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Sure the Shake Weight has inspired an SNL skit, a South Park Episode, and left Ellen speechless but how does it stand up to the more traditional, tried and true workout results of the Whirley Pop?

A few weeks back, and conveniently timed with New Year’s Resolution season, Groupon offered a deal on the illustrious Shake Weight. With a discount of at least 40% I placed my order to kick off a more fit 2012!! My Shake Weight arrived last week and included a DVD guide (which I have yet view). The initial impression was that the construction was solid enough and much like on TV I looked ridiculous whenever I picked it up.

The home exercise equipment market is something like a bagillion dollar a year industry where well intending consumers scoop up the latest hot item with the vision of instantly looking like the tan, toned, perfectly chiseled fitness model form the commercial. In reality, after a few uses many of these items end up collecting dust in the corner, globe hopping from garage sale to garage sale, or as a tax deductible donation item to your favorite resale charity… just look in my office closet, long term home of my once popular Torso Track… I’ll admit my Whirley Pop had suffered a similar fate for far too long, tucked in a cabinet, shunned for the quick easy results of microwave popcorn.

So there is no comparison in my mind between fresh popped popcorn and the microwave variety though it’s easy to stray and forget. Fresh popped is lighter, fluffier, and healthier without whatever is in that magic bag used make it pop. For the test I used 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn, 1-2 tablespoons of Con’ Olio Natural Butter EVOO, a touch of white truffle oil,  and salt in the Whirley Pop and the Shake Weight Classic for Men.

Having not used the Whirley Pop for some time, I had to do a quick search for proportions. I also saw the tip to season the pan before use which i did with a bit of olive oil and about a minute on the stove. I swirled the warm oil around to coat, then wiped out the excess with a paper towel. My Whirey Pop was ready for the challenge and I loaded it up for my 5 minute, express work out.

The keys to a good Whirley Pop workout are constant motion, consistent speed, and alternating between both arms to avoid excessive muscle development on one side. Done on the gas stove over medium heat, this low impact workout can be preformed multiple times a day if desired. Be advised that done too frequently it can lead to burnout. For maximum results, alternate both between arms frequently switch exercise direction. With its flexible design, exercise can be performed in both clockwise and counter-clockwise motions. There is a natural timer built into the Whirley Pop workout by way reduced popping sound and increased resistance.

In contrast to the Whirley Pop, I found the Shake Weight routine less satisfying. To its credit there is more of a “feel the burn” sensation with the Shake Weight but after the work out I was left sweaty and sore without a healthy, satisfying recovery snack.

In the end I think further testing is definitely in order but early indications lead me to declare the Whirley Pop (and my afternoon need for a snack) the winner!