With the holidays right around the corner, many people are scrambling to finish up their gift shopping. In this article, I’m going to share 8 of my favorite gift ideas for us fitness folk. Happy Holidays!
It looks like a cheap torture device, but it’s actually an incredibly useful tool for working out nasty knots and deep muscle tension.
The Body Back Buddy’s design allows a lot of options for positioning and size of the massage surface so you can use this on any part of the body: neck, shoulders, back, legs, feet, side body. It’s also made of a thick, durable plastic so you can give yourself the gift of a truly deep tissue massage.
For even better recovery, use this to massage a therapeutic ointment like Tiger Balm into sore muscles.
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel
When you hit the gym regularly, a great bag for your workout clothes, favorite fuel, and gear is a must. These bags come in three sizes – 60L, 90L or 120L – so there’s one suitable for every person and lifestyle.
Best of all, the Patagonia Black Hole has padded straps to carry the duffel vertically just like a backpack. And it’s made of waterproof material with sealed seams so it’s great for every day of the year.
Finding good t-shirts can actually be kind of tough when you lift weights regularly. Some brands seem to be either too lose and large or damn near skin tight, with nothing in workable in between.
One of my favorite brands of t-shirt is Alternative Earth. Their cuts are perfect (form fitting but not too tight, slightly tapered to accentuate your physique) and material soft and comfy. They’re cheap too. It’s all I wear these days.
Ensure your training buddy gets a variety of protein sources over the next year with this selection of cooked and cured, whole an encased meats, which will arrive on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Murray’s Meat Club is $225 ($18.75/month).
Hitting a plateau is never fun for anyone. With a training journal, you or your loved one will be able to stay motivated by seeing progress as it happens and identifying plateaus as soon as possible so goals are more attainable.
A blank journal works too, of course, but BodyMinder has blank charts for daily strength training and cardio, food habits, and progress.
While not entirely necessary, a good heart rate monitor has two uses:
1. Ensuring your rest intervals during your HIIT cardio are long enough. You want your heart rate to return to least 70% of its max before you hit another high interval.
I like to use this formula for calculating max heart rate:
Male athletes: HRmax = 202 – (0.55 x age)
Female athletes: HRmax = 216 – (1.09 x age)
2. Ensuring your rest in between weightlifting sets is long enough. The same rule applies here: you want to see your heart rate return to at least 70% of its max before you go for another set. Personally I like to see a return to the 50% range.
The chest straps most heart rate monitors require you to wear can be annoying, though. That’s why the MMIO Alpha’s watch-only design is the most practical choice. It syncs with smartphones via Bluetooth, and it also has a timer function.
Hitting weights in the gym isn’t the only way to build muscle and strength. A bodyweight workout routine can work wonders as well.
A good suspension training system lets you hit muscles in ways otherwise impossible with bodyweight training, and is also great for staying in shape while traveling.
The TRX is very popular, but I’ve found the LifelineUSA XT Jungle Gym just as good, if not slightly better in certain design aspects, for quite a bit less money. You won’t be disappointed.
No matter how you’re putting your body to the test, these BPA-free plastic bag-style water carriers are the most practical solution for hydration.
The large size carries a full liter of liquid, but because of the flexible design, the Platypus plusBottle only takes up as much space as water you want to carry with you. If you have to lug around a lot of stuff, bring this to the gym flat and fill it up there. The plus model features an all-natural SlimeGuard antimicrobial treatment.