US 3606318 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 20, 1971 Filed July 5, 1969 J. B. GILSTRAP FLUID RESISTANT TYPE EXERCISING DEVICE F IG. 1
BY fi 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 F/G Z INVENTOR JAMES B. G l LSTRAP ATTORNEYS P 20, 11971 J. B. GILSTRAP 3,606,318
FLUID RESISTANT TYPE EXERCISING DEVICE Filed July 5, 1969 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 lilr.
mvzu'ron JAMES B. GILSTRAP lav-Gi ATTOR N BY 5 p 20, 1971 J. B. GILSTRAP 3,666,318
FLUID RESISTANT TYPE EXERCISING DEVICE Filed July 3, 1969 4 Sheets-Sheet I5 mvnmon JAMES B. GILSTRAP ATTORNEYS p 20, 1971 J. B. GILSTRAP 3,606,318
FLUID RESISTANT TYPE EXERCISING DEVICE Filed July 15, 1969 4 Sheets-Sheet 4- INVENTOR JAMES 8. GI LSTRAP ATTORNEYS United States Patent Ofice Patented Sept. 20, 1971 3,606,318 FLUID RESISTANT TYPE EXERCISING DEVICE James B. Gilstrap, 8440 Thames St., Springfield, Va. 22151 Filed July 3, 1969, Ser. No. 839,001 Int. Cl. A63b 21/00 US. Cl. 272-79R Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A fluid control apparatus comprising a pair of fluid chambers in fluid communication with each other and including pistons for moving the liquid from one chamber to the other through restricted valve openings, the size of the valve opening being dependent upon the magnitude of an external force applied to the pistons. An adjusting device sets the amount of the fluid force required to open the valve. The pistons are connected to a manually movable cross bar. The rate of movement of this cross-bar is dependent upon the force exerted by the exerciser on the bar.
BACKGROUND This invention relates to fluid flow apparatus, and in particular, it relates to a fluid flow apparatus which is adaptable for use in an exercising device; and this invention also relates to the exercising device itself.
It is commonly known to utilize, for a number of different practical purposes, the damping action which characterizes the flow of fluid through a restricted opening. However, in such devices the fluid flow opening is normally of a size which is fixed during operation of the device, although it may be varied in size to adapt the device to diflerent levels of operation.
While such fluid devices are satisfactory for many purposes, they are undesirable for many other purposes.
For example, it is known to utilize restricted flow devices to simulate other forces such as an exercising device. However, at least as applied to such exercising devices, the previously known devices have the disadvantage of being unrealistic. For example, in many exercises, the results achieved by the exerciser should increase in proportion to the force applied by the exerciser. For example, in lifting weights, if a greater force is applied to lift the weights, it should, of course, follow that the weights should be raised at a faster rate. Similarly, when rowing, a greater rowing force should result in faster movement of the boat and hence a greater movement of the oars in a given span of time. However, with known fluid flow devices having an orifice of a size which is [fixed during use, a greater applied force will be met only with a greater resistancewithout a corresponding increase in the resultant movement of the object.
Thus, there exists a need for an improved fluid control apparatus, and in particular, a hydraulic apparatus, wherein the mechanical output achieved increases in proportion to the force applied. Moreover, while such devices could find a number of different uses in practice, there exists a need for an exercising device using such an improved fluid control apparatus.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Thus, it is a purpose of this invention to provide a new and improved fluid control apparatus, such as a hydraulic fluid control apparatus, and also to provide a new and improved exercising device using the said hydraulic apparatus.
This result is achieved in accordance with the present invention by providing an arrangement wherein an external force, which may be the force supplied by an exerciser upon an exercising apparatus, is applied to piston means or the like within the fluid control apparatus to cause movement of the fluid through a restricted opening, such that the applied external force is resisted by the damping action of the fluid as it attempts to flow through the restricted passage. In the present invention, however, the said fluid does not act directly upon the opening itself, but rather it acts upon a secondary control means which in turn varies the size of the opening by an amount dependent upon the magnitude of the said external force. Consequently, the rate of fluid flow through the said opening increases in proportion to the magnitude of the applied force.
In accordance with a preferred arrangement of the present invention there is provided a fluid control apparatus, preferably a hydraulic fluid control apparatus, having a pair of chambers in fluid communication with each other through the said valve opening. A valve ele ment which controls the size of this opening includes an actuating rod which extends to a position exterior of said chambers. Normally this actuating rod is retained in a position to close the valve opening. However, this actuating member is also moved by means of a device which is responsive to the pressure in either of the chambers. Adjustable spring means are provided between the said fluid responsive members and the said actuating member to vary the magnitude of the fluid pressure required to eflect a given opening of the valve element.
The actuating member, together with the fluid responsive members and the other elements associated therewith, form a control means, which control means may be located directly on the cylinder housing the chambers or at a position remote from said cylinder.
The present invention is also directed to an exercising device utilizing the new and improved fluid control apparatus of the present invention. The exercising device comprises a pair of upstanding housing members having a cross-bar extending therebetween. A chain is located in each housing member, the cross-bar engaging one chain at each end, the chains being operatively connected to a fluid control apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention such that movement of the cross-bar constitutes the external force applied to the pistons of the fluid control apparatus. The cross-bar housing members may be located at a number of difierent positions so that the cross-bar may be raised directly upwardly to simulate weightlifting or pulled substantially horizontally to simulate rowing. Obviously, the cross-bar may be arranged for movement at any position between the said vertical and horizontal positions whereby the bar may be used for any number of different exercising procedures, the number of procedures being limited only by the imagination of the user.
Thus, it is an object of this invention to provide a new and improved fiuid control apparatus.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved fluid control apparatus, such as a hydraulic apparatus, wherein fluid flow between two chambers takes place at a rate dependent upon the external force applied to cause such movement.
It is another object of this invention to provide a fluid control apparatus such as a hydraulic apparatus wherein the rate of fluid iflow between two chambers is dependent upon the magnitude of the external force applied to cause such fluid flow, and wherein the rate of fluid flow is adjustable so that a given force causes one rate of fluid flow in one direction and a different rate of fluid flow in the opposite direction.-
Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved exercising device.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved exercising device wherein a force applied by the exerciser is resisted by restricted fluid flow whereby the rate of the fluid flow is dependent upon the magnitude of the force applied by the exerciser.
Other objects and the attendant advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description to follow, taken together with accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS There follows a detailed description of preferred embodirnents of the present invention, taken together with accompanying drawings. However, it is to be understood that the detailed description and the accompanying drawings are provided solely for purposes of illustration and that the invention is capable of numerous modifications and variations apparent to those skilled in the art.
FIG. 1 illustrates schematically an exercising device constructed in accordance with the features of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an external view of a hydraulic unit utilized in the exercising device of FIG. 1, with parts removed for clarity.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIGS. 2 and 4 and including the control elements which were omitted from FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged plan view of the center of the hydraulic unit shown in FIG. 2, but showing the control elements.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of. an element shown in FIGS. 2 through 4.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view showing a modification of the present invention and taken on line 66 of FIG. 7.
FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the invention and taken along line 77 of FIG. 6.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings, like numerals are employed to represent like elements throughout the several views.
FIG. 1 illustrates an exercising device constructed in accordance with one feature of the present invention and employing as a central element therein, a fluid control unit constructed in accordance with another feature of the invention.
FIG. 1 illustrates an exercising device 10 having a fluid control unit 11. The device includes a platform 12 which may be of any strong material but which is shown in FIG. 1 only in outline form so that the operative elements of the exercising device will be visible. The platform 12 has formed thereon a pair of upright flanges 13 and 14, to which upright housing members 15 and 16 are attached for pivoting movement about colinear pivot axes 17 and 18, respectively. Suitable means, known per se (not shown), may be employed for locking the housing members 15 and 16 in any position about the axes 17 and 18.
On one side of the platform 12 there is provided a chain 20 which is connected at one end to a first rod '22 of the fluid control unit 11. The chain is then guided about pulleys 24, 2'5, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30, respectively, after which the chain includes a block and tackle arrangement 21 for adjusting the mechanical advantage and relative travel of the chain and the pistons in the hydraulic control unit. This end of the chain then connects with a rod 23 operatively connected to the opposite side of fluid control unit 11. A turnbuckle 21' is provided for adjusting the length of the chain 2t].
On the opposite side of the platform 12 there is provided a second chain 36 which extends about pulleys 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41 and through turnbuckle 42' and the block and tackle 42 and back to 37. This chain 36 is in driving engagement with the fluid control unit 11 by means of torque shaft 35 which has attached at its ends the pulleys 2'5 and 37, which pulleys have sprocket teeth which positively engage the chains 30* and 36 respectively.
A cross-bar 45 is connected at one end 46 to the chain 20 and at its other end 47 to the chain 36. Consequently,
movement of the cross-bar 45 upwardly or downwardly (assuming the housing members 15 and 16 are upright as shown in FIG. 1), will cause movement of the chains 36 and 20 and hence equal and opposite movement of the rods 22 and 23. In a manner to be explained in greater detail below, the fluid control unit 11- will ofler a selected limited resistance to this movement thereby providing the necessary resistance which must be overcome in order to carry out the exercising function.
The fluid control unit 11 is shown in greater detail in FIGS. 2-6 (including modifications thereof). FIG. 2 illutsrates the outer shape of the fluid control unit 11 with certain of the control elements removed for purposes of clarity. It can be seen from FIG. 2 that this unit includes a cylindrical housing 50 having formed internally therein first and second chambers 51 and 52 separated by a partition 53 which is shown in dotted lines. Also shown in dotted lines are piston heads '54 and '55 located in chambers 51 and 52, respectively, and integrally connected together by means of shaft 56. The rod 22 is fixed to the piston head 54 and movable linearly therewith while the rod 23 is fixed to the piston 55 and movable linearly therewith. Shown also in FIG. 2 are cylinders 71 and 71', in fluid communication with chambers 51 and 52, respectively. The structure and operation of these cylinders will be explained in greater detail below.
In the basic operation of the fluid control unit 11, for example when used with the exercising device 10, the unitary unit consisting of. elements 22, 54, 56, 55 and 23 are moved first in one direction and then in the other direction by means of the reciprocating movement of cross-bar 45 acting through chains 20 and 36. The housing 50 is filled with fluid, preferably hydraulic fluid, (although the device may also be pneumatically actuatable) between the elements 54 and 55. A restricted opening is provided in the partition 53 to limit the flow of fluid, for example hydraulic liquid, from one chamber to the other, as the piston of the said one chamber moves toward the central partition 53.
The opening in partition 53 is variable and a main feature of the invention is the control means for varying the size of this opening. In one embodiment of the invention, part of this control means may be located in the recess indicated as 57 in FIG. 2. The control elements, except cylinders 71 and 71', have been eliminated from FIG. 2 for clarity, but these elements are shown in greater detail in FIGS. 3 through 5.
Referring now to FIGS. 3-5, the openings in partition 53 are in the form of openings covered by vanes 60, each vane being rotatable about an axis 61. Attached to the upper end of the vanes 60 are rods 62 which extend through the wall of the housing :50 into the recess 57. Thus, it can be seen that by turning the rods 62 it is possible to turn the vanes 60 up to to uncover the openings in partition 53 between the chambers 51 and 52. Movement of these actuating rods 62 may be provided in any convenient manner, one such arrangement being shown by example in FIGS. 35. In this arrangement the rods are bent up to 90 and include elongated slots into which extend pins 6 3 which are integral with an elongated slider 64. Thus, by moving the slider 64 to the left (as shown in FIG. 3) the vanes 60 are turned and thus the opening in partition 53 is effected. This slider 64 is supported in a suitable slider support 67, having an elongated groove into which fits an elongated flange 64' integral with slider 64, and is urged to the right (to the valve closed position) by a spring 65 which is attached to a plate 66 which in turn is rigidly attached to the housing 50. In accordance with a feature of the present invention, this movement of the slider 64 to open the valves is accomplished by means of the pressurized fluid in either of the chambers '51 and 52. For example, as the unit 54, 55 and 56 is moved to the right (as shown in FIG. 2) chamber 52 will be under pressure and when the unit 54, 55 and 56 is moved to the left, the chamber 51 will be under pressure.
The invention includes separate fluid control units, including cylinders 71 and 71, associated with the chambers 51 and 52 respectively. Each of these cylinders are shown in FIG. 2 and are substantially identical to each other. Therefore, only one of the cylinders, namely the cylinder 71, will be described in detail.
As illustrated in FIGS. 2-5, a fluid line 70 extends from the chamber 52 to a fitting at one end of the cylinder 71' in which is located a piston 72 having a rod 73 and an O-ring seal 72'. This rod 73 is normally urged to the left by spring 74 (as shown in :FIG. which acts against a base 75 which is butted to one end of a screw 76. This screw is threadedly engaged in cylinder 71' and includes a gripping flange 76' for adjusting the position of 76 longitudinally of cylinder 71', and thereby adjusting the force to be overcome to move rod 73 for moving slider 64 to open the valve. At the end of 73 opposite from 72, an L shaped member, including a long arm 90 and a shorter arm 91, pivotable about pivot pin 92 is provided. Curved end 73 of rod 73 engages 90 to urge the L shaped member counter clockwise, thereby moving slider 64 upward (as shown in FIG. 4) to open the valves 60. 91 includes a curved end 91. Similar elements 90a, 91a and 92a cooperate with the rod of cylinder 71.
In operation, if the piston head 55 is moved towards the partition 53, for example, if the rods 22 and 23 are moved to the right (as shown in FIG. 2) by the force exerted through the chains 20 and 36 by the raising of the cross-bar 45, the fluid pressure between the piston head 55 and the partition 53 will be increased. This increase in pressure will be sensed at piston head 72 which will ;then be urged to the right (as shown in FIG. 5) whereat the rod 73 will act through elements 90 and 91 to move the slider 64 upwardly (as shown in FIG. 5, or to the left as shown in FIG. 3) turning the rods 62 about their axes, thereby turning the vanes 60 about their axes to effect opening of partition 53. With the valves thus opened, fluid is permitted to flow through these openings to the chamber 51.
It is to be noted that the size of the openings, and hence the rate of fluid flow through the openings, is dependent upon the pressure in chamber 52, and hence the greater the pressure (meaning the greater the force exerted at rods 22 and 23) the larger will be the openings and hence the greater will be the rate of fluid flow from chamber 52 to chamber 51. Of course, the result of greater fluid flow is a more rapid movement to the right (as shown in FIG. 2) of the unit consisting of elements 23, 55, 56, 54 and 22. Thus, the greater the force exerted at the rods 22 and 23, the faster will be the movement of the said unit. With this arrangement it is possi ble to more realistically simulate various types of exercising procedures. For example, a greater effort applied to the cross-bar 45- to raise the same will achieve a greater movement of this cross-bar. Similarly, if the guide members and 16 are turned about axes 17 and 18 and the bar 45 is operated as a rowing motion, the greater force applied to the bar 45 the greater will be the movement of the bar 45. This, of course, simulates a realistic rowing'procedure whereby a greater force applied to the oars would result in a faster movement'of the boat and hence greater movement of the oars.
As noted earlier, the cylinder 71' may be adjusted by screw 76. With this adjusting arrange-ment it is possible to set one of the control units to move the rod 64 at a very high pressure, and the other control unit to move the rod 64 at a much lower pressure. With this arrangement it is possible to provide a one-way exercising device so that the cross-bar 45 will be met with strong resistance when moved in one direction but will meet virtually no resistance when moved in the opposite direction. This, of course, would be desirable in the illustra tion described above, that is weightlifting and rowing,
wherein it is desirable to resist movement of the crossbar '45 only in one direction. Further, index lines could be added for relating movement of rod 73 to the force required to be exerted at cross-bar 45 to effect opening of the valve.
'FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate a modification of the invention. The housing 50 may be replaced by a completely cylindrical housing having a cylindrical partition 153 dividing the housing into chambers 151 and 152. While the control arrangement shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 could be mounted above the housing 150, FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate an arrangement wherein the control means is located at a point remote from the housing 150. In this arrangement there is provided a linearly movable rod 164 which is engaged, at one end, at rods 73 of cylinders 71 and 71', the latter being arranged across rather than parallel to the housing 150, but otherwise being identical to the cylinders 71 and 71 of FIGS. 25.
Additionally, any suitable type of variable opening may be provided in the partition 153. One modified arrangement is shown in FIG. 7 wherein the central partition 153 is provided with a number of openings 81. A flat circular plate 80 is located against the partition 153 and includes a number of open areas 82. These open areas 82 are partially hidden in FIG. 7 but are indicated by numerals 82 and the dotted line arrows leading therefrom. A suitable actuating rod 83 extends upwardly through a slot 85 and is engaged with the slider 164 at pivot point 84. This slider 164, which is supported for sliding movement in support pole 166, is urged to the valve closed position (to the right as shown in FIG. 7) by means of spring 165 which is anchored at fixed plate 166'. The valve is opened by moving the slider 164 to the left (as shown in FIG. 7) by the control means as shown in FIG. 6 (that is, the member 164 is moved upwardly as viewed in FIG. 6).
The fluid control unit shown herein is preferably a hydraulic unit since this provides a more direct response between the applied force and the movement. Moreover, the fluid control apparatus is capable of numerous and varied applications only one of which, namely the exercising device, is specifically disclosed herewith. However, as an example of another application, the device could also be used as a control unit for a torque wrench.
Although the invention has been described in considerable detail with respect to preferred embodiments thereof, it should be apparent that the invention is capable of numerous modifications and variations apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. An exercising device of the type wherein a force is exerted against a member having limited yielding characteristics, comprising a control member movable in a first direction and in a second direction, guide means for guiding the control member in said first and second directions, a fluid operated control means operatively associated with the control member for limiting the freedom of movement thereof, said control means being initially actuated and thereafter movable at rates dependent upon the forces exerted on the control member, said control means comprising a pair of fluid filled chambers, flow restricting means for limiting the flow of fluid between the chambers, said flow restricting means comprising a valve having a variable size opening between the two chambers, an actuating means for opening said valve, piston means movable in said fluid filled chambers in response to movement of said control member for building up fluid pressure in one of said chambers, said fluid pressure causing the fluid in said one of said chambers to flow through the valve when the actuating means opens said valve, fluid pressure sensitive means exterior to the chambers for receiving pressurized fluid from one of said chambers as the pressure builds up in that chamber, said pressure build up causing said actuating means to open said valve at pre-set minimum fluid pressure values, said actuating means varying the size of said valve opening in relation to the magnitude of the force applied by said pressure sensitive means on said actuating means, movement of said actuating means being dependent on the force applied to the control member.
2. An exercising device according to claim 1 wherein said control means further includes a hydraulic cylinder in which said fluid filled chambers are provided, said piston means in said cylinder and a chain means for operatively connecting the piston means with the control member for movement therewith.
3. An exercising device according to claim 2 wherein the control member is a cross-bar connected at its ends to the chain means for movement therewith, such that movement of the cross-bar is resisted by the said flow restricting means.
4. An exercising device according to claim 3, said guide means including a guide housing, said cross-bar being mounted for reciprocating movement in the guide housing, said guide housing being pivotable about an axis to be located in a plurality of orientations so that the said cross-bar can be placed in any one of-a plurality of orientations for reciprocating exercising movement.
5. An exercising device according to claim 4 wherein said piston means of said first and second chambers comprises a piston head in each chamber, said piston heads being integrally connected for movement with each other, such that as one piston head moves to cause the fluid to pass into the other chamber, the other piston head moves to permit the entry of fluid in its chamber.
6. An exercising device according to claim 3 wherein said hydraulic cylinder comprises said two chambers, said piston means comprising a piston head located in each of said chambers and arranged such that when an external force is applied to the said control member and acts upon the piston means through the said chain means, one of said piston heads builds up the fluid pressure in its respective chamber, said control means further including a closing means acting upon the valve for closing the same.
7. An exercising device according to claim 6 wherein the actuating means further includes a slider member movable under the influence of said closing means in one direction to close the valve and movable under the influence of said pressure sensitive means in the other direction to open the valve, and wherein said control means comprises a secondary piston and cylinder unit associated with each chamber and in fluid communication with its respective chamber, such that when the fluid pressure in either chamber reaches a certain magnitude, the pressure in the secondary piston and cylinder unit associated therewith builds up to move the slider member to open the valve.
8. An exercising device according to claim 7 including means for adjsuting the amount of piston travel in each secondary piston and cylinder unit so as to vary the force required to open the valve.
9. An exercising device according to claim 8 including indicia means for indicating the amount of travel for a required force applied to the cross-bar.
10. An exercising device according to claim 4, including an adjusting means for adjusting the amount the valve opens for a given force applied to the control member, and hence to the piston means, and wherein said adjusting means further includes means operatively associated with each said chamber, separate from the other chamber, for regulating the amount which the valve opens for a given amount of fluid pressure in its respective chamber, whereby the valve may be made to open a certain amount upon a given fluid pressure build up in one chamber and a different amount upon a different fluid pressure build up in the other chamber.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,465,592 9/1969 Perrine 27279R RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner W. R. BROWNE, Assistant Examiner US. l. X.R. 267-126; 251-54; 272-72