US 3612523 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Robert P. Glynn Memphis, Tenn.  Appl. No. 11,675  Filed Feb. 16, 1970  Patented Oct. 12, 1971  Assignee Challenger Athletic Goods Company Memphis, Tenn.
 TILTING LIFT BAR WEIGHT TRAINER 7 Claims, 15 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl 272/81  Int. Cl ..A63b 23/00, A631) 23/04  Field of Search 272/81, 82, 83 R, 84, 79 R [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,189,347 6/1965 Dodge 272/81 3,257,111 6/1966 Martin 272/81 3,438,627 4/1969 Lanne' 272/81 Assistant ExaminerWilliam R. Browne Att0mey-Kingsland, Rogers, Ezell, Eilers & Robbins ABSTRACT: An improved weight lifting apparatus used primarily in gymnasiums and the like for training athletes. It includes a rigid framework structure that supports two opposed pairs of guide rods. A tiltable lifting bar and weight supporting assembly is slidably mounted on each pair of the guide rods, the lifting bar serving to join the two assemblies so that they reciprocate in unison when the apparatus is in use. The principal feature of the invention resides in universal joint means connecting the lift bar to a slide plate, such that one end of the lifting bar may be elevated with respect to the other. Another principal feature resides in guide wheels located on the slide plate which mate with the opposite sides of the guide rod through a concave configuration of the periphery of the guide wheels.
PATENTEBum 12 Ian SHEETlUF 2 I Y 3.612.523
lAh/fNTOR! ROBERT P. GLYNN,
5v 1.3 m, ,azwww 9 TTOENE Y6 FIG.
TILTING LIFT BAR WEIGHT TRAINER FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to mechanical devices for use in the art of improving physical fitness, and is particularly directed to an improved weight lifting apparatus provided with universal joint means to provide for relative elevation of one end of the lifting bar with respect to another, in order that a weight lifter may tilt the lift bar and provide a greater amount of. exercise for one arm as desired. The invention is further directed to improved guide means for a slide plate connecting the lifting bar through the universal joint means to guide rods to specially contoured guide wheels which engage the guide rods and minimize tracking friction.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The apparatus of the invention includes a sturdy framework adapted for installation in a gymnasium and the like. The framework supports two pairs of transversely spaced vertical guide rods and each guide rod is equipped with a comparatively large diametered shock absorbing rubber bumper that surrounds its bottom end. A plurality or stack of weight elements that are freely reciprocable on each pair of guide rods normally rest atop the bumpers. Each pair of guide rods also mounts a weight supporting assembly and manually operable means are provided for securing any selected number of weight elements thereto.
The two weight supporting assemblies are each connected to a slide plate that supports two pairs of opposed guide wheels which reciprocate up and down the guide rods. The guide wheels have their periphery of'a V-shaped configuration to provide point bearing contacts to minimize friction and engage the inwardly facing and outwardly facing sides of the guide rodsiThis is accomplished by means of an upper pair of guide wheels that engage the inwardly facing sides of the guide rods aiid a lower pair which engage the outwardly facing sides of the 'guide rods and through this arrangement a tracking engagement is provided.
A lift bar is connected at its opposite ends to universal joint connecting means supported by the slide plate. By means of this connection, the weight supporting assemblies are connected to effect simultaneous movement when the lift bar is lifted in a horizontal position, or where desired, the lift bar can be tilted away from the horizontal position to more freely follow the lifting action in bar bells. This means that one arm can be strengthened as needed over another arm and it may be understood that the legs may also be strengthened by an athlete resting with his back on the floor and exerting the feet upwardly under the lift bar. When the apparatus is not in use, the weight supporting assemblies rest upon the uppermost weight element of the stack.
The preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated on the two sheets of drawings that accompany this specification, and features and advantages not noted hereinabove will be apparent or pointed out in the detailed description which follows with reference to the drawings and will be otherwise apparent to those skilled in the art.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of an exemplary installation of the apparatus, embodying the concepts of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a front view of said installation;
FIG. 3 is a right side view thereof;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical section taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged vertical section taken on the line 55 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a view in vertical section taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary view taken partially in vertical section through the universal joint connector showing the end of the lift bar fitting therethrough;
FIG. 8 is a view taken similarly to FIG. 7 and showing the tilting of the lift bar;
FIG. 9 is a view in side elevation of the universal joint connector;
FIG. 10 is a top plan view of the universal joint connector;
FIG. 11 is a view in side elevation of the side plates showing the guide wheels and the weight adjustment assembly;
FIG. 12 is a top plan view of one of the weight elements;
FIG. 13 is an enlarged view in section taken on line 13-13 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 14 is an isometric view of an end portion of one of the two auxiliary cross brace members included in the framework of the apparatus;
FIG. 15 is a reproduction of the lower-half portion of FIG. 2 illustrating the adjustability of the weight load and the tilting of the lift bar.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The weight lifter apparatus of the invention is generally designated 20, and is exemplary illustrated as installed in a gymnasium or the like having a floor F. The framework 22 of the apparatus may, if desired, be rigidly secured to said floor and a wall but as shown simply rests on the floor.
The framework 22 comprises a pair of boxed tubing side frames each including a vertical base section 24, a forwardly projecting bottom leg section 26, and a forwardly projecting top leg section 28; and a main cross brace 30 which connects the forward end portion of the leg section 28. A pair of vertically spaced cross braces 32 connect the base sections 24. The forward end portions of the leg sections 26 and 28 on each side frame are also connected by a pair of spaced vertical rods 34 that have their ends welded as shown, or otherwise rigidly secured to said sections. In addition to adding rigidity to the framework, each pair of rods 34 primarily serve as guide members for one of a pair of lifting bar and weight supporting assemblies 36 next to be described.
With attention directed particularly to FIG. 5 through 6 and FIG. 11, each assembly 36 includes a sideplate 38 to each of which is connected at the bottom a vertical weight support bar 40 that extends below the sideplate with its upper end portion welded thereto.
The sideplate shown in FIG. 7 through 11 supports a universal joint connector element 42 which is welded into the center of the pipe. The universal connector element 42 includes an element 44 having an opening 46 which is formed as a portion of a spherical surface. Fitting within the opening 46 is a hub having an exterior surface of a partially spherical configuration to provide for universal mating relationship. The hub '48 has a central cylindrical opening 50 which receives a lift bar 52. Stop members 54 which may be adjusted by means of a set screw 55 is employed to limit the movement of the lift bar through the universal connector at each end of the bar.
The sideplate is further provided with an upper pair of guide wheels 56 which are best shown in FIGS. 6 and 13 as having a peripheral surface of a V-shaped configuration to track upon the guide rods with a minimum of friction. The sideplate is further provided with a bottom pair of guide wheels 57 which are adjustable within elongated openings 58 in the plate 38 to provide adjustment for a loading effect to ensure proper rolling of the wheels and eliminate undesirable sliding as shown in FIG. 13. Nylon bushings 59 are provided at the hub of each roller over bolt 60 upon which the rollers are supported. Thrust bearings 61 in the form of fiat nylon washers are provided on opposite sides of the rollers. As is shown in FIG. 5, the upper pair of wheels bear against the inwardly facing sides of the guide rods while the bottom wheels bear against the outwardly facing sides of the guide rods. This arrangement of the guide wheels prevents untracking and twisting of the guide plate with respect to the guide rods and ensures a proper rolling arrangement in a vertical fashion in a completely stable arrangement. The sideplate supports the weight of the weight elements by means of a series of vertically spaced transverse circular openings 62 in the weight support bar 40. These openings provide for selective adjustment of weight elements on the weight support bar as will be further described.
Resting on a leg section 26 and surrounding the lower end of each guide rod 34 is a comparatively large diameter pad or bumper 64 formed of separate bumpers each equal to the thickness of a weight element to be described. This ensures that by removing a corresponding number of bumpers to additional weights added the lift bar height remains constant, as best shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. These bumpers are preferably made of an elastic material or the like as the drawings indicate. A determined plurality or stack of weight elements 66 is slidably mounted on each pair of guide rods with the bottom of the sideplate resting on the uppermost weight element in the stack and the lowermost weight element resting on the bumpers 64.
All of the weight elements 66 are identical and best seen in FIG. 12. Each of them has a semicircular groove 68 formed centrally in its bottom surface, said groove being intersected by a central rectangular opening 70. The configuration of the opening 70 is such that the weight support bar 40 will freely extend therethrough. Each weight element is also provided with a pair of circular openings 72. These openings are so spaced and of such size as to enable the rods 34 to extend therethrough freely. As will be explained in more detail, the bottommost in any selected number of the weight element 66 and those thereabove may be mounted on each support bar 40 by means of a round lock pin 74 is best shown in FIG. 6.
it will be observed that the distances between the openings 62 in the weight support bar 40 are equal to the thicknesses of the weight element 66 and that said openings are in horizontal alignment with the semicircular grooves 68 of the weight elements. Consequently, insertions and withdrawals of the lock pins 74 are simple manual operations.
OPERATION in FIGS. 1 through 6 the apparatus is illustrated in its normal or not-in-use status. ln this status the lock pin 74 extends through the openings 62 of the weight support bars 40 and engages in the grooves of the uppermost weight element 66 of each stack.
Assuming that upward pressure is now applied to the lift bar 52, the assemblies 36 will move upwardly, each with a single weight element 66 attached thereto, as should be apparent. The clearances about the weight support bars supported by the larger dimensioned openings in the weight elements facilitate upward passage of the bars through the weight elements that remain in each stack.
Assuming that it be desired to increase the weight load, the apparatus would be restored to its normal rest status followed by a withdrawal of the locking pins 74 and the insertion of them at a lower level, as should be understood from an inspection of FIG. 15. This view illustrates the apparatus in use with each assembly 36 supporting a load of six weight elements being lifted above those remaining atop the bumper 64.
In actual use, an individual training with the weight trainer may realize training similar to that of using bar bells where some strength and skill is required to keep the horizontal bar of the bar bell horizontal without tilting. Also the tilt bar which provides for some degree of tilting through the universal joint connecting these as shown in FIG. permits the individual to strengthen or work one arm against another with it being understood that both arms are seldom of equal strength. Thus the weaker arm may be used at the lower level of the tilt bar as shown in FIG. 15 for comparative strengthening. By means of the universal connecting means, there has accordingly been achieved a realistic simulation of bar bells through the tilting adaptability of the lift bar.
In the operation of the support assemblies 36 raising and lowering of the sideplates along the guide rods 34 is accomplished through the pairs of guide wheels 56 and 57. The upper pair and lower pair engage the opposite sides of the guide rods through the tracking engagement of the V-shaped periphery of the guide wheels with the sides of the cylindrical guide rods to provide stable rolling and tracking arrangement with no vibration or twisting of the sideplates in the raising and lowering operation.
Various changes and modifications may be made in this invention as will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes are within the scope and teaching of this invention as set forth in the claims appended hereto.
What is claimed is:
l. A weight lifting apparatus of the character described characterized by spaced first and second vertical guide rod means, a horizontally disposed lifting bar means extending between said first and second vertical guide rod means and means for supporting the opposite ends of said lifting bar on said guide rod means to provide for sliding vertical movement with respect to said guide rod means said support means comprising universal connector elements for receiving the 0pposite ends of said lifting bar and for permitting tilting movement of said lift bar with respect to the guide rod.
2. The weight lifting apparatus of claim 1 in which the universal connector elements comprise a socket having a spherical recess, a hub element receiving the end of the lifting bar and having a spherical surface fitting in mating relation within said socket.
3. The weight lifting apparatus of claim 2 in which the hub element has a cylindrical opening receiving said lifting bar.
4. The weight lifting apparatus of claim 1 in which the first and second vertical guide rod means are each comprised of a pair of spaced vertical guide rods and a sideplate is provided for supporting said support means and having rod engaging means for permitting said support means to slide vertically with respect to said pair of vertical guide rods.
5. The weight lifting apparatus of claim 4 in which the rod engaging means comprises a pair of top wheels supported on the sideplate engaging the inwardly faced sides of the guide rods in each pair of rods and a pair of bottom wheels supported on said plate engaging the outwardly faced sides of the guide rods, said wheels having a generally V-shaped periphery conforming to the surfaces of said guide rods.
6. The weight lifting apparatus of claim 4 in which the side plates support the universal connector elements and the universal connector elements comprise a socket having a spherical recess, a hub element receiving the end of the lifting bar and having a spherical surface fitting in mating relation within said socket.
7. The weight lifting apparatus of claim 6 in which the rod engaging means comprises a pair of top wheels supported on the sideplate engaging the inwardly facing sides of the guide rods of each pair of rods and a pair of bottom wheels supported on said plate engaging the outwardly facing sides of the guide rods, said wheels having a generally V-shaped periphery conforming to the surfaces of said guide rods.