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In what is without a doubt the most talked about fitness gimmick since Susanne Somers told us to squeeze, squeeze, SQUEEZE our way to firm, tight thighs, the Shake Weight promises to give us arms of steel while acquiring the skills necessary to satisfy a horse.

How you view the Shake Weight will depend greatly on one thing: whether you are male or female.  For a woman it looks like you’re giving the knuckle shuffle to a Sasquatch.  For a man however, it looks like you’re just giving a…much the same thing.  Honestly, this is the one piece of fitness equipment that requires all of your remaining dignity to be buried in the backyard.

Hmm. Nothing unusual here.

Lest I reduce myself to merely commenting on the obvious, I went to my favorite local fitness store to take a look at one of these devices.  As advertised it is a shaft with two moveable weights on the end.  Now…how to try it out without looking like a demented freak…?

First I went over to the weight section and used some good old fashioned iron to at least try and show I wasn’t a wuss.  Yeah, I’m diggin’ it.   Then I looked at a P90X box.  Yup, I’m a serious fitness shopper.  Tried some medicine balls.  Yes, still da man.  Time to move in.  I grabbed a Shake Weight and began experimenting with the motion.  The reaction was instant:  Three steroid junkie mall-cops threw me to the ground and put their boots to my neck while putting the weight in an evidence bag.  Mothers ran by and covered their children’s eyes from the scene and teenagers started taking pictures with their phones.   I’m now currently under house arrest and awaiting my trial for public indecency.

dysfunctional parrot in jail

In my few remaining seconds of having a clean criminal record I learned one thing:  This thing is a piece of garbage.  You can call it fancy names like “dynamic inertia” all you want, but it doesn’t make it a worthwhile investment.  Maybe…maybe you’ll get a burn in your arms after prolonged use, but a back-to-back set of pushups will accomplish 10x more, cost zero dollars and at least maintain your sense of self worth.

In a world of gimmicks. the Shake Weight is without a doubtas useless as it is hilarious.  Were it not for the multiple fit women in the infomercials giving simulated hand play, there would be absolutely no interest in this piece of garbage that will most certainly NOT be your key to strong arms any more than the ab-roller would give you a rippling set of washboard abs.  This is entertainment value only, and even then the jokes on you for spending $19.95 + shipping and handling.

So for all you ladies looking for strong arms, lift a damn weight already or drop and give me twenty.  Taking the easy way with stuff like this will net easy results…nothing.    And for you men, this is absolutely, without a doubt NOT anything you want in your house.  Yet if you insist on owning one, have it in a private room out of sight.   Be sure to have a copy of the Swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated next to it to ward off any suspicion about your orientation.  Then seal the room and line the walls with lead.   If you still hear the laughter when you work out with it, then don’t worry.  That just proves your subconscious is still working.

The people I feel most sorry for are the male actors in the infomercials.  As with any workout commercial, the actors are chosen based on their physical appearance.   Take the Bowflex ads for instance.  Obviously the people standing by the weights have personal trainers and dieticians.  The same goes here.  Only instead of having the honor of being in a commercial with a decent fitness machine, they get handed a script to do simulated stimulation.  All while maintaining a straight face.

Try as they might, marketing this to men is doomed to fail.  Unless you’re training for a prolonged stay at a maximum security prison and you need to get in good with the top dog in your cell-block, you will gain nothing from this.  We can try and distract ourselves with neat gadgets all we want, but a fit body takes work.  It takes diet.  It takes dedication.  And it sure as Hell doesn’t take a Shake Weight.   In fact, ten minutes with this is ten minutes wasted as you could have been doing practically any other exercise and have gotten more results.   But if you’re absolutely determined to spend some money then buy some push-up stands for a vastly superior workout.

Well, look at the bright side Dave…it can only get better from here.

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.



  1. G Trieste

    October 23, 2014 at

    You of course should all know that this product is so ridiculous and obviously lewd, that South Park did a whole episode that lampoons the whole thing.

    Absolutely hilarious, and something this device has needed, to be laughed at in the public way:

  2. Wonderbread

    October 28, 2013 at

    I have always seen this as a gag product… wonder if that’s what the inventor had in mind… either that or he is a sick pervert who wanted to watch his own commercials over and over again while stimulating the “shake weight” exercise w/o the shake weight!

  3. Ray

    August 16, 2011 at

    As stupid as these look, you do get a burn from using them. Perhaps they're not all bad?

    • Dysfunctional Parrot

      August 16, 2011 at

      As stupid as tying myself to a chair and throwing myself down the stairs looks, I still get a muscle burn from it.


      Any physical motion after a while will create a burn. But the question is, can your time be better spent doing some other exercise? Clearly in the case of the Shake Weight the answer is an enthusiastic yes!

      • weichholdo

        October 14, 2014 at

        “As stupid as tying myself to a chair and throwing myself down the stairs looks, I still get a muscle burn from it.”

        Damn that made me laughing so hard :)

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