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What to Buy the Fitness-Loving Guy this Xmas

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Dead Cool Kettlebells

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Sam Rider, fitness editor “You’ve gone Paleo with your diet and animalistic with your bodyweight workouts, now it’s time to go primal with your kettlebell swings. They’re the perfect dinner party conversation piece – ‘That old thing?’ you’d say, while executing a flawless Turkish get-up, ‘Oh yeah, I work out!’ – but they’re also genuinely high-calibre tools to build a ripped, functional physique. Made from chip-resistant iron with big handles for a secure grip, they range from the 8kg howler, through the 16kg chimp, 24kg orang-utan and 32kg gorilla and now, the rare and mythical 40kg monster, BIGFOOT. King Kong is surely next.”

Onnit Primal Bells, £28-£142 onnit.com (opens in new tab)


Lightweight Running Shoes

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Joel Snape, associate editor “Minimalist footwear might be going through a low patch but personally I never run better, or more injury-free, than I do in a pair of low-drop, lightweight, zero-profile daps. I normally go for Inov-8’s F-Lite range, but off-road running next spring is the plan, and the Terraclaws have been scooping awards all year long.”

Inov-8 TerraClaw 250, £84 wiggle.co.uk (opens in new tab)


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Sam Razvi, online writer “Glute power is crucial for both athletic performance and maintaining a functioning body well into old age - there are absolutely tons of exercises you can do with these simple bands to triple your hip strength in a matter of weeks. As well as stabilising your lower back (which helps cure back pain), increasing your glute strength will improve your hip thrust, leaving you feeling like a healthier, more alpha man.

My Protein Resistance Bands, £9.99 myprotein.com (opens in new tab)


A Pull-Up Bar

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Matt Huckle, features writer “Put this door mounted pull-up bar on your bedroom door and you’ll not be able to resist busting out five every time you walk past. Soon you’ll be surprised at how quickly your maximum amount goes up.

GM Exercise Bar, £8.19 amazon.co.uk (opens in new tab)


A Speed Rope

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Joel Snape, associate editor “Of course, for fat loss any old Newitts rope will do – but when you start trying to string together double-unders, a proper speed rope can make all the difference between getting 50 flawless reps in a row and whipping your own shins with every uncoordinated swing. This one combines ball bearing tech with a steel rope (yes, ouch) that’s the Murcielago to a traditional rope’s Mini.”

Black Pro-Series Speed Rope, £29.95 nolabelfitness.co.uk (opens in new tab)


A Food Delivery Subscription

A Food Delivery Subscription

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Sam Rider, Fitness Editor “The consensus is that a lean muscular body is built 25% in the gym and 75% in the kitchen. It’s something I found out when trying to beef up healthily to make more of an impact on the rugby field. I only trained three times a week yet gobbled down 5,000 calories a day - a feat that would’ve been implausible without bulk-ordering ingredients from Muscle Food (opens in new tab). It's something my stomach and muscles have missed ever since. Companies including Soulmate Food (opens in new tab)Mealtek (opens in new tab)Neat Nutrition (opens in new tab) and Mindful Chef (opens in new tab) can also deliver ready-made, nutritious meals according to your macronutrient requirements (for fat loss as much as clean bulking), like a remote army of nutritionists keeping you on course.

Food delivery subscription, prices vary, links above

A Garmin Fitness Tracker

A Garmin Fitness Tracker

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Ben Ince, deputy editor “Like having your own miniature cheerleader on your wrist, a fitness tracker will prompt you to push yourself and help keep you motivated via daily calorie and step targets – perfect for when your activity levels inevitably drop during the festive season. And of the host of brands and models available, few are as discreet and sleek as the Vivosport from Garmin, which looks just as stylish with a suit as it does with your gym kit. With step and sleep monitoring capabilities, it provides constant feedback to help you track your progress, and you can also synch it with a heart rate monitor to find out exactly how many calories you’re burning during your workouts – something a lot of trackers struggle with.

Garmin Vivosmart Activity Tracker, £120 amazon.co.uk (opens in new tab)


A Fresh Pair of Nikes

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Sam Razvi, online writer “These bright and lightweight kicks would help me to swiftly glide up and down chimneys with athletic prowess come 24th December. Ok, I’m not actually Santa Claus, but still, they are a cool colour and would be useful for dynamic workouts, like parkour and sprint training. Something I’m definitely going to make the most of when I start feeling guilty about the amount of chocolate I've poisoned myself with over the coming weeks.

Nike Free 5.0 Men's Running Shoe, £100 store.nike.com (opens in new tab)


A Microsoft Fitness Tracker

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Max Anderton, head of digital content “For me, this is the king of the activity tracker market, and combines the features of most other devices into one (GPS, heart rate, smart notifications, steps, calories). Recording your movements, sleep and even warning you when to put sun cream on (hint: not for a few months, at least), all its data is then fed into a web-based dashboard. Having your life disseminated into graphs is scarily addictive and since returning my review device back I’ve missed checking my vital statistics. Come on Santa, if you decide I’ve been naughtily lazy this year I won’t be able to check my activity to see if I actually have.”

Microsoft Band 2, £200 microsoftstore.com (opens in new tab)


A Punchbag

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Matt Huckle, features writer “Whaling away on a heavy bag is a great way to add definition to your arms as well building the technique needed to hit hard without hurting your wrists. However, not all punchbags are built equal, and many become misshapen over time and lose their ability to absorb shock. This bag has a central spine that’ll stand firm against abuse and an outer layer of foam that’s forgiving enough on your hands while being highly resilient. And as a stress reliever it’s second to none.

Escape Fitness Pro Punchbag, £314 escapefitness.com (opens in new tab)


A Magazine Subscription

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Max Anderton, head of digital content “OK, working on Men’s Fitness mag means I get it for free. But nothing lasts forever and if I weren’t on the team I would still want to get my copy of the country’s best health and fitness magazine before the masses. It also helps that I wouldn’t need to get off my bum and go to the shops, though as soon as I get my copy I could do one of the workouts to make up for that. Well, once Christmas is over anyway.

Men's Fitness subscription, £5 (for five issues) subscribe.mensfitness.co.uk (opens in new tab)


A Push Band

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Sam Rider, fitness editor “Ain’t nothing more frustrating – bar maybe Sudoku – than fitness trackers that tell you to get off your fat arse because you've been idle all day, when in fact you've been hammering out a heart-rate rocketing clean and jerk workout. Step up the Push Band. Hypothetically it tracks the key metrics of power and velocity, rather than the dull concept of steps, for anything from bodyweight moves to Olympic lifts so you can clock the total work (measured in kilojoules – much cooler than calories) of your training, compare them with past sessions and know if you’re undertrained or overtrained.”

Push Band, $149 (approx £98) trainwithpush.com (opens in new tab)


A Turbo Trainer

A Turbo Trainer

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Ben Ince, deputy editor “If the thought of hitting the road in the pouring rain on a freezing Sunday morning is enough to glue you to the sofa, it could be time to invest in a turbo trainer – an ingenious device which props up the back of your bike and allows you to pedal away to your heart’s content indoors. The CycleOps Silencer is one of a new breed of direct drive turbo trainers, which attaches to your bike’s drive train, solving the problem of worn-out rear tyres – and neighbour-baiting sound effects – that used to hamper traditional turbos. And with many of its rivals costing well over a grand, this is a far more affordable option for the average weekend warrior.

CycleOps Silencer Mag Trainer, £600 evanscycles.com (opens in new tab)


A Cycling Jacket

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Max Anderton, head of digital content “I’m super-proud of myself for starting to ride in to work recently. The only problem? It’s getting colder by the day and the only really warm jacket I have is far too chunky. Plenty of brands make suitable stuff, but seeing as this is a wishlist, I’m going for Rapha. The luxury cycling company’s gear comes at a hefty price, but in return you get a combination of style and practicality rarely seen anywhere, let alone the Lycra-clad world of cycling. This bad boy is completely waterproof and windproof, but also breathable. Hopefully it will spell an end to me arriving at work with a disgustingly sweat-covered back. If not, at least I’ll look good despite the grossness.

Rapha Hardshell Jacket, €310 (approx £217) rapha.cc (opens in new tab)

Craft beer drinker, Devonian, fisherman and former content director of Coach online, Chris contributed style coverage and features between 2016 and 2019.