Nine of My Favorite, High-Value Fitness Products

Despite its paramount importance, in one way fitness is just like any other pursuit in our modern world. There’s a lot of “stuff” you may need acquire (and “toys” you want to).

You can spend a lot here. Think: multi-thousand-dollar bike…expensive home-gym equipment…membership at high-end gyms or studios…personal trainer…performance nutrition products. And depending on your situation, man, these things may well be worth it…much more so than other areas of discretionary spending in your life.

But a small number of things – not that expensive – will go a long way to setting you up with what you really need. Things you’ll use every week, and which do their job very well for a modest cost. A growing list of these things (products, as well as “services” like gyms, studios and online fitness programs) are featured on OlderBeast’s Recommended Products page.

Here are nine of my favorites – things I SWEAR by, and which will be great for most guys.

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Want a chance to win a bundle of select gear below worth more than $150? Take the five-minute OlderBeast user survey, to help shape how OlderBeast develops in 2017 and beyond!

Despite its paramount importance, in one way fitness is just like any other pursuit in our modern world. There’s a lot of “stuff” you may need acquire (and “toys” you want to).

You can spend a lot here. Think: multi-thousand-dollar bike…expensive home-gym equipment…membership at high-end gyms or studios…personal trainer…performance nutrition products. And depending on your situation, man, these things may well be worth it…much more so than other areas of discretionary spending in your life.

But a small number of things – not that expensive – will go a long way to setting you up with what you really need. Things you’ll use every week, and which do their job very well for a modest cost. A growing list of these things (products, as well as “services” like gyms, studios and online fitness programs) are featured on OlderBeast’s Recommended Products & Services page.

Here are nine of my favorites – things I swear by, and which will be great for most guys.

100% transparency: in some cases, if you buy things via the links below, OlderBeast may receive compensation from the seller*. BUT your price will not be any higher because of this. And, all the products below are things I pay for myself and use. Helping me make a little spending money from something you’ll buy anyway is much appreciated, brother…and it helps keep my old lady OK with me spending so much time on OlderBeast!

HOME STRENGTH EQUIPMENT

As a foundation for any fitness routine, being able to do a few basic old-school things at home goes a long way.

For push-ups, core work and stretching, you just need yourself and the floor (an exercise or yoga mat is good for the latter two). But pull-ups and some basic weight-training moves require equipment. Here’s what I use.

 

1. Great, affordable doorway pull-up bar. This one fits really well and securely into the doorframe (no tools required; you put it up and take it down every time you use it, in about two seconds). It has comfortable hand-grip areas, and doesn’t waste space (or your money) with a lot of “bells and whistles” intended for abs or push-up work on the ground, like some products do. Need help getting started (and motivated, maybe) on push-ups? Check this out for the basics, including how to start. Even if your current pull-ups number is “none,” dude. It won’t be zero for long once you get started!

 

 

2. Versatile adjustable-weight dumbbell set. This is the most expensive thing on this list. But: you can do all kinds of important strength work with just one set of these dumbbells, ranging from “classic” things like biceps curls and triceps extensions, to using them for whole-body exercises like squat presses and renegade rows.

 

 

 

Note: 1-2 kettlebells and a medicine ball are good things to own, too. I’m just learning about kettlebells myself, and I’ll report back. Comments and suggestions are welcome here from guys who are ahead on this!

FITNESS WATCHES

Even though most of my business career has been in and around consumer technology, I resist getting too “technical” for fitness. To me, part of the idea is to spend time away from the world of screens and software.

But a watch to time workouts, possibly measure distance, and maybe track heart rate – that’s core equipment everyone needs. Here are the two I own.

3. Basic waterproof watch with flexible stopwatch / timer functionality. If you don’t need to measure distance or heart rate, this Timex has everything you need, on land or in water, for a low price.

You can’t go wrong here, man.

 

 

 

 

4. Waterproof GPS watch with wrist-based (“strapless”) heart-rate monitoring. This Garmin product is one of the few that has wrist-based HR monitoring, is water-resistant enough to swim with (not just “splash proof”), AND has built-in GPS (as opposed to relying on GPS from your smartphone). People’s experience with wrist-based HR monitoring varies, but for me, this watch matches closely to what chest-strap-based monitors say my heart rate is. And it has great ~7-day battery life. It looks a little dorky, but not too bad (in my case, kind of like its owner).

 

 

SWIMMING

Swimsuits are a fairly personal choice, so use whatever suits your taste (and whatever compromise between modesty and hydrodynamics you settle on). Here are two other things that make swimming a lot better for me.

5. Really comfortable, low-leakage goggles. Maybe it’s just the shape of my immediate eye area, but as I’ve gotten older “regular” swim goggles are less and less comfortable. These AquaSphere goggles have a wider “skirt” around the lenses, almost like a small snorkeling or scuba mask, that makes contact farther from your eyes. Much more comfortable, and works really well to keep water out. Durable, too. I’ve had the same pair for years. Like swimsuits, goggles may be a personal-fit thing, but I’ve recommended these to lots of friends, and heard 100% enthusiastic reviews. Don’t care, because you don’t swim? You should, my friend (care, and swim, that is).

 

 

6. Post-swim shampoo & conditioner. Well, when I started OlderBeast I didn’t really picture myself writing about hair care, to be honest. I don’t think about my hair much. I’m just grateful it’s still on my head, and mostly brown. But even if you’re zero-vanity about your hair like me, pool swimming starts to make your hair really stiff and weird. This UltraSwim shampoo and conditioner counteracts this well (other brands I’ve tried, not so much).

 

 

 

APPAREL

This is a category which you already own a lot of, I bet. And the universe of possibilities is huge. But these two items are real standouts.

7. Highly-functional and UNBELIEVABLY AFFORDABLE “anti-odor” workout shirts. One drawback of “technical” fabrics that are lightweight and moisture wicking: they can really smell bad after you work out in them. So “anti-odor” is a feature often highlighted in men’s workout fabrics. Maybe you don’t need this function in a shirt, brother. I do (ask my wife).

But most anti-odor shirts out there (a) don’t actually work that well, and (b) are really expensive, like $50+ for a shirt. That’s a bad combo. These Uniqulo AIRism micro-fiber shirts are <=$12, and work unbelievably well. The only downside: they’re intended as undershirts, so they’re fairly thin and only available in solid blue, gray, black and white. But if you don’t care about that, you can have four or five of these things for the cost of someone else’s fancy technical shirt. And they work much better. I run, bike, hike, lift and do yoga in these. Indispensable, man.

8. Comfortable, long-lasting, affordable yoga shorts. First of all, as a 40+ guy, you should do yoga. OK, with that said, you’ll want something more purpose-suited than just basic workout or running shorts (something with more stretch, and a little longer). These 72K shorts fit, feel and work great, and they’re much more affordable than the “fancier” yoga brands out there. I have two pairs I’ve been subjecting to hard, sweaty yoga workouts for years. They both look and feel the same as the day I bought them.

 

 

RUNNING

Running shoes are among the most highly-individual choices to make out there, so no recommendation from me. And running apparel can be as basic or as fancy as you want. But here’s one product that really will enhance your life if you own a dog and run with him or her…or are willing to think about maybe doing so.

9. Hands-free, waist-to-collar dog leash. Running is great – something most OlderBeasts should do in moderation. Dogs are man’s best friend – enough said. Put these two facts together — it’s awesome to have a running companion. And if you struggle finding time for exercise, taking your dog for a run instead of a walk is an instant fitness upgrade with no extra time required. This leash works great, better than others I’ve tried. It has a built-in, shock-absorbing bungee to soften the jerk when man and dog find themselves heading different directions. The buckles and loops are high-quality. It even looks good. Woof!

 

 

TAKE ACTION

The “take action” section of OlderBeast articles isn’t normally about reaching for your credit card. But the right fitness gear – smart stuff that is high bang-for-buck – is one of the very best investments you can make, brother. Golf clubs, fishing tackle, personal technology…there are probably other pursuits for which you’re expert in what stuff there is to use, and you own things based on careful, well-informed choices.

Make fitness gear that way, too. This list is a good place to start.

Want a chance to win a bundle of select gear below worth more than $150? Take the five-minute OlderBeast user survey, to help shape how OlderBeast develops in 2017 and beyond!

 

“The things you wanted…I bought them for you.” (The Rolling Stones, Wild Horses—click to listen)

 

If you think this would be useful to others, please help spread the word about OlderBeast by sharing this post with the social media buttons below. THANKS, MAN.

 

* Olderbeast is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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2. Tuning me out. Kind of like the grown-ups in the old Charlie Brown TV specials – blah blah-blah blah.

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