Hi all! It’s getting festive around here. Have you yet to write your letter to Santa? Or do you have a gym-bunny* to buy for? Here are a few suggestions for gifts and stocking-fillers for bodybuilders, gym-goers and people who like to lift.
(* not sure what the male equivalent of a gym-bunny is. Nor am I entirely sure that I can bear the term gym-bunny at all. What is the collective noun for a group of people who like to lift weights?)
Don’t forget, today is your last chance to enter my GOOD Hemp protein powder giveaway. Hurry, entries close midnight tonight (UK time).
Everyone needs lifting gloves, even if they don’t use them every time they train (I’m currently experimenting with using mine less often). I used gloves for years and then found Gripads, and now they’re my “glove” of choice. Much more breathable and therefore less stinky than full gloves. Mine are quite torn up on the palm but still work perfectly well after being put through the mill almost every day for over a year.
Magazines and books
Every stocking needs some reading material balanced at the top, so you can read on Christmas morning (by torchlight of course) until the rest of the house wake up. It may be some years since you woke up at 3am on Christmas Day, raring to go, but a good book and/or magazine is still a great gift idea.
How about Muscle and Fitness (and not just because I write for them – ahem!)?
As a book choice, I can recommend The Optimum Nutrition Bible: The Book You Have to Read If You Care About Your Health by Patrick Holford. Yes, it’s a weighty tome, but very readable. If the person you’re buying for is interested in nutrition (for sport performance or simply for health), they’ll love it. Another book I’m currently reading is When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up A Chair by Geneen Roth. This was recommended to me by my friend Joob of Hey Joob! and it was recommended to her by Charlotte of The Great Fitness Experiment. I honestly think that anyone who’s ever prepped and dieted for a figure or bodybuilding comp will have a different, perhaps challenging, relationship to food than people who haven’t ever competed. Perhaps it will be different to what their own relationship with food was before they prepped for a show! This book is lovely. The best word I can find for it is calming. I think every competitor (particularly female) making the tricky transition from prep diet to off-season or post-comp diet should have it to hand. It’s a series of very short chapters and great to dip in and out of.
Whilst you might buy most people chocolates, sweets, or selection boxes, there are far better choices for bodybuilding-types. How about a range of sample sachets of protein powders? Most companies will do them for between £1 and £3 a sachet, and this would make a great gift. Just try to remember if the person has ever expressed a violent dislike for – say – banana flavoured protein powder. I’d recommend either getting them sample sachets of their favourites (great for travelling) or new stuff they haven’t tried (just Google if you have no idea where to buy protein powders – there are more companies than I can name). I have to give a shout out here to my sponsors GOOD Hemp who offer samples sachets on their site. Get someone hooked on hemp protein!
If you want to really show them you’ve been listening, get them a tub of amino chews! I’ve been chomping on Optimum Nutrition’s Amino Chewables and they’re great for before or after training. If I unwrapped a tub of these in place of a selection box I’d be dead chuffed and pretty impressed with the gift-buying prowess of whoever gave them to me.
Or how about bars? Great as a stocking filler. You could try ON’s whey crisp bars (which I reviewed here) or myprotein’s protein cookies. Whilst you’re on the myprotein site, have a click around – the company have recently dropped their prices and now have long-term price reductions on 100s of useful products.
Of course, bodybuilders do eat chocolate – particularly at this time of year – but tailor your chocolate purchases to their obsession with nutrition by buying dark chocolate with a high cocoa content or (if you really want to push the boat out), raw chocolate!
Cool shaker bottle
Most sporty-types have ’nuff sports bottles cluttering up their kitchen, so why not buy them one more? But make it one which will trump all the rest. Smartshake bottles are really useful and will take the place of several normal bottles. I love mine. They make carrying protein powder or supplement capsules or even snack food so easy. Anyone who takes sports supplements, protein shakes or little snacks like nuts will definitely love one of these.
Bits and bobs
Bodybuilders and gym-goers are really easy to buy for, I promise. Here are a few more ideas:
– bento boxes or BPA-free tupperware for carrying around our bits of cooked chicken and green beans
– BPA-free water bottles (try aluminum ones)
– vouchers for online supplement stores
– hoodies (great for keeping warm whilst dieting and also useful for concealing off-season… erm… “size”. I would imagine. *cough*)
– vouchers for online meat suppliers (exotic or more standard meats) – I love Athleat, Kezie and Westin Gourmet
– lifting belts (I’ve asked Santa for one)
– decent earphones for MP3 players
– iTunes vouchers or a good album/mix CD for the gym
What have you asked Santa to bring you?
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.