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Grinder Gear


I saw a meme with a picture of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka and it read, “Oh, you have all the Reebok gear? You must be SO good at CrossFit.”

I laughed considerably at this.

While I by no means fall into this category, there are a few staples of my training regime which I consider must-have items. If anything, this is a list of some cool gear, which any regular ol’ grinder could grab to help make their CrossFit experience more enjoyable.

This is my review of some Grinder Gear you might want to take a look at as you prepare for the long grind of the Open the next five weeks.

Make Friends with Your Feet

My love for SmartWool socks is a little over the top. I read about them a while back in a review out of a running magazine, so I located a store nearby that sold them and tried a pair. Before these comfy yet breathable blessings to my feet, I never would have believed anyone if they told me that a pair of socks would be such a game changer. My goal is to have only SmartWool socks in my sock drawer. I love them for WODs because they are ultra comfortable with extra toe and heel padding, but also have magically balanced keeping your feet warm and being breathable enough to wear on a hot day of training as well. They are available online and are a little pricey in terms of socks so I recommend only buying a pair or two at a time. I know that they sell them at most national sporting goods stores as well. You won’t regret them.

Knee Bands

I know for a lot of you knee issues are a problem. I have been lucky in that I have only recently started to feel some discomfort when I am training. Primarily used for Olympic–style lifting, knee bands, even for a grinder, can offer both mental and physical support. I have tried some different ones like TK Bands and although I like them, they’re sometimes a struggle to get on and a little thick and cumbersome in terms of just wearing them throughout at full WOD. I have the blue knee bands from Hookgrip now. I really like them. They give some support and keep your knees warm (which I was told by our Oly guy is important) but can also easily be pulled down transitioning through a variety of movements in a WOD and then put back up to be used for squats or snatches. I know they have more expensive types such as Rehband, and I know people who love them, but I haven’t pulled the trigger on investing in them yet.

A Bag for all Occasions

Probably not practical for everyday training (depending on how organized you are and how much gear you transport), but an awesome way to organize meals and workout gear into one easy place, the Voyager backpack from Six Pack Fitness is an amazing bag. If you look at this bad boy on their website you can see everything it has to offer to a CrossFit athlete on the go. The best use for this, which I was lucky enough to get my hands on, was for a local comp I did. I was able to pack snacks, a change of clothes, various water and protein shaker bottles and still had room for things like an iPad and jump rope and laptop if I had needed one. This thing is really big and I don’t normally use it just to go and train, but they have a whole variety of various sizes and styles to fit you needs. I can’t wait to bring it with me to Regionals this year and have all my stuff organized into one space.

On a side note, there is something fun and new for fans of the CrossFit Open, Regional and Games. For the first time, fans and participants are going to get a chance to get more involved by drafting your favorites and following them in a Fantasy Football style league. For more information and rules search EliteFit Fantasy Leagues. I know this grinder will be checking it out starting on February 27.

What are some things that you feel like have made your training go better? Share some gear that you can’t live without or you feel has made a real difference in your CrossFit grinder experience. Stories can be shared on twitter or email me at

Stay on the Grind.

Jamie Toland (JTol)