Let me paint this picture for you: you’ve been tasked to buy a holiday gift for someone who just got into bodybuilding. You have no idea what to get because you don’t really go to the gym and you have no idea what they need. You will encounter a lot of conflicting advice, but you came to the right place. Why? Because I’ve been around long enough to know what’s good to buy and what’s bullshit.
Your friend is going to be lifting heavy if they plan on being anyone in this game. That includes squats and deadlifts that could potentially tax their lower back. A solid training belt can be a great tool to use while training so they don’t have new injuries during these arduous lifts. A good training belt lasts a lifetime.
Next, gift them a real gym membership. If they are a bodybuilder, they should fit in with bodybuilders at facilities that respect and cater to athletes. Research the area and find an establishment that is known for serious lifting. Planet Fitness and these other commercial gyms can serve a purpose, but if they’re looking to be great, these will eventually hold them back. It’s better to be a little fish in a big pond than a big fish in a little pond.
Lastly, new bodybuilders make a lot of mistakes. It takes time to learn from mistakes, reverse, and then progress again. Skip the mistake part and hire a bodybuilding coach that has a good track record. This guidance costs a fee, but what the bodybuilder can learn and apply in order to progress is invaluable. You cannot put a price on progress or on the speed at which they would do it. Coaches have made the mistakes in their life and they are there to help you avoid them.
What I can recommend your friend does not need for a gift: $200 squat shoes, a stringer tank top that says “Tren Setter” (a reference to a popular anabolic steroid), an expensive camera, extra skinny sweatpants, or any clothing from brands that promote mediocrity through influencers. Your friend does not need a $500 outfit with a 5 cent physique. Get them what I listed above and they will be a better athlete because of it. Point blank.