Quick Links

Click on any link and learn more about MERGE Performance Institute:


About MERGE Performance Institute

Where the science and benefits of performance + fitness + sports medicine + education come together in a comprehensive training experience.

With our state-of-the-art wellness facility, everything you do inside our doors is designed by our professional team. Then your unique and specialized plan is implemented by our staff of certified trainers, coaches, and physical therapists to give you the results you require and deserve.


The 4 Pillars

Fitness. Group + individual training + personal consulting, in a high-energy atmosphere, to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Performance. Science-based coaching in strength + conditioning for youth + high school + college + professional athletes.

Sports Medicine. Hands-on analysis + assessment of your needs to keep you healthy and performing at your best + therapy solutions for healing. 

Education. Classes + camps + seminars on topics ranging from nutrition to footwear, running mechanics to youth football, & more.


The MERGE Performance Institute Owners

Jim Romagna, Jason Meyer, Joel Janecek:

“Human performance is our passion. We draw from a wealth of knowledge and experience as athletes, coaches, and professionals in the sports performance and fitness world. As Dubuque community members, we have a commitment to our city as a whole and to the surrounding region.”


Jim Romagna is a native of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

1988 Graduated from Waukesha Catholic Memorial High School in suburban Milwaukee.
1988 Enrolled at St. Cloud State University to pursue football.
1989 Transferred to Loras College.
1992 Graduated from Loras College with a B.A. in English Writing.
2003 Completed a Master’s degree in Physical Education.
Presently working toward his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from National Louis University.

2000 Hired as Loras College’s Head Strength and Conditioning and Running Backs Coach.
2007 Hired as a full-time faculty member at the University of Dubuque in the Department of Health, Wellness and Sport.
2010 Named the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Dubuque Fighting Saints hockey team of the USHL.
2013 Appointed Department Head, a position he still holds while working toward his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from National Louis University.

  While attending Loras College, Jim was an all-conference performer in both football and track and a team captain in both sports. He left the football program holding eleven records and at the time of graduation was one of only seven running backs in the history of college football at all divisions to rush for 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons. In 2018, Jim was inducted into the Loras College Athletic Hall of Fame.
  To satisfy his competitive spirit after college, Jim spent fourteen years competing in bodybuilding. The sport took him to New York, Miami, Los Angeles and many points in between. It was during that time when Jim honed his training and nutrition knowledge and the precise application of it. Competing in 24 competitions, some of his titles include Mr. Iowa, Mr. Central Midwest, Mr. Venice Beach and three top-5 finishes in World Championship competition. Jim has been on the expert resource list for Weider Publications and has had several articles published in industry magazines along with having made the cover of national and international magazines including Muscle and Fitness. Locally, Jim has been writing the “Live Fit” column for Dubuque’s Telegraph Herald since 2003.
  Since 2010 Jim has been the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Dubuque Fighting Saints hockey team of the USHL. While producing several NHL players, the Saints have won 2 championships and have made the playoffs in all eight seasons since returning to Dubuque.
  In addition, Jim has extensive experience coaching and training youth. He coached youth football for four seasons, was the Board President of the Dubuque Independent Football League and has run several youth camps in the area. Jim is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer.


Jason Meyer was raised in Dubuque.

1992 Graduated from Dubuque Hempstead High School.
1996 Received his Bachelor of Natural Science from the University of Northern Iowa.
1998 Earned his Masters of Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa.

2000 Began working for Dubuque Physical Therapy in its Westside Orthopedic building in Dubuque, Iowa.
2005 Became a partner of Dubuque Physical Therapy.
2008 Became the sole owner of Dubuque Physical Therapy and, to provide the highest level and quality of service to its clients, opened a second clinic later that year.
2016 Relocated his Westside Orthopedic clinic to its current location (on the corner of JFK and Asbury). Added MERGE Performance Institute to the JFK location, offering a variety of post-rehabilitation training, community fitness/training programs, and sports performance training.

  Running. While attending the University of Northern Iowa, Jason was a two-time all-conference runner in cross country and track, and an all-conference academic selection for both. Jason competed in 3,000m to 10,000m events. Upon graduation, he continued to run competitively and train for racing ranging from 800m to marathon. Jason was also an assistant track coach for his alma mater from 1998 to 2008, coaching several Drake relays and state qualifiers, including Hempstead’s first-ever track state champion in the 800m.
  Professionally. Jason has worked with clients associated with orthopedic issues, sports medicine, and workers compensation. In addition, he has a special interest in evaluating and treating running-related issues and is certified in the treatment of soft tissue injuries using Augmented Soft Tissue Mobilization (ASTYM) by Performance Dynamics, FMS and SFMA level 1 certified by Functional Movement Systems.


Joel Janecek is a native of Gering, Nebraska.

1997 Graduated from Gering High School.
2001 Received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in Public Relations and Marketing.
2006 Earned a Master’s degree from Iowa State in Journalism and Mass Communication.

2001 Served as an individual trainer and AAU coach in San Antonio, Texas where he also worked full-time at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) as an academic advisor and career counselor.
2010 Served as Assistant Coach for UD’s Track and Field program, handling both the long and triple jumps as well as hurdles. On the track, he served as the track and field program’s academic coordinator.
2013 Named Assistant Coach at Wahlert Catholic High School, leading the hurdlers, long jump, and assisting the sprinters. In the fall, Janecek coaches at the middle school-level working with boys and girls Cross Country at Mazzuchelli Catholic Middle School.
2015 Became Part-Owner and Trainer at MERGE Performance Institute. Besides multiple roles at MERGE, he particularly enjoys his work with the MERGE Youth T&F Club.
Presently teaches part-time at the University of Dubuque. Focusing on “Personal Empowerment,” he teaches sections of Emotional Intelligence and Career Development.

  Records. In his athletic career, Janecek still holds the 110m high hurdle record at Gering High School.
  After declining several DI football scholarship offers, he attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) on a full academic and partial track scholarship. As a “Loper,” he was a member of 4 conference championship teams. On the track, Janecek (until 2015) was the school record holder in the 110m high hurdles at UNK; is still on a handful of record holding relay teams, and still in the top 5 all-time in both the indoor and outdoor 200m and 60m hurdles. He is a 4-time All American (DII) in the High Hurdles.
  Coaching results at Wahlert Catholic High School. The sprint, jumps and hurdle squads at Wahlert have consistently placed in relays and individual events at the Iowa State Meet.
  Specialty Areas. Hurdles, Sprints, Long Jump and Relays.

USATF Level 1
USATF Level 2 – Sprints and Hurdles
Certified Speed & Agility – Athletes Acceleration
Certified Personal Empowerment Instructor – Twin Cities RISE
IGHSAU-approved HS Coach
CPR/AED/First Aid – American Red Cross

PHILOSOPHY Janecek believes in people development first and athlete development second.

PERSONALLY Janecek’s wife Torri, a local OB/Gyn, and he are active members of the Dubuque community and feel blessed to be able to call such a great community home! They have two children: Atley, 8 and Adler, 3.



The MERGE Performance Institute Trainers

SIDNEY KOHL. Director of Operations & Lead Trainer
Sidney grew up in Rockford, Illinois.

2007 Graduated from Boylan High School (Rockford, IL)
2011 Received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Dubuque in Health, Wellness and Recreation with a minor in Coaching.
2018 Earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Dubuque in Business. 

2011 Worked at FIT Performance in Rockford for three years as a Strength and Conditioning coach working with a wide array of clients with a variety of fitness goals.
2014 Worked full-time at Cottingham and Butler while being a part-time trainer with MERGE as well.
2018 Named full-time Director of Operations and Lead Trainer at MERGE Performance Institute. She will be working with a variety of MERGEfam fitness and performance clients and will continue to be the lead trainer for Union Dubuque F.C.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS & AWARDS As a student at the University of Dubuque, Sidney was an athletic standout. For the women’s soccer team, she still holds the school record for both games started and played and was awarded the 2011 Athlete of the Year at UD.

CFSC – Certified Functional Strength Coach
Level D Soccer Coaching

PERSONALLY Sidney herself continues to remain fit and enjoys competing in triathlons, recently placing 17th in her age group at the Ironman 70.3 Wisconsin. She lives in Asbury with her husband and two children.

Interested in services or have questions? Email Sidney directly:



  • MS, Athletic Training, College of St. Scholastica
  • BS, Exercise Science with minors in Psychology and Human Biology, with an emphasis in Hispanic Health and Human Services, Carroll University
  • CSCS Certified Strength Conditioning
  • ATC Certified Athletic Trainer
  • First aid/CPR/AED


  • BS Wellness and Exercise Science, University of Dubuque (in progress)
  • Certified XPS Human Performance Specialist




  • DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Clarke College
  • BA, Athletic Training, Clarke College
  • ATC Certified Athletic Trainer



  • MS, Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology, University of Iowa
  • BS, Athletic Training, Clarke College
  • ATC Certified Athletic Trainer
  • LAT Licensed Athletic Trainer



  • BS, Exercise Science, Loras College (in progress)
  • Certified Personal training, Olympic Weightlifting, and Crossfit