Shopping for the perfect present for the fitness buff in your life can be tough. No need to worry! The youngest of eight children, IFBB Pro Jose Raymond, knows a thing or two about getting practical gifts. According to him, his childhood was marked by poverty and comparable to the memoir, Angela’s Ashes, that details a life of hardship and addiction. “My life was like that book,” Raymond says. “I was born into very bad circumstances. We lived in a ghetto in absolute squalor.” The bodybuilder says most of his clothes were hand-me-downs from his older brother, Tito, who he considers a father figure. Now, as an adult, the Boston Mass has come full-circle and is all about giving useful gifts during the holidays. The 15x first place winner recently took a break from his busy training schedule to sit down and discuss the top three gifts to give the bodybuilder in your life.
Gift #1: Membership to a wholesale grocery store.
A crucial part of bodybuilding is cleaning up your diet. Any experienced bodybuilder will tell you—it’s pivotal to add specific foods to your shopping cart and remove others. Hence, buying groceries as a bodybuilder can get pretty expensive. Raymond recommends a membership to a wholesale store as an affordable alternative to shopping at a typical grocery store. “Saving money is always a great gift,” Raymond says. A year-long membership to Costco Wholesale, BJs Wholesale Club, or Sam’s Club is a great way to save money—especially if you’re a bodybuilder that practices grazing or meal management.
Gift #2: Gift certificate to a tailor.
When you lift weights, your body changes. Your arms get larger, your thighs increase in size and your waistline slims down. While you may have the body of your dreams, you’ll quickly discover that the majority of your clothes no longer fit. In fact, even clothing that’s made in your size may be ill-fitting. This is why a tailor is your best bet. “There’s nothing like putting on clothes that actually fit,” Raymond says. “Being short and wide you feel like you’re wearing a cardboard box.” This is why the IFBB Pro recommends gifting your friend with a gift certificate. “When you have custom clothes you feel like a million bucks,” Raymond says.
Gift #3: A pair of Air Jordan sneakers.
Even if they aren’t designed for lifting, any athlete can appreciate a pair of Jordans. The iconic shoe now comes in countless styles and colors, so they fit anyone’s taste. If you choose to wear them, they are extremely comfortable, but many people also choose to keep them as an investment. With the proper care, a pair of Jordans can really pay off. Plus, they’re unisex, so both men and women can appreciate them. “Who can’t use a new pair of Jordans,” Raymond asks.