I am hopeless with a capital H at buying people Christmas presents. It all stems from the big picture view I have, and always have had. I’ve always been blessed (or cursed?) with an eye for the details.
Instead of seeing a question or two, I’ll see dozens! Of course this has it’s merits; superb memory and a meticulous nature. It also has it’s flaws; over-thinking, uncertainty and sometimes a lack of direction.
So the game of buying presents becomes a tough ask. It’s hard to whittle it all down to the essentials. But I’m sure you’ve been there, sometimes it just “clicks” and you hit that store that has just what the person in question is into or loves. When it does click, this is often the spark for the most amazing presents.
This happened to me a week or so back in central London. I was visiting the notoriously publicised ‘Winter Wonderland’. Long story short: A big festival of winter and Christmas themed activities, lots of cool rides and a swarm of gift stalls. All in all a very good place, especially at this time of year – recommended.
I wanted to bring back an Xmas gift for somebody in my family, but I didn’t know the who’s, what’s, why’s and where’s. After much browsing I stumbled across a cosmetics themed stall that was selling nothing but bath themed products. Think organic soaps, milk bath powders, scents, lip balms, candles and tons of gift sets. CLICK! Instantly I knew I would be buying from here as my sister absolutely loves all of that stuff and is always running milk baths and layering herself in essential oils!
The realm of fitness could be the topic that loudly CLICKS in your head when you think of a particular loved one. Maybe they’re into fitness and always have been. Maybe they’ve been talking forever about how they’re “going to shape up or do X/Y next year”. I intend for these gift ideas to be pretty alternate and suitable for both novices and gym-rats alike.
Some of these I’ve bought for myself in the past and they’ve become absolute “must haves!”
5 cool fitness gifts in no particular order:
1) A program – I say it all the time; what gets measured gets managed. Random workouts equal random results. A proper periodized program with in-built progressions will yield plentiful results. It could be designed by a local personal trainer or it could be a popular online program.
What program is suitable? Does your brother, dad or son keep complaining of disliking their belly fat? If so, how about getting them MI40 by pro bodybuilder Ben Pakulski? What about The fat loss solution by Ryan Faehnle? Lean hybrid muscle by Elliott Hulse? The list of options could go on and on. Get creative.
Does your boyfriend keep obsessing over getting stronger? Why not get him a copy of 5/3/1 by Jim Wendler? How about Base Building by Paul Carter?
2) A gym-boss timer – Many people have already promoted the importance of these. But in all honesty, strict adherence to prescribed rest periods absolutely makes or breaks a program! With the gym boss timer, you just set the intervals as desired and that’s it! No fiddling using your phone – which often causes distractions (DAMN FACEBOOK!)
3) A home pull up/chin up bar – These are laughably cheap! My one cost me a measly £9.00. Best 9 pounds I’ve spent. Besides, who doesn’t want to improve their chinning strength? These are the upper body squat in the kingdom of compound lifts. Maybe you know someone who wants to either get their chinning strength up, or someone who wants to actually do their first chin up?
Maybe the lady in your life has always wanted to do at least a chin up, with this inexpensive gift, she’ll be able to accumulate the necessary volume and practice (without having to go to the gym all the time, BONUS!)
And who doesn’t like a chick that can do chin-ups?!
4) A dip/weight belt – These are just as cheap as the aforementioned chin up bar. When I say “weight-belt”- I mean a belt that you can strap plates to. Not the weight belts that powerlifters spew their bellies into during world record squat attempts!
These have a very good threshold for heavy loads. The one I have has been loaded up with more than 50 kg and hasn’t showed any signs of strain!
Many people associate weight belts to chin ups and dips and may assume “I’m not strong enough to do a proper chin up or dip, what good are they for me?!” Buy one now and you have more incentive to train your ass off and get yourself strong and bad-ass enough to actually put it to good use. Another really cool tip I read from the great Vince Gironda, is that you can use a weight belt for calf raises. I’ve tried the theory out, and as per usual, the man is dead right – they work very well! Especially if you don’t have access to calf machines and you want to put a couple of soccer balls in place of your gastrocnemius. Thank me for that one later!
5) A Pedometer – These are so practical and cheap. Even your pet could use one effectively. Many people don’t really know how active they are, but a pedometer is a brilliant way of supplying an answer. I’ve touched on the significance of walking on this site before (click here) but by showing someone just how far short of good ranges they are, often motivates them to hit a certain target far more than just tagging them “lazy, sedentary and incactive” or screaming “YOU SHOULD GET MORE EXERCISE!!”
Five awesome additions to any fitness lifestyle.
In truth, I could have included quite a few more and maybe expanded the list to 10, maybe 20? But those that made the shortlist are all very affordable, all available on sites such as Amazon and, can be purchased from the comfort of your own home. That’s not to say that big audacious fitness gifts don’t have their place, sometimes the big dollar stuff forces a nice chunk of accountability to the recipient’s life and conscience. As we all know, when you get some blood in the game, shit gets real!
These 5 offer great starting points, and if you’re really observant, you’ll notice a subtle link between them:
A program > it all starts here, knowing what you’re doing and how (fundamentals)
Gym boss timer > all those programs suggested will require strict adherence to particular rest intervals.
Chin-up bar > the vast majority of the programs mentioned, or any program for that matter will include some form of pull-ups, chin-ups and maybe even hanging ab exercises.
Weight/dipping belt > this will be very useful for when chin-ups with bodyweight are just no longer a challenge (might seem like a dream now, but dreams become reality when you plan and take action!)
Pedometer > not quite as closely related, but still relevant. This could compliment the above links by just simply keeping you educated as to just how much activity you’re getting outside of your main routine. This could go a long way in determining caloric and nutritional requirements for your body.
What do you think?
A good list? Do you have any of these?
Anything you think should have made the list?
Do you suspect someone may be getting you a fitness gift this year?
Drop me a line down below, interaction keeps the world turning!
The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.