Athletic velocity training device
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An exercise apparatus having a frame with an adjustable weight bearing ratchet and pulley system with laser timer and display is disclosed. A force controlled laser timing device mounted to the frame which measures via time movement within a given space. An OLYMPIC barbell is located within the center of the device being attached to the ratchet and pulley system for the purpose of controlling gravitational resistance. A user-controlled strap is wound about the barbell so that the force implemented by the user will not allow the adjustable weights or barbell to become lose and dangerous. Movement of the barbell by the user is measured and recorded for weight and time.

Nugent, David (Sacramento, CA, US)
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International Classes:
A63B71/00; A63B21/06
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1. 1-7. (canceled)

8. A training device utilizing a barbell with a set of weights forming a barbell unit, including: a. a frame member b. a pulley and ratchet mechanism mounted to said frame member and; c. a strap extending from the pulley and ratchet mechanism, said strap being secured to the barbell unit; wherein said frame member, pulley and ratchet mechanism, and strap permits the user of the barbell to throw the barbell during lifing exercises.

9. The device of claim 8 which further comprises a data measuring device that determines the time duration of a lift.

10. The device of claim 9 in which further comprises a display exhibiting the duration time of a lift.



This application relies on a previously filed provisional application


Not applicable


Not applicable


The current device relates generally to muscle exercise apparatus and, more specifically, to exercise apparatus capable of providing both cardiovascular and timed strength training.

Human muscle is made up of fast contracting fibers and slow contracting fibers. The fast contracting fibers are recruited only infrequently—generally for rapid power movements or high intensity isometric contractions. The slow contracting fibers, on the other hand, are recruited for repetitive low-intensity activity, such as long distance running or cycling. The neuro-muscular organization characteristic of the most rapid or “ballistic” types of muscle activities is believed to differ from that which characterizes slow muscle activity.

Researchers believe that human voluntary muscle strength is determined not only by the quantity (i.e., muscle cross-sectional area) and quality (muscle fiber type) of the muscle mass involved, but also by neural factors governing the extent to which the muscle fibers making up the muscle can be activated. According to one theory, the neural adaptation of muscle to high velocity training is associated with an accentuation of the manner in which fast twitch motor units are preferentially activated. In other words, fast muscles (those with a relatively high proportion of fast twitch motor units) may preferentially be activated over slow muscles in the execution of high velocity movements. This theory further posits that slow muscles (i.e., those with a relatively low proportion of fast-twitch motor units) are preferentially activated in the course of executing slower movements.

The proper exploitation of this model of human muscle physiology in a strength training machine requires an apparatus capable of accommodating high velocity movements across a full range of machine supplied resistance levels, from high to low, as well as lower velocity movements across a similarly full range of resistance levels.

Still other variables are relevant in considering cardiovascular response—the other side of the fitness equation. Cardiovascular output is responsive in great measure to the demands placed on the musculature of the human body. While such physiological parameters as heart rate, blood pressure and cardiac output rise in response to increases in the quantity of muscle mass activated, the response is not linear. Still other variations have been observed to occur depending on the type of exercise involved. For example, it has been observed during the course of repetitious exercises involving concentric and eccentric motions that higher blood pressures occur during the eccentric portion of the exercise than in the concentric portion. While cardiac output is significantly lower during the concentric as compared to the eccentric portion of an exercise repetition, the heart's rate of beating is the same during the eccentric and concentric portions; the difference in cardiac output results from the smaller stroke volume during the concentric phase of the exercise. These and other findings strongly suggest that exercise equipment should preferentially be able to accommodate a wide array of workout regimens.

Many different types of fitness equipment have been developed to assist the individual in enhancing his muscle strength, and still other machines have been developed to enhance the individual's cardiovascular fitness. Treadmills, climbers, rowing machines, and stationary bikes are a few examples of apparatus that focus on enhancing cardiovascular fitness. Weight systems, hydraulic and air resistance devices, and electronic resistance devices are but a few of the types of apparatus that focus on the strength side of fitness. The general state of the technology is set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 3,465,592 to Perrine; U.S. Pat. No. 5,011,142 to Eckler; U.S. Pat. No. 4,261,562 to Flavell/and U.S. Pat. No. 5,180,351 to Ehrenfried, the contents of each of which are incorporated herein by reference.

These types of exercise machines are quite expensive, difficult to use or adjust, and offer the user only limited success in enhancing either cardiovascular fitness or muscle strength. Typical among the deficiencies present in such machines is their tendency to focus on a small range of physical fitness considerations to the exclusion of others, and often while utilizing expensive components. Where they are of simple construction and lower expense (e.g., a weight stack) they are often cumbersome to use, e.g., when changing loads. Where load changing has been made more automatic; the machines are often prohibitively expensive.

There remains a need for an exercise apparatus that addresses both muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness concerns by accommodating a wide array of exercise regimens. There remains a need for a machine that can afford the user the option of varying the speed of his workout independently of the level of machine supplied resistance he wishes to work against, and that does so in an ergonomically suitable manner.

2. Description of the Prior Art

It has long been known that particular levels of light attribute to health and psychological benefits. Although both ocular as well as non-ocular techniques have been employed in an attempt to achieve various such effects, ocular treatment appears to be most efficacious. Not only are the eyes highly specialized organs specifically adapted for sensing light, but a sizable portion of the brain is exclusively devoted to processing data generated by the retinas. Moreover, neurologists and anatomists have relatively recently demonstrated the existence of nerve pathways extending from the retinas that are separate and apart from the pathways linked to the sight center of the brain.

An example of an organ whose regulatory function is responsive to light sensed by the eyes is the pineal gland which secretes the hormone melatonin. The hormone is released during periods of darkness while production is abruptly halted when the eyes perceive bright light. Melatonin is distributed throughout the body via the blood and cerebrospinal fluid and can affect the function of organs by which it is metabolized to thereby influence sleep cycles, feeding cycles, reproduction cycles and other biological rhythms. It has therefore been suggested that phototherapy may effectively be employed to correct a melatonin imbalance which may have resulted from, for example, shift work, jet lag or life in the Polar Regions, and thereby remedy the accompanying symptoms.

In these respects, the dimmable light therapy device according to the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of effecting automatic closing of a sliding screen door.


The current device is composed of five major components;

    • 1. Modified OLYMPIC weight bar
    • 2. A laser timer
    • 3. A laser display
    • 4. A SCANDISK
    • 5. Winch and cable system

Built around a laser-timed bar with a digital read out display ( 1/1000 of a second) and a cage that allows the bar to be launched (wench and cable catch the bar after ballistic movements so that athlete does not have to reduce bar speed at the end of lifts.) The result is accurate measurement of bar speed for most conventional lifts including: squat, dead lift, bench press, military press, lunges, power cleans and snatches. Example; athlete loads bar to equal body weight and lowers bar to chest for bench press movement. Bar is exploded past the usual top of the lift and laser time is shown on meter read out. Athlete can complete the lift for several reps with best time and aggregate time being kept. Time is stored onto a SCANDISK for later loading into a PC so that speed improvement can be monitored. Athletes can train for speed and power through all movements never decelerating the bar which retards neurological speed development.

The current device is designed to allow athletes to safely perform speed and ballistic movements that result in increased power production. The Velocity training device allows the ballistic movements to traditional lifts such as:

    • a. squats
    • b. bench press
    • c. military press.
    • d. dead lifts
    • e. snatches

The unique design of the current device allows these lifts to be accomplished without decelerating the bar at the completion of the repetition performed. Deceleration of a moving bar at the end of any lift trains the athlete to decelerate and not accelerate or explode into a power movement. If the athlete explodes without the current device the bar and weight load becomes a dangerous projectile. The unique design of my invention allows explosion without deceleration or danger.

The current invention allows the above mentioned lifts to be performed for measurable speed which completely changes the way athletes train. No longer is the amount of weight the true measure, with my invention the speed of completion becomes the measure. The laser timer on the device performs this new way to measure performance.

The current device allows the above mentioned lifts to be performed safely with it's unique ratchet spotting device which allows an athlete to perform regular reps of a lift to stimulate neurological excitement and to follow that work with a ballistic, explosive throw of the loaded bar for maximum power training. This is unique in that the safety mechanism does not inhibit the normal free bar movements while allowing the instant follow up with ballistic movements all done safely.

The velocity training device allows the above mentioned lifts to be measured and the speed of these lifts is stored on the unique storage device on the velocity training device. This allows an athlete to have a print out of workouts so that past speed and explosiveness can be competed against for future gains.

The velocity training device is the only machine of its kind for training explosively, ballistic, and safely using traditional free bar weighted exercises. This is unique and important because the movements are not inhibited by the machine apparatus itself. The machine does not reproduce weight movements like the bench press or squat forcing those movements into the track or groove of the machine which may not fit every athlete's unique body type. The velocity training device is truly free weight performed in the traditional form allowing the completion the lift to be ballistic.

The unique design of the velocity training device incorporates many existing devices to produce an entirely new training experience for athletes. The weight cage, SCANDISK (computer storage), laser timer, seat belt type ratchet, OLYMPIC weight bar and plates, standard power and lifting movements are all existing devices and techniques that are combined into a completely new, completely revolutionary way to train athletes for peak explosiveness. The workout safely produced by the velocity training device, the measurability of the workout laser timed and computer stored cannot be accomplished in any other way without the velocity training device making the velocity training device unique and patentable.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and. scope of the present invention.

Further, the purpose of the foregoing abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new athletic velocity training device apparatus and method which has many of the advantages of the closures mentioned heretofore and many novel features that result in a athletic velocity training device which is not anticipated, rendered obvious, suggested, or even implied by any of the prior art tool guides, either alone or in any combination thereof.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new athletic velocity training device which may be easily and efficiently manufactured and marketed.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a new athletic velocity training device which is of a durable and reliable construction.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a new athletic velocity training device which is susceptible of a low cost of manufacture with regard to both materials and labor, and which accordingly is then susceptible of low prices of sale to the consuming public, thereby making such athletic velocity training device economically available to the buying public.

Still yet another object of the present invention is to provide a new athletic velocity training device which provides in the apparatuses and methods of the prior art some of the advantages thereof, while simultaneously overcoming some of the disadvantages normally associated therewith.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a new dimmable light therapy device athletic velocity training device which includes a chassis, light producing unit, transparent light cover, dimming switch and a power cable assembly.

These together with other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention.


These and other features of the invention will be more fully appreciated from the following detailed descriptions, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like parts are given like reference numerals and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective side view of a structural frame with a top mounted adjustable weight which is in a stable or neutral position while offering a perspective side view of the laser timer and LED display unit

FIG. 2 1 is a schematic perspective front view of a structural frame and adjustable ratchet and pulley system with a top mounted adjustable weight which is in a stable or neutral position while offering a perspective front view of the laser timer and LED display unit and side view of the data collection unit.

FIG. 3 is a schematic perspective view of sample results of Jimmy Smith after using the current device.


FIGS. 1-2 illustrate embodiments of an exercise apparatus constructed according to the principles of the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates sample results from a user of the current device.

As illustrated, in FIGS. 1-2, the structural frame 1, of the device supports the ratchet and pulley system 2, which maintains and stabilizes the weights 3, through the safety strap 7, before, during and after the athlete has made the timed lift. The athlete's lift is measured and timed with the laser unit and displays 5 and 6 and stored on the data collection SCANDISK system 4.