One thing about being in the fitness business for decades is that we’ve spent a lot of time and energy (and yes, a good deal of money!) on a lot (too many!) of products and programs.
In the past decade, the fitness market has exploded with options – a double-edged sword, as not everything out there meets the mark. But luckily we’ve found some great stuff – products we were confident we’d love right away, and others that pleasantly surprised us.With the holiday season in full swing, what better time to share our discoveries?
Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect Secret Santa surprise or treating yourself to a well-deserved upgrade, here’s not just a list of products but a curated collection of our top picks. These have genuinely enhanced our daily lives and routines.
Stuff We Like to Put On
This Patagonia R1 fleece pullover with hoody is still Amber’s favorite piece of gear for high exertion activities in cool weather. If you are into that sort of thing, you might as well have comfortable clothing while you are near to death on the side of a mountain.
These Lululemon Align Leggings are what Rose describes as “buttery and don’t feel like my legs are being squeezed to death”. What more could you ask for in a thin layer of cloth between you and your yoga mat?
Mott & Bow
Jeans shopping has been the bane of my existence ever since my legs blew up in high school and these Mott and Bow jeans are my newest and best finds. I ordered two more as soon as I put them on. Best for those who don’t skip leg day and don’t want to wear jeggings.
Barefoot, minimalist shoes have been trendy for a few years now, and honestly most seem like a lot of money for a bit of fabric and rubber. But Ryan and Rose tried some Xeros expecting to be underwhelmed but were pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and durable they are.
Years ago I saw a friend of mine wearing a pair of Altras and I’d never seen such a wide toe box on an athletic shoe. I’ve tried lots of other running shoes since and always go back to Altras.
Classics are classics for a reason. Some of us have been wearing Vans since junior high and enjoy saying “how do you do fellow kids?” when we pick up our not-so-little-ones up from school.
Stuff That We Like to Use When We Do Stuff
Spibelt Running Belt and Noxgear Tracer Vest
Amber has been doing silly things like running half marathons and her Spibelt has been great for holding her candy and boba. While the Noxgear Tracer Vest keeps her safe from vampires during her overnight 40 mile relay races.
HydroFlask and BlenderBottle
There’s nothing like a several hundred dollar gadget to make you feel closer to nature. But we all know if you didn’t track and post your 12 mile hike then it doesn’t count! Garmin has been the choice for Amber, Ryan, and I for hiking and slogging.
Biometric tracking to help with exercise and recovery planning can be pretty convoluted and complicated, and it’s not without it’s controversies. But as long as you don’t get so obsessed and bound to whatever score pops up on your device in the morning, these numbers can provide you with some valuable insights into your patterns and maybe even some predictive capabilities. Andy has been using Whoop for a long time and our Alpha Posse private members have also enjoyed using it as well. We’ve even created a Whoop Team for everyone to share their experiences.
Soundcore Ear Buds
I can stream through my hearing aids but to save battery I often row/run/stand still with these. Anker has always had good products and a nice price point. I’ve also had a hard time finding ear buds that stay in well, and the variety of fitments do pretty good. (Nothing compares to my hearing aid custom ear molds though).
Spark Guitar Amp
In another multiverse iteration, Andy might be a traveling musician and he particularly enjoys the Spark amp. It’s been interesting to see how music is a big part of the lives of not only the people in our company but also our clients. Whether they play instruments, sing, teach, or just plain love music, it’s probably hardwired into all of us.
A small “smart” speaker for music and timers is super useful, and if like us you’re all in on the Apple ecosystem, then the HomePod Mini ticks all the boxes for both it’s utility and participation in corporate surveillance.
I’m showing my age but I grew up in a time where most supplements were not only snake oil but also tasted terrible. Hands up if you’ve ever had to choke down a Weider Nutrition “mass gain” shake as teenager. No? Then consider yourself lucky. I don’t recommend it.
I feel better training on an empty stomach but I noticed that for longer sessions (two hours or more) it was good to have some calories and salts. I’ve never liked those gatorade type drinks but Tailwind has been easy on my guts and has a good clean taste. It does have a fair amount of sodium, which helps me because of my tendency for lower blood pressure, so be sure to regulate this as needed.
Rose recommends Nuun tablets for when you need to hydrate and sweat a bunch, and you can easily pop these into your water bottle. It does have a lower sodium dosage which is probably more appropriate for most people.
Vega and Legion Plant Based Protein Powder
Of course we have to have the usual disclaimers that you should try to meet most of your protein needs through real foods. But for those of us that either have to eat on the go a lot or have trouble eating enough, protein supplements can help. I wouldn’t recommend more than once a day though. I like Vega to give my stomach a break from milk based proteins. And Rose has had good success with Legion protein.
We have an Amazon list for the most commonly asked about equipment, but these two are probably the most ubiquitous so they deserve mention here.
Doorway Pull-Up Bar
If you don’t have a lot of space for a dedicated pull up bar, doorway ones can work really well. But you should opt for “leverage hold” models rather than the unreliable “compression” types that are often featured in social media mishap videos.
In keeping with the theme of not a lot of space, resistance bands can be really great when you want to add some more tension to movements without needing a lot of weights lying around your living room.
Gene mentioned using these from Dopamineo a lot in the past year and they are definitely more reliable and rugged than the cheap ones that unfortunately wear out right in the middle of your set.
Choosing and Using the Right Stuff
A big part of our job is to stay knowledgeable in just about everything our clients might ask us about, and to provide educated, informed opinions. Andy always likes to say that “we’re an education company posing as a fitness company.” This statement strikes at the core of our ethos – empowering people to make the best decisions for their physical fitness and autonomy
So for us in regards to the ridiculous amount of fitness products and programs, it goes beyond skimming the same sales pages and marketing spiels that everyone sees; it requires actual first-hand experience.
Our approach is both thorough and personal, often involving weeks or months of trial and personal experience to really gauge value. And let’s be honest – there’s a certain thrill in trying out new fitness toys and products. Who doesn’t get excited about discovering something new and innovative?
Obviously, our recommendations are influenced by our personal preferences and experiences, but our experience likely resonates with the majority of people.
With that in mind, here are three of our favorite companies that provide material that have not only helped a lot of people, but also us personally. It’s funny, we often get comments about our “competitors” with people comparing us with other companies and remarking who’s better.
Well, we think there’s more than enough space for good people to provide good material.
We’re no strangers to teaching and performing handstands, and Mikael and Emmet of Handstand Factory have gained a well-earned reputation for their handbalancing and overall body control programs and coaching. We’ve gone over their handstand programs ourselves, and Leah has gone to their intensive coaching workshops and gained a lot from it.
Kelly and Juliet Starrett have been leaders in the fitness industry for a long time, with the emphasis on advocating for people to understand more about what they can do for themselves in caring for their bodies. That’s right up our alley! And the Ready State suite of programs they’ve created, along with their books offer a lot of this education in a clear and engaging way.
Eric and Jessie started out with their fundamental series of movements that helped many people take control of their back problems, and expanded to more offerings soon after. Their Foundation Training approach has really taken off in the past few years and Andy and Ryan have used (and continue) the principles and movements to help their issues as well.
Stuff Somebody’s Stocking with GMB Programs
And lastly we have our own stuff!
We’ve been lucky enough to have over 100,000 people using and benefiting from our programs. And a lot of them wanted to share their great results and have gifted programs to others.
Frankly it wasn’t something that we initially anticipated, and it took a bit of time to streamline the process to make it easy for everyone.
We’re always gratified to hear from our clients and even more grateful that they trust us enough to want their loved ones to benefit from us as well.