The Ultimate Christmas List For The Fitness Lover

It’s almost time for Black Friday! Which means Christmas is already around the corner. When shopping for someone that’s into fitness, there’s a couple things to pay attention to. 

Some people can be very picky. Not because they are a picky person but because of different factors that are involved in their training. Some things to keep an eye on and maybe ask if you aren’t sure is:

1. What kind of fitness are they into? 

Bodybuilding, CrossFit, powerlifting, yoga, etc. This can really help so you look in the right direction.

2. Supplement favorites?

Are they sensitive to caffeine, does whey protein mess with their stomach, do they have a flavor they can’t stand?

*DO NOT JUST TAKE A STAB IN THE DARK AND GRAB THE FIRST THING AT WALMART.

This can be an area where you might just want to avoid unless you have a really good idea what they use and like.

3. Do they have access to a gym?

This can decide whether to get some items or accessories for the gym or home.

4. Do they have this item already?

If it’s a supplement or subscription box then thats okay because it’s an investment that is made consistently. However if it’s a set of bands, do they have this set already? Do they need another set or should we grab something else?

So what makes the list?

Whether you have a family member, gym friend or you’re doing a random acts of kindness for someone into fitness, I plan of having you walk away knowing exactly what to pick for them! I have created a list of 10 items that you can’t go wrong with! Lets get started!

1) Fitness subscription box

Iron Crate

Every fitness lover finds monthly fitness subscription boxes super exciting! Think about it.. it’s basically a fitness Christmas each month! I love my monthly box I get from Iron Crate. We keep it exciting and fresh each month. We include the most trustworthy and highest quality products on the market. We also include workout programs to keep you busy in the gym and even throw in items that you can use such as shakers, gym accessories and fresh gear to wear!

Why try shopping for stuff and end up getting something they may not like when you can take out the middle man. We hand select the items each month and create a unique monthly Crate for our customers. We even take care of shipping too! 

The best thing about Iron Crate is that the retail value adds up to anywhere from $80-$130 each month but the monthly subscription customers only pay $39.99 a month for a box full of fitness goodies! So you can get up to $130 worth of fitness for only $39.99!

Go grab an Iron Crate for you, a family member or a gym buddy to make their Christmas! You can save 15% off your first Iron Crate with using the code “CRATE15” at checkout! 


Iron Crate

2) Healthy snacks

Healthy snacks are such a great choice! The best part is that it fits all categories of fitness! Iron Crate has you covered again. We also carry amazing snacks packed with protein that make great treats for any fitness enthusiast. One huge favorite is the protein candies we carry from MusclePharm. They taste just like M&Ms but without all the sugar that will affect your blood sugar levels. They are also a great source of protein and the taste is out of this world 🤤 I snack on these all the time when I’m craving chocolate.. which is almost everyday. Grab some items and fill up a stocking for your fitness lover this Christmas!


3) Vitamin D

Out of all vitamins, this one is going to be a huge seller this year. Most of us are deficient in vitamin D. They say that this specific vitamin may help protect against becoming infected with, and developing serious symptoms of COVID-19. 

Healthline.com saysA new study that looked at 216 people with COVID-19 found that 80 percent didn’t have adequate levels of vitamin D in their blood

That is going to be one thing right off the bat that increases sales on this vitamin. Let me explain why this is a great gift idea other than that. Vitamin D is known for helping to have healthy muscles, bones and teeth. It can also help keep your immune system healthy, regulate energy levels and aid in brain health. The benefits of this vitamin are a tool most of us need, making it the perfect item to throw on the Christmas list this year.


At home gym equipment

It’s 2020.. the gyms have been closed down once. Let’s be honest, it won’t hurt to have a couple things at the house just to be safe.

Here’s a list of home gym items I would go with.

4) Yoga mat

This is a good option because for most fitness categories, you will typically want some kind of mat or padding on the floor. This can protect the weights, floor and the lifter.

5) Glute resistance band

Glute resistance band from Ironcrate.co

Let me explain why I LOVE these and think everyone needs one. Our glutes are naturally weak. Especially if we sit at school or at a desk all day. This can cause low back pain and issues with the hamstrings. This glute band can help increase strength in the glutes and hips.

If you are an athlete, this tool can aid you like no other. It can help pre-activate the glutes which essentially turns them on to increase strength during your workout. This can increase overall strength and lead to more muscle activation for bigger muscles and better performance.

I hear the girls in my gym talk about this all the time.. They want better and bigger glutes. This band WILL help if used properly.

I use this band for me and my clients before all of our lower body days in the gym. It is one of my favorite investments and I believe you will be just as happy as I was when you get one.

We sell these for an amazing price on Ironcrate.co , just click the button below and it will take you to the item on my website so you can pick one up before we sell out.

6) Adjustable dumbbells

Going with the adjustable ones compared to the ones that are coming already set at weights will save moolah. It also saves space which is a plus. You can get a good pair from places like Amazon or even Walmart. I would get a set with some kind of iron weights compared to the plastic weights. That is just my personal preference though. If you are on a surface where you need to take care of it, then plastic might be a better idea.

7) Resistance bands

This is a great gift idea. It is highly utilized by many fitness categories and has many functions making it a good tool to have at home.

There are 2 main bands that will pop up when you type this into the search bar. The ones on the left are great for exercise variety. If you don’t have dumbbells or any weights then this may be a better decision because it will give you more options. The bands on the right are very popular for other things. They do not have handles like the other set and are a closed band as to where the other set is open. These are great for athletes that do explosive workouts. It is also a great tool to have added in if you have a squat rack or bench set that can add band resistance. They will typically have pegs for bands on the bottom.

8) A good pair of wireless headphones

Notice I didn’t say Air Pods or Beats? This is one I would ask about if you think that person is picky because just like supplements or flavors, this can be one of those gifts that the person may want a specific pair. If you have the budget, I think Air Pods or Beats are the higher quality ones on the market. However, one of my brothers and sisters has a set of headphones that look just like Air Pods and operate at just about the same level, so if that person isn’t picky, those are a better option if you have a lower budget in mind.

This is personally one of the items on my list this year. I like my normal headphones but I find myself always in a hassle messing with the cord. I do a lot of work involving my headphones and don’t always want to carry my phone on me so I like the thought of not worrying about the wire getting in the way or getting stuck on everything.

9) Shaker bottle custom to their favorite interest

The shaker bottle companies have been changing the game lately with their special series they are always dropping. They have bottles with teams, super heroes, food items and yes even some with avocados working out on them.

As someone that loves a lot of different fitness categories, there is something about having a flashy shaker bottle or one that is custom to what your interest are that makes you feel some type of way. Remember that feeling when you got that fresh new Scooby lunch box back in 1st grade, and you couldn’t wait to show it off? Yea that feeling. So take note of what their interested in and search it up.

10) Smart Watch

Apple, Fitbit and Fossil have amazing smart watch products. No matter what category your fitness lover is into, the watch makes working out so much fun!

This is also a great gift to get a beginner because it can really keeps them motivated by little things like “filling the rings” on the watches. Basically it sets goals for you such as walking distance, calories burned, time standing, etc. As you accomplish the goals, it fills up rings on your watch. This is like checking off something on a to do list. It gives a great sense of accomplishment!

Lets WRAP this up, get it.. Christmas.. gifts..HA, not funny, I know

There are a lot of amazing products out there that are going to be brought to your attention due to high marketing around the holidays. This doesn’t mean you have to get the 1st thing you see on the commercials. Next thing you know, you’re getting a shake weight for your grandson that is into powerlifting. So trust me, this is a good list that can really meet expectations for all fitness categories.

Wanna see another list for a specific category such as athletes, cross fit, runners, etc? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you want to see! Also let me know if you have any items that you think should be added to the list!

Have a safe and fun Thanksgiving this week!

-Alex Costa-

Workout Wednesday (Chest and Back Pump)

Welcome to another Workout Wednesday! Today we are hitting chest and back! We are going to use the “3 Bench Angles in 3 Minutes” technique that we saw in yesterdays post.

Start this workout with a good warm up. Here is an example warm up I would perform before this workout:

Bike – 5 minutes
Shoulder swings – 10 each way, 20 total
Band pull aparts – 2 x 15
Push ups – 2 x 10

Now that we have a warm up in, lets get started with 3 sets of pull ups till failure. If you can not do a pull up, do assisted pull ups if possible for at least 8-10 reps each set. If you have no access to assisted pull ups, do lat pull downs. Set the weight stack to your body weight and do as many as possible.

After that comes the dumbbell bench presses. If you haven’t read yesterday’s post on the 3 Bench Angles in 3 Minutes then check it out so it all makes sense for you. You will do 2-3 sets with 60 seconds of rest after a whole set is complete.

We are making our way to the cable machine after for some reverse cable flys to target our rear delts.

Picture was used from google images.

We will then hit seated cable rows with a close grip. We will start heavy and decrease the weight as the reps increase. The catch here is that after every set you complete, switch weight and get right back to work. This will pump the back up before you leave the gym.

All in all, this workout should be something you can complete in 30-40 minutes if you get to work and don’t get distracted. This will be a solid workout though, use your better judgment for the weights you pick. Do something challenging but nothing that will break down form.

Try this one out next time you go to the gym and let me know what you think! Have a good Wednesday!

-Alex Costa-

How Music Can Play A Role In Your Exercise Performance

You ever have your tunes on shuffle and in the middle of one of your last sets, one of three things happen..

  1. music stops out of no where, maybe wifi is messing up in the gym or your app seems to want to make you mad by closing out.
  2. an ad from pandora comes on about weird random stuff.
  3. Taylor Swift comes on, and not that I don’t totally headband with some T-Swift but just not my jam when I am cranking out my heavier sets.

If this has happened to you, welcome to the club. Now obviously not all of us have our music on shuffle when we workout. We tend to have a favorite station, playlist or genre of music we like to listen to. What if I told you that the music that comes out of your earbuds could play a roll in your exercise performance?

There has been studies dated back as far as 1911 when Leonard Ayres, an American investigator noted that people that would cycle were moving faster when a band was playing compared to when it was silent. (This is from the source listed below at the bottom of this post)

Studies show that when we workout to music, we tend to ignore the pain and fatigue feeling that we get which in turn can lead to pushing through more weight, longer runs and more total effort in our exercise.

People that run tend to like songs with beats around 160-165bpm (beats per minute). That is probably cause it is natural for our bodies to want to move to a beat, and the faster the beat, the faster we tend to move.

WTF Fact of the day… I was listening to The School of Greatness Podcast with Lewis Howes and he had Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue, that show is the sheeet. He was discussing about how he would increase the bar music at his own bar from something slower, probably around 90-120bpm to about 140-160bpm. He would do this because he noticed a faster table turnover rate, meaning he could get more customers into his bar and out faster which in turn brings him more chedda. As you can see he is a very smart man when it comes to that but he uses the whole, more beats = more movement thing to actually make himself more money. Knowledge bomb, your welcome.

Back to the article.. as you can see, music can make a huge difference in many ways. But the bigger things we look at when it comes to exercising is that it distracts our pain/fatigue level and make us want to move more (exercise). So go back and make sure you got that playlist bumpin for your next workout!

Here are 5 of my top songs in my playlist currently. I am a huge fan of all music and I enjoy listening to podcast as well but when I need to juices flowing, I go to these 5 songs!

Have an awesome day!
-Alex Costa-

Sources:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/psychology-workout-music/

https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa15/2015/10/20/can-listening-to-music-affect-your-workout/

Zombie Survival Workout

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! So very sorry I haven’t posted in such a long time, I got so busy opening my gym, training and coaching. I want to try posting more because I have sooooo very much I want to share and teach you guys! I hope you enjoy this workout I made today. Something that should really give ya a challenge and make you work! Let me know how you do, time yourself each set and try to beat the previous times!

Have a great day and great Halloween!

-Alex Costa-

1 2.png2 2.png

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY

Super Bowl Sunday Workout

Super bowl Sunday🏈🏈🏈
Here’s an entertaining workout for those who get bored with the game😂 hopefully there are a lot of turnovers and sacks cause I’m in it for the food haha
Hope everyone has a great night watching the game and has safe drives home from wherever you are. Please don’t drink and drive. By doing that you are not only making one of the dumbest mistakes of your life but you are putting your life in danger as well as others who don’t deserve to deal with that. Sorry for having a serious moment but I know it’s a big event and the bars will be packed. With that being said, have fun and go eagles!!

Workout Wednesday (LEGS)

Welcome.png

It’s HUMPPPP DAAAY! I got a good one for you!!

Unless you hate legs, then you probably won’t do this one…

You should still try this cause there is nothing like a good ol leg day.

So let me explain how this one will work. We are starting with a back squat to front squat. You have 5 sets of 6 total, 3 each variation. So you will get under the bar and un-rack it, walk it out, do 3 back squats then re-rack it. Now don’t walk away just yet, as soon as you re-rack it, set it up for a front squat and bring that baby back out for 3 reps. After you complete those 3 reps then rack it and grab a drink, you have just finished one set.

Afterwards, we have a super set of stiff leg deadlifts with dumbbells and sissy squats. If you don’t know how to do these, click on the exercise link above or go to the Vault of Gainz page to see my exercise library.

Next we have leg press. We are tackling 100 reps with as little rest as possible so try getting as many reps done as possible each time until you reach 100. Don’t load the leg press so heavy you can’t do 10, load it accordingly. 1-2 plates on each side is plenty.

Time to finish off with calves. We are staying at the leg press for this. We will do 3 sets of 30 reps, 10 will be with your toes pointed inward, 10 with your toes pointed straight then the last 10 will be with your toes pointed outward. This will help to work all angles of the calf.

After you can finish with some cool down stretching or some walking lunges. This workout will give you a pump and a challenge so bring your A game for this one!!

Hope you have a great day!!
-Alex Costa-

300 Workout (Workout Wednesday)

holly feather-4.png

Workout Wednesday

 

This workout is quite challenging so get ready to put your blood, sweat and tears into this one!! okay , maybe not blood but a lot of sweat and tears… More tears than anything.

We have a 300 rep workout. This will consist of 10 total exercises with 30 repetitions at each exercise. You will start on the left which is mainly upper body and do that whole left column. Afterwards, you will move to the right side which is more lower body.

The goal is to go through this whole workout without taking much of a break. If you are a beginner, I would definitely recommend maybe even at least 10 seconds after each exercise to start then slowly get rid of the rest. Judge rest time on what you can handle. This workout is supposed to be challenging and push you but listen to your body and take mini rest periods if needed. This workout will take you anywhere from approximately 10-20 minutes depending on rest periods. If you do not know how to do an exercise, click on the Vault of Gainz to see the exercise library.

Make sure you do some kind of warm up of about 5 minutes prior to starting the 300 workout. I would also recommend a cool down of about 10 minutes to bring the heart rate back down. This could be stretching or a nice and easy jog.

Let me know if you are brave enough to take this one on and tell me how it goes!! Have a great day!

   -Alex Costa-

 

How To: Stiff Leg Deadlift With Dumbbells or Kettlebells

Here is a video to help clear up what form should look like on a stiff leg deadlift with dumbbells or a kettlebell! There are a lot of common mistakes that I would like to point out so you reduce the chances of injury and increase the chances of gaining strength and muscle!

This is a solid exercise for your posterior chain!!

I hope everyone is having a great week and enjoys the weekend!
-Alex Costa-

 

FREE FITNESS PROGRAMS!!!

As of last night, I released 2 training programs to give you something that you can work on! I have one for both males and females! Please go check them out and share them with your friends and family! I spent a lot of time on these, especially Operation Bulk X. I hope it helps you get started on some of your goals! It will definitely help you transform your health.

*They have a built in exercise library so you don’t get confused on exercises!

 

Step #1) Go to the “Menu” button at the top of the website

Step #2) Click on “Workout Programs”

Step #3) Choose whichever program you’d like to start

Step #4) Download the PDF to your phone or computer so you can quickly access it at the gym!

 

Click HERE to go to workout page

Hope everyone is having a great day!! I will be putting up more content and videos to help you through the programs!

-Alex Costa-

Core Workout Challenge

I have a challenge today! Perform this core workout and see how many rounds you can complete in 10 minutes! If you get 5 rounds the first time then come back and try to beat that with 6 rounds next attempt! Hope everyone had a great weekend! I will catch you guys tomorrow with another video.

    -Alex Costa-