I’m going to tell you a story for your Christmas present. It is about how I am preparing for my entrance exams to Dumb Academy. Despite what you may have heard, they are highly selective, but I do think I have a shot. You see, I have a new piece of equipment to help me get ready.
I walked into the gym the other night to see an abomination sitting on a plyo box. No, it was not the gym owner, who merely qualifies as a sub-creature (Hi James). It was the latest in cutting edge fitness technology, the shake weight for men. Have you ever seen this thing? If you have a TV you’ve no doubt been eye-assaulted by the Shake Weight Infomercial several dozen times.
Even in the midst of the Crossfit madness, it was still obvious that it was there as a joke.
I know, I know. You’re confused. You’re thinking that this won’t be enough to get me into Dumb School. That thing looks really stupid, you might be thinking. Well, don’t say that–the reality is more unkind.
How does the shake weight work?
Does the shake weight work? I’m sure it does if you commit to it. How? Well, you pick it up. Then you shake it. That’s it. Then you put your feet up and wait for wave after wave of great abs, huge biceps, RIPPED shoulder, and massive thighs to roll over you. It also generates a ton of smiles and exclamation points and enthusiastic testimonials about hard hard it is.
There is a tiny cynic who lives in the darkest reaches of my brain. He carries a machete and when he gets annoyed he lays into anything whenever he sees something dumb. Well, at about 1:32 of this video he had reduced my brain to a smoking ruin.
I am willing to admit that shaking a weight back and forth for six minutes in a span of two or three inches is a challenge. I’m not willing to admit that it is worthwhile or better than anything else or even remotely useful. I’m not willing to even consider that the men in this video look they way they do because of the Shake Weight.
Can it help you lose fat? Of course. So can lots of other things that are actually enjoyable. I tried it and it raised my heart rate. Calories burned. That’s how it works. Burning calories by shaking something is not better than burning calories by lifting or actually getting strong, and why would you not want to get stronger? I’m sorry, you just can’t look like a bad*ss while using this thing. The men in this video have the smile of men who are being forced to recite the orders of a kidnapper on camera while their families are being help captive elsewhere. These guys know what they’re doing is lame. I know they know. They have to.
I shook one for about 60 seconds. I held it in front of my chest. My arms were quivering and I was breathing hard when I was done. It was hands down the least fun I’ve ever had exercising. I think I’d have more fun doing Crossfit, which I usually rate just below a Tasering to my man-bits on the fun scale.
I’m sure I burned calories. It also made me feel really stupid to be waving a noisy baby rattle around when there were barbells and kettlebells in the same room with me.
But again, the fun factor is what was really lacking with me. I look forward to my workouts. I personally believe that is the key to training longevity–doing what you think is fun and trying to get better at it. I will do anything I can to make my workouts enjoyable. When I finish I’m usually looking forward to the next one.
If I knew there was nothing in my future beyond walking into my living room and shaking something, I would be…quite annoyed. And I am fairly certain that shaking a light weight will never make me very strong. It would, however, make me better at shaking something very fast. I’m trying to imagine scenarios where this would be useful.
- Prepping for the entrance exams to Dumb Academy (I also have to submit an essay on P90X)
- Mixing a protein shake without a blender
- Getting hysterical women to calm down after grabbing them by the lapels (always worked for Humphrey Bogart)
I think that’s about it.
Outside the office where I am typing this, there are lots of presents under the Christmas tree. They belong to 12 different people. If any of them contains a shake weight, tomorrow there will be a crater in the ground in Littleton, Colorado.
That is down and to the left on the holly-jolly spectrum. Pray for us all.