The world is ever so slowly going back to normal, even if social distancing will still likely be the norm come December. Holiday festivities are possible even with just 5 people in a room. If the Yule season is happening, you can also bet gifts won’t be far from people’s minds.
There’s limited time to go out and get shopping. It’s even harder when you’re looking to give presents to friends and family with more particular hobbies and interests. We’re talking about the gym buff, the fitness freak, the lifter and the fighters.
Don’t you worry, though. We got you covered. We list down some of the best gifts you can give your weightlifter or MMA Fighter friend this holiday season.
(Giving gifts for another sport? Check out our other gift guide here.)
For the Budget Conscious – Gifts Under $20
Let’s be real. The pandemic affected pretty much everyone. Purse strings may be tighter than usual but you don’t have to be a millionaire for these:
1. Hand Wraps
Hand wraps are an indispensable tool for fighters. They:
· Protect the knuckles
· Support the wrist
· Protect the thumb
· Maintain joint alignment
· Compress soft tissues of the hand
· Lend strength to the hand for more impactful punches
· Fill the glove
It’s always recommended to use hand wraps under boxing or training gloves as they also aid in reducing injury risk. They also help soak up the perspiration. Which is exactly why one can’t have too many hand wraps.
Weightlifters use a slightly different wrap and also tie the wraps differently from MMA fighters, but they also benefit from using hand/wrist wraps especially for heavier lifts.
Cost: under $20 for a pack of 3
Where to get it: Most sporting goods stores carry many different brands. You can also buy them online.
2. Equipment Deodorizer
Gym gear like gloves and wraps tend to absorb moisture and body oils. Unfortunately, this not only encourages bacteria growth and breaks down equipment faster, it can also result in eau de stink.
Eliminate the need for costly replacement by simply removing the excess moisture. This is where deodorizers come in handy.
There’s a wide variety of chemical sprays available in the market. But chemicals can be harmful for the body. Instead, opt for more natural remedies.
Deodorizing bags, usually made from bamboo pouches and containing activated charcoal and lavender, easily fit inside gym bags, shoes, gloves and can even be used inside your car.
Cost: between $10-$20 for branded ones
Where to get it: available online through major retails shops. You can also buy from chain supermarkets and department stores
3. Microfiber gym towels
Towels are practical gifts. No one really enjoys buying them and that’s exactly why it’s nice getting them instead.
And while terrycloth towels can feel absolutely luxurious after a home bath, they’re a hassle to lug to the gym. For workouts, opt for lightweight, compact, quick-drying, and odor-resistant microfiber towels.
Cost: as low as $5 per piece
Where to get it: available online and in almost all department stores
Got a few more dollars to spend? Let’s put ‘em to good use.
For the Intellectual Gym Rat
Reading and weightlifting aren’t mutually exclusive. Neither are fighting and reading, for that matter.
If you have a friend that loves both the gym and a good book, a history of UFC (see: Is This Legal? by Art Davie) or powerlifting how-to’s (see: All About Powerlifting by Tim Henriques) will fit perfectly under the tree.
Cost: around $25
Where to get it: order through online bookstores
For the Gamer
If your gift recipient enjoys both actual workouts and virtual ones, a copy of a game is a must-have. Big game developers like EA Sports have various titles on MMA in general and UFC in particular (The Ultimate Fighter will allow them to virtually compete with Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee. Think about that.) All major game consoles also carry many different fitness games for whatever fits your fancy.
Cost: as little as $7 but can go up based on title
Where to get it: most consoles allow online downloads, but actual game discs and cartridges can also be bought from game stores
For the Home Gym Enthusiast
With everyone sort of stuck at home, home gyms are becoming a must-have for avid and aspiring fighters and weightlifters. What’s a good addition to home gym equipment?
MMA fighters, powerlifters, anyone with a home gym really, should use mats. It helps protect the floor of the house and helps to absorb impact. Opt for a rubber one that’s slip- and water-resistant.
Mats are a bit cumbersome to lug around though, so be prepared to get a workout yourself getting them to the recipient's house.
Cost: a good rubber 4’ x 6’ mat can set you back $50 a piece, but many stores sell them in bundles so it can come out cheaper
Where to get it: any store that sells flooring needs or home gym equipment
2. Heavy Bag
Heavy bags are essential for athletes training for combat sports. It’s great for helping increase speed, power, coordination and core stability. It’s also awesome for aerobic fitness. And while it doesn’t equal a bodybuilding or weightlifting workout, it’s still good for adding detail and stripping body fat. So yes, weightlifters can also benefit from hitting a heavy bag.
Cost: good quality heavy bags start at $150
Where to get it: sporting goods stores
3. Cardio Equipment
Never underestimate the benefits of cardio:
- Burns calories
- Speeds up metabolism
- Improves BMI
- Control blood pressure
- Strengthen the immune system
If money is no issue, consider getting a rowing machine. Trainers swear by it as it’s a total body workout. For more inexpensive options, consider a weight bench, sandbags or suspension trainers.
Cost: Rowers can set you back $1000 or more, weight benches are around $150, sandbags go for under $15, and good suspension trainer systems are priced around $100
Where to get it: sporting goods stores
For the Casual Fan
For the friend who’s just starting out with MMA or weightlifting, or someone who’s still thinking about it, keyrings make great for some cute and fun gifts:
Cost: depending on material, can go from $5 to $25
Where to get it: sporting goods store, specialty online shops
For the Fanatic
Finally, for your friend that’s very serious about his sport, give the gift of recovery. And what helps muscles recover faster than the following:
1. Massage gun
Imagine how good a massage feels, especially after an intense workout. Now, imagine having a personal massage therapist on call. Because that’s pretty much what a massage gun is.
Massage guns like the HYDRAGUN are nifty devices. They utilize percussion therapy to knead sore muscles and help shorten recovery time. That means your friend can be back in the gym in no time.
Sleep helps improve athletic performance. According to research, the growth hormone is stimulated while the body sleeps, stimulating muscle growth and repair.
But how exactly do you give sleep?
· Weighted blankets – these simulate hugs and help reduce anxiety.
· Melatonin supplements – helps manage sleep cycle
· Noise machine – allows you to pick ambient sound to help you sleep better
Good hydration is important for athletes and non-athletes alike. Getting the right amount of water helps regulate body temperature. It also helps lubricate joints, therefore reducing the risk of injury.
· Water bottle with built-in filter – so they don’t need to worry if the water they’re drinking is clean or not
· Flavored salt pills – to help replenish electrolytes
Holiday gift-giving for the weightlifter or MMA athlete doesn’t have to be hard. This list should at least have given you an idea of what to get. Do let us know in the comments what you chose to get and how it worked out. Happy holidays!