Buying gifts that you’re truly excited to give can be surprisingly stressful. To help you out, I’ve channelled my inner Oprah and rounded up a few of my favourite things that will make excellent holiday gifts for fitness fanatics on your list. From mobility tools to squat racks, I’ve got you covered with finds that meet any budget.
PerchMount Smart Phone Holder, $19.99
Use the PerchMount Smart Phone Holder to clip your phone directly to a squat rack and film all of your big lifts. Whether you want to record technique for your online trainer or post your latest PR to Facebook, the Perchmount offers a hands free solution. Because it doesn’t count unless it’s caught on video right?
Speed Rope, $19.99
A speed rope is one of the cheapest ways to get a killer workout. This one can be quickly adjusted so that you get the perfect length. The quad bearing system keeps it whipping smoothly for double- or triple-unders and the chord never coils up. It’s crazy durable.
Liquid Chalk, $19.99 (for two bottles)
Not all gyms are cool enough to put up with chalk dust. Liquid chalk provides a mess-free solution to that problem and makes a great stocking stuffer. Rub it on your hands before big lifts to prevent slipping. I love this stuff, it has saved my hands from multiple callus rips. And not bleeding all over the barbell is always a good thing.
Lacrosse Balls or Massage Balls, $3.99-$ 9.99
Mobility Peanut, $23.99
A mobility peanut or double lacrosse ball is like having a foam roller and lacrosse ball all-in-one. It’s the perfect tool for getting into hard to reach places and for mobilizing the thoracic spine. This is a must have tool for any fitness freak.
Strength Bands, $17.95-$43.95
Strength bands are versatile, portable accessories that can be used for added resistance on exercises like squats, deadlifts and bench press. They can also be used for pull-up assistance and mobility work. Strength bands are a must have tool for any athlete or fitness enthusiast. They come in varying widths and resistances. It’s good to have a variety of options because each resistance is specialized for certain types of training.
WOD Dice, $39.99
Literally roll these dice and you’ve got a ready-made workout routine that you can do at home or on the road. With more than 2 million possible combinations, it’s impossible to get bored. Roll all six 12-sided dice or just use the rep die and one movement die and keep rolling to see what to do next. The accompanying booklet provides modifications and substitutions in case you're missing equipment. Sadly, there’s no substitution for burpees (#sorrynotsorry).
Gymnastics Rings, $49.99
Know somebody looking to improve their muscle-ups or ring dips? Then a set of gymnastics rings can be the perfect gift. Light, easy to assemble, and portable, rings are a great addition to a home gym.
Voodoo Floss, $30.52
Voodoo floss is an essential performance tool and should be a staple in the gym bag of every athlete and lifter. Use these little miracle workers to improve mobility, restore joint mechanics, unglue tight tissue, and promote muscle recovery.
MOBOT Foam Roller Water Bottle, $59.00-$65.00
Give the gift of hydration and massage. This all-in-one foam roller and water bottle saves much needed space in your gym bag. I didn’t even know that these little gems existed until I got one for Christmas last year. It was a great surprise. It’s smaller and harder than a typical foam roller so it gets into those hard to reach areas. My husband and I use our MOBOT daily and after a year it’s not showing any wear. I love this thing.
Weighted Vest, $99.00
A weighted vest can take any workout up a notch. It can be used to up the intensity of cardio or bodyweight workouts. A weighted vest can help develop endurance, strength, and explosive power. It's a great gift for any athlete looking to take their training to the next level. I like the Xtreme Monkey Commercial Weight Vest because its adjustable, well balanced, and durable.
A sandbag is a great way to get a killer workout at home. Its shape and weight shifts as you move it, forcing more muscles to fire. It also makes workouts more challenging and unique. My favourite sandbags are made by Xtreme Monkey and Rogue, they’re both durable and non-abrasive.
Portable Weight Sled, $99.00
An easily portable weight sled is a great piece of equipment to have at home for those days that you don’t have time to make it to the gym. Sled sprints can be used for short, intense interval workouts that will leave your lungs and muscles burning. The Xtreme Monkey Power Sled is durable and compact. You can drag on the street or in your yard. It's also compact enough to pop in your trunk with a couple of plates to bring to the park.
Trigger Point Foundation Kit, $89.99
The Trigger Point Foundation Collection is a great gift for serious athletes, fitness fanatics, and desk-workers alike. This kit provides all of the tools and information necessary to reduce muscle tension, improve mobility and promote recovery. It comes with two massage balls, a deep tissue roller, and access to a step-by-step online course that guides you through self-massage techniques.
Suspension Trainer, $124.95-199.00
A suspension trainer like a TRX or Jungle Gym XT makes an excellent gift for those that are serious about their training but want to workout at home. It’s also a great gift for frequent travellers because it can be used pretty much anywhere, all you need is a door, tree, or monkey bars to hang it from. With a suspension trainer, you leverage your bodyweight and gravity to perform literally hundreds of scaleable exercises. I own both a TRX and Jungle Gym XT and would rate them equally.
A kettlebell is one of the best ways to get a great workout from home! Whether you want to do all of your workouts there or you just want something for those days that you're too busy to make it to the gym, a kettlebell has got you covered. From swings to cleans, from Turkish get ups to goblet squats, there are so many exercises that you can do with a single kettlebell to get an intense, effective workout from anywhere. I recommend spending a couple bucks extra to upgrade to competition bells because they don’t have seams on the handles, they’re better balanced, and they’re a consistent size. Plus, they come in pretty colours.
Bar none (pun intended), this is one of the best tools to attack tacked down and stiff tissues. The Rogue mobility stick blows all other massage sticks out of the water. It’s heavier, more durable, better looking, and more effective. Prop it up on a couple of books and use it for your favourite barbell mobs without the inconvenience of having to drag around a 45 lb. Olympic bar. Or better yet, buy it with the Mobility Stick Cradle which elevates and secures the stick in place creating better leverage.
Nike Romaleo Weightlifting Shoes, $196.00-$299.00
While most fitness freaks have a collection of running or training shoes, not all of them have weightlifting shoes. What’s the difference? Well, weightlifting shoes have a thick, rigid platform in the heel that’s not cushioned like normal shoes. They improve stability, make it easier to get into a deep squat position, and ensure that none of the power is absorbed through a cushiony sole during Olympic lifting. While these aren’t 100% necessary for your run of mill lifter, Crossfitters and more hardcore lifters will love them. There are tons of weightlifting shoes on the market, but my personal favourite is the Nike Romaleo 2. You can find these and other weightlifting shoes on the Rogue Fitness and Rogue Canada websites.
Nothing says Merry Christmas like a walking into a brand new home gym... or a home gym in the making...
Here are a few things you'll need to build a state of the art home gym:
Olympic Bar and Bumper Plates, $500-$1500
Getting a starter set of bumper plates and an Olympic bar would be a fitness freaks dream come true for the garage gym they’ve always wanted to build. Quality can vary wildly for a bar and plate set, so be sure to do your homework. A decent Olympic bar will cost around $250-$500 (competition grade bars can run upwards of $1000, but those are overkill for most lifters). A full set of decent bumpers will cost about $500-$1000 depending on the number of plates included and the quality. (Again, competition grade bumpers are more expensive). For a basic garage gym, I’m a fan of the Xtreme Monkey barbell and bumper plates and any of the Rogue barbell and plate sets. You can also get high quality sets from York and Eleiko, but these will cost you more.
Squat Rack, $500-$2000
Every garage gym needs a squat rack. There are literally hundreds to choose from, many with different features and possible add-ons. Beyond quality, the most important factor to consider when purchasing a squat rack is going to be space. For areas with low ceiling height, a squat stand can be a better fit. For small spaces, a wall mounted rack that folds back against the wall can save space. But most squat stands and folding wall mounts don’t include safety pins or a pull-up bar, so go for a full rack when possible. Again, my favourite brands are Xtreme Monkey and Rogue. Both companies make a very high quality products and both have a number of racks to choose from.
Concept 2 Rowing Machine, $1300
I love rowing machines for home gyms and my absolute favourite is the Concept 2. An indoor rower provides a heart hammering workout because it requires a coordinated effort form your upper and lower body. I like the Concept 2 because unlike most other indoor rowers, you can set it at a pretty challenging resistance level. It’s is also very well made, you can literally beat the crap out it everyday for years and it’ll hold up. Other rowers on the market aren’t nearly as reliable. It also folds up for space saving storage.
PowerBlock Dumbbells, $450
These adjustable dumbbells are a must-have in any home gym. I have a pair in mine. The thing I love about them is you can get expansion packs to add more weight. The PowerBlock starter set is adjustable from 5 lb to 50 lb. and there are expansions available that can take them to up to 120 lb. They take up very little space, they’re easy to adjust, and they’re far more durable than any other adjustable dumbbell on the market.
Rogue Garage Gym Equipment Packages, $1000-$4000
If you don’t want to spend the time putting a home-gym together piece by piece, then Rogue offers an excellent garage gym package. You can customize your the squat rack and add-on additional pieces of equipment to suit your needs and space. Any fitness fanatic would LOVE to wake up to one of these on Christmas morning.
There you have it folks, my favourite holiday gifts for fitness fanatics.
Do you have a something on your fitness gift list that you don’t see here? I'd love for you to share it with me by commenting below or by posting to my Facebook page!
Good luck! Wishing you happy shopping and even an even happier holiday season.