It is always fun to give a gift that someone may appreciate and even better to give one that can improve their performance in their chosen sport. With strongman being a niche activity, most of your family and friends may not know what to put under the tree this year. This article may give them a few ideas of how to get something practical this year and avoid you needing to exchange a pair of padded weight lifting gloves at your local superstore.

Big Z Strongman

The Affordable

These ideas are priced at under $50 and may already be in your bag, but it is most likely time for a new one.

  • Discount weightlifting shoes, specifically VS Athletics: I saw these recently priced online for under $40 bucks and scooped up a backup pair. The least fancy of the lifting shoes have some of the best construction on the market. A true wood heel and leather construction makes this a great shoe to squat and press in and won’t break the bank.
  • A insulated mug: In my opinion most pre-workout supplements are junk. They make you jittery, can break your focus or make you feel weird. A strong cup of joe, on the other hand, gives you a nice dose of caffeine that can be had for about a buck. Get a new quality mug that keeps it warm all day.
  • A set of nylon lifting straps: There are a few brands on the market for around twenty bucks. This is a steal for the piece of mind they bring. Traditional cotton straps can be prone to breaking and the heavy duty ones are just too thick. I’ve personally never seen a nylon strap break (even after a decade of heavy use) and they are thin making them easy to wrap.

The Middle Priced

If you need an upgrade, this is place to look. Sometimes you just won’t splurge on yourself. These gifts can run up to a few hundred bucks but will payoff in the long run.

  • A new bar: There are many options here that can make a huge impact on your “feel” during a lift. A basic Rogue bar is better than some junk bar that came with your plates. A Texas deadlift bar will instantly improve the deadlift or a trap bar can help you train for frame lift events. Often overlooked by novice lifters this gift can bring PR after PR.
  • Sandbag kit: If you don’t have a sandbag in your training arsenal, now is the time to have someone put one in your stocking. A tool to build strength, endurance or pain tolerance is a must have for the serious strongman.
  • Massage gift certificate: Everyone loves a good massage and they can really aid in your recovery. Very few people in the sport get regular bodywork done and more of us should. You can even save these for peak weeks before major contests.

The Top of the Line

AKA, “I’ve got wealthy parents and they buy me great gifts.”

  • A set of bumper plates: Many people still don’t have access to bumpers and that is a real shame. Being able to bail on bad squat or overhead can improve your confidence going into the lift. No one needs to worry about wrecking their bar, floor, or plates in addition to going heavy.
  • A new piece of equipment: As the sport has grown, so has access to equipment. There is a need to have quality pieces to train with but the price can be prohibitive. A new log is going to be balanced, a Stone of Steel is must for any gym, or a yoke that is light enough for novices but heavy duty enough for pros should be part of your program.
  • Airline Gift Card: Often overlooked as a gift but in my opinion one of the best things you can get is free travel! I hate when I hear a competitor miss a chance for a pro card because they couldn’t get to the contest. Having this as an expense removed from your strongman budget is a relief that you can always use.

Don’t be the athlete that gets a bottle of pro tan and bodybuilding magazine subscription this year from Aunt Dorthy. Help out the family and friends and take the guess work out of our small sport!

Featured image: Michele Wozniak

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