Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Fitness Buff Buyer’s Guide | Top 25 Best Exercise Programs, Equipment and Accessories

This year, give the gift of fitness and keep everyone on your list healthy and happy. We've gathered our Top 25 recommendations from all the fitness products reviewed this year into one buyer's guide for the holiday season.

Organized into four price ranges, there's a gift on this list to match every fitness level and budget. Many are simple but effective products chosen for their value and affordability, while others represent the highest levels of technological innovation.

We hope this guide will help readers who may be overwhelmed by the vast array of fitness products available online. Most of these selections are among the top reviewed, best-selling or highest consumer-rated products currently on the market.

obsession fitness gift guide 20Jump to price range:


  • Gifts Under $50

    Wii Fit Plus

    wii-fit-plus-1Wii Fit exposed millions of people to the growing world of fitness-related gaming, becoming the third best selling video game in history one year after its release.

    Wii Fit Plus, released on October 4, 2009, is a sequal to the 2007 original that adds new routines, features and enhancements to the existing workouts. It works with previous Wii Fit files so owners of the original game can access their saved profiles and workout history. New users will get everything in the original plus the enhancements.

    Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar

    irongym pull upSince the introduction of Tony Horton’s P90X Extreme Home Fitness System, multifunction workout bars have seen skyrocketing sales. This product is a lower-priced alternative to the P90X Chin-Up/Pull-Up Bar commonly used with P90X.

    After simple assembly the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Bar can be installed in standard doorways in just seconds. Using your body’s own weight as leverage the bar mounts securely without the use of brackets, screws or fasteners.

    The SurfShelf - Treadmill Laptop Holder and Shelf

    surfshelfHere’s a long overdue innovation that helps alleviate the inevitable boredom that comes with working out on a stationary exercise machine.

    Google and Dell have installed SurfShelfs into all of their fitness facilities. Jason Chen, Editor of Gizmodo.com called it “one of my favorite inventions ever.”

    Nathan Speed 4 Waist Pack with Four 10-Ounce Nutrition Flasks

    nathan-speed-water-bottle-beltIdeal for marathon and distance runners, the Nathan Speed 4 Waist Pack helps maintain proper hydration and nutritional requirements during long runs.

    The belt includes four separate easy access flasks fitted in molded holsters.Each 10 ounce flask can be used for water, energy drinks or nutrition gels. The separate front and rear stash pockets can carry cell phones, mp3 players, keys, wallets or snacks.

    GoFit Ultimate Wobble Board

    gofit-ultimate-wobble-boardWobble boards, also known as balance boards, are gaining popularity as a mainstream form of fitness training. Benefits include improved balance, coordination, core strength, agility and stability. Wobble board use also encourages communication between the left and right halves of the brain, resulting in an increased sense of body awareness.

    Gold's Gym Circuit Training System

    golds-cross-trainingWith the recent explosion in popularity of doorway pullup bars, rotational pushup devices and ab/core trainers, Gold’s Gym has created a fitness kit that neatly incorporates all three into one package.The 3-in-one set includes a grip-lock doorway gym for pullups and chinups, rotating pushup stands, and ab straps that can be attached the the pullup bar for core training.

    Bodylastics Heavy Duty Exercise Resistance Bands System

    bodylasticsBodylastics Resistance Bands have been an alternative to expensive home gyms & health clubs since 1998. The average person who joins a health club spends $500 per year for their membership. Bodylastics is an affordable system designed to provide workouts that rival the best and most expensive exercise machines. The compact system is effective for muscle building, body toning, and weight loss.


  • Gifts Under $100

    EA Sports Active

    ea-sports-activeDeveloped in collaboration with Bob Greene, known for his Best Life Program and association with Oprah Winfrey, EA Sports Active offers fun, easy to learn exercises and activities to help users stay focused on fitness.

    EA Sports Active gives an unparalleled introduction to virtual exercise for those new to the concept, or a step up for those who’ve become bored with the routines included in the Wii Fit and other third party titles.

    Joist Mount Chin Up Bar

    joist-mount-chin-up-barAs opposed to the wildly popular screw-less doorway chin up bars, this device mounts in a more traditional fashion by anchoring into wooden joists, the horizontal beams that support floors. This creates a “permanent” workout solution that’s sturdy and safe. The bar can be installed in any room but is ideal for an out the way corner in a garage, workroom or basement.

    Tony Horton's 10-Minute Trainer

    horton-10-minute-trainer1Best known for his P90X system that has exploded online and through infomercials, Tony Horton has gained a massive following for his popular library of fitness programs. We like P90X but have heard numerous comments about how advanced and DIFFICULT it is for some.

    The 10 Minute Trainer, sold through Beachbody, is a good choice for those looking for a less rigorous program. But don’t expect to breeze through these DVD workouts. They are challenging.

    Impact Sports ePulse Strapless Heart Rate Monitor Watch and Calorimeter

    epulse-heart-rate-monitor-2Don't like uncomfortable and annoying chest strap heart rate monitors? Don’t trust pulse rate monitors built into your exercise machine? The Impact Sports ePulse offers an intriguing alternative.Wrapped snugly around your forearm the ePulse accurately calculates pulse and calories burned using light sensor technology. The advanced microchip easily regulates workout intensity and manages specific fitness and weight loss goals.


  • Gifts Under $500

    Bell Motivator Mag Indoor Bicycle Trainer

    bellindoorbicycletrainer The Bell Motivator Mag Indoor Bicycle Trainer converts your outdoor bike into an indoor cycling trainer. It features quiet and smooth magnetic resistance that increases as you gain speed.

    Perfect for the casual cyclist who wants to stay in shape in bad weather or can’t afford a gym membership or expensive exercise bike

    INSANITY with Sean T. 60-Day Total Body Conditioning Program

    shaun-t-insanity-1a1While P90X has redefined what can be accomplished by a home exercise system, Beachbody continues to produce high quality fitness programs, with varied levels of acclaim.

    With the highly anticipated release of Insanity with Shaun T., Beachbody may have a program that rivals P90X in popularity, intensity and results. P90X is a 90 day program (hence the name), while Insanity aims to put you in the best shape of your life in just 60 days. It’s also differs in that it requires no weights, resistance bands or extra equipment.

    Confidence Foldable Stow Away Exercise Bike

    confidencefoldablebikeWe’ve rarely seen customer ratings so high for such a reasonably priced piece of equipment. This exercise bike provides a great low-impact, cardiovascular workout and folds away compactly for easy storage. It’s great for apartment dwellers.

    The Confidence Foldable Bike includes an on-board computer that monitors Riding Time, Speed, Distance & Calories. It utilizes Adjustable Magnetic Resistance for an efficient workout. An easy-to-read instruction manual and all the necessary tools for easy home assembly are included.

    Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver With Heart Rate Monitor

    garminforerunner3051This extraordinary device will help you train smarter and more effectively and may change how you think about exercise.

    The Garmin Forerunner 305 is a wrist-mounted GPS receiver, but first and foremost it’s a training tool.The 305 delivers real-time information and alerts on an unprecedented range of data, including multiple heart rate variables, speed, distance traveled, calories burned, elevation, terrain grade and route direction. It’s suitable for runners, cyclists, cross-country skiers, marathon competitors and other outdoor athletes.

    GoWear fit Lifestyle and Calorie Management System

    go-wear-body-bugg-3The GoWear fit Lifestyle and Calorie Management System is the same device from the same manufacturer as the BodyBugg V3 featured on NBC’s The Biggest Loser. The name change came after 24 Hour Fitness bought the rights to the BodyBugg.

    Ironman ATIS 1000 AB Training System Inversion Therapy Table

    ironman-atis-1000-inversion-tableThe Ironman ATIS 1000 represents a step forward in inversion table therapy and is a significant upgrade to their bestselling Gravity 1000 model.

    The ATIS 1000 uses a Smart Gear System, rather than a tether strap to safely lock the table in place in 10 different positions. The Scale Locking System increases ankle security and the table is designed around an extra-wide steel frame with a 300 pound weight capacity.

    Schwinn Active 20 Series Recumbent Exercise Bike

    schwinn-active-20-recumbent-bike-300x300The sheer number of exercise bikes now on the market can make choosing between style, manufacturer, quality level and price range a daunting task.

    The Schwinn Active 20 Series Recumbent Bike is not what you’d expect to see in a commercial gym, but the solid design, respected brand and essential features make it a good choice for those on a budget looking for an effective cardio workout.

    Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells

    bowflexselecttech55209_The 2009 version of the Bowflex Selecttech Dumbbells features an updated design, greatly increased strength and durability, and new aluminum alloy and polymeric safety tabs.

    As with the previous version these dumbbells pack a rack full of results in a very compact, adjustable lifting system that gives you 15 sets of free weights in one. You can change resistance from 5 to 52.5 pounds in 2.5 pound increments with a quick turn of a dial. The wide range of available resistance lets you effectively work arms, chest, shoulders and back at your desired level of difficulty.


  • Gifts Over $500

    Horizon Evolve SG Compact Treadmill

    horizon-evolve-sg-treadmill1This trendy treadmill distinguishes itself with a sleek, streamlined, space saving design and incredibly easy setup. It ships folded and fully assembled — just pull it out of the box, unfold and start treading.

    After a workout the 99 lb assembly can be folded to just 59″ x 10″ and stored under a bed or vertically against a wall or in a closet.

    Schwinn Airdyne Evo Comp Exercise Bike

    airdyne_evolution_compThe original Schwinn Airdyne has been around for over 20 years and remains a top seller among upright exercise bikes. The next generation Airdyne Evolution Comp stays true to the original concept but incorporates a more efficient design.

    The fan wheel is smaller and uses wider contoured blades for increased resistance, while the operation is much quieter and smoother with less vibration. It’s built with newer technology and higher quality components for an increased life span. It’s a leap forward from the original Schwinn Airdyne.

    Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

    concept2-modeld-rowing-machine21-300x169Concept2 rowing machines are used by Olympic athletes and in commercial gyms around the world and have been called the “Rolex of Rowers.”

    The rowing motion on the Model D is impact-free, smooth and easy on the joints. The sliding seat compresses and extends your legs with every stroke to work the entire body, including arms, legs, chest, back and abdominals while providing an excellent cardiovascular workout. A spiral damper lets you can choose between simulated rowing in either a sleek, fast boat or a slow, heavy boat.

    Sole E95 Elliptical Trainer (2009 Model)

    sole-e95-elliptical1As the most advanced entry in the Sole E series, the E95 model is a premium, commercial grade, high-end elliptical trainer. It’s our Best Buy Elliptical for 2009.

    The beautifully designed E95 offers a stable, smooth workout with ample top-end resistance. The heavy 30-lb flywheel and long 20-inch stride length increase the stability and efficiency of your workout.


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    • Have you tried any of these products?
    • Have a favorite?
    • Don't agree with our choices or know of some others?
    • Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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