There’s another fitness product that’s creating a craze in America, the Shake Weight.
This fitness equipment came to popularity (or notoriety, some say) due to its suggestive infomercial and consequent mentions of the product on various TV shows. I particularly enjoyed the clip from the Ellen Degenres show (clip included below).
Note: there is now also a Shake Weight For Men
Is this a good product or not? I hope this review will clarify that.
The ShakeWeight is designed to help you tone and work your upper body: arms, shoulders, and chest. The original product was marketed to women but recently a men’s version was also introduced.
The original product resembles a regular dumbbell, is 2.5 pound in weight with a spring on either end. According to the official website, this device works with a method called Dynamic Inertia.
The claim that the official website makes is that by just shaking this weight for 6 minutes a day is enough to help you get lean and toned arms. You just hold it in various positions and shake it.
This is not an electric product. You create the shaking motion. This back and forth shake is supposed to work your muscles. The claim is that this movement is much better than traditional weight training.
Is this true or is Shake Weight a scam?
There are a few claims that I have trouble with concerning this product:
1. The infomercial suggests that regular weight training causes bulky muscles while the Shake Weight will give the long muscles women crave more. This is a great marketing angle but one whose connection to reality is flimsy at best.
Let me state unequivocally. I believe this suggestion is baseless. Some people just tend to bulk up more than others. There is no reason to believe that this form of exercise will give you non-bulky muscles and weight training will.
Most women simply don’t have the genetic and hormonal makeup necessary to bulk up regardless of the kind of exercise they do. Unless you workout at the gym with the specific goal of becoming bulky you shouldn’t really worry about it.
The conclusion is that being afraid of bulking up is no reason to get this product.
2. The infomercial and official website claim that a scientific study proves that the Shake Weight is more effective than regular strength training. But where is this study?
I looked for the study on the official website but could find no reference. This makes me suspicious. I want to see who conducted the study, how it was conducted, and exactly what it found. I can’t really accept only the conclusion of a nameless study without knowing more about it.
Update (March 6th 2010): I was recently contacted by the ShakeWeight team and they sent me a report they received from a simulation company that did a study on the Shake Weight. Let me state that this is a simulation study, not done on real people but it does say pretty good things about the product. For anyone who is interested check it out: Shake Weight Report
3. I don’t believe you can achieve real results by working for 6 minutes a day and that’s it. Toning up really requires you to workout hard and to eat right. I don’t like these claims because they’re very hard to measure and either refute or confirm.
4. But the biggest thing which concerns me about this product are the conflicting ways in which it’s promoted to women and men. While the infomercial for women states that this device helps to avoid bulky muscle growth, the infomercial for the Shake Weight for men basically promises bulky muscle growth. For a full review of the male version visit Shake Weight For Men Review
What is the truth?
I’ll leave that as an open question to you.
However, I will say that there are lots of people who do report good results with the Shake Weight.
Shake Weight Pros and Cons
- Shake Weight are affordable at $19.95 a piece ($29.95 for the men’s version).
- They’re easy to use and carry with you
- I have no doubt that the Shake Weight does stimulate the arms muscles
- Has a money back guarantee
- I find it hard to believe that this device gives longer muscles than regular weight lifting
- Dumbbells come in many weights, shapes, and forms. This product has just one weight.
- You can get a harder workout with regular dumbbells
- Some of the marketing claims for this product seem to be stretching the truth.
1 Missing Ingredient
While working out is important, you can’t expect to get real results without a super-effective eating plan. No matter how good the Shake Weight will be for you, unless you eat right, you will never, ever be able to really lose arm fat and tone your body.
I don’t believe that Shake Weight really works better than regular training. Yes, it looks like fun and it does cause the muscles to flex, but I don’t believe it will get you better results than doing regular workouts especially if you workout hard and regularly.
However, it’s better than not exercising at all, that’s for sure you if you feel like having this around will get you to train more, go ahead and buy the Shake Weight.
So, don’t put all your hope in this product. Use it only in addition to traditional strength exercises because it is still unclear how Dynamic Inertia really works in the long run.
Here is the clip of The Shake Weight which aired on Ellen Degeneres: