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Holiday gift guide for the athletes in your life

two green dumbbell with red gift bow on a black table background, sport and healthy concept

To the joy of many, the holiday season is upon us.

For most of us, this means that we’ll soon begin searching for the perfect gifts for those special people in our lives. If you’re looking for a solid gift for an athletic-type person, this is the article for you. I’ll be covering ideas for your weightlifting friends, endurance people, and also those who embrace a healthy lifestyle in general.

For the gym buff:

In the era of COVID, the “home gym” is the new thing. With many weightlifters either choosing to not go to the gym or being prohibited from doing so, gym buffs need to have at-home options to get their lift on. What’s worse, is that major gym equipment can be quite expensive and can be financially out of range for the average strength athlete. This is where you come in: first and foremost, anyone lifting weights at home needs dumbbells to start; if not, also a standard barbell and plates to go with it. Dumbbells and plates should be priced around $1.50 per pound in new condition; and less if used or damaged … shop around to find the best prices, as there are plenty of scammers out there skyrocketing the market to outrageous levels. Try to find a 7-foot-long standard Olympic barbell with 2” sleeves. Toss in a pair of weight clips, and you’ve got an incredibly versatile start to all the essential strength lifts.

If you’re looking to really outfit that special gym rat in your life, also consider a good adjustable bench with a high weight capacity (4-500 pounds), and then a dip and pullup station to boot. And finally, every weightlifter needs a great rack (wink) – look into Rogue or Hammer Strength brands. Try to find either a standalone rack or one that can mount onto the wall. The price is higher but is absolutely worth the investment, as this will transform any at-home setup into a professional-grade system.

Muscular man dressed as santa claus with sunglasses holds Christmas gift

For the endurance athlete:

Cyclists require the highest investment of endurance sports, and would probably be very grateful for your gift contribution to their cause! For starters, check out a monthly subscription to Zwift or TrainerRoad if they’ve got a bike trainer at home; these are apps and training interfaces that also include workouts and some coaching, and will push your cyclist friend to the next levels. If you’re looking for a mid-level price point, look into a Kickr Stand – it’s an adjustable table of sorts that fits perfectly over their bike and trainer, to hold devices, bottles, snacks, and more! I couldn’t recommend this enough, it’s a game-changer. Finally, if you’re looking to make a real splash with your gift, look into a smart trainer, like a Wahoo Kickr. This device alone opens up a figurative universe of possibilities for improvement for that special cyclist on your list.

While runners don’t need as many gadgets and gears as cyclists, they still have their own holiday wishlists! The best gift a runner can receive is high-quality running shoes. After all, this is really the only piece of equipment they truly require. Ask them for hints (or do some detective work with family, friends, and innocent snooping) to figure out their brand and model of choice – runners tend to be unwaveringly loyal to their favorite shoes. Of course, you can also look into hydration packs and waist belts, too – as we know, hydration is critical out here in the desert. I recommend Nathan brand for all hydration gear. And when in doubt, a well-made pair of running socks will help them to log more miles, more comfortably. Socks are always good.

On a generally healthy note:

Have you looked into grocery delivery, meal delivery, or meal prep services? These can be indescribably useful to those who are too busy to shop for and prepare healthy meals, but still would find great meaning in improving their diet quality. Check into Purple Carrot, Blue Apron, and other local specialized meal prep services to shop diets, prices, and flavors.

Additionally, many people would like to hire a coach of some sort but find the costs to be prohibitive. If you’ve got someone in your life who could benefit from a coach, trainer, or nutritionist, book them an appointment (or several!) It might be just the kickstart they need to get on the right track. Similarly, a day at the spa or a package of deep tissue massages can be a wonderful gift to both athletes and non-athletes alike. It’s always a sure bet to give someone a chance to relax.

A thoughtful gift can say a thousand words, and can be something that the recipient may use for years or more, through many adventures and accomplishments. And for those who take their fitness and health seriously, giving them something to help them pursue those passions may just be the perfect gift this holiday season.