent hole on the stem. Due to the accumulated thickness error of the weight plates, however, the top one or two holes on the weight plates oftentimes do not match up with the top one or two holes on the central stem. This poses a problem for users when insertion of the insertion pin is taking place at the top portion of the weight stack, unless the weight plates are machined to a very tight tolerance, which requires costlier production to achieve such precision.

b. When the central stem is lifted up, the bottom of the central stem will oftentimes have a lateral offset from the top of the remaining unselected weight stack, interrupting the smooth and successful of restoration of the central stem (insertion back down) into the weight stack, as the bottom tip of the stem will sometimes get suck on the surface of a weight stack, instead of going through the center hole of the weight plates, as shown in FIG. 2.

c. Insertion pin gets lost easily. Even though insertion pins are tied to a cable, as many gyms customarily do it this way, some cables are cut to take away the insertion pins.

Present invention uses a link-connector systems, with additional features, to solve the above-stated problems.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Present invention provides a link-connector mechanism, instead of a central stem, to work as the weight selection system and completely avoid the issue of accumulated thickness errors that plagued the industry.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate the preferred embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

A brief description of the drawings is as follows:

FIG. 1 shows the weight selection system currently used by the industry, wherein a central stem is inserted through the holes of the weight plates and an insertion pin is used to insert through the hole on the side of a weight plate and a corresponding hole on the central stem and achieving desired weight selection.

FIG. 2 shows the problem due to the offset of bottom tip of the central stem.

FIG. 3 shows a link-connector with quarter cut view.

FIG. 4 shows a link-connector with half cut view.

FIG. 5 shows a half cut view of a weight plate with the center portion machined to fit the link-connector.

FIG. 6 shows a half cut view of the 2 link-connectors fitting together vertically.

FIG. 7 shows an upper link-connector fitting to its weight plate, and a lower link-connector fitting to its weight plate; the upper and the lower link-connectors can be vertically fitted together.

FIG. 8 shows the link-connector can be made into other shapes, such as a rectangle.

FIG. 9 shows an upper weight plate to be fitted to a rectangle link-connector, and a lower link-connector fitting to its weight plate; the upper and the lower link-connectors can be vertically fitted together.

FIG. 10 shows multiple weight plates being stacked up, each having its link-connector fitted in place.

FIG. 11 shows when link pin corresponding to weight plate #2 is deselected, all the weight plates under that link pin are also deselected.

FIGS. 12 and 13 show the selection means of a lever design.

FIG. 14 shows the operation of selection means when select pin #6 is pushed in, plates #7 and below are deselected. When pulling the cable, plate #6 and the plates above #6 are lifted.

FIGS. 15 and 16 show the selection means of an on-off toggle switch having gear wheel and gear teeth made to the select pin and the link pin.

FIG. 17 shows the operation of on-off toggle switch when select pin #6 is pushed in, plates #6 and above are selected.

FIGS. 18-34 show the addition of an Auto-Off feature to the selection means of either lever design or on-off toggle switch, coupled with the use of a selection box.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In FIGS. 1 and 2, the problem with current industry fitness equipment is seen clearly. Insertion pin at the top of the weight stack may be difficult due to the accumulated thickness errors of the weight stacks.

The central stem is oftentimes made offset, as to cause trouble when the cable tension is released, the bottom tip of the central stem cannot successfully come down through the center holes of all the remaining weight plates.

Present invention uses link-connectors, each fitting to one weight plate having center portion machined out to contain one link-connector.

FIGS. 3-7 show the construction of link-connectors and how they are used on weight plate machined to fit said link-connectors.

As shown in FIG. 10, there is only a small length of tip from a link-connector, when the cable is lifted. The selected portion of weight plates can come easily back to stack on top of unselected weight plates.

FIGS. 8 and 9 show the link-connector can be made into a rectangle shape, with the hole of weight plate being correspondingly machined to fit such shape.

FIG. 11 shows when link pin corresponding to weight plate #2 is deselected, all the weight plates under that link pin are also deselected. When cable is released, the selected weight plates (#1 and #2, in this instance) will come easily to align with the small length of tip of the #3 link-connector. The problem of long-dangling central stem being offset, as depicted in FIG. 2, is no longer here.

Furthermore, the problem of accumulated thickness error causing difficulty for insertion pin to be smoothly inserted into the weight plates (usually toward the bottom) is no longer there, since present invention has one select pin corresponding to each link-connector and each weight plate. There is no issue of accumulated thickness, causing the vertical misalignment of side holes for the insertion pin.

FIGS. 10 and 11 show users can make weight selection by directly push/push the desired link pin, to get the desired weight selection. To make selection of desired total weight easier, present invention envisions two intuitive user operation features, by the addition of a select pin, usually parallel to the link pin.

The implementations are either a lever design, as in FIGS. 12 and 13, or a on-off toggle switch, as in FIGS. 15-17.

In the drawings and embodiments containing an additional “select pin”, this is the pin that users will actually touch to pull or push, in order to accomplish the weight selection purpose. Whereas the link-pin is the physical object that is inserted into the corresponding link-connector. In some embodiments, the link pin may be made invisible, as shown in FIGS. 17-33. A selection box is added in FIGS. 19-33 (see later disclosure).

With the added select pin, a fitness user can simply push in a select pin, causing the corresponding link pin to pop out (deselected). Only the plates starting from the point of pushed in select pin are selected, as shown FIG. 14.

Note that a user can actually push in multiple select pins. However, only the first (counting from top to bottom) pushed-in select pin is operative, because any weight plates below the point of pushed-in selected pin are deselected.

The push-in design can also be done by a on-off toggle switch, which mechanism is commonly found on pens and other electronic devices such as the on-off power switch of a stereo system.

FIGS. 15-17 show that a gear wheel in placed in a spaced out area in a weight plate, the link pin and the select pin each contains gear teeth so that the in-out travel of the select pin and link pin are properly reversed by the gear wheel.

As shown in FIG. 17, the link pin can be made non-visible and not-touchable to users. So that users push in the select pin (#6 in FIG. 17), the link pin (in weight plate #6) causes all the weight plates below that point be deselected.

As in the case of lever design, a user can actually push in multiple select pins. However, only the first (counting from top to bottom) pushed-in select pin is operative, because any weight plates below the point of pushed-in selected pin are deselected.

To create an auto-off feature, so that when ONE select pin is selected (i.e., pushed in), all other select pins are automatically deselected, a select box is added to the front of the weight stack, as shown in FIGS. 19-33.

A push spring is used in every select pin, corresponding to each weight plate, as shown in FIGS. 18, 24, 25 and 26.

A select box, having same numbers of short slots on the front and long slots in the back (near the stack of weight plates) are shown in FIG. 19.

A long plate, containing the same number of long slots are also shown in FIG. 19.

A plurality of wedges are shown in FIG. 20, corresponding to the number of weight plates. These wedges serve as the “selection pin” that user will push in to select the desired weight, as shown in the number “60” pushed in pin, on FIG. 33.

A pull spring is affixed inside said select box, to provide the restoration force to pull up the long plate when the long plate is wedged downward by any of the wedges, as shown in FIGS. 21, 22 and 23.

FIGS. 24, 25 and 26 show the operation of the Auto-Off feature when one wedge (select pin) is pushed in.

In FIG. 24, #2 select pin (wedge) is pushed in, because of the shape of the wedge, all the long slots are in “open” state when the #2 wedge is being pushed in. All the push springs will cause other wedges to pop back (being pushed out). #2 wedge, however, will be “wedged” down the #2 long slot over the long plate, due to the arrow shape of the wedge, after all other wedges are popped back.

FIGS. 25 and 26 show that when user selects #4 pin, all other select pins (wedges), including the previously selected #2, will become deselected.

FIGS. 27, 28 and 29 show the cut out view of select box being set against one weight plate. When the select pin (wedge) is pushed in, the gear wheel reverse the travel and cause the link pin to move towards the select box, forming an “unlock” status. All the weight plates below the pushed in pin become deselected.

FIGS. 30, 31 and 32 show that, as the select pin labeled for “20” is pushed in (selected), all other select pins are pushed out (deselected), by the design of present select box.

FIG. 33 shows the completed view, as can be perceived by users of fitness equipment, of present invention, wherein select pin (wedge) labeled for “60” is pushed in. Presuming each weight plate is 10 pounds, then a total of 6 plates are selected, causing a selection of 60 pounds. When other select pin is pushed in (for example, “80”), then other select pins, including “60” select pin, will pop out, clearing showing to users that the selected desired weight is 60 pounds.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7608021 *Feb 8, 2006Oct 27, 2009Mark NalleyWeight plate with externally actuated internal locking device
US7614981 *Jun 11, 2007Nov 10, 2009Guofang CaoWeight selection system for fitness training equipment
US7632221 *Oct 23, 2006Dec 15, 2009Scott KolanderCable cross trainer apparatus
US7946968Dec 18, 2009May 24, 2011Mats Thulin AbExercise apparatus and a weight selection system
US8047970 *Jul 9, 2008Nov 1, 2011Mark NalleyWeight plate with detachable locking cartridge
EP2109484A1 *Feb 9, 2007Oct 21, 2009Mark NalleyWeight plate with externally actuated internal locking device
WO2008097231A1Feb 9, 2007Aug 14, 2008Mark NalleyWeight plate with externally actuated internal locking device
WO2010104463A1 *Mar 9, 2010Sep 16, 2010Thulin, MatsExercise apparatus and a weight selection system
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/94
International ClassificationA63B21/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2021/0623, A63B21/062
European ClassificationA63B21/062