Top 10 Gift Ideas for Personal Trainers that will Actually get some Work Done

Top 10 Gift Ideas for Personal Trainers that will Actually get some Work Done

Personal trainers get a wide array of clients with an even wider array of goals, assuming they’re lucky enough to have clients that have any idea what their goals actually are. Having experience as a graduate assistant strength coach at a successful Division III university, I learned to view exercises and training methods as a means to an end. All that matters is the ultimate goal, and success is measured by attaining that goal through the most straightforward, direct path that expends the least amount of time and energy. I’m lucky. The gyms I work for know that I’m aspiring to continue my strength and conditioning career at the collegiate level, so most of the clients that get sent to me have goals such as getting stronger or getting ready for whatever sport in which they compete. I do get the occasional “normal” person who wants to drop 10 pounds, feel better about himself physically, or just get into better shape.

Whether a trainer has a client who wants to perform better on the field, or a client who wants to look good on the beach in his new, neon-pink banana hammock, having an arsenal of insanely effective and versatile equipment is key to the success of any well-planned exercise program. So, what should that special trainer in your life be armed with this holiday season? In no particular order, here are the top 10 must-have gifts:

1. Blast Straps

This training tool is ideal for increasing strength, stability, and conditioning. With the complete lack of adequate equipment of most commercial gyms, Blast Straps can fill the void with brutal exercises and movements that just require a place to hook the straps and a client to torture.  The foundation built by the Blast Straps makes a much smoother transition from simple body weight movements to more complex compound movements for under-trained clients. Speaking of smoother movements:

$79.95 $63.96
Blast Straps
The best way to perform suspended push-ups, chin-ups, face pulls and other bodyweight exercises.
Custom made for EFS A-BLAST
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2. EFS Foam Roller 12×6

Let’s face it, 99 percent of first-time clients that step into a gym are going to have muscle tone resembling a cold grilled cheese sandwich. A muscle’s ability to do work is dependent greatly on its ability to smoothly and efficiently contract. This foam roller is solid and durable enough to smooth out the myofascia and get the sliding surfaces of the muscles working less like the aforementioned sandwich and more like the pistons of a jet-fueled winning machine.

EFS Foam Roller 12×6
It’s not the size of the roller that matters…
Custom made for EFS A-EFSFOAMROLLER-126
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3. Box Squat Box

You may be asking yourself, why does a personal trainer need a box squat box? The short answer is because all of the benches are too high, and that small step stool they’ve been using to teach squatting technique requires pinpoint accuracy, or else the squatter is going to get killed. It’s hard to maintain a client base if all the people you train keep getting crushed to death by barbells after missing the box. Box squatting is safe, has a shorter recovery period than free squatting, has an almost-zero learning curve, greatly reduces stress on the knees, and is brutally effective at strengthening the entire posterior chain. Most clients have very poor posterior chain strength. These weaknesses lead to numerous movement and structural problems that impede the progress of a training program, and could develop into more serious impairments down the road if not addressed.

Box Squat Box
Adjustable Box Squat Box
Custom made for EFS DSWS-R-BS
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4. EFS Pro Light Bands

A pair of light bands goes a long way. Not only are they great for face pulls, many different forms of rowing, adding resistance to pushups, reverse band squats/benches/deadlifts, leg curls, pull-throughs, and literally thousands of exercise variations that only are limited by a trainer’s creativity, but these bands are fantastic for putting joints into traction, PNF stretching and correcting movement problems. I can’t even count how many times I had a client who has shoulder pain or hips too tight to perform compound movements with a barbell. Five minutes after being hooked up to these bands, the pain is gone, body positioning is improved and, in due course, PRs are set.

EFS Pro Light Band
Same tension, new color.
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5. Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training

This book made the list for two reasons:

1. It presents detailed explanations of how to safely and effectively perform basic compound barbell exercises. It’s pointless for a trainer to be teaching exercise technique if he has no idea what the exercises should look like. Also, the effectiveness of the exercise is put in doubt if a trainer looks like a sideways question mark when demonstrating “proper squatting technique.”

2. This book helps establish principles of training. Regardless of what your clients’ goals are, the trainer needs a set of principles that can easily be utilized and adjusted based on what the client is trying to do. Human beings used heavy barbell lifts to lose weight, gain weight, improve sports performance, and otherwise increase the quality of their lives for hundreds of years. For example, I remember reading in school that the American Revolutionary War was settled via rack pull competition. USA! USA!

Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Exercises, 2nd Edition
The best book on strength training just got better.
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6. Fat Gripz

They are cheap, portable, and make even the simplest of exercises almost impossible to hold on to. A trainer who makes it so his clients don’t ever have to ask for help opening pickle jars, is a successful trainer. Now, that is functional strength!

Fat Gripz
Turn any bar or dumbbell FAT!
Fat Gripz Enterprises A-FATGRIPZ
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7. EFS White Train T-Shirt

Nothing else will establish dominance in the gym quite like a shirt that states, plain and simple, what a personal trainer does. This shirt will let everyone know who the alpha is, and the clients will start pouring in. The personal trainer who receives this gift will forever be indebted to the gift giver for helping to display his or her superior training knowledge to the rest of the gym-going community. Actually, come to think of it, wearing any of elitefts™ apparel will showcase a trainer who has exposure to the best training information in the world:

EFS White Train T-Shirt
Simple bench technique training.
**More colors available**
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8.  Sandbags

Walk into any commercial gym and you will see these three things:

  1. Someone running on a treadmill
  2. Someone doing curls
  3. Someone lying on the ground, doing some sort of strange abdominal contortion on the floor

What you don’t see are people carrying sandbags. Logic and common sense leads me to believe sandbag training would be among the most popular forms of exercise, because it effectively combines everyone’s favorite exercises into several easy movements. All the client needs to do is pick up the bag, hold it in front of him, and carry it until his arms, abs, and lungs all feel like they’re going to be violently ejected from his body. Probably the most beneficial part of performing heavy carries, is that it breaks up the monotony of training in the weight room all the time. It gives even the most timid of clients a pretty big confidence boost when they are drenched in sweat in the parking lot after a couple sets of heavy carries and they see someone leaving the gym to go home with a bone-dry T-shirt on. Pick things up, and try not to put them down.

Increase your overall strength and conditioning.
Josh Henkin A-SANDBAG
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9. Ultrak 495 Stopwatch

Keeping perfect track of intervals, timed sets, and rest periods is often under-emphasized in the world of personal training. This is probably because most stopwatches either shut off forever an hour after you buy them, or the buttons stick so badly that you need to use perfectly timed sledgehammer hits in order to start and stop the timer. The Ultrak 495 is the Cadillac of stopwatches. Many clients don’t have time for a full hour session. Here’s an outline of how to use the Ultrak 495 to keep time and optimize a 30-minute training session:

  • 10 minute warm-up/set-up
  • 8 minutes of a front squat and power clean Tabata interval
  • 12 minutes of lying on the floor

Ultrak 495 Stopwatch
Every coach needs a good stopwatch.
PowerMax DSPM
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10. Quick Ship Econo Prowler

Quick Ship Econo Prowler
The Prowler 2′s little brother. Smaller, but just as nasty.
Custom made for EFS DSWS-R-PE-BLACK
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The Prowler should be a staple at every commercial gym and serious training facility in the country. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. It’s a good thing this one fits perfectly in the trunk of a car! A trainer armed with a Prowler is a trainer aiming for success with his clients. Simple, brutal, and portable, the Prowler is hands down the most effective conditioning tool on the planet. Plus, nothing works the abs like dry heaving for 20 minutes after failing miserably at any of the Prowler challenges.

Any of these gift ideas surely would brighten any serious personal trainer’s holiday season. The planning, execution, and ultimate success of a client’s training program will be much easier and much faster with the arsenal of the above mentioned products. You always could show your deep love and appreciation for the personal trainer in your life by getting him or her The Ultimate Prowler Package:

Ultimate Prowler Package
Everything you need to push, pull, drag, and drive.
Custom made for EFS DSWS-R-P2-PACKU
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This will pretty much allow the trainer to quit the gym and start a mobile training facility out of  his car. Happy Holidays!

Elitefts Gift Cards

The perfect gift for any occasion.
Custom made for EFS GIFTCARD_100
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The perfect gift for any occasion.
Custom made for EFS GIFTCARD_25
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The perfect gift for any occasion.
Custom made for EFS GIFTCARD_50
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The perfect gift for any occasion.
Custom made for EFS GIFTCARD_75
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About the Author

Mike is a personal trainer in the Ocean City, MD area and is currently in the process of opening a small private training facility. He has completely spiraled down a meat staircase of insanity and hopes to make a return to the real world at some point. Check out his blog at and his new complete home gym compendium at