Title:
DUMBBELL RACK
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A dumbbell rack has a pair of upright supports and at least one support tier extending between the supports to hold a plurality of dumbbells positioned side-by-side along the length of the tier. The support tier has at least one raised portion extending along at least part of its length which is raised above opposite ends of the tier. The tier may be of arcuate shape or may have angled portions extending upwardly from each end which meet at a central peak or are bent to form a central straight section.



Inventors:
Webber, Randall T. (La Jolla, CA, US)
Brennan, Christopher E. (Murrieta, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/038533
Publication Date:
08/27/2009
Filing Date:
02/27/2008
Assignee:
Hoist Fitness Systems, Inc. (San Diego, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PROCOPIO, CORY, HARGREAVES & SAVITCH LLP (SAN DIEGO, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A dumbbell support rack, comprising: spaced first and second upright supports; at least one tier extending between the upright supports, the tier having opposite right and left ends, a forward edge, and a rear edge, and holding a plurality of dumbbells positioned side-by-side along the length of the tier; and the tier having at least one raised portion extending along at least part of its length which is raised above the opposite ends of the tier.

2. The rack of claim 1, wherein the raised portion comprises a central portion of the tier.

3. The rack of claim 2, wherein the tier is angled upwardly from each end to the raised central portion of the tier.

4. The rack of claim 1, wherein the tier is upwardly arched along at least part of its length to form the raised portion of the tier.

5. The rack of claim 4, wherein the tier is upwardly arched along the entire length of the tier between its opposite ends.

6. The rack of claim 5, wherein the arch comprises part of a circular arc.

7. The rack of claim 6, wherein the circular arc forms a portion of a circle having a radius of approximately 250 inches.

8. The rack of claim 1, wherein the raised portion has at least one bend.

9. The rack of claim 8, wherein the raised portion has at least two bends.

10. The rack of claim 1, wherein the tier tilts downwardly from the rear edge to the forward edge of the tier.

11. The rack of claim 10, wherein the tier has at least one retaining device which restricts supported weights from slipping off the forward edge of the tier.

12. The rack of claim 1, wherein the tier has a pair of spaced elongate front and rear support portions which support weights at opposite ends of a plurality of dumbbells.

13. The rack of claim 12, wherein each support portion comprises a plurality of spaced support pads each having an upwardly facing, concave seat which seats a dumbbell end weight, each front support pad being aligned with a corresponding rear support pad.

14. The rack of claim 1, wherein the tier has at least one support portion which supports one or more dumbbell handles.

15. The rack of claim 1, wherein the opposite ends of the tier are secured to the first and second upright supports.

16. The rack of claim 1, comprising at least two vertically spaced tiers extending between the upright supports, each tier having at least one raised portion extending along at least part of its length which is raised above the opposite ends of the tier.

17. The rack of claim 16, wherein the tiers are horizontally offset out of vertical alignment.

18. The rack of claim 1, comprising three vertically spaced tiers extending between the upright supports, each tier having at least one raised portion extending along at least part of its length which is raised above the opposite ends of the respective tier.

19. The rack of claim 1, wherein each upright support comprises at least one curved strut.

20. The rack of claim 19, wherein each upright support comprises a front upright strut and a rear upright strut connected to the front upright strut, each strut having a ground engaging lower end and an upper end, the front upright strut curving rearward from the lower end to the upper end, and the rear upright strut curving forward from the lower end to the upper end.

21. The rack of claim 20, wherein the upper end of each rear upright strut is secured to the respective front upright strut at a location spaced below the upper end of the front upright strut to form an upright support of inverted Y-shape.

22. The rack of claim 21, wherein the tier has opposite ends secured adjacent the upper end of the front struts of each upright support.

23. The rack of claim 22, further comprising a second tier having at least one raised portion extending along at least part of its length which is raised above the opposite ends of the tier, the second tier having opposite ends secured to the front strut of each upright support at a location spaced below and forward of the first tier.

24. The rack of claim 23, further comprising a third tier having at least one raised portion extending along at least part of its length which is raised above the opposite ends of the tier, the third tier having opposite ends secured to the front strut of each upright support at a location spaced below and forward of the second tier.

25. A dumbbell support rack, comprising: spaced first and second upright supports; at least one tier extending between the upright supports, the tier having opposite right and left ends, a forward edge, and a rear edge, and holding a plurality of dumbbells positioned side-by-side along the length of the tier; and the tier having at least one upward bend.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to racks for supporting free weights when not in use, and is particularly concerned with a rack for supporting a plurality of dumbbells, barbells, or the like.

2. Related Art

Dumbbell racks and racks for supporting other types of hand-held weights typically comprise one or more vertically spaced, horizontally extending tiers of dumbbell holders extending between upright end supports. For example, the Hoist Fitness Systems CF 2461 series of dumbbell racks have one or more horizontal tiers of dumbbell holders which are vertically spaced and horizontally staggered. The dumbbell holders in some racks comprise spaced pairs of reinforced rubber saddles for receiving opposite end weights or discs of a dumbbell.

SUMMARY

In one embodiment, a dumbbell rack is provided which comprises a pair of upright supports and at least one tier extending between the upright supports, the tier having opposite right and left ends and holding a plurality of dumbbells positioned side-by-side along the length of the tier. The tier has at least one raised portion extending along at least part of its length which is raised above the opposite ends of the tier.

In one embodiment, the tier is upwardly arched along its entire length. In alternative embodiments, the tier may have upwardly angled portions extending from each end up to a central peak or bend. In another embodiment, the tier may be of gabled shape, having two bends separating the tier into two angled end portions and a raised, central straight portion extending between the bends. The support tier may have a series of spaced pairs of dumbbell support saddles or seats to support the end weights of dumbbells arranged side-by-side along the tier. Alternatively, the tier may have a smooth upper support surface which supports side-by-side dumbbells placed along the tier. In another embodiment, each tier may have notches to support the handles of dumbbells spaced side by side along the tier.

The dumbbell rack may have one, two, or more vertically spaced tiers each having a raised portion extending along all or part of its length. A dumbbell rack with one or more tiers of arched, peaked, gabled, or other raised shapes requires less floor space to support the same number of weights than a standard rack with horizontal, straight tiers. Additionally, arched tiers are stronger and can support more weight.

In one embodiment, a first dumbbell rack has one tier, while alternative racks have two, three, or more arched support tiers. Each tier has a forward edge and a rear edge, and may be upwardly inclined from its forward to its rear edge for easier access to place and remove weights. In racks having multiple tiers, each rack is horizontally offset from the other rack or racks, again to provide easier access for weight placement and removal.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The details of the present invention, both as to its structure and operation, may be gleaned in part by study of the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals refer to like parts, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a three tier dumbbell rack according to a first embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view similar to FIG. 1 illustrating dumbbells stored on the rack;

FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view of the dumbbell rack of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of the dumbbell rack of FIGS. 1 to 3;

FIG. 5 is a right side elevation view of the dumbbell rack of FIGS. 1 to 4;

FIG. 6 is a rear elevation view of the dumbbell rack of FIGS. 1 to 5;

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of a two tier dumbbell rack according to a second embodiment;

FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of a one tier dumbbell rack according to a third embodiment;

FIG. 9 is a front elevation view of the one tier dumbbell rack of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of an arched tier of any one of the dumbbell racks of FIGS. 1 to 9, illustrating the dimensions of the arch;

FIG. 11 is a front perspective view of a dumbbell rack according to another embodiment;

FIG. 12 is a front elevation view of one tier of the rack of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is an enlarged side elevation view of the upper tier of the rack of FIGS. 11 and 12, illustrating some dumbbells positioned on the tier as in FIG. 11;

FIG. 14 is a front perspective view of a dumbbell rack with peaked tiers according to another embodiment;

FIG. 15 is a front elevation view of one tier of the rack of FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is an enlarged side elevation view of the tier of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a front perspective view of a dumbbell rack with gabled tiers according to another embodiment;

FIG. 18 is a front elevation view of one tier of the rack of FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 is an enlarged side elevation view of the tier of FIG. 18;

FIG. 20 is a front perspective view of a dumbbell rack with notched tiers according to another embodiment;

FIG. 21 is a front elevation view of one tier of the rack of FIG. 20;

FIG. 22 is a top perspective view of the tier of FIG. 21; and

FIG. 23 is an enlarged side elevation view of the upper tier of the rack of FIG. 20 to 22, illustrating dumbbells positioned on the tier as in FIG. 20.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Certain embodiments as disclosed herein provide for a dumbbell rack with one or more upwardly arched tiers.

After reading this description it will become apparent to one skilled in the art how to implement the invention in various alternative embodiments and alternative applications. However, although various embodiments of the present invention will be described herein, it is understood that these embodiments are presented by way of example only, and not limitation.

FIGS. 1 to 6 of the drawings illustrate a three tier dumbbell rack 10 having a series of three arched tiers 12, 14, 15 which are vertically stacked and offset horizontally from the upper tier 12 to the lower tier 15. FIG. 7 illustrates a two tier dumbbell rack 18 which has two arched tiers 20, 22 similar or identical to the tiers of the three tier rack 10, while FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate a one tier dumbbell rack 24 which has a single arched tier 25 which is also similar or identical to the tiers of the three and two tier racks. In each tier, the arch forms a raised portion or upward bend in the tier, which is raised above the opposite ends of the tier. This provides more clearance under the tier, particularly in the case of a lowermost tier in a rack.

In one embodiment, the arched tiers in each rack 10, 18 and 24 are identical or substantially identical, and the main difference between the one tier, two tier, and three tier racks is the height of the rack to accommodate the desired number of tiers, and the maximum number of dumbbells which may be stored on the rack. In the illustrated examples, the three tier rack 10 has space to store up to fifteen pairs of dumbbells, the two tier rack 18 may store up to ten pairs of dumbbells, and the one tier rack 24 may store up to five pairs of dumbbells. In other words, each tier is long enough to store up to ten dumbbells. In alternative embodiments, the support tiers may be longer or shorter so as to store a greater or lesser number of dumbbells, and racks may be provided with a greater number of tiers if additional storage capacity is required.

The three tier rack of FIGS. 1 to 6 has opposite right and left uprights or end supports 26, 28 and the successive tiers 12, 14, and 15 extend generally horizontally between the supports and are each arched upwardly to form an arc of predetermined curvature between their ends. The spacing between adjacent tiers is arranged to provide clearance for placement and removal of dumbbells. FIG. 2 illustrates a plurality of dumbbells 29 of different sizes placed on the rack 10. In the illustrated embodiment, each tier 12, 14, 15 comprises a pair of spaced angle bars 30 of the same curvature extending between end plates or mounting plates 32. The mounting plates 32 on the different tiers are slightly different to accommodate the different mounting requirements on the uprights or end supports 26, 28, as can be seen in FIG. 1. The bars are secured together by a series of spaced cross bars 34 for added rigidity.

A series of spaced support pads or saddles 35 are provided along the length of each angle bar, each support pad having a concave arcuate upper surface or seat 36. Each support pad 35 on one of the bars 30 is aligned with a second support pad on the other bar 30 to form a pair of support seats 36 for the weight plates or discs 38 at opposite ends of the hand grip or bar 40 of a dumbbell 29, as best illustrated in FIG. 2. The arcuate seats 36 are designed to support dumbbell weight plates 38 of different sizes, and can also support dumbbell weights of any standard shape, such as disc-shaped, hexagonal, octagonal, square, triangular, or the like. In alternative embodiments, seats or weight engaging surfaces of different sizes and shapes may be used to accommodate weights of different sizes and shapes. For example, the seat may be generally flat for engaging a weight having flat edges. The support pads may be made of any suitable material.

In this embodiment, the end supports 26 and 28 are also curved, and each end support is formed from two upwardly extending curved struts 44, 48 joined together to form an inverted Y-shape, as best seen in FIG. 5. Upright end supports of different designs may be used in alternative embodiments, and the end supports need not be located at the ends of the arched tiers, but may be offset inwardly from the tier ends.

In the illustrated embodiment, the front support strut 44 of each end support curves rearward from its lower, floor engaging end 45 to its upper end 46, and rear support strut 48 curves forward from its lower, floor engaging end 49 to its upper end 50, which is secured to the front support strut 44 at a location spaced below the upper end 46 of support strut 44. A cross strut 52 extends between the struts 44 and 48 at a location spaced above their lower ends, at substantially the same height as the lowermost tier 15.

Each tier 12, 14, 15 is secured between the end supports 26, 28 at an angle such that it tilts downward slightly from its rear edge to its forward edge, as best seen in FIGS. 1, 5 and 6. In embodiments where the tier has a relatively smooth support surface for supporting weights, rather than separate weight receiving pads as in the illustrated embodiments, it may have a lip at its forward edge to prevent or reduce the risk of weights sliding forwardly off the tilted tier. Alternatively, such a tier may have alternative retaining devices for retaining weights on the tier, such as indents or depressions for locating the end weights or the hand grip of each supported dumbbell. The central tier 14 in the illustrated embodiment is tilted less than the upper and lower tiers 12 and 15, as can be seen in FIGS. 5 and 6. The end plates or mounting plates 32 at opposite ends of the uppermost tier 12 are secured to the upper end portion of forward strut 44 of each of the respective end supports 26, 28. The mounting plates 32 at opposite ends of the central tier 14 each have one end secured to the forward strut 44 and the other end secured to the rear strut 46. The mounting plates at opposite ends of the lowermost tier 15 each have a forward end secured to the forward strut 44 of the respective end support and a rear end secured to the cross strut 52. This mounting arrangement places the tiers at a horizontal offset from the rear to the forward end of the rack, i.e. the tiers are not vertically aligned. The angled mounting of the support tiers and the horizontal offset between the tiers provides more room for placement and removal of weights on the lower two tiers.

The curvature of each arched tier is identical and is selected so as to allow secure placement of dumbbells at any location while reducing the overall length of the rack. FIG. 10 illustrates one example of an arched tier in which the angle bars 30 forming the tier are each bent to form an arc of radius R subtending an angle Θ and having an arc length L and a chord length C between the end plates 32. In one example, the radius R was around 250 inches, the angle Θ subtended by the arc was around 20 degrees, and the chord length C was around 88 inches. The arc length or actual length of the angle bar 30 in that case was around 88.5 inches. An arched tier extending between two end supports necessarily takes up less space than a straight tier of the same length and storage capacity. In the specific example above, the total length of the rack 10 with arched tiers is around 88 inches, and the length of the same rack if the arched tiers were straightened would be 88.5 inches. A dumbbell rack with arched tiers therefore takes up less floor space than a corresponding rack having straight tiers of the same length. Arched tiers of different lengths and curvatures may be used in alternative embodiments, depending on desired storage capacity and space constraints. In other embodiments, dumbbell racks may have arched tiers in any desired arc length depending on the desired storage capacity.

As noted above, the two tier dumbbell rack 18 of FIG. 7 is similar in construction to the three tier rack except that one of the tiers is eliminated and end supports 60, 62 are shorter in height. The tiers 20 and 22 are identical to the tiers 12, 14, 16 of the first embodiment and like reference numerals are used for like parts as appropriate. End supports 60, 62 are similar to the end supports 26, 28 of FIGS. 1 to 6 apart from their shorter height, and have a front support strut 64 which curves rearward and a rear support strut 65 which curves forward and connects to the front strut 64 at a location spaced below its upper end. A cross bar 66 connects the front and rear struts 64, 65 at a location spaced above their lower ends, similar to cross bar 52 of the first embodiment. The upper tier 20 has end plates 32 secured between the upper end portions of the front support struts 60, while the lower tier 22 is similar to the lower tier 15 of the first embodiment, and has end plates 32 each secured to the front strut 60 and cross bar 66.

The single tier rack 24 of FIGS. 8 and 9 is similar to the two tier rack 18 and like reference numbers are used for like parts as appropriate. However, in this embodiment, the lower tier 22 of FIG. 7 is replaced by a cross bar 68 secured to the end supports 60, 62 via mounting plates 70. Cross bar 68 helps to add stability to the rack, and allows conversion from a one tier rack to a two tier rack, and vice versa. The single tier rack 24 is of similar height to two tier rack 18 and can easily be converted to a two tier rack by removing cross bar 68 and replacing it with another arched tier to provide lower tier 22 of FIG. 7.

The arched support tiers in the dumbbell racks of FIGS. 1 to 10 are stronger than a straight tier of the same shape and dimensions. Additionally, a dumbbell rack with arched tiers takes up less floor space than a rack with straight tiers of the same length. The arch also helps to provide foot clearance under the lowermost tier when a user is placing or removing weights on any of the aligned pairs of supports or seats 36.

In alternative embodiments, dumbbell support tiers of different design may replace the tiers in the racks of FIGS. 1 to 10, and some alternative designs are described below in connection with FIGS. 11 to 23. In one embodiment, a single bar having an upper support surface for dumbbells may replace the spaced angle bars 30 secured together by cross bars 34, as illustrated in FIGS. 11 to 13. Support pads of different shapes may be used in place of support pads 35 in other embodiments. In another embodiment, the separate support pads or saddles 35 of FIGS. 1 to 6 may be replaced by a pair of elongate, continuous support pads extending along front and rear portions of the tier, onto which the weights at opposite ends of a series of dumbbells may be placed. Continuous smooth pads of rubber or other suitable material, or any flat surface, can readily support weights with flat edges, such as square, hexagonal, or triangular weights. Alternatively, the pads may be provided with depressions for locating the dumbbell weights. In another alternative, a support which is designed to hold the hand grip of a dumbbell may be provided, such as a notched support, instead of a support or support surface which holds dumbbell end weight. One embodiment of a dumbbell rack with notched tiers is described in more detail below in connection with FIGS. 20 to 23.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 to 10, each tier is upwardly arched to form a continuous circular arc between its ends. In alternative embodiments, the tier may have straight, angled sections rather than an arch, may have one or more upward bends, and may be arched or raised along only part of its length rather than the entire length. Each tier may be formed from two or more separate bars, or may be a single member having an upper support surface. Some of these alternatives are described below in connection with the embodiments of FIGS. 11 to 23.

In FIGS. 1 to 10, each tier comprises spaced bars 30 secured together by end plates 32 and spaced cross bars 34, and spaced support pads 35 positioned along each bar are used to locate and retain the dumbbells. FIGS. 11 to 13 illustrate a dumbbell rack 80 according to an alternative embodiment, in which the spaced bars 30 and cross bars 34 of the previous embodiments are replaced by tiers 82 each comprising a single elongate support plate or platform 83 extending between end plates 84. Each tier is arched and of similar curvature to the tiers in FIGS. 1 to 10, as best illustrated in FIG. 12. The remaining structure of rack 80 is identical to the three tier rack of FIGS. 1 to 6, and like reference numbers have been used for like parts as appropriate.

The support plate 83 of each tier 82 has a generally smooth upper surface with a pair of spaced, front and rear elongate pads 85 adjacent the front and rear edges, respectively, of the plate. Dumbbells of various sizes can be supported side-by-side along the length of the plate 83, as seen in the upper tier of FIGS. 11 and 12. A smooth, uninterrupted dumbbell support surface is particularly suitable for dumbbells having end weights with multi-sided flat edges. FIG. 11 illustrates two pairs of dumbbells 86 and 88, respectively, supported on the uppermost tier 82. Dumbbells 86, 88 are of different sizes and each have hexagonal weights 89, although dumbbells with weights of other flat sided shapes or disc shapes can also be supported on the rack. As in the previous embodiment, each tier is tilted downwards from its rear edge to its forward edge. A front lip or rim 90 is provided along the forward edge of plate 83 to act as a stop or retaining device for preventing dumbbells for sliding off the tier, as seen in FIGS. 11 and 12.

Although the pads 85 have generally smooth, uninterrupted upper faces in FIGS. 11 to 13, they may have depressions for locating the end weights 89 of dumbbells in alternative embodiments. As seen in FIGS. 11 and 12, dumbbells of various sizes may be supported on the support plate 83 with the smaller dumbbells only engaging the front pad 85. As best seen in FIG. 12, the arched support surface locates the dumbbells side-by-side at different heights, with the central dumbbell being positioned at the highest point on the rack. FIGS. 11 to 13 illustrate a three tier rack 80, but the tiers of the one and two tier racks of FIGS. 7 to 9 may also be replaced by one or more of the tiers 82 of FIGS. 11 to 13 in other embodiments.

FIGS. 14 to 16 illustrate another modified embodiment of a three tier dumbbell rack 95 which is similar to the first embodiment except for the shape of the tiers 96, and like reference numbers are used for like parts as appropriate. In this embodiment, the arched tiers of FIGS. 1 to 10 are replaced by tiers 96 which are angled upwardly from opposite ends of the tier to the central angled peak or bend 98, as best illustrated in FIG. 15. Tiers 96 are otherwise of similar construction to the tiers in the racks of FIGS. 1 to 10, and like reference numerals have been used for like parts as appropriate. In another embodiment, the single plate arched tier 82 of the previous embodiment may also be replaced with a peaked tier of the same general peaked shape as illustrated in FIG. 15.

As in the first embodiment, each tier 96 in FIGS. 14 to 16 comprises a pair of spaced parallel bars 30 extending between end plates 32 and connected by spaced cross bars 34, with the only difference being that the bars 30 are bent to form an angled central peak or bend 98, rather than being bent to form a continuous arch. As in the first embodiment, a series of spaced dumbbell weight support pads or seats 32 are mounted along the length of each bar 30.

FIGS. 17 to 19 illustrate another modified embodiment in which dumbbell rack 100 has three tiers 102, and each tier comprises a gabled tier with two bends 103, 104. As best seen in FIG. 18, the center of the tier 102 comprises a raised horizontal portion 105 extending between bends 103,104, with angled side portions 106, 107 extending from the opposite ends of the tier up to the respective bends 103, 104. Apart from the gabled shape of each tier, the rack 100 of FIGS. 17 to 19 is identical to the rack of FIGS. 1 to 6, and like reference numbers have been used for like parts as appropriate. As in the first embodiment and that of FIGS. 14 to 16, each tier is formed from spaced bars 30 connected by cross bars 34, and with end plates 32 at each end, the only difference being the shaping of bars 30 of the tiers 100 to provide angled side portions leading up to two bends separated by a flat or straight central portion. In dumbbell rack 100, the central pair of dumbbells on each tier 102 rests on the raised flat portion 105 while the rest are on angled side portions 106, 107.

In another alternative embodiment, the arched single plate tiers of FIGS. 11 to 13 may be replaced by similar single plate tiers formed into a gabled shape similar to the shape of tier 100, with two bends separating a straight, raised central portion.

A dumbbell rack 110 according to another embodiment is illustrated in FIGS. 20 to 23. This embodiment has curved tiers 112 of similar arched shape to the first embodiment, but instead of saddles or pads to catch the weights at the end of the dumbbells, tiers 112 have spaced notches 114 along the upper edges of a pair of spaced bars 115 to cradle the handles 40 of dumbbells 29, as illustrated in FIG. 20. Notched bars 115 are connected together by end plates 32 at their opposite ends and by spaced cross bars 34 along their length. Rack 110 is otherwise identical to the previous embodiments, and like reference numbers are used for like parts as appropriate. Dumbbells of many different sizes having end weights of any size and shape can be supported on tiers 112.

In alternative embodiments, the notched tiers 112 may alternatively be formed with a single upward bend or peak as in the tiers of FIGS. 14 to 16, or with two bends separated by a raised, flat central section, as in the tiers 112 of FIGS. 17 to 19. The notched tiers 112 may also be formed by a single, wider bar with notches, rather than two spaced plates or bars as in FIGS. 20 to 23.

A three tier rack is illustrated in each of the embodiments of FIGS. 11 to 23. The various different tiers of each of these alternative embodiments may also be used in a two tier rack to replace the tiers of FIG. 7, or in a one tier rack replacing the tier 25 in FIGS. 8 and 9. In each of the above embodiments, each tier has a raised portion which is raised above the opposite ends of the tier and provides additional clearance below the tier. This provides more foot clearance below the lowermost tier of a rack for a person placing or removing weights on any of the tiers.

The above description of the disclosed embodiments is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the invention. Various modifications to these embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles described herein can be applied to other embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, it is to be understood that the description and drawings presented herein represent a presently preferred embodiment of the invention and are therefore representative of the subject matter which is broadly contemplated by the present invention. It is further understood that the scope of the present invention fully encompasses other embodiments that may become obvious to those skilled in the art and that the scope of the present invention is accordingly limited by nothing other than the appended claims.