Monday, December 8, 2008

Nine AWESOME Christmas Fitness Gifts

If you have been kicking ass all year with your training and nutrition, you have no doubt made a noticeable physical transformation. Maybe other people been asking you what you have been doing to make such a change. Maybe some of those people are on you Christmas list as well.

Do you know someone who wants to look and feel better? Wanna get them something cool for Christmas to help them along the way? You may even want to put some fitness-related gifts on your own Christmas wish list. These are truly "gifts that keep on giving", because you'll be using them throughout 2009.

Here is my list of fitness gifts for this Christmas:

1. A Foam Roller
These days most people spend a lot of your day sitting in front of (chained to?) a desk. When you actually do have time to workout, usually the workout itself takes up all your time and you neglect stretching. You know daily stretching is important, but who has the time?

This is where the foam roller comes in. It’s an outstanding corrective self-massage tool that dramatically increases injury prevention and improves performance. It’s ideal to use for at about five minutes post-workout to jumpstart the recovery process. Plus, a foam roller helps “knead out” muscle and connective tissues thus helps alleviate (and sometimes eliminate) nagging aches and pains in your back, knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows.

A quick Google search for "foam roller" will give you a lot of results.

2. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are a simple, convenient, and affordable equipment option for anyone who travels or wants to add some variety to their workouts. They are also great for things like assisted pullups, adding increasing resistance to kettlebell presses, etc.

I have had the pleasure of meeting and befriending the world’s premier resistance band training expert, Dave “The Might Band Man” Schmitz. This guy is a genius at creating workouts with bands for fat loss and total conditioning. He has his own line of resistance bands that are virtually indestructible and I use them year round to crank it at home or on the road. To get the best bands in the business visit his site HERE.

3. A Gift Card to Whole Foods or Other Premium Grocery Stores
Rather then spend money on an restaurant gift card, why not give a week’s worth of groceries to a 100% organic grocer like Whole Foods to a friend or loved one? Everybody’s got to eat, and rather than send someone to get Cheese Fries, help them get in the habit of eating actually eat the right stuff to support their fitness goals.

4. A Gift Card to a Massage Therapist
Are you busy and super stressed out during the Christmas season? Wouldn’t you LOVE a massage? This is about as can’t miss of a gift as it gets, unless you know someone who doesn’t like to be touched. It’s nice to be pampered on occasion, and though the foam roller I mentioned above can do wonders for the majority of your body, nothing can alleviate tension in your like a good massage therapist! I recommend my friends at Balance Bodywork or The Works in Nashville. Tell them I sent you.

5. Supplements that Work: Protein Powders, Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin
I have helped a lot people lose a LOT of bodyfat. I get asked almost daily what is the best fat loss supplement and I have found only three supplements to be a mandatory part of the optimal fat loss program:

Protein powders provide great liquid workout nutrition and a convenient meat alternative for quick snacking. For a protein powder, look for a brand low in sugar and carbohydrates and with a mix of both whey and casein (fast and slow absorbing proteins).

Fish oil, or more appropriately called an essential fatty acid (EFA) supplement, is critical to providing key omega 3’s to maximize overall health, performance, and body composition. Studies show that krill oil provides the most effective dosing of EFA’s.

Multi-vitamins provide key vitamins and minerals that are tough to obtain unless your diet is near picture perfect. Choose a multi-vitamin supplement that is made from whole foods rather than synthetic materials, in addition to being made specifically for your gender.

I rock with VGF+25 and EFA Icon, both included in Prograde’s Health+ Package available HERE

6.A kettlebell
I can think of no other gift that will have a better return on investment than a kettlebell. It won’t break, wear out or spoil, and will be just as useful in 50 years as it is now. The very best kettlebells on the market come from Dragon Door.

7. Fitness -related book or DVD
Of course I am biased toward the Power Circuit Workout and Full Body Power DVD's. but here are a few other great ideas:

Pavel's Classic ENTER the Kettlebell

Marty Gallagher's Book The Purposeful Primitive.

My friend Mark Reifkind, RKC Master instructor has a great DVD on how to maximize performance and restore lost physical function with a foam roller.

8. A Gift Certificate to Dragon Door
If your loved one already has a kettlebell or two, or if a kettlebell is a little out of your budget for a particular person, get them a certificate to Dragon Door and let them choose their own gift.

9. A Gift Card to a Fitness Boot Camp

Boot camp workouts are a fun and exciting team environment that guarantee better results than one-on-one personal training for a fraction of the cost… it’s a total no-brainer.

What should you look for a local fitness boot camp? A couple of important things are:

Client testimonials to make sure they have a solid reputation and a bunch of raving fans of people just like you.

Any good boot camp worth its weight will offer free trials and a money-back guarantee to all newcomers. At Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp we do. Why? Because I am so confident the program works that you’ll more than likely continue after a test-drive. This way there is no risk on your part… besides getting your butt kicked, in a good way ;)

So join a fitness boot camp with at a friend or family member or buy a boot camp gift card to give to your loved ones. As a boot camp instructor myself, I know firsthand that clients always get better results when they embark on a fitness journey with others.

If you live in the Nashville area, you can come work with us in the Nashville Kettlebell Bootcamp. We are the original, number ONE kettlebell class in the Music City and I guarantee we’ll change your life and have you looking better naked this New Year!

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