Patents Assigned to Life Fitness
  • Patent number: 5741205
    Abstract: In a simulated stairclimbing apparatus having a pair of pedal members rotatably attached at one end to the frame of the apparatus and having a foot pedal rotatably attached to the other end of each pedal member, a pulley is attached to each pedal and another pair of pulleys is attached to the frame where flexible members such as cables are engaged with the pedal and frame pulleys for each pedal member so as to keep the pedals level through the vertical motion of the pedals. In another arrangement, a pair of flexible members are rotatably attached to each pedal and to the frame where the pedal member is located between each of the two flexible members so as to keep the pedals level through the vertical motion of the pedals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1998
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: James W. Doll, David J. Thum, Michael A. Niemotka, Steven M. Lenz, Mark C. Termion
  • Patent number: 5599259
    Abstract: To improve tracking, an exercise treadmill is provided with a frame including molded plastic pulleys, having an integral gear belt sprocket, an endless belt extending around the pulleys and a motor operatively connected to the rear pulley to drive the belt. The pulleys are molded out of plastic and have a diameter of approximately nine inches. A mold and method for producing large diameter treadmill pulleys having an integrally molded sprocket are also disclosed. A deck underneath the running surface of the belt is supported by resilient members. A positive lateral belt tracking mechanism is used to correct the lateral position of the belt. A belt position sensor mechanism is used in combination with a front pulley pivoting mechanism to maintain the belt in the desired lateral position on the pulleys. The exercise treadmill also includes a lift mechanism with an internally threaded sleeve engaged to vertically aligned nonrotating screws. A user display of foot impact force on the belt is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 4, 1997
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: Richard E. Skowronski, Kenneth F. Lantz, Tomas F. Leon, deceased, Donald J. Alexander, George Kolomayets, Vincent C. Adams, Eugene B. Szymczak, Edward V. Minnich, Wade K. Totzke
  • Patent number: 5591104
    Abstract: A physical exercise video system includes a physical exercise machine (22), a video system (24) and an interface module (26). The video system (24) has a computer (28) and a removable cartridge (34). The interface module (26) is interposed between the computer (28) and cartridge (34), and provides interactive communication between the computer (28) and exercise machine (22). A communication protocol governs this communication, and includes specifications for status and command data packets. The video system (24) and exercise machine (22) can be selectively operated as either stand-alone units, or in an interactive exercise mode, wherein the exercise data generated by the exercise machine (22) affects the output of the video system (24), and may also be stored in memory within the interface module (26). The video system (24) controls the operation of the exercise machine (22) generally, and specifically, controls the load resistance imposed in opposition to the movement of pedals (66).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1997
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: Bryan D. Andrus, Martin Sikes, Christopher D. G. Robertson, Roderick Armes, Mark J. Slemko, Andrew G. Maduza, Augustine Nieto
  • Patent number: 5484362
    Abstract: To improve tracking, an exercise treadmill is provided with a frame including molded plastic pulleys, having an integral gear belt sprocket, an endless belt extending around the pulleys and a motor operatively connected to the rear pulley to drive the belt. The pulleys are molded out of plastic and have a diameter of approximately nine inches. A mold and method for producing large diameter treadmill pulleys having an integrally molded sprocket are also disclosed. A deck underneath the running surface of the belt is supported by resilient members. A positive lateral belt tracking mechanism is used to correct the lateral position of the belt. A belt position sensor mechanism is used in combination with a front pulley pivoting mechanism to maintain the belt in the desired lateral position on the pulleys. The exercise treadmill also includes a lift mechanism with an internally threaded sleeve engaged to vertically aligned nonrotating screws. A user display of foot impact force on the belt is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 16, 1996
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: Richard E. Skowronski, Kenneth F. Lantz, Tomas F. Leon, deceased, Donald J. Alexander, George Kolomayets, Vincent C. Adams, Eugene B. Szymczak, Edward V. Minnich, Wade K. Totzke
  • Patent number: 5433679
    Abstract: An exercise treadmill is disclosed which includes means for lubricating the endless belt treadmill components. In each embodiment, a lubricant is applied to either the inner surface of the treadmill belt or to the treadmill support deck, thereby reducing the treadmill belt to support deck friction. The applied lubricants can be either solid aerosol or liquid in form, and can be dispersed as a function of treadmill operating time, treadmill belt distance traversed or in response to a measured parameter indicative of belt to deck friction. Additionally, methods are disclosed for lubricating treadmills to reduce belt to deck friction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1995
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: Eugene B. Szymczak, Vincent C. Adams, Teng-Ywe E. Hong, Kenneth E. Lantz
  • Patent number: 5403252
    Abstract: A climbing exercise apparatus is provided having a frame on which two pedals are pivotally mounted to provide a user with a vertically reciprocating exercise movement, and a control panel for user input and output. A dynamic break, alternator or the like applies a variable level of resistance (via a suitable transmission) against the user's movement. The resistance varies over time in accordance with a control signal generated by a computer. The value of the control signal is independent of the rate at which the user steps. A display successively displays images of hills. Each hill is associated with one of the series of values, and that value is graphically represented as part of or in visual association with the hill image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 4, 1995
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: Tomas F. Leon, Robert L. Hood, Robert E. Quast, David J. Thum, Emil S. Golen
  • Patent number: 5382207
    Abstract: To improve tracking, an exercise treadmill is provided with a frame including molded plastic pulleys, having an integral gear belt sprocket, an endless belt extending around the pulleys and a motor operatively connected to the rear pulley to drive the belt. The pulleys are molded out of plastic and have a diameter of approximately nine inches. A mold and method for producing large diameter treadmill pulleys having an integrally molded sprocket are also disclosed. A deck underneath the running surface of the belt is supported by resilient members. A positive lateral belt tracking mechanism is used to correct the lateral position of the belt. A belt position sensor mechanism is used in combination with a front pulley pivoting mechanism to maintain the belt in the desired lateral position on the pulleys. The exercise treadmill also includes a lift mechanism with an internally threaded sleeve engaged to vertically aligned nonrotating screws. A user display of foot impact force on the belt is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 17, 1995
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: Richard E. Skowronski, Kenneth F. Lantz, Tomas F. Leon, Donald J. Alexander, George Kolomayets, Vincent C. Adams, Eugene B. Szymczak
  • Patent number: 5365934
    Abstract: An exercise apparatus for measuring heart rate is provided which comprises a sensor for generating a signal which includes the biopotential signal produced by a heart. This signal is filtered, amplified and digitized. A computer autocorrelates the digitized signal. A plurality of signal indication routines then scan the autocorrelated output for the presence of periodic signals. Each of the signal indication routines uses different search or filter criteria, such as peak and wave form detection, and generates one (and in some cases, several) candidate heart rates. An arbitrator then selects one of the candidate heart rates according to predetermined criteria. These criteria include the value of previously selected heart rates. In one embodiment, the signal indication and arbitration routines are especially well-suited for measuring the heart rate of a user while exercising on a stair climbing machine or treadmill.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 22, 1994
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: Tomas Leon, Teng Y. E. Hong, Emil S. Golen, Donald J. Alexander
  • Patent number: 5318487
    Abstract: An exercise management system is disclosed for maintaining a user's level of exercise intensity (such as measured by heart rate) at a target level while exercising. In one embodiment, the system includes a movement member (such as pedals) which is engaged by the user to provide an exercise movement. The movement member is selectively adjustable to varying the intensity of exercise performed by the user. A heart rate sensor indicates the user's heart rate, and a computer adjusts the movement member in accordance with the heart rate signal to establish and maintain the user's heart rate near the target level. The user may periodically disengage the heart rate sensor for a limited time, during which time the computer maintains the user's heart rate near the target level by adjusting load in accordance with the user's rate of exercise (such as measured by rpm).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 7, 1994
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: Emil S. Golen, Gary E. Oglesby, Donald J. Alexander
  • Patent number: 5243993
    Abstract: An apparatus for measuring heart rate is provided which comprises a sensor for generating a signal which includes the biopotential signal produced by a heart. This signal is filtered, amplified and digitized. A microcomputer autocorrelates the digitized signal. A plurality of signal indication routines then scan the autocorrelated output for the presence of periodic signals. Each of the signal indication routines uses different search criteria, such as peak and waveform detection, and generates a candidate heart rate. An arbitrator then selects one of the candidate heart rates according to predetermined criteria. These criteria include the value of previously selected heart rates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1993
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: Donald J. Alexander, Allen J. Fuller, William H. Englehardt, Douglas B. Macdonald, Olgerts J. Svilans, Robert A. Bonner
  • Patent number: 5238462
    Abstract: A stair type exercise apparatus is disclosed in which two pedal members reciprocate. The pedal members can either be directly connected together by a cog drive belt which in turn operates through a transmission providing a resistive force to the pedals or the pedals can be individually connected to the transmission by a drive belt. The resistive force is supplied by an alternator which is controlled by a computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1993
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: Steven J. Cinke, Michael K. Platt, David J. Thum
  • Patent number: 5205798
    Abstract: A foot receiving member has a spring member detachably attached to the bottom surface thereof. The spring member includes a top, arched, layer and a bottom, arched, layer and a strap disposed between the two arched layers. The arched layers are attached, at their ends, to a corresponding end of the strap in such a manner that the spring member will be automatically disassembled under the influence of an extraordinary lateral force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1993
    Assignee: Unique Life and Fitness Products Corp.
    Inventor: Gregory Lekhtman
  • Patent number: 5135447
    Abstract: A step type exercise apparatus is disclosed in which two pedal members are connected for reciprocating movement by a chain which, in turn, operates through a transmission providing a resistive force to the pedals. The resistive force is supplied by an alternator which is controlled by a computer. Means are provided to lubricate the chain thereby prolonging the life of the chain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1992
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: Chester F. Robards, Jr., Steven J. Cinke, Stephen A. Waltasti, Robert Kohan, Donald J. Alexander, Douglas G. Guenther, David J. Thum, Tomas Leon
  • Patent number: 5117170
    Abstract: A control for a DC motor coupled to a user interface to provide a counterforce which simulates a weight stack in an exercise machine. The control includes a position transducer coupled to the motor to provide a signal proportional to the displacement of the user interface. In one embodiment a circuit is provided to generate a control signal which follows the displacement signal when it is less than a maximum torque signal, the control voltage following maximum torque signal when it is less than the displacement signal. In a second embodiment a microprocessor control unit is responsive to the displacement signal to provide a control signal for the motor which starts increasing from a first value when the user interface is displaced an initial amount and which continues gradually increasing to a maximum value as the user interface is moved through a given displacement from the initial displacement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1992
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: Martin A. Keane, William H. Englehardt
  • Patent number: D325946
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1992
    Assignee: Life Fitness
    Inventors: William C. Cesaroni, David C. Brown, Anthony M. Kulusic, Allen L. Ryan