Gift Guide for Strength Athletes
This time of year there are lots of “gift guides” for all sorts of target markets - foodies, runners, winos, etc. but I’ve yet to see a gift guide marketed towards people who like to pick up heavy things and put them down. So I thought I would make one! And, you know, if any of these things just happen to show up on my doorstep… I wouldn’t be mad. Just saying.
I personally have Strength Wraps and love them - I’ve got REALLY tiny wrists so they’re one of the only wraps that don’t feel bulky or impede my wrist movement. They’re pretty light (although you can get them a bit heavier if you’d like) and work well for any of the Olympic lifts where you need some wrist flexibility. Plus, they come in tons of fun colors and designs.
If you’re looking for something with a bit more heft and that’s a bit stiffer for heavy pressing, try these Rogue wraps.
I use knee sleeves a good amount (more discussion about that here) and just recently ordered myself a new pair from EliteFTS. I’ve also heard amazing things about Rehband knee sleeves. Just make sure you ask the person receiving them to size themselves since it’s a pretty specific item that needs to fit correctly.
I actually need to purchase a pair of these myself. I very rarely use them but they are something to have in your toolkit if your sport allows them (Strongman usually does for max weight deadlift events). EliteFTS has a big selection, as does Rogue, and Lift Big Eat Big also makes straps as well.
There a couple of things to consider when purchasing a belt:
1. Competition legality - different sports/federations have different requirements for what is and is not considered “legal” for a belt. This is going to mostly impact the size of the belt (for example, 10mm or 13mm) and possibly the thickness. Again, it varies for each sport and/or federation.
2. Style - There are two styles of belts that would make a great gift - some people like to use just one style, I personally use both depending on the lift. There are also styles within styles (belt inception!?) which is largely personal preference.
The two styles I've used are what I'm calling "velcro/soft" belts and "hard/powerlifting" belts. Not the technical term I'm sure, but yeah.
Velcro/Soft belts - I LOVE my Harbinger belt and I’ve also really liked using Valeo belts. I prefer the velcro style rather than the buckle style (like this) but again, that’s just personal preference. I use mine mostly for Olympic lifts, pressing, and sub maximal squats and deadlifts.
Hard/powerlifting belts - These belts are a bit pricier, depending on what you get, and again, there are several styles here. I’m partial to the lever style belts simply because they are easier to get in and out of by yourself and the belt that is on my own personal wish list is from Inzer and the above belt from EliteFTS is also pretty awesome. From prong-style belts, there are quite a few options - I’ve heard great things about this belt from Rogue.
Reebok Nanos are a great all-around shoe. I love mine and need to purchase a new pair since mine are pretty worn down.
There are tons and tons of books out there that would be perfect for any athlete but here are a few of my favorites and a few that are on my wish list. These range from very technical/science heavy to mindset to nutrition and everything in between.
- Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches by Greg Everett
- Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe
- The Texas Method by Justin Lascek
- Supple Leopard by Kelly Starett & Glen Cordoza
- Paleo for Lifters by Justin Lascek
- Supertraining by Yuri Verkhoshansky
- Progress by Chris Moore
- Science & Practice of Strength Training by Dr. Vladimir Zatsiorsky
And when all else fails...get gift cards or scope out clothing, books, and gear from these places:
You can also check out some more info about the type/brands of gear I personally use and love here.
That's it! I'm sure I missed a few things so let me know what your favorite gifts/brands/types of gear are and what you would like to receive this year!