2017 Father’s Day Fitness Gift Guide: No More Dad Body

We are all aware of the sad, inherited condition of “Dad Body” — that lack of definition and bizarre mix of both scrawniness and flab that can afflict men of a certain age. It’s not a good look and is treatable with proper nutrition and exercise.

Now, dads get that way busting their asses raising us. So, it’s on us to help them in turning it around. Below you’ll find a list of Father’s Day fitness-related gifts we sampled here. They fill a variety of price points, so you should be able to muscle your way into something here. We open up with the less expensive Father’s Day choices.

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Muscle Milk Bars: On Father’s Day, tell dad to keep one or two of these in his gym bag or locker. Depending on the size of the bar, these snacks from Muscle Milk lay in 15 to 2o grams of protein, while driving the dreaded glutens away and keeping sugar under control. We’ve tried a variety of flavors and they go down easy before any workout.

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Thinkgeek Hydra SmartBottle: Flowing in from Thinkgeek, this Hydra SmartBottle doesn’t know physics or The Completion Backward Principle. But, it does pretty much everything else. I’m importing the features list, so deep breath…Premium 5 watt Bluetooth 2.1 speaker, micro-USB input, FM Radio, Speakerphone and microphone for hands-free calling, 4000 mAh power bank (5V2A max output), Rubber sound-transferring speaker feet for more bass, Red LED flashing emergency light, White LED lantern, RGB LED party cycle, Hidden compartment for keys and cash, Carabiner with bottle opener, Retractable drinking spout with straw extension, Free app for iOS and Android with white noise modes, lighting modes, timer, Battery indicator, Connection indicator, Splash resistant and metal grille.

We found out you can drink out of it, too.


Matador Travel Gear: The guys at Matador specialize in providing essential elements for travel or camping — all as compact and light as possible. But we found their foldable, rollable micro towels a great idea to snap on any gym bag. While big enough unfurled to serve in the gym, they roll up after a wash and fit in a clip-on case about the size of a shot glass.

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Wraps Wristband Phones: The idea is simple, but the execution is elegant. First, these Wraps are very serviceable, corded earbud headphones and perfect for repeated gym use. But, their special cord wraps around the wrist in a sporty little bracelet for safe keeping while coming and going to the gym or when transitioning to a more aggressive exercise where headphones might get in the way.

Also: Fitness Gadgets Gift Guide | 13 Ways to Grow Stronger, Healthier

We’re moving up the food chain now to more expensive items here, but we still tried all of the below and attest to them being worth the money.


VI Personal Trainer: There are other headphone systems that pal up with a free app to act as fitness coaches, tracking progress and keeping rep counts. But, powered by sound via Harman/Kardon, VI puts full artificial intelligence to work to act as a more full service trainer. She takes note of your fitness level, goals, preferences, environment, activity and other variables to personalize workouts. And, she learns with your efforts to tailor future sweat sessions to your needs. It’s proper useless employment of A.I. for health.

We tried to get it to say, “Get off your backside, fat ass.” But, it wouldn’t go for it. VI is a proper lady (we think).

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Second Skin Fitness Wear: Over the lifetime of this fool reporter, he’s had both knees rebuilt, broken his right shoulder, broken his right ankle, broken his jaw twice and snapped all 10 fingers. None of that bothers me these days, but I do have chronic tendinitis in my (ahem) groin from boxing. The compression gear I pulled on Second Skin is now an essential element of my workout and allows me to move without pain from the waste down. And, they offer a complete gamut of garments to support the entire athlete. Thanks to them, I’m less of a wreck.




Tenkara Rods Mini Teton: For the dad who’s addicting to fishing (in this case, the more active fly variety) the minds over at Tenkara specialize in taking the otherwise bulky, awkward equipment of fishing and making it perfectly compact. The Teton edition includes everything dad would need, including a telescoping, full length rod, line, hooks and flies. We caught nothing, but that’s on us. The Tenkara gear is top shelf.

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DonJoy Performance TriZone Elbow Support: As previously mentioned, years of sports and mistreating myself via various fields, courts, rings and courses presented me with a left elbow that spends most of its time deciding which side it wants to introduce tendon pain to on which day. No neoprene sleeve or sports tape gave that elbow enough structural support, and the pain grew harsh enough to make it difficult to wash my face with both hands or do a single pushup.

During a test of the DonJoy Performance Trizone Elbow Sleeve, my elbow felt significantly more stable and surrendered to less tendonitis after each workout or sparring session. DonJoy’s own description throws around words like “carbonized bamboo circular knit” and “targeted, zonal compression with anti-bacterial and thermal regulating properties.” I just know I can do some damn pushups again without searing pain. If dad is in similar shape this Father’s Day, DonJoy could offer him similar relief.