Shake Weight review: As Seen on TV flop

The Product: Shake Weight
The Price: Online $19.95 plus $9.95 shipping and handling
The Claims: Tones and firms arms and shoulders in just 6 minutes a day.
Buy-O-Meter Rating (1 to 5): 1

Shake Weight is a one-joke hand weight whose pumping, throbbing and grinning infomercial is making hearts pound -- but not in a good way.

The 2.5-pound dumbbell, with springs on both ends, claims to tone flabby arms and work shoulder and chest muscles in just 6 minutes a day. Theoretically, you can shake the weight different ways to work different upper body muscles.

I did feel the burn when I tested the Shake Weight -- a burn in my neck, the result of tightly gripping the dumbbell so it wouldn't shake out of my hands and through the window.

In fact, the Shake Weight info-models look like they're having a lot more fun than I had. The weight doesn't produce the same satisfying pump as seen on TV. And it's awkward to shake in almost every position.

Personal trainers I consulted say Shake Weight is a waste of money. "It's virtually useless," says Kim Sanborn, a Virginia trainer who concluded that the dumbbell is not heavy enough to sculpt muscles or increase heart rates significantly. "You'd have to do 10,000 repetitions."

One Shake Weight costs $19.95 plus $9.95 shipping and handling. A couple of 2-pound hand weights cost half that and can condition muscle systems throughout the body, Sanborn says.

Shaking just about anything for 6 minutes a day is a better workout than lying still on a couch. But pumping the Shake Weight exercises only one thing -- your imagination.

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