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With only a few shopping days before Christmas it is crunch time for many of you last minute shoppers.   I have to admit before the advent of the internet I was a Christmas Eve buyer myself.  I would do my shopping throughout the year so I knew what I was getting.  Then on December 24th, being a masochist, I would brave the mall going from store to store and checking off my list.  Luckily my “naughty or nice” standards are a bit more lax than the judgmental fat man up North.

Honesty, for some sick reason, I enjoyed it.  Part of it was because I was trying to see how quickly I could get it all done.  The other part of it was the chance to witness humanity at its absolute worst.  Ok, second worst, since I was at a mall and not Walmart.  Thankfully none of that is necessary any more.  Now that Amazon has arrived and commissioned an army of drones I am sure you can order things on Christmas afternoon and still have them delivered on Christmas Eve.

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Unlike my normal 2000 word brain dump this is just a short list of ideas that might help you avoid the pitfall of giving people you care about a “gift card”.  I mean when you are a kid, getting cash is pretty cool.  When you are an adult getting a gift card means either A) I don’t know you well enough to decide what I should get you, or B) I don’t care that much so go buy your own gift.  I mean I understand that it is easier to make sure someone gets what they want if you let them get it themselves, but seriously.  Just make an honest effort and keep the receipt.  So for the fitness freaks in your life here are some ideas.

Top 10 Gifts for Strength Athletes

 

  1. Deadlift Jack
  2. Fat Gripz
  3. Band Pack
  4. Massage Stick
  5. Knee Sleeves
  6. Chuck Taylors
  7. Sled
  8. Rings
  9. Programs that Work Ebook
  10. Bella Forza Workout Wraps


sm-dl-jack-400Deadlift Jack
– Not to oversell this, but if someone you love is into lifting heavy and they don’t have a deadlift jack then this should be your entire list.  Literally the worst part of a heavy deadlift day is loading and unloading the bar.  Having a proper deadlift jack lets you concentrate on the actual important thing which is pulling heavy weight.  The best part is that you can get the smaller version so whoever you buy it for they can carry it in their gym back.  I promise you if they are serious about strength training and you get them this they will love you forever.

Fat Gripz – There is a ton of benefits to far work.  Not only does it help grip strength and build bigger forearms; it also can help ease elbow pain on some pressing movements.  The problem is that it is inconvenient and expesive  to own a set of think handled dumbbells.  That is why the Fat Gripz are great.  Just like the mini deadlift jack they can fit in your gym bag and turn any bar or dumbbell into a fat bar.

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Band Pack–  The beauty of bands is their versatility.  They can be used to accommodate resistance during max effort or dynamic work.  They can also be used for stretching and increasing work capacity with extra workouts.  They can even be used for back traction and assisted pullups.  Basically the only limit to their use is your imagination.  With bands in your gym bag you can change the dynamic of any exercise.

Massage Stick–  Recovery and prehab is not sexy at all.  In fact most of us, myself included, suck at it from time to time.  However they are both necessary, especially if you’re an athlete pushing your limits.  The massage stick  massages and stretches the muscles.  I have had mine for over 5 years, and it makes a ton of difference.

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Knee Sleeves – Now this gift doesn’t only apply to older lifters.  Younger lifters can benefit from the knee sleeves keeping the joints warm and loose.  While you can get tighter knee sleeves for performance, the Rehband Blue Knee Sleeves are pretty much the gold standard.

Chuck Taylors – I am guess this is now what Chuck had in mind, but his All Stars remain one of the best shoes to squat and deadlift in.  The flat sole and strong sides allows an athlete to force their knees out while squatting.  While it is true that you could buy other “lifting shoes”, the truth of the matter is when you buy these for someone your coolness factor is increased by several orders of magnitude.  So it really is a win win situation.

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Rogue Dog Sled – Whether you know the importance of conditioning or not; chances are the strength athlete you are shopping for do.  There are so many ways to use a sled.  Besides typical conditioning you can also use the sled to increase work capacity, strength, and recovery.  All of these things add up to a happier, healthier, stronger athlete.


fps-151630_1Gymnastic Rings
– Since the rings can move in three dimensions, your body works extra hard to stabilize the rings as you move. Any miscalculation in the force a muscle puts out sends the rings swinging, and the opposing muscle group must correct the error to halt the swing.  Rings are not only great for upper body strength, but also shoulder strength.  Rings can make your upper body virtually bulletproof.

Programs that Work 3.1 –  The programs that work is a collection of  the best working programs from EliteFts.  The first volume (460 Pages) contains plateau-busting, explosiveness-enhancing, and power-building info from some of the smartest and strongest experts, strongmen competitors, athletes, coaches and powerlifters.  All revenue (every cent) from this eBook go to Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana, Central Ohio Region. Your purchase (and any added donation) goes to help bring hope to children diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. Thank you for taking a part in changing the life of some of these children.

Bella Forza Workout Wraps –  I don’t want to sound harsh, but if you don’t know who Julia Ladewski is and don’t want to support her in EVERYTHING she does, then you may have “Issues”. However if you want to impress your lady lifter, or you are a lady lifter yourself then this is a must have stocking stuffer. You’re Welcome!!

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Bonus Idea: Relentless Minnesota Donation – This is an alternative to making a donation to the Human Fund.  Julia and Matt Ladewski are raising money for Relentless Minnesota in March.  This powerlifting competition is helping to raise money for HopeKids.org.  HopeKids provides ongoing events and activities and a powerful, unique support community for families who have a child with cancer or some other life-threatening medical condition.  We surround these remarkable children and their families with the message that hope can be a powerful medicine.

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Obviously this is just a short list of possibilities.  Hopefully one of them will get the job  done, and if not donating to Relentless is probably the best Christmas Gift ever.  The bottom line is there is absolutely no reason to  get a “gift card” for someone you care about. At least make an effort to get them what you think they want. Just be sure to keep the receipt.

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Don Johnson

Head Strength Coach at Mammoth Strength
Don is the founder and Head Strength Coach at Mammoth Strength. His strength and conditioning facility specializes in small group athletic training for serious athletes from Junior High School to Professional Ranks in all sports...as well as men and women of all ages looking to shred pounds of fat and get extremely fit.

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