Title:
Adjustable barbell device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for weightlifting and bodybuilding that comprises a housing that has and cap on one end that allows the device to be placed onto a typical barbell bar, such as the bars used in plate-loading barbell sets. Small, incremental weights may be easily added or removed from the hollow internal section of the device by removing a lid. An end of a barbell can be fit through the center of a device to secure the device on each end of a bar, or an alternative configuration provides a clamp that attaches a device to an end of a bar.



Inventors:
Brown, Michael H. (Springfield, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/326289
Publication Date:
07/20/2006
Filing Date:
01/06/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/109
International Classes:
A63B21/06; A63B15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
JIMENEZ, LOAN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LIEBERMAN & BRANDSDORFER, LLC (GAITHERSBURG, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for bodybuilding and weightlifting, comprising: a housing with an open end, a closed end, and a hollow interior; a lid that removably attaches to the open end of the housing, that provides exterior access to the hollow interior of the housing for placing and removing discrete weights into the housing, wherein the housing forms an opening through the housing that can receive a bar from a weight lifting device.

2. The device of claim 1, further comprising: a tube comprising one end attached to the closed end of the housing, providing the opening along an axis of the device, wherein the lid removably attaches to the second end of the tube.

3. The device of claim 2, wherein the tube is formed inside the housing to create a space between the outer wall of the tube and the inner wall of the housing into which the discrete weights can be placed.

4. The device of claim 1, wherein the housing and the lid are formed from one of metal, plastic, and resin.

5. The device of claim 1, wherein the lid attaches to the housing to contain a plurality of discrete weights placed into the housing.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein the housing is cylindrically formed, the lid is formed with an outer diameter approximate to the outer diameter of the cylindrical housing, and the opening is formed by the housing through the longitudinal axis of the housing, and an opening is centrally formed in the lid with a diameter approximate to the diameter of the opening.

7. The device of claim 6, further comprising: a plurality of concentric rings that comprise inner diameters to fit around the tube and comprise outer diameters less than the inner diameter of the cylindrical housing, wherein each ring is a weight that can be enclosed within the housing when the lid is attached to the open end of the device.

8. A device for bodybuilding and weightlifting, comprising: a housing with an open end, a closed end, and a hollow interior; a lid that removably attaches to the open end of the housing, that provides exterior access to the hollow interior of the housing for placing and removing discrete weights into the housing, wherein the housing is hollow and can contain discrete weights to increase the weight of device incrementally; and a clamp, attached to the closed end, that removably attaches to a bar from a weight lifting device without allowing the bar to pass through the housing.

9. The device of claim 8, wherein the lid removably attaches to the open end of the housing.

10. The device of claim 9, wherein the diameter of the housing is larger than the inner diameter of the clamp.

11. The device of claim 8, wherein the housing and the lid are formed from one of metal, plastic, and resin.

12. The device of claim 8, wherein the lid attaches to the housing to contain a plurality of discrete weights placed into the housing.

13. The device of claim 8, wherein the housing is cylindrically formed, the lid is formed with an outer diameter approximate to the outer diameter of the cylindrical housing, and the clamp attaches the device to a bar of a weight training device.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/641,941 filed Jan. 7, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to weight lifting equipment that can be used by bodybuilders, weightlifters, and other individuals desiring athletic or strength training. More specifically, the present invention relates to a barbell device for attaching to a bar.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Over a century ago, the shot-loading barbell was developed and used by weightlifters and bodybuilders. This device was a short bar with a large, metal globe at each end of the bar for lifting by hand. Each hollow globe was filled with lead shot in order to increase the weight of the barbell. Typical lead shot, such as a .44 caliber percussion (or cap and ball) round bullet weighs approximately one-third of an ounce. Thus, by loading a few lead shots at a time into each globe of the barbell, the weight could be increased in very small amounts. A problem with shot-loading barbells was the hassle and lengthy amount of time to perform a change of the amount of lead shot, and hence the amount of weight, for different exercises with those barbells.

The famous British strongman Thomas Inch invented the plate-loading barbell around 1900. The plate loading barbell was an advance over the lead-shot barbell regarding the ease and efficiency of changing the amount of weight on the bar. However, one drawback to the plate-loading barbell was that the incremental weight increases were in pounds per each barbell, not in ounces like the lead-shot barbell.

All serious bodybuilders and weightlifters at one point in their training encounter what is known in the field as a “sticking point,” or plateau. That is, a lifter may be able to bench press 295 pounds but, when the lifter attempts to bench press 300 pounds, the lifter fails and cannot lift the mere five pounds of weight difference. With a conventional plate-loading barbell set, the smallest weight increment the lifter can increase by is 1.25 pounds on each side of the bar, or 2.5 pounds total. The lifter will likely fail with 297.5 pounds on the bar well before the 300 pound goal. In another example, if the lifter has 265 pounds on the bar and can perform five repetitions (one repetition being lifting the bar from a minimum height to a maximum height according to the specific exercise), increasing the weight to 267.5 will cost the lifter twenty percent of his or her ability to move the weight. This would typically reduce the lifter's ability to perform repetitions and reduce the five-repetition workout down to four repetitions.

When lifting weights on a bar human body can differentiate a weight difference amount as low as a single pound (e.g., 8 ounces to a side) or less on a bar having a total weight of over 100 pounds. That is, if an exercise is performed with 120 pounds weight for eight repetitions, the typical person performing the exercise will not be able to notice a difference of one pound on the bar, such as using 120 pounds at one workout and using 121 pounds at the next workout. The addition of pounds of weight to the bar at a subsequent workout could either increase or decrease the number of repetitions if the sticking point has not been reached. The same is true of 122 pounds, 123 pounds, and so on.

The larger increments of weight caused by the use of plates on a barbell does not allow the body to naturally progress to heavier and heavier weights for lifting. Instead, efficiency is lost by the jump in weight of a barbell or other lifting device that may be used (e.g. such as Nautilus machines) and the goals of bodybuilders and weightlifters compromised. This loss of efficiency may explain why Herman Goerner, a German strongman of the 1920s who stood 6 feet tall and weighed 245 pounds in his prime, was still training with shot-loading barbells a quarter century after the plate-loading barbell was invented. Goerner had a 330-pound shot-loading barbell with 2.5-inch diameter handles that he could lift overhead anytime, day or night.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention overcomes the drawbacks of the prior art weight training devices by providing a device that is removably attached to a barbell bar and can be simply and efficiently adjusted in small incremental weight values, for example down to one-third of an ounce at a time in weight added to it in one embodiment. In one embodiment, the device comprises a cylinder housing that has a screw-on cap on one end and a sealed second end with an internal cylindrical tube section that is open along the center axis of the device. The open tube area allows the device to be placed onto a typical barbell bar, such as the bars used in plate-loading barbell sets. Small, incremental weights may be easily added or removed from the internal section of the device between the cylindrical housing and the internal tube section by unscrewing the removable lid of the device, allowing access to add or remove incremental weights. Weights could include lead balls, shot, or concentric rings that can be added to the internal section, one at a time if necessary.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred embodiments of the invention are discussed hereinafter in reference to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates the preferred embodiment that is fully assembled;

FIG. 2 illustrates the preferred embodiment with a removable lid detached from an end;

FIG. 3 illustrates the preferred embodiment positioned onto an end of a barbell bar;

FIG. 4 illustrates the first alternative embodiment that receives incrementally weighted plates internally to the device;

FIG. 5 illustrates a second alternative embodiment of the weight lifting device that fits onto an end of a barbell bar;

FIG. 6 illustrates an exploded view of the second alternative embodiment with a removable lid; and

FIG. 7 illustrates a reverse view the second alternative embodiment that shows the built-in clamp that attaches to a barbell bar.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment, illustrated fully assembled in FIG. 1, provides a weightlifting and bodybuilding training device 10 that may be removably attached to a barbell bar or other type of weightlifting and bodybuilding device or machine and has the advantages of simple and efficient adjustment in small incremental weight values. For example, weight of the device 10 can adjust up or down to one-third of an ounce using lead balls or other small, discrete weighted objects placed into the device 10. The device 10 comprises cylindrical housing 14 that is open on one end and closed on the other, distal end. The open end of housing 14 is closed by a removable lid 12. FIG. 2 illustrates the preferred device with lid 12, removed from housing 14, as a screw-on cap that threads into the open end of housing 14. Although FIG. 2 shows lid 12 completely detached from the housing 14, it is understood that the lid 12 could open and expose the internal area of the housing 14 while remaining partially attached to the housing 14 by a hinge, straps, or equivalent attachments. When fully assembled, lid 12 is preferably flush with the outer body of housing 14, as shown in FIG. 3. Further, although housing 10 is shown as a cylindrical shape, alternative embodiments for forming housing 10 could include spherical, oblong, square or rectangular, or equivalent shapes without exceeding the scope of the embodiments.

FIG. 2 illustrates cylindrical housing 14 as a hollow body with a wall 18 having a thickness appropriate to hold metal weights and durability to withstand damage and breakage in a weight training scenario. Housing 14 as well as all parts of the preferred embodiment are preferably formed from metal, however, it is understood that alternative materials such as a plastics or composites are within the scope of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates internally hollow housing 14 that preferably houses a second cylindrical body 16, called for the purpose of the present application the internal “tube.” The tube is a hollow cylinder that allows a barbell bar 20 to pass completely through the longitudinal axis of housing 14, as illustrated in FIG. 3. Lid 12 has approximately the same diameter of hole in its longitudinal axis as the internal diameter of the tube 16. The inside face of lid 12 is shown in FIG. 2, which has female threads that attach to the male threads on tube 16 that protrude slightly past the open end of housing 14. It is understood that lid 12 does not have to thread into housing 14 and may incorporate any design that allows at least partial access to the open end of the housing, such as a sliding or hinged window piece, that would allow the addition and removal of weights to the housing 14. Small, incremental weights may be easily added or removed from the internal hollow area between the cylindrical housing 14 and the internal tube section 16 by unscrewing the removable lid 12, allowing access to the hollow area. As an example, weights could include lead balls, shot, or any equivalent discrete weighted objects that can be added to the internal hollow area, one at a time if necessary. Preferably, weights that individually weigh approximately one-third ounce up to an ounce each of a heavy metal are used to incrementally increase the weight of device 10. As is understood, the size, shape, and weight of discrete weights used in device 10 can vary widely and may be customized according to a lifter's preferences.

Further, alternative embodiments that provide internal access to the housing 18 include a clamshell design, where the entire device 10 could open in two halves and stay connected via a hinge, or partial twist-apart design allowing access to the hollow space. The closed end of housing 14 is not shown in the Figures, however, this end is sealed to the housing body 14 and tube 12 such that a hollow space between wall 18 and tube 16 an receive and retain one or more weights. When lid 12 is attached to housing 14, as in FIG. 1, any weights added to the hollow space are held within the device 10.

It is also understood that, although FIG. 3 illustrates the preferred device 10 that formed to receive bar 20 through the tube 16, it is understood that alternative embodiments to form the present invention for weight training purposes are within the scope of the invention. These alternatives include a device 10 with only a partial tube portion 16, or no tube portion 16 at all, that could be attached in any configuration to a bar or weight training machine by welding, clamp, or equivalent attachments or held in place by gravity or friction. For an embodiment without a tube 16, lid 12 would have a solid face without the hole in the longitudinal axis and would attach to the wall 18 of housing 10 instead of tube 12.

FIG. 4 illustrates a first alternative embodiment that includes the device 10 of the preferred embodiment that receives a flat, concentric ring 22 in order to add an incremental weight to the device 10. Concentric ring 22 is formed as a flat disk of a particular weight having a hole centered in the disk large enough to place the ring 22 onto the tube section 22 of device 10. Multiple concentric rings 24 allow additional incremental weight to be added to device 10 as the weightlifter desires.

Referring to FIGS. 5-7, the second alternative embodiment of the present invention provides a weightlifting and bodybuilding training device 26 that may be removably attached to a barbell bar or other type of weightlifting and bodybuilding device or machine and has similar advantages of simple and efficient adjustment in small incremental weight values. For example, weight of the device 26 may be adjusted up or down to one-third of an ounce using lead balls or other small, discrete weighted objects placed into the device. The alternative device 26 comprises hollow cylindrical housing 28 that is open on one end and closed on another end. The open end of housing 14 is enclosed by a removable lid 34.

FIG. 6 illustrates the alternative device with lid 34, removed from housing 28 as a screw-on cap that threads into the open end of housing 28 to contain any contents placed within the device 26 for lifting the device during weight training exercises. Although FIG. 6 shows lid 34 completely detached from the housing 28, it is understood that the lid 34 could open and expose the internal hollow area of the housing 28 while remaining partially attached to the housing 28 by a hinge, straps, or equivalent attachments. When fully assembled, lid 34 is preferably flush with the outer body of housing 28, as shown in FIG. 7. Lid 34 provides simple and efficient access to the hollow area inside housing 28 in order to add incremental discrete weights to device 26, one at a time if desired. Further, although housing 28 is shown as a cylindrical shape, alternative shapes for forming housing 28 could include spherical, oblong, square or rectangular, and other equivalent shapes.

FIG. 5 illustrates cylindrical housing 28 as a hollow body with a wall 36 having a thickness appropriate to hold discrete metal weights and durability to withstand damage and breakage in a weight training scenario. Housing 28 as well as all parts of the preferred embodiment are preferably formed from metal, however, it is understood that alternative materials such as a plastics, composites, rubber, or resins are within the scope of the present invention.

It is also understood that lid 34 does not have to thread into housing 28 and may incorporate any design that allows at least partial access to the housing, such as a sliding or hinged window piece, that would provide for the addition and removal of discrete weights within housing 28. FIG. 6 illustrates how one or more discrete, incremental weighted objects may be easily added or removed from the internal hollow area within cylindrical housing 28 after lid 34 is removed from the open end. As an example, weights could include lead balls, shot, or any equivalent discrete weighted objects that can be added to the internal hollow area, one at a time if necessary. Preferably, weights that individually weigh approximately one-third ounce up to an ounce each of a heavy metal are used by experienced weightlifters to incrementally increase the weight of device 10. As is understood, the size, shape, and weight of discrete weights used in device 10 can vary widely and may be customized according to a weightlifter's preferences.

Alternative embodiments for internal access to housing 28 for addition of weights include a clamshell type of design, where the entire device would open in two and stay connected via a hinge, or partial twist-apart design allowing access to the hollow space. The closed end of housing 28 is not shown in the Figures, however, this end is sealed to the housing body 28 such that when lid 34 is attached to housing 28, any weights added to the internal hollow space are held within the device 26.

One difference in device 26 from device 10 is that the alternative device 26 does not form a cylindrical opening through the longitudinal axis of the device 26. Instead, the alternative device 26 further includes a clamp 30 attached to the closed end of housing 28. Clamp 30 fastens device 26 to one of a barbell bar or bar on a weight training machine other equivalent device. Clamp 30 is secured to a bar by loosening two tightening screws 32 by hand, placing claim 30 onto an end of a bar, and then tightening screws 32 so that clamp 30 is firmly attached to a bar.

The approximate weight of the preferred device 10 is 2.5 pounds without any additional weights, which is the same as a standard 2.5-pound barbell plate. Each device 10 will hold up to approximately 2.5 pounds of lead shot (e.g. approximately 60 lead balls). When two empty devices 10 are each attached at ends of a bar and are full of lead balls, they weigh approximately five pounds. In an exercise program, when the weightlifter can lift two devices 10, each with 2.5 pounds of weights in them, then the weights can be removed from the devices and a conventional 2.5-pound plate can be placed on each end of the barbell bar. Then, the process of adding incremental weights to the devices on the barbell bar can start again. This method allows a weightlifter to train to the maximum strength, just short of failure, without injury.

In testing the device 10 of the present invention, the following results were observed and reported. As background, if less than one pound is added to a barbell at a time, the lifter will eventually encounter a sticking point. However, the lifter will not go from an exercise to a struggle, as is often the case with 2.5 and five pound weight increases on traditional flat plate barbell sets. Some extraordinary results were observed and noted from using increases in weight as low as one-twelfth of a pound total with the present invention. A male test subject eventually got stuck (e.g. hit sticking points) with increases as low as one-twelfth of a pound total weight. However, at such small increases, the test subject was never stuck for more than two to three workout sessions. This appears to illustrate that the human body is far more sensitive to weight increases than was traditionally known in the weightlifting and bodybuilding fields.

A female test subject using the devices of the present invention during training sessions began with a body weight of 115 pounds. This subject grew to 120 pounds by performing seven repetitions in the clean and press with 85 pounds. A side-effect of using the present invention was noted that the less weight that the test subjects added to the bar for succeeding workouts, the more body weight was gained in a shorter period of time.

An experienced male weight lifter was tested with the present invention performing only one exercise of five sets of five repetitions each in the military press twice a week. This was the only exercise performed by the test subject using the incremental weight additions of the present invention for a training period of less than twelve months. All other exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, etc., were performed with moderate weights. The results were that the military presses increased by 40 pounds, for five repetitions, in twelve months. The increase in press weight was expected, but the short period of time for the increase was not expected from the experienced lifter.

In traditional military press or the bench press, most lifters fail within the first four to six inches of movement which is the most difficult phase of the lift. The test subjects reported that with the devices of the present invention, the most difficult part of the lift movement became the last four to six inches of the lift on the final repetition. In other words, the test subjects had developed a different, more natural strength curve training by using the present invention.

Advantages of the present invention include that the resistance of a barbell can be increased in small, incremental values, for example one-third of an ounce or more increments as desired. If the lifter desires to add one pound to the total weight of the bar, he or she adds twenty-four one-third ounce lead balls to the tube section of each device. For one-half pound of weight, the lifter would add twelve lead balls. Also, the device can be placed upon, or removed from, a barbell bar much more quickly that the traditional method of a lifter having to engage in the tedious practice of filling up and/or removing lead shot from a large globe.

Because many varying and different embodiments may be made within the scope of the inventive concept herein taught, and because many modifications may be made in the embodiments herein detailed in accordance with the descriptive requirements of the law, it is to be understood that the details herein are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.