Shake Weight

In case you’re not familiar with the roots of Angry Trainer Fitness, let me tell you just how much I detest most fitness infomercials.

Most of them make ridiculous claims and almost all of them have zero scientific, or real world proof that the products deliver what’s promised. Yet the fitness in “3 easy payments” market is booming, and is a billion dollar industry. All the while our waistlines continue to grow.

Back in October of 2010, I wrote an article titled Infomercial Insanity, in which I ripped apart and expressed my dismay at “expert” trainer and author Jennifer Cohen’s endorsement of some of the most absurd fitness products during a taping of the Later Today Show with Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. I was truly disappointed that an opportunity to actually educate the public on the truth was missed.

Well guess what? I’m going to take that missed opportunity and turn it into a lesson on the truth. In our new Infomercial Insanity strand we’ll feature a different fitness product, and evaluate the claims made by its promoters. Is it worth your hard earned money, or just a waste of cash that will only slim down your wallet.

First up is the infamous Shake Weight.

Product Pitch

The Shake Weight’s biggest selling point is a phrase called “Dynamic Inertia”, which means that as you hold the dumbbell, spring loaded weights inside each end move back and fourth thereby increasing the resistance. In addition, the website states that using the weight will work the biceps, triceps, shoulders, and chest. It also claims that it has scientifically proven results, takes only 6 minutes per day, activates up to 300% more muscle than using conventional dumbbells and that the 2.5 weight was specifically designed for women.

But wouldn’t you know, a 5lb. version is available for men. Apparently men can develop size, strength, and definition also in just 6 minutes, with up to 240 muscle contractions per minute. Of course neither Weight require any batteries, a gym membership, or a commitment to a 30 – 60 minute workout. Just shake your way to a better-looking body in a few minutes.

Both the men’s and women’s come with workout DVD’s; the women’s include a full body workout and 2 dance videos, the men’s supplies an upper body sculpting video, and of course they both make use of the shake weight. As the website video says, if you’re tired of having flabby arms and upper body muscles, the Shake Weight will fix you up and have you looking tighter and toned in no time.

The Angry Trainer Says:

Bullcrap! But I’m sure you all knew I would say that right? Come on!

Of all the products I’ve seen come and go, this one has to be the most absurd, perverse and downright ridiculous of them all. It’s sad that this product even made it to TV. It’s true that higher repetition exercise may recruit more muscle fibers as a muscle tires, but  I don’t care how long you shake this ‘dumbbell’ for – you will NOT recruit more muscle fibers than any appropriately designed strength program. Ironically the claims made are based on repetitive sets with a light-weight, which targets slow twitch, or endurance muscle fibers. These fibers have a much lower propensity for growth compared to fast twitch, or explosive muscle fibers, so right from the start the claims are a farce.

In addition, the range of motion during exercise is nearly non-existent. The user is simply ‘shaking’ a weight at most with 15 degrees of elbow movement. Muscles need to be trained through complete ranges of motion for full, and functional strength development. Sure, your arms will burn when using it. So, what does that do for you? Just because an exercise or product causes localized pain in an area does not mean it’s productive to your fitness goals. Not to mention I’m sure that this “fitness product” has caused tendonitis in many people from its repetitive nature.

Truthfully I could go on and on about the 6 minutes claims, how Shake Weights are ‘better’ than dumbbells (seriously?), but the bottom line is this – The Shake Weight is crap, it doesn’t work, or do anything except spark terrific Saturday Night Live and South Park skits. I suppose I should write in and thank them for a great laugh.

There is no science behind the product at all, unless you consider smoke and mirrors as reputable research. Heck, forget science, there’s no rationality or logical thinking to it – it even looks ridiculous! In my opinion you will not get results from using the Shake Weight, nor will you look like any of the models – who clearly train with weights by the way,  and in my opinion the people who give before and after testimonials are straight up liars. That’s my opinion.

It’s sad that people have made this one of the top selling fitness products. It’s embarrassing to me actually, and I shudder every time I see on in a store. Please, laugh at it, joke about it, make funny comments at a dinner party, but DON’T buy one.

Verdict: Totally Insane!