December is a busy season, with busy schedules for travel, shopping and special events. Surviving it with our health and sanity intact is always a challenge, but the right gear (and a treat here and there) helps us cope with chaos and keep stress to a minimum. Here’s what sees us through this crazy month.
Recommended by Nick Collias, Editor-in-Chief
There is something unique about the first moment someone is hit with a Theragun. To some people, it feels intensely ticklish, except you are tickled with a hammer, as my 7 year old deftly described. For others, including me, the thud of percussion is instantly comfortable, as if I’ve been craving it without realizing it for years. The muscles melt, the hot spots disappear and calm takes over me. There is nothing like it, and even those who resist feel like it at first pretty early on.
The best part? It’s a prop that you can see in use every day on the sidelines of the NBA and elsewhere, and also use on yourself while watching the game. The liv and G3 models are both worthy of consideration, but the premium G3PRO model has a few advantages. The adjustable arm allows for more strategic direction of pressure, and the maximum force limit is double that of the liv and 1.5 times the G3. It has two speeds, including the “sensitive” setting that some people absolutely need (at first, anyway), as well as replaceable batteries and six accessories including the legendary “cone” tip.
For anyone who trains hard, this is a tool worth checking out and saving all of your vacation demands.
Total Strength of the Pack by Anthony Fuhrman
Recommended by Kailan Kalina, Content Editor
These days, you don’t have to put in a lot of effort to find someone selling a bodybuilding program online, each one supposed to be the best. But the truth is, a lot of them are a lot more complex than they should be. Bodybuilding.com team athlete Anthony Fuhrman, meanwhile, does a phenomenal job of sticking to the basics of strength and pairing it with effective hypertrophy work in his new program, Total- Package Strength.
Fuhrman, who was crowned the world’s strongest man under 105kg last month for the second time, wanted to help intermediate weightlifters gain strength and size for a base that will serve them in all of their goals. The result is six weeks of programming that closely mirrors Fuhrman’s own off-season roster for Strongman. Its four-day split also maximizes recovery, and it offers some serious conditioning work instead of the boring, 20-30 minute cardio recommendation, 2-3 times a week.
In this program, you train like an athlete. There are no frills or complicated exercises, just basic lifts and isolation movements to get you rocking the iron and packing on some serious sledgehammer.
Harry Potter Pro28 Shaker Bottle
Recommended by Frieda Johnson, Editor
You can never have too many shaker bottles. And what better way to show your love for Harry Potter and fitness than with a Harry Potter-themed cocktail shaker? There are six awesome designs to choose from (including each Hogwarts house crest), so you can get one for yourself and one for every Harry Potter fan on your holiday shopping list.
The BlenderBottle Pro28 series also includes some nice upgrades: it has a rounded base for easier mixing and the new SpoutGuard design to keep it clean, while being stain and odor resistant, BPA free and dishwasher safe.
Recommended by Shoshanna Cohen, Content Editor
Although I am health conscious and try to eat plant based most of the time, sometimes I just want a big messy burger. I’ll splurge every now and then, but it has become difficult for me to enjoy this burger when I think about the kind of factory-raised meat it has in it. Eating antibiotics and hormones feels like a giant step backwards for my health goals, and it makes me uncomfortable.
So, I love that plant-based diets are becoming more and more mainstream and now I can find weirdly meat-like vegetable protein from Impossible Foods everywhere from Burger King to Qdoba. The Burger King Impossible Whopper really tastes like a regular Whopper and totally satisfies the burger drive craving. Of course, it’s still not as healthy as a bowl of quinoa, but if it allows me to enjoy fast food without eating fast food meat, it’s a win in my book. Now if only someone can create a believable herbal chicken finger, I’ll be ready for life.
Bodybuilding.com OGIO Rogue Pack
Recommended by Heather Eastman, Senior Content Editor
It’s the season, and for many of us that means a season of travel. If you have visions of four-hour stopovers and cramped car trips in your head, you’ll need the right gear to get through the trip.
The new Bodybuilding.com OGIO Rogue Pack is as perfectly functional for travel as it is for the gym. It has everything the weary wanderer needs in a go-anywhere bag: plenty of storage for gifts, snacks, and that extra pair of socks; a laptop sleeve so you can watch movies (or sneak into a video workout) when you’re stranded at the airport; and two cup holders for your protein shakes once you’ve cleared the TSA.
Best of all, the blue Bodybuilding.com logo ensures your bag is easy to spot, whether on the baggage carousel or in the locker room. Once you’ve made it your favorite pack, you won’t leave home without it!