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Does the Shake Weight Work?

January 31 2011

Shake Weight is the new fitness product which is the talking point these days. Of course, the guy and the girl who uses it is ripped. So it should work. Or does shake weight work? Here is my shake weight reviews.

What are the Shake Weight claims?

shake weight does it work

1. Get toned & firm arms in 6 minutes a day - for women.
2. Build definition, strength & size in 6 minutes a day - for Men.

So does the Shake Weight  work?

Since there is no shake weight study out there, all we need to see is if shake weight goes against the fundamental science of muscle growth and fat loss.

  • Body fat: You cannot burn body fat from specific areas of your body by exercising those specific areas. This is called the myth of spot reduction. It is the same reason why millions of Americans who does thousands of crunches at the gym still have no abs. So shake weight fails big time for fat loss.
  • What about the calories burned? You might burn 30-50 calories with a 6 minute workout since it only uses small muscles groups, with a small range of motion, and for very short time. To burn a pound of fat, you need to burn 3500 calories!
  • Muscle Gain: There might be some increase in muscle in your upper body for a beginner for the first few workouts, but then your muscles adapt.  Since there is no progression in weights with a shake weight, which is the cardinal rule of muscle gain, no shaking will ever get your more muscular.
  • Tone: You look toned when you lose fat and gain some muscle. Since shake weight fails to do both, guess how can it make you toned?
  • Pump: Most of the shake weight ads show people using it and feeling the burn in your arms and upper body and they think “wow it works”. You can get a regular dumbell and shake it too and you will feel the same. Or get a bottle, fill it half way, and shake it .

Are there any risks with Shake Weight?

  • Harm:  It is now well established that vibration exposure can cause harmful effects. According to OSHA (Occupational & Safety Hazard Association), long term exposure to vibration can also cause nausea, impaired vision, hyperventilation, and disorders such as White Finger Disease (Raynaud’s Syndrome), Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, & Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Practical Applications

  • Shake Weight do not work to get toned, gain strength, muscle or burn calories.
  • Regular use of shake weight may cause some vibration exposure problems.
  • If shake weight helps anything, it teaches you how to market the wrong product the right way.

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BJ | Tue February 01, 2011  

I have all ways been interested in these shake weights I personaly believe they are like the ab swing pro they do nothing but what about the dynamic inertia which can cause small muscle contractions which means it could be good for muscle gain and strength is this true.

OMAR | Tue February 01, 2011  

Anoop - I can’t remember if you already did an article on vibration plate training that was popularised by some celebrities last year. I think the same words of warning about vibration exposure could apply to this device too.

Anoop | Wed February 02, 2011  

Hi BJ,

It’s just another term thrown around to make it look scientific. Even Newton would have trouble understanding the meaning!

And there will be some muscle gain if you take “any” weight and shake it long enough. You don’t need to buy the shake weight to do that.

Hi Omar,

Thanks for the comment. I already did one on vibration training. Check the ‘reviews’ section please.

MetroEast Beast | Wed February 23, 2011  

what ever happened to the best exercise is the one you do? smile

Miss | Thu February 24, 2011  

Well I know I use this product as an addition to my work out regimen and I have toned my arms down 11 inches. I do not see this working alone, I also eat right and workout. I personally think the claim of your muscles getting used to it is bogus.. when you feel you have become tolerant you shake it longer and a little harder. I do see how someone with carpal tunnel would have an issue. Has the person who is opinionated so negatively about this product even tried it?

Anoop | Thu February 24, 2011  

Hi Missy,

Thanks for the comment.

What do you mean by toned?

You can only increase muscle and decrease fat. Shaking the weight for minutes will only increase muscle endurance and not muscle growth. And hence the simple reason weights evolved so you can overload the muscle.

You cannot burn fat with specific exercise. I hope you know that. Your results, if true, are just because you ate right and worked out.

And you don’t have try things out to know it works. You don’t try every product, diet, and supplement out there to see if it works, right.

Miss | Thu February 24, 2011  

Like I said I use this to enhance my workout, I would not recommend that this be the only thing one does. Yes it works because I eat right and burn fat in other ways, but I am telling you it visibly slimmed out my arms and toned (the muscles that hung there before are now visibly and slenderly noticeable).

It cuts at a weight lifting session time. So even the article above says you can get the same effect by shaking a dumbbell or a bottle of water. It works your muscles.

Did not mean to get under your skin, but I have been using this machine for almost a year and I have seen results strictly from it in my arms… i do no other workout with them, just this and I see results. When I first got it I used it everyday, now I use it a couple times a week to maintain. So I guess me and about, at least 5 other people I know, are all just imagining results because you, on a blog, say it cannot work?? Ok well then, good day:)

oh and by toned I meant they are there, where they were not before. You say what you want to believe and I will enjoy what I know works:) Have a great day:)

Anoop | Fri February 25, 2011  

I am sorry, but you do sound exactly like one of those models for the late night TV ab commercials.

Good luck.

Miss | Fri February 25, 2011  

lol I WISH I looked like them too!!!! Thanks you too!!

ATP | Sat April 23, 2011  

I’m curious if helps the upper arms utilize ATP? I think most people who do some “contractions” with it are at least activating the muscle fibers with resistance to allow for the utilization of ATP, hence growth. You grow mitochondria, you increase nutrient absorption? Perhaps the shakeweight can help a bit to do this.


Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy

Increasing the volume of the tissue that supplies energy to the muscle or is involved with the neural drive: Intimately involved in the production of ATP are intracellular bodies called ‘mitochondria’. Muscle fibers will adapt to high volume (and higher rep) training sessions by increasing the number of mitochondria in the cells. They will also increase the concentrations of the enzymes involved in the oxidative phosphorylation and anaerobic glycolysis mechanisms of energy production and increase the volume of sarcoplasmic fluid inside the cell (including glycogen) and also the fluid between the actual cells. This type of hypertrophy produces very little in the way of added limit strength but has profound effects on increasing strength-endurance (the ability to do reps with a certain weight) because it dramatically increases the muscles’ ability to produce ATP. Adaptations of this sort are characteristic of Bodybuilders’ muscles. 


Anoop | Sun April 24, 2011  


Thanks for the comment.

Any contraction in your body requires ATP. Everything has to be broken down to ATP before it can be used as energy for the body.

So even if you shake a regular dumbell, you will use ATP.

And just by using ATP, you will not experience muscle growth. For muscle growth, you need progressive loading.

Does it make sense?

Jonathan Kim | Tue May 03, 2011  

Hey Anoop,

I did not know which other way to get into contact with you. My email is jonathan.kim@ryerson.ca and have started a blog of my own due to passion and interest in fitness and all the aspects around it.

If you could check it out and perhaps subscribe that would be amazing!


Jonathan Kim

Anoop | Wed May 04, 2011  

Hi Jon,


You need to write something about yourself in your blog. i didn’t see an ‘About me’ link. Do you have a facebook or something for your site?

near60lifter | Sat July 02, 2011  

Here is the experience/testing by Wayne Westcott, who is usually associated with HIT or Nautilus training. Quite surprising.

Mike | Mon August 01, 2011  

I very much doubt that this product has any validity whatsoever. Sure, shaking something can make you feel tired but can it really cause your muscles to grow?

I don’t think so.

You should also check out the nearly 300 comments about the shakeweight on this review:

They show you what people really manage to do with this gadget.

Sadie | Thu September 15, 2011  

I got blisters on my palms within days of using this gadget.  But, whether it has anything to do with the weight or not, I soon noticed lumps forming under the skin on my arms. Then within a short time I found that my skin has wrinkled to where I look 20 years older.  I don’t know if it is all connected, but I do know that it all happened within 2 months of buying the Shake Weight.  I sold it at a rummage sale.

Mario | Tue December 06, 2011  

Lots of assumptions don’t you think? why don’t you get one and try it before say anything about it? I did it, and it does work, when your body adapts to vibration, the only thing you have to do is shake it faster, and believe me, it wears you out! doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or a regular person.

Lethe | Tue December 20, 2011  

What do I think?  I think that the advertising doesn’t say anything about fat loss, so addressing that issue, while informative, doesn’t contradict the claims the company makes.  It says using the product as instructed will firm and tone the muscles in your arms and upper body.  And that it will do, moderately, if you are not already doing some weight training in that area.  It will NOT give you the definition you will get if you regularly train with free weights…it’s a 6 minute routine.  But it does work the targeted muscles, and gives them a mild workout.  I have tried these little guys, and I will say that IMO the women’s weights aren’t heavy enough, except perhaps for those who have done NO prior exercise.  Once you adapt to the women’s weights, you’ll want to move up to the men’s.

Now as for the potential harm, I will say that the reason I ended up on this website is because I googled a connection between carpal tunnel and the shake weights.  After using them for a while, I can feel the compression ache in my wrists…not a good thing.  I haven’t had carpal tunnel problems from typing (and I do a lot of it), but I HAVE had problems with doing push-ups and with riding any bicycle that causes me to bend my wrist at a sharp angle (ie a racing stance).  Any action that requires me to bend my wrist at a 45 degree angle and put weight on it tends to give me problems. 

So at the moment, I’m trying to modify my grip on the weights to see if I can relieve the compression when I use them.  If not, they will be going out in the next yard sale.  But for a light workout and mild toning, they do show results.  Over time, folks, over time.  You’re not going to look like the buffed demonstrator in two weeks (and you never will with just shake weights - she’s into serious weight and strength training). (And WAY too skinny for anything I’d like to look like ^_^).

Erik Petersen | Wed December 21, 2011  

I can’t believe that I am reading about people actually using this thing for anything other than a gag gift! Sheeple everywhere!

Anoop | Wed December 21, 2011  

Hi Erik,

I don’t how to reply to some of these comments. I think even the shake weight people are amazed at how some people can be this gullible!

dude | Fri February 17, 2012  

im trying to stop my girl friend from useing the guys weight because she dose have wrist problems but she dont beleave me when i say its not good for her wrists right?

Shawn Valentine | Fri February 17, 2012  

If I was a greedy person wanting to make millions I could easily create one of these products…I love the comments that come from those that have no formal training in exercise science, exercise physiology, personal training, physical therapy, biomechanics, etc…The public is so easily fooled by a well produced infomercial, and I feel that is another reason why our professions are so important so products like these cannot succeed.

AJ | Fri December 28, 2012  

Ok can i use the shake weight everyday for 6minutes then go work out at the gym?

Erik | Sat December 29, 2012  

C’mon people, this was the result of brilliant marketing! It was never intended to actually produce results, except for facial muscles being worked while laughing! What a great gag/white elephant gift!

Anoop | Thu January 03, 2013  

Hi AJ,

You can, but not needed at all.

Erik you post sums it up nicely.

Yeshua | Mon January 28, 2013  

I think you hit the nail on the head, regarding this product. I purchased one, maybe a year ago, after hearing so much hype about it from my gf at the time. All I remember is, I used it maybe one or two days - mainly because it made my elbows lock up (never had a joint lock up ever while working out) and it made my neck feel horrible… it didn’t feel like DOMS. I normally do drop sets or pyramids, with partial reps thrown in after failure sometimes, and fascia stretching. But I fail to see how this product could have any beneficial effect for anyone, it literally felt like I was borderline injured, and not in my muscles. The first thing that came to mind after using it was tendonitis. I suppose it was a great marketing scheme, but great results tend to only come from hard work, in my opinion. I get the feeling that if someone were to use only this product for exercise, they may develop really poor posture and who knows what else.

EOD | Sun May 19, 2013  

I think that people who have not actually used a product should not be commenting.

Erik | Mon May 20, 2013  

EOD….....put a lid on it….now!

Bill | Fri December 27, 2013  

I wouldn’t think that your muscles would adapt.  As you gain muscle you shake it harder to keep the workout intense.

BuffBobby | Sun February 16, 2014  

This blogger is an idiot. Of course the shake weight will build muscle and trim fat. Every single movement does that. Simple physics, it’s like hitting a speed bag all day for boxers. Are you going to tell me that jump roping is a gag too? You do not have to increase weight to build mass….I have seen people with extremely muscular legs who just run a lot. You do not have to do squats and calf raises to increase leg strength. Same with arm strength. The more you run, the faster and harder you can run. The more you shake the shake weight, the faster and harder you can shake it.

Allen | Sun March 12, 2017  

I used the shake weight vigorously for 3 weeks, and my left arm (not my right), stays in constant pain. Sometimes I can’t even lift my left arm. Do you think I pulled or tore something? Thanks

Anoop | Wed March 22, 2017  

Hi Allen,

It could be something neurological. If the pain is still there, I would consult a doctor.

Here is alink to OSHA about vibration hazzards: https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2015/02/02/Vibration-Hazards.aspx

What do you think?



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