Top 15 Christmas Gifts For Fitness Lovers

Having trouble picking out gifts for your fitness lovers? Imagine knocking their gifts out of the park! Let me help with todays article and video!

I am traveling to 3 popular stores to show you the top 15 Christmas gifts to get for your secret Santa! We’re not stopping there, I am guiding you through online gift shopping for this holiday season!

I took a poll on the gym’s social media page (@Ironstrengthandconditioning) and in the gym with my clients to come up with the top 15 gift ideas they desire for this Christmas!

Let’s get to the real reason you came here; the 15 items!


#1 Massage guns

Massage guns are an amazing gift idea that can help reduce muscle soreness and stiffness from sitting all day or working out. Here’s the only downfall… They get EXPENSIVE. This is why I take you to TJ Maxx to help you find the best bang for your buck!

#2 Workout bands

This is a great option because it is very versatile. You can use bands for stretching, strength training and much more! It is worth noting that closed bands were more asked for than bands with handles.

#3 Workout belts

A good workout belt is vital in any serious lifters bag! These in the video are great options but if you have a serious powerlifter then you may want to look at 11mm or 13mm powerlifting belts. Belts may be a good one to ask them about because some people are picky.

#4 Subscription Boxes

These are such fun gifts! I get a monthly box from Iron Crate , It feels like Christmas every month when my subscription box comes in! They always bring great items I can use in the gym such as wrist wraps, shaker bottles, protein snacks, workouts and more! They even make cool themes each month! Use code “IRON30” at checkout for 30% off your 1st subscription box!

#5 Wrist wraps

I have a lot of younger athletes that ask about these in the gym. I think they can be a useful tool to help do more weight on certain exercises when your grip starts to give. It can be found in most lifters bags!

#6 Dip belts

If you have someone that likes to do pull ups, dips and other body weight exercises then you can’t go wrong with a dip belt to add more weight. If they cant do pull ups or dips yet then this may not be a useful gift right away.

#7 Knee sleeves

These are such a great gift for serious lifters. Powerlifters, CrossFit and anyone that does a lot of leg days will love them! These will keep the joint warm through their leg day to help increase performance! 

#8 Yoga mat

Great for those who do a lot of home workouts, ab workouts and yoga! You may want to get a slightly thicker mat if they are using it for exercise. If they are doing yoga then you can use more of a thin mat!

#9 Dumbbells

This is a great piece of equipment to have in the house. If you have a home gym then people typically like to get adjustable dumbbells to save space unless they have enough space for more. 

#10 Fitness trackers

The amount of people that have these now are crazy! If you are looking for one for your loved ones or friends then this can be a great tool to help them track some of their journey and keep them accountable.

#11 Supplements

This is a tricky one but if you know what brand and what supplements they use then you should be all good! If they are a beginner and wanting to try something for the 1st time then you may want to reach out to someone for guidance. A good starting point is typically a good protein powder, BCAAs, creatine and a good multivitamin.

#12 Meal prep container

This is good for the fitness lovers that really track their meals and always take food with them. It can also be a motivator if they don’t because it’s a new gift and people want to use new gifts!

#13 Bottles

Bottles are a necessity for fitness and nutrition. Shaker bottles, blenders and water bottles all play a big role. In the video, I explain in further detail about what bottle may be the best fit for you!

#14 Bluetooth headphones

These are a game changer and I was late to the party when I invested in bluetooth headphones. With normal headphones, the cord is cold at first if you put it in your shirt and if you leave it out and dangling, it’s always getting caught on stuff in the gym. Having cordless bluetooth headphones will save frustrations and those embarrassing moments when your headphones unplug and your Taylor Swift starts playing out loud.

#15 Fitness games

This was a unique one and really has caught on in the last few years. When I first saw these, I wasn’t impressed but now I have them on my wish list to switch it up and have some fun!


Well, that’s a wrap on our Top 15 Christmas Gifts For Fitness Lovers! I hope this helps! If you have questions, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help! 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

-Alex Costa-

Healthy Trail Mix Recipe

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This is super easy and fast to put together! Here’s all you need! You can use as much as desired for any of these but I try to even it out!

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💪Almonds 

💪Walnuts

💪String Cheese

💪Cranberries 

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I like to use one of the containers that my almonds came in to put all my ingredients in then just shake up and take on the go!

I put the almonds and walnuts in then just used kitchen scissors to cut the string cheese into smaller pieces then threw my cranberries in! BOOM 💥 You’re done already! This can fuel you up through the day and is great to take on the go if you’re in a hurry. 

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🏈Great snack for my football guys in two-a-days. It’s packed with protein, healthy fats for healthier hearts, joints and brain. Then also has calcium with the string cheese for stronger bones. The cranberries are great for blood flow which help with a lot of things but PLEASE watch if you are on any medications like BLOOD THINNERS, STATINS, ETC. please check with the doctor before if you are unsure. Also check for food allergies before eating.

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If you can eat this then I’m sure you will love it! Sweet and salty will really help satisfy your cravings if you want this as a weight loss snack, just use smaller portions. If you want to add some weight, add more ingredients especially the nuts due to the higher caloric count in almonds and walnuts. 

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Enjoy and let me know what you think!

-Alex Costa-

CHEST TRAINING TIP (FLYS W/ TWIST)

As you come to the top of the fly, try rotating the dumbbells towards you for a better contraction! I love throwing this variation in!

Try hitting these on incline fly, 3-4 sets of 12 reps! If you experience any shoulder pain or discomfort, stop the movement.

🎉Client Appreciation Week🎉

🎉Client appreciation week🎉

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I am setting up the very 1st Iron Strength and Conditioning Client Appreciation Week at the gym! Your business and support has meant the world to me so I want to celebrate by giving thanks to you!

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For all active clients, I will have a few things you can check out when you come in this week. Each client will be able to pick out 1 protein bar/snack this week completely free at the sign in area. There will also be a huge discount on all Iron Strength and Conditioning apparel which will be set out for you to view when entering the gym.

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I recently filled up all spots for training but I have a few clients that are leaving to return to college so I am opening a few spots. This is the perfect time to sign up and start working with me! I specialize in working with athletes wanting to increase strength, speed, jumping ability, etc. I can also help you if you are looking to add muscle, lose body fat or lose weight and care about your general health.

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I am truly thankful for all of the support of my clients and anyone who takes the time to read my post and articles, like, share, comment or just show any love at all. I love you all and hope you have a great week! Thank you for helping me turn my dream into a reality 🙏🏼

#ironstrengthandconditioning #gym #fitness #weightloss #bodybuilding #strengthtraining 

#healthylifestyle #healthyliving #healthandwellness #costafitness #fatloss #transformyourbody #transformyourlife #personaltraining #clientappreciation #giveaway #smallbusiness #thankful #fitnesslifestyle #healthy #healthandwellness

Healthy Recovery Bowl Recipe

Healthy Recovery Bowl Recipe

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! I had a little bit of a busier weekend with it being more of a birthday weekend, woot woot. I finished an ab workout on Sunday and wanted something with a little carbs but not too many, I opened up Instagram and saw a recipe on my guy Dustin Myers page (go follow him @coachmyers_gutcheck). Great guy and amazing strength and conditioning coach. Anyway, it was a little different than this but not by much so I threw my own thing together and it turned out amazing! Full of nutrients and nothing that was going to leave me “too full” whatever that means.

Here’s a quick throw together recipe you can do within 5 minutes! All you need is:

These are the ingredients I used here above in the picture
  • Oats (half cup)
  • Almond milk (about a half cup or full cup depending on preference)
  • Almond butter (1 tablespoon)
  • Chia seeds (1 teaspoon)
  • Blueberries (I did a mini handful)

First you can take care of the oats and milk by mixing them and throwing them in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes. After you take them out, let it cool for just a moment then place a tablespoon of almond butter on top. Afterwards, I threw the blueberries in on one side, then came the chia seeds to top it off.

This snack is full of vitamins, minerals and many other nutrients to kickstart your day and give you some energy! This was delicious and only took a few minutes to put together. Try it out and let me know how you like it!! Also feel free to throw in different fruits and toppings to match what you are craving!

Have a great Monday!

-Alex Costa-

Super Bowl Sunday Smoothie

One of the biggest sports events of the year… The Super Bowl.

A day where millions of chicken wings and potato chips will lose their lives… Let’s save some chicken and some temptation by giving our body something that will fill it up a little bit.

Let me introduce to you The Super Bowl Sunday Smoothie. Totally not my recipe, I used some ideas off of Mel’s awesome blog. Check it out here.

The ingredient list is quiet simple:

- 1-2 handfuls of blueberries
- 1 medium size banana 
- 1 big handful of spinach
- About a half cup of Greek yogurt ( I used Vanilla)
- About a half cup of milk ( I used protein nut milk)
- About 1 TBSP of honey
- Some ice to give it a little cold crunch 

From here, it is pretty self explanatory. I put all of these into my blender and blended for about 1 -2 minutes. I love the taste of it, not too sweet and not too bland.

My banana was pretty ripe which can sometimes play a role in how it can taste. So if you are picky about that, pay attention to how the banana looks.

I usually count macros and give my audience a look at about the total of everything but I didn’t get a chance to weigh anything. My smoothies probably around 300 calories or so just cause of the greek yogurt, and milk. You can use a low sugar alternative for the yogurt or almond milk to reduce calories and sugar.

Try this smoothie out, I think you’ll really enjoy it! Plus it is better than greasy wings and potato chips that a lot of us will regret eating tomorrow.

Have an awesome day and enjoy the Super Bowl!!

Easy Guacamole Recipe

This isn’t any chipotle guac but it still taste great👌🏼 Plus it is super easy to make. All you need is an avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper and some onion.
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1. First you need to mash up the avocado with a fork. Mash it until it becomes a smooth texture.

2. Now we will chop up onions and throw them in. If you do not like onion, then you can add in something else! Make it unique and use ingredients you would prefer.

3. From here, I add in the lime juice, pepper and a little salt to help with flavoring. Then continue mixing it up and mashing with the fork.

After you are done, take a chip and try it out! You could even put this with a quesadilla or whatever you’d like. It took me about 5 minutes total to do all this. I always put a little less of the ingredients into the mashed up avocado because you can always add more if it is too plain. If you throw too much in it could be too strong. One of the best things about making guac is that you can make it your own by adding whatever you like. Mine was a little more of a healthy option so if you are trying to keep the eating clean but also taste good then try mine out! Hope everyone is having a great week!

-Alex Costa-

Chocolate Almond Butter Avocado Smoothie

choc avocado smoothie.png

Hello everyone and happy Thursday! I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their week. I have an article and recipe for all of my avocado lovers out there.

I discovered a few different chocolate avocado smoothie recipes the last couple days and switched some things around to get this delicious smoothie recipe. One thing I will say is don’t knock it till you try it!! This may sound like it could be gross but it is the exact opposite. This is definitely one of my favorite smoothies I have thrown together so far.

This is super simple and easy to make so lets get into what you need.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of chocolate almond milk
  • 1 TBS of organic almond butter
  • 1/2 of an avocado, should be about 60-90 grams
  • 1 banana, 100 grams is what I used
  • 4-5 ice cubes

Throw all ingredients into a blender and mix for about 30-60 seconds.

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Importance of fiber and healthy fats:

Fiber can be a key for weight loss. It doesn’t stop there, it helps your digestive track move smoother and faster to help digest the food you are consuming. When you consume fiber, it can clean your intestines and colon which in turn keeps bacteria away helping to reduce chances of colon cancer.

I found a study by Joanne Slavin that discussed how an increased fiber intake can reduce chances of cardiovascular disease. They state that “adequate fiber intake consistently lowers the risk of CVD and coronary heart disease (CHD), primarily through a reduction in low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels.” So in other words, it lowers your LDL cholesterol which is the bad cholesterol. HDL is the good cholesterol in the blood stream.

Avocados are a stocked house full of health benefits and can be used in so many recipes. They are mainly comprised of healthy fats which are crucial for cells in the body and play a role in brain function. They can reduce inflammation and reduce cravings as well.

I am also a big chocolate fan so if you are like me then you may find yourself making this smoothie quiet a bit. I have the macronutrients listed in the photo above for anyone interested in tracking macros. If you try this out then reach out to me and let me know what you think!

Have a great day!
-Alex Costa-

 

Sources:

https://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/why_fiber_is_so_good_for_you/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/#B31-nutrients-05-01417

Immune System Boosting Smoothie

Autumn is here

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a great day! I have been doing a lot of research into some foods that I would consider to be “super foods”. one that I came across was ginger root and I was blown away from all of the health benefits!! The health benefits consists of things like:

  • relieving nausea
  • Helps digestion
  • protects your immune system from getting sick
  • stops infections in their tracks
  • has the ability to fight against cancer
  • helps with weight loss

And so much more!!

With that being said, I knew I had to keep reading into this. I found so much and I can’t wait to share it with you but I will save that for a different article coming up very soon! I want to focus on this smoothie recipe that can help protect your immune system, especially with a bad flu virus moving around the United States. I incorporate ginger root into this smoothie recipe above.

It is important that you do all you can to help keep yourself healthy so you have a better chance of avoiding the flu. This involves:

  • Washing your hands A LOT
  • take a vitamin
  • eat healthy
  • keep hydrated
  • use germ sanitizer when you’re out in public
  • cover your mouth if you need to cough
  • exercise
  • Disinfect common house hold items

When it comes to eating healthier, it does not guarantee you from getting sick but it builds a strong immune system to fight off the thousands of viruses we are face to face with everyday.

As you can see, I have the recipe and macros shown in the image at the top of this post. I will explain how to use the ginger root for if you have never used it before.

First, cut off about an inch of the root, maybe a little less. A little goes a long way with this and it can be quite strong when used in a recipe. From there, you will peel the skin off of the root. You can then throw it in the blender.

Throw everything else in the blender and mix it up well. I do about at least a minute to ensure everything is mixed.

From there, it is the best part, enjoy the smoothie!

There are a couple things I would like to point out.

  1. I used a little dash of cinnamon to spice it up a tad. It is optional for you.
  2. The fresh ginger root is STRONG. It was the main thing I tasted in this smoothie so you may want to increase the serving size of fruits you use to even out the taste.

This smoothie is full of antioxidants and vitamins that will aid you in the flu season. I hope you enjoy it!! Please let me know how you like it and if you see any benefits.

Have a great day!!
-Alex Costa-