It's crunch-time for holiday and Christmas shopping! If you've run out of ideas for the weight-lifting maniac in your life, or you're just looking for something special for yourself, here's a short list of things I think you might like. If you're wondering what else I've listed over the years, I've included links to previous suggestions.
$5 - 24" Nylon Runners
I reviewed these back in August and use them (instead of chain and clips) to link weights for pulls, drags, and grip work. They come in handy often.
$4-$10 Movement Lectures
Laree and Dave Draper of bodybuilding fame and davedraper.com, have put together an amazing collection of audio programs recorded by the finest minds in fitness and strength and conditioning today. Just about every topic in the field from assessment and rehabilitation to the business of personal training. There's even an audio program about squatting! Most lectures are in the $5 range and 30-60 minutes long. Sometimes it's nice to have these playing in the car during a long commute, or when you're taking the dog for a walk.
I know what you're thinking, "Standard plates... Whaa...?" Buy a slick plate like the one pictured and carry it back to your car pinch gripping it one handed - you'll understand it then. No, it's not going to turn you into a grip champion like Adam Glass, but some work with it and I'm betting you'll have a newfound appreciation for grip strength feats. Try it with farmers walks, passes around the waist, and plate curls (but don't overdo it).
If you find the 25lb plate to be too much, buying a 10lb plate and tying weight from it (you could use the nylon runner!!!) is a great way to build yourself up to the 25. ...the 10lb plate is cheaper to boot!
$24.95 - Dan John: Intervention (book)
Of all the strength and conditioning DVDs I own, "Intervention" is the one I will probably have to replace from viewing so often. I did a DVD review and you can find it here. The content is clear, informative, and relevant to weight trainers of all goals and interests. The book covers the same material and then some in a very readable format at a price everyone can afford. I will post a more complete review soon.
$25 - SKWAT! T-Shirt
I have a small batch of shirts and if you've ever wanted one, now's the time! Sizes available are Youth Medium, Adult Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll arrange payment through PayPal.
Previous Holiday Gift Suggestions: