If you need gift ideas for bodybuilders, this post is for you.
I'm confident my list of fitness gifts will help you find the perfect holiday gift for that special meathead in your life.
No matter if you're shopping Christmas -- or other occasions that require a gift (e.g. birthday, anniversary, graduation, Valentine's Day, Father's Day, Mother's Day, or just to treat yourself) -- you'll be able to use this bodybuilder gift list as inspiration to find the perfect present.
Without further ado, let's get onto the list.
- 1. Power Rack
- 2. Arm Curl Blaster
- 3. TRX Suspension Trainer
- 4. Adjustable Dumbbell Set
- 5. NutriBullet Blender System
- 6. Wireless Headphones
- 7. Barbell Clamp Collars
- 8. X3 Bar System
- 9. Food Scale
- 10. A7 Bar Grip™ Shirts
- 11. DNA Test for Personalized Nutrition & Fitness Insights
- 12. Gymwear
- 13. George Foreman Grill
- 14. Supplement gift card
- 15. Tanning Salon Membership
- 16. Pull Up/Dip Belt
- 17. Foam Roller
- 18. Fitness Tracker Wristband
- 19. Shaker Bottle
- 20. Food Storage/Meal Management Products
- 21. Lifting Straps
- 22. Gym Bag
- 23. Bathroom Scale
- 24. Body Measuring Tape + Body Fat Calipers
- 25. Pay for Gym Membership
- 26. Giant Water Bottle
- 27. Full-Length Mirror
- 28. Bodybuilding Documentaries
- 29. Neck Harness
- 30. The BEAST Sensor Gym & Strength Tracker
- 31. Online Coaching for Diet and/or Training
1. Power Rack
Do you live with or know a lifter who wants to build a home gym? Or maybe they have a home gym, but they need to upgrade it.
If so, then the Titan T-3 power rack is the way to go. It's arguably the best bang for your buck rack out there.
Your bodybuilding friend/loved one will get a very high quality power rack. And you won't have to drain your wallet in the process.
That's not to say this is a cheap gift. You'll still be spending in the low-mid hundreds. After all, a power rack is the centerpiece of any serious lifter's gym.
Competing racks like the Rogue R-3 cost nearly 2x as much.
The higher price of competing racks may deliver slightly better quality. However, the vast majority of lifters wouldn't notice or care about the minor (often cosmetic) differences.
There are actually several T-3 rack variations, including deep and short versions, as well as squat racks, squat stands and wall-mounted racks. However, these are by far the 2 most popular T-3 power racks:
- Titan T-3 Power Rack: This is the original/default version of the T-3. It is 91 1/8" tall. Its internal depth (space between the uprights) is 24".
- Titan T-3 Short Power Rack: This the exact same as the original T-3 rack in the bullet point above, except shorter. Specifically, it's 82 1/4" tall. It's perfect if it's going to be in a home gym with a short ceiling. It's also about a bit less expensive than the tall version.
You can read my full review of the T-3 power rack if you want more information before deciding if this is the right gift idea for the bodybuilder in your life. If you want to learn more about power racks in general, read my power rack buying guide for home gym owners.
2. Arm Curl Blaster
Every bodybuilder loves to train biceps!
You can help them train biceps even more intensely and with better form, by buying them an arm curl blaster:
An arm curl blaster is a simple but effective biceps curl training aid. It prevents the elbows from drifting behind the torso, swinging in front of the body or flaring out to the side. All of these things are considered cheating because they take the focus off the biceps.
Instead, an arm curl blaster keeps the elbows at the optimal position for biceps activation -- close to the sides, right in front of the hips.
This is a perfect gift for a home gym lifter as well as lifters who go to a commercial gym, since it can easily fit in their gym bag.
There are many arm curl blaster products out there. I recommend the DMoose Arm Curl Blaster because it's made from thicker metal, uses quality hardware, has overall solid construction and comes with a lifetime warranty. It's also very affordable:
3. TRX Suspension Trainer
Bodybuilders of course lift weights. It's the most efficient way to build muscle. But it's not the only way to build muscle.
In fact, sometimes it's preferable to do body weight resistance exercises, even if when you have a room full of free weights and machines. And what if you don't have access to weights? Maybe you're traveling or the gym is closed or you're too busy or you want to get in some light training on an off day or whatever...
The design is ingeniously simple: it's essentially two handles/stirrups at the end of two adjustable straps, which connect at the top.
It's ridiculously simple to set up anywhere. You just clip on, wrap, hook or hang the top part from any secure elevated attachment point, such as a door, a pull up bar, a tree branch, an exposed ceiling joist/beam, monkey bars in a park, a lamp post, or an installed wall/ceiling mount.
It's super lightweight and compact, which makes it highly valuable to anyone who travels a lot for work.
Of course, this does not replace weights. But it's an excellent complement to any weight training regimen. And it's a "good enough" stand-in for weight training when getting to the gym is not possible.
4. Adjustable Dumbbell Set
If you're buying a gift for a bodybuilder who trains at home, then a high quality adjustable dumbbell system is one of the best pieces of equipment you could buy for him.
Dumbbells are an essential tool for bodybuilders, since they allow more freedom than a barbell in terms of range of motion and wrist/shoulder positioning. Basically, they are more accurate in targeting specific muscles or emphasizing different heads within a muscle.
A regular, non-adjustable dumbbell set takes up a bunch of floor space, not to mention it can cost thousands of dollars.
This is why adjustable dumbbells are desirable for bodybuilders who train at home - they save so much room and money.
I own the Ironmaster dumbbells, which you can see in the photo below:
The PowerBlock dumbbells are also awesome adjustable dumbbells. From the photo below, you can see that they don't have the traditional dumbbell look, like the Ironmasters do. However, their main advantage over the Ironmasters is that you can adjust them much more rapidly.
5. NutriBullet Blender System
As a bodybuilder, meal preparation can be a tedious and time consuming process with lots of clean up.
A tool like the NutriBullet will help make that process easier and also eliminate some of the clean up.
The NutriBullet makes everything a typical bodybuilder already does, easier. For example:
- Making a quick protein shake, homemade weight gainer (e.g. oats + PB + ice cream + whey), or fruit smoothie - and drinking it straight from the container
- Preparing omelets or scrambled eggs with veggies or meats easily added in
It also encourages getting more creative and making (potentially) healthier dishes in the kitchen, such as:
- Vegetable and fruit juices
- Vegetable soups
- Nutritionally dense muffins or pancakes
- Nut butters
If you want to go above and beyond with your gift, I'd recommend buying a NutriBullet recipe book as well. It's cheap, but can really motivate the gift recipient to get the most out of the blender.
6. Wireless Headphones
Just about everyone listens to music on their phone or mp3 player while they train.
However, any lifter will tell you how annoying it is when the headphones gets yanked out of their ears mid-set because the the wire gets caught on the barbell or clothing.
The perfect gift idea for a bodybuilder who has this problem is a good pair of wireless headphones.
I'm actually planning on buying some of these for myself in the near future, so I did some research to find the best ones.
I came up with four different options -- each is different style of wireless headphone: I'll start with my #1 top pick, then I'll list the three runners-up:
My #1 recommendation → True wireless earbuds: Pasonomi TWS-X9
Here are my three other top choices:
7. Barbell Clamp Collars
Nothing is worse than having crappy barbell collar that won't stay in place and stop the plates from moving around the bar. It defeats their whole purpose.
Unfortunately, the most common barbell collars you'll run into at most gyms are ones that totally suck. They're usually the cheap, low quality spring clip collars made of wire, which have long since been bent out of shape.
The best type of collar is the clamp style, which is made of a durable, hard plastic material that has a has a lever locking mechanism and quick-release feature. They're much easier to use, lock the plates completely in place and last much longer than spring clip collars.
It's always a smart idea for lifters who go to commercial gyms to carry a pair of these in their gym bag to use them on any lift where the plates tend to wiggle out of place, including and especially on deadlifts.
Similarly, any home gym lifter should have at least one quality pair of these for their barbell(s).
I own and strongly recommend the Clout Fitness Barbell Clamp Collar. It's well made, goes on and off super fast, is very durable and you can't beat the price!
8. X3 Bar System
:The X3 Bar is a unique tool that allows you to do many of the basic movements you do with free weight resistance, with band resistance instead. This includes band versions of:
- Bench press
- Shoulder press
- Bent over rows
- Biceps curl
- Triceps extensions
- Calf raises
- And more!
This can be an excellent gift for a serious lifter who can't make it to a gym frequently, and who doesn't have room in the house for a full gym. It takes up almost no space and can be easily transported if needed.
It's not the same as free weights, but you're definitely able to use A LOT of resistance through band tension -- and resistance is what makes muscles grow bigger and stronger.
The X3 Bar comes with the following:
- Steel bar
- 4 bands of varying resistance, from extra-lightweight to heavy weight. There is a 5th band (the "Elite band") for even advanced lifters that's available for sale separately.
It works by positioning one side of the band either underneath the platform, beneath your foot or around your body, depending on the exercise. Then the other part of the band goes around the hooks of the bar. You grab the bar and position your body as required for the exercises, then perform the movement for desired number of repetitions.
All bands have a resistance range. That is, they have a poundage that corresponds to their resistance at minimum tension, and a poundage that corresponds to their resistance at maximum tension. The resistance range of each band can actually be doubled if you press/pull against both sides of a given band.
The bands and their corresponding resistance ranges are listed below:
- Extra-lightweight band: 10 to 50 lbs; when doubled, over 100 lbs.
- Light weight band: 25 to 80 lbs; when doubled, over 160 lbs.
- Middle weight band: 50 to 120 lbs; when doubled, over 240 lbs.
- Heavy weight band: 60 to 150 lbs; when doubled, over 300 lbs.
- Elite band (sold separately, shown below): 110-250 lbs; when doubled, over 500 lbs.
If this sounds like the perfect gift for the fitness fanatic or bodybuilder in your life, you can buy it at the link below:
9. Food Scale
Successful bodybuilders stay on specific bulking or cutting diet plan depending on their current goal.
The most efficient way for bodybuilders to reach their physique goals is to stick to a diet plan.
A food scale allows them to weigh out food and calculate calories and macronutrients. This way, they can be precise and reach their body composition goals faster.
I've got the American Weigh Scale LB-3000. It's great and comes with a bowl.
However, if I was buying again now, I'd probably get the Weighmax 2810-2KG. It also comes with a bowl, gets better customer feedback and it costs less.
10. A7 Bar Grip™ Shirts
If you know someone who benches or squats, then I can guarantee you they will absolutely love an A7 Bar Grip shirt.
Hell, even if they already have one, you can bet they'll be happy to get a different color or design. Take it from me: I have at least 6 of them now and I still want more!
So, what exactly is a Bar Grip shirt?
It's a nice-fitting piece of gymwear, yes. But it's way more than just that. It's also an incredibly useful training accessory, which...
- Prevents your back from sliding during bench press due to sweat or slick bench upholstery.
- Stops the bar from sliding down your traps during squats due to sweat or insufficient center knurling on the barbell.
It accomplishes this with an ingeniously simple design: a layer of highly "grippy" silicone material that's built into the upper back region of the shirt.
And it works seamlessly. It's more effective, more convenient and of course way cleaner than using chalk -- or any other alternatives for that matter.
If you're not a lifter yourself, you might not get just how helpful this is--but trust me, it is. Ask any seasoned lifter, and I can guarantee you they've run into the annoyance of slippage during squats or bench--to varying extents (those of us who sweat a lot have experienced it the most).
I've done full reviews on two different shirts from the previous generation known as the Bar Grip 3.0. If you're interested, you can read those here:
As I go over in my reviews, the previous generation of shirts were awesome. BUT, A7 outdid themselves with their new and improved version...
This newer version of the shirt was originally called the Bar Grip "Full" when it first launched, because it's major upgrade was full coverage of the back, shoulders and traps with grips. However, now the name is just back to Bar Grip (no "Full") but all the new designs have the full coverage.
These new Bar Grip shirts are indeed superior to the old 3.0 generation. Here's the main differences:
- The grip material covers the entire upper back. This includes, most importantly, ALL the way up to the neck/collar on the back of the shirt. This means there's no chance of setting the bar so high on your traps (for high bar squats) that you miss the grip. This was one minor flaw of the 3.0 shirts--the grip material stopped 1-2 inches short of the collar. This was a slight inconvenience for super high bar squatters, like myself, since the potential was there to set the bar on the regular shirt fabric if you weren't deliberate about placement.
- The grip material is even grippier than before. They used the same stuff that's used on wide receiver gloves for catching footballs. I can vouch that the grip on the newer Bar Grip shirts is noticeably stronger than on the 3.0.
- The grip material is deeper into the fabric. This means it'll be more durable and able to handle more abuse.
- The new 95% cotton / 5% lycra fabric blend allows for better moisture wicking and comfort while still maintaining the athletic tapered cut.
- The neck hole is slightly larger to accommodate for the generally larger necks of us lifters.
- There is greater flexibility in the armpit region to prevent pinching from pressing into the lats.
Oh, and if you're not sure about sizing, take a look at the sizing chart for men and women:
Think a Bar Grip shirt is the right gift? Then click below shop A7's complete product line:
11. DNA Test for Personalized Nutrition & Fitness Insights
Everybody knows about DNA tests for finding out your ancestry, from companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com. They've been around for a while now.
But did you know that now there are DNA tests that give you personalized diet and fitness insights based on an analysis of your unique genetic makeup?
VITL is a company that does exactly that. They analyze several key genetic traits to determine how your body is affected by different dietary and lifestyle choices.
These traits include all of the following:
- Metabolic rate
- Vitamin D levels
- Alcohol sensitivity
- Digestion & IBS
- Efficient use of dietary fat
- The fat gene
- Caffeine metabolism
- Iron uptake
- Vitamin B12 uptake
- Fat vs muscle composition
- Folate levels
- Vitamin B6 uptake
- Omega 3 & 6 metabolism
- Vitamin C uptake
They give you a detailed report with diet, supplement and activity insights and recommendations based on an analysis of your results in all of the above categories.
These reports can be extremely valuable because they give you the knowledge needed to make decisions that jive well with you. Basically, it's a blueprint to your body.
This makes a perfect gift for anyone who cares about their health. But it's an especially fitting gift for bodybuilders who are more often than not obsessed with making optimal dietary decisions.
Every bodybuilder needs good gym clothes to train in. The most important factor should be comfort and a fit that allows for full range of motion during exercise.
If the clothing also happens to show off their hard-earned physique, that's a bonus - not only does this allow the bodybuilder to motivate himself by indulging in some healthy narcissism, but it lets him see his exercise technique and watch his muscles working during sets.
I recommend the following pieces of clothing for a full gym wardrobe:
- A7 Center-Stretch Squat Shorts (More designs/colorways available here)
- A7 Bar Grip Hoodie (keeps you warm AND has patented silicone grips on the back to prevent you from sliding on bench press)
- Pitbull Dri-Fit stringers
- Pitbull Dri-Fit tank tops
- Adidas Tiro tapered training pants
- Russell Athletic Dri Power hoodie
13. George Foreman Grill
Bodybuilders need to eat lots of protein, while keeping fats to a more moderate level in order to limit calories - especially while cutting.
Unfortunately, lots of meats are packed full of fats...
...If only there was some device that bodybuilders could use to drain this excess fat from the meat while cooking it.
Oh wait, there is!
The George Foreman Grill does just that. Plus it can be used to grill veggies, bread and other foods on it, too.
I had one of these bad boys back in college when living off-campus and it made the cooking process much more efficient, especially when I was cooking several meals at once.
Plus, I was able to save money when going grocery shopping because I could buy the less expensive, but fattier ground beef and chicken breasts.
I recommend the 5-Serving George Foreman Grill shown in the photo above, because it has a larger surface area (72 sq. in.) that bodybuilders will need when cooking up a big meal, or doing meal prep for the upcoming week. Plus, this one has a removable plate grills to make cleanup much easier.
14. Supplement gift card
Just about every bodybuilder takes supplements, whether that be whey protein, pre-workouts, multivitamins, fish oils or any number of other health and performance supplements.
Especially if you don't know which specific supplements to buy, then you can't go wrong by with a gift card.
I personally do a lot of my supplement shopping on Amazon, so I'd recommend an Amazon Gift Card.
15. Tanning Salon Membership
Tanning helps to make the muscles look bigger and more defined.
This is important to bodybuilders, specifically those who compete.
So if you know a bodybuilder who has a competition coming up some time in the next year, buying a membership or gift card from a local tanning salon would be an excellent gift choice.
16. Pull Up/Dip Belt
A pull up/dip belt allows a bodybuilder to safely and easily add weight to dips, pull ups and chin ups, which are traditionally bodyweight-only exercises...
...The ability to add weight to these movements means that a lifter can continually progress in strength, virtually forever (or until he reaches his body's maximum strength potential).
When buying a pull up/dip belt as a gift, be sure to get one that can hold up to several years of heavy use.
I bought a cheap leather dip belt not too long after I started lifting. It only took a couple years for the metal divots to pop out on one side.
I strongly suggest going with a belt made from heavy duty nylon with sturdy stitching, like the Spud Inc. dip belt.
It's lightweight, super strong and can withstand years of heavy use.
17. Foam Roller
Of all the different kinds of people who lift weights, bodybuilders are probably the most likely to develop muscle imbalances and mobility restrictions.
This is because they have a tendency to focus more on "show" muscles, like the chest, biceps and quads; and less on the back, triceps and hamstrings.
The most obvious solution is to have a more balanced approach to training. However, it's important to actively work on mobility, too.
One of the most effective tools you could buy for a bodybuilder who needs to improve his mobility and soft tissue quality, is a foam roller. It is used to release myofascial tissue by rolling different parts of the body (i.e. mid-back, lats, thighs, arms, calves, etc.) over it.
You can really make this gift complete by getting a couple of lacrosse balls to go along with it. Lacrosse balls are to perform self myofascial release on smaller muscles that the foam roller can't target.
18. Fitness Tracker Wristband
Wearable fitness/activity trackers are becoming more and more popular. They record and track several different types of biometric data, including:
- estimated calories burned
- steps taken
- time sleep
- and more...
They also have apps that you can wirelessly sync the data to, and use to set and manage goals.
This is great for a bodybuilders who are trying to cut down, and need to burn more calories by increasing cardio or overall activity. The ability to see their activity data in real time, and compiled over time, is a fun and engaging way to get motivated and encourage progression.
And especially if the bodybuilder you're buying this for is also into technology, you can be sure that a good quality fitness tracker will be well-received.
There are many brands out there, but FitBit has proven themselves to be an industry leader over the past few years, in terms of features, hardware quality, design and app functionality.
That being the case, I recommend the of FitBit Charge 3. It's the best overall activity tracker for bodybuilders, in my opinion.
19. Shaker Bottle
Just about every bodybuilder drinks protein shakes.
And the easiest way to make a protein shake is with a shaker bottle.
Even if the bodybuilder you're shopping for already has a shaker bottle, he can always use another. Trust me...
...Shaker bottles have a tendency to go missing spontaneously. Or worse, they aren't washed for days and need to be disposed of like nuclear waste by someone in a hazmat suit.
For these reasons, it's probably a smart idea to buy 2 or 3 BlenderBottle shaker bottles. Your thoughtfulness won't go unnoticed.
20. Food Storage/Meal Management Products
The old bodybuilding myth of having to eat every 2-3 hours has been busted.
However, it can still be useful for some people to prepare multiple meals ahead of time and bring them with them on-the-go.
Specifically, this is most practical for:
- Bodybuilders who drive around all day for a living (e.g. truck driver, repairman)
- Bodybuilders who work very long shifts at their job
- Bodybuilders who simply prefer to eat every 2-3 hours
If you know anyone like this, then they'll be smiling ear-to-ear when they unwrap their present to find a 6 Pack Fitness Meal Management Bag:
This bag has separate compartments that will insulate 3 large meals plus drinks, snacks, and supplements, keeping them fresh throughout the day.
An additional small gift you could buy to complement the meal management bag would a pill organizer.
It's inexpensive, but can provide a lot of value to the bodybuilder on the go.
21. Lifting Straps
Lifting straps make it much easier to hold onto heavier weights for longer periods of time.
This is important for bodybuilders when it comes to pull exercises like heavy rows, deadlifts or weighted pull ups.
Without straps, grip/forearm strength is more likely to be the weak link. When this occurs, the target muscles will not be trained sufficiently. Over time, this can lead to underdeveloped back muscles.
Buy a quality pair of lifting straps that are durable, comfortable and easy to wrap around the bar. The Schiek Deluxe lifting straps meet all of these qualifications.
They have neoprene padding and can convert into wrist wraps, which provide wrist support during pressing movements.
22. Gym Bag
If you're buying a present for a bodybuilder that does not train at home, then you should consider buying him a gym bag.
It should be a pretty large bag that can hold plenty of training accessories (i.e. belt, chalk, mini foam roller, bands, etc.), a water bottle and a change of clothes.
Ideally, it should have a few different pockets and compartments for separating different types of items.
Lastly, don't skimp out on quality. You don't want buy a cheap quality bag that will rip and tear easily.
Currently, I own the Outdoor Products Mountain duffel bag, which is decent...
...However, the compartment dividers on each end of the bag have torn slightly on the inside - Admittedly, I am partially to blame for this because the bag is too small (24" x 12" x 12") and I've overstuffed it many times. If you get this bag, be sure to get the 30" or 36" long versions.
Personally, when I get a new bag, I'll probably buy the Texsport Canvas Tactical Bag:
It's made from a stronger canvas material, has plenty of pockets and compartments, and is the right size for me at 34" x 15" x 12". Plus, it gets lots of good reviews.
23. Bathroom Scale
Whether a bodybuilder is bulking up or cutting down, he needs to track his progress over time.
And one of the most basic pieces of tracking data is body weight.
No need to get a fancy-schmancy scale - Some scales have body-fat testing, but that's always inaccurate and inconsistent; others offer user recognition and wireless data transmission, but that's just useless in my opinion.
All that's need to track weight is a simple bathroom scale. I recommend the EatSmart Precision bathroom scale, which is a high quality, low cost body scale.
It measures weight accurately and consistently. That's all you need in a scale.
24. Body Measuring Tape + Body Fat Calipers
While body weight is one important piece of information that a bodybuilder needs for tracking body progress, it's not the only one.
For best results, bodyweight should be tracked in addition to body part size and body fat measurements.
Luckily, doing this only requires a couple of simple, easy to use and inexpensive tools - body tape measure and body fat calipers.
The measuring tape allows quick and easy measurements of the waist, arm, thighs, calves, chest, shoulders, forearms, neck, hips and anywhere in between. The body fat caliper provides an estimate of body fat percentage by measuring the thickness of skin folds in a few key spots.
The body fat measurement the calipers give is likely slightly off by a couple points from the true body fat percentage. However, it gives a consistent reading, which is all that's needed to show progress over time.
25. Pay for Gym Membership
Are you looking for a creative gift idea for a bodybuilder who trains at a commercial gym?
If so, then call or go to his gym and ask if you can extend his membership by one year. This is much more thoughtful than just giving him money to do it.
26. Giant Water Bottle
Staying hydrated should be a top priority for every bodybuilder.
Without proper hydration, the body can't burn fat or build muscle as efficiently. And even mild dehydration can cause a significant decrease in performance.
Generally, most bodybuilders should be drinking 0.75-1.0 gallons (96-128 oz or 2.8-3.8 L) of water each day, give or take.
This doesn't seem that difficult, but if you're busy (or lazy) during the day, it can be challenging to continuously drink and refill a small glass or water bottle.
The solution? A really big water bottle that only needs to be filled twice a day...
...Specifically, I recommend buying the 64 oz. Hydro Flask Insulated Bottle. This is very large, but still portable. Plus, it has great insulation, so it will keep cold drinks cold, and hot drinks hot, throughout the day.
27. Full-Length Mirror
I'm not even joking. A large, full-length mirror is an excellent gift idea for a bodybuilder.
Every bodybuilder loves looking in the mirror. Is it vain? Sort of.
But it's also a necessary part of the sport, or art, of bodybuilding - seeing progress and critiquing the physique to find where improvements can be made.
Plus, competitive bodybuilders need to practice their posing routine. And the best way for them to get immediate feedback is by flexing in the mirror.
If you're on a budget, a normal-width full length floor mirror will do the trick:
...However, if you've got a little extra money to spend on this gift, you should really get an extra wide full length floor mirror:
The extra width allows the entire physique to be seen in wider poses like the front double biceps.
28. Bodybuilding Documentaries
Bodybuilding documentaries are a great gift idea, especially if you're getting them for someone who's relatively new to lifting.
It'll give them motivation while also entertaining them.
Plus, it will provide them with a background on the history of bodybuilding as a sport and a lifestyle, as well as insight into different topics or controversies in bodybuilding culture.
The big three documentaries to get are:
All three of these can be had for a small price, so I recommend buying them all.
You may want to also consider getting The Comeback. I had never seen or even heard of this documentary until researching this topic. But it looks good and is inexpensive, so I thought I'd give it a mention.
29. Neck Harness
No bodybuilder wants a pencil neck!
Shrugs, deadlifts and compound movements in general, will train the neck indirectly. For some guys, this may be enough. But in order to get a really strong and well-muscled neck, it's necessary to train the neck directly. And the most efficient way to train the neck is with a neck harness.
This is an especially good gift idea if you're buying this for a bodybuilder who also partakes in contact sports, such as martial arts, football or rugby. But even if they don't, I think every bodybuilder should train neck purely for the aesthetics.
I bought a neck harness back in the day from Harbinger. It wasn't great because it would always slide over my eyes. The other problem with cheaper quality ones like the one I had and most others you'll find for cheap prices, is that they're weak. They'll break down pretty fast for any lifter who takes neck training seriously and starts doing flexions/extensions with heavy weight.
And the last thing you want to have happen when training a sensitive region like the neck, is for your equipment to break while you're in the middle of a set. That could be very dangerous!
With that in mind, I only recommend buying a high quality neck training harness like the IronMind 'A Headstrap Fit for Hercules' Neck Harness, which I own, use and can personally vouch for:
Everything about this strap is awesome, from quality to fit to comfort to strength: it's the best neck harness out there. Period.
If you're looking for a decent neck harness in a somewhat lower price range, I would point you toward the Spud Inc. neck harness. I haven't used it personally, but Spud Inc. has a good reputation for high quality, durable training accessories made from heavy duty nylon (e.g. dip belts, deadlift belts).
30. The BEAST Sensor Gym & Strength Tracker
Do you really want to impress the special lifter in your life with a totally awesome gift?
Then get them the Beast Sensor. You really can't go wrong with this one. It will no doubt but a BIG smile on their face when they unwrap one of these.
The Beast Sensor is unique gym tracker / fitness "wearable" that's designed specifically for serious lifters.
The technology is based on velocity based training (VBT). VBT is a type of autoregulation that uses bar speed to determine (in real-time) how much you should lift for each set. When done correctly, it is more accurate than percentage-based training and RPE-based training. This translates to faster progress over time.
I've personally been putting the Beast to the test in the gym for the past several months (since August 2016). My experience with this device has been very positive. Overall, it beat my expectations and has some very desirable benefits and use cases.
I'll summarize the main features and benefits of this innovative (and actually useful) piece of fitness tech:
- Make Better Gains Over Time by Using the Optimal Weight for Each Set. The Beast Sensor tracks your bar/body speed and acceleration. Depending on which training mode you're using (velocity, hypertrophy, max strength, power), the Beast Sensor app will tell you whether you should use more weight, less weight or the same weight. This is a major improvement for lifters doing workouts based on pre-programmed weights based on percentages of their 1 rep max, since these weights are often too heavy or too light depending on the day. Similarly, if a lifter is used to doing autoregulation, the Beast Sensor means they don't have to guess/estimate which weight you should use--this is often inaccurate because it can be affected by ego or motivation levels. The Beast provides an accurate, consistent and objective recommendation. Ultimately, this means faster progress and fewer injuries.
- Track Your Progress and Get Training Long-Term Insights. The Beast Sensor app shows your total tonnage (i.e. similar to training volume; a metric for seeing progress) over time for a given exercise and for all workouts over time. Additionally, the Beast comes with an online portal where you can see even more training data in a number of different views. This isn't just data for the sake of data. You can infer practical training insights from the data because it is presented such that trends and patterns are easy to identify.
If you're interested in learning more about this device and whether or not it could benefit your training, then be sure to read my full Beast Sensor review.
If you end up buying this, then be sure to use my discount code BEASTAKB5 for 5% off your order.
31. Online Coaching for Diet and/or Training
Hiring an online coach is a gift that will be best received by a bodybuilder who falls into at least one of the following categories:
- Will be dieting down to prepare for a bodybuilding or physique contest
- Has very specific and challenging physique goals (e.g. wants to reach very low bodyfat levels with minimal muscle loss)
- Desires guidance and increased motivation
Here's a list of several coaches that are generally well respected for their methods, quality of service, attentiveness to client needs, and most importantly, results.
Note: Although I spent some time researching these coaches/coaching teams, you should do your own due diligence before purchasing any services. I recommend trying to find reviews on different bodybuilding forums from people who have been coached by whomever you're considering.