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Fitness Gifts for Every Personality Type

This is a sponsored post.

Got a fitness enthusiast on your shopping list this holiday season? Maybe a close loved one has a New Year’s resolution to get in better shape, and you’d like to foster their enthusiasm with the gift of the option to workout at home. Whether your fitness fan is an avid cardio aficionado, a bodybuilder, or anywhere in between, there’s certainly no shortage of gift ideas to explore. 

When shopping for someone who’s already on or planning a fitness journey as we move into 2022, balancing cardio and strength is important, so our primary goal is to narrow down the thousands of products on the market with both of these critical training components in mind. Of the hundreds of collective hours we’ve spent here at FitRated closely examining the top products on the market, we’ve filtered out all but five to best ensure you find the perfect solution for any personality type. These five products have diverse features to help you personalize your gift to match the unique needs and preferences of your loved one. All that’s left now is to let the 2021 holiday shopping begin!

 

In a hurry? Here are our top 5 picks for 2021 fitness gifts!

 

1. Bowflex C6 Best for the techy go-getter: Top-notch app connectivity on a solid frame at a fraction of the cost of competitors like Peloton keeps fitness varied and fun.

2. Bowflex Max Trainer M9 – Best for the whole family: High intensity, low impact workouts and variety in resistance training make it easy to switch things up and accommodate users of all fitness levels. Stats for up to four users can be stored.

3. Schwinn IC4  – Best for the one with limited space:  A solid, quiet machine that takes just over seven square feet makes for a viable exercise solution, even in the smallest spaces.

4. Bowflex SelectTech 552  – Best for the one who’s just starting out: A compact strength training solution with adjustable weights and free detailed video instruction is perfect for those new to weightlifting.

5. Schwinn 170  – Best for the one who keeps it simple: A lower price tag buys you a product that eliminates all the fancy frills and gets right into the nitty gritty of cardio, making it a perfect fit for people who aren’t interested in using technology as part of their fitness routine.

Top 5 Fitness Gifts for Every Personality Type

1. Best Fitness Gift for the Techy Go-Getter: Bowflex C6

“But exercise is booooring…”

Let’s face it. People make all kinds of excuses as to why they can’t exercise, and these excuses often boil down to a common root cause: a plateau in the current fitness regimen. This often comes in the form of simply getting bored with a seemingly perpetual routine that never changes. If you’re shopping for a fitness junkie who appreciates the explosion of fitness tech, the Bowflex C6 should be a top consideration on your list. 

The techy go-getter will appreciate the vast array of options in integrating their machine with apps that can help them mix things up. Best of all, many activate the reward system in the brain as exercise becomes more competitive with leaderboards to raise the bar, making exercise more satisfying. Not only will you be offering a fantastic machine, but it’s the gift that keeps giving as your loved one can save hundreds in expert fitness guidance as the C6 is compatible with:

Whether they prefer to work out on their own or increase the sense of competition in a group setting, these apps help mix things up. There are endless ways to track performance, and on-demand classes can go a long way in improving accountability without ever leaving the house. 

Strength and Cardio Covered in One Order

Something that sets the Bowflex C6 apart from comparable products on the market is that your order includes a pair of 3 lb. dumbbells with easy-reach cradles. When combined with 100 resistance levels, it’s possible to get both a cardio and strength workout in a single session. Since the C6 uses a magnetic resistance flywheel, the machine requires less maintenance and is quieter while in operation compared with direct contact alternatives. 

FAQ

Is the Bowflex C6 hard to assemble?

The Bowflex C6 isn’t hard to assemble, but you might want to consider having two people if you anticipate the 112 lb. assembled weight being too difficult to manage on your own. In-home assembly is available for $129.

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2. Best Fitness Gift for the Whole Family: Bowflex Max Trainer M9

“Fitness is the key to a long life, and I want my family on board for the journey.”

Fitness gifts can get pricey. A great way to get the most bang for your buck is to buy a machine the whole family can use, and the Bowflex Max Trainer M9 checks all the boxes. A hybrid between an elliptical and stair stepper, it supports data tracking for up to four users. Since it features endless possibilities in exercise programming, it’s difficult to plateau, making it perfect for beginners and seasoned athletes alike. 

Younger users will appreciate the app integration possibilities as you can connect with Google Fit, MyFitnessPal, and many more. Those who prefer a more traditional experience will appreciate the built-in heart rate monitoring system. No matter your preferred workout planning method, the Max Trainer M9 allows for a full body HIIT experience for highly-effective calorie burn. Users of all ages can enjoy:

  • 4-grip handlebars
  • Low impact experience
  • 20 resistance levels and unlimited speed
  • Total body exercise with minimal footprint

Modern Features for Maximum Versatility

Although you don’t have to get technical to use the Bowflex Max Trainer M9, those who do enjoy all the extras can expand their horizons far beyond the confines of the living room. Through use of the JRNY app, users can take advantage of personalized workouts, on-demand classes, real-time coaching, tracking, and rewards. It’s worth noting a subscription isn’t required. The JRNY platform provides limited features through the console without a paid membership including manual mode, a fitness assessment workout, and a handful of videos. Considering professional personal training can run as high as $70+ per hour, the $149 yearly price tag is highly valuable. Combined with Bowflex’s limited time, 1-year free trial JRNY membership, you have nothing to lose…. except weight!

Compare the rest of the Max Trainer line here.

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3. Best Fitness Gift for the Apartment Dweller: Schwinn IC4

“I know I should exercise, but I have nowhere to put fitness equipment!”

The average apartment size in the United States is around 850 square feet. That’s not much space for your appliances and furniture, let alone bulky exercise equipment. If the fitness lover on your shopping list lives in an apartment, duplex, condo unit, or other residence with limited space, consider the Schwinn IC4. With a footprint of just over seven square feet and a height of 51.8 inches, it’s not hard to find somewhere to put it even in the tightest quarters. Best of all, if you live within close proximity to other tenants, the silent magnetic resistance makes for a quiet ride every time. Schwinn IC4 users also enjoy:

  • 40-lb. flywheel 
  • Customizable, dual-link SPD foot pedals and toe cages
  • Minimal maintenance

Making the Most of Minimal Space

There’s no doubt the Schwinn IC4 provides a compact cardio solution for the fitness enthusiast living in a small space. Although it wouldn’t appear at first glance, the machine provides strength opportunities, primarily due to the fact it’s not a recumbent bike. Some unique ways you can incorporate full-body strength into your cardio sessions include:

Upper Body- Do push ups on the handlebars as you simultaneously pedal.

Lower Body- Amp up the resistance, and take advantage of the higher levels of the 100 increments available.

Core- Tighten your abs, and place one hand on the handlebars and the other behind your back. Switch arms in intervals of 30 seconds to one minute.

FAQ

Does the Schwinn IC4 have a height limit?

The Schwinn IC4 can accommodate users up to 6’6” or an inseam up to 39”.

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4. Best Dumbbells for Beginners: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

I want to get swole, but how do I even start?”

Got someone on your shopping list who does lots of cardio but lacks when it comes to strength training? Maybe they have fitness goals of increasing muscle mass. Weight training isn’t just for men, either. It prevents bone loss and can even stimulate bone growth, making it a great way to stave off the development of osteoporosis. 

Beginners often aren’t sure what to do with dumbbells or how heavy they should be, and that’s what makes the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells the perfect solution. With your purchase comes a 1-year JRNY membership, a $149 value, that provides on-demand, trainer-led, whole-body workout videos. This gives you plenty of time to develop proper technique and explore workouts to strategically progress toward relevant goals before deciding on a paid subscription. Just a few additional features that help beginners get off to a great start include:

  • Solid rubber grip
  • Easy-to-use weight selection dials
  • Storage trays included

Precision Incremental Progression for the Long Haul

Building muscle takes time. First, you need to establish a good foundation with the right form. Over time, it’s necessary to increase weight as you progress in your fitness program. This can get expensive with traditional dumbbells as you’d have to continue to buy more as you get stronger, not to mention all the space it would start to take up in your home gym. The beauty in the SelectTech 552 Dumbbells is they are adjustable from 5 – 52.5 lbs. all in one piece of equipment.  

For the more advanced weightlifter on your shopping list, check out the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbells. 

FAQ

Can you purchase Bowflex 552 base separately if the original becomes lost or damaged?

Yes, Bowflex has parts for purchase. Although there isn’t an option to purchase a base online, customer service can put in a special request. 

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5. Best Fitness Gift for Friends Who Avoid the Frills: Schwinn 170

“Back in my day, we didn’t have fancy gadgets, and we got by just fine!”

There’s no point in paying for a bunch of extras if they’ll never get used. Does your gift recipient tend to shun high-tech features and stick to the old-fashioned way of doing things? Save some money and gift them with the Schwinn 170. Its magnetic resistance requires less maintenance, and, while not known for variety in app integration, users can keep their workouts exciting and varied with:

  • 29 on-board workout programs
  • 25 tension levels for precision progression and interval training
  • Grip heart rate sensor and compatibility with Polar wireless chest strap for heart rate training

Excellent Warranty for the Cost

Oftentimes with a lower cost comes an equally low warranty. Schwinn doesn’t hold back with the 170, though. You’re protected with 10 years on the frame, two years on parts, one year for electronics, and 90 days labor. You even get a six-week money-back guarantee. When used according to manufacturer guidelines, users weighing less than 300 lbs. can expect to enjoy years of effective cardio right at home. 

FAQ

Is the Schwinn 170 bike seat comfortable?

There have been complaints that the seat is uncomfortable, and this isn’t surprising considering it’s an upright bike, and your weight is stacked directly on top of the seat. The good news is you can order a replacement like the Extra Comfort Bike Seat, perhaps a fun stocking stuffer to foreshadow the main gift to come!

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Which Equipment is Best for Weight Loss at Home?

When it comes to at-home weight loss, it’s important to keep in mind the concept of a balanced exercise regimen. One of the most common issues I’ve encountered in my career as a personal trainer is when a client wants to lose weight but dreads going to the gym. It usually only takes a little bit of probing to discover the client was thinking too narrowly in the exploration of their training options. 

To put it in another perspective, imagine trying to lose weight, but all you could eat were apples and carrots. Maybe those are your two favorite foods. However, it wouldn’t take long for you to start getting bored with the diet. The same thing can be true for fitness. When you do the same old thing every day, exercise becomes boring or even dreadful. That’s why it’s important to mix things up. The best equipment for weight loss is equipment that’ll actually be put to long-term use, and there are two key pointers to keep on track:

  • Cardio burns the most calories per session, and you can switch up intensity. From high intensity interval training to steady state sweat sessions, you can get an entirely different type of burn.
  • Strength training can improve metabolism in the long-term and should not be overlooked in a weight loss program.

In this 2021 holiday gift roundup, we’ve included both cardio and strength training products for a reason. The benefits of strength training are often ignored in relation to weight loss, and a lot of this has to do with the fact that a cardio session burns more calories than a strength training session. While cardio workouts satisfy our need for instant gratification in immediate calorie burn, multiple studies indicate a higher calorie burn throughout the rest of the day following strength training as well as a boosted resting metabolism for up to 38 hours. The same results were not true of cardio training. 

So, what does this tell us about the right equipment for weight loss? A well-balanced regimen that incorporates both strength and cardio is best, and finding a way to put that equipment to use that won’t get boring is key to consistency. Achieving variation at home is easier than ever with the growing number of fitness apps, many of which are free, that bring professional guidance to you at a fraction of the cost of traditional personal training and group exercise. 

How Will Supply Chain Issues Affect My Online Fitness Equipment Order?

Saying the past two years have been disruptive is an understatement. From worldwide city lockdowns and a surge in demand of fitness equipment to accommodate shelter-in-place exercise to shipping port closures and labor shortages, the inevitable result has been supply chain disruptions. Every step of the transport chain is critical, and, when any one component is disrupted, the entire system becomes backed up 

So, how can you circumnavigate supply chain disruptions to ensure your online fitness equipment order arrives on time for the holidays? The key is to plan ahead, shop early, and make note of who the manufacturer uses for shipping. Waiting too long can require you to pay extra for expedited shipping. 

Fitness Gift Shopping FAQs

How much space do you need for an exercise bike? 

As a general rule of thumb, reserving at least ten square feet is recommended for an exercise bike. Of course, there are exceptions like the Schwinn IC4 that takes up around seven square feet. If you have your sights set on a particular exercise bike, check the specs for the length and width to determine floor space. 

Is it okay to ask what someone wants for Christmas?

If you’re going for the element of surprise, it’s best not to ask, but this route requires a bit of research. Since you’re reading this, it’s safe to say you’re shopping for someone who values fitness. Ask probing questions to reveal what kind of exercise they enjoy, whether or not they use fitness technology, and how they balance strength and cardio training. Of course, if time is of the essence, you can always ask, but don’t be surprised when they aren’t!

How do you use an adjustable dumbbell?

Adjustable dumbbells like the Bowflex SelectTech series are simple to use. While the dumbbell is resting in its base, set the desired amount of weight using the dial. Make sure each side is set to the same amount of weight. Then, simply remove the weight from the base, and any remaining weight not needed for your desired resistance will remain. 

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