Gone are the dreary days of televised Joe Wicks PE lessons and out-of-stock dumbbells; working out in all its forms is back with a bang in 2023 and so are the fitness gifts that come with it.
And as we start to shift our minds to the “New Year, New You” mentality, now’s the time to be thinking about the many ways you can incorporate wellbeing and gains-enhancing kit into the seasonal gifting agenda.
Luckily for you, we know our CrossFit kicks from our running shoes, and have tested our fair share of equipment, apps, trackers, you name it. Whether they’re a beginner with eyes on the latest FitBit for their wrist or a seasoned gym pros, our guide to gifts for gym junkies has all gifting occasions sorted, without the need to break a sweat.
Best Smart Watch
Apple Series 9 Watch
The Series 9 takes everything we love about the Apple Watch and enhances it in true Apple style. Improvements include automatic crash detection, a skin temperature tracker, and a more comprehensive Compass app for more accurate navigation. All of Apple’s comprehensive fitness tracking skills are still present and accounted for too, letting you measure everything from daily runs to sweat-busting gym sessions, while keeping tabs on your friends’ progress for extra motivation.
Best Smart Scales
Withing’s Body Comp
Withing’s most advanced smart scale to date does everything you’d expect, from recording your weight, to body composition stats like body fat, muscle mass, and more. The beauty of this model though, is its Wi-Fi connection, which means your stats are automatically uploaded to compatible apps without the need to mess around with Bluetooth. This connectivity also means that it can greet you with morning weather forecasts, which is a nice touch.
You can’t go wrong with the quality of Ultimate Performance. They have an extensive range of supplements ranging from whey protein to your everyday essentials like D3.
They may be slightly more expensive than other brands, but their quality is extremely high which is represented by the small number of ingredients found in each product. This generally represents a higher quality of supplement.
Best Long Lasting Water Bottle
Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Drinks Bottle
More so than even a smartwatch or pair of sweatproof buds, a quality water bottle ranks as GQ’s go-to workout essential. ‘Cos no amount of heart-rate tracking or expertly selected Kendrick classics is going to quench your thirst after 30 minutes on the rowing machine. Aside from immediately standing out on the gym floor, this ’Laguna’-coloured model from Hydro Flask has an ample 621ml capacity and a powder-coated exterior that you can easily grip, even at your most moistened. Thanks to its double-walled, vacuum-insulated technology, it’ll also keep your drink icy cold for up to 24 hours.
Best Gym Bag
Nike Brasilia Duffel
Nike has been making very functional sports duffels and the Brasilia 9.0 is a good example of one of the best gym bags at price that keeps dropping.
There is already an update for this series available, the Brasilia 9.5, but we’ve tested and used this bag for more than a year now without complaint.
As this one is still available, some price drops make it even more attractive. So, great football, the gym, karate, swimming and with the shoe compartment, also nice as an overnight bag.
Best Headphones To Train In
Beats Fit Pro
Despite costing less than Apple’s AirPods Pro, Beat’s Fit Pro offer many of the same features with similar audio performance, in an incredibly comfortable design. Resting more securely than its AirPods cousin in your ear, they serve up punchy bass and decent active noise cancellation, with a built-in transparency mode for letting you hear your surroundings without removing the buds themselves. With a very respectable maximum battery life of seven hours (ANC off) and 30 hours including the case, these are some of the best workout headphones currently available. £199.99. At amazon.co.uk
Best Heart Rate Monitor
Garmin HRM-Pro Plus
Garmin’s original HRM-Pro heart rate monitor was already one of the very best around, but the newer Plus variant is just that little bit better. As with the original, it’s capable of tracking your steps, calories, intensity minutes and all-day heart rate without the need to wear a watch or have your phone, letting you sync up to your Garmin Connect app after your activity is finished. This is an incredibly useful feature for people looking to track sports and workout sessions without being lumbered with any other items. Not only that, but the Plus can now also offer running pace and distance stats for even better indoor running and treadmill workouts. Runners will also appreciate running dynamic stats too, which include ground contact time, stride length, and more. With a generous battery life and hassle-free syncing, it’s one of the most fully-featured heart rate monitors around. And the screwdriver-free battery access (not to mention, the 5ATM water-resistant build), isn’t too shabby either. £120. £98. At amazon.co.uk
Best Gym Clothes
Lululemon come up as by far the most durable and comfortable gym clothes we have worn. They come at a cost, but if you find yourself going through multiple pairs of gym tops, leggings and shorts per year; why not invest in something that will last the long run?
Best Gym Trainers
Reebok might no longer be the title sponsor of CrossFit, but that hasn’t changed the fact that its Nano line of gym shoes remains ideally suited to the varied demands of functional workouts. These can include lifting heavy weights, agility sessions with plenty of fast moves in all directions, and straight up sprinting.
The Nano X3 has a heel clip to increase stability during quick, lateral movements, and the breathable upper also has reinforced sections for increased support. The outsole offers multidirectional grip, and the Floatride Energy Foam in the midsole adds cushion and bounce when you’re running or doing plyometric moves without being so mushy as to be unstable when lifting heavy weights. We recommend these shoes for everything we do at SPC.