Does The Shake Weight Really Work ?

shake weightOkay, so we’ve all seen by now, the infomercials with the model holding the dumbbell shaking. We’ve all had a good laugh and made the usual jokes about what it may or may not look like. But the question remains, does the shake weight really work? First things first.


What is the shake weight? The shake weight is a 2.5 (female version) or 5 lb (male version) weight sold  by FitnessIQ. It is essentially a modified dumbbell with weights at either end attached to a spring. As you shake it, the weights oscillate working various muscles.


Claims According to the manufacturer, the shake weight makes use of dynamic inertia to work the upper body (arms, shoulder, chest) in 6 mins a day. They claim that: “studies at a prestigious California university prove that the Shake Weight increases upper body muscle activity by more than 300% compared to traditional weights.” The study was done at San Diego State University, under Dr. Daniel Cipriani, an associate professor in the department of Exercise Physiology. They made use of EMG (Electromyograph) monitoring to measure muscle activity and to compare to similar exercises with a regular dumbbell.


Truth The study referenced, for the effectiveness of the shake weight, is not published in any peer reviewed journal (reputable or otherwise) anywhere. So the claims are dubious at best. Muscles respond when they are continually challenged through increasing resistance. The shake weight is not adjustable and provides the same resistance throughout the fixed 6 min workout. Any long term benefit seems unlikely. Now according to another study (peer reviewed), the shake weight did not show any advantage of the dumbbell for any exercise or muscle group worked. The exercises performed were the chest shake (CS), biceps shake (BS), and triceps shake (TS). None of the exercises did enough to increase muscular strength. As for getting rid of arm flab, sorry to burst your bubble, but the idea of spot reducing fat is ridiculous. You lose fat everywhere and not one specific place.


Bottom line If you’ve never worked out in your life, you might see some initial benefit from the shake weight. Doing something is better than nothing, I suppose. Are you going to pack on muscle or tone up? Hardly likely. To become toned you need to work on diet to lose fat. Maybe you can buy it and workout for more than 6 mins and continually increase the length of the workout for each body part targeted. That might work. I would suggest that you go to a gym or buy a set of regular dumbbells and do more traditional exercises before I recommend the shake weight. Check out my review of the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbell set.


Photo of shake weight by Rod Herrera under a CC by 2.0 license

15 thoughts on “Does The Shake Weight Really Work ?

  1. I always see the commercials for this thing and think, “There’s no way that works.” I appreciate the honest confirmation that it is just another gimmick. While I’m guess one would need more than 6 minutes a day for real toning through weight lifting, is there any exercise tool for convenience out there that you would recommend?

    1. You could get a set of dumbbells, resistance bands, TRX suspension trainer…any of these can work if you’re creative.

  2. Thankyou for being honest about such a gimmick product. I will never touch those things. As you mentioned if you’ve never done anything at all then you might get minimal growth but it’s such a useless product. Glad to see honest reviews out there that dont just claim every product is amazing to make sales.

  3. This is a great review. I had one of these years ago. Mine was gray though and had silver outlining. My wife couldn’t never take me serious once I started working out with it. She would almost instantly start busting a gut.

    But yea you busted my bubble with this post. I thought I was doing something.

  4. Haha I remember seeing this commercial for the first time online. I thought it was hilarious that this little contraption could help someone lose weight. I agree with the fact that for the people who do not workout often you’ll probably see significant results, but for regular exercisers you probably won’t see too much unless done for a looong time.

  5. Hi

    I have seen the shake weight on TV. Do you think anybody believes these claims we all see on TV for fitness.

    I have been telling my clients for years that you cannot spot burn fat. I appreciate reading it other places as I was starting to think it was me.

    What do you recommend as a substitute for something like the shake weight that someone could use for a short period of time and see results?

    Or do you think more time is required to make any progress?

    You have to set out your goals and then try to go for them. Choose the best way to do it. Don’t you think?

    1. People will believe anything. There is no quick fix. A regular dumbbell works fine, much better than a shake weight. Doing HIIT activity for just a couple mins a day, does wonders.

  6. Great website here, straightforward and it gets to point. I liked how you made an honest review about weight loss and put it across in a ‘non scammy’ way to make sales.

    As well as this, the layout and theme looked quite unique and it prevented me from bouncing from the website due to it’s captivating look.

    All in all, great website which I will be sharing around, well done bud!

  7. Ya this did bring back memories. It was hilarious when the infomercials were advertising this. I really didn’t see much benifts from this. How many guys you see that never spend a day in the gym with muscle on their biceps or wherever this works you out. Men build muscle easier than women I suppose you would see some extreamly muscler men.

  8. The site title “Lose Fat Eat Right” seems off target for that particular page. When I first saw “Shake weight” mentioned, I did not know what you were talking about. After scrolling down the page some I realized that this was the equivalent of barbells and dumbells. You have something that some people might be motivated to check out further.

  9. Haha, when you started off your article with all the jokes, I remembered seeing this on Ellen. I also agree that this will not do a lot as it doesn’t really vigorate fat or muscles in the way that other fitness regimes do. I would use this as maybe a starter activity in my fitness exercises

    1. If you’ve never exercised before, it may be of some benefit. But some of those claims are definitely outrageous.

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