US 3311374 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 28, 1967 E. H. WITTENBERG ETAL VARIABLE WEIGHT BAR BELL EXERCISING DEVICE Filed Aug. 26, 1964 l N VENTORS fDW/IRD/il V/TTENBERG BY Lev/Na E. W/TTENBERG A-rramvevr 3,311,374 Patented Mar. 28, 1967 3,311,374 VARIABLE WEIGHT BAR BELL EXERCISING DEVICE Edward H. Wittenberg and Irving E. Wittenberg, both of 3235 George St., La Crosse, Wis. 54601 Filed Aug. 26, 1964, Ser. No. 392,124 8 Claims. (Cl. 27284) exercise devices be so constructed that their weight may be varied. Such variable weight devices have taken a variety of forms including hollow bodies to which sand, lead shot and the like may be added. In most instances, the devices are heavy as initially manufactured, but may be made even heavier by the addition of weight as the user becomes increasingly strong through exercise. Such devices, because of their initial heavy construction, pose burdensome problems With respect to handling during storage, shipping, selling, etc.
Because of increased interest in improving the physical fitness of young people and others in recent years, there is an increasing demand for exercise devices of all types. Most devices which are available are relatively expensive and relatively heavy. Because of their cost they are priced beyond the reach of many of the people Who would benefit most from consistent use of them. Many parents hesitate to purchase the relatively heavy and expensive exercise devices for their children, not knowing whether the childs interest is real or is merely a passing fancy.
One of the contributing factors toward high cost is the relatively heavy Weight of the exercise devices. This contributes to the initial cost of the manufacture and han dling from the time of manufacture to ultimate sale. It contributes materially to high shipping costs. Many stores refuse to handle heavy exercise devices because of the difiiculty in handling them. This is particularly true of toy stores, variety stores, toy departments of department stores and the like which are staffed principally by women.
It is the principal object of the present invention to provide a relatively inexpensive and relatively lightweight exercise device which can be easily manufactured and easily handled while in trade channels, and then filled with a weight-adding substance to the desired final weight by the ultimate purchaser.
Other objects of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.
To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, this invention then comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed.
The invention is illustrated by the accompanying drawings in which the same numerals refer to corresponding parts and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation, partly in section, of a variable weight exercise device according to the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a transverse section on the line 22 of FIGURE 1 and in the direction of the arrows on a slightly reduced scale showing details of construction of the exercise device; and
FIGURE 3 is an end elevation of the device.
Referring now to the drawing, there is shown an exercise device indicated generally at 10. This device comprises a pair of hollow bulbous spheroids, each indicated generally at 11 and secured to opposite ends of an elongated handle 12. The same general construction is appli cable to both dumbbells and bar bells, the principal diflerences residing in the sizes of the hollow spheroids and the length of the elongated handle. In a typical dumbbell construction, the spheroids may be about 5 inches in diameter and 3 inches thick, and spaced apart about 3 /2 inches. correspondingly, a typical bar bell device may have spheroidal portions which are about 7 inches in diameter and 4 inches thick and separated at opposite ends of the handle by about 24 inches. It will be understood, however, that these dimensions are exemplary only and that the invention is not limited to devices having any particular sizes. 1
Each of the spheroids 11 is comprised of a pair of similar thin shell-like hemispheroids 13 and 14. The hemispheroids 13 and 14 are desirably formed by stamping from sheet metal or similar malleable material. One of the hemispheroids is provided with a relatively narrow outwardly extending flange 15. The outer hemispheroid is provided with a somewhat wider outwardly extending flange which is formed around flange 15 when the open faces of the spheroids are assembled together and forms a head 16.
Handle 12 is in the form of an elongated tube 17 of circular cross-section. It is formed with a pair of out: wardly projecting annular beads 18 spaced equally from the opposite ends of the tube. The beads 18 on the handle function as stop means and locators for the spheroidal members of the exercise device. Each of the inner hemispheroids 13 is provided with a central circular opening 19 of diameter such that it fits with a close slide fit around the outside of handle tube 17 and rests against the head 18. The inner ends 20 of the handle tube 17 extend into the spheroidal members a distance just slightly greater than the depth of the inner hemispheroidal shell 13.
To provide strength and rigidity to the structure, a reinforcing plate 21 is incorporated into the inner structure of the spheroids. Plate 22 is provided with arcuate edges 22 of the same diameter as the edge of flange 15. Plate 21 is provided also with a central circular opening 23 of a size to fit wtih a close slide fit around the outside of handle tube portion 20. When the spheroids are assembled on the handle, plate'21 is fit on the end of the inner handle tube 20 until its arcuate edges 22 come to rest against the flanges 15 of hemispheroid 13. Then, the short portion of the inner tube 20 which extends through the central opening 23 of the reinforcing plate 21 is flared outwardly to secure the reinforcing plate and hemispheroid 13 rigidly to the end of the handle, bearing against bead 18. Then, when bead 16 is formed, it extends not only around flange 15, but also around the arcuate edges of reinforcing plate 21.
In order to facilitate even distribution of the weightadding material inserted in the spheroids, reinforcing plate 21 is provided with a plurality of ports 25. Preferably, plate 21 is not fully circular but is provided with flat edges 26. In the assembled spheroids these flat edges define openings with the inner edges of the head to provide intercommunicating passages between the two chambers of the spheroids.
In order to facilitate the addition of weight-adding material to the exercise device after assembly, here is provided a central opening in the outermost hemispheroid shell. This opening is desirably provided with a recessed annular seat 28. A snap-in closure disc 29 is adapted to be fit into the opening with its outwardly extending flanges 30 seating in the recessed annular seat 28.
In order to avoid the possibility of uneven weight distribution when the exercise device is filled to less than its full capacity, there is desirably provided a barrier means in the center of the handle 12. This barrier means may be in the form of a wooden plug 31, or a cork plug, or metal disc, or similar means to prevent migration of the weight-adding material from one of the spheroids to the other. For maximum economy and efficiency the ports 25 in reinforcing plates 21 and closure disc 29 are so related that the closure disc may be stamped from the disc which is stamped from the reinforcing plate to form the port.
In order to prevent marring of furniture or floors or the like, particularly in the case of heavier bar bells, there is desirably provided a cushioning means in the form of a grooved resilient ring 32. The cushioning ring 32 may be formed from rubber or resilient plastic material. The bead 16 fits in the groove of the cushioning ring to maint-ain the ring in place.
A typical material suitable for the construction of the exercise device according to the present invention is 0.035 inch sheet steel. This results in a structure which is strong and rigid, can be manufactured relatively easily and relatively inexpensively, and remains lightweight. One result is that the devices may be packaged in relatively lightweight containers. They may be handled with relative ease, even when packaged with several units in a single carton. Shipping weights and shipping costs are reduced} Women clerks can handle the devices in stores Without assistance. The customer may get the devices from the store to his home with relative ease. Then, he may add Weight according to his desires and requirernents.
. In the case of children, a readily accessible and freely available weight-adding substance, such as common sand, may be used to fill or partially fill the spheroids. In the case of more serious sports enthusiasts, a denser material, such as lead shot, may be added. Where the spheroids are initially only partially filled, then additional Weight may be added as the user builds up his strength as the result of regular use of the exercise devices.
Although the device has been described with particular reference to spheroidal members, spaced apart on a handle of circular cross-section, it will be apparent that the invention is not so limited. The hollow shells could, of course, be of spherical or other geometric configuration and the handle could well have a cross-section other than circular.
It is apparent that many modifications and variations of this invention as hereinbefore set forth may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. The specific embodiments described are given by way of example only and the invention is limited only by the terms of the appended claims.
1. A weight lifting exercise device comprising:
(A) an elongated handle, a pair of chamber forming hollow bulbous members spaced apart at opposite ends of said elongated handle,
(B) said bulbous members being thin walled and each comprised of a pair of mating deeply concave shells and secured to each other along an annular seam,
(C) said seams lying in spaced apart parallel planes extending perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the handle at opposite ends thereof,
(D) a reinforcing plate lying between each pair of said mating shells in the plane of said seams and secured thereto,
(E) stop means on said handle spaced inwardly from each end thereof by a distance just slightly in excess of the concave depth of the innermost of said mating shells,
(F) a central opening in the innermost of the mating shells of each of said pairs of shells,
(G) a central opening in each of said reinforcing plates,
(H) said handle extending with a close slide fit into said opening in said shell so that the innermost shell rests against said stop means,
(I) said handle also extending with a close slide fit through the central opening in said reinforcing plate and being rigidly secured thereto,
(1') an opening in the other and outermost of the matihg shells of each of said pairs of shells for introduction of a weight-adding material to each of said bulbous members,
(K) a removable closure for said opening, and
(L) communicating ports between the chambers in said bulbous members defined by said shells and reinforcing plate for passage of Weight-adding material.
2. An exercise device according to claim 1 further characterized in that said handle is hollow and tubular, said stop means is an annular bead formed in said tube, and said handle is rigidly secured to said reinforcing plate by the portion of the end of the handle extending through said plate being flared against said plate.
3. An exercise device according to claim 2 further characterized in that a barrier member is provided in said hollow handle between said bulbous members to prevent flow of weight-adding material from one bulbous member to the other.
4. An exercise device according to claim 1 further characterized in that one of said mating shells has a narrow outwardly extending annular flange, said reinforcing plate has arcuate edges coincident with said flange, the other of said mating shells has a wider outwardly extending annular flange formed into an annular bead embracing said narrower flange and arcuate plate edges to form the seam securing said shells together.
5. An exercise device according to claim 4 further characterized in that an annular ring of resilient material, having a generally semicircular cross-section and an annular groove formed in the inner generally flat surface, is fitted around each of said bulbous members, said head laying in the groove of said ring.
6. An exercise device according to claim 1 further characterized in that said reinforcing plate is provided with a plurality of off-center ports to lighten the plate and facilitate flow of Weight-adding material between the chambers of the bulbous members.
7. An exercise device according to claim 1 further characterized in that said bulbous members are generally spheroidal in shape and composed of drawn metal sheet.
8. A Weight lifting exercise device comprising a pair of hollow bulbous members spaced apart at opposite ends of an elongated handle, said bulbous members being thin walled and each comprised of a pair of mating deeply concave shells secured to each other along an annular seam, said seams lying in spaced apart parallel planes extending perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the handie at opposite ends thereof, the innermost of each of said pair of mating shells being rigidly secured to one end of said handle, a reinforcing plate dividing each of said bulbous members into a pair of chambers, said reinforcing plate lying between each pair of said mating shells in the plane of said seams and secured thereto, an opening in the outermost of the mating shells of each of said bulbous members for introduction of a Weight-adding material to each of said bulbous members, a removable closure for said opening, communicating ports between the chambers in said bulbous members defined by said shells and said reinforcing plate for passage of weightadding material between said chambers and barrier means to prevent passage of weight-adding material between said bulbous members.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.
W. R. BROWNE, Assistant Exan'ziner.