The Shake Weight for Men doubles the weight of the original 2.5-pound dumbbell designed for women. According to claims on the manufacturer's site, using the men's version for just six minutes a day can strengthen, build and define chest, shoulder and arm muscles. As with the original Shake Weight, the manufacturer says the springs at each end of the dumbbell give it "dynamic inertia" that fires up muscles much more than ordinary weight-lifting -- up to 240 contractions a minute. An upper body workout DVD is included with the Shake Weight for Men.
Although the ads for the women's version say using the Shake Weight tones muscles without adding bulk, the heavier men's version is supposed to build muscle. Ads for both versions cite the results of lab tests conducted by Daniel Cipriani at San Diego University, showing that the Shake Weight causes muscles to contract faster than they do when using regular dumbbell. We emailed him to confirm the study results, and Chris Woolston interviewed Cipriano for a review of the Shake Weight for Men published in the Los Angeles Times.
Quite a few owners reviewing the Shake Weight for Men at Amazon.com confirm that using it for brief workouts does give muscles a pumped, burning sensation right away. However, Cipriano -- in agreement with several other exercise experts -- recommends a regular weightlifting program for better results overall. A traditional and more successful approach to building and strengthening muscles would gradually increase the weight far beyond five pounds. The bottom line: The Shake Weight for Men might give your arms some minor toning but don't expect miracles.
We found three reviews of the Shake Weight for Men based on personal tests by the authors. Chris Woolston's review at the Los Angeles Times tops our list, because it includes information from exercise experts as well. The review at ColumbusAlive.com, a weekly entertainment publication for Columbus, Ohio, discusses both the Shake Weight and the workout featured in the included DVD. A review at Wired specifies the product's pros and cons. An article by Johann Verheem at Inc. magazine is also on hands-on testing. We found skeptical reviews of both the men's and women's versions at WalletPop.com, WorldOfDiets.com and HealthAndFitnessAdvice.com, plus ratings and comments from about 30 owners at Amazon.com.
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1. Los Angeles Times
The author reports on his own experience trying the Shake Weight; he says his arm muscles were exhausted after just 30 seconds. He also consults two exercise experts, both of whom agree that the Shake Weight is not a substitute for a regular weight-lifting program. David Swain, a professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., is quite skeptical about the Shake Weight. Daniel Cipriani, whose lab tests confirm that the device gets muscles fired up, agrees that it's more useful for brief breaks than for six-minute arm workouts.
Review: Weighing in on the Shake Weight, Chris Woolston, May 10, 2010
2. Columbus Alive
In this weekly publication based in Columbus, Ohio, Jesse Tigges shares his own experience using the Shake Weight, and he provides useful details about the six-minute workout featured in the DVD that comes with it. He does the complete routine three times for a full 20 minutes, but discovers "That next-day burn that usually accompanies a good workout was sorely lacking."
Review: We Tried It!: Shake Weight, Jesse Tigges, Aug. 19, 2010
This review is based on personal tests conducted by the author. Leckart concludes that the Shake Weight and its exercise DVD have potential for hilarious entertainment, but not for serious exercise. Using the Shake Weight as directed can result in some sensations of muscle tension, but it doesn't come close to matching a regular weight-lifting regime -- either for raising heart rate or inducing the eventual muscle soreness that usually indicates a successful workout.
Review: The Shake Weight Review: Hilarious But Useless, Steven Leckart, Aug. 26, 2010
4. Inc. magazine
Christine Lagorio interviews the inventor of the Shake Weight, Johann Verheem, who discusses the evolution of the device as well as its amazing burst of publicity. Verheem says he's not at all dismayed by the spoofs on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "Saturday Night Live" -- instead, he finds them hilarious. He says part of the point of the Shake Weight is to make a device that catches people's attention, adding "Part of our job is to get them motivated to exercise."
Review: Shaking America By Storm, Christine Lagorio, Aug 16, 2010
This brief review of both the men's and women's Shake Weight models concludes that "shaking just about anything for six minutes a day is a better workout than lying still on a couch." The reviewer says she consulted several personal trainers, all of whom say it's a waste of money. Kim Sanborn, a trainer based in Virginia, says the Shake Weight is not heavy enough to tone muscles or increase heart rates successfully.
Review: Shake Weight Review: As Seen on TV Flop, Lisa Kaplan Gordon, Aug. 12, 2010
This skeptical review of both the men's and women's versions of the Shake Weight notes the discrepancies in the ads -- preventing bulk for women, but adding bulk for men -- and doubts that the difference in weight could possibly achieve this. The fixed weight is another drawback, but the reviewer notes that some users do report results and that using the Shake Weight is "better than not exercising at all." More than 170 readers add comments, and feedback is pretty split: Some say they notice a difference in their arms, while others say the Shake Weight is a dud.
Review: Shake Weight Reviews (For Men and For Women), Staff of WorldOfDiets.com
A certified personal trainer says that just because you can feel something -- fatigue, soreness, or a "burn" -- doesn't mean you're performing an effective exercise.
Review: The Healthy Skeptic: The Shake Weight Gets a Do Not Buy Recommendation, Sal Marinello, Nov. 3, 2009
The Shake Weight for Men earns largely positive ratings here from the 50 or so owners reviewing it, with about 75 percent saying they're happy with it. Detractors find it hard to use as directed, while others say that its effectiveness is very limited. However, many users say they can feel their muscles burn after using the Shake Weight. One unsatisfied user says he never received a refund on return shipping (though it's promised on the site).
Review: Shake Weight for Men Dumbbell, Contributors to Amazon.com