The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide | Fitness Test Lab

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

Ideas for even the most hardcore fitness fanatic in your life

The holiday season is in full swing, and I've got lots of ideas for just the right gift for the fitness fanatic in your life. I've put together a list of some of the best fitness-related gifts, with ideas for every budget and fitness level. Everything on this list is something I own, have owned previously, or would love to own if I had more money and space ? 

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Under $25

Aluminum Speed Rope

Jumping rope is as old-school as you can get in terms of simple functional fitness. A simple speed rope makes a great calorie  burning gift.  

True to Form: Foundation Training for Everyday Life

If you or someone you know has chronic back pain, this program is definitely worth your time. Heck, even if you don’t and you just want to be the strongest version of yourself you can possibly be, this program is for you. Read my full review here.

Resistance Band Set

Resistance bands are a great way to get in a basic functional workout at home or on the go, especially for anyone extremely limited on storage space. 

Deluxe Pull Up Bar

Pull ups are a very effective and efficient upper body workout, but not everyone has easy access to a pull up bar. This deluxe pull up bar can be quickly mounted in a doorway and removed afterward for easy storage. I used one in the past, before I figured out a way to mount gymnastic rings on my ceiling

Hydro Flask Tumbler, 16oz

There are many companies making vacuum-sealed tumblers, but Hydro Flask is my favorite. Not only did it outperform the competition in my testing, the sealable lid makes it a perfect bottle to carry with me while traveling. Read my full review here.

Under $50

Back Buddy Trigger Point Self Massage Tool

The Back Buddy is an awesome self massage tool with 11 therapy knobs that offer a variety of ways to apply acupressure to your whole body. I use mine on a regular basis, especially for the hard to reach tight spots on my back and upper shoulders. The Back Buddy looks a bit silly, but it's very effective.  

Christian's Fitness Factory Physio Ball 

The Physio Ball from Christian’s Fitness Factory provides lots of therapeutic benefit in a small package. It looks a bit like a medieval torture device, but don’t let the look fool you – it actually feels really good for use on stubborn tissue. Read my full review here.

FringeSport Sandbag Trainer

A sandbag trainer is a great functional fitness tool. I've got one and although I haven't reviewed it yet, I use it regularly because it's an efficient and cost-effective addition to my home fitness arsenal. You can see a couple of pictures of mine here.

Simply Fit Twist Board

The Simply Fit Board is an intriguing fitness tool and I like it a lot. The fun factor is high and it works the core while improving balance. Read the full review here

Rogue OSO Barbell Collars

This is the exclusive, Rogue-branded version of the OSO Barbell Collar—an innovative, aircraft-grade aluminum clamp designed and manufactured in Colorado. OSO Collars deliver a secure, stable hold through repeated, high-impact drops, and allow easy adjustments or removal with a simple lever and lock/unlock mechanism. 

Under $100

Fringe Sport One Fit Wonder Kettlebell, 16kg

Kettlebells make a great addition to a home gym, and Fringe Sport offers an affordable high quality option in their line of One Fit Wonder kettlebells. Read my full review here

Foundation Training DVD Set

I've written a number of articles on Foundation Training in the past, with a focus on how much it helped me work through a painful back injury. Although I haven't reviewed them yet, I own the DVD set and the level of instruction and production quality is top notch.

Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell, 16kg

The Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat kettlebell is a high quality kettlebell that provides an excellent balance between durability and usability. At the time of this writeup, Kettlebell Kings is the only company offering the option to build your own set, with an increased discount applied for every kettlebell added.. Read my full review here

Rogue Mini Deadlift Jack

The Rogue Mini Deadlift Jack is a space-efficient option for elevating a loaded bar off the floor. I like to deadlift, but loading and unloading plates in between lifts is a pain. This nifty tool solves the problem. Just prop the jack under one end of the bar, pull it back to elevate, then add or remove plates as needed. 

Kettlebells USA Metrixx Elite Precision Kettlebell, 16kg

Kettlebells USA gets kudos for raising the bar by improving the classic kettlebell design. The Metrixx Elite Precision is a very comfortable kettlebell to work with, especially if you’re able to use a small amount of chalk. This is also one of the most durable kettlebells you’re likely to find anywhere. Read my full review here

Under $300

Kettlebell Kings Cerakote Kettlebells

Kettlebell Kings makes some of the best kettlebells available, with free shipping offered on everything. They've recently introduced an option to add a cerakote coating to any kettlebell, including custom design options. No one else is making cerakote-coated kettlebells yet, so a cerakote kettlebell would make a very unique and long lasting gift. Read my full review here

Valor Fitness BD-9 Squat Stands

This is the set of squat stands I use at home in my spare bedroom home gym, aka the Fitness Test Lab. They're sturdy, versatile, and don't take up a huge amount of space. Although I've not reviewed them separately I highly recommend them for a small home gym. 

Stick Mobility Bundle

Stick Mobility is an innovative movement system designed to help increase your functional range of motion by combining certain aspects of strength training with mobility training. This is done with the use of specially designed sticks that provide leverage for extending your range of motion beyond what would ordinarily be accessible. Read my full review here.

Fringe Sport 15kg Shorty Bar

The Fringe Sport Shorty Bar is one of the few rackable 6ft barbells with a full 52" shaft width, which means it can be used for Olympic lifts in addition to regular powerlifting. I own one and I find myself using it more often than my full size bars because it's the perfect size for my small home gym. Plus, it's extremely strong, rated for over 400lbs of weight if you use iron plates! 

Christian's Fitness Factory Keystone Bar

The CFF Keystone Bar is a great Olympic weightlifting bar at a great price. It offers features and performance normally found at a much higher price point, without feeling like corners were cut on quality. The spin is incredible, the whip is great, and the soft knurl makes this bar easy on the hands for high-rep sessions. Read my full review here

Under $500

Vulcan Absolute Powerlifting Bar

Vulcan Strength Training Systems makes excellent equipment at a reasonable price point, and personally I don't think they get the attention they deserve. If your focus is strictly powerlifting, the Absolute Powerlifting bar is a fantastic choice. With a tensile strength of 221k PSI, this is one of the strongest powerlifting bars available. Read my full review here

The Yoak Stability Trainer

The Yoak is very well made and versatile stability training tool. If you’ve never done any kind of instability training, consider that life is inherently unstable. Whether it’s lifting children, moving furniture, or doing yard work, we rarely find ourselves in situations that require a perfectly balanced application of strength. Read my full review of the Yoak here

Fringe Sport 20kg Hybrid Bar

The Hybrid Bar from Fringe Sport is an interesting beast, blurring the lines between a powerlifting bar, a WOD bar, and an Olympic bar. Usually these kind of attempts to create One Bar To Rule Them All involve big compromises, but Fringe Sport has somehow managed to construct a bar that can be all things to most people. Read my full review here.

Vulcan Strength Alpha Bumper Plate Set, 230lbs

The Vulcan Strength Alpha bumper plates are unique in the market by being the only virgin rubber plates that can be dropped on concrete or other rough surfaces without risk of damage. Other bumper plates made for outdoor use are typically made from recycled rubber, so the Alphas are a higher quality product. Plus, they're usually cheaper than recycled bumper plates as well.

Rogue RML-3W Foldable Squat Rack

Foldable squat racks are a relatively new creation, but they're definitely a welcome addition for those of us who want the benefit of a full rack but are limited on space. The Rogue RML-3W is reasonably priced and perfect for a small home gym!

Under $1000

American Barbell Stainless Bearing Bar (Competition Spec)

A barbell made for the serious Olympic lifter, American Barbell's Stainless Bearing Bar incorporates a host of proprietary features unlike any other on the market. Made in the USA with a lifetime warranty, this is way more barbell than I'll likely ever need but I sure wouldn't mind having it in my home gym arsenal!

Rogue Competition Bumper Plates, 210lbs

These are the bumper plates that get used and abused in the CrossFit Games, so they can definitely stand punishment. Are they overkill for a typical home gym? Most definitely. Would they make a great gift regardless? Absolutely!

Vulcan Strength Garage Gym Basics

Vulcan Strength makes excellent equipment, on par or better than many of the leading brands in the market. This set includes all the basic equipment needed to outfit a home gym for CrossFit-style workouts. 

Fringe Sport Basic Garage Gym Package

Do you know someone that wants to build a home gym but doesn't know where to start? This package is designed for just that person and includes all meat, no potatoes. Just the basics: a barbell, bumper plates, collars, and a squat rack. 

Rogue RML-390F Flat Foot Monster Lite Rack

I like my squat stands and they work great for my small home gym, but if I had more space I'd go with a power rack for a higher degree of safety. The RML-390F is free standing, so it's more versatile than racks that need to be bolted to the floor. If I had the space for a power rack, this is the one I'd buy.