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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.

Tara Rector-Whelan

Personal Strength Training by Thomas King

I started at JKC after a good friend recommended it to me. She had been coming for about a year and I was envious of her great results. I felt sluggish after failing to motivate myself with various home workout routines. I love the fun and relaxed atmosphere at JKC. It’s such a comfortable gym space and I enjoy knowing so many of the people I work out with. Jon and Thomas make an effort to introduce everyone to each other and with all the joking around,  it starts to feel like a family. Not to mention the awesome results. I’ve always liked to run on a treadmill but I’ve never had the drive to lift weights on my own. Going to JKC makes me accountable which was what I really needed. I feel so much stronger and healthier than I did 4 years ago when I started.

I had signed up for other gyms in the past and never went or rarely went. Something always got in the way or I was just too tired and lacked motivation to go. This way I’ve made a commitment to Jon or Thomas and I try very hard to keep my sessions once I’ve booked in. JKC is different from other gyms that I’ve tried in the past because no one is there to be “seen”. We are all there to get a good workout in and go on with our lives. And it’s a small gym so you get to know everyone and it’s like a big family. When I joined JKC, I couldn’t do a chin up with an elastic band, but I’ve slowly worked up to 10 free hanging chin ups. That was big because I hate chin ups.

I heard somewhere that achieving your health goals is determined largely by what you do in the kitchen. I am grateful to have found Julia who brought direction and accountability to this most important piece for me. Having Julia in my corner has brought me confidence and certainty that I am on my way to achieving my goals. I highly recommend her if you are serious about making a change and feeling better about your health.

Kathryn Sparrow

Nutritional Coaching by Julia Howard

From my initial consult with Julia, she was professional and knowledgeable as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and athlete. She was interested in my nutrition and fitness goals and the development of a plan that would set me up for success.

Julia designed weekly meal plans that were complete with recipes and shopping lists. The food choices were nutritious, easy to prepare, and ensured that I felt well nourished and energized throughout my training and non-training days. Not only do I feel leaner and more fit, but I have more energy and I feel much more in tune with my body and food choices. Julia really helped me put everything in place so I can continue this process going forward- I cannot thank her enough!

I chose JKC because I row/coach teams in the St. John’s Regatta and was looking to add strength training to our program. My wife is also running friends with Julia, so I got to meet Jon a few times and heard lots of good things. I like JKC over other gyms because of the level coaching I receive and the gym atmosphere. The energy in the gym helps me through the tough workouts.

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