Title:
Free weight support device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A free weight support device for use with an exercise bench that is pivotally positionable between a first and second position, and having a base, first and second vertical members pivotally coupled to the base and positioned on opposite sides of the bench, and a foot member coupled to the first and second vertical members and operable by one or more feet of the weightlifter. The foot member being proximate to a front end of the bench and pivotally coupled to the base for pivotally adjusting the position of the first and second vertical members between a first position and a second position. When adjusted into the first position, the first and second vertical members are positioned generally vertically to support the weight of the free weights away from the weightlifter's arms. When adjusted into the second position, the first and second vertical members are pivotally positioned to permit the weightlifter to retrieve the free weights. The first and second vertical members include weight supports having notches to permit the retrieval and replacement of the free weight by the weightlifter.



Inventors:
Murray, Grant (London, CA)
Van Niekerk, Hubert (London, CA)
Application Number:
11/246183
Publication Date:
04/12/2007
Filing Date:
10/11/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/078
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GANESAN, SUNDHARA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GEORGE A. ROLSTON (TORONTO, ON, CA)
Claims:
1. A free weight support device for use with an exercise bench, the free weight support device comprising: (a) a base; (b) first and second vertical members positionable on opposite sides of the bench, the first and second vertical members being pivotally coupled to the base and adapted to support one or more free weights; and (c) a foot member coupled to the first and second vertical members and operable by one or more feet of a weightlifter, the foot member being proximate to a front end of the bench and pivotally coupled to the base for pivotally adjusting the position of the first and second vertical members between a first position and a second position, whereby in the first position the first and second vertical members are positioned generally vertically to support the weight of the free weights away from the weightlifter's arms, and whereby in the second position the first and second vertical members are pivotally positioned to permit the weightlifter to retrieve the free weights.

2. The free weight support device defined in claim 1, wherein each of the first and second vertical members include a weight support having an interior surface adapted for receiving and supporting the free weight.

3. The free weight support device defined in claim 2, wherein the interior surface is formed with a notch on a bottom edge to permit the retrieval and replacement of the free weight.

4. The free weight support device defined in claim 3, wherein the interior surface has generally arcuate shape.

5. The free weight support device defined in claim 3, wherein the interior surface has a generally v-shape.

6. The free weight support device defined in claim 3, wherein the interior surface is shaped to conform to the profile of the free weight.

7. The free weight support device defined in claim 2, wherein each of the first and second vertical supports including an adjustment means for positioning said weight supports at a desired location on the first and second vertical supports.

8. The free weight support device defined in claim 1, wherein in the first position the first and second vertical supports are positioned generally vertically to stably support the free weights by the weightlifter before and after weight training exercises.

9. The free weight support device defined in claim 1, wherein in the second position the first and second vertical supports are pivotally adjusted forwardly towards the weightlifter's arms to permit the retrieval of the free weights from the weight supports.

10. The free weight support device defined in claim 1, wherein in the second position the first and second vertical supports are pivotally adjusted rearwardly towards the weightlifter's arms permit the retrieval of the free weights from the weight supports.

11. The free weight support device defined in claim 1, wherein in the second position the first and second vertical supports are pivotally adjusted forwardly towards the weightlifter's arms to permit the replacement of the free weights on the weight supports.

12. The free weight support device defined in claim 1, wherein in the second position the first and second vertical supports are pivotally adjusted rearwardly towards the weightlifter's arms to permit the replacement of the free weights on the weight supports.

13. The free weight support device defined in claim 1, wherein the advancement of the first and second vertical members between the first and second positions is in a direction generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of the exercise bench.

14. The free weight support device defined in claim, wherein the advancement of the first and second vertical members between the first and second positions is in a direction generally parallel to the transverse axis of the exercise bench.

15. The free weight support device defined in claim 1, wherein the foot member has a bar which is pivotally coupled to the first and second vertical members at a pivot axis.

16. The free weight support device defined in claim 1, wherein the foot member includes a stop means for releasably securing the first and second vertical members in the first position and second position.

17. The free weight support device defined in claim 16, wherein the stop means is operable between an engaged position and a released position, whereby in the engaged position the stop means releasably secures the first and second vertical members in the first and second positions, and whereby in the released position the stop means permits the movement of the first and second vertical members between the first and second positions.

18. The free weight support device defined in claim 16, wherein the stop means is releasably secured by a ratchet member.

19. The free weight support device defined in claim 16, wherein the stop means is releasably secured by a pneumatic member.

20. The free weight support device defined in claim 16, wherein the stop means is releasably secured by a hydraulic member.

21. The free weight support device defined in claim 16, wherein the stop means is releasable secured by a spring member.

22. An exercise apparatus for use with free weights, the exercise apparatus comprising: (a) an exercise bench having a back end, a front end and a base (b) first and second vertical members coupled to opposite sides of the exercise bench, the first and second vertical members being adapted to support one or more free weights; and (c) a foot member coupled to the first and second vertical members and operable by one or more feet of a weightlifter, the foot member being proximate to a front end of the bench and pivotally coupled to the base for pivotally adjusting the position of the first and second vertical members between a first position and a second position, whereby in the first position the first and second vertical members are positioned generally vertically to support the weight of the free weights away from the weightlifter's arms, and whereby in the second position the first and second vertical members are pivotally positioned to permit the weightlifter to retrieve the free weights.

23. The free weight support device defined in claim 22, wherein each of the first and second vertical members include a weight support having an interior surface adapted for receiving and supporting the free weight.

24. The free weight support device defined in claim 23, wherein the interior surface is formed with a notch on a bottom edge to permit the retrieval and replacement of the free weight.

25. The free weight support device defined in claim 24, wherein the interior surface has a generally arcuate shape.

26. The free weight support device defined in claim 24, wherein the interior surface has a generally v-shape.

27. The free weight support device defined in claim 24, wherein the interior surface is shaped to conform to the profile of the free weight.

28. The free weight support device defined in claim 22, wherein each of the first and second vertical supports including an adjustment means for positioning said weight supports at a desired location on the first and second vertical supports.

29. The free weight support device defined in claim 22, wherein in the first position the first and second vertical supports are positioned generally vertically to stably support the free weights by the weightlifter before and after weight training exercises.

30. The free weight support device defined in claim 22, wherein in the second position the first and second vertical supports are pivotally adjusted forwardly towards the weightlifter's arms to permit the retrieval of the free weights from the weight supports.

31. The free weight support device defined in claim 22, wherein in the second position the first and second vertical supports are pivotally adjusted rearwardly towards the weightlifter's arms permit the retrieval of the free weights from the weight supports.

32. The free weight support device defined in claim 22, wherein in the second position the first and second vertical supports are pivotally adjusted forwardly towards the weightlifter's arms to permit the replacement of the free weights on the weight supports.

33. The free weight support device defined in claim 22, wherein in the second position the first and second vertical supports are pivotally adjusted rearwardly towards the weightlifter's arms to permit the replacement of the free weights on the weight supports.

34. The free weight support device defined in claim 22, wherein the advancement of the first and second vertical members between the first and second positions is in a direction generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of the exercise bench.

35. The free weight support device defined in claim 22, wherein the advancement of the first and second vertical members between the first and second positions is in a direction generally parallel to the transverse axis of the exercise bench.

36. The free weight support device defined in claim 22, wherein the foot member has a bar which is pivotally coupled to the first and second vertical members at a pivot axis.

37. The free weight support device defined in claim 22, wherein the foot member includes a stop means for releasably securing the first and second vertical members in the first position and second position.

38. The free weight support device defined in claim 37, wherein the stop means is operable between an engaged position and a released position, whereby in the engaged position the stop means releasably secures the first and second vertical members in the first and second positions, and whereby in the released position the stop means permits the movement of the first and second vertical members between the first and second positions.

39. The free weight support device defined in claim 37, wherein the stop means is releasably secured by a ratchet member.

40. The free weight support device defined in claim 37, wherein the stop means is releasably secured by a pneumatic member.

41. The free weight support device defined in claim 37, wherein the stop means is releasably secured by a hydraulic member.

42. The free weight support device defined in claim 37, wherein the stop means is releasable secured by a spring member.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of free weight support devices, and more particularly to free weight support devices that pivotally retract to enable a weightlifter to perform strength training.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Strength training using free weights or other forms of resistance is an important aspect of a complete physical fitness regime. Physiologically, the benefits of strength training using weights include an increase in muscle size and tone, increased muscle strength, and increases in tendon, bone, and ligament strength. Moreover, strength-training has also been shown to improve psychological health as well, by increasing self-esteem, confidence and self-worth.

When beginning an intensive exercise regime, many people retain the services of a skilled trainer to learn the proper techniques for utilizing the various dumbbells, barbells and other weightlifting equipment in a conventional gym facility. The term “dumbbell” is used herein to describe a free weight having a relatively short bar designed to be grasped with one hand by the weightlifter and lifted with one arm alone. Conversely, the term “barbell” is used herein to describe a free weight have a longer bar designed to be grasped with both hands by the weightlifter and lifted with both arms in unison. When lifting dumbbells and barbells, the skilled trainer will often act as a “spotter” or exercise partner to ensure that the weights do not accidentally drop on the weightlifter. Unfortunately, the costs associated with retaining the services of skilled trainers can be quite high resulting in many weightlifters opting to exercise alone.

In order to continue to experience gains in the muscle size and tone, weightlifters must regularly increase the amount of weight on the dumbbells and barbells. For serious weightlifters, the amount of weight on a dumbbell or barbell can exceed 100 lbs and 300 lbs, respectively. Before commencing many exercises using free weights, such as a seated shoulder press or incline press, a weightlifter commonly rests the dumbbells on his thighs. When ready to perform the exercise, the weightlifter must raise or “kick” the dumbbells to the level of his head using his arms and legs. The action of raising the dumbbells before commencing the exercise requires a considerable amount of strength and energy which may cause the weightlifter to fatigue more easily during the exercise. Following the performance of the exercise, the fatigued weightlifter must return the dumbbell or barbells from the shoulder press position to the floor. Often weightlifters will simply drop the dumbbells or barbells which may cause costly damage to the gym floor.

Moreover, given the difficulty associated with raising and balancing dumbbells or barbells without the aid of a “spotter”, the potential for serious injury due to improper technique is very high. This danger is equally likely among both novice and professional weightlifters.

A variety of “self-spotting” devices intended to improve the safety of weightlifting have been developed that incorporate stands to support the free weights. Such “self-spotting” stands are traditionally positioned adjacent to the shoulders of the seated weightlifter to facilitate the grasping of the dumbbells. These types of stands address the difficulty associated with raising the free weights to the level of the head without the need for a spotter. However, the static positioning of the stands adjacent to the weightlifter interferes with the movement of the weightlifter's arms during the actual performance of the exercise. To avoid such interference, the weightlifter must shift his body forwardly or rearwardly along the bench away from the stands. Following the performance of the exercise, the weightlifter must reposition his body adjacent to the stands in order to return the weights to stand. This shifting action may cause the weightlifter to lose his grip on the dumbbells or to injure his back.

Accordingly, there is a need for a free weight support device for use with an exercise bench that is adapted to support the free weights prior to and after an exercise, and to pivotally adjust away from the weightlifter during the performance of the exercise so as not to interfere with the performance of an exercise.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The subject invention is directed to a free weight support device for use with an exercise bench that is pivotally positionable between a first and second position, and having a base, first and second vertical members pivotally coupled to the base and positioned on opposite sides of the bench, and a foot member coupled to the first and second vertical members and operable by one or more feet of weightlifter. The foot member being proximate to a front end of the bench and pivotally coupled to the base for pivotally adjusting the position of the first and second vertical members between a first position and a second position. When adjusted into the first position, the first and second vertical members are positioned generally vertically to support the weight of the free weights away from the weightlifter's arms. When adjusted into the second position, the first and second vertical members are pivotally positioned to permit the weightlifter to retrieve the free weights.

In the first position the first and second vertical supports are positioned generally vertically to stably support the free weights by the weightlifter before and after weight training exercises. In the second position the first and second vertical supports are pivotally adjusted forwardly towards the weightlifter's arms to permit the retrieval of the free weights from the weight supports. Alternatively, in the second position the first and second vertical supports are pivotally adjusted rearwardly towards the weightlifter's arms permit the retrieval of the free weights from the weight supports. The advancement of the first and second vertical members between the first and second positions is in a direction generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of the exercise bench. Alternatively, the advancement of the first and second vertical members between the first and second positions may be in a direction generally parallel to the transverse axis of the exercise bench.

The subject invention is also directed to free weight support device having weight supports with notches to permit the retrieval and replacement of the free weight by the weightlifter. The weight supports may have generally arcuate interior surface for receiving the free weight. The interior surface may v-shaped. The interior surface may also be shaped to conform to the profile of the free weight. The first and second vertical supports may include an adjustment means for positioning said weight supports at a desired location on the first and second vertical supports.

The subject invention is also directed to a free weight support device having a foot member having a bar which is pivotally coupled to the first and second vertical members at a pivot axis. The foot member may also include a stop means for releasably securing the first and second vertical members in the first position and second position. The stop means may be operable between an engaged position and a released position, whereby in the engaged position the stop means releasably secures the first and second vertical members in the first and second positions, and whereby in the released position the stop means permits the movement of the first and second vertical members between the first and second positions. The stop means may releasably secured by a ratchet member, a pneumatic member, a hydraulic member or a spring member.

The subject invention is also directed to an exercise apparatus for use with free weights that is pivotally positionable between a first and second position, and having an exercise bench, a base, first and second vertical members pivotally coupled to the base and positioned on opposite sides of the bench, and a foot member coupled to the first and second vertical members and operable by one or more feet of weightlifter. The foot member being proximate to a front end of the bench and pivotally coupled to the base for pivotally adjusting the position of the first and second vertical members between a first position and a second position. When adjusted into the first position, the first and second vertical members are positioned generally vertically to support the weight of the free weights away from the weightlifter's arms. When adjusted into the second position, the first and second vertical members are pivotally positioned to permit the weightlifter to retrieve the free weights.

In the first position the first and second vertical supports are positioned generally vertically to stably support the free weights by the weightlifter before and after weight training exercises. In the second position the first and second vertical supports are pivotally adjusted forwardly towards the weightlifter's arms to permit the retrieval of the free weights from the weight supports. Alternatively, in the second position the first and second vertical supports are pivotally adjusted rearwardly towards the weightlifter's arms permitting the retrieval of the free weights from the weight supports. The advancement of the first and second vertical members between the first and second positions is in a direction generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of the exercise bench. Alternatively, the advancement of the first and second vertical members between the first and second positions may be in a direction generally parallel to the transverse axis of the exercise bench.

The subject invention is also directed to an exercise apparatus having weight supports with notches to permit the retrieval and replacement of the free weight by the weightlifter. The weight supports may have generally arcuate interior surface for receiving the free weight. The interior surface may v-shaped. The interior surface may also be shaped to conform to the profile of the free weight. The first and second vertical supports may include an adjustment means for positioning said weight supports at a desired location on the first and second vertical supports.

The subject invention is also directed to an exercise apparatus having a foot member having a bar which is pivotally coupled to the first and second vertical members at a pivot axis. The foot member may also include a stop means for releasably securing the first and second vertical members in the first position and second position. The stop means may be operable between an engaged position and a released position, whereby in the engaged position the stop means releasably secures the first and second vertical members in the first and second positions, and whereby in the released position the stop means permits the movement of the first and second vertical members between the first and second positions. The stop means may releasably secured by a ratchet member, a pneumatic member, a hydraulic member or a spring member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a better understanding of the present invention, and to show more clearly how it may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, by way of example, to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view showing a free weight support device according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention with an exercise bench;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the free weight support device of FIG. 1 in a first position;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view showing the free weight support device of FIG. 1 in a second position;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the free weight support device of FIG. 1 in a second position;

FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of a first alternative embodiment of the free weight support device of the present invention in a first position;

FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of the free weigh support device of FIG. 5 in a first position;

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of the free weight support device of FIG. 5 in a second position; and

FIG. 8 is a side elevation view of a second alternative embodiment of the free weight support device of the present invention in a first position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference is made to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 which illustrate a free weight support device 10 made in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention. Free weight support device 10 is positioned adjacent to an exercise bench 12. Free weight support device 10 comprises a base 14, a first vertical member 16 and a second vertical member 18 positioned on opposite sides of bench 12, and a foot member 20 pivotally coupled to the first and second vertical members 16 and 18, respectively. Base 14 is adapted to stably support the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 and the foot member 20 on the floor.

Referring to the preferred embodiment of the free weight support device 10 shown in FIG. 1, the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 are positioned generally proximate to a back end 22 of exercise bench 12. The foot member 20 is positioned generally proximate to a front end 24 of exercise bench 12. The exercise bench 12 may include a seat portion 26 and a back portion 28 to support the body of a weightlifter performing various exercises. Seat and back portions 26 and 28 may be provided with padding 30 so as to comfortably support the body of the weightlifter.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, first and second vertical members 16 and 18 have a bottom end 32 and a top end 34. The bottom end 32 is pivotally connected to base 14 at a pivot axis 36. The top end 34 of each of the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 are provided with a weight support 38 for receiving and supporting the free weights before and after the performance of weightlifting exercises by a weightlifter. The free weights may include any suitable resistance devices for strength training and toning typically used by weightlifters in a conventional gym, such as, for example, dumbbells and barbells.

Each of the weight supports 38 includes a shaft 40 and a rest 42. Shaft 40 is inserted into the top end 34 of each of the first and second vertical members 16 and 18. An adjustment means 44 may be provided on the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 and shaft 40 to enable the weight supports 38 to be adjustably positioned along the vertical supports 16 and 18. Adjustment means 44 may include a plurality of vertically spaced apertures 46 provided on the surface of the shaft 40 and corresponding vertically spaced openings 48 on the first and second vertical members 16 and 18.

The adjustment means 44 may include a detent pin 50 that is manually inserted generally horizontally through one of the openings 48 and into a corresponding aperture 46 to releasably fix the position of the shaft 40 relative to the vertical members 16 and 18. The detent pin 50 may be biased to the locked position by a spring as is well known. The other end of the detent pin 50 may have a knob 52 for convenience of use.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, rests 42 have an interior surface 54 which is adapted to receive and support the free weight. Interior surface 54 may have a generally arcuate shape that confirms to shape of the free weights (as shown in FIG. 1). It should be understood that the interior surface 54 may be designed to receive and support free weights of various shapes and sizes. For example, interior surface 54 may be generally v-shaped so as to receive free weights having a rectangular shape or profile (not shown). Moreover, interior surface 54 may have a raised edge 56 to safely capture the free weight and to ensure that the weightlifter does not miss or over-shoot the rest when replacing the free weights after a weight training exercise.

Interior surface 54 is formed with a notch 58 to permit the retrieval and placement of the free weights on the weight supports 38. Notch 58 is sized to enable the weightlifter's hand and at least a portion of his forearm to pass through the notch 58 so as to facilitate access to and placement of the free weight before and after exercising, respectively.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 4, foot member 20 is adapted to be operable by one or more feet of the weightlifter and includes a lever 60, one or more foot rests 62, and a bar 64 pivotally coupled to lever 60. A bottom end 66 of lever 60 is pivotally coupled to base 14 at a pivot point 68. Foot rests 62 are attached to an upper end 70 of said lever 60. A first end 72 of bar 64 is pivotally coupled to a midsection 74 of the lever 60 at a lever axis 76. A second end 78 of bar 64 is pivotally coupled to a cross brace 79 extending between the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 at member axis 77. By this design, the foot member 20 is adapted to pivotally adjust the position of the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 between a first and second position when the weightlifter applies pressure to foot rests 62 using his feet.

In use, in the first position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the vertical members 16 and 18 of the free weight support device 10 are positioned generally vertically to stably support the weight of the free weights prior to the commencement of weight training exercises by the weightlifter. The vertical members 16 and 18 are also positioned away from the weightlifter so as not to interfere with his movements prior to commencing a weight training exercise. When the weightlifter is set to commence the weight training exercise, he applies sufficient outward force on foot rest 62 in the direction A to displace the lever 60 and bar 64, and thereby move the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 forwardly through an arc B. As will be discussed below, the foot member 20 may be adapted to provide tension against the outward force to ensure that the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 do not topple over and injure the weightlifter.

In the second position shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the weightlifter has adjustably positioned the vertical members 16 and 18 forwardly through arc B a sufficient distance to permit the retrieval of the free weights from the weight supports 38 prior to commencing the weight training exercise. Upon retrieving the free weights from the weight supports 38, the weightlifter may then release the foot rest 62 which causes the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 to retract rearwardly to the first position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. By this design, the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 pivotally retract rearwardly so as not to obstruct or interfere with the movement of the weightlifter's arms during the performance of the weight training exercise.

When the weightlifter has completed the weight training exercise and/or is unable to safely place the free weights on the floor, he can apply the outward force A on the foot rest 62 to pivotally adjust the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 forwardly about the pivot axis 36 into the second position. The weightlifter then lowers his hands through the notches 58 so as to replace the free weights on the rests 42. Again, the weightlifter may release the foot rest 62 to retract the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 into the first position.

Reference is now made to an alternative embodiment of the free weight support device 10 shown in FIGS. 5, 6, 7 and 8. Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 are positioned proximate to a midpoint 78 of the exercise bench 12. In use, in the first position, the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 are pivotally retracted forwardly away from the weightlifter towards the front end 24 of exercise bench 12. Once comfortably seated on the exercise bench 12 and set to commence the weight training exercise, the weightlifter applies sufficient outward force on foot rest 62 in the direction A. The displacement of foot rest 62 causes the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 to pivotally adjust rearwardly through an arc C into the second position.

In the second position shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 are positioned generally vertically adjacent to the weightlifter to permit the retrieval of the free weights. The weightlifter may then reach through the notches 58 in the rests to grasp the free weights. Once the free weights have been firmly grasped, the weightlifter may release the foot rest 62, which thereby causes the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 to retract forwardly into the first position shown in FIGS. 5 and 6.

Following the completion of the weight training exercise, the weightlifter may apply the outward force A on the foot rest 62 to pivotally adjust the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 rearwardly about the pivot axis 36 into the second position. The free weights may then be replaced on to the weight supports 38. The foot rest 62 may then be released to pivotally retract the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 into the first position.

Foot member 20 may include a stop means (not shown) that is operable between an engaged position and a released position to releasably control the movement of the first and second vertical members 16 and 18. In the engaged position, stop means is adapted to releasably secure the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 in the first and second positions. In the released position, the stop means is adapted to permit the movement of the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 between the first and second positions. In one embodiment, stop means is a pneumatic member that provides tension on the lever 60 so that a sufficient force in the direction A is required to actually move the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 between the first and second positions. By this design, the weightlifter has greater control over the positioning of the free weights so as to minimize the likelihood of an accidental movement or shifting of the vertical members 16 and 18. Pneumatic member may be designed to automatically retract the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 to the first position after the foot member 20 is released.

In another alternative embodiment of the stop means, the stops means is a spring member, wherein the spring member connects to the lever 60 and either the base 14 or exercise bench 12 to accomplish the same effect as the pneumatic member. It should be understood that any suitable device or method for releasably securing the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 in the first and second positions may be used, such as, for example, a gear or ratchet member.

In further alternative embodiments of the free weight support device 10 of the present invention, the bottom end 32 of the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 may be provided with rollers (not shown) to permit rotatable forward and rearward advancement of the vertical members 16 and 18 in a direction generally parallel with the longitudinal axis of the exercise bench 12. The rollers may be received in tracks formed base to control the advancement of the first and second vertical members 16 and 18 between the first and second positions.

Although the present invention is illustrated as a free weight support device 10 dedicated only to press and fly exercises, it is to be understood that the invention may also be embodied as part of a multi-station exercise apparatus in which a variety of individual exercise stations may be included in addition to the shoulder press, bench press and flies as is well known to persons skilled in the art of weightlifting. Such exercise apparatus may include the free weight support device 10 integrally formed with an exercise bench or similar seating apparatus. The exercise apparatus may include variety of seating and weight adjustments to enable the weightlifter to comfortable position his body before commencing a weight training exercise.

It will be noted that either the back and/or seat portion 26 and 28, respectively, of the exercise bench 12 and the exercise apparatus may be adjusted independently and both need not be adjusted. A detent lock may be provided to adjust only the seat, whereby when the detent lock is released the seat portion 28 can be adjusted while allowing the back portion 26 to remain in the same position. The detent lock may then be returned to the locked position to secure the seat portion 28 in the desired position. The same operation may be performed with respect to the back portion 26 while leaving the seat portion 28 in the desired position.

While what has been shown and described herein constitutes a preferred embodiment of the subject invention, it should be understood that various modifications and adaptions of such embodiment can be made without departing from the present invention, the scope of which is defined in the appended claims.