As some of you know, my job as a member of team CHAOS is to promote the Fitness & Nutrition site. Part of that means rewarding our current users with awesome fitness swag! So I wanted to go straight to you guys and see what kinds of fitness supplies are on your wish list. The obvious benefit of this is that you'll get something cool to try out, and you'll also have the whole Fitness & Nutrition community around to answer whatever questions you have while doing so! Not to mention the fact that your questions will help our community grow.

So, does anybody have any ideas for fitness supplies they'd like to try out? Ivo and I have discussed this a little bit and he thinks that workout DVDs or games like Kinect would be cool. Other ideas are GPS Pedometers, Fitbits, home weight benches, etc. We want to give you guys stuff you want to try (and want to talk about), so throw some ideas out!

[Update:] Thanks to everyone who has replied to this! Great ideas all around. I want to wait a little while and see how these suggestions play out before sending out more equipment - feel free to keep answering, but just know that I might not be able to respond to all requests right away.

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    Off course, I'd expect people to write me a blog post to help us tell about their experiences with the product ;-) – Ivo Flipse Aug 15 '11 at 19:41
  • If we have ideas for multiple fitness items (generally unrelated to each other), should they be separate answers or listed under one answer? – Matt Chan Aug 16 '11 at 13:30
  • @Matt Chan you can list them under one answer - that way I can keep track of who it's coming from. I see you already gave an answer below though so if you have other ideas feel free to add them separately. – Lauren Aug 16 '11 at 14:00

Extreme Rings are next on my list to figure out. Friends who use them say they're simple but take a lot of diligent progressions to do cool stuff.

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I also know that they work really well for bicep development and strength of stabilization muscles, but I don't know (and am very interested to figure out) the "how" and "why" and "what" of those facts.

  • Sounds like a really cool thing to try out! Are you a gymnast? I'd have no idea where to start with these things so would be interested to hear what you figure out about them. Shoot me an email so we can work out shipping details. – Lauren Aug 23 '11 at 13:42
  • I'm not a gymnast, but I'm getting into gymnastics as a strength/conditioning/mobility practice. And--I'd love to send you an email but I don't think I have your address. – Dave Liepmann Aug 23 '11 at 14:37
  • Could you not see it in my profile? I'm sorry about that - it's lauren@stackexchange.com – Lauren Aug 23 '11 at 15:30
  • This is really cool, I'd especially be interested in how practical is it to set this up and what's needed for that. As for exercises, pull-ups sound like a good first goal (and they're supposed to be even more effective when done on rings/easier on the joints). You could progress to a muscle-up then (as that is much easier on a ring than on a bar). I'd really like to read about these things! – VPeric Sep 4 '11 at 13:48

Wow, seems like a great idea! As a coach of hundreds of runners, I am always interested in DVDs dealing with running form, running drills, core strength for runners and the such.

Other cool ideas include heart rate monitors and of course, great running gear. Seems it is really hard to find good, affordable and effective running gear. All clothing seems to be either too heavy, not breathable enough, non-wicking (enough) or too cost prohibitive.

This site is great and as for writing a blog post, no problem! To see some examples of my writing, check out Why Do My Knees Hurt From Running?.

  • I checked out your blog posts and there's a ton of great material there! Seems like the kind of stuff that would fit in well here. Any ideas on specific running gear or DVDs you'd like to try out? – Lauren Aug 23 '11 at 13:26
  • Thanks Lauren. Running DVDs - Greg McMillan core, drills or hs cross country or any of the Championship Running DVDs. Running gear - lightweight wicking clothing especially since I am a super perspiration-er. Prefer Mountain Hardware, Patagonia, Arctyrex, etc. offerings. Wicking gear – csi Aug 23 '11 at 18:11
  • OR More wicking gear – csi Aug 23 '11 at 18:19
  • What do you think about the McMillan Runner's Core Routine (Combo #1 on the site you linked me to)? It looks like there are a bunch of different exercises you could try - would probably give you a lot of material to blog/ask about! – Lauren Aug 24 '11 at 15:52
  • Sounds great to me. – csi Aug 24 '11 at 20:34
  • Cool - shoot me an email (lauren@stackexchange.com) with your mailing address so we can work out shipping! – Lauren Aug 25 '11 at 13:29

I'd like a doorframe pull-up bar. There are many brands and I haven't really researched into which is the best (I suppose I could ask a question here, right? :)) but it's something that's really practical and I'd love to write about my experiences using it (like "This is the story of how I lost my apartment deposit by breaking a door...").

  • Ha! That would be a great blog post. Thanks for the input! – Lauren Aug 15 '11 at 20:42
  • Chin-up bars always remind me of that one The Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson. I can't find a picture of it online, but the cartoon is of a guy lying on the floor and a dent at the top of the door frame. I think that one was based on Larson's own personal experience. – Matt Chan Aug 16 '11 at 3:22

I'd totally love a Polar Wearlink, that way I can try out other Android apps that use heart rate monitors. Especially because my MiCoach one isn't really suited for non-running applications.

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There's another Bluetooth version from Zephyr. Endomondo lists even more different models, some even come with a armband, which is useful for larger smartphones.


I would be willing to try out one of those hand grip exercise doohickeys. Gripmaster Hand Exercise comes to mind (I think it saw it somewhere here on the SE), but I'm open to other grippy whatchamathinger tools.

I totally need to work out my wrists. They're so bad after years of gaming, coding, and piano. You'd think I'd have good wrists but not in my case.

  • Are you thinking something simple like the Hand and Finger Exerciser or more complex like the Sportgrip? – Lauren Aug 16 '11 at 14:21
  • I was thinking of the Hand and Finger Exerciser. The Sportgrip though looks more interesting. That may be more of what I was intending to use for my wrists. – Matt Chan Aug 16 '11 at 14:38

I recently bought a smartphone and started looking around for an app to make C25K easier. The reviews on the App Store aren't particularly useful. I thought I could buy several apps, test them, and then write a blog post about each's strengths and weaknesses.

  • I definitely support this, would be a great followup of Nathan's blog post about C25K – Ivo Flipse Aug 24 '11 at 19:46

Ivo has been trying to get me on to F&N SE for a while now!

I have been doing more and more walking recently and after taking a look at Fitbits, as no one else here has stated that they want one, I would gladly have one, blog about it and then answer any questions that pop up on this site about it!


As mentioned on chat, I'd rather a wobble board instead of the doorframe pull-up bar. I feel I'll have more to write about and it will be more interesting to use too (for one, I could answer my "How to measure balance?" question). I've looked around on Amazon (it's actually pretty hard to find reviews for these things) and this model is one I like: it's adjustable, at 15, 17 at 20 degrees (the "intermediate-advanced" degrees, as opposed to 10, 12 and 15 on other models which might be too easy for an uninjured athlete) and has some favorable reviews on Amazon.

  • Cool, thanks! I'd never actually heard of a wobble board before you mentioned it, so I'll be interested to read about it. – Lauren Aug 18 '11 at 13:14
  • I'd like to hear about your experiences with this. It sounds really cool. I kind of want one for myself now. – Matt Chan Aug 25 '11 at 17:00
  • If you are looking for some advanced balance fun, have you tried a bongo board? – BackInShapeBuddy Sep 12 '11 at 22:06
  • @BacInShapeBuddy I did consider it, but I thought a wobble board might be more interesting. For one, I could use it for upper-body balance too (put a hand on it) and I thought one with a high enough angle will be challenging enough. Plus I figured it might translate better to other activities, but I don't know. Do you feel a bongo board is a better choice? I don't believe Lauren has sent it yet so perhaps I could change my mind still. – VPeric Sep 13 '11 at 7:24

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