My last blog discussed fad diets but as you know, not all gimmicks are in the shape of a diet pill. Let’s talk about the Shake Weights and Rockers that are trending right now. Are they the ‘the real deal’ or just another gimmick?
Let’s start with The Shake Weights.
The web site for The Shake Weights claims that the handheld object will do the following (BTW – my comments are in parenthesis):
- Dramatically increase muscle activity (doubtful)
- Contract muscles up to 240 time per minute (that depends)
- Build definition, size and strength FAST! (no way)
- Weighs only 5 lbs. (true but that’s not enough for actual for results)
- Provides incredible results in 6 minutes a day (waste of six minutes a day)
- Etc. (blah, blah, blah)
Let’s take a look at the principles taught in Strength Training 101: To gain muscle mass a muscle must be overloaded with a combination of weight and repetition so that tiny, microscopic tears occur in the muscle. The muscle then goes to work repairing itself and becomes stronger in the process. This is why people that lift heavier weights have bigger muscles. The heavier the weight, the more the muscle breaks down and therefore more repair has to take place. The end result is an increase in muscle mass for the targeted muscle group.
Now, let’s look at the principles of Shake Weight 101: The back and forth movement of the Shake Weight does not take the muscle through a range of motion specific to any one muscle group, plus it only weighs five pounds which would only cause minimal increase in muscle mass even if it did work. My advice is save your money and your six minutes a day.
There have been numerous articles written on the pros and cons of the Shake Weight. I like to refer to WebMD on controversial topics such as this one. They have published a very thorough review on the Shake Weight on their web site. Bottom line here is it would be better to invest your money in a set of dumbbells that allows you to load or unload plates so that you can overload specific muscle groups.
I found an inexpensive set at Wal Mart. I can load up to 40 pounds and have used them in my home gym for years. I have a feeling the Shake Weights will go the way of the ‘Shaking Machine’ I used to see my mother on when was a little girl. The machine had a big black belt that went around her butt. When she turned it on it shook her hips around and all that shaking was supposed to reduce her butt fat. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?
If these shoes are a rockin’ . . .
Toning Shoes or Rockers, like the Shake Weights, have been around for awhile but are still very popular. Toning shoes claim to trigger different muscle groups to fire above and beyond the muscles that are at work when you walk in regular shoes. From this extra muscle action you’ll get tighter legs and butt, burn more calories, etc. To someone like myself that has had to do five to six high intensity workouts a week for years to keep my legs and butt toned up (and even now there are several spots back there that are questionable) this just wouldn’t be fair. My common sense alone tells me it cannot be this easy.
Anyway, again I consulted the experts at WedMD and they agree with me. Oaky, really they just confirmed what I already knew. Studies have been done to test the shoes and results show that there’s no extra muscle toning going on. The results of the workouts were the same as with regular tennis shoes. I guess I won’t cancel my gym membership yet.
But here’s an idea: Take a nice brisk half-hour walk or steady jog followed by a 15 – 20 minute strength workout at least five times a week. This is the activity that will see some results!