Title:
STRENGTH TRAINING SYSTEM WITH FOLDING FRAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In one example, a strength training system includes a folding frame having a central sub-frame and first and second lateral sub-frames, and pivoting cross members pivotally coupling the central sub-frame to at least one of the first and second lateral sub-frames, the folding frame being configured to move between an unfolded position and a folded position in which the first and second lateral sub-frames are generally parallel in the unfolded position. The strength training system also includes a strength training assembly coupled to the folding frame. The strength training system may include a pulley machine that includes pulleys and cables. In at least one example, the pulleys and cables may be secured to the folding frame in a pre-assembled manner. Further, in at least one example, the strength training system may be assembled without the use of tools.



Inventors:
Dalebout, William T. (North Logan, UT, US)
Willardson, Jared R. (Smithfield, UT, US)
Olsen, Michael (Logan, UT, US)
Application Number:
11/874754
Publication Date:
04/23/2009
Filing Date:
10/18/2007
Assignee:
ICON HEALTH AND FITNESS INC. (Logan, UT, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050187071Repositioning device, garment, and posture molding method and training instruction method using themAugust, 2005Yamashita et al.
20090253562Power expanderOctober, 2009Yang
20050054494Weight training standMarch, 2005Guerrettaz
20090280960Stepped Exercising and Electricity Generating MachineNovember, 2009Tian
20090239709Health management feedback method using fitness equipmentsSeptember, 2009Wu
20080051262Variable weight deviceFebruary, 2008Striar et al.
20090197747Elastic Ring And Method Of Use In Performing Yoga AsanasAugust, 2009Chan et al.
20070155601Inflatable exercise deviceJuly, 2007Dykgraaf et al.
20040157711Multi-function exercising apparatusAugust, 2004Regev
20030203791Exerciser having handle for adjusting resistanceOctober, 2003Chen
20060166796Abs deviceJuly, 2006Armstrong et al.



Primary Examiner:
TECCO, ANDREW M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Workman Nydegger (60 East South Temple Suite 1000, Salt Lake City, UT, 84111, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A strength training system, comprising: a folding frame comprising a central sub-frame and first and second lateral sub-frames; and pivoting cross members pivotally coupling the central sub-frame to at least one of the first and second lateral sub-frames, the folding frame being configured to move between an unfolded position and a folded position in which the first and second lateral sub-frames are generally parallel in the unfolded position; and a strength training assembly coupled to the folding frame.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the pivoting cross members pivotally couple the sub-frame to each of the first and second lateral sub-frames and in which the first and second lateral sub-frames are generally parallel in the folded position.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the strength training assembly includes at least one of a weight machine assembly and a free weight assembly.

4. The system of claim 3, wherein the weight machine assembly comprises a pulley machine.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the central sub-frame is substantially parallel to at least one of the first and second lateral sub-frames in each of the folded and the unfolded positions.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein at least half of the sub-frame is between the first and second lateral sub-frames when the folding frame is in the folded position.

7. The system of claim 1, further comprising a removable cross member removably coupling the first and second lateral sub-frames.

8. The system of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of pivot assemblies coupling the pivoting cross members to the central sub-frame and to at least one of the first and second lateral sub-frames.

9. A strength training system, comprising: a folding frame comprising a central sub-frame, cross members pivotally coupled to the central sub-frame and first and second lateral sub-frames pivotally coupled to the cross members, the folding frame being configured to move between an unfolded configuration and a folded configuration, wherein at least half of the central sub-frame is located between the first and second lateral sub-frames when the folding frame is in the folded configuration, wherein a footprint of the folding frame in the folded configuration is at least about 70 percent less than a footprint of the folding frame in the unfolded configuration; and at least one strength training assembly coupled to the folding frame.

10. The strength training system of claim 9, wherein the entire central sub-frame is located between the first and second lateral sub-frame when the folding frame is in the folded configuration.

11. The strength training system of claim 9, wherein the footprint of the folding frame in the folded configuration is at least about 75 percent less than the footprint of the folding frame in the unfolded configuration.

12. The strength training system of claim 11, wherein the footprint of the folding frame in the folded configuration is at least about 80 percent less than the footprint of the folding frame in the unfolded configuration.

13. The strength training system of claim 12, wherein the footprint of the folding frame in the folded configuration is at least about 85 percent less than the footprint of the folding frame in the unfolded configuration.

14. The strength training system of claim 9, wherein the strength training assembly includes at least one of a weight machine, a fly machine, a pulley machine, a free weight assembly.

15. The strength training system of claim 14, wherein the free weight assembly includes at least one of removable weight posts, a Smith machine, a weight crutch assembly, and a pull up bar coupled to a removable cross member.

16. The strength training system of claim 9, wherein the strength training assembly is configured to be assembled without tools.

17. A strength training system, comprising: a folding frame comprising a central sub-frame, cross members pivotally coupled to the central sub-frame and first and second lateral sub-frames pivotally coupled to the cross members, the folding frame being configured to move between an unfolded configuration and a folded configuration, wherein the central sub-frame is located completely between the first and second lateral sub-frames when the folding frame is in the folded configuration; and a strength training assembly coupled to the folding frame.

18. The strength training system of claim 17, wherein the strength training assembly includes at least one of a pulley machine, and a free weight assembly.

19. The strength training system of claim 17, wherein more than half of the central sub-frame exterior to the first and second lateral sub-frames when the folding frame is in the unfolded configuration.

20. A strength training system comprising: a frame comprising a central sub-frame and at least one lateral sub-frame pivotally linked to the central sub-frame, the frame being adapted to move between a folded and use configuration, the at least one lateral sub-frame being adapted to increase the stability of the strength training system when the frame is in the use configuration; and a strength training assembly coupled to the frame.

21. The system of claim 20, wherein the frame comprises a folding frame.

22. The system of claim 20, further comprising a member adapted to couple the central sub-frame to the at least one lateral sub-frame.

23. The system of claim 20, further comprising a second lateral sub-frame coupled the central sub-frame by a cross member.

24. The system of claim 20, wherein the at least one lateral sub-frame is adapted to pivot with respect to the central sub-frame.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable

BACKGROUND

Background and Relevant Art

In an attempt to improve their health and physical conditioning, consumers are purchasing home exercise devices in record quantities. Some of the exercise equipment purchased includes strength training equipment, such as strength training systems.

Strength training systems having one or more exercise stations linked to a resistance assembly have been around for some time. Strength training systems are often large and made of numerous different parts. In order to reduce the cost associated with packaging, storing, and shipping, strength training systems are packaged in an unassembled manner. Packaging strength training systems in an unassembled manner reduces the size of the box required to enclose the system, thus reducing the packaging costs and the amount of storage space required to store the system.

While packaging strength training systems in an unassembled manner provides some benefits as described above, there are however, various drawbacks to packaging and shipping strength training devices is an unassembled manner. For example, when a strength training system is shipped in an unassembled manner to a user, the user must assemble the strength training system. Such assembly can be complicated. Often, strength training systems are shipped with an instructional manual to assist the user is assembling the strength training system. However, even with the aid of an instructional manual, the complications associated with assembling the strength training system are not eliminated. Further, the assembled strength training systems often do not provide the stability or rigidity desired for vigorous strength training.

The subject matter claimed herein is not limited to embodiments that solve any disadvantages or that operate only in environments such as those described above. Rather, this background is only provided to illustrate one exemplary technology area where some embodiments described herein may be practiced.

BRIEF SUMMARY

In one example, a strength training system includes a folding frame having a central sub-frame, first and second lateral sub-frames, and pivoting cross members pivotally coupling the central sub-frame to at least one of the first and second lateral sub-frames. The folding frame may be configured to move between an unfolded position and a folded position in which the first and second lateral sub-frames are generally parallel in the folded position and/or in the unfolded position. The strength training system also includes a strength training assembly coupled to the folding frame. Strength training assemblies may include, without limitation, weight machines that make use of pulleys, resistance bands such as resilient or rubber bands, free weights such as plate stacks and/or Olympic plates, resilient rods, other types of resistance and/or some combination of the above. Strength training assemblies may also include free weights, partial free weight assemblies, resistance assemblies that make use of a user's weight and/or some combination of the above. For ease of reference, a weight machine assembly and a free weight assembly will be described below. It will be appreciated that these assemblies are provided for discussion and not by way of limitation.

In another example, a strength training system includes a folding frame having a central sub-frame, cross members pivotally coupled to the central sub-frame and first and second lateral sub-frames pivotally coupled to the cross members. The folding frame may be configured to move between an unfolded configuration and a folded configuration in which at least half of the central sub-frame is located between the first and second lateral sub-frames when the folding frame is in the folded configuration and in which a footprint of the folding frame in the folded configuration is at least about 80 percent less than the footprint of the folding frame in the folded configuration, such as about 85 percent less than the footprint of the folding frame in the unfolded configuration. The strength training system also includes at least one strength training assembly coupled to the folding frame.

In yet another example, a strength training system includes a folding frame comprising a central sub-frame, cross members pivotally coupled to the central sub-frame and first and second lateral sub-frames pivotally coupled to the cross members. The folding frame being configured to move between an unfolded configuration and a folded configuration in which the central sub-frame is located completely between the first and second lateral sub-frames when the folding frame is in the folded configuration.

The strength training system may include a pulley machine that includes pulleys and cables. In at least one example, the pulleys and cables may be secured to the folding frame in a pre-assembled manner. Further, in at least one example, the strength training system may be assembled without the use of tools.

This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

Additional features and advantages will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by the practice of the teachings herein. Features and advantages of the invention may be realized and obtained by means of the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. Features of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to describe the manner in which the above-recited and other advantages and features can be obtained, a more particular description of the subject matter briefly described below will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments which are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting in scope, embodiments will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a strength training system having a folding frame in which the folding frame is in the expanded configuration according to one example;

FIG. 1B is a perspective view of a strength training system having a folding frame in which the folding frame is in the folded configuration;

FIG. 1C illustrates a pivot assembly according to one example;

FIG. 1D illustrates a pivot assembly according to one example;

FIG. 2A illustrates a partial view of a weight machine coupled to a folding frame according to one example;

FIG. 2B illustrates a partial view of a fly machine portion of a weight machine according to one example;

FIG. 2C illustrates a partial cross sectional view of a fly machine according to one example;

FIG. 3A illustrates a free weight assembly coupled to a folding frame according to one example; and

FIG. 3B illustrates a weight crutch according to one example.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A folding frame assembly is provided herein, which may be part of a strength training system. The folding frame assembly is configured to be readily moved from a folded or collapsed position. In at least one example, the folding frame assembly includes several sub-frames that are coupled together with pivoting cross members. The pivoting cross members allow the sub-frames to be collapsed together while providing a stable platform for strength training equipment when the folding frame assembly is unfolded. Accordingly, the pivoting cross members allow the folding frame assembly to be nearly completely assembled, which may reduce the complexity of assembling the exercise system. Further, the configuration of the folding frame assembly allows the folding frame assembly to have a folded footprint that is at least about 70 percent less than the expanded footprint, such as at least about 80 percent less than the expanded footprint, e.g., about 85 percent less. Such a configuration may allow the folding frame assembly to be shipped while nearly completely assembled. Other configurations may provide for an even further reduction of the folded footprint relative to the expanded footprint.

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a strength training system 10 that includes a folding frame assembly 100 as well as one or more strength training assembly, which may include a weight machine such as a pulley machine 200, and/or a free-weight assembly 300. As will be discussed in more detail below, the folding frame assembly 100 allows the strength training system 10 to be moved between an expanded configuration as illustrated in FIG. 1A to a folded configuration as illustrated in FIG. 1B.

As seen in FIGS. 1A and 1B, folding the strength training system 10 reduces the footprint of the strength training system 10. As used herein, the term footprint shall be broadly understood to mean the surface area which is covered by a line which extends vertically from the outer most portions of the exercise system while the exercise system is in a given configuration, such as an expanded configuration and a folded or collapsed configuration.

In at least one example, the configuration of the folding frame assembly reduces the footprint of the strength training system in the expanded configuration relative to the folded configuration by approximately 70 percent. As used herein, the term footprint shall be broadly understood as the longest width dimension of the folding frame assembly 100 multiplied by the longest length dimension of the folding frame assembly 100 when viewed in a plan view. Thus, from a top view looking downward on assembly 100, the folded footprint is substantially smaller than the unfolded footprint.

In one example, a footprint of the folding frame in the folded configuration is at least about 70 percent less than the footprint of the folding frame in the unfolded configuration. In another example, a footprint of the folding frame in the folded configuration is at least about 75 percent less than the footprint of the folding frame in the unfolded configuration. In yet another example, the footprint of the folding frame in the folded configuration is at least about 80 percent less than the footprint of the folding frame in the unfolded configuration. In still another example, the footprint of the folding frame in the folded configuration is at least about 85 percent less than the footprint of the folding frame in the unfolded configuration.

Such a configuration may allow the strength training system to occupy a relatively small area, such as when the strength training system is packed for shipping or when the system is stored or not in use. Further, the folding frame assembly 100 may also allow a user to rapidly move the folding frame assembly 100 from a folded configuration to an expanded configuration rapidly and to secure folding frame assembly 100 in place to form a stable platform for the strength training system 100.

With continuing reference to FIG. 1A, the folding frame assembly includes a central sub-frame 102 as well as first and second lateral sub-frames 104 and 106 respectively. The central sub-frame 102 includes a front vertical support 108, a rear vertical support 110, an upper support 112, as well as a lower support 114. The upper and lower supports 110, 112 couple the front vertical support 108 and the rear vertical support 110.

In at least one example, the first lateral sub-frame 104 includes front and rear vertical supports 116, 118 that are secured together with upper and lower supports 120, 122. The second lateral sub-frame 106 may be substantially similar to the first lateral sub-frame 104. Accordingly, the second lateral sub-frame 106 may also include front and rear vertical supports 124, 126 that are coupled together with upper and lower supports 128, 130.

The central sub-frame 102 is operatively associated with each of the first lateral sub-frame 104 and the second lateral sub-frame 106. In particular, the folding frame assembly 100 may include upper and lower pivoting cross members 132, 134 that couple the central sub-frame 102 to the first lateral sub-frame and/or upper and lower pivoting cross members 136, 138 that couple the central sub-frame 102 to the second lateral sub-frame 104. In at least one example, a single lateral sub-frame is pivotally secured to the central sub-frame 102 while another lateral sub-frame may be secured to the central sub-frame in some other manner. For ease of reference, the first and second lateral sub-frames 102, 104 will be described in the context of each being pivotally coupled to the central sub-frame 102.

More particularly, the folding frame assembly 100 includes several pivot assemblies 140. As illustrated in FIG. 1A, the folding frame assembly 100 include pivot assemblies 140 that couple the front vertical support 108 of the central sub-frame to upper and lower pivoting cross members 132, 134 as well as to upper and lower pivoting cross members 136, 138. Pivot assemblies 140 also couple upper and lower pivoting cross members 132, 134 to the rear vertical support 118 of the first lateral sub-frame 102 as well as coupling the upper and lower pivoting cross members 136, 138 to the rear vertical support 126 of the second lateral sub-frame 104. In at least one example, each of the pivot assemblies 140 is similar. In other examples, the pivot assemblies 140 may be configured differently from each other. As will be discussed in more detail below, each pivot assembly 140 allows the pivoting cross members 132-138 to pivot relative to the corresponding vertical support member and to secure each pivoting cross member in a desired position relative to a corresponding vertical cross member.

FIG. 1C illustrates a pivot assembly 140 in more detail. The pivot assembly 140 illustrated in FIG. 1C will be discussed with respect to coupling the upper pivoting cross member 132 to the rear vertical support 118 of the first lateral sub-frame 104. It will be appreciated that a discussion of the pivot assembly 140 may apply to the other vertical supports and pivoting cross members.

The pivot assembly 140 generally includes a channeled support 142 and a pivot pin 144. The channeled support 142 may be secured to the rear vertical support 118. The channeled support 142 may also be integrally formed with the rear support 118. Further, portions of the channeled support 142 may be integrally formed with the rear vertical support 118 and/or integrally formed with the lower pivoting cross member 134.

In any case, the channeled support 142 may include opposing portions including a top portion 146 and a bottom portion 148 located on opposing sides of a central portion 150. The channeled support 142 includes guide holes defined in both the top and bottom portions 146, 148 that correspond to similar holes defined in the upper pivoting cross member 132. The pivot pin 144 extends through the top portion 146, through the upper pivoting cross member 132, and out of the lower portion 148 of the channeled support 142. The pivot pin 144 may be secured in position by any suitable means, such as by a nut secured to the end of the pivot pin 144. In other examples, the pivot pin 144 may have a different configuration, such as having a cotter pin type configuration or other configuration.

Accordingly, the configuration of the channeled support 142 allows the upper pivoting cross member 132 to pivot away from the central portion 150 of the pivot assembly 140 while preventing the upper pivoting cross member 132 from pivoting past the central portion 150. As illustrated in FIG. 1D, the channeled support 142 also includes a hole 152 defined in the central portion 150 of the channeled support 142.

An additional hole is defined in the lower pivoting cross member 134. In one example, the hole defined in the upper pivoting cross member 132 may be threaded. When the lower pivoting cross member 134 is brought into contact with the central portion 150, the holes discussed above are brought into alignment. Once the holes are brought into alignment, a fastener, such as a bolt, may engage the threads in the lower pivoting cross member 134 to thereby secure the upper pivoting cross member 132 in position relative to the pivot assembly 140 and thus secure the upper pivoting cross member 132 in position relative to the rear vertical support 118.

Accordingly, the pivot assembly 140 allows a pivoting cross member to move from a folded configuration to an expanded configuration. Pivot assemblies 140 further allow pivoting cross members to be rapidly secured in the expanded configuration relative to a corresponding vertical support member. The pivoting cross members will now be discussed to describe the folding of the folding frame assembly 100.

With reference again to FIG. 1A, while the folding frame assembly 100 is in the expanded configuration, the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106 and the pivoting cross members 132-138 form a structure having a generally rectangular footprint such that the folding frame assembly 100 has a generally boxed shape configuration. In such a configuration, more than half of the central sub-frame is outside of the box formed by the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106 and the pivoting cross members 132-138. For example, all but the front vertical support 112 may be exterior to the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106 when the folding frame assembly 100 is in the expanded configuration.

In at least one example, the folding frame assembly 100 has an expanded footprint that is about 57 inches to about 62.7 inches in length by about 50 inches in width, (such as a length of about 62.7 inches and a width of about 50 inches, for example). The folding frame assembly 100 may have a folded footprint of about 37 inches in length and about 11.5 inches in width, for example. Such a configuration may result in a footprint of about 3,135 square inches in the expanded configuration and a footprint of about 442.5 square inches in the folded configuration. Such a configuration may result in a reduction in the footprint of more than 80 percent, such as about 85 percent, about 86 percent, or more.

As illustrated in FIG. 1B, when the folding frame assembly 100 is in a folded configuration, more than half of the central sub-frame 102 is between the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106. In addition, the central sub-frame 102 may be completely between the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106 when the folding frame assembly 100 is in the folded or collapsed configuration. Further, any number of the components of the folding frame assembly 100, such as different portions of the central sub-frame 102, the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106, and/or the pivoting cross members 132-138 may telescope to further reduce the size of the folding frame assembly 100 in the folded configuration.

In one example, the folding frame assembly 100 is unfolded by moving the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106 away from the central sub-frame 102. As previously discussed, the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106 may be moved away from the central sub-frame 102 by moving the lateral sub-frames 104, 106 until the pivoting cross members 132-138 engage the central portions 150 (FIG. 1C) of the pivot assemblies 140. Once in such a position, the first and second lateral frames 104, 106 and the pivoting cross members 132-138 may be secured in the expanded position illustrated in FIG. 1A.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106 may be approximately parallel to each other in each of the folding and expanded or unfolded configurations. Further, the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106 may be approximately parallel to the central sub-frame 102 in each of the folded and expanded configurations.

Accordingly, the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106 are pivoted into the expanded positions relative to the central sub-frame 102. Thereafter, a removable cross member 152 may be secured to the device to thereby further secure the front vertical supports 116, 124 in position relative to each other.

In particular, as illustrated in FIG. 1A the front vertical supports 116, 124 may have channeled supports 156, 158 secured thereto. Each of the channeled supports 156, 158 may be substantially similar. Accordingly, reference will be made to channeled support 156 in particular. The discussion of the channeled support 156 may also apply to channeled support 158.

The channeled support 156 includes a central portion 160 that corresponds to a bottom of the channeled support 156 as well as side portions 162 that correspond to the sides. In at least one example, the channeled support 156 includes a hole defined therein. The removable cross member 152 may include a corresponding hole defined therein. The hole defined in the removable cross member 152 may be threaded or have a threaded member secured to the interior thereof adjacent the hole.

In either case, the holes defined in the removable cross member 152 and the channeled support 156 may be aligned when the removable cross member 152 is located within the channeled support 156. Once the removable cross member 152 is thus coupled to the channeled support 156, a fastener, such as a bolt or other fastener, may be passed through the holes described above to engage the holes. Accordingly, the removable cross member 152 may be secured to the channeled support 156. The channeled support 156 in turn is secured to the front vertical support 116. In another example, a portion or all of the channeled support 156 may be integrally formed with the front vertical support 116 and/or the channeled support 156.

The removable cross member 152 may be substantially rigid. Accordingly, securing the removable cross member 152 to the front vertical supports 116, 124 constrains the distance between the front vertical supports 116, 124, thereby further securing the relationship between the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106. Further constraining the relationship between the first and second lateral sub-frames 104, 106 the removable cross member 152 further stabilizes the folding frame assembly 100 in the expanded configuration. In at least one example, the removable cross member 152 may be used to stabilize the folding frame in the expanded or use configuration to allow the strength training system 10 to be assembled without the use of tools. Accordingly, the folding frame assembly 100 provides a highly collapsible and readily unfolded frame that is configured to provide a stable platform for a weight machine and/or free weights, as will be described in more detail below.

FIG. 2A illustrates a partial view of a weight machine, such as the pulley machine 200. The pulley machine 200 includes a weight rack 202 that is secured to front and rear guide rails 204, 206. The front and rear guide rails 204, 206 are secured to the central sub-frame 102. In particular, the front and rear guide rails 204, 206 may form the rear vertical support 110. The front and rear guide rails 204, 206 extend at least partially from the lower support 114 toward the upper support 112 and may extend from the lower support 114 to the upper support 112. The front and rear guide rails 204, 206 allow the weight rack 202 to be raised and lowered by the pulley machine 200 to thereby provide resistance for strength training applications.

The pulley machine 200 includes pulleys and cables to provide various strength training applications that use the weight rack 202 and weights associated with the weight rack 202 for resistance. The configuration of the strength training system 10 allows the pulley machine 200 to be pre-assembled to the folding frame assembly 100, such as before the strength training system 10 is shipped to a customer. Such a configuration may decrease the assembly time of the strength training system 10 by reducing the number of operations a consumer would perform in order to fully assemble the strength training system. In at least one example, the pulley machine 200 includes an upper pulley assembly 208 and a lower pulley assembly 210.

The upper pulley assembly 208 includes first, second, and third pulleys 212, 214, 216 as well as first and second coupler pulley assemblies 218, 220 respectively. The lower pulley assembly 210 includes first, second, third, fourth fifth, and sixth pulleys 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, and 227 as well as a third coupler pulley assembly 230.

A first cable 228 is secured to the weight rack 202. Movement of the first cable 228 results in movement of the weight rack 202. The first cable 228 extends from the weight rack 202 and over the first pulley 212. The first cable 228 then extends from the first pulley 212, over the second pulley 214 without engaging the second pulley 214, and into engagement with the third pulley 216. The first cable 228 then extends downward and into engagement with the first coupler pulley assembly 218.

The first coupler assembly 218 includes an upper pulley 232 and a lower pulley 234 which are each coupled to a frame 236. In the illustrated example, the frame 236 includes opposing plates. Regardless of the configuration of the frame 236, the first coupler pulley assembly 218 allows the upper pulley 232 and the lower pulley 234 to rotate independently of each other, such as to allow independent rotation of cables or cable segments coupled to each of the pulleys 232, 234 while coupling the position of the pulleys 232, 234.

The first cable 228 is wrapped around the upper pulley 232 and then extends upwardly to the second upper pulley 214. From the second upper pulley 214, the first cable 228 extends downward to where the first cable 228 is secured to the second coupler pulley assembly 220.

A second cable 238 passes through the lower pulley 234 of the first coupler pulley assembly 218. In particular, the second cable 238 may be anchored to the lower support 114 and pass over the lower pulley 234. From the lower pulley 234, the second cable 238 is directed to the first pulley 222 of the lower pulley assembly 210.

From the first pulley 222, the second cable 238 passes through the third coupler pulley assembly 230. In particular, the third coupler assembly 230 includes a frame 240 that has a lower pulley 242 and an upper pulley 243. The second cable 238 is operatively associated with the lower pulley 242. From the lower pulley 242, the second cable 238 is directed to the second pulley 224 of the lower pulley assembly 210. The second cable 238 may include an attachment point secured thereto for performing strength training exercises. As introduced, the third coupler assembly 230 includes an upper pulley 243 operatively associated with the frame 240. A third cable 245 is operatively associated with the upper pulley 243. The third cable 245 extends from the upper pulley 243 to a fly machine 247.

FIG. 2B illustrates the fly machine 247 in more detail. The fly machine 247 may include a mounting bracket 248, fly arms 250, 252, and tabs 254, 256. The fly arms 250, 252 are pivotingly coupled to the mounting bracket 248. The tabs 254, 256 are also operatively associated with fly arms 250, 252 respectively as well as the mounting bracket 248. In the illustrated example, the fly arms 250, 252 selectively engage the tabs 254, 256. More specifically, as the fly arms 250, 252 rotate away from the central sub-frame 102, the fly arms 250, 252 engage the tabs 254, 256. As the fly arms 250, 252 rotated toward the central sub-frame 102, such as may be the case when the fly arms 250, 252 are folded for storage.

The fly arms 250, 252 engage the tabs 254, 256 such that the tabs 254, 256 follow the tabs 254, 256 at an angle, such as approximately 90 degrees. The tabs 254, 256 include holes 258 defined therein that are configured to receive a cable, such as the third cable 245.

As previously introduced, the third coupler pulley assembly 230 splits the third cable 245. The ends of the third cable 245 are routed from the third coupler pulley assembly 230 to first and second pulleys 268, 270 associated with the fly machine 247. The first and second pulleys 268, 270 route the ends of the third cable 245 to the tabs 264, 266. Accordingly, as the fly arms 250, 252 engage the tabs 264, 266 to move the tabs 264, 266 away from the central sub-frame 102 the tabs 264, 266 pull the third cable 245.

As previously introduced, movement of the third cable 245 is coupled to the first cable 228 by way of the pivot assemblies and the second cable 238 as described above. Accordingly, as the fly arms 250, 252 are moved away from the central sub-frame 102 the tabs 264, 266 pull the third cable 245 to pull the first cable 228 to lift the weight rack 202.

The fly arms 250, 252 include adjustable arm rests 272, 274. The adjustable arm rests 272, 274 are configured to translate relative to the fly arms 250, 252. FIG. 2C illustrates a partial cross sectional view of the fly arm 250 and the adjustable arm rest 256. The fly arm 250 may extend at least partially through the adjustable arm rest 272. The fly arm 250 may include a series of holes 275 defined therein to provide selected positions at which the adjustable arm rest 272 may be secured. Accordingly, the adjustable arm rest 272 may include a securing feature 276. The securing feature 276 illustrated in FIG. 2C includes a knob 278 that is secured to a shaft 280. The shaft 280 includes a threaded portion 282 and pin portion 284.

The threaded portion 282 is configured to engage a threaded portion 286 which may be secured to the adjustable arm rest 256 to thereby secure the adjustable arm rest 256 in position relative to the fly arm 250. In particular, as the threaded portion 282 of the shaft 280 is threaded into threaded portion 286 of the adjustable arm rest 272, the pin portion 284 extends through the corresponding hole 275 in the fly arm 250 to thereby secure the adjustable arm rest 272 in position relative to the fly arm 250. Accordingly, the fly machine 247 includes adjustable arm rests 272, 274 to allow users having various arm lengths to use the fly machine 247 as described above.

As previously introduced the first cable 228 passes over the first and third pulleys 212, 216 to the first coupler pulley assembly 218, around the second pulley 214 and to the second coupler pulley assembly 220. The second coupler pulley assembly 220 includes a frame 290 and a pulley 291 coupled to the frame 290. The first cable 228 is secured to the frame 290. A fourth cable 292 is operatively associated with the pulley 291. In particular, the pulley 291 splits the fourth cable 292, which runs from the pulley 291 to the third and fourth pulleys 224, 225 of the lower pulley assembly 210. The fourth cable 292 is directed from the third and fourth pulleys 224, 225 to fifth and sixth pulleys 226, 227 respectively.

The fifth and sixth pulleys 226, 227 may be secured to the lower supports 122, 130 of the lateral sub-frames 104, 106. The fifth and sixth pulleys 226, 227 direct the fourth cable 292 to additional pulleys 293, 294 that are coupled to upper supports 112, 120. Pulleys 293, 294 direct the fourth cable 292. In one example, the fourth cable 292 is routed internally through the upper supports 112, 120 to pivoting pulleys 293, 294. Each of the ends of the fourth cable 292 may include an attachment point secured thereto for performing strength training exercises.

Turning now briefly to FIGS. 1A and 1B, when the folding frame assembly 100 is folded, the pulley machine 200 is substantially contained by the folding frame assembly 100. Further, while the folding frame assembly 100 is expanded, the folding frame assembly 100 provides a stable platform for the components of the pulley machine 200.

In addition to providing a stable platform for the pulley machine 200, the folding frame assembly 100 also provides a stable platform for additional strength training equipment, such as a free weight assembly 300. FIG. 3A illustrates a perspective view of the strength training system 10 that focuses on the free weight assembly 300.

The free weight assembly 300 may include, without limitation, a pull-up bar 302, a weight rack assembly 304, a weight crutch assembly 306, and a smith machine 308. The pull up bar 302 may be part of the removable cross member 154 discussed in more detail with reference to FIGS. 1A and 1B. In the illustrated example the pull up bar 302 may include two individual bar portions 310, 312. Each of the bar portions 310, 312 may be shaped to provide a variety of hand positions. Accordingly, the pull up bar 302 may be provided with the removable cross member 154.

The free weight assembly 300 also includes the weight rack assembly 304. The weight rack assembly 304 may include a plurality of posts 314 that are removably secured to the folding frame assembly 100. In particular, the posts 314 may be secured to the rear vertical supports 118, 126 of each of the lateral sub-frames 104, 106. Each of the rear vertical supports 118, 126 include a plurality of holes defined therein as well as threaded portions associated with the holes. In one example, the holes have threaded portions defined therein. Each of the posts may include a threaded portion that is configured to engage the threads associated with the holes defined in the rear vertical supports 118, 126. Such a configuration may allow a user to readily secure the posts 314 to the rear vertical supports 118, 126 while allowing a user to readily remove the posts 314 to reduce the foot print of the strength training system 10 when the folding frame assembly 100 is collapsed, such as for shipping and/or long term storage.

The posts 314 are configured to store free weights, such as Olympic plates, on the folding frame assembly 100. Such weights may be utilized with the weight rack 202 associated with the pulley machine 200. The weights may also be utilized with one or more bars in conjunction with the weight crutch assembly 306 and/or the Smith machine 308, which will now be discussed in turn.

The weight crutch assembly 306 includes slotted rails 316, 318, lower weight crutches 320, 322 and upper weight crutches 324, 326. The lower weight crutches 320, 322 may be longer than the upper weight crutches 324, 326. Both the lower and upper weight crutches 320, 322 are configured to support a bar.

The slotted rails 316 include a plurality of slots 328. The weight crutches 320-326 are configured to selectively engage the slots 328. In one example, the weight crutches 320-326 may interface with slots 328 in a substantially similar manner. Accordingly, a discussion of the interaction between lower weight crutch 320 may be applied to the interaction to the other weight crutches 322-326 and the slots.

FIG. 3B illustrates lower weight crutch 320 in isolation. With reference to FIG. 3B and simultaneous reference to FIG. 3A, the lower weight crutch 320 includes a tab 330 having a width aspect that is approximately the same size as a height aspect of the slots 328 (FIG. 3A). Further, the tab 330 may have a height aspect that is similar to a width aspect of the slots 328. Such a configuration may allow the tab 330 to be secured to a slot 328 by aligning the width aspect of the tab 330 to the height aspect of the slot 328 and the height aspect of the tab 330 to the width aspect of the slot 328 to allow the tab 330 to be placed within the slot 328.

Thereafter, the lower weight crutch 320 may be rotated. Since the width aspect of the tab 330 is greater than the width aspect of the slot 328, the lower weight crutch 320 is thereby selectively secured to the slotted rail 316. The lower weight crutch 320 may be removed by following the steps above in reverse order. The lower weight crutch 320 may then be moved to a desired slot and secured to that slot.

Accordingly, the weight crutches 320 may be moved to desired positions, such as positions corresponding to positions for supporting a bar. By positioning the weight crutches 320-326 in appropriate positions, the weight crutches 320-326 may provide supports for a bar to be used in which only the vertical position is constrained during weight lifting exercises while allowing some degree of freedom in the horizontal direction.

The free weight assembly 300 also includes the Smith machine type assembly 308 previously introduced. The Smith machine 308 may include tubular guides 332, 334 that extend from the lower supports 122, 130 to the upper supports 120, 128. The Smith machine 308 also includes slotted rail coupled to the front vertical supports 116, 126, lower latch assemblies 340, 342, and upper latch assemblies 344, 346. The lower latch assemblies 340, 342 are configured to translate vertically relative to the tubular guide rails 332, 334 and to engage the slotted rails 336, 338 to secure the lower latch assemblies 340, 342 at desired locations. Such a configuration may allow the lower latch assemblies 340, 342 to limit the vertical movement of the upper latch assemblies 344, 346.

The upper latch assemblies 344, 346 may be configured to engage the slotted rails 336, 338 in a similar manner as the lower latch assemblies 340, 342. Further, the upper latch assemblies 344, 346 may include linear bearings which engage the tubular guide rails 332, 334. In addition, the upper latch assemblies 344, 346 may include bar supports 348, 350. The bar supports 348, 350 are configured to receive an Olympic bar 352. In particular, the Olympic bar 352 includes a central portion 354 that may be passed through the bar supports 348, 350. The ends of the central portion 354 may include threaded ends that are configured to receive weight supports 356, 358. Accordingly, once the central portion 354 has been passed through the bar supports 348, 350, the weight supports 356, 358 may be secured to the Olympic bar 352 on the outside of the bar supports 348, 350. Such a configuration allows the Olympic bar 352 to be secured to the upper latch assembly 342, 344. The location of the upper latch assembly 342, 344 in turn is constrained horizontally by the tubular guide rails 332, 334 and vertically by the lower latch assemblies 340, 342. Such a configuration may allow a user to lift weights in a secure and stable manner to reduce the possibility of injury from dropping weights while performing weight lifting exercises using the Smith machine 308. Accordingly, the strength training system 10 includes a folding frame assembly 100 that provides a stable platform for a weight machine and/or free weights.

A folding frame assembly has been provided herein, which may be part of a strength training system. The folding frame assembly is configured to be readily moved from a folded or collapsed position. In at least one example, the folding frame assembly includes several sub-frames that are coupled together with pivoting cross members. The pivoting cross members allow the sub-frames to be collapsed together while providing a stable platform for strength training equipment when the folding frame assembly is unfolded. Accordingly, the pivoting cross members allow the folding frame assembly to be nearly completely assembled, which may reduce the complexity of assembling the exercise system. Further, the configuration of the folding frame assembly allows the folding frame assembly to have a folded footprint that is at least about 80 percent less than the expanded footprint, such as about 85 percent less. Such a configuration may allow the folding frame assembly to be shipped while nearly completely assembled.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.