Sorry, there is no way. Unless you are intimate with the person, there is no “perfect match” between gift and recipient. Among adults, that’s actually not bad. The gift is more about your relationship with the recipient than about usefulness. For children, not so much: they will throw away the gift and play with the box if it’s not the perfect match.
I’m assuming the gift is for a strength-training passionate adult.
Let’s start with the basics:
Is the recipient someone else or is it you? If it’s you, it’s easy: balance your obsession for the item and your financial situation. Done.
If it’s someone else:
Is he/she a home gym owner or does he/she train at a facility?
If he/she is a home gym owner, follow the priority of items, check the ones he/she has and that’s it:
Power racks are sturdy steel four or more towers structures with holes where barbell supports, pins, and other accessories can be attached. Read more here.
There are several types of barbells. The “basic” barbell is now called the “power bar”. They differ in tensile properties, length, knurling and other features. Read more here.
The strength training bench usually has the same dimensions as a bench press competition bench. They are versatile: they can be used to bench inside the power rack, for hip thrusts or other exercises.
Olympic plates have specific dimensions: a 2-inch hole (to fit the Olympic bar sleeve) and a diameter of 45cm (~17.7 inches). Steel plates are solid metal like the one below.
All other gift options depend of whether the person favors the power lifts, the Olympic weight lifts or Strongman.
Olympic weightlifting recipient:
Before anything else, even power rack. Male or female, depending on the person’s sex.
The differences between the Olympic weightlifting bar and power bars are their flexibility and the rotation of the sleeves. More here.
This is Themis, my York Olympic lifting female bar
Bumper plates have the same dimensions described above for the steel plates. They are coated with solid rubber so that they can be safely dropped from above head height (when performing snatches and clean & jerks).
Lifting platforms are flat surfaces made of wood and rubber to ensure safe lifts and protect the floor.
Follow the “basic list” and add:
The log lift bar has a thick cylinder (“log”), handles for a neutral grip and sleeves to add weight to.
The yoke is a metal frame with crossbars attached to it. Weights can be added at the bottom. As all carry-event equipment, the yoke produces unique recruitment of core and other stabilizing structures.
The farmer’s walk equipment is a set of two metal structures with handles. Weight can be added at the sleeves and the muscle/neural demand it produces is similar to the yoke.
Generic items that are not that expensive and anybody with a home gym will appreciate:
They are solid metal (iron or steel) round objects with a handle used for a variety of strength and cardiovascular exercises.
These small rubber jacks are convenient aids for loading and unloading a deadlift bar.
If the recipient is not a home gym owner.
That’s tough. I bet you thought about wraps (wrist or knee wraps), sleeves (elbow or knee sleeves), straps, belts, shoes, and other personal training equipment. Unless you know the person really well (including their sizing) and he or she already told you they have their eye on a certain brand, it’s risky. I’ve written about all these items and I have personally tested all the major brands and many of the less well-known ones. One thing I can say: the choice is personal. That sleeve can “technically” be the best-ever but your recipient prefers a softer or tougher one, for example.
The safe gifts are sort of boring:
And why not books?
- A Program of Multi-Year Training in Weightlifting
- Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide
- Programming and Organization of Training
You should have a list, too. Who knows? Someone may feel inclined to show their appreciation for your existence or work. I’d say just publish it everywhere, put it on the message board or send emails by mistake. The worst that can happen is that some people will be a bit annoyed.
Blocks are used to vary the height of the weighed barbell for power and Olympic weightlifting exercises.
This small block provides some of the same effects that the large and clumsy wooden bench blocks provided.
This equipment was designed to train hamstring and glute strength.
The belt squat machine creates a movement pattern similar to the barbell squat without a barbell or any other held object.
Good luck and Merry Christmas!
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