Title:
Spotter for use with dumbbell weights
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A spotter assembly is disclosed where multiple vertical uprights, cross bars and individual spotters are possible. The cross bars are vertically movable relative to the uprights and the spotters are movable relative to the crossbars.



Inventors:
Hummer Jr., Robert G. (Detroit, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/591822
Publication Date:
03/01/2007
Filing Date:
11/02/2006
Assignee:
Dumbbell Spotter, LLC (Carmel, IN, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/078
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAKER, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FAEGRE DRINKER BIDDLE & REATH LLP (INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly for supporting dumbbells for weight lifting exercises, said assembly comprising: a pair of vertical supports; a rack supported by said pair of vertical supports; a first dumbbell holder positioned at a first end of said rack and a second dumbbell holder positioned at a second end of said rack; and a vertical back wall portion against which the dumbbell may stop when the dumbbell is dropped on the rack in either of said first and said second dumbbell holder positions.

2. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1, wherein each of said first and said second dumbbell holder positions are defined by a cutout for allowing a user to see and reach dumbbells placed on said rack in a plurality of angular orientations.

3. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1, wherein said leading edge of said rack includes a take-off plate which temporarily positions the dumbbell at the leading edge for moving the dumbbell to the exercise position.

4. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 3, wherein said take-off plate is defined by a plate having a peripheral rim around the plate, the plate and the rim being positioned adjacent to the leading edge of the rack.

5. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 4, wherein the plate and peripheral rim are profiled to receive and retain the weights of the dumbbell therein.

6. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1, wherein said rack is adjustably fastened between said pair of vertical supports for supporting said rack horizontally allowing for adjusting the height of said rack.

7. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1, wherein each of said first and said second dumbbell holder positions defines a front lip portion for limiting a dumbbell from sliding.

8. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1, wherein said first and said second dumbbell holder positions are adjustably fastened to said rack, whereby the distance between said first dumbbell holder and said second dumbbell holder is adjustable.

9. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1, wherein said vertical supports define two legs and a base.

10. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 9, wherein said rack and said legs have complementary locking mechanism for adjustably fastening said rack to said legs.

11. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly for supporting dumbbells for weight lifting exercises, said assembly comprising: a pair of vertical supports; a rack supported by said pair of vertical supports; a first dumbbell holder positioned at a first end of said rack and a second dumbbell holder positioned at a second end of said rack; and wherein each of said first and second dumbbell holder positions are defined by a cutout for allowing a user to see and reach dumbbells placed on said rack in a plurality of angular orientations.

12. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 11, further comprising a vertical back wall portion against which the dumbbell may stop when the dumbbell is dropped on the rack in either of said first and said second dumbbell holder positions.

13. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 11, wherein said first and second holder positions define an angle relative to said rack of up to forty-five degrees.

14. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 11, wherein said rack defines a concave portion.

15. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 12, wherein said rack defines a backstop.

16. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 11 further comprising a plurality of weight holders located at a height proximate that of said first and second dumbbell holder positions.

17. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 11, wherein said rack is adjustably fastened between said pair of vertical supports for supporting said rack horizontally allowing for adjusting the height of said rack.

18. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 11, wherein each of said first and said second dumbbell holder positions defines a front lip portion for limiting a dumbbell from sliding.

19. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 11, wherein said first and said second dumbbell holder positions are adjustably fastened to said rack, whereby the distance between said first dumbbell holder and said second dumbbell holder is adjustable.

20. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 19, further including a fastener associated with each of said first and second holder positions capable of attaching said first and second holder positions to said rack wherein each of said first and said second dumbbell holders defines an elongated slot for receiving each of said fasteners.

21. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 19, further including a fastener associated with each of said first and second holder positions capable of attaching said first and second holder positions to said rack wherein each of said first and said second dumbbell holders defines a plurality of holes for receiving one of holder fasteners.

22. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 19, further including a fastener associated with each of said first and second holder positions capable of attaching said first and second holder positions to said rack wherein said rack defines a plurality of holes for receiving fasteners for fastening said first and said second dumbbell holders to said rack.

23. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 11, wherein said vertical supports define two legs and a base.

24. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 23, wherein said rack and said legs have complimentary locking mechanism for adjustably fastening said rack to said legs.

25. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 11, wherein said first and second holder positions define an angle relative to said rack of up to forty-five degrees.

26. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 11, wherein said rack defines a concave portion.

27. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 26, wherein said rack defines a backstop.

28. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 11, further comprising a plurality of weight holders located at a height proximate that of said first and second dumbbell holder positions.

29. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly for supporting dumbbells for weight lifting exercises, said assembly comprising: a pair of vertical supports; a rack supported by said pair of vertical supports, said rack being substantially comprised of a generally rigid flat plate portion, and a generally vertical backstop portion; a first dumbbell holder position at a first end of said rack; a second dumbbell holder position at a second end of said rack, each of said first and said second dumbbell holder positions defining a cutout for allowing a user to see and reach dumbbells placed on said rack.

30. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 29, wherein a depth of said flat plate portion is greater than a width of a barbell to be placed on said rack.

31. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 29, wherein said rack and said first and second dumbbell holder positions are all integrated into a unitary construction.

32. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 29, wherein said first and second dumbbell holder positions are integrated into discrete first and second racks.

33. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 29, wherein said rack includes a lip portion surrounding a portion of said cutouts, to provide a placement mechanism for dumbbells.

34. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 29, wherein said cutouts are defined for allowing a user to see and reach dumbbells placed on said rack in a plurality of angular orientations.

35. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 29, wherein said rack further comprises an adjustment mechanism for raising and lowering said rack relative to said vertical supports.

36. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly for supporting dumbbells for weight lifting exercises, said assembly comprising: a pair of vertical supports; a rack assembly for supporting dumbbells, said rack comprising collars attached at opposite ends thereof, and being vertically movable relative to said vertical supports; and latch members for holding said collars to said vertical supports; whereby said rack assembly is held in a vertical position along said vertical supports.

37. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 36, wherein said rack is provided with a first dumbbell holder positioned at a first end of said rack and a second dumbbell holder positioned at a second end of said rack; and wherein each of said first and second dumbbell holder positions are defined by a cutout for allowing a user to see and reach dumbbells placed on said rack in a plurality of angular orientations.

38. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 36, wherein said latch members are in the form of popper pins provided in said collars, which can be pulled in order to vertically move said collars and said rack.

39. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 37, wherein said rack assembly comprises a cross bar attached to said collars, and said first and second dumbbell holders are positioned on said cross bar.

40. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 39, wherein said first and second dumbbell holders are laterally movable on said cross bar.

41. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 40, wherein said cross bar is comprised of a rectangular bar.

42. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 41, wherein said first and second dumbbell holders are laterally movable on said rectangular bar.

43. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 42, wherein said first and second dumbbell holders are mounted to collars which are slidably mounted to said rectangular bar.

44. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 40, wherein said dumbbell holders are comprised of horizontal plate portions, movably attached to said cross bar.

45. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 44, further comprising a backstop portion.

46. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 45, wherein said backstop portion spans the width of the uprights, and is attached to said vertically movable collars, and moves upwardly and downwardly with said cross bar.

47. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 45, wherein said backstop portion is attached to said horizontal plate portions and is movable therewith.

48. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 36, wherein rack is a one piece unit, which spans the width of the uprights, and is attached to said vertically movable collars.

49. An exercise system, comprising: a dumbbell support system, for supporting dumbbells at a first vertical height; a bench; and individual dumbbell supports for flanking the bench and receiving a dumbbell on opposite side of said bench, at a second vertical height.

50. The exercise system of claim 49, wherein said second vertical height is lower than said first vertical height.

51. The exercise system of claim 50, wherein said bench has at least a substantially horizontal position, at a third vertical height.

52. The exercise system of claim 51, wherein said first vertical height has a range at least between 40-44″.

53. The exercise system of claim 51, wherein said second vertical height has a range at least between 16-20″.

54. The exercise system of claim 51, wherein said third vertical height has a range at least between 20-22″.

Description:

This application claims priority from provisional application 60/733,104, filed Nov. 3, 2005; 60/760,654 filed Jan. 20, 2006; and 60/807,629 filed Jul. 18, 2006; respectively; and is a Continuation-in-Part of application Ser. No. 10/881,567, filed Jun. 30, 2004.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The field of the invention relates to exercise equipment, and more particularly to a dumbbell rack and spotter.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Weight lifting using free-weights is widely enjoyable as a form of exercise and strength conditioning. Barbells and dumbbells are used in different workout routines to exercise and strengthen various muscle groups, such as biceps, triceps, pectorals, etc., depending upon the manner in which the free-weights are lifted and for the body position of the user.

The user must use the strength of his arm muscles, particularly the biceps, in order to move the dumbbells from the floor or rack into the starting exercise position. Such exercises were designed to develop chest and/or shoulder muscles and not arm muscles. Further, particularly at higher weights, it may be difficult for a user to lift heavy weight dumbbells from the floor or rack using only the smaller bicep muscles rather than the larger chest or shoulder muscles. Further, any attempts to lift large weights off of the floor to the starting exercise position could result in an injury to the user's back.

It is known to construct frames specifically designed for receiving a pair of dumbbells, see for example, Hayden, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,411,459; 5,616,108; 5,772,561; and 5,924,964.

However, with one exception, all of the previously devised dumbbell supports are fixedly mounted perpendicular to the frame. This places the dumbbell handles at an inconvenient position for gripping by a weightlifter when in a seated position in front of the dumbbell supports.

In the one instance, a dumbbell holder is provided with a support frame in which the dumbbell rests are fixedly positioned at an acute angle from a horizontal line extending between the rest supports. However, in this design, the dumbbell rests are fixed at the one acute angle.

Further, such dumbbell supports, while providing vertical adjustability, do not have and or have only limited means for horizontal adjustment of the pair of dumbbell rests relative to each other. Thus, dumbbell rests which are fixed at a given spacing on a support frame(s) may not be in an ideal position for some weightlifters to easily grasp the dumbbells or, at the completion of the exercise, easily and safely placing the dumbbells back onto the rests.

In another dumbbell support design, the two side frames are connected by two telescopically interconnected crossbars. A pin is releasably extendable through aligned apertures in the ends of the two crossbars to adjust the horizontal spacing between the pair of dumbbell rests. However, one complete side frame, dumbbell rest, and crossbar must be manually lifted or dragged relative to the ground and urged toward or away from the opposed side frame. Due to the high weight levels which may be lifted, the support frame, crossbar, and rest represent a considerable weight which presents an inconvenience to the weightlifter in setting up the dumbbell rest support for an exercise. Further, this weight must be supported by the user in order to precisely align two apertures in the crossbars for insertion of the locking pin therethrough.

During an execution of a weight lifting exercise, good form and proper range of motion are very important for both safety and effectiveness. At the beginning of a lifting exercise, a lifter should assume a position that would allow the target muscle to be exercised to bear the weight. If the weight is transferred to the easily damaged ligaments or tendons, a serious injury may occur. So is the case when the lifter has completed his exercise and must return the dumbbells to the rack. The lifter must be able to return the dumbbells to the rack without further fatigue to his arms or back. For example, if the lifter has completed a set of exercises, and must return the dumbbells to the rack with his arms extended, and must accurately place the dumbbells in place, the lifter's back, shoulders, neck, or arms could be strained.

In using dumbbells, the dumbbells are typically stored in a rack or on the floor. The user must lift the dumbbells into the starting exercise position for chest or shoulder muscle exercises. The starting exercise position for various muscle groups is well off the ground. Attempts have been made to reduce or eliminate the need of a spotter for certain dumbbell lifting exercises. The attempts involve providing lifting equipment with a support rack as a built-in spotter. The idea is that the risk of injury may be reduced if the dumbbell can be presented to the lifter or can be returned on the rack by the lifter, while he is in a lifting position.

For example, one known dumbbell support attachment modifies a conventional weight lifting bench for use with dumbbells. The attachment includes a holder on which up to two dumbbells can be rested simultaneously. The holder is part of a rack assembly which is rigidly attached to both a horizontal support bar and a pair of vertical mounting legs. The holder defines two cutouts through which a lifter, as he lies on the weight bench, can reach to grab the dumbbell and lift it from its resting position.

Another known attachment that can be mounted on a weight lifting exercise equipment includes a rack assembly for holding up to two dumbbells, a pair of mounting legs rigidly attached to distal ends of the rack assembly and an extension bar slidably connected to opposing parts of the assembly for adjusting the span between the mounting legs. A drawback with these dumbbell support attachments is that the pair of dumbbells are positioned at 180 degree angle from each other. Therefore, the lifter is limited to initiate the lifting exercise from the same position every time, regardless of the muscle exercise to be conducted. The risk of muscle injury may be high, especially if the lifter has to shift or change muscle motions while lifting very heavy dumbbells.

Another known dumbbell position rack holds a single dumbbell. A pair of the dumbbell position racks are needed if two dumbbells are being used in an exercise routine. The pair of the dumbbell position racks can be positioned at a distance and an angle that are convenient for the start of various exercises. However, positioning of the dumbbell position rack involves lifting each rack and stand assembly individually, making the initial positioning rather cumbersome. In addition, the individual rack and stand assembly may be easily bumped out of place while being used.

Therefore, there is a need for a dumbbell rack that can be adjustable so that a lifter can initiate and complete various lifting exercises in different positions. The present inventor has realized this need, and has designed an automatic elevation adjustment mechanism, disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,001,314, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference. This prior work of the present inventor addresses some of the short comings of the prior art, but further improvements are desired. The present inventor has also designed multiple spotters as shown in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/881,567 publication No. 2005/0009671-A1, published Jan. 13, 2005 the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference.

A further need exists for a dumbbell rack that can be used with a traditional weight lifting bench or chair.

Another need exists for having a plurality of spotter assemblies for various different weight exercises.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment shown herein, an adjustable dumbbell rack assembly supports dumbbells for weight lifting exercises. The assembly comprises a pair of vertical supports; a rack supported by the pair of vertical supports; a first dumbbell holder positioned at a first end of the rack and a second dumbbell holder positioned at a second end of the rack; and a vertical back wall portion against which the dumbbell may stop when the dumbbell is dropped on the rack in either of the first and the second dumbbell holder positions.

The first and the second dumbbell holder positions may be defined by a cutout for allowing a user to see and reach dumbbells placed on the rack in a plurality of angular orientations. The leading edge of the rack may include a take-off plate which temporarily positions the dumbbell at the leading edge for moving the dumbbell to the exercise position. The take-off plate may be defined by a plate having a peripheral rim around the plate, the plate and the rim being positioned adjacent to the leading edge of the rack. The plate and peripheral rim may be profiled to receive and retain the weights of the dumbbell therein.

The rack may be adjustably fastened between the pair of vertical supports for supporting the rack horizontally allowing for adjusting the height of the rack. Each of the first and the second dumbbell holder positions define a front lip portion for limiting a dumbbell from sliding. The first and the second dumbbell holder positions are adjustably fastened to the rack, whereby the distance between the first dumbbell holder and the second dumbbell holder is adjustable.

The vertical supports may define two legs and a base. The rack and the legs have a complementary locking mechanism for adjustably fastening the rack to the legs.

In another embodiment, an adjustable dumbbell rack assembly for supporting dumbbells for weight lifting exercises is shown. The assembly comprises a pair of vertical supports; a rack supported by the pair of vertical supports; a first dumbbell holder positioned at a first end of the rack and a second dumbbell holder positioned at a second end of the rack; and wherein each of the first and second dumbbell holder positions are defined by a cutout for allowing a user to see and reach dumbbells placed on the rack in a plurality of angular orientations. The adjustable dumbbell rack may further comprise a vertical back wall portion against which the dumbbell may stop when the dumbbell is dropped on the rack in either of the first and the second dumbbell holder positions.

The first and second holder positions may define an angle relative to the rack of up to forty-five degrees. The rack may defines a concave portion. The rack may define a backstop. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly may further comprise a plurality of weight holders located at a height proximate that of the first and second dumbbell holder positions.

The rack may be adjustably fastened between the pair of vertical supports for supporting the rack horizontally allowing for adjusting the height of the rack. Each of the first and the second dumbbell holder positions may define a front lip portion for limiting a dumbbell from sliding. The first and the second dumbbell holder positions may be adjustably fastened to the rack, whereby the distance between the first dumbbell holder and the second dumbbell holder is adjustable.

The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly may further include a fastener associated with each of the first and second holder positions capable of attaching the first and second holder positions to the rack wherein each of the first and the second dumbbell holders defines an elongated slot for receiving each of the fasteners. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly may further include a fastener associated with each of the first and second holder positions capable of attaching the first and second holder positions to the rack wherein each of the first and the second dumbbell holders defines a plurality of holes for receiving one of holder fasteners. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly may further include a fastener associated with each of the first and second holder positions capable of attaching the first and second holder positions to the rack wherein the rack defines a plurality of holes for receiving fasteners for fastening the first and the second dumbbell holders to the rack.

The vertical supports may define two legs and a base. The rack and the legs have complimentary locking mechanism for adjustably fastening the rack to the legs. The first and second holder positions define an angle relative to the rack of up to forty-five degrees. The rack may define a concave portion. The rack may define a backstop. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly may further comprise a plurality of weight holders located at a height proximate that of the first and second dumbbell holder positions.

In another embodiment, an adjustable dumbbell rack assembly is provided for supporting dumbbells for weight lifting exercises. The assembly comprises a pair of vertical supports; a rack supported by the pair of vertical supports, the rack being substantially comprised of a generally rigid flat plate portion, and a generally vertical backstop portion; a first dumbbell holder position at a first end of the rack; and a second dumbbell holder position at a second end of the rack, each of the first and the second dumbbell holder positions defining a cutout for allowing a user to see and reach dumbbells placed on the rack.

An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly may be provided wherein a depth of the flat plate portion is greater than a width of a barbell to be placed on the rack. The rack and the first and second dumbbell holder positions may all be integrated into a unitary construction. The first and second dumbbell holder positions may be integrated into discrete first and second racks. The rack includes a lip portion surrounding a portion of the cutouts, to provide a placement mechanism for dumbbells. The cutouts are defined for allowing a user to see and reach dumbbells placed on the rack in a plurality of angular orientations. The rack further comprises an adjustment mechanism for raising and lowering the rack relative to the vertical supports.

In another embodiment, an adjustable dumbbell rack assembly supports dumbbells for weight lifting exercises. The assembly comprises a pair of vertical supports; a rack assembly for supporting dumbbells, the rack comprising collars attached at opposite ends thereof, and being vertically movable relative to the vertical supports; and latch members for holding the collars to the vertical supports; whereby the rack assembly is held in a vertical position along the vertical supports.

The rack may be provided with a first dumbbell holder positioned at a first end of the rack and a second dumbbell holder positioned at a second end of the rack; and wherein each of the first and second dumbbell holder positions are defined by a cutout for allowing a user to see and reach dumbbells placed on the rack in a plurality of angular orientations. The latch members may be in the form of popper pins provided in the collars, which can be pulled in order to vertically move the collars and the rack. The rack assembly comprises a cross bar attached to the collars, and the first and second dumbbell holders are positioned on the cross bar. The first and second dumbbell holders may be laterally movable on the cross bar. The cross bar may be comprised of a rectangular bar. The first and second dumbbell holders may be laterally movable on the rectangular bar. The first and second dumbbell holders are mounted to collars which are slidably mounted to the rectangular bar.

The dumbbell holders may be comprised of horizontal plate portions, movably attached to the cross bar. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly may further comprise a backstop portion. The backstop portion may span the width of the uprights, and be attached to the vertically movable collars, and move upwardly and downwardly with the cross bar. The backstop portion may be attached to the horizontal plate portions and be movable therewith. The rack may be a one piece unit, which spans the width of the uprights, and be attached to the vertically movable collars.

In yet another embodiment, an exercise system may comprise a dumbbell support system, for supporting dumbbells at a first vertical height; a bench; and individual dumbbell supports for flanking the bench and receiving a dumbbell on opposite side of the bench, at a second vertical height.

The second vertical height may be lower than the first vertical height. The bench may have at least a substantially horizontal position, at a third vertical height. The first vertical height has a range at least between 40-44″. The second vertical height has a range at least between 16-20″. The third vertical height has a range at least between 20-22″.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts an overall configuration of one embodiment of a spotter configuration.

FIG. 2 shows the upright portion of FIG. 1 with a square cross-sectional post;

FIG. 3 shows uprights similar to that of FIG. 2 showing a cylindrical cross-sectional post;

FIG. 4 shows the upright of FIG. 2 with a cross-bar having laterally movable supports;

FIG. 4A shows an enlarged portion of the area depicted in FIG. 4;

FIG. 4B shows an alternate laterally moveable sleeve to that shown in FIG. 4B;

FIG. 5 shows a vertical support similar to that shown in FIG. 2 with a holding mechanism which can drop from the top bar of the support;

FIG. 6 shows an embodiment similar to that of FIG. 5 having double vertical drop mechanisms mounted to laterally movable support members on a vertically adjustable support bar;

FIG. 7 shows a horizontal bar which is split in the center and has a locking collar to lock the two split bars together;

FIG. 7A shows the horizontal bar of FIG. 7, with the locking collar moved to the right, showing the individual bars released;

FIG. 8 shows two rotatably moveable mounts with upstanding pedestal rods;

FIG. 9 shows a rack mounted dumbbell holding apparatus vertically adjustable on two vertical uprights;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged view of the portion depicted in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged view of FIG. 10 less the dumbbell;

FIG. 12 shows a second embodiment of spotter mounted to a horizontal upright similar to that of FIG. 4B;

FIG. 13 shows the spotter platforms of FIG. 12 on an upright similar to that of FIG. 7;

FIG. 13A is a modified spotter of FIG. 12;

FIG. 13B shows an enlarged view of the spotter tray in enlarged view showing the centering device of the spotter;

FIGS. 14 and 15 show a third embodiment of a spotter mounted on a convex support bar;

FIG. 16 shows the detail of the spotters mounted on the crossbar of FIGS. 14 and 15;

FIG. 17 shows a view similar to that of FIG. 14-16 where the spotters are mounted on a concave cross bar;

FIG. 18 shows a double sided spotter, which can be mounted to a vertical drop mechanism of FIG. 5;

FIG. 19 shows double sided spotter of FIG. 18 for the opposite side;

FIG. 20 shows spotters similar to that of FIG. 12 mounted on a double sided assembly similar to that of FIG. 6;

FIG. 21 shows an embodiment similar to that of FIG. 20 however with a further and second spotter assembly attached to the vertical drop members;

FIG. 21A shows an enlarged view of the second spotter assembly of FIG. 21:

FIGS. 22-23 show yet another embodiment of a spotter assembly having a double peg assembly for attaching the spotters in multiple orientations;

FIG. 24 shows inclined spotters mounted on the upright of FIG. 8;

FIG. 25 shows the spotter assemblies of FIG. 12 mounted on the upright of FIG. 8;

FIG. 26 shows the spotters of FIG. 25 with a second spotter assembly positioned on the back side thereof;

FIG. 27 shows the front perspective view of another spotter embodiment;

FIG. 28 shows a top view of the spotter taken through lines 28-28 of FIG. 27;

FIG. 29 shows a front perspective view of the spotter of FIG. 27;

FIG. 30 shows a front perspective view of another spotter embodiment;

FIG. 31 shows the spotter of FIG. 30 with a dumbbell resting in a static position;

FIG. 32A shows an incline rack for a plurality of dumbbells;

FIG. 32B shows an incline rack, similar to that of FIG. 32A, with a further arch-shaped holder;

FIG. 32C shows the incline rack of FIG. 32C, shown loaded with dumbbells.

FIG. 33 shows a rotatable carousel for the storage of a plurality of dumbbells;

FIG. 34 shows another carousel for mounting adjacent to the vertical uprights of the exercise equipment described above;

FIG. 35 shows a vertical pedestal for mounting adjacent to the vertical uprights and for rotatably mounting the carousel with FIG. 34;

FIG. 36 shows a first carousel portion mounted to the vertical pedestal;

FIG. 37 shows a detailed view of the first stage carousel of FIG. 36;

FIG. 38 shows a second stage carousel portion which is attachable to the first stage portion of FIG. 37;

FIG. 39 shows the complete assembly of the first and second stage carousel portions with dumbbell weights in their stored positions;

FIGS. 40-43 show novel arrangements of storage racks for free weights;

FIG. 44 shows a vertically moveable dumbbell safety holder attached to the vertical uprights;

FIGS. 45 and 46 show enlarged and detailed views of the safety holders shown in FIG. 44;

FIG. 47 shows a safety holder with three axes of movement and which is fixed to the vertical uprights;

FIG. 48 is an enlarged view of one of the safety holders shown in FIG. 47;

FIG. 49 is an enlarged view of the portion denoted in FIG. 48;

FIG. 50 is an enlarged view of one of the safety holders shown in FIG. 47;

FIG. 51 is a view similar to that of FIG. 47 showing the safety holders in a modified position;

FIG. 52 shows portable safety holder pedestals flanking the position which would include a workout bench; and

FIGS. 53 and 54 show enlarged views of the portable safety holders of FIG. 52.

FIG. 55 shows an adjustable and portable safety holder similar to that shown in FIG. 47;

FIG. 56 shows a front perspective view of the adjustable safety holder FIG. 55;

FIG. 57 shows a rear perspective view similar to that of FIG. 56;

FIGS. 58 and 59 show front and rear perspective views, respectively of the adjustable plate of the adjustable safety holders in an extended position;

FIG. 60 shows an alternate version of the safety holder of FIG. 55;

FIGS. 61-63 show cross-sectional views through the adjustable plate with varying sizes of dumbbell weights; and

FIGS. 64-66 show a users placing various size dumbbell weights into the adjustable safety holder.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

With reference first to FIG. 1 an overall exercise equipment setup is shown as 2 spotting and temporarily storing a plurality of dumbbells. It should be appreciated that the initial discussion of the overall system will be described in a manner to introduce the various elements for discussion purposes. For example, as shown in FIG. 1 the spotter mechanism is shown generally at 4 which includes floor mount pedestals 6 with vertical uprights 8 extending upward from the floor pedestals 6 and which holds a spotter 10 for holding and spotting dumbbells. Spotter mechanism 4 also includes a horizontal upright 14 connected to the vertical uprights.

FIG. 1 also shows a plurality of storage trays for example trays 16 are shown which flank the spotter mechanism 4 for holding individual dumbbells for exercising and for placing on spotter 10. Racks 18 also flank spotter mechanism 4 and can accumulate the plurality and in this case 11 dumbbells of various sizes and or weights for the exercise. It should be appreciated that the exact configuration of the racks 18 is not material to the invention although in this embodiment the racks 18 are shown as individual racks which would flank a bench (not shown) which would be positioned adjacent to the spotter mechanism 4. Also racks 20 are shown mounted directly to pedestal 6 and again provide a mechanism for holding the plurality of dumbbells with that background, a plurality of uprights, crossbars, adjustment mechanisms and spotter assemblies will be described.

As described above, the system mainly comprises some type of vertical uprights, in this case square cross-sectional uprights 8, some type of cross bar or holding mechanism to attach to the vertical uprights, and further, some type of spotter, in this case spotter 10. In this particular application, Applicant has conceived multiple different combinations of vertical uprights, cross bars and spotters, and multiple combinations thereof.

Thus, the application will proceed with a discussion of the possible uprights with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3; with multiple cross bar and retation mechanisms with reference to FIGS. 4-8; and with multiple spotters with reference to FIGS. 9-23. Furthermore, various other combinations are possible as referenced in FIGS. 24-27

With respect now to FIG. 2, the vertical uprights 8 are shown without the spotter 10 attached and the vertical uprights are shown more clearly. As shown in FIG. 2, vertical uprights 8 are square in cross section and include a plurality of apertures 26 as will be described herein. Vertical uprights 8 are attached to pedestals 6 by way of cross bracing 15.

With respect now to FIG. 3, and alternatively, vertical uprights can be cylindrical in shape, as shown at 8′. Vertical uprights 8′ also include a plurality of apertures 26 which will be described herein. It should be appreciated from viewing FIG. 3 that vertical uprights 8′ are attached to floor mount pedestals 6 in a similar manner as described above. Also, horizontal top bar 14 is also attached to vertical uprights 8′ to complete the assembly.

With reference now to FIG. 4, a first version of crossbar 30 is shown which spans between, and is interconnected to vertical uprights 8. Crossbar 30 generally includes mounting sleeves 32 having spring loaded popper pins 34, FIG. 4A. It should be appreciated that the popper pins 34 are pulled outwardly under a spring load, and have a pin projecting through sleeves 32 and into one of the apertures 26 to maintain the crossbar 30 in a particular vertical orientation. Thus, to move the crossbar 30 vertically, both popper pins would be pulled simultaneously, and the crossbar 30 lifted upwardly or allowed to move downwardly to its new vertical location, whereupon the popper pin is released to engage one of the apertures 26 on each side. It should also be appreciated that the sleeves 32 may have a bearing type material internal to the sleeve, such as a nylon material, in order that the sleeves do not scratch and/or bind upon traversing the vertical uprights 8.

With respect still to FIGS. 4 and 4A, crossbar 30 also includes laterally moveable sleeves 40 having popper pins 42 which will engage apertures on the bottom side of crossbar 30 (not shown). Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 4B, an alternate sleeve 40′ can be provided which includes a vertical rod 44 upon which a spotter can be positioned as will be described further herein. In a similar manner as described above with respect to FIG. 4A, popper pins 34 engage apertures 26, in order to move in multiple preset lateral positions. In this manner, crossbar 30 can be moved in a vertical sense upwardly and downwardly on a crossbars 8 and held in place by popper pins 34, while at the same time sleeves 40 are laterally moveable along crossbar 30 and held in a lateral position by way of popper pins 42.

With respect now to FIG. 5, a center vertical drop rod is shown at 46 which is mounted to top bar 14 by way of a sleeve 48. The rod 46 could be permanently mounted to the top bar through the sleeve 48; alternatively, the drop rod 46 could be moveable upwardly and downwardly, through the use of a popper pin, through sleeve 48, as described above. Alternatively, by such structure as by welding or by bolts or other similar manner. Alternatively, central vertical drop rod 46 extends downwardly in a generally parallel manner with vertical uprights 8 and also includes a plurality of apertures 50.

With reference now to FIG. 6, vertical uprights 8 are shown having another version of crossbar shown generally at 60. Crossbar 60 includes sleeves 62 having popper pins 64 for engagement with apertures on an inside surface of vertical uprights 8 as described above. Cross bar 60 further comprises laterally moveable sleeve 70 having attached thereto, a fixed sleeve 74 through which a vertically moveable bar 76 is provided. Sleeve 74 includes popper pins 78 which are engageable with apertures 80 to allow the vertically moveable bar 76 to traverse in a vertical direction while at the same time sleeves 70 allow for the entire bar 76 to move laterally towards and away from each other. Meanwhile popper pins 78 allow for the vertical movement of the bars 76. Finally, a cylindrical rod 82 is fixed to an end of the bars 76, and allow attachment of spotters as described herein.

With respect now to FIG. 7, the vertical uprights 8 of FIG. 3 are shown where a crossbar 90 is shown, comprised of two separate portions 92 and 94. With reference to FIG. 7A, crossbar 90 will be described in greater detail. Crossbar portion 92 includes a square tube portion 96 attached to a plate portion 98, in turn which is interconnected to a cylindrical sleeve 100. Popper pin 102 is attached to plate portion 98 where a pin of popper pin 102 intersects with the interior diameter of sleeve 100 in order to lock with apertures 26, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 7A. Crossbar portion 92 further includes a laterally moveable sleeve 106 having a popper pin 108 which will intersect with apertures (not shown) on the bottom of square tube 96. Sleeve 106 further includes an upstanding tube 110 on which a spotter may be positioned and held in place. Finally square tube 96 includes a free end portion 112 adjacent to crossbar portion 94 as further described herein.

Crossbar portion 94 is similar in nature to crossbar portion 92 including a square tube 120 attached to a plate portion 122, which in turn is attached to cylindrical sleeve 124 where popper pin 126 is attached plate portion 122 and intersects cylindrical tube 124 as previously described. Crossbar portion 94 also includes a laterally moveable sleeve 130 having a popper pin 132, and an upstanding tube 134 attached to the top of laterally moveable sleeve 130. Finally, crossbar portion 94 includes a locking sleeve 140 having a popper pin 142. It should be appreciated that locking sleeve 140 is laterally moveable to the right (as viewed in FIG. 7A) to expose a free end 141 of square tube 120 to allow the two ends to be proximate in location. As shown in FIG. 7A, the locking sleeve 140 is moved to the right, which exposes gap 143. As shown in FIG. 7, locking sleeve 140 is moved to the left and popper pin 142 can be locked to an aperture (not shown) adjacent free end 112 to lock the two square tubes 96, 120 together.

With respect now to FIG. 8, crossbar assembly 150 is shown including individual crossbars 152 and 154. Crossbars 152 and 154 are attached to vertical uprights such as 8′, Crossbar portions 152 and 154 include a horizontal tube portion 156 attached to a sleeve 158 having popper pins 160 therein. Crossbar portions 152 and 154 also include a vertical tube 158 having a cylindrical cross section and being fixedly attached to the horizontal tubes 156. Finally, locking collars 166 are attached having popper pins 168. Thus it should be appreciated that locking collars 166 can be traversed upwardly and downwardly along vertical uprights 8′ and that popper pins 168 can be locked in appropriate apertures 26 (FIG. 3) and sleeves 158 are thereby positionable above locking collars 166 and can either be fixed in place and locked by their popper pins 160 or the popper pins can be released and the crossbar portions 152, 154 can be rotated outwardly towards the lifter.

Thus as described above, multiple vertical uprights and crossbar configurations have been described with reference to FIGS. 1-8. Multiple spotter assemblies will now be discussed which are usable with the vertical uprights and crossbar assemblies discussed above.

With reference now to FIGS. 9-11 a first spotter is shown which is defined as a shelf 180 having a horizontal surface 182 and includes a vertical back wall portion 184 to form a right-angled configuration. The spotter 180 also includes 2 openings at 186 defined by a cutout in the horizontal portion 182 and which is defined by vertically positioned strip portions 188 which flank the opening 186 which resist the side to side movement of the dumbbell 12 when positioned over the cutout 186.

With reference still to FIGS. 9-11, the shelf spotter 180 is rigidly attached to sleeve members 190 having popper pins 192. As should be appreciated, the popper pins 192 can be pulled outwardly to release the sleeve members 190, whereupon the shelf spotter at 180 can be moved upwardly and downwardly along vertical uprights 8 to any desired vertical position.

With reference now to FIG. 11, the shelf spotter 180 can include a takeoff plate 194 positioned on each side of openings 186 where the takeoff plate 194 includes a plate portion 196 having a raised boundary at 198 whereupon the dumbbell can be moved forwardly off of the surface 182 and rolled on the takeoff plate 196, whereupon a lifter can conveniently position the dumbbell close to the edge of the shelf for easily transitioning the dumbbell to the appropriate exercise position. Thus the lifter can preposition the dumbbells 12 for easily transitioning to an exercise, and advantageously, due to the rigidity of the shelf horizontal portion 182 together with the rigidity of the vertical backstop, the lifter can almost drop the dumbbells onto the shelf spotter 180 without having to strain his arms, neck or back by setting the dumbbell down into a specific position or slot on the spotter.

With reference now to FIG. 12, spotters 200 are provided in the form of a tray which are mounted on laterally moveable sleeves 40 as referred to above in FIG. 4. Next shown in FIG. 12, the tray spotters 200 each include horizontal portions 202 having back stop portions 204 with a cutout at 206 where the cutout 206 and the front edge includes an upstanding rim portion at 208. As described above, the dumbbell can be positioned over the opening 206 and the dumbbell weights can reside in the position between the cutout and held in a secure position by way of the rim 208. As also shown in FIG. 12, the tray spotters 200 can include a mounting tube 210 which is slidably receivable over the upstanding rods 44 (FIG. 4B) together with a locking nut 212 which can be tightened to lock the tray spotters in a particular angular orientation on the vertical rods 44 for the proper position. Thus, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 12, the crossbar 30 can be moved upwardly and downwardly by way of the mounting sleeves 32, each of the tray spotters 200 can be moved laterally by way of the sleeves 40 (FIG. 4) and the tray spotters 200 can be moved in an angular orientation by virtue of tubes 210 being positioned over the vertical rods 44.

With respect now to FIG. 13, tray spotters 200 can also be attached to the crossbar 90, from FIGS. 7 and 7A where tubes 210 are positioned over upstanding tubes 134 (FIG. 7A) in this manner, crossbar 90 can be used alternatively as a fixed crossbar as depicted in FIG. 13, or the crossbar can be detached by the locking sleeve 140, and the two halves 92, 94 rotated about the cylindrical vertical upright 8 in manner similar to that discussed with respect to FIG. 12.

With respect now to FIGS. 13A and 13B a modified tray spotter 200′ is shown attached to crossbar 90. As shown in FIG. 13B, the tray spotter 200′ is similar to the tray spotter 200 including horizontal portions 202′ and backstop portions 204′, and a cutout portion 206′. In this embodiment however, the backstop portion 204′ includes a centering device 205, generally centrally located relative to the cutout portion 206′. In this embodiment, the centering device centers the dumbbell as it is replaced on the tray spotter 200′ and therefore does not require the lip portion surrounding the cutout 206′. In other words, centering device 205 will protrude into the space between the weights on the dumbbell, aligning the dumbbell centrally onto the tray spotter 200′ such that the dumbbell does not fall through the cutout 206′. This allows the cutout portion 206′ to be wider that otherwise possible as the dumbbell is centered relative to the tray spotter 200′.

With respect now to FIGS. 14-16, yet another spotter is shown as a convex tray spotter 220 which is interconnected to two vertical uprights 8. As shown best in FIG. 16, convex spotter 220 includes a crossbar assembly comprised of crossbar 222 in combination with crossbar portions 224, 226 whereby spotter tray portions 228, 230 are laterally moveable on their crossbar portions 224, 226. It should be appreciated that each of the tray portions 228, 230 includes a sleeve 232, and popper pins 234 allow the trays 228 or 230 to be laterally moveable along a respective crossbar and locked in place. With reference still to FIG. 216, spotter 220 further includes vertical sleeves 240 having popper pins 242 for vertically positioning spotter 220 relative to vertical uprights 8 as shown in FIG. 15. As best shown in FIG. 16, the individual tray spotters 228, 230 includes a single piece curvilinear plate 250 having raised portions at 252 and recessed radius portions at 254 with a backstop wall at 256. As in previous designs, cutouts 258 are defined with plates 260 flanking the opening 258. Thus the dumbbells can be positioned with the weights in the recessed portions 254 against the back wall 256 and plates 260 prevent lateral movement of the dumbbells relative to the cutouts 258.

Alternatively as shown in FIG. 17, a concave spotter 260 is shown similar to that of the spotter 220 shown in FIG. 16, where tray spotters 228 and 230 are slidably mounted on a concave crossbar defined by crossbar portions 264 and 266.

With respect now to FIGS. 18 and 19, another spotter 280 is shown having two spotters; a first spotter 282 positioned on one side of spotter assembly 280 and another spotter 284 (FIG. 19) positioned on the opposite side thereof. Both potters 282 and 284 have a common platform 286 with spotter 282 being angled as shown in FIG. 18 with two cutout portions 288 having backstops 290 situated behind each of the cutouts 288. As in other embodiments, a rim 292 is provided defining a perimeter around the cutouts 288. With reference now to FIG. 19, spotter 284 is similar in nature to spotter 282, however is a linear version providing cutouts 296 defined by a raised ridge 298. Backstop portions 300 are positioned behind each of the cutouts 296 for the purpose mentioned above. A cylindrical collar is provided at 302 which attached to square tube 304 whereby an internal cylindrical tube (not shown) is provided allowing the entire spotter 280 to rotate relative to square tube 302. Thus in this embodiment, square tube 304 is attachable to sleeve 48 (FIG. 5) whereby the entire spotter 280 can be raised and lowered relative to top crossbar 14 and either of the spotters 282 or 284 may be utilized by simply spinning the member around.

With respect now to FIG. 20, tray spotters 200 are also useable with the crossbar mechanism 60 of FIG. 6, which again allows crossbar mechanism 60 to be vertically moved; allows sleeves 70 to be laterally moved; and allows post 76 to be vertically moved. Finally due to the connection of spotters 200 on cylindrical rods 82 (FIG. 6), the spotters 200 can also be rotated to a proper position for the particular exercise.

With respect now to FIGS. 21 and 21A, a modification to the spotter configuration of FIG. 20 is shown whereby spotters 200 are positioned above an inclined spotter 310. Inclined spotter 310 is shown in particular in FIG. 21A having a platform support portion 312, with a tubular upright 314 having a locking screw 316. The inclined spotter is defined by a substantially cylindrical member shown at 318. A lower and substantially vertical plate portion is shown at 320 with support rods 322 extending outwardly from the plate 320. At the end of each of the support rods 322 are support balls 324, whereby a dumbbell can be positioned on its end and set on the support rods with the other end of the dumbbell positioned in the cylindrical portion 318. Balls 324 prevent the dumbbell from sliding off the support rods 322 and also allow for an easy transition from the weight of the dumbbell to a lifter's shoulders.

With reference now to FIGS. 22 and 23 another spotter is shown at 340 comprised of a crossbar 342, sleeve members 344 and a removable spotter 346. Sleeves 344 include a first post 348 which is positioned at a substantially 45 degree angle relative to the longitudinal sleeve 344 and another post 350 which is positioned in a substantially parallel manner with the sleeve 344. Each of the posts 348 and 450 include a plurality of apertures at 352.

Meanwhile spotter 346 includes a structural support member 358 having a vertical tube 360 and a pair of cylindrical shaped pads at 362. As shown in FIG. 23, the spotters 346 can be positioned with their vertical sleeves 360 positioned over alternative posts 348 and 350 (FIG. 22) to provide for alternative positions or orientations relative to the longitudinal bar 342. As shown in FIG. 23, the spotters 346 are positioned in a parallel manner relative to the longitudinal bar 342. It should be appreciated that bar 342 could also include sleeves at its ends to allow for the vertical orientation of the bar 342 in a like manner to that shown in FIG. 6.

With respect now to FIGS. 24-26, crossbar portion 150 is shown (as previously described in FIG. 8) with previously described spotter mechanisms positioned thereon. For example as shown in FIG. 24, inclined spotter 310 is shown attached to upright 158; as shown in FIG. 25, spotter 200 is positioned on upright 158; and in FIG. 26 both spotter 200 and 310 are both attached to uprights 158.

Thus as shown above, multiple different exercises are possible from multiple spotters. It is possible to have one or more spotters for a selected home or professional gym, or it is possible to have all of the spotters set up for multiple different exercises. It should be appreciated that many of the spotters are usable with different seating arrangements. For example, and with reference to FIG. 23, spotters 310 and 200 could be used with a chair and the lifter can face the spotter and perform multiple exercises. Alternatively, the lifter can use a bench and lie flat on his back and use the spotter 200 in a bench press mode. Obviously, the spotters shown and depicted herein will have multiple uses to those avid body builders.

As shown in 27, another spotter embodiment is shown generally at 400 which includes a fixed backstop portion 402 and slidable dumbbell trays 404. The sliding trays 404 slide along horizontal upright 30 which was described above. Trays 404 also slide on horizontal guides 40. Sliding trays 404 move irrespective of the fixed backstop allowing the trays to be positioned at multiple lateral positions. As best shown in FIG. 28, backstop 402 is attached to horizontal upright 30 by way of spacers 406 with typical hardware fasteners such as 408. Thus in this embodiment trays 404 can be moved laterally along horizontal upright as shown by the arrows in FIG. 29 yet also contained the backstop 402 for receiving the dumbbells when dropped in the trays 404.

FIG. 30 shows yet another embodiment of a spotter, shown generally at 500. The spotter 500 is attachable as shown in FIG. 31 to a crossbar such as 30, by way of the slidable sleeve 40 prime, see also FIG. 4(b).

As shown in FIG. 30, spotter 50 generally includes a frame portion 502 defined by rods 504 and upright rods 506 and 508. Receiving rods 510 are attached at one end to rods 504, and at an upper end to rods 508. Receiving plates 512 are attached at an upper end of rods 510 and are rigidified by support rods 514. As shown, plates 512 are somewhat flared open to receive a plurality of sizes of dumbbells as will be described further herein. At a lower end of rods 510 is an end plate 516 which will receive an end of the dumbbell in a resting position. Balls 518 are also positioned at an end of rods 510 to prevent a dumbbell from escaping the rods 510 when dropped as more fully described below. Spotter 500 also includes a mounting portion 520 which includes a mounting plate 522 attached to rods 504 and the mounting tube 524 extending through rods 504 and attached to a backside of plate 522. A securing screw is positioned as shown at 530 having a threaded portion extending through tube 524 as is well known in the art.

As shown in FIG. 31, the dumbbell 12 can be dropped on spotter 500 with one dumbbell hitting plates 512 and the other end of the dumbbell hitting rods 510. The dumbbell can then be slid down rods 510 to a resting position against plate 516 as shown in FIG. 31.

With reference now to FIG. 32A, a dumbbell rack is shown at 600 generally comprised of a support upright assembly 602 comprised of individual vertical uprights 604 and horizontal feet portion 606. At the upper end of the rack 600 is a tray shown generally at 610 providing a plurality of channels 612, 614, 616 and 618; and a pair of generally horizontally extending channels 620 and 622. Rack 600 further includes placards 624, 626, 628 and 630 for identification of the weight positioned in its corresponding channel as well as a placard at 632 and 634 for identification of the weight and corresponding channel 620 and 622. While it is contemplated that any size in configuration of rack can be configured, it may be provided that the channels are configured as follows:

Channel 61215 lbs;
Channel 61420 lbs;
Channel 61625 lbs;
Channel 61830 lbs;
Channel 62035 lbs; and
Channel 62240 lbs.

In addition, and with respect to FIG. 32B, a modified incline rack is shown at 600′, which again includes a support upright assembly 602 comprised of individual vertical uprights 604 and horizontal feet portion 606. At the upper end of the rack 600 is a tray shown generally at 610 providing a plurality of channels 612, 614, 616 and 618; and a pair of generally horizontally extending channels 620 and 622. In addition, an arch-shaped holder 650 extends above the tray 610, and includes two cup-shaped holders 652, two cup-shaped holders 654, two cup-shaped holders 656, and two cup-shaped holders 658. The holders are configured as follows:

Channel 65212 lbs;
Channel 65410 lbs;
Channel 656 8 lbs; and
Channel 658 5 lbs.

With reference now to FIG. 33, a carousel is shown at 700, where the carousel is rotatable about 360 degrees. Carousel 700 would include a support frame such as 702 upon which a rotative support is provided. This support may be in the form of a lower bearing or other type of assembly, but in the embodiment disclosed, the rotative support 704 is a model number CA-40-4 available from TNS Equipment Company in Angola, Ind. Attached to the rotative support is a circular support plate shown at 706. Stacked above the cylindrical plate 706, is a plurality of support frames such 708 which generally holds a multi-sided carousel section defined by a plurality of plate portions, such as 710 which extend upwardly to an upper plate 712.

It should be appreciated that the plates 110 terminate along an upper edge which matches the multisided upper plate 712. Upper plate 712 includes a center opening around which a support bearing 714 is positioned through which a center pivot rod 716 extends. Each plate portion 710 has a semi-cylindrical trough such as 718 attached to it. Where each includes a semi-cylindrical plate portion 720, and a semi-circular plate portion 722. Semi-cylindrical trough portion 718 further include a hand grip shown at 730 which is attached to each of the trough portions 718 by way of a rigid strip 732. In this manner a plurality of dumbbells 12 can be placed in troughs 718, and hand grips 730 can be grasped and the entire carousel may be spun like a turntable about rod 716 to locate the desired weighted dumbbell.

With reference now to FIG. 34, another carousel is shown at 800, and includes multi-stages of dumbbell support attachments. For example dumbbell support 800 includes a first stage support shown at 802, coupled with a second stage support shown at 804. These two support stages are assembled together and are rotatable about a vertical upright such as 806.

With reference first to FIG. 35, vertical upright 806 is shown which would be coupled to one of the multiple vertical uprights shown previously for example in FIGS. 1 through 8. Vertical upright 806 would include a cylindrical spindle such as 808 upon which carousel 800 would rotate.

With reference next to FIGS. 36 and 37, first stage portion 802 will be shown in greater detail. First stage portion 802 includes a triangular plate portion 810 having a cylindrical rod 812 centrally located therein. The cylindrical rod may be fixed to the triangular plate portion 810 with the cylindrical spindle extending therethrough. The cylindrical rod may have a bearing 814 positioned therein, which may any type of rotationally assisted bearing. However, Applicants have incorporated two oil impregnated bushings 814 (one at each end of cylindrical rod 812). The bushings are available from Bearing Service in Woodhaven, Mich. They are oil-impregnated bushings part number EF162016 having a 1″ inner diameter.

At each triangular corner, a semi-cylindrical trough portion 816 is mounted which extends in an inclined manner to coincide and intersect with tubular portion 812. Plate portion 810 includes apertures 820 positioned transverse to a triangular side 822, and form the mounting portion for the second stage portions to be described below.

With reference now to FIG. 38 the second stage portion 804 is shown which includes two holder portions 830 and 832. The second stage portion 804 includes a rod 834 attached to a transverse rod portion 836 which in turn are attached downwardly extending vertical rods 838. Vertical rods 838 then support horizontal rods at 840.

First holder 830 is attached to bar 834 as shown in FIG. 38 and includes a cylindrical holder at 850 with a semi-cylindrical back stop portion at 852. Meanwhile holder 832 includes a semi-cylindrical cradle at 854 with end plates at end 856. An upper extending rod 860 is attached to horizontal rod 840 which will form a hand grip portion as described below.

As described above second stage portion 804 can be attached first stage portion 802 by positioning fasteners 860 (FIG. 38) through openings 820 (FIG. 37) such that three second stage portions 804 are positioned intermediate each of the semi-cylindrical portions 816 to define the configuration shown in FIG. 34. Thus as shown each carousel 800 includes nine separate dumbbell holders at each end, that is attached to each to upright 806 or 19 dumbbells total can be positioned intermediate to the uprights, as shown best in FIG. 39.

With reference now to FIGS. 40-42, a plurality of free weight holders are shown. As shown in FIG. 40, a free weight holder at 900 is shown comprised of a lower frame portion 902 having a horizontal support bar at 904 and a circular and tubular bar at 906. At various lateral locations, holding pegs 908 are attached to bars 904 and 906 to position free weights 912 thereon.

With reference now to FIG. 41, a holder 920 is shown as a variation to holder 900 where instead of a circular bar 906, a rectangular frame up right is shown at 922 to hold the plurality of free weights 912.

With respect to FIG. 42, a triangular shaped member is shown 924 having a triangular upright portion 926, again positioning the plurality of free weights 912 on a plurality of pegs 908.

With respect now to FIG. 43, a trapezoidal shaped member is shown at 930 having a generally trapezoidally shaped portion having upright portions 932 and a horizontal portion 934, positioning the plurality of free weights 912 on a plurality of pegs 908.

With respect to FIG. 44, a first embodiment of a safety holder assembly is shown at 1000 which includes a platform portion 1002, a vertical upright portion 1004, a vertically moveable sleeve 1006, and a safety tray 1008. As shown, the platform portion 1002 includes two leg portions 1010 and 1012 (as best shown in FIG. 46) which would flank leg portion 6 of the vertical uprights and would be attached by either a spring loaded pin or other fastener (not shown).

With respect now to FIGS. 45 and 46, vertical upright portion 1004 is shown with a plurality of vertically spaced apertures 1014 for vertical adjustment of the safety holder trays 1008. Vertically moveable sleeve 1006 includes a spring loaded popper pin 1016 which is normally biased inwardly and which would project through one of the vertical alignment apertures 1014 as is well known in art. Thus to move the safety holder tray 1008 vertically upwardly or downwardly, the user would grasp handle 1018 with one hand, pull the popper pin 1016 and move the vertically moveable sleeve upwardly or downwardly along vertical upright 1004 to the proper vertical position until the popper pin finds one of the apertures 1014. Thus the use of the safety holders is in combination with the spotter trays 200 as follows.

In the case where a bench is positioned intermediate the two spotter assemblies 100 and the user is using the bench for a bench press type exercise, where the user lies flat on the bench with his or her back on the bench, a crossbar 90 would be placed in position such that the user can raise his or her arms grasp the dumbbells from the trays 200 and begin the bench press exercise. In the event that the user becomes so fatigued that he or she could not again lift the dumbbells to the vertical position of the spotter trays 200, the user can simply drop the dumbbells into the safety trays which flank the bench. It should be noted that the position of the safety trays 1008 would be generally in position of the “wingspan” of the user such as the dumbbells are simply dropped in the tray 1008.

With respect now to FIG. 47, a safety tray assembly 1020 is shown again attached to leg 6. Assembly 1020 generally includes a longitudinally moveable leg 1022, a laterally moveable leg 1024, a vertical leg 1026, a vertically moveable collar 1028, a rotatable collar 1030, and safety tray 1032.

With respect now to FIGS. 48-50, the operation of the safety holder 1020 will be described in greater detail. With respect to either FIG. 48 or FIG. 50, longitudinally moveable rail 1022 slides inside of leg 6 and includes a plurality of apertures 1034 which would operate in conjunction with a popper pin 1036 in a similar manner as described with respect to popper pin 1016 above.

Vertical upright 1026 is attached orthogonally to laterally moveable leg 1024 as shown and laterally moveable leg 1024 is slidable through a sleeve 1040. Sleeve 1040 includes a popper pin 1042 which cooperates with apertures 1044 in the laterally moveable leg 1024 to allow leg 1026, and safety holder 1032 to move laterally towards and away from a workout bench. With respect to FIGS. 48 and 49, vertically moveable sleeve 1028 is shown including a popper pin 1050 which would cooperate with any one of a plurality of apertures 1052 on vertical leg 1026. Sleeve 1028 is comprised of a square shaped sleeve 1060 which is fixedly retained to an upper ring 1062, an inner ring 1064 and lower ring 1066. Outer sleeve 1030 is trapped between upper 1062 and lower 1066 rings relative to inner sleeve 1064. As shown, inner sleeve 1064 includes apertures 1070 which cooperate with popper pin 1072 to provide a radial location for the safety tray 1032.

Thus in this embodiment, the safety tray assembly 1020 provides for four different degrees of freedom, namely along longitudinal axis LG, lateral axis LA, vertical axis VT and radial axis RA, as best shown in FIG. 50. Thus the user can move the entire assembly longitudinally by grasping popper pin 1036 and moving the assembly outwardly through leg 6 to a desired position. Popper pin 1042 can be lifted to move the safety tray 1022 towards or away from a workout bench. Handle 1074 can be grasped and moved vertically by grasping popper pin 1050 to the vertically proper position, and by grasping popper pin 1072 and moving the safety tray 1032 to the proper radial position.

While applicants have shown a four way positionable safety tray assembly, it should be understood that other degrees of freedom could easily be shown by having other radially moveable collars to move the tray in different angular positions. FIG. 51 shows one example of a possible setup for safety holders 1020 flanking a workout bench 1080.

With particular reference to FIG. 51, a particular orientation of the safety holders 1020 is shown, together with spotters 200, and bench 1080. In one orientation, the bench has a height (a) from the ground of approximately 21″, although it should be appreciated that this dimension could be varied to suit particular users, and is anticipated that this range be between 20-22″. The vertical height (b) of the safety holders will normally be set to a position below the height of the height “a” of the bench, and the height 18″ has been found to be comfortable. It should also be appreciated that the height “b” of the safety holders is relative to the height of the bench, but it anticipated that the height difference will be in the range of 2-6″. Finally, the height “c” of the spotters 200 is movable upwardly and downwardly to fit the user, but one comfortable position has been found to be 42″ from the ground. This too is relative to the bench height “a”, but the difference between the bench height “a” and the spotter height “c” will have a range at least 20-24″, and more than likely of approximately 15-28″, which is primarily dependent upon the length of the users arms.

Finally FIGS. 52-54 depict portable safety holders which can be moveable anywhere relative to a workout bench 1080 or relative to another workout station where the safety holders are shown as assemblies 1100. As shown in FIG. 53 and FIG. 54, assemblies 1100 are comprised of pedestals 1102 supporting a vertical upright 1104 which in turn supports a vertically moveable sleeve 1106. Safety tray 1108 is attached to the vertically moveable sleeve 1106 and is vertically moveable relative to vertical upright 1104 by way of a popper pin 1110 engaging any one of a plurality of apertures 1112 as should now be well understood by way of previous examples. Thus in this example, the pedestals could be moveable relative to a workout bench and moved in any orientation longitudinal or laterally of the bench, and at any angular orientation relative to the bench and vertically moveable by way of sleeve 1106.

With reference now to FIGS. 55-59, safety holder similar nature to that described as 1020 in FIG. 47 as shown, where the safety holder is adjustable. As shown in FIG. 55, safety holder 1200 is mounted to a vertical post 1026, as described with respect to FIG. 47, and thus need not be discussed further.

With respect to FIGS. 56 and 57, safety holders 1200 include a tray portion 1202 comprised of a lower plate portion 1204 side plate portions 1206, and a back plate portion 1208. On the back side of plate 1208, and as shown in FIG. 57, two tubes 1210 are mounted with thumbwheel screws 1212. An adjustable plate 1214 is positioned on the inside of the back plate 1208 and includes rods 1216 mounted on the back side of adjustable plate 1214 which are telescopically positioned in tubes 1210.

Thus it should be appreciated that the plate 1214 can be adjusted to a position spaced away from the back plate 1208, as shown in both of FIGS. 58 and 59, where thumbwheels 1212 are loosened to allow the telescopic movement of rods 1216 within tubes 1210, whereupon thumbwheel screws 1212 can be tightened again to hold the plate in infinitely variable number of positions, such as the positions shown in FIGS. 58 and 59. Alternatively, the adjustable plate 1214 can include square telescopic posts 1220 having apertures which align with apertures in a square tube 1222 where a popper pin 1224 can allow for incremental positioning of the adjustable plate 1214. Regardless of the version of adjustable plate shown, FIGS. 61-63 show three various positions for the adjustable plate 1214 relative to back plate 1208. Thus with reference to FIGS. 64-66, a users hand is shown gripping various sizes of dumbbells 12A, 12B, and 12C. It should be understood that the hand grip portion of the dumbbell increases in distance from the lower plate 1204 as the dumbbell weight increases. This is due to the fact that the weights on the end of the grip portion become larger in diameter as the weights increase, increasing also the distance from the hand grip to the lower plate 1204. Thus the user can set the adjustable plate at a variety of positions relative to the back plate 1208 depending upon the size of the dumbbell weight being used. This prevents the user from dropping the dumbbell weight onto one of the safety holders 1200 and hitting their wrist on the front edge 1220 of the lower plate 1204.