Holiday Shopping for the Fitness Enthusiast/Professional

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Christmas is right around the corner, and as you can tell by the picture to the left, Lisa and I ventured out and got our very first “real” tree this year. Last year we got a tree, but it was literally like a foot long (and we got at Whole Foods… the checkout line), and it didn’t quite elicit the same yuletide excitement compared to a more full sized tree.

So, two weekends ago, we trudged out into the wilderness (in this case, Home Depot), and picked out the perfect tree. Within a day, after decorating it, Lisa had already wrapped most of my presents and placed them under neath the tree knowing full well that I was going to lift, shake, roll, and otherwise inspect every inch of every present in an effort to guess what they were.

I’m not going to lie: I am to gift guessing as Godzilla is to knocking down buildings. If my hunch is correct, that white box in the right hand corner is either a Thunderpunch He-Man action figure, a bowling ball, or maybe some kind of power tool.

Either way, it’s gonna be sweeeeeet!

All kidding aside (even though I’m not kidding), after spending a good portion of my day this past Tuesday doing my shopping, I can safely say that I am in full-fledged Holiday mode. I’m humming Christmas music to myself, watching Christmas movies – National Lampoon’s anyone? – enjoying various treats that clients are bringing into the facility, and flipping off anyone who cuts me off on the highway.  You know, doing my part in spreading holiday cheer.

And, of course, like every warm-blooded male out there, I’ll make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to purchase that one perfect gift for whomever I forgot to get a gift for.  DOH!

So today, in an effort to help alleviate that issue for many of you, I’m going to provide some ideas of what you can get for that special someone who’s more of a fitness fanatic.

Gifts for the Fitness Enthusiast

Val Slide: these can easily be placed inside a gym bag and will undoubtedly help expand one’s exercise toolbox immensely.  Valslides are especially useful for those who train at a commercial gym and don’t have access to things like slideboards where they can perform exercises like slideboard leg curls, bodysaws, or even reverse or lateral lunge variations.


TRX Trainer:  much like the Valslides, the TRX is easily transportable and is essentially a gym on the go.  This is especially useful for those people who travel on a consist basis and have a hard time getting to the gym because of their busy schedule.

Jungle Gym XT: while the TRX Trainer can be a bit pricey for some people, I’ve found the Jungle Gym to be a nice alternative. In fact, I bought one for Lisa and I to use at our apartment, and it works like a charm.  I don’t think it’s quite as versatile as the TRX, but it definitely gets the job done.

Advances in Functional Training:  I was approached by one of our athletes the other day about books I would recommend to people that go into depth about program design, assessment, injury prevention but you didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand it.  Without batting an eye, I immediately mentioned Mike Boyle and this phenomenal book.

Never Let Go:  likewise, I also mentioned this book by Dan John, which I’ve read at least three times cover to cover.

I mean, how can you not just soak up the knowledge from someone who has over 30 years of coaching experience?

The Chop Wizard:  people are always making excuses as to why they never get enough vegetables in their diet, why they never have any time to eat healthier meals, or why they’ve never watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Granted, the latter has nothing to do with the other two, but it’s inexcusable nonetheless!

As for the former, I bought a Chop Wizard for myself three years ago, and I use it on a weekly basis.  It makes prepping veggies a breeze.

The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: I bought this book for Lisa three years ago (during our first Christmas together……who says romance is dead?) and I can’t even begin to tell you how much she loved it.  What’s cool is that each page offers insight, facts, benefits of various food items and really helps to open your eyes to why having more variety in your diet is a good thing.

What’s more, I think we’ve gone on to buy this book as a gift or thank you for at least 3-4 other people in the time since.

Foam Roller:  Nothing says I love you more so than the gift of superb soft tissue quality.  Well, an all expenses paid trip to Europe would rank right up there, too, but whatever.

Gifts for the Fitness Professional

Muscle Imbalances Revealed – Upper Body:  I’m not going to say that one of the co-contributors is one of the smartest, most intelligent, witty, and handsome people on earth.  But……..

…….he totally is.

Hint:  it’s me!

I won’t go into too much of its’ awesomeness here (but you can go HERE), but needless to say this was my very first product that I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m damn proud of it.

The Rocket: Personal trainers and coaches LIVE off of protein shakes.  I can’t think of one day in the past five years (at least) where I haven’t used this badboy.  At half the price of The Magic Bullet, I think it’s a steal.


Jillian Michael’s Unlimited:  hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.  Wait a second, I need to catch my breath.  Hahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha.

Oh man, that was a good one.  I almost got you there, didn’t I?

Movement:   Gray Cook is kind of smart, and this is without question one of the best books dealing with assessment to come out in the past two years.  Full disclosure:  I don’t necessarily use the Functional Movement Screen exclusively with my clients, but that’s not to say there aren’t bits and pieces of it that I’ll incorporate when I see fit.  If anything, this is a fantastic book on how the body works and how to spot dysfunction.  What’s done with the information is up to the person reading.

And that about does it.  I could easily keep going – getting them an account to comes to mind.  As does, that Lord of the Rings Blu-ray set (seriously, what’s wrong with them?????) –  but I think that should be a great starting point for many of you.

Good luck out there.  May the force be with you (< === that’s a Star Wars reference.)



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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

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