Our Interview with James Toland Founder of Grinders Gear Review

Grinders Gear Review Logo
1)What was the reason you started Grinder’s Gear Review?I have been a freelance writer for several years with The Box Magazine, CrossFit Games and other CrossFit related companies. In January, I asked myself, “if I could do any writing job on a more permanent basis, what type of writing would that be?”  I landed on two things: working directly with Games athletes and reviewing gear and products. I feel people want to find out about great gear before they spend their money on it.  That’s what I hope to accomplish, helping people find gear and products that they can use in their training, without having to invest hundreds of dollars to figure it out. 

2)How does the CrossFit Community help keep people engaged, how has it helped spread the word about your site?The community has been very supported.  Our site is followed all over the world and people use both our written reviews and YouTube channel to pass back and forth as recommendations for various products. I don’t take money from companies to endorse their sites or gear and I don’t spend money on advertising so the word of mouth in the community is all I have to promote GGR. 

James at the CrossFit Games

James at the 2014 CrossFit Games
3)What are some of your favorite products for protecting your hands and wrists?The Natural Grip, so far, are the only grips I’ve used consistently and really liked. Great company, great product. I really love Strength Wraps in terms of wrist wraps and wrist supports too. Not particularly a big fan of the more restricting velcro strap wrist wraps so I like that Strength Wraps are adjustable and have some flexibility.  I’m currently trying out some grips from a company called Bear KompleX that are made of leather, which I find intriguing. 

4)What are the advantages of CrossFit compared to traditional ways of working out? The community both locally and global beats anything else I’ve been a part of, hands down. Fitness is what drives people in the front door, but the community is what keeps them there. In all I do, the community of CrossFit has been so massively supportive.  This is the only workout program I’ve ever stuck with (began in 2010) and it’s the people I’ve met and developed relationships with that keep me coming back. 

5)How is Grinder’s Gear working to increase its community?  What’s worked to help you expand your online presence? GGR is constantly looking to grow and expand.  We do everything from features with celebrities and Games athletes to finding and promoting new and upcoming companies. I’m always on the lookout for the “new kid on the block” or start-up who begins to make products which I find interesting. Anything I can do to help out young companies, I’m more than happy to do. Our giveaways and cross-promotional social media push has really helped us in terms of our online presence.