OutsideSubmission-3 columnist

The holidays are nearly here. Most of us have spent the year balancing work, family, and training. We’ve hit our conditioning workouts, we’ve used that god-forsaken foam roller three times per week, and we’ve done reverse hypers after every squat session. If this is you, congratulations, you’re on Santa’s Good List.

Unfortunately, some have fallen off the wagon. They’ve cheated on diets, skipped GPP, or even stopped putting in the work altogether. Then there’s the friend who fell off the wagon ages ago, hasn’t run hills since high school but still gives unsolicited life advice on social media.

He’s the guy who used to bench 405 in college. He pulled 600 pounds before he had kids, but you haven’t seen him chalk up all year. He’s sporting a beer gut but can tell you all about how carb cycling is just a fad. He’s been talking all fall about how he was going to get back into training next year.

Bad news: Your buddy is on the Naughty List. The only thing he deserves for the holidays is a kick in the ass. But, since you’re trying to be good, take the high road. Give him an awesome gift. Make him come train with you in 2020.

Here are a few ideas that should eliminate all of his excuses to not train, while only setting you back about 20 to 30 bucks. Bonus: If he doesn’t keep training with you, all of these would be awesome things to steal from his gym bag after a week.

naughty list gallery

1. elitefts Train Stars Tee

Yes, I know your friend already tells everyone on Earth that he lifts. But let’s make sure even strangers know it. When he shows up at the cash register, winded from walking down the snack aisle, even the cashier will know he’s “functionally fat.” He can even cut the sleeves off when summer arrives to show off his new yoke.

2. elitefts Pro Monster Mini Bands

You both know there’s no way in hell that he’s going to squat the five plates he just threw on the bar. Don’t let the whole gym watch him get pinned. Instead, grab a 20-inch box, double some monster minis over the top of the rack, and viola! Lightened Method PR. Be sure he tells everyone he trains Westside when anyone asks about programming.

3. Wake Up Motherf****r Smelling Salts

Once you set up the reverse bands for that PR we just talked about, he’s gonna need a little encouragement. Plus it’s always fun to see a grown man cry in the gym. Fleshlight sold separately.

4. elitefts Heavy Elbow Sleeve

In the event that the friend likes to make excuses about injuries he doesn’t have, get him some sleeves. No more skipping out on dynamic effort bench sessions now.

5. Equi-Block

Suggest that he applies some of this liberally to any tight muscles or sore areas. Suggest a hot shower post-training. As stated before, seeing grown men in tears always makes for a good story.

Chances are if you’re supportive, your friend will fall in love with training again. For most of us, all it takes is gripping the knurling again or hitting an ammonia cap while stepping through a cloud of chalk.

If it works, you’ve got one more training partner to push you in 2020. If not, you’re at least going to get a great show out of the liniment meltdown. Either way, it sure as hell beats a pair of socks and a coffee mug. Happy holidays.

Header image credit:  Wavebreak Media Ltd © 123rf.com

Brandon Montgomery dabbled in powerlifting and used to be strong but never could make it to Rhodestown. He quit competing and now races mountain bikes. However, he still follows the sport of powerlifting and has fond memories of fat strong dudes in multi-ply, bands, chains, and ammonia caps.

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