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Since the early 1990’s and early 2000’s, foam rolling or self myofascial release has been recommended by massage therapists, physiotherapists and some advanced strength & conditioning coaches to improve or maintain tissue quality and as a means to promote recovery between training sessions or competitions.

For a history of foam rolling research, check out my “foam rolling research so-far” blog post HERE. This is in dire need of an update, so my apologies.

As self massage started to grow in popularity, so did the number of companies that produced self massage sticks, rollers and balls. A few months ago, I was approached by GoRoll, a company that designed a foam roller that also acts as a locker and bag. They sent me a free review model to test out, which was very kind of them.

Here are a few pictures of the product (sent to me via GoRoll and with their permission to use):

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Taken from their website:

“The GoRoll is the first and only product of its kind designed to help you balance your daily demands and achieve your training goals. The GoRoll is uniquely designed with a hollow center that is both waterproof and lockable, offering you a secure place to store your valuables while you’re on the go. The GoRoll is made portable by a carry strap that detaches and doubles as a stretch strap. The GoRoll is available in three unique product designs to best meet your needs, whether you’re CrossFit training, working out at the beach, taking a bootcamp class in the park, hiking mountains, traveling, or heading to the yoga studio.”

My Thoughts

When I first received my GoRoll, I was impressed with the construction but unfortunately a strong plastic smell came from the inside of the roller after I removed the lockable end. This smell wore off over time but did affect the contents (clothing mostly) that I put into the roller during workouts. Apart from the manufactured smell, the GoRoll was constructed well and was highly durable during my testing.

As you’re probably aware, there are several sized rollers on the market. I found the circumference of the GoRoll to be a tad on the larger side. I found the Grid Trigger Point Roller (a different company and smaller sized roller) more favourable because I was able to hit my muscles with a little more precision. My muscles couldn’t tell the difference between the markings and indentations on the surface of the GoRoll.

The GoRoll also acts as a bag or carrier, but I found the cylindrical shape to be slightly awkward to fit most of the things I normally take to the gym e.g. shoes, clothes, post-workout shaker cup and other miscellaneous things. I would rather use an over the shoulder duffel bag that was able to fit a roller compared to using the roller as a bag itself. So for the average gym-goer, this product might not be practical, however, for a track athlete or someone going to play basketball at a court, this roller/bag might be beneficial. Most gyms now have foam rollers for their members to use, so bringing the GoRoll to the gym wouldn’t be necessary. However, locking your GoRoll on the sidelines while you run around a track or shoot hoops makes more sense.

So overall, I found this product effective at foam rolling, but I thought the circumference was a bit too large. It can be an effective carrier if you don’t need to carry too much stuff and if you’re not going to the gym. Thanks to GoRoll and the GoRoll team for letting me test out their product.

For more information, check out https://goroll.com.

trap bar deadlift

A few of my wonderful friends and colleagues recommended JKC. I was told by one colleague that “It’ll be the best thing you ever do for yourself” and she was right! To be honest, I didn’t have much experience in any gym setting. And NO prior weight training experience. It was always so overwhelming! But from the first day, nothing was intimidating about JKC. Each workout is set up just for me, and with my specific skills and goals in mind. There are no stupid questions, you learn as you go, and what I really love, I always feel included and important, regardless of my skills/experience.

sumo deadlift

I had always wanted to start lifting weights and get stronger, but didn’t know where to start. I was looking not just for a gym, but for training on proper technique to prevent injury and a program designed for my specific goals. I also wanted a fun and supportive atmosphere to keep me coming back. JKC delivered on all of this and more.

Jon and Thomas have a wealth of knowledge that help their clients get the most out of their time in the gym. Programs are continuously modified to keep the workouts challenging. Even through everyone’s program is unique, you always have the coaches and other clients cheering you on and pushing you to achieve new bests.

Astrid Billfalk-Kelly

Personal Strength Training by Thomas King

I wanted to add strength training to my cardio, but have always felt gyms to be a bit intimidating, and was worried I would hurt myself without some supervision and help. JKC was highly recommended by several work colleagues. Thomas and Jon are both fantastic, making sure that everyone gets a highly personalized work out in a very supportive environment. The attention to detail and professionalism are second to none. The groups are very small, but very supportive and make the workouts even more fun. Since getting pregnant (36 weeks as I write this) I’m so happy that they continue to help me get stronger while always being safe.

I saw an article in Men’s Journal that quoted Jon in about 2018 while traveling and was impressed that someone in St. John’s made that international magazine.  Jon spoke about an exercise called the Farmer’s Walk and I started working that into my routine at the YMCA. I tore that article out of the magazine and kept it, meaning to make contact, but got busy. Then I had lunch with an old friend Bruce Dyke. I hadn’t seen Bruce for a while and I remarked that he looked super healthy and fit. He told me about his, and his son Cas’, experience at JKC and then I remembered the Men’s Journal article! No coincidences!

The experience is unique on many levels – great people, camaraderie, passion, purpose, and dedication. Jon and Thomas are attentive, precise and understanding.  Their teaching has unlocked a new perspective for me with what our bodies are capable of. I still appreciate the YMCA, wonderful place, but I can’t imagine working out without Jon and Thomas now.

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