Written by: Kelly Starrett - Physical Therapist, entrepreneur, best-selling author, and lover of Dune.
Over the years we’ve come across tons of awesome companies for getting your fitness and health in check. Being ready is about preparing our body for every day, and I’m all for minimalist fitness. Bodyweight, walking, moving, and eating a whole foods diet are a great bedrock. But I also use top-shelf supplements and devices to boost my recovery, dial in my nutrition, and prepare for every day.
Here at The Ready State, we’ve connected with tons of great brands and products over the years and settled on a few big contenders. With the holidays coming up, I thought I’d bring together my top picks so you can take advantage. These are the A-list pieces of gear, supplements, and companies I ACTUALLY USE and recommend to my clients so they’re ready to go every day.
The ChiliPAD has been my top recommended product for years. I run hot, and after years of waking up in a sweat with steam coming outta my ears, this product changed my life. ChiliPAD makes bed toppers and blankets that can be regulated down to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature fluctuations with the day/night cycle are one of the key components of circadian biology. Translation? Cold is great for sleep.
The ChiliPAD pumps water through a blanket or bed topper. With their dual units, you and your partner can both have different settings for each side of the bed.
Sleep is the number one recovery process our body’s need. We can’t talk about having an optimized ready state without talking about sleep, and the ChiliPAD continues to be my top device for sleep.
Over the years we’ve partnered with ChiliPAD to get the word out. You can use Coupon Code TRS22 for 22% off all full sleep systems (Does not apply to accessories): Chili Technology
I’m a big fan of their new Ooler device, which runs quieter and can reach lower temperatures than the traditional ChiliPAD cube. They also just began making a weighted blanket that is compatible with their devices. This is a great way to combine the sleep benefits of weighted blankets, and cold.
The Hypervolt Go is one of the best portable muscle release devices available. Similar devices involve a power drill and a risky attachment, can’t match the speed, or are loud enough to burst an ear-drum. The Hypervolt Go is quiet, powerful, cordless, and great at releasing knots and massaging the out tension.
Check it out at Hypervolt Go
I’m always on the lookout for better meat, especially when it also restores the environment. Belcampo is a regenerative agriculture farm by former food network critic Anya Fernald. They lead the charge with animal-based regenerative agriculture that restores soil environments and gives access to high quality, humanely raised grass-fed and finished beef.
Though research at this time shows that grass-finished beef and grain-finished have similar nutrient profiles, toxins store in fat and there may be health benefits from avoiding the fat of grain-fed animals that also get more toxins in their diet from poor-quality feed.
Either way, supporting regenerative agriculture by extension supports the environment. Sure, some cuts can get expensive, but stew beef from Belcampo is about $9/lbs. Plus I’ve seen plenty of aged or Wagyu steaks going for much higher than any grass-fed farm prices.
You can support your health and the environment by getting meat from Belcampo at Belcampo
I and many of my friends in the health community are big on “Grandma” foods. Many staples of our recent ancestors are chock full of bioavailable nutrients and other awesome compounds like Collagen protein.
But with the popularity of foods like liver having fallen by the wayside, many people find them unpalatable, not to mention hard to find.
This is why I use the Organ Complex supplement by Paleovalley. I can’t always eat liver and other organs are almost impossible to find. With this supplement, I can get the world’s most bioavailable and most nutrient-dense foods in a capsule.
I’m not joking. Liver is the most nutrient-dense food on Earth that we know of. Use this link for 15 percent off your purchase with our friends at Paleovalley: Paleovalley
Robb Wolf is a close friend and in my opinion a genius when it comes to understanding human nutrition. With a background in biochemistry and a knack for linking it with anthropology, Robb is likely most responsible for making the Paleo diet popular.
In recent years, Robb has turned his attention to other topics such as the global (negative) opinion of salt. Despite the fact that salt is demonized in the U.S., it is one of the major electrolytes our bodies need. Furthermore, because of the stigma, health-conscious individuals who don’t consume many salty, processed foods can become deficient.
If you are keto, paleo, eat mainly whole foods, an athlete, or any combination thereof, you could probably use more salt in your diet.
Most electrolyte drinks skimp on the salt, instead favoring calcium, magnesium, and potassium which can throw your hydration off balance and cause problems without salt. LMNT goes the other way, providing a quality hit of sea salt with some magnesium and potassium.
They’ve offered our readers a sample pack free for the month of December. You just pay for shipping: Drink LMNT
Anyone who knows me knows I love Laird Superfood. When I travel, I also bring Instafuel with me so I know I can count on a really good cup of coffee wherever I end up. Laird Superfood Creamer is also a great alternative for people who don’t handle dairy well – it’s chock full of high-quality plant-based products. It’s also my go-to pre-exercise drink in the morning because I get a little caffeine and some awesome plant-based fats that give me all the energy I need to perform well. And, in the summer, Juliet and I make something we call a “Laird Slurpee.” It’s espresso, Laird Superfood Creamer, and ice mixed in a blender. As Juliet says: “It’s god-dammed good.”
They have a bunch of gift packs and bundles available that your friends and family will love: Laird Gift Packs
My friend and top biohacker Ben Greenfield is one of the smartest people in the industry that I know. He honestly rivals the knowledge of many Doctors, and it still catches me off guard not to see M.D. after his name.
Ben is a science wiz who specializes in combining ancestral wisdom with, as he calls it, “better living through science.” He now runs a supplement company to provide clean, high-quality products based on his knowledge.
One of the best? His essential amino acid supplement. You see, most amino supplements only contain Branch Chain Amino Acids. In research, these have been shown to benefit nervous system recovery but not necessarily muscle gain, and without the other essential aminos, BCAAs may have detrimental effects.
Ben’s blend contains optimal ratios of every essential amino acid the body needs. They are incredible for building muscle quickly, recovering fast from workouts, and supporting the brain and nervous system with building blocks for your neurotransmitters.
They are also completely plant-based, so if you are Vegan and looking for hard-to-find aminos like Leucine, this is a great way to get it. To get Kion Aminos or Ben’s other great products, follow this link: Kion Aminos
He also makes some awesome herbal blends and a great healthy coffee.
I first fell in love with Yeti while looking for a bear-proof cooler for river trips with Juliet and have been a HUGE fan of all of their products ever since.
We use their water bottles daily as does our entire Ready State staff. If you haven’t heard what’s special about Yeti, you might live under a rock. Their thermoses, bottles, and coolers are so well insulated that even in a burning building they’ll still have ice. And, I do actually use a pink one.
Pretty simple, their Yeti Rambler is the perfect holiday gift.
H-Wave is a medical e-stim device I have been using throughout my surgery recovery process and recommend to my clients. It is one of the best tools for addressing chronic pain without disrupting function. Pain is a normal experience of being a human, and often chronic pain is a habitual connection. H-Wave can give us on-demand pain relief to reset that connection.
If you are having surgery or working with a PT, you may be able to get insurance coverage for the H-Wave. Otherwise, it is available at H-Wave.
I am a huge proponent of varied posture, especially when working. Because of this, the Vari Electric Standing Desk has become one of my most used pieces of gear.
Each member of the Starrett family has one of these desks that we use every day. From sitting on the floor to standing up completely, I’m a huge fan of dynamic positioning work-stations. They’re easy to set up and the company is run by great people.
Sitting chronically is terrible for your mobility and for your health. These desks are a great way to combat that stagnation and access multiple postures in the work station. Vari Electronic Standing Desk.
Brain.fm is a website that provides a little something called Binaural beats. Binaural beats occur when you play two sound waves at a separate frequency, which your brain then interprets as a new wave. The purpose? Binaural beats have been shown to “tune” your brainwaves.
Using this technology, you can increase the presence of specific brainwaves in order to elicit different focus and emotional states.
Some tracks increase Delta waves, which correspond with sleep. Others promote Beta brainwaves for focus or deep work. For a few bucks a month, Brain.fm provides binaural beats for every need, from studying to relaxation to sleep, and even meditation.
This is one of the most powerful, quick, and inexpensive hacks you can use to improve your life. I use them regularly when working, napping, sleeping, or just relaxing.
For a 20% discount on their service, go to Brain.fm
I’m always looking for new tools to work on balance, and we’ve been big fans of slack-lines for years. The only thing I’m not a fan of is the lack of convenience. Sure, it’s not always hard to find two trees to tie a slackline, but during poor weather, most people can’t tie a slackline in their home.
The easier your access to tools, the more likely you’ll use them, and the SlackBlock is easy to access, portable, and has no set up whatsoever.
This little device behaves like standing on a slackline, but doesn’t need to set up and is about the size of your shoe.
I’d love for you to spend time on a slackline too, but in the meantime and the rest of the time, a SlackBlock is my go-to balance tool. You can get SlackBlock at this link: Slackbow
Walking is the new running, but walking can only do so much. I’d much rather you walk than run if you have movement limitations, injuries, or just lack the skillset to run properly. One of the best ways to get more out of your walking is to grab a ruck, throw some weight in it, and get going.
GORUCK makes high-quality rucksacks designed for exercise. If you walk 3 times a week, after a week, start rucking with 5lbs in your pack. Then 10lbs, and so on.
Even if you’re an athlete, don’t turn up your nose at weighted rucks. A mile with 30lbs on your back will get your heart pumping. You can check out material about rucking and get gear over at our friends GORUCK: GORUCK
The iliacus muscle connects the pelvic muscle into the psoas, but it’s almost impossible to reach with conventional tools. The hip hook lets you solve that problem and directly address the iliacus. Tension in one muscle can cause pain elsewhere, especially when that muscle is in your hips.
If you use The Ready State mobility routines but still have pain, getting into the iliacus and the hip might be your ticket out.
The Hip Hook is available at: Hip Hook