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Personal Training in North Scottsdale - OPEX North Scottsdale RSS Feed

  • Personal Training in North Scottsdale - OPEX North Scottsdale - Meet Houtaneh (aka Hout)

    Meet Houtaneh (aka Hout)

    Originally, I came to OPEX because I thought I wanted to be a competitive CrossFit athlete. But after months of not achieving my goals, and many talks with Michael (who is very patient, for the record), I re-evaluated what I actually wanted. Eventually, I realized that what I wanted from fitness was just to have fun and explore what my body can do, while supporting my efforts towards becoming a Naturopathic doctor! My biggest accomplishment would have to be the major lifestyle changes I made since starting with Michael. With the help of Dr. Drobot, I am happy to say that most nights, I sleep a full 8 hours--and sometimes more! By my estimation, that alone has helped me gain strength and ....

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  • Nutrition

    The world is getting easier with technology and social media, but it’s also getting considerably confusing as we get served more and more cheaper information from so-called “experts.” Nutrition falls squarely into this category of confusion. Macros this, calories that, detox this, juice cleanse that: what in the world are you supposed to do to get healthy, lean out, and have energy? If you just read Internet articles (funny, that’s what this is haha), you will be met with thousands of complex answers. DON’T FALL VICTIM TO COMPLEXITY FOR COMPLEXITY’S SAKE. Nutrition must start SIMPLE! You need to meet yourself where YOU are, today. Consider ....

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  • Who Are You?

    Who Are You…At Your Core? We are being systematically reprogrammed to expect more and more from ourselves. Bombarded by social media of “success” from “influencers.” We’re being brain washed into behavior that puts our eyes back on social media, notifications, and the “bizarro world.” The unfortunate part of this psychological attack is that it’s working. We see too many people who think they “should” live a certain way. When we ask them why they want to live that way, they often don’t know. They’ve gotten lost in the media stranglehold. They’ve lost who THEY are. It’s time we take back how we ....

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  • Meet Paul

    I just moved here inJanuaryand was looking for a company that had atraining philosophy thatparalleled my current goals. In the past I was a box junky and began my journey in fitness through the group format in CrossFit. I really love the community aspect of the CrossFit gym but the one-size-fits-all training program reallydidn’t work for me. I frequently was getting injured and needed to make a change in the way I was approaching my training. OPEX intrigued mebecause I had never had an individualized program before. I haven’t had any real “ring the bell” moments yet. I feel like just showing up everyday and keeping my nose to the ground is an accomplishment. ....

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  • Meet Andrew

    It was a friend who is a CCP certified Coach who first introduced me. I'm in my late 30's and I have been training in some capacity since I was 14; from football through high school and college, to the military, then law enforcement, and now as a regular guy who just wants to stay fit and keep up with my kids as they get older. I've tried many different templates/programs out there over the years. Ultimately, I found those programs had many holes, and are largely myopic in their approaches; relatively inflexible, cookie-cutter strength & conditioning templates with very limited and broad lifestyle guidelines (if any at all) outside the gym. I was searching for an intelligent, ....

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  • 5 Things You Can Do TODAY That Improve Your Health

    We work with a variety of clients. Some are working parents, entrepreneurs, college students, and competitive athletes. Each client comes to us with a different history, different set of goals, different lifestyle habits, and different strengths and weaknesses. For each of these different people, we create a different program including movements, nutrition recommendations, and lifestyle guidance. What’s the one thing these DIFFERENT people have in COMMON? That’s it! They are all PEOPLE, human beings. As a species, there are some things that we NEED to be healthy. They are non-negotiable. Our bodies do not function optimally without these things. We can compensate for a while ....

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  • Meet Linda

    I've always worked out even when I was being treated for cancer and for years after that. Then I moved to Arizona without my support group and regular schedule and put on 20 pounds. I came to OPEX after having an irresponsible personal trainer at another gym. So I asked around and Michael Bann’s name came up. I worked with him a few times and then signed up for 2 years. I'm very happy with the gym and especially Michael. My biggest accomplishment is multi-faceted. I have better balance, am stronger over all, and have lost fat while gaining muscle. Right now Michael is working with me to get more protein in my diet (I don't eat meat so it's harder to reach my goals for protein) ....

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  • Personal Training in North Scottsdale - OPEX North Scottsdale - We are not your typical gym

    We are not your typical gym

    We are not your typical gym. We certainly look like a typical gym with free weights, squat racks, and bikes. Most gyms give you access to a “trainer” or a class for a certain amount of time. The goal during this time is usually for you to sweat, get your heart rate up, and breathe a bit. The relationship ends there. This is where we set ourselves apart from these other facilities. We provide our clients with a COACH whose relationship reaches outside of the gym. Each one of our clients work with one coach on a program designed specifically for THEM to reach THEIR goals. These goals are developed through consultations with their coach that are functional and applicable to ....

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  • Individual Design Mission

    So much in life is customizable, yet fitness continues to be one size fits all with group classes, template programs, and packaged nutrition. People have come to expect customization and personalization in every aspect of their lives. Why not health and fitness? At OPEX North Scottsdale, we understand that no two people are alike. Everyone comes from different backgrounds with different goals and different definitions of fitness. Their fitness programs should reflect that. For this reason, we have developed our philosophy to meet each client where they are currently at and progress them towards where they want to be. Our professional coaches get to know our clients through assessments ....

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  • Meet Paul

    I began CrossFit about 5 years ago and for the last 3 years having been training to place in the top 20 worldwide as a master athlete in the 60+ age category and qualify for the CrossFit Games. I placed 35th and 29th in 2015 and 2016. My training program followed a one-size-fits-all approach and was not customized for my needs and goals – make the CrossFit Games. The one size fits all training was not properly designed for my needs and have me fresh and ready to compete during the CrossFit Open and Online Qualifier. Consequently, in 2015 I came down with a cold just prior to the Online Qualifier, which definitely had an adverse effect on my final ranking. I knew about OPEX and ....

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  • Personal Training in North Scottsdale - OPEX North Scottsdale - How to Live Life and COMPETE

    How to Live Life and COMPETE

    Everyday on television and social media we see the achievements of athletes.
    From this distance, it can appear that a competitive lifestyle is exclusive. After all, many of these athletes are young, sponsored, and lack the stressful responsibilities and commitments life and work throw at us. However, this view is flawed.
    There are plenty of competitive athletes that share the same stresses of life that you do. What they possess that you don’t is balance. “I’ve found the balance. I can be a mom, be a wife, be a CrossFitter, be a teacher, and be a friend. It doesn’t have to be about giving up something but about choosing what’s important in my life.” ....

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  • How Does an OPEX Gym Work?

    One to One Support To Succeed In and Out of the Gym
    When you walk into an OPEX facility, you immediately understand that your best interests are aligned with your coach’s as well as the Gym’s owner(s). Their success depends entirely on your success, both short and long term. They will work with you - One On One
    - throughout each stage of your fitness journey. But, while you will have great and ongoing support, your coach will “teach you how to fish.” One of the most important aspects of long term progress is seeing and feeling tangible translation of your fitness progress into areas of your life that you care most deeply about. Whether your priorities ....

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  • The "WHY" behind OPEX gyms

    People who want to live larger lives deserve a place where their passions and goals are supported every day. It isn’t enough for a gym to say they’re great. The gym needs to prove it day in and day out through their client’s long-term results and happiness. Through consistent actions, a coach builds trust with his/her clients. You deserve that level of professionalism in your coach. A coach must also share the same level of excitement for their coaching craft if they expect to provide a high level of service to their clients. Coaches must work as hard as their clients, but they need to be in a gym environment where they share the ....

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  • Why One Diet Plan Doesn’t Fit All

    From the OPEX Fitness Blog vault... Many coaches rely on training templates for their clients. While this may ease the coach’s workload, it significantly impedes the client’s physical development. Why? Every client is physically unique; therefore a program any short of 100% tailored to their values, priorities and needs, simply won’t work. The same goes for nutrition.
    Why One Diet Plan Doesn’t Fit All
    More protein, low carb, no sugar; from Paleo to Renaissance Periodization, there’s been much effort over the years to crack the nutritional nut. But what diet is best for fueling the needs of your fitness clients? Nutrition has been widely recognized as a ....

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  • Group Fitness vs. Individual Design

    From the OPEX Fitness vault from January 18, 2015.....
    Group Fitness vs. Individual Design Training Model: Which is Better?
    Discussing the pros and cons of the Group Fitness Model vs. the Individual Design Training Model
    is never complete without a wide array of opinions on the subject. Which one is ‘better’? Which one makes the most sense? Which one do athletes get the most out of? For more than a decade now, the Group Fitness Model
    has seen a surge in popularity—particularly with the rise of small box gyms and the sport of fitness in modern day. Prior to this rise, dating back to the 80’s and 90’s, Group Fitness was pretty much sequestered to ....

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  • How Does An OPEX Gym Work With Its Clients?

    This is a fun little whiteboard video showing the path that ALL OPEX Clients take to start their fitness experience in an OPEX Gym. As an OPEX Client, you will enjoy a one to one consultation with a professional coach. You'll then move into the OPEX BMW Assessment System where your coach learns what physical limitations you have. After Assessment, your OPEX Coach designs and customizes ALL of your workouts so that you progress for years! Your coach delivers them to you in a state of the art system called Fitbot so that they can track your progress, watch your videos, and communicate with you to ensure your long-term progress. Your OPEX Coach continues to work with you on and off of the ....

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  • Personal Training in North Scottsdale - OPEX North Scottsdale - What is Fitness

    What is Fitness

    What is Fitness?
    Ask 10 different people and you will get 10 different answers. To some, fitness is being able to run a 5k without stopping. To some, it is to fit into their clothes comfortably. To others, it’s the ability to do unassisted pull ups. Fitness may be playing a team or individual sport, maybe even the “sport of fitness”. And still others consider fitness to be the ability to finish a day of work, fit some exercise in, and have enough energy to spend quality time with loved ones. With so many definitions of fitness, how do you know which exercise program will get you to your goals? There are so many options from group exercise classes, to home ....

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  • Personal Training in North Scottsdale - OPEX North Scottsdale - Memorial Day Hours

    Memorial Day Hours

    "I do not know your name, Nor for which battle you died. I do not know your home, Nor the tears that were cried. I do not know where you rest, Nor the promises broken. I do not know your uniform, Nor your fears lay unspoken. But, I know your spirit exists, That your courage is admired, And your sacrifice is honored By each soul that's inspired. And I offer you from my heart Thank you, to guardians unknown For offering yourselves for us all That we may keep freedom... Our home." Memorial Day Hours
    6:00am-12:30pm ....

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  • Client Training Program : Gerald David

    EC Client Gerald David has been making huge strides in his fitness over the past 6 months. Focus continues to be on improving his strength numbers across the board. Most of his training days begin with work on the olympic lifts, then structural strength components followed by muscle endurance pieces. This last April, his power clean 1RM was 80kg. Look at him hit 3 reps TNG at 81kg!!!! Gerald is coached by OPEX HQ Remote Coach Henry Torano. A) Power Clean:
    build to a tough set of 3 TnG
    *let's go again, build on what you got for 5 reps a few weeks ago
    B) Back Squat:
    50X1; 2-2-2; 3:00
    C) 10:00 EMOM:
    odds: 8-10 strict ring dips
    evens: 8 box jumps @ 30"
    D) 3 Sets:

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  • Client Training Program : Ian Boughey

    Ian Boughey working on some eccentric only pullups with a tempo to work on his regular pullups. Ian has been working hard in the process and "training to get better at testing" Sometimes we forget about the simple work that is less exciting but when the plan is in place it will go a long way. ....

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  • 12 Books to Read This Year

    It is no secret, reading is a GOOD thing. I teach hundreds of coaches each year about fitness coaching. OPEX proposes that daily they live by a simple mantra. TEACH, LEARN, MOVE, CREATE. That is, spend adequate amount of time DAILY on developing and refining and balancing these areas. For yourself as a person AS WELL AS for yourself as a coach. TEACH - teach a movement, a new skill, something new that you learned - then watch HOW you teach, and how they learn. LEARN - challenge yourself daily and learn from it, learn a new skill, learn a new way of thinking, learn more about your trade. MOVE - exercise, move some blood, investigate your own potential - the best teachers were once ....

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  • 2016 and Beyond

    It’s just another day actually.January 1st. Not unlike December 25th.There are some changes that occur on that day - like a new year. 2016 into 2017 for this iteration. There was a time where that excitement was based on an apocalypse, the New Year festivities, and now it's...another day. What the change does is create exact measures for growth. It creates a point A from the past and now creates a new point B.Which will in turn of course become a point A in the future. So how important is point B really? Time will eventually pass by - for everyone - one cannot escape this. As much as we'd love it to pass by aimlessly.And yet it's so precious.I would love for my girls to age ....

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  • Client Training Program : Miko Tarnowski

    Miko came to OPEX suffering from a back injury from his previous training. Here he is hitting a pain-free back squat at 200kg/440# following 6 months of no heavy back squats. His training focus during this time has instead been on structural single leg work, allowing his CNS to recover, building core motor control, isometric gymnastic strength as well as improving strength of the posterior chain using tightly controlled tempo work in varied loading patterns. A) Snatch:
    Build to a max, rest as needed
    #115KG B) Snatch:
    25 reps @ 77% for time
    -full squat snatch
    - video for analysis
    9:40 C) Back Squat:
    Build to a max, rest as needed
    #200KG ....

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  • Client Training Program : Emiliano

    Emiliano has been involved in the sport of fitness for the past 3 years and juggles training with a busy schedule between university classes, working part-time, and studying. This initial phase of training has been focused on absolute strength, building balance and aerobic capacity alongside technical work on his Olympic lifts. As well as getting his CNS as fresh as possible by structuring training around his other commitments away from the gym and taking this into consideration for every session. Emiliano is coached by OPEX HQ Coach Mike Lee. A) Snatch:
    Build to a max; rest as needed
    #255 B) Back Squat:
    Build to a 3RM; rest as needed
    #375 C) Row:
    30s max effort
    rest 30s

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  • OPEX Culture

    Purpose: To Inspire People to Live a Larger Life

    Be Aware of Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing
    Challenge Your Beliefs and Re-think What’s Possible
    Embrace Where You Are
    Engage in Growth Relationships
    Commit To The Journey
    Be Resilient
    Empower Others to Live a Larger Life ....

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  • Client Training Program: Kinsy Rosati

    Kinsy Rosati is working on her muscle-up dip kipping here with these extra reps on top of the rings. She has been working on creating fluidity with these for some time now and they are becoming more and more efficient. One way in which we characterize athletes at OPEX is how quickly they can pick up new skills and movement techniques. Many individuals have aspects of their muscle-ups which lack efficiency, and sometimes it takes dedicated practice to make lasting changes that are effective for improving performance. Kinsy is coached by OPEX HQ Coach James Taylor. A) Barbell Overhead Carry:

    15-20m ub x2-3 sets; rest as needed b/t sets
    20m ub @65/70/70 B) Muscle Up:
    video- 1-2 ....

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  • Don't Let the Holidays Ruin Your Opens

    It is a harsh statement for sure. But the truth hurts sometimes. Well, most times. We discuss it as coaches in our seminars with other coaches all the time as back room talk . The idea that if people really do not
    want something, they will show signs of this all the time that they do not want it!
    [but it hurts so bad for them to own this]
    As an example, if someone wants to get stronger, they will. If someone wants to lose fat, they will. AND if someone wants to prepare well for the OPENS they will. As soon as the idea in their head enters “but I can also do this right?” – it is where the priorities are NOT meeting their goals. So let me review this with you. ....

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  • Winter Classic Re-Cap

    We designed the OPEX Winter Classic this year to be a single day of testing. This helps folks get back into training quickly without overly emphasizing a competitive event at this time of the year. It is always a nice litmus test to see where you sit vs a crowd of peers and this nicely showed that for both the men and the women. By design, this event was low-volume. Being minimal in total work, there are only so many ways people can strategize something like event two, which has 33 repetitions per round. Ultimately a distinguishing factor between those who were successful and those who were unsuccessful came down to grit and willingness to suffer. It was not that people failed muscle ups ....

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  • Client Training Program: Joseph Meade

    Joseph Meade began remote coaching with me on March 16th, 2015. At the time, Joseph was inspired at the possibility of fitness training, but ZERO background in any mixed-modal work. I can recall his early technique videos being shot at a commercial gym on the only platform in the facility. Believe it or not, Joseph learned to clean and snatch 100% through remote coaching! One of the conversations Joseph and I had early in the year was challenging him to find and compete in fitness events. His resume now includes the Festivus Games, the Granite Games, and most recently, Joseph was invited onto an affiliate team to compete in a local throw down. I absolutely love the way Joseph opened up ....

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  • Client Training Program: Ife Clark

    Ife is strong. Maintaining her strength while improving her aerobic work is a priority for her. She has shown great improvements on cyclical aerobic work and as the Opens approach, we have started focusing on the a base support of mixed aerobic in the MAP9 setting focusing on pacing and consistency. Ife is coached by OPEX HQ Coach Sean McGovern. A) 10 minute : power walk
    B) 30 minute:
    10 box jump step-downs, 20″
    15 double unders
    5 no pushup burpees
    20m suitcase carry, 45# kb
    -pace for even splits, score time of every second round
    14 full rounds – see photo C) Belly Breaths in 3 Mo Position: 10 minutes
    Completed Ife is strong. Maintaining her strength ....

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  • Client Training Program: Conlan Lafferty

    I started working with Conlan as a 14 year old. He is now 17, and focused on improvement in performance for lacrosse. When we first started working together, I had the long term vision in mind so he did nothing but goblet squats and bodyweight exercises to develop motor control such as ring rows. Years later, he’s hitting PR’s left and right with great movement, including this 15 pound front squat PR and massive weighted pull up PR. We’ve had to work on some core stability issues as he’s grown as well because the extra height left his center of gravity greatly altered, so throughout the last few years he’s had to relearn movement patterns to continually ....

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  • Client Training Program: Matt Michaud

    Matt is a busy guy, with shiftwork being a part of his routine he works for his city and he runs the biggest gym in New Hampshire on his days off (let’s be honest, it’s a daily responsibility). He’s a CCP guy and came to OPEX to see what we do in real life, beyond the principles. Super aerobic guy, needed to maintain that and get stronger, a great example of some one super talented that just needed direction and help managing proper dose response and splits that speak to his needs as an athlete, father, husband, coach and firefighter. Matt is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Sean McGovern. Test Week A) Front Squat: 1RM – film final set; rest exactly 10min btw A ....

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  • Stop Marketing to the Wrong Clients

    You have seen it and perhaps you have even felt it. It can be really hard to bring great clients into your gym. If it were easy you wouldn’t see 1000 different email and digital marketers “prowling” your Facebook feed with paid ads telling you how the are “killing it with digital marketing.” They know you are struggling and that you need help bringing new clients into your gym. Before you get swooped into paying for a service that often is unproven, take a moment to read this so that you can answer one major question….Are you actually “speaking” to the right people? Don’t get me wrong, marketing is challenging. There can be many ....

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  • Client Training Program: Mike Landes

    Mike Landes hitting a 280# 3RM from the floor for event 2 at the Pensacola Beach Brawl 5. His team “a touch of grey,” was just some friends enjoying their fitness for the weekend. Mike’s training is geared around making subtle progress and being able enjoy participating in fitness comps and training hard around his main priorities (wife, kids, and career). he’s a busy guy, so keeping him safe and hitting proper dose response is the key to managing stress and allowing progress in the sport. Mike is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Sean McGovern. ....

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  • Must Have Equipment for Your Gym!

    Put all rehab/science thinking aside – this is plain and simple to get results! Drop all personal perceptions and think function instead of popularity – think! Machines as an example have come around at the advent of the fitness movement back in the 70’s into the 80’s. BUT with this movement we forgot the power of the movement we do day to day and how that helps in fitness programs. Today, we have moved too far to the right of movement and minimalist and have not transcended AND included machines in many cases. I wrote many article back in the day on machines vs. free weights over and over. It was during this time that my previous point was happening. We were ....

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  • Client Training Program: Daniel Blunt

    Communication is the heart and soul of the coach to client relationship. Daniel is coached by OPEX HQ Coach Sean McGovern. WK7 – intensity
    A) Split Jerk: develop 1RM *film/best (blocks) B) for load: 5-4-3-2-1 tng power clean rest 90s increase leads as reps go down! C) Assault Bike: 20s for max cals rest 6 minutes 20s for max cals rest 5 minutes 20s for max cals ....

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  • Why Do You Compete?

    I may have heard this a few times; coach on FB – “it was so good to see everyone giving their all and cheering everyone on a the competition – you should be proud of your efforts.” Athlete at that competition – “that was horrible, I sucked up bad, I was anxious the whole time – it was painful.” And this; Coach – “you really did not have it all together out there – guess we have to go back and look at those skills soon.” Their athlete – “that was so unbelievably exhilarating – the crowd, the atmosphere – I had so much fun!” An obvious misalignment between what the coach and athlete ....

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  • Lessons Learned in Weightlifting

    I have been messing around with weights now for almost 25 years. I am 42 years of age, and probably have done over 5,500 resistance training sessions – 25 years of 44-46/52 weeks per year – off due to deloads or injury. This does not qualify me for much, besides the fact that I have done that, and many have not. I have always been for my essence absolutely stronger than I am fast, and I lack great mechanics for the Snatch and Clean and Jerk due to R to L imbalances from injuries accrued in other sports. I am between 170-175# most times and have peaked at sometimes in my career at 485# DL, 375# BS, 275# CJ, and 225# Snatch. This does not allow me to be the qualifier on what is ....

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  • Client Training Program: Miko Tarnowski

    Miko Tarnowski is an athlete who has a high level of absolute strength and is aiming to be more competitive in fitness. We’ve been working on addressing a couple of movement issues that had caused lower back pain and we’re now returning to more complex barbell work. Here he is hitting a PR power clean at the end of some complex work.   In part D) you can see paced aerobic work which is GOLD for Miko, who like many others has a tendency to ‘go out hot’. By placing time limiters on his pacing we’re able to ensure he remains aerobic and gets the desired stimulus from the training session. He is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Matt Connolly A) ....

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  • What is Remote Coaching?

    Fitness has always been defined by end games and results. “Work hard and eat well and you can achieve your wildest dreams.” It is fascinating how deeply ingrained that thought is in today’s society. Now, we aren’t saying that those statements are wrong on a global level but, let’s be honest, you need to think about yourself as you go through this fitness equation. In reality, if you are working toward very specific results you need to do these things well:
    Workout hard…but not too much
    Workout smart
    Eat well…and enough
    Rest and recover In a world that has been thrust into the “workout till you bust” mentality, the notion of ....

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  • Fitness Gyms Need to Know Their Numbers

    It is a noble profession to get to help people change and enhance their lives. Through fitness and nutrition as well as through support, a professional coach often becomes the linchpin for a large number of their clients. What could be better? So why do so many gyms struggle so much to grow their businesses or succeed financially for the long run? There is never just one problem but one of the largest places we have seen people struggle with is with their numbers…all in. If you do not know your numbers you will eventually go down. I am not here to be a downer, I am here to build your awareness of why some businesses succeed and why others do not. Let’s break down ....

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  • Client Training Program:

    AM testing for Zach Body weight – 200lb 67.7% with a slight pulling priority. We look for 65% of our conversion and utilize this to create priorities based on data. This simple push pull test is a staple to create a weekly split with priorities. Coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Matt Bryant. AM
    A) Press Build to a Max:
    210- wasn’t expecting to get anywhere close to this weight ha!
    A) Press Build to a Max:
    210- wasn’t expecting to get anywhere close to this weight ha! B) WTD Pull-up, Build to a Max:
    110 C) 5 Min AMRAP Strict HSPU
    45 D) 5 Min Strict Pull-Up AMRAP:
    50 ....

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  • What Functional Fitness Coaches are Missing

    IDENTITY. There used to be sport specific strength and conditioning (S and C) coaches- think power and speed and sport teachings. There used to be physique coaches- think look good naked There was not much else to write home about. When one began the “coaching” route in the late 90’s, it was either of these 2 areas. (There were coaches before hand but it jumped leaps and bounds at this time.) Establishments and government and corporations and academia got on board to create systems to help support these areas. Science was based on weights and endurance. Teaching was focused on setting these individuals who wished to be coaches up to be S and C or physique coaches. ....

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  • Client Training Program: Jim Mag

    Jim has necrosis and has had amazing improvements in BS over time, from barely being able to squat at all to now squatting here new PRs. He is fulfilling his ambitions for his business while training consistently with focus as well, setting himself up for success. Jim is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach James Taylor A) Back Squat:
    eccentric slower than concentric; 6,5,4,4; SF Rest
    115, 125, 130, 140 B1) Box Step Up:
    below knee height, push weight here, drive thru heel; 10-12; SF rest b/t legs
    30,35 B2) Ring Row:
    feet elevated- deep in bottom and rings fully to chest without trap shrug in top- pause 1 sec with rings touching chest; 10-15×2; SF rest
    10,10 C) Mixed ....

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  • Client Training Program: Gerald David

    When I started working with Gerald back in April, he wasn’t able to hit any reps in his MU tester. At the time, we decided to go after absolute upper body strength and make some fixes in his nutrition. In June, we re-tested, and again, no MU’s. However, he had made significant adjustments in his nutrition and lifestyle, dropping 15 lbs and drastically improving body comp. Strength gains were evident as well, so we decided to go to work on the MU. Plan was simple. We would keep doing what we were doing, continue to get strong and lean, but added MU tech work in a morning aerobic/ non fatigue session for 10 consecutive weeks. Gerald showed great patience in sticking to the plan ....

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  • Client Training Program: Mikolaj Tarnowski

    Miko’s training initial training focus has been on addressing some underlying structural issues that led to a minor back injury earlier in the year. As these continue to improve we’re starting to incorporate more barbell work and technique focus into his training. Here he is hitting a heavy single jerk at his previous 1RM [150kg/330lb] after spending some time on banded split stance pallof press to overhead, having already progressed from perform these in a supine, tall kneeling and half kneeling position over previous weeks. I’ve found that this kind of anti-rotation/anti-extension work used as a primer for split jerks serves to assist in re-enforcing correct ....

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  • Suck and Blow While You Row

    Previous Next
    Suck and Blow While You Row
      Breathing is imperative when it comes to rowing, whether it’s holding a pace or going all out, sucking wind is part of the process. Learn how to better breathe, pace and row your way into a more aerobic person. ....

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  • Why I Stopped Competing in CrossFit®

    After more than six years competing in CrossFit®, an individual trip to Regionals in 2014 and a team trip to the Games in 2015, I stopped competing after my last power snatch hit the grass on the field in Carson. Now, before you bring down some kind of heavenly hammer on me, you should know that I was never going to be a top CrossFit® athlete at the individual level anyway. As much as it pained me, I knew I didn’t have the goods to compete with Froning, Frazier, etc. The story
    But the story isn’t about me trying to be the best in the world. The story is about trying to be the best that I could be, for me. I began CrossFitting in 2009, in a barn of all places, ....

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  • Client Training Program: Matt Clark

    In this video, Remote Coaching Client Matt Clark did the Masters/Teen event 16.3 from the Games. Titled Adios Amigos, Matt scored a time of 5:59. Data is everywhere for client valuation. As an athlete, you can perform the Master/Teen events from the Games (great events) and be able to gauge where you sit at this time of the year. For instance, the teen boys are top 50-100 Open competitors. Using this as a benchmark for Matt Clark, his time of 5:59 bests the field of Teens 16-17 and trends very well for where he needs to place in the Opens this coming year. Matt is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Matt Springer   ....

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  • What I Learned Coaching Athlete Camps

    Every time I teach an Athlete Camp for OPEX I always thank the group in advance for showing up and just simply participating. It is a safe place for them to showcase their skills and see where they really sit in fitness. It is also a massive passion of mine to share the knowledge I have gathered over the last 11 years coaching fitness and no matter what, I learn something new every time. I remember when I first met James Fitzgerald (Owner of OPEX) I had fallen completely in love and had no questions that participating in fitness as well as coaching was truly my passion. I was on a rampage to get every certification I could and keep adding knowledge to my toolbox. I was 100% set out ....

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  • OPEX Gym Success Story: Central Athlete

    My name is Jesse O’Brien and I am the Founder of Central Athlete in Austin, TX. Before opening the doors to current gym, I was a former CrossFit affiliate owner. When I saw the writing on the wall and future philosophical challenges, I decided to sell my equity to my business partners and start an individual design fitness business. Enter Central Athlete. My biggest goal as a gym owner is to scale our onsite training business. After completing my OPEX Level 1 and seeing the difference the OPEX Gym has on client success, I knew I needed to be apart of it. OPEX has had a profound impact on my life. They have helped me upgrade my abilities as a Coach, reach new physical ....

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  • Client Training Program: Blaze Carmical

    Blaze’s program is focusing on getting exposure to unilateral knee flexion to strengthen stabilizers in squatting patterns. She’s also working on structural upper body movements to balance out her pushing and pulling capabilities and get the scaps strong for eventual dynamic gymnastics activity. Still, olympic lifts are not neglected, though touches are at low percentages that allow her to focus on technique. This is how a training session may look for her: A) Hip Squat Snatch, 2 Hang Sq Snatch:
    @ 60-70% 1RM; 8 sets OTM
    B) Barbell Split Squat:
    3010; 9-12/side X 3; 0:60 btw sides
    C1) Supinated Narrow Grip Pull-Up:
    71J1; 4-6 X 3; 0:90
    C2) DB Bench Press:

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  • Client Training Program : Josh Dupree

    Josh is a husband, father and runs a family business. He trains in his home gym with goals of becoming better in within the means of balanced fitness and enjoying the experience of mixed training. His olympic lifts are descent but he has not yet touched his potential based on his absolute strength, speed under the bar has been a place we’ve been working on recently. On the other side of the spectrum, we’ve looked to improve his aerobic, working towards the left, we’re now looking at improving upon his 2k row with 500m repeats, learning to stabilize more volume as it comes up. He’s been crushing everything he touches lately. Josh is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach ....

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  • Client Training Program: Alex Zuckerman

    Alex has spent the last 8 Weeks developing absolute pulling and pushing strength. Weekly we used the power clean or the power snatch as a marker to see how pulling was progressing and we used different pushing variations to see how pushing was progressing. Alex spent 3 days a week focusing on these priorities. We were able to check the box on our goals allowing Alex to move into the next phase of training. Alex is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Brian Foley. B) Power Clean and Jerk:
    15 triples @ 70% of A, go at own pace; Perfect Reps; Film last set
    130#/15 rounds C) Deadlift:
    @3010; 8-10; rest 2 min x 4- build
    185/195/205×2 D1) Single leg GHD Hip Extension:
    @2112; ....

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  • The Ups and Downs of Fitness

    0:00 -1:32 Intro to Ups and Down 1:33 — Start of Goodman’s Journey 3:50 — Know Why you are making a commitment to the journey 5:40–14:59 — Amanda talking though her career year by year; the struggles, the success’s and the tears. 15:00–18:26– Focusing on the goal, toughest year BEST Games finish. 18:26–End– Values and What was learned being an OPEX Athlete ....

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  • Client Training Program: Julie Rapport

    This is an example of some simple progression with an experienced athlete that has just started with me. I like to use training and progression to assess skill adaptation as well as seeing if there is break down when weight is added per week. The HPC TnG weight has been increasing per week by 10lb. This is a decent size jump and creates a challenge. Not always just for time tests or CF style tests. The DB sotts press above is a great way to see range of motion/mobility as well as stability. Julie is coming off surgery so this is a great way to get her back into things and allow me to assess a new athlete without doing some of the bigger tougher testers in the beginning. Julia is ....

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  • Client Training Program: Matt Merrill

    Matt is a husband and and father, looking to make consistent progress and increase his standings in the OPEN each year. As he is a couple years in the game, getting stronger and developing more power is one of our biggest priorities right now. Matt is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Sean McGovern. A) Back Squat
    Did 225lbs on AMRAP Got- 5 reps, 3 reps, 2 reps B) 60s All out:
    row for meters, rest 7 min x6- stabilize results
    holding back a touch to get roughy 297 each round. I calculated the split, if you can get up to 1:41/500m within the first 3 pulls or so, and hold it. That’ll give you the 297m per round
    301m 296m 296m 297m 296m 293m I was definitely gassed. I did ....

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  • When Is it Time to Open Your Gym- Part 3

    We have taken 2 looks into opening your own gym ( When is it time to open your gym – Part 1 and When it is time to open your gym – Part 2 ). Those guiding factors are both intangible and tangible. We now need to dive into what you need to do in order to put the final stitch into your gym’s initial preparations. Here are the steps that you will need to take today in order to get off and running quickly:
    Define and build your specific network NOW
    Understand your unique position in the market
    Build your business model Any one of these topics could be an entire book let alone a part of a blog post so please do not think that my thoughts here ....

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  • Road to Revolution Competition

    This past weekend, Sept 24-25, the 3rd edition of Road to Revolution (@wodrevolution)was celebrated in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.The event has become the premier fitness competition in Puerto Rico. Hundreds of local athletes, as well as several from Latin America and the Caribbean gathered to throw down to a total of 8 workouts, designed by perennial CF Games Athlete, Scott Panchik. This year was a little more special because it was the first time that Panchik made the trip down and was present to witness it. OPEX has had a huge impact in the development of the sport in the island over the past few years, not only by training athletes , but also training a good number of the local ....

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  • Client Training Program: Amy Reyes

    Amy is currently working her way back from a shoulder injury. She is naturally athletic, so when she started competing in Crossfit she excelled fast. What eventually caught up with her was her lack of absolute strength. Going straight into fast dynamic contractions without having a strong structure lead her down a path of injury. Our current goal is to build a strong structural base to build upon going into her next season. Amy is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Brian Foley. A) Segmented press 3 second holds @ each position rack/chin/forehead/full ext. same pauses on the way down:
    4-5; rest 3 min x 4-build per set
    4 reps at 35#, 40#, 40#, 40# B) Snatch grip prone row:
    @20X1; 8-10; rest 2 ....

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  • Quit Sabotaging Your Training!

    “Sports psychology is the scientific study of mind, emotion, and behavior as it relates to athletic performance and physical activity.” The human brain is fascinating. Throughout my coaching career I have strived to learn about and understand human behavior, more specifically, how an athlete’s brain works prior to competition.I can look back at personal experiences and identify times where I had not clarified my specific goal and what effort I needed to extend to reach the goal. I have learned that clarity of the goal and the willingness to extend the effort to achieve the goal are essential to the success of an athlete. “Sports are 90% mental and 10% ....

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  • Client Training Program: Kyle Sommer

    Kyle just complete his first two weeks of testing and is getting into some structured training.  His goal is to see his Innate Genetic Potential in the sport of fitness.  He is coming in with a good base of absolute strength and lacking aerobic power and CP battery.  This is a video starting a progression in BB cycling to increase battery. RX is: Emom - PC and jerk not TnG x 3 65% of 1rm - 8mins The weight is 155#.  This is a great weight for male athletes serious about the sport to be able to handle and toss around with ease.  The progression will stay the same time frame of 8mins for the first three weeks and increase reps by 1rep every week until 6reps per min. Starting reps Week 1 - ....

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  • Training Techniques- Snatch Cues

    The snatch has been an Olympic weightlifting movement since the 19th century. It’s become a staple in CrossFit and is used in competitions around the globe. As the level of athletes varies, so do the coaches, their instructions and cues. With  The Cascade Classic  coming up this weekend, check out Coach Matt Springer and some of his ques for practicing the technique to ensure full hip power and drive. To check out more of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel! ....

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  • Why is the Coach/Client Relationship so Important?

    Why is the Coach/Client Relationship so important? First you have to recognize that your clients are people and not just dollar signs. Coaches must move past looking at avatars of athletes on paper and begin to recognize those avatars are really Adams and Avas. If you can’t establish a relationship with your client, you will live an endless cycle of turnover- constantly bringing in new clients and saying adios to the old. In the perfect coaching scenario your clients are life-long clients. This benefits both the client and the coach. Very simply put: who do you have a better relationship with… the mail carrier or your mom? Chances are the one you’ve spent ....

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  • Client Training Program: Murat Erbaytan

    Murat Erbaytanis a masters athlete who started with OPEX HQ Head Coach Matt Connolly back in May. He came to us with a partial labral tear, meaning he has certain limitations in shoulder movement. Over the past couple months we've been spending time on correct breathing, positioning, strict gymnastics, locomotive movement patterns alongside varied grip pulling work and prehab work incorporated into each session. We've been able to reduce his pain and get him to the point where he is comfortable his Olympic lifts and we'll look to progressively layer in more gymnastic density over time. This is a priority session for him where we're focusing on creating consistency around his Olympic lifts ....

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  • Client Training Program: Edwin Herrero

    Edwin Herrero came on board in January looking to improve his level in competition. Improving gymnastics density and cleaning up his snatch technique were amongst them. He has made vast improvements in these areas, as well as putting up 6 lbs in BW while his midsection fat score has decreased from 51.5mm to 45mm. Here, you can see what a day of training looks like for him, as well as a crisp hang squat snatch single. Edwin is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Henry Torano. A) Hang Squat Snatch:
    9 sets, 1 every 0:90, 125, 135, 145, 135, 145, 155, 145, 155, 165
    * VIDEO a god one
    B) BTN Standing Press:
    10X1; 6-8/side X3; 0:60 btwn sides
    C) 5 Sets:
    3 Strict HSPU
    6 Russian KBS @ 80
    2 ....

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  • Client Training Program: Abby McCormick

    Abby has been spending the last 5 weeks on specifically refining positional work in the snatch. In this last block of training Abby has been working on receiving the bar in the catch. Most faults come from her getting soft shoulders or not finishing her pull in the extension. This video shows Abby hitting a 140# snatch. Abby is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Brian Foley. A) Snatch:
    Build to a Max for the day;
    15 reps @ 75%- perfect reps- any walkouts are a no rep
    140!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! weeeeehooooo. Missed twice and then third attempt felt awesome. didn't want to get greedy so I stopped :) thank you for the push I needed Monday. literally only thought about lock out the entire ....

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  • Discovery to Action on My Priorities

    “..No dress rehearsal, this is our life” - Gord Downie Priorities
    Some things we think we know. Like our lives being one shot, one opportunity, one chance to make a dent. If it IS one shot, my perspective at this point in the play we call life is “make it worthwhile!” And the questions arise. WHO is this journey worthwhile for? WHEN did you know this was the cause? Depending on someones journey in this game - HOW they see things is different. An understanding that everyone has a different set of eyes has been my LARGEST growth as a human and coach and husband and father and son. That awareness took time to develop, for ME, and me alone - that was MY speed and ....

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  • Client Training Program: Dustin Harth

    Dustin Harth Age: 33 Male Training age- 6+ years Opens 2015 -- 40th (before OPEX) Opens 2016 -- 17th (9months w/ OPEX) --Regional 2016-- 43th place The training plan last year emphasized Dustin being able express his fitness potential for 5 weeks in the 2016 Opens. Now that he has broken the barrier of entry to get to Regionals, the focus this season is to upgrade his "Regional Potential" in order to be more competitive during a Regional 3 day format. After Regionals we sat down and outlined a skeleton for the year. Priorities in June/July: structural balance; upper & lower,Single arm + Single Leg Work Increase time under tension in compound movements Core bracing enhancement ....

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  • When Less is More

    We’ve all seen the classic images of bodybuilding icons in the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbu working with insanely heavy loaded barbells at Muscle Beach. We’ve heard the legend about Ben Johnson squatting 600 lbs for doubles before smashing a world record in the Olympics. We all marvel at the fact that Klokov has repeatedly taken 400+ lbs from the ground to overhead in one single motion in several competition settings. We could go on and on with this, but the main point is, strength is measured by the amount of weight you can move. So it would make sense, that to get strong, one must constantly push the limits of absolute strength. Only by lifting ....

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  • Client Training Program: Arvind Sharma

    Arvind has been training to create stability in his core and generally for all movements with me as his coach, as here is doing sets of the Sorensen hold on the GH machine. He has been largely focused on flexibility previously, which allowed for him to feel good in some movement. What we have done in working together is create strength and stability instead of layering on more flexibility, which was an original solution for him alleviating pain in some movement, though it hasn't been a viable long-term solution recently. I find that this concept of what worked previously no longer working, where an individual can benefit from a new perspective on their training, is a common thread for my ....

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  • When is it Time to Open Your Gym- Part 2

    In our last look at opening your own gym ( When is it time to open your gym – Part 1 ) We took a look at 3 guiding ideas that you needed to have before you would be able to confidently open your own facility:
    Are you prepared for the stress?
    What is your end game with the facility?
    What makes you unique? And, while all of those ideas are more intangibles, they are hugely important to the global decision of opening, we must also talk about the tangible items that you need to have prepared. Where you could once open your own “paying member” gym in your garage with a few cinder blocks and a dream, that won’t lead you to the promised land in today’s day and ....

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  • Client Training Program: Kirstin Healey

    Kirstin Healey is a former figure skater from Arkansas who’s looking to improve as a competitor in fitness. At the moment, absolute strength is being prioritized in both upper and lower body, as well as improving hip extension and the bottom of her squat. On top of all the slow strength work, she’s been getting touches on olympic lifts at moderate weights in the front end of her workouts to hammer down on technique and ensure that there’s carry over from her structure training. Here she is hitting pretty squat snatch triples from the hips. She is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Henry Torano. A) 3 Hip Squat Snatch: 8 sets OTM *crisp lifts, focus on depth of the catch ....

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  • Power with the Prowler

    The prowler can be used for effective power training. However, there are prerequisites to its use. It requires someone to have enough absolute strength to produce power. Secondly, it requires great technique in order to get the required affect of the session. This particular education piece will not discuss technique NOR pre-qualifications BUT how to ensure it is powerful training. Photo Courtesy of CrossFit HQ Media[/caption] The prowler in itself can be used for a variety of things at the right time for the right person. It can be used in a sport specific situation to enhance motor patterns required for the sport. It can be used to metabolically derive and challenge the metabolic ....

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  • Client Training Program: Kelsey Sherwood

    Kelsey has been through the ringer in her fitness journey with endocrine issues and various mechanical issues. When we first started working together it was a very boring training split, with specific macros and supplements dialed in for getting her CNS, gut, liver, and hormones back online. I'm talking DNS style side plank clamshells, deadbugs, bear crawls, and goblet squats. She stayed the course though, and trusted in the process. That's not easy to do for folks, especially when the IG world tells you, "6 weeks to 6-pack abs!" She eventually progressed, her hormones slowly came back online, and we slow dripped more fun training. Now she's doing strongman type training mixed with ....

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  • Why I Moved to OPEX

    In a few short words: We found home in the desert. For me, I never imagined saying this. I was a live-in-Chicago - die-in-Chicago, lifer. I looked forward to seeing my future kids playing little league in the same parks I grew up in, getting old playing softball, cracking the occasional Old Style and digging my roots deeper and deeper into a city that I called home for 34 years. When the opportunity to work onsite with OPEX came up, I thought to myself, "At this point in my life I don't have any kids, I don't even play softball and I hate beer; so this should be a no brainer." Putting my relationship with my wife ahead of my own personal goals, we talked about our future, prayed about ....

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  • Your Season Starts NOW

    It’s early August. There are 210 days until you compete in the OPENS. (gulp) If you train 5 times per week that is 150 sessions. If you need to improve a significant amount in a skill like MU’s under fatigue that is max 60 sessions, with recovery included. Now all of those MU sessions won’t be fatigue based, so you can really only test them 30-35 times in a year under fatigue at high effort. And let’s be realistic, you know that you might miss a few times, as well as not peak at those times effectively so it’s really only 20 times in 210 days where you can practice it. Don’t have a MU?
    Can’t perform them under fatigue?
    20 sessions ....

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  • Client Training Program: Larry Brown

    Larry is the epitome of someone who is dedicated to their fitness. He's a guy that doesn't look for excuses: Wife, kids, full-time firefighter working (AM, AM, PM, PM, OFF, OFF, OFF, OFF) and running a gym on his non-department days. Shift work crushes people. Recovery, CNS, hormones, all affected; so to optimize his training, he and his coach worked on getting him as close to homeostasis as possible within his 8 day week for specific types of work. Fitness for him is required for both of his careers and recreation. He's pursuing olympic weightlifting as a passion and continues to strive towards bettering himself on a regular basis. He is coached by Head Coach Sean McGovern. A) Every ....

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  • Is Social Media Destroying Fitness?

    Social media has been around for 20 years now, since Six Degrees into personal blogging into LinkedIn into MySpace into what you see today. Ithas grown in strength and ability and reach. MANY social positives have come from these creations. There is no real argument to the pros over the cons of the maximizing of human reach and potential through technology. Those that complain about it today and its growth are usually still doing those complaints on their Facebook page through their $500 US phone or tablet, while driving a Tesla. I have been tremendously interested in how fitness has responded to the moves of social media in my career. As they both began at the same relative time - in no ....

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  • Client Training Program: Laura Donaldson

    Laura Donaldson 15# PR on her split jerk during an every 90 second build peice. For the past 8 weeks, we have been focusing on strict and slow eccentric work for the upperbody with small touches on low percentage mechanic work. Stick to the principals! Laura is coached by OPEX HQ Associate Coach Christian Haynes. A) Split Jerk:
    1 every 90 sec add 10# until MAX start at 115#
    Started at 115# Got to 175#. Did 175/180/185-f/180 B) 5-4-3-2-1:
    Strict HSPU
    Strict weighted pull-up 20#
    rest walk 5 minutes x2
    All ub 4:30 (used the belt) 3:24 (used a db) C) AB 30 sec @ 90% effort:
    easy spin 30 sec x8
    rest 2 min x2
    Done[/fusion_text][/fullwidth] ....

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  • Why You're Not Sleeping Well

    As someone who worked shifts for 9+ years I’m only too familiar with struggling to sleep and the subsequent negative effects it can have on health, performance and overall quality of life. However, these effects aren’t unique to shift workers and increasingly I see the same patterns arising within those involved in fitness. Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge that as humans we are driven by rhythm. The circadian rhythm is a 24hr process that many animals, plants, fungi and even bacteria experience on a daily basis coinciding with one full revolution of the planet. Getting caught up in our day-to-day is so easy with work, family, training and other commitments but ....

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  • Client Training Program: Andrew Brown

    Andrew is fairly new to olympic lifting. His first phase is to start from the top down. His coach Brian Foley is working on positional work as well as teaching Andrew how to use his hips as the prime mover in his lifts. His week consists of Hang Work and Block Work on the front end of each training day. As we progress we will move further down the chain pulling from the floor. As you can see, his A work consist of hand and block work at the front end of each training day. A) Hip High Snatch:
    5,5,5; Rest 2 min x3
    65# all B) Mid Thigh Hang Snatch- from Blocks:
    1,1,1; rest 2 min x 5- build per set- Hip Drive
    65#. 70#. 75#. 60#. 60# As his training progresses, they move further down the ....

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  • Client Training Program: David Kraatz

    David and OPEX HQ Head Coach Matt Connolly have been working together for the past 8 weeks and after his initial assessment a large focus of his training is currently on performing movements under controlled tempos, both to ensure he's emphasising speed in the correct phases of the lifts, re-enforce good movement patterns, and to help improve positions, stability and co-ordination through the movements. B1) Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat:
    6-8x3; [FAST!] rest 10s
    - keep constant movement through these
    B2) Lateral Box Step Ups:
    6-8x3; [unloaded] rest 10s
    -focus on driving through the heel of the foot on the box
    - box should be at knee-height
    C) High Bar Back Squat:

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  • Client Training Program: Wess Hannah

    Meet Wess Hannah from Portland, Oregon. He came on as a remote coaching client this last April. His training over the past 2 years had been dedicated to weightlifting, so his goal when he started with OPEX HQ Head Coach Henry Torano was to develop more balanced fitness, and possibly participate in several comps as a master. He recognized that he needed to improve his aerobic capacity and gymnastics, but worried that his strength would suffer. Fast forward 3 months, not only has he made significant improvements in those areas, but here he is crushing a 25 lb. back squat PR @ 380 [/fusion_text][/fullwidth] ....

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  • Reflections on Competitions in CrossFit

    The winter of 2004-2005 in Calgary, Alberta was a great winter. We had the usual 15 deg Celsius Chinook winds in December with 3 feet of snow a few days to follow. I was nestled into my basement gym, experimenting with clients and fitness - to its depths. There was no stone un-turned, I was into it, grabbing all that I could and playing with everything. My trade was as a strength coach. Daily I was putting my clients through workouts and fitness programs tailored to what they needed. Be it junior hockey, bodybuilding, physique fitness, motherhood, skeleton - you name it - I was doing it. Making mistakes and learning but making gains in all I touched. My own journey of fitness at the ....

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  • Client Training Program: Patrick Casey

    Patrick Casey started training with Head Coach Michael Bann at 14 years old, the end of 8th grade. As an extremely hypermobile athlete, with an inability to stabilize, this lead to sub-optimal movement such as the inability to complete even an air squat or set his back for a deadlift. Goals are to get more fit for rotational sports such as tennis as well as enjoys playing hockey. Training was set up based on the assessment protocol, to determine what limits his rotational power. The first step for Patrick is to master the sagittal plane, through not only strength but also quality. The biggest limiting factor for Patrick are his high school coacheswho think "get them stronger" without ....

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  • Client Training Program: Matthew Raines

    Matthew Raines is training to more or less get into a part of special forces. He and his coach, Michael Bann, decided it would be best of him to fly into town to work one on one for a few days in order to fine tune some pieces of his training. The big focus has been on improving recovery through aerobic work so he can push longer and further as well as improving tendon tensile strength to prevent injury in the selection process. A) DB RFESS:
    @30x1; 8RM per leg
    115 B1) Back Squat:
    @30x1; 3-5x4: Rest 60 seconds
    1x5@ 225 1x4 @245 2x3@ 255 B2) Seated Arnold Press:
    @30x1; 4-6x4; Rest 2:00
    1x6 @30;s 1x6 @35's 1x5@40's 1x4 @45's C) FLR on rings:
    3:00 total
    1 min on 1 min off x3 D) 4 ....

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  • Client Training Program: Kees Houwaart

    Kees Houwaarthas been focused on improving his Olympic lifting for the past few months, with his main limitation being his absolute strength. By driving up his absolute strength numbers and spending time on derivatives of the Olympic lifts we've been able to structure his training around his busy schedule, running multiple gyms and planning a wedding to ensure consistent progression. Kees is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Matt Connolly. Here he is hitting 120kg/265# from behind the neck: A) Behind the Neck Split Jerk:
    Every 2:00 for 6 sets
    1 Rep
    - start at 70% and build across reps with no missed lifts, drop each reap from the top- no lowering.
    - video final set

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  • 2016 Games Wrap-Up

    Well it’s over…did anyone else feel like the Regionals to the Games went incredibly fast!!?!?!?! As I flew home Monday morning I finally had the opportunity to take a breath and realize that preparation has already begun for next season. Interestingly enough as the week progressed and not having the change to reflect there was a clear noticing. Those that were prepared properly were fulfilled by weekend’s end and considered the experience a success. It was great to see the community at large support a group of individual’s and teams that put it all the line through the course of the week. Energy was high, a record number of booty shorts were recorded and ....

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  • Client Training Program: Tyson Gurnsey

    Remote Coaching ClientTyson Gurnsey came to OPEX with he goal of becominga better athlete in multiple sports (Lacrosse, Football and continue improvement in CF) His coach, OPEX HQ Head Coach Mike Lee focused his programing on a few key things:
    Agility change of direction
    improving skill and balance
    Core stability
    increased BASE strength and muscle endurance
    Isometric holds and stability
    FRESH nervous system to ensure recovery and "competition" setting weekend where is playing the actual sport currently in season. Tyson has been a pleasure to work with, he understand the continuum of smart training and a base of support will prolong his career in athletics. He has made ....

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  • Client Training Program : Laura Ostrander

    Robin Lyons breakdown from consult, assessment to prescription when starting a new client….

    Female Client

    34 Occupation:
    Gym owner and coach Reason Hiring A Coach
    wants to train specifically for CrossFit to be more competitive in the sport, Likes to learn and know the “why” Athletic Back ground:
    Competitive Gymnast High school, Olympic Lifting and CrossFit most resent no stricture. CF Experience
    Opens finish 500’s 2016 Current Lifestyle Routine
    –Monday thru Saturday → adheres 50% of time. Coaches 5:30 am -8am Trains 9:30am -100am 12pm-1:30 –Break/ Lunch 2-3pm –Conditioning ....

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  • Client Training Program: Mitch Weekes

    MitchWeekesis currently in his second week of Testing. 30 Muscle ups for time:3:50 I look for 4 things here: 1. Pacing 2. Mechanical Efficiency 3. Muscle Endurance 4. Battery Mitch paced very well on this. Mechanically he is good, but we can tighten up a few parts of movement. He was able to hit consistent sets with the right amount of rest between. On the back end you can see his Dip starts to fatigue, so we will be looking more into this as he finishes up testing. Look for his time to be 3:00 next go around. Mitch is coached by Head Coach Brian Foley. D) 30 Muscle Ups For Time
    12:00 Timecap
    3:50 [/fusion_text][/fullwidth] ....

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  • Client Training Program: Nick Lucignano

    This is Nick Lucignano doing 12.3. Here's an example of someone who may not have particular trouble with the toes to bar or shoulder to overhead, but attacked the BJSD and TTB too aggressively from the beginning, which adversely impacted his score. We are working on pacing, and this testing gives us an opportunity to refine how that looks in competition. Nick Lucignano is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach James Taylor. Thursday June 30, 2016 A) 18 Min AMRAP: 15 step down box jumps 24/20" 12 S2OH 115/85# 9 Toes to bar Notes - Report score as total repetitions (ex. 8 rounds = 288 repetitions) - Film entire event 260 ....

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  • 6 Events OPEX Loves To Attend

    Photo Courtesy of CrossFit HQ Media People often ask us where we go to compete and learn more. We have the unique privilege of having access to many of the more well known conferences in the market but we also have found some smaller events that are gems! Here is a small list of the competitions and events that we always try to send people to when given the opportunity. Competitions
    - Of course we love to spectate and enjoy events such as The Olympics but our niche market more so resides in the functional fitness arena so I want to discuss some of the events that we often place into our athlete's calendars. There are hundreds of local events that we love to have our clients engage in ....

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  • Client Training Program: Zach Hawkins

    Remote Coaching Client Zach Hawkins has been working hard to improve his upper body vertical pushing strength, amongst other things. Today he got a chance to put it to the test. Below is his workout for the day. Notice his feedback on B of training. Zach is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach Henry Torano. A) Power Snatch from Blocks:
    3 every 0:75 @115-145
    All sets at 135. I assumed 10 sets. Felt great B) Strict OH Press:
    build a heavy single. If this PR is there and you're feeling it, go for it
    *Video 160, 10lbs PR. Looks like all this pressing is working! C) Bike Sprints:
    15 X 0:12; 2:18 rest
    5:00 btw sets 5-6 and 10-11
    Done. Each set was between .11 and .12 miles D) ....

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  • Client Training Program: Christine Fenton

    Matt Springer's initial notes for Christine Fenton included: Should not squat, cannot lift overhead, and cannot hang from a bar. She is coming off physical therapy for an overuse shoulder. What a difference one year can make! Below is the FIRST prescription he wrote for Christine in July 2015. Next to it is the most recent submission of results, this June 2016. The characteristics largely have not changed; HOWEVER, the complexity of the movement patterns is far advanced and reflects Christine's desires to compete as a Masters competitor. Christine is a tremendous example of CONSISTENCY to the process. Her growth as an athlete accelerated drastically after an onsite visit toScottsdale ....

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  • Client Training Program : David Lee Nall

    When I saw David’s scores at The OPEX Athlete Camp for the Aerobic Power test I knew cyclical work was going to help him build the energy system with no distraction from muscle endurance or skill adaptation that mixed work can have. We have gone from 1:47.5 to 1:42.5 by .5 each week and he is still hitting the target almost perfectly and has improved aerobic power by so much. in a fairly short period of time. Cyclical Map work is absolute gold for those athletes looking to increase the aerobic system. Many look and think this is boring but the results in the end make this process a fun and exciting journey. David is coached by OPEX Remote Coach Matt Bryant. A) Row 500m 1:42.5 500m ....

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  • Client Training Program: John Cheah

    During training for the Asia Championship, John hit a new PR of 13 MU on OPEX’s second day of Testing. Our work in building his upper body strength after this years Open is starting off strong. John is coached by OPEX HQ Head Coach James Taylor. A) Back Squat:
    Establish 1RM- Film best attempt
    378lbs B) Muscle Up:
    One set max repetitions- Film This
    13!!!! C) Strict Handstand Push-Up:
    5 minute AMRAP- 36x24 hand box allowance standard
    26 in 5 minutes 19 in 1st 3 mins (for the record) D) '10-4:
    For Time
    50 Double Unders
    10 Burpees- Jump and overhead clap standard
    40 Double Unders
    10 Burpees
    30 Double Unders
    10 Burpees
    20 Double Unders
    10 Burpees
    10 Double Unders
    10 ....

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  • Statistical analysis from the Women’s Individual CF Regional

    Courtesy of CrossFit HQ Media Statistical analysis of the data gathered from the Women’s Individual CF Regional in 2016 I started an analysis of the Women’s Regional performances with the idea in mind to see if there were any significant correlations between performance and independent variables that one cannot change, such as age and height and even others like weight that are possible to be only marginally altered relative to height in considering the demands of the sport. One of the main considerations for comparing performance in the events of Regionals is the prevalence of getting time capped in the workouts and the statistical difficulty that creates in comparing ....

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  • Client Training Program: Amanda Bunn

    Amanda Bunn has been on a simple progression with intensity in her double leg knee flexion. He coach, Matt Bryant, can see she gets a good hit to CNS from the back squat single. This is intricate and if monitored properly could be beneficial to keep in the design for a few weeks to help her build absolute strength. Once he see a drop or a halt in progress he will change the stimuli by changing the movement or intensity. Monitoring an athlete that has a higher training age like Amanda with work like this is extremely intricate and can have a great benefit if done properly. Athletes respond differently so constantly monitoring is key. A) Back Squat build to a max
    204(92.5kg) ....

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  • When is it time to Open Your own Gym - Part 1

    In the Wild Wild West that is the fitness industry, there are now countless options for how you can design your coaching career. You have the choice of selling products like supplements, you can be a the top one to one coach in your city, or you can build an online “empire” through Facebook and Instagram. However you look at it, you have options. But, for most coaches, the big fish in the pond is opening a fitness gym. It puts your name on the map, it sets roots for you, and it allows you to potentially build a juggernaut. Make no mistake, though, opening a gym is a big decision. However you want to look at that decision, for you to have success, you need to as yourself ....

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  • Client Training Program : Helen Ledwold

    OPEX HQ Head Coach Matt Connolly has been working withHelen Ledwoldfor the past 4 1/2 months. During this time she has been following her program diligently, closely tracks and record her nutrition and reaps the rewards. One of our main focuses when we began was increasing her food intake. Coming from a bodybuilding background it was necessary to change her nutritional profile to ensure she was set up for success through correct fuelling and recovery. On this evolving prescription, she's continuing to see consistent improvement across the board whilst eating MORE food and losing weight. Here she is hitting a lifetime PR back squat at 100kg/225lb at 56.2kg/123lb bodyweight after recently ....

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  • Client Training Program : Alex Hyslop

    Like a lot of people, landing too wide on the third pull has become a problem for Alex and has limited him from reaching his potential at current strength/speed. We implemented drills like scarecrow cleans and cleans w/ no jump (change of foot position) to help dial in movement and force speed under the bar. He's seeing great improvements by addressing these in a non-fatigued state. With skill days, we've found he responds better to less overall work and just taking the time to work through the elements in a given training session. Alex is coached by Head Coach Sean McGovern A) Scarecrow Clean:
    x3; rest 60-90s, x3 across - tough- force the need for speed under the bar
    110 LB/ 115.5 ....

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  • Client Training Program : Brian Foley

    As a competitive athlete in the Sport of Fitness, Brian needs the ability to move load, especially in squatting movements. His phase focused on his pull, squat and ability to move heavy loads closer to his max. The use of different stimulus in the Front and Back squat has allowed different variations for adaptations. We arranged his schedule to ensure adequate volume can be taken on as well as permitting appropriate recovery. Gymnastics based EMOM and structural work are the focus of his AM work to keep scap stability prioritized along with upper body positional strength.Throughout the day, we used easy aerobic work multiple times to permit blood flow and increasing aerobic enzymes. He ....

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  • Gary McKechnie- Master's Athlete

    The playing field for the Sport of Fitness has continued to grow from Teenage athletes as young as 14 to Men and Women sixty years of age and older. The Masters division is constantly growing and is becoming extremely competitive as experienced athletes enter different age brackets and new athletes make the commitment to competing. Every age group is there to play the game! I was having a very interesting conversation with Gary McKechnie shortly after we started to work together towards a goal of making the 2016 CrossFit Games. At OPEX we talk about the requirements of being a "real athlete" - commitment, sacrifice, hard work, pushing limits, matching recovery with work load, nutrition, ....

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  • Client Training Program : Darren Marks

    This video below is a test to see how Darren marks handles each rounds as repetitions increase. We are accomplishing multiple things here:
    Accumulating Repetitions
    Teaching the art of Pacing
    Work under Slight Fatigue Darren is coached by OPEX Remote and Onsite Coach Brian Foley. D) Every 4 min x 5-7 - each set for time:
    Hang Clean 155# x 6
    Muscle Up x 3
    Deadlift x 6
    Row 15 cal
    - add rep to each movement per set
    - film last set
    139, 147, 149, 204, 243, 307, 352 ....

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  • Coaching Teens in the Sport of Fitness

    I just got off a call with a young teen and her mother who were inquiring about a training plan that would help the young athlete reach her goal. The goal is to compete in the CrossFit Games in the 14-15 age division. Within 5 minutes of the conversation I discovered the young teen was training over 30 hours per week doing CrossFit classes, gymnastics workouts and whatever else she could muster up in the home gym. I then asked her if she could do a strict pull up…she said “maybe one, but I can kip”. I then proceeded to ask what she believed would get her to the CrossFit Games, she said training more and getting muscle ups ”. As I began to break down ....

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  • Client Training Program : Josh Morton

    Josh Morton is a Onsite Coaching Client here in Scottsdale and is coached by Head Coach Michael Bann His priorities are to get stronger and lean out. To do this we focused on gut health to help get nervous system back online and make him anabolic. Lifestyle and nutrition were the biggest priorities. Gave very specific meal plan and supplement regimen to repair hormones and gut. A) Front Squat:
    @30x1; 4-6x3; Rest 60 seconds
    65x4, 55x4, 60x4 B) Ring Row:
    Feet elevated; AMRAP x3; Rest 3:00
    10,8,8 C) Barbell Roll Out:
    50 total reps
    Done D) 20 minutes @ 80% effort:
    100 fot VC
    8 Wall walks
    5 strict pull-ups
    - record time per round, all rounds +/- 5 seconds or ....

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  • Why “If It Fits Your Macros” Doesn’t Matter

    First, please STOP eating pop tarts and pretending it’s healthy. Honestly, look at the ingredients. Are you serious?! Does that look like a healthy way to fuel your body? Excuse my rant, but the whole philosophy of “it fits your macros” is lazy. It stems from the current culture that enjoys instant gratification and doesn’t like planning, consistency and effort. The question always comes up at athlete camps or during consults with new clients. “Well ‘X’ athlete eats this and they are still performing at a high level.” My response is always, WHAT IF they actually took care of their bodies properly? Imagine the ....

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  • Client Training Program : Madi Glass

    Madi Glass is a high school Onsite Coaching Client here in Scottsdale. She is coached by Head Coach Michael Bann. Her priorities are a linear progression in basic barbell lifts with unilateral work for accessory training No multi-directional skill work yet due to not having the pre-requisite strength for connective tissue, next phase beginning June 1 is the stage in which we develop plyometric capacity. She is 14 years old, 130 pounds, deadlifts 200 pounds for 1RM, can back squat 150 pounds for 1, focus is on unilateral work to help develop multi-directional speed deceleration moving into acceleration phases of training. A) Sumo Deadlift:
    153x5 B) Romanian Deadlift:
    4-6 x3; ....

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  • How Do You Live Large?

    As Summer approaches, many people see an opportunity for rest and relaxation. Especially if you live out here in the Southwest, the summer heat can be draining and force you to take some time off. Perhaps if you're a teacher, you have a break, if you're a CrossFit athlete who didn't make the Games, it's time to switch gears and get ready for next year or perhaps set focus onto a local competition. However if you have kids or turn your breaks into vacation time, Summer's may be a little bit different. Summer's are for adventures, spending time together and getting out and exploring. Learning new things, teaching new things and making memories. How do you Live Large? ....

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  • Client Training Program : Melissa Pruett

    Melissa Pruett is an Onsite Coaching Client here in Scottsdale, coached by Head Coach Michael Bann. Her priorities are to get stronger but primarily pure aesthetics based training. We have focused an immense amount of time on repairing thyroid conditions through CNS and gut healing protocols. She's dropped a few % body fat and started rebuilding strength due to this. Now to manage CNS levels we are using a high-low type method of training 4x/week, hence the use for chains to help keep CNS intensity down but still get good training in, while also building strength to help build resiliency. A) Front Squat
    EMOM 10 Minutes w/ chains x2 @ moderate load
    115 on bar and chains on first link ....

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  • Client Training Program : Steph Smith

    Remote Coaching Client Steph Smith. Her long term goals are to qualify for Regionals. Her current Training phase is categorized as an Off Season accumulation phase for Absolute strength build. The theme here is to build absolute strength work upfront w/ percentage skill work in Olympic Weightlifting that's build confidence and efficiency. One thing to note, percentages don’t always work, be sure to only add percentages if you have seen them function in that intensity. Another way to ensure they are not working too hard in skill work is to list wts or note "lights loads"only to practice technique. As coaches, our role is to educate the athlete on the purpose of the session. Why ....

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  • Client Training Program : Gunnar Shipley

    Gunnar came on board in the beginning of 2016. His strength numbers were very good, but gymnastics and work capacity were a concern. At 245 lbs, we agreed that leaning out would come a long way with his development. Here he is 20 lbs lighter. He’s feeling way better in breathing pieces, gymnastics is improving, and here his hitting a Hang Squat Snatch, Squat Snatch combo @ 235 (just 10# under his original 1RM). Proof that you don’t always need to sacrifice strength for energy systems gains. Gunnar is coached by Head Coach Henry Torano A) Hang Sq Snatch, Squat Snatch:
    4-5 sets; every 2:00 *Video B) Back Squat 2/ chains:
    10X1; 2 every 0:60 X 8 sets *55% on the bar + chains ....

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  • The Magic Formula for Fitness Businesses

    We have the privilege of working with thousands of fitness businesses. Not only do we see highly successful gyms, we also see startups, failing, and everything in between gyms. What it allows us to do is to capture quite a lot of data about the principles of what is working and what isn’t. The formula isn’t complicated: Clients gained per month – clients lost per month At this point you’re likely saying “Ya Jim, of course that is the formula, this isn’t anything new.” But, let me tell you what I see EVERY DAY…coaches and gym owners are doing 4 things that are completely counter active to success:
    They are NOT tracking their ....

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  • Client Training Program : Vasco Casaca

    Vasco is currently in an intensification phase ahead of an upcoming partner-based fitness competition. Since starting together we've been focusing a lot on increasing his aerobic capacity through paced cyclical, and mixed modality pieces alongside developing his strength-speed and absolute strength concurrently. As we draw closer to competition we are integrating more sport-specific barbell skill work, such as cycling the barbell in the most efficient way possible as seen in the video below. Through video analysis we're able to dissect and analyse his performance, providing cues and corrections where necessary. Vasco is coached by Head Coach Matt Connolly. A) Barbell Cycling:
    Practice ....

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  • Success Through the Eyes of a Coach

    The coach must be placed back in priority within fitness. More and more it is ONLY communication between the “establishment” and the consumer where the coach is nowhere to be found. The marketing ploys of the establishment are based on economics and efficiency…think “what is hot now.” The coach does KNOW that marketing can get them clients, but they can’t capitalize like the larger companies can. They are set up for failure which makes them feel like they are handcuffed. Clients now come in with a perception of how they are should or want to do things, NOT a trust that the COACH knows how to help them. If the coach creates a challenge for that client to ....

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  • The Journey is The Reward

    By now, the emergence of fitness as a sport is not new to us. We’ve seen it grow exponentially from workouts in a dusty ranch to open workouts, regionals, and a grand multi day event across several stages in a sport complex. Not to mention the emergence of gyms pretty much everywhere, merchandise, and million dollar endorsement deals. More recently, in the last 2-3 years, there’s also been growing interest in age group competition within the sport. In 2015, multiple teen divisions were added to the existing masters divisions. This would seem to be what will gather the most attention in years to come, as it has in endurance sports. It’s understandable, as it provides a ....

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  • Client Training Program : Elcanah Senouvor

    El is a strong individual who likes to Power Clean And Power Snatch. Throughout his years of sports and training Power was the go to movement. We have been working different variations to get him comfortable with pulling under the bar into full squats to allow him to move big weight. The base of strength is there so now we focus on mechanics and exposure to repetitions. He is coached by Head Coach Brian Foley. Warmup:
    A1. 3 x Romanian Deadlift A2. 3 x Snatch High Pull A3. 3 x Muscle Snatch A4. 3x Tempo Overhead Squat @ 23x1 A5. 3 x Snatch Balance A6. 3 x Power Snatch to OHS ( hold PSn receiving position each time, each rep little deeper) A7. 3 x Snatch Pull Under A8. 3x Hang (Squat) ....

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  • Client Training Program : Gino Bua

    Gino Bua has been diligently working on a lot of accessory lifts throughout this off-season for him in order to create unilateral stability. One of the main aspects of the training for him as well has been creating strength endurance in movement to create ease with training in CrossFit, as he is naturally explosive and neuromuscularly efficient. In the past, he hasn't been able to complete or sometimes even enter a season due to injury, but he's now able to compete in the sport. Gino is coached by Head Coach James Taylor. AM
    A) Segmented Snatch Grip Deadlift- 3 Pauses:
    3 Pauses- just off ground, just below knee, and at power position- control eccentric to floor; 5,4,3; rest3 min

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  • Readiness For Sport

    Readiness has been an area of investigation and research for some time. The ability for someone to recover faster than another for the same work is fascinating. WHY do some recover faster? -Some athletes have a food misalignment, which causes an increase in recovery time. -Some athletes have an emotional night and poor sleep and recover poorly. -Some athletes do too much recovery work – which overrides their CNS and causes undue fatigue – which hampers recovery. Being ready would indicate that all things are a go
    . GO
    meaning the ability to put into the training session what is required such that something is learned every session. Some athletes can “train just to ....

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  • Client Training Program : David Bozak

    Remote Coaching Client David Bozak completing a new battery squat test created by Head Coach Matt Springer. It mirrors Open workout 16.2. If you combine this training session with David’s essence, it’s an excellent example of someone on the far end of the Low NME. Look at his squat prescription, then look at his “max” of 275lbs at the end of the squat ladder. What coaches can take away from this is an example of someone who does well with high volume at classically high intensity. A) Knee Gapping:
    120 second each side
    I didn't find any knots in my quad tendon. So not sure if this helped, but certainly didn't hurt. B) Back Squat:
    @30X1; 4x2.2.2- load from 80% set ....

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  • Teens in CrossFit

    Developing a younger CrossFit Athlete to a high level first requires the athlete to possess a strong passion for the sport. Desire and perseverance will play one of the greatest roles taking young talent to Games. What a CrossFit athlete needs to understand is the “Long Game” in training and development and that there isn’t any short cuts. The most important thing a parent can do for their CrossFit athlete is to find great coaching. This means finding a coach who can lay out a plan that follows important developmental principles and also prepares the child for what is required in the sport. For more on Teens in CrossFit, check out another piece on Teens in ....

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  • Can a Coach Train and Be an Athlete?

    Can coaches train others and be an athlete themselves? Yes, but it’s not easy and the harsh truth is you may not be great. The people who try to make this balance work become “ jack of all trades, master of none. ” Coaches must strive to figure out what is more of a priority. If both weigh equally the next step is finding balance. If a coach wants to be an athlete, they will be a great athlete and a good coach. If a coach wants to be a great coach, they will become a good athlete. But what does good mean? What does great mean? This is up to the coach. I define a great coach as someone who puts their clients before anything. All of the coach’s time and ....

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  • Client Training Program : Anna Ketola

    Nutrition and recovery are magical and often overlooked components of training. By introduced more calories and more carbs into Anna's diet, she is feeling stronger and recovering better. One tell that she is feeling better is how she truly committed to the lift. Not staying in the lift is an indicator for some athletes they might be tired. When little tells are sighted we have to investigate the cause. In Anna’s case, nutrition is increasing her ability to perform in the gym. Here is Annawith asnatch grip behind the neck split jerk 1rm - 195# PR. Anna is coached by Head Coach Matt Bryant. ....

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  • Client Training Program : Jordy van den Broek

    Jordy is 21, and his goals are to be competitive within fitness. Here he is hitting a PR clean 123kg/270# + 2 Front Squats during a qualifier workout for the Beach Throwdown in Holland. This represents a huge benchmark in Jordy's progression as when we started working together he had significant issues with lower back pain and maintaining good posture under load. Over the past months we've spent alot of time on positional and segmented work at controlled tempos and with pauses. We've also been increasing his absolute strength and confidence under the bar and an increased focus on improving movement quality. his previous PR 6 weeks ago was 115kg. Long term his goals are to compete at a ....

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  • Spirit and Mind Through Body

    Our bodies are temples and, as humans, we are not taking care of them. I am not sure when I first realized my feeling of anguish when I would see anyone showing any disrespect to their bodies. Maybe I was biased by words from Bruce Lee. I would read his training manuals and, almost like propaganda, yell out "that's right!" as I read a passage...looking around to realize nobody else was around. Maybe it was that I lost my identity in athletics at a young age. Maybe I thought that I was the “shit,” the popular kid, the one who got it all. I didn't "wake up until I had a bad injury that proved that I was just a number. A lot of things have lead me to hunt for that which causes ....

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  • Client Training Program : Bryce Becker

    BryceBecker is the owner of CrossFit Innerdrive in Austin, MN and coached by Head Coach Matt Springer. Matt has been managing Bryce pre-existing knee pain for the past several months.In that interim the programming has been focused on bending and upper body work. You can see it's paid off! In this 15-12-9 Power Clean and Burpee piece, we like to see sub-2:45 for competitive males and Bryce hits the mark beautifully. We plan on havingBrycedo this again, with 12 minutes of rest, then repeating another set of 15-12-9. You can think of today as a mental base-line in whichBrycecan't escape. He 'knows' he can do it and will 'have' to do it again when I ask for him to double the work next ....

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  • Client Training Program : Dan Heaney

    This is Dan Heaney from Rhode Island, coached by Head Coach Henry Torano. His program prioritizes upper body strength, gymnastics density, and posterior chain recruitment in his squatting patterns. One day of his training looks like this: May 30- AM
    55:00 Bike @ Z1 off every 5:00 for 2 MU's May 30- PM
    2 High Hang Sq. Snatch, DROP, Sq Snatch 6 Sets every 0:90; @ moderate/tough weights, no misses B.
    Box Squat 4-6 X 4; 2:30 *good improvement here, keep focusing on turning on those glutes C1.
    WEIGHTED Flat Surface Dips 20X2; 5-5-3-3; 0:90 * use jerk blocks C2.
    Mixed Grip Pendaly Rows 31X1; 6-8 X 4; 0:90 D.
    7 Sets: 3 Strict HSPU 6 DL @ 185 9 Cal Bike @ easy/moderate pace 0:60 ....

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  • One Coach, One Client, One Program

    One Coach. One Client. One Program. Take a look at what changing words can do. Constantly Varied —> Personalized and Progressive High Intensity —> Applied Functional Effort Functional Movements —> Functional Work A program that focuses on personalized, progressive, functional work is a winner. It’s not that hard, you just have to write it down. When you experience it, it makes even more sense. AND it actually has been happening for a LONG time with success. Success means constant improvement in some ways towards the long term goals. This is a win-win for everyone. The coach wins as their client improves. The client wins by progressing in health or ....

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  • Regionals Week 3 Recap

    The last and final weekend has come and gone. Simply stated, the athletes who completed the tasks better than others over the past 3 weekends are moving onto the CrossFit Games in Carson, CA in July. Side note - I don't want to take anything away from the other Regionals but, wow, did it seem like the Meridian Regional's fans and athletes were having a great time. Examples of that excitement were:
    A large percentage of people remained after the last heat to see the announcement of the finalists heading to Carson
    Countless times, final reps were counted out loud by the crowd, almost willing the athlete on and encouraging them to finish
    On Youtube from my vantage point, it seemed all ....

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  • Client Training Program: Gino Goossens

    Gino  Goossens is a 39 year young male competitive in the sport of Fitness. Hit a 1k Row PR by 8 seconds since last tested in January 2016 Currently, his training is peaking him for the Lowlands Throwdown 2016 competition in Holland. Following the competition we will deload then prepare him for the 2017 CrossFit Open Master's Division. He is coached by Head Coach Matt Connolly
    Friday May 6, 2016
    A) Hang Power Clean:
    1,1,1,1; Rest 3:00 80/90/95/100(f) B) Close Grip Bench Press:
    Build to a tough set of 5 in a 10:00 window 105 (PR) C) Row: 
    1K for time 3:16 (PR) ....

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  • Client Training Program- Max Diaz

    Max Diaz working on his front squats with chains. His program has a focus on balanced fitness while maintaining the CNS fresh. These squats are a great way to create a good stimulus with low nervous system impact. He is coached by Head Coach Henry Torano
    A) Hang Muscle Clean :
    2-3 X 3 sets; 0:90 rest Very light, 95-115
    *esto lo voy a dejar, debe ser parte de tu warmup pa cleans siempre
    115 B) Hang Power Clean, Power Clean, Hang Sq Clean:
    5 sets; 0-10 btwn 1's, 2:00 after set
    *175-195 focus on straight arms
    VIDEO 174/185/195 C) CHAINED Front Squat:
    10X1; 3 X 12 sets @ 40% on the bar + chains ; OTM
    *VIDEO, I want to see how your posture is affected by the accomodated resistance

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  • Scaling for Conditioning

    How do you make things do-able for folks in fitness who don’t have the requirements to actually do the work? Do you make them do simpler versions of the movement and task? Possibly. What happens if that task over time with a drop in power in the training is too much of that person? Do you scale it more in the workout? And what happens if this fatigue continues over and over? What happens when someone LEARNS how to overcome fatigue? Admirable right? Maybe. Maybe then overcoming fatigue is done with improper patterning of muscle control and motor patterns. Humans are smart. They develop “ways” of doing things to: – impress someone – adapt and overcome ....

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  • CrossFit Regionals- Week 2

    Photo: CrossFit Games Media Two-thirds of the way through Regionals. The over-rising thoughts in my head are some questions on whether athletes:
    take it seriously?
    act like they take it seriously?
    are afraid of telling anyone they take it seriously? It is not a right or wrong. Everyone will be fulfilled in various ways.
    The events themselves may be a time for athletes to hang out with others.
    It might be a chance to see new faces.
    It might be a chance for someone to feel like they have validated who they are by just being there.
    For others, it is a rough weekend full of despair, sorrow but possibly future growth.
    And for some, it is complete enlightenment. This then raises the ....

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  • Client Training Program: Michele Eckert

    Michele Eckert (75 years old) - Has not been able to golf due to knee issues. - Now is golfing again, driving the ball 180 yards in the air. Furthest she's ever driven in her life. - Was told she needs bilateral knee replacement, but no longer has issues with knees after training with me for 3 months. - She can hit the ball straight and consistent now that she developed single leg stability. She is coached by Head Coach Michael Bann
    A) Reverse Lunges:
    6-8/leg x4; Rest as needed Needs to stay more vertical, but able to do without using hands to push off knees B) Walking Lunges;
    25 meters @ bodyweight; rest as needed x3 Huge improvements in single leg strength, can complete the ....

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  • Energy Systems Training

    Energy System Training is a training methodology by which people do various levels of work to try to increase overall ability to complete work. It has proven to be effective in building people's ability to continue to output power over longer durations of time via repeatable intervals. For years, OPEX has investigated the actual dose response of  Energy  System Training.  We pride ourselves in this research.  Understanding what is actually happening physiologically as a result of Energy System Training is key to proper training.  Otherwise, it’s guesswork. Keys To Energy System Training: - Repeatable efforts creates validity of it’s effect - this doesn't mean that you are always ....

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  • Client Training Spotlight- Daniela Cardona

    [fullwidth background_color="#ffffff" background_image="" background_parallax="none" enable_mobile="no" parallax_speed="0.3" background_repeat="no-repeat" background_position="left top" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_webm="" video_mp4="" video_ogv="" video_preview_image="" overlay_color="" overlay_opacity="0.5" video_mute="yes" video_loop="yes" fade="no" border_size="0px" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="20" padding_bottom="20" padding_left="" padding_right="" hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" hide_on_mobile="no" menu_anchor="" class="" id=""][fusion_text] TNG Barbell work is specific for the Sport of Fitness For Teen Athlete Daniela Cardona ....

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  • Client Training Program: Ryan Johnson

    Ryan Johnson is a personal trainer and CrossFit coach in Barbados. At 31 years old, he works at two different jobs and has a very busyschedule. However, he always finds time to take his training seriously to reach his goals. He came to OPEX to find a new program that would speak to his needs as an athlete to get both stronger and as a personal goal to develop aerobic capacity. Understanding that coaches need a coach, he wanted to start the journey of developing fitness specifically tailored to his needs. He's been training CrossFit for the last couple years, and weight training hard for the 5 years prior. Strength gains have always been easy, but has struggled to grow on the aerobic ....

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  • Game Day Eating- Regionals vs. Open

    When comparing the Open to Regional competitions and appropriate fueling for either, it’s important to first consider a few things. 1
    The Opens are different than the Regionals in a few ways, and these must be taken into account for fueling

    Open events are performed in your gym, maybe alone, or with a few people around you, but they are on your time. The Regionals are based on someone else’s clock, somewhere outside of your home gym, at a time you don’t decide, against other people who want to beat you, with LOTS of people watching who you DON’T know.  This creates a different stressor. The stressor may be perceived differently for different folks, but it is ....

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  • Client Training Program: Matt Nunez

    Matt  Nunez , who has been on a journey to  create aerobic capacity with better movement and training volume. In the video, he shows a relaxed nature about doing these movements which are easy to do too fast and with too much effort in order to sustain output. He is coached by Head Coach James Taylor.
    Making thrusters and rowing aerobic A)Front Squat:
    @42x1; 2-3x5; rest 3:30 175#, 195#, 215#, 220#, 230# x 2reps B1) Lunge Squat :
    wtd w/BB @30x1; 6-9x3; rest 2 min b/t legs L: 135#, 145#,160# R: 135#, 150#, 160# B2) Bent Over DB Row:
    @32x0; 7-10x3; rest 1 min b/t legs L:50#, 55#, 60# R: 50#, 55#, 60# C) Mixed MAP7:
    10 min @85%: 15 cal row 10 hasp 5 SC 145# 3+15 cal D) row ....

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  • CrossFit Regionals- Week 1 Review

    Weekend ONE Down Viewing Pleasure:
    Well - that was quite a Sunday for sports fan. You could feel the excitement through the online stream, of this past weekends CrossFit regional events. My heart rate was at 140-150 at various times - and I was not moving. #HRmonitoringIsUseless From my vantage point, it looked like things went down pretty good for most. I was flicking between... - watching our only Canadian NBA team move onto the western conference finals - #goraptors - what seemed liked 8 EPL games on (they are even on the ScyFy Channel and Bravo??) - an online feed of Giro d’Italia - a Latn speaking TV station covering the Spanish Grand Prix (an 18 year old won this one - ....

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  • Client Training Program: Derrick Jordan

    This is Derrick's main part of his session today. Derrick is a very strong individual who is interested in training for CF. Here he is doing some paused back squats with a strict focus on the tempo indicated. The goal of this work is to improve upon his movement pattern of squatting just to parallel, which in my opinion had been created by years of squatting as heavy as possible without maximum depth possible. Derrick is coached by Head Coach James Taylor
    Training for the Day: ....

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  • Client Training Program: Travis Schilesser

    At this point in the year we need to give Travis Schliesser creative pieces to build volume while limiting intensity. It's the best way he'll be able to sustain contractions throughout the week, without burning out early in the year. Without the notes of this session qualifying the intensity, the DOSE-RESPONSE can absolutely be different. Travis went on to the next piece in the session to heavy snatch complexes. Travis is coached by Head Coach Matt Springer.
    *Notice how EASY and comfortable Travis Schliesser is making the transition to keep intensity down WHILE building volume. This is the intended DOSE response of the session ....

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  • Client Training Program: Tyler Tosunian

    - lowered volume after the opens - accumulating aerobic and strength work together has given him the ability to recover from the open and feel fresh. - Tyler went from 108 2015 to 36 in 2016 and is training for 2017 opens I have worked with him for almost 2years it's great to see athletes in the Opex camp weekend. Looking forward to a great year of smart training. He is coached by Head Coach Matt Bryant.
    *Tyler Tosunian at the OPEX Athlete Camp in Anaheim, CA.  Power Clean Max @ 335# for a 20# PR ....

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  • Client Training Program: Joe Murphy

    Just a regular day of training for Remote Coaching Client Joe Murphy. He continues to address upper body pushing and pulling with strength components on the front end, and muscle endurance gymnastics in the back end. Here he is stringing C2B in a low fatigue setting. He is coached by Head Coach Henry Torano.

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  • Nutrition Implementation - A Coaches Perspective

    We honor the coach-client process a lot! Our belief is that every person grows in fitness in their own way, at their own speed, and for their own reasons. Nutrition is one of those key component in achieving fitness goals. As a coach, our personal beliefs cannot get in the way of what the client NEEDS for guidance and direction. What comes in a nutritional prescription is an authentic starting point.  It shows: - where they currently are - what resources they have to work with - the plan of attack for the first steps - discovering the end goal The pressure on looking good naked is slowly and surely making its way back into mass media on a hard level. the same approach used years ago ....

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  • Client Training Program: Carter Eckert

    Carter is 74 years old and had a hip surgery 2 years ago.  For 2 years he was in pain, unable to golf.  Sought out multiple TPI physical therapists and strength coaches but never was able to golf pain free.  Referred to me from another coach who was unable to evaluate and assess his pain and movement.  He could only deadlift a 53# KB for one rep when I got him, and he felt discomfort in that.  Six months later , he can deadlift 190 pounds for 4 reps, golfs 3+ full rounds per week pain free, drives the ball 30 yards further, improved his swing mechanics, and spends a lot of time on the range now at Desert Mountain. He is coached by Head Coach Michael Bann.

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  • Changing the Way Fitness is Done

    Years back anyone could get into fitness. You just put a sign on your door and people would flock to it. You didn’t need to know why or what you were doing because the clients really didn’t know either. But then time ticks by and questions start getting asked… “How is that business of yours?” “Business you say? What business?” And time continues to go on…2-3 years pass and more questions come… “How is your client retention?” “Retention rates? Should we measure that?” Time slips by some more…Months and months pass. Each month you get new questions… “What is your lifecycle for your client and coaches? Do you have trainers or coaches? Are they full or part time? “Lifecycle?” “Coaches? ....

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  • Attacking the Assault Bike

    Brian Foley- OPEX Remote Coach How Hard Should I Go on the Assault Bike? Matt Springer- OPEX Remote Coach How Should I Pace on the Assault Bike? ....

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  • OPEX Model of Fitness

    16 Clients- 2 Coaches- 90 Minutes. The proliferation of fitness to the masses came at the same time as the advent of the internet. Everyone and their kid was in the game to be out ahead of all others in that messaging. At the same time I was picking up what was being thrown out there. Interested in all it had to offer. At some point in time though what I was doing, which was individualized design for each client, was being questioned. There was a “new way” to scale it. Since 1999 I have been providing a detailed program per client. Why?
    It just works for me.  It works for the coach.  It works for a business. At some point, this model was vilified.  Propaganda was creating a new ....

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  • 3 Keys to EARNING a “Place at the Table"

    Overnight Success in Business? 

    It is an interesting time in the world. We have information spewing itself at us from all angles, every minute of the day. Internet and TV constantly boast “overnight success” stories in business. It would seem that an idea is all that it takes to make millions. That couldn’t be more wrong. Now, it is important to know that I am not only discussing overnight success in the context of massive Silicon Valley tech companies boasting hundreds of millions, or billions of dollars in company valuation. I am discussing how ANY company can increase their growth and valuation to become their OWN “overnight success.” The 3 keys to setting your business up ....

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  • Is a Cleanse Right For You?

    For every high there is a low.  We cannot understand happiness without sadness and we cannot see the brilliance of light without the solace of dark. There are always lows mixed with highs in fitness. “Highs” could mean Personal Records (PR’s) and competition-like settings that are filled with energy and emotion. “Lows” can mean recovery days, weekends away from competition, or unfulfilling training sessions that lack energy or excitement. For a lot of people it is THAT time of year in their fitness…the low time.  It’s a time to lick their wounds and come out of the den to begin planting new seeds for growth on their fitness journey.  The ABILITY to come back strong depends on a few ....

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  • CCP Level 1:Program Design- July 16-18, 2016- Monrovia, CA

     Sat. July 16- Mon. July 18, 2016 Location:
    Team CrossFit Academy   205 West Duarte Road, Monrovia, CA 91016 Schedule: 
    8AM to 5PM Cost:
     $2,150 Payment Options:
    Program Design BUNDLE and SAVE!
    The Complete OPEX CCP Level 1 Bundle - Save up to  $1,000
     by buying the OPEX CCP Level 1 Bundle! Ask for more information! *I have read the  terms and agreement , and  privacy policy . Accomodations:
    Click here for a list of hotels, restaurants and grocery stores in the area Upon completion of the weekend Theory and Exam each coach will have the ability to:

    Design effective programs based on clients needs and goals
    Understand energy systems and how ....

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  • Start 'Em Young

    Ever since listening to Istvan Balyi in person at a conference in Banff in 2000, sport and movement development for kids into adults and executives and professionals has always interested me. This next upcoming week with Level 2 Program Design upon us here in AZ, an area we are touching on this specialization and general preparation. The topic on general preparation versus specialization has always been a hot one - burned out tennis players at 13, overuse injuries in volleyball males at 14, 50% ACL injuries on field in soccer at 16 years of age for females, etc…etc… My story reflected a passion for various sports due to the CHANCE of exposure. Where I was from the talent was low, but the ....

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  • OPT-In Episode 50: Sneak Peak

    OPT-In is a video series conducted by James Fitzgerald and Michael Pilhofer of MSP Fitness. This is an exclusive sneak peak at Episode 50 which took place during OPEX's 2 day Coaching Camp. All of our coaches- both Global and On-Site- came together to discuss coaching, athletes, community, programming and more. Michael was lucky enough to get a quick hour with the group, enjoy a quick clip from the conversation. In order to see the whole video and all other OPT-In episodes, please subscribe to be a member by contacting! ....

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  • Spartan Race- Gym Training

    The concept of Spartan Race® has certainly upgraded the idea behind running. But at the base of the entire event is still just that - RUNNING. I had a love for running in general. It was the base characteristic of a lot of sports that I played growing up. Cross-country running, soccer, and basketball are well known for having large running distances covered when you play them. When I was removed from the university setting and moved out west, I fell in love with sprinting and running as my coaches and I competed in the Toughest Calgarian Alive competition. The events in one day were; • 5K run for time • Shot put for distance • 100m swim sprint for time • 25 ft. legless rope climb for ....

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  • The Facts of Open Workout 16.1

    First things first:
    OPEX asked CrossFit® if it was ok to use smaller kilo plates instead of rubber plates…we were told that we could in fact use them.
    Cheating is a harsh word. When my coaches, staff, athletes, and friends are singled out by The CrossFit® Games and Dave Castro for having cheated when you did NOTHING OF THE SORT that word gets very harsh very quickly. Cheating implies malicious intent. OPEX athletes have to post their videos publicly. We are not hiding that we used them because we were told that we could. Let me be very clear with this message.  I am not writing this blog post to start a fight with CrossFit®. I am writing this because when CrossFit® entities and ....

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  • The Next 32 Days

    The CrossFit OPENS are here again. It seems like a few months ago we were all making the statements - “THIS will be the year of training...” Only to see those months FLY BY so quickly that we woke up and it was January 1st, 2016. It was only 8 weeks away from the OPENS. 8 weeks????? And now it’s upon us. More recently, OPEX Global has been spending time creating probability and prediction equations on success in the CrossFit OPENS. This allows us to stand behind our ideas on the “X Factor” for: • What it takes • How you will ACTUALLY do based on the training and adaption • What testing are insights into seeing this? • What the characteristics are that determine who does “succeed” and ....

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  • Just Breathe

    James Fitzgerald takes a look at OPEX athletes getting ready for the OPEN and the CrossFit season. Mainly looking at breathing patterns in different types of training. ....

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  • Training vs. Testing

    It is now well known that when anyone who hasn't exercised in a long period of time (or ever) does anything that their fitness will improve simply by having done anything. But, what this does not mean is that this anything is the answer for everyone's fitness goals. Since the early 2000’s CrossFit has been a juggernaut method of thinking about how to exercise. It has brought more to the fitness industry than what was created in the 50 years prior. Sure it has created much controversy, but in the same token, it has provided massive growth in our understanding of what “work” REALLY is. Historically work was always connected to running, track, and bike sprints. When CrossFit proposed work ....

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  • Hire Attitude, Train Skills

    So you want to hire a coach for your gym? First I’d like to ask you this - what is your vision of a coach? What do they mean to you? What is their over-arching purpose? Where does the coach sit in the business model you have created? We have thousands of coaches that have been inside the OPEX CCP education. With every course I teach comes new coaches with different challenges, stories, dreams, and aspirations. Over time, as we develop the fitness world and it’s service to something MORE than ourselves around us, we have to duplicate to continue moving our system forward. This duplication requires a loss of oneself in some ways (very hard for ego driven folks as opposed to business driven ....

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  • Hot Athlete Nutrition

    HOT = Higher Order Thinking
    Athletic = Skilled Action of Purposeful Physical Expression
    Nutrition = Food is Fuel, Food is Recovery
    Thinking requires planning. Planning requires thought. Thought requires knowledge. If you don’t have the knowledge, keep reading and keep experimenting and searching, then search and practice some more, you’ll get there. ....

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  • It All Starts With The Coach

    Orange Theory, Zumba, Barre Method, Shockwave, Crossfit, - and other options of group fitness have a method. Actually it’s now ALL about the method. What has been Lost is the importance placed on education and the coach. The coach has lost his/her way. We have been replaced by TV’s on ellipticals, apps on smartphones, insta-celebrities, hobbyists, & athletes. The respect and notoriety has been lost. What once was a respected trade is replaced by a twopage section in a diet book or magazine by a movie star or someone with nice hair. They don’t know a thing about fitness coaching, about the art of proper exercise design along with behavior change along with digestion and ....

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  • Learning Never Stops

    Congratulations to our newest friends of the OPEX coaching family - YMCA Canada
    and Scott, Katie, Vincenzo, Nat, Flash, Jacquie, Earl and G. Things in life come full circle. The YMCA in Canada was once a starting point for me. A place that was known for great coaching opportunities and great inside education for their trainers and fitness leaders at the time. My experiences at the YMCA Calgary and the clients I met there have been directly correlated with my growth and continued knowledge. I have held onto some of those relationships because the coach client relationship never really ends. Something is yearning inside of me to help those YMCA trainers create experiences for their ....

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  • Free Supplements!

    sup·ple·ment noun 's?pl?m?nt/ Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it. Walking lunges are supplementation for lower body muscle endurance. Books are supplementation for humans looking to improve mental capacity and creativity. Vitamins, herbs, minerals are supplementation to food for humans for changes required in health and fitness. Over the past 20 years I have discussed food supplementation less and less in our CCP Nutrition Course. The course itself is designed to teach fitness coaches the basics on food consultations for their clients. ....

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  • What Happened to Functional Fitness?

    I once taught a group of fitness instructors for 4 hours on spinal stability in functional fitness. It was 2001, a cold Calgary night in the Talisman Centre. All i had in my "show" was a swiss ball, a mat, and a blood pressure cuff. Just 3 years earlier I was spit out of a kinesiology degree knowing everything, or so I thought, about the strength and conditioning game. Then I was punched in the face with reality of working with REAL people! I began my search that day. What I found on that search were healers, doctors, coaches, and experts in their respective fields. And, do you know what I did? I listened and followed every one of them. I ended up doing a LOT of coach to coach and coach ....

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  • On-Site at OPEX Fitness

    The Product
    The onsite model here at OPEX is nothing new to us. We meet someone where they are, physically & mentally. We assess movement and design a custom tailored program. They, in turn, work out consistently and with purpose. It is the middle ground between personal training and group fitness, which both have things to offer but also have their own limitations. First, personal training or group classes are not for everyone and folks more often than not get that wrong. Reasoning often stems from it being the ONLY, the most POPULAR, or the cheapest option. However, this does not necessarily create a successful product if it doesn't align with the client's goals and ....

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  • End of 2015 OPT-In

    "James' 2015 Year End Reflection "
    Here we are again. The end of a wonderful year of exploration, learning, training, coaching, and more. Join me as we listen to James reflect from the perspective as a Father and Husband, Athlete, Coach, and Businessman. There are some wonderful insights, as James is very open and forthcoming in this conversation. We hope you enjoy this episode, and from myself, James, and everyone at OPEX, have a safe and Happy Holidays with family and friends. JF / MSP ....

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  • End of 2015 Wrap-Up

    Time It's such precious thing. It seemed like just a short while ago I was riding home from the hospital with my first daughter, Hannah. It was day 1 of her life, but it was day 12,227 of mine. Today, it is slightly short of Day 15,300 for me. I usually finish letters, notes, mail, etc...with “onward, upward” which is a statement that allows me to keep stay focused on what CAN be. It's another reminder to keep moving every day. A word to describe the past year, or 365 days, for me and OPEX, is “forward.” Why? Since 1999, OPEX has been climbing a mountain. That mountain is a large, long one. Later in 2014, we tackled that mountain head on, and early into 2015 we finally saw over the ....

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  • Why Are Walking Lunges So Hard?

    How many times have we said that? But, back in the day when I first began exercising, lunges were so simple and inconspicuous. What we have to remember is that when the flavor changes on lunges, so does the DOSE RESPONSE. Doing 400m of walking lunges for time is completely different than 5 rounds for time of 30 double unders (DU's), 20 walking lunges and 15 Kettlebell Swings (KBS), which is completely different than 3 sets with 90 sec rest in between of 20 walking lunges at a tempo. How “hard” one finds lunges is largely based on body mechanics, experience and current ability level. (As a tangent - I’ll never forget my LAST competitive 400m walking lunges workout. I kneeled ....

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  • 2015 Winter Classic Recap

    ?The 2015 installment of the OPEX Winter Classic saw tremendous turn-out in participation.  Nearly 500 competitors from across the globe tied the laces up and went 60 minutes to see how their fitness looked ahead of the holidays. Bobby Noyce and Nina Arezina, a pair of North Central athletes, earned male and female first place honors, respectively. Events one and two were arguably measures of technical efficiency and grip endurance. The OPEX coaching staff saw the best scores from event one facilitated by:
    1) receiving the catch with a slight bend in the knees
    2) re-griping the bar at the top of most repetitions vs stopping at the hips/knees
    3) breathing relaxed throughout ....

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  • How "Should" One Move?

    WHO decides what movements should actually be? fitness, or in life? In large part, the decisions on movement and how individuals “should” move were never really thought out. Over the past 20 years the fitness movement has jumped leaps and bounds in its investigation into movement. Movement preparation. Movement analysis. Movement screening. The growth has come from minds in exercise, health and fitness professionals who took some time to REALLY think about what “should” and “should not” be movements contained within the education of physical culture. ....

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  • Improve Your Back Squat by #25!

    OPEX Owner and Coach James Fitzgerald, discusses the ways to add more weight to your backsquat. With proper and smart programming, this is achievable over time. Check out the full video below! ....

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  • Winter Classic - December 16, 2015

    REQUIRED TO BE UNBROKEN* Winter Classic Date Reminder: December 19th, 2015
    **ALL SCORES DUE BY 10pm EST on the SAME DAY, Sat. December 19th, 2015!**
    Please go  HERE to go to the OPEX/RealFit Score Leaderboard.
    Event 1
    From 0:00-20:00 on the clock Death by unbroken power snatches 115/85lbs 1. All repetitions must be unbroken to perform the next round 2. No resting barbell on the floor; unlimited barbell rest overhead or at hips 3. If you make the round of 15 (14:00 on the clock) that round becomes a 60-second AMRAP as a tiebreaker, unbroken still required 4. ....

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  • New Year, New You?

    As 2015 comes to a close, many people are already looking forward to the New Year, and for some this is a time of great excitement.  The New Year is often marketed as a time for new beginnings as if people have some kind of reset button they can press and all their health indiscretions of the past year can be wiped clean.  Given this reset button mentality, you’ll also find people who use this an opportune time to blow out the year in style and they’ll do everything in their power to consume every Christmas cookie, candy and cocktail before the dreaded reset button is pushed.   The reset at the start of the New Year is such a novel concept and I would love nothing more than to buy into ....

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  • Prioritize Your Coaching

    SCOPE An OPEX coach shall; - Offer effective prescriptions and guidance in fitness - Continue to learn about human fitness and health - Exercise and practice all areas of fitness - Be consistent, competent and care for clients ....

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  • Less Time, Greater Impact

    READ ON if you are interested in making an impact somehow. 5 minute read. (If not, see you next time) TIME You have 24 hours in a day; besides sleeping, HOW do you spend the rest of the time - physically, emotionally and mentally? This is one of the SEVEN questions we instruct OPEX coaches to ask in each consult. When you or anyone is answering this question, we ensure that we don’t just “flow” through this without NOTICING what is happening with each and every moment. Have you ever sat down with someone outside of a consult and asked this question and REALLY dug into it with them on their answers? ....

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  • Men, Women and the Difference in Reaction

    Have you ever seen kids on a playground when there is a disagreement?   When my daughter and her friends would get upset with one another when they were little, there would be a lot of chatter.  The girls would get together and talk about what was going on, the injustices at hand and how it made them feel.  And this would go on for quite some time until a resolution was found and/or feelings were validated.   When my sons and their friends would get upset with one another when they were little, the reaction had a few differences.  No words would be spoken except for a few choice ones mostly in the form of insults.  The boys would either go off on their own or there would be some form ....

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  • The Demise of Personal Training

    How much do you value your body? One walk around the airport in Chicago on my way home to Labrador; or one hour spent at Walmart searching for a snow sled for my kiddos - and the assumption you’d make for most people for this answer is… not a lot . It is NOT hard to see through the media today, to read in the papers, to watch on TV, etc. that “quality" food helps one persevere, and that exercise CAN help. So, do the 40 people I saw lined up at McDonald’s in O’Hare - pilots, airport terminal workers, frequent fliers NOT see this information? Was Super Size Me not enough - I think it made millions in 2004, or maybe it was only a bunch of people like me that went, only watching the ....

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  • How To Beat The Assault Bike

    In this video we are going to cover two topics; set-up and gears. In this video, CrossFit Games top 10 finisher Amanda Goodman and I chat loosely about set up on the assaultbike. There are a lot of points to remember on the set up, the 2 main ones are; 1. posture 2. power alignment Posture
    refers to the starting position around the pelvis and the power created into the arms and thighs at this point. As you can see in the video, Amanda is an example of an individual that is not suited for some bikes based on their set up of seat and handles. This can happen. BUT, in most cases, try to ensure your pelvis is neutral and parallel to the floor when one leg is extended to the  lowest ....

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  • CCP Level 1: Nutrition- April 28-29, 2016 - Sweden

     April 28-29, 2016 Location:
      CrossFit Uppsala , (Bergsbrunnagatan 9, 753 23 Uppsala, Sweden) Schedule:
     8AM to 5PM Cost: 
     $1,000.00 *I have read the  terms and agreement , and  privacy policy . Payment Options:

    100% upon registration or 50% deposit with balance billed automatically 30 days after first payment
    Save up to $1000
    purchasing the Level 1 BUNDLE! Contact a CCP advisor to learn more: Accomodations:
    vandrarhem uppsala 10 min walk to the gym, is both a hostel, and hotel. Hotell central station 15 min walk to the gym, is both a hostel, and hotel. Grand  Hotel  hornan 15 min walk to the gym.  Classic Uppsala Hotel, slightly more expensive. ....

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  • Exposure and Experience

    Training age, biological age, and potential are some things to consider when trying to figure out just how OLD you are in training years. Why is this an important topic for YOU? Adaptation to stress, how experienced one is, and countless other areas have a significant impact on designing and implementing a physical training program for a human. I have had a number of years of experience now in the physical potential game and can "speak about” the game itself as well as try to teach coaches about this game to better understand where to MEET people where they are at, and KNOW where they need to go. A simple example of where this gets missed is the current lack of assessment in high ....

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  • OPEX Tester 15.5

    OPEX 15.5 Tester For time: 10 Unbroken CJ 135/85lb 1200m Row 10 Unbroken CJ 135/85lb 1200m Row 10 Unbroken CJ 135/85lb 1200m Row 10 Unbroken CJ 135/85lb 1200m Row 10 Unbroken CJ 135/85lb Movement Standards:

    Unlimited resting of barbell above head, on shoulders, at waist
    Must touch-and-go from the floor
    Must restart set from 0 if you do not complete 10 unbroken *Please report results to this link immediately following completion of today's tester.  ....

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  • Your Clients Don't Actually Want to Lose Weight

    What happens when you have a client who says they want to lose weight but their actions don’t line up in such a way that would produce this outcome?   How can this be?  It’s frustrating because as a coach you feel like you’ve been cut off at the knees and this has major ramifications—more on this in a bit.  Why would a client ever say they want one thing and do another?  It doesn’t make sense. So let’s start with this guiding principle:  everything makes sense when you understand the root of the behavior. In the OPEX CCP, we teach you to search out truths.  The iron never lies is a mantra heard in assessment, program design and athlete camps.  It’s from this place of truth that ....

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  • How To Communicate Your Value

    When I get the chance to sit down with our Management and Sales and Marketing team and discuss updates, strategies, goals and projects - I take it! On this day we are discussing the end game for coaches and the challenges they are presented with today. OPEX will continue to remain on top of what coaches and clients in fitness NEED, as well as what they WILL need in 5, 10 and 20 years. Since I entered into the world of fitness I have seen successful patterns over time that help someone develop communication; now being involved for over 20 years I CAN say what can or cannot work based on trends I have seen come and go and the principles within those trends. My initial communication was ....

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  • Packing The Scap

    The shoulder is something that coaches MUST think about when they are programming for their clients.  Because of the complexity of the shoulder joint and the intricacy of stabilizing the scapula, it is critical to build strength in a progressive way.  For most clients, it is NOT ideal to program them open chain movements (think dumbbell squat snatch) before they have demonstrated stability and structural strength within straight arm movements (barbell overhead hold, front leaning rest - FLR) and then building into bent arm activity (chest to bar pull up, etc.). When thinking about programming for shoulder strength, ensure that you are working in a specific progression. This way you are ....

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  • Are Online Competitions a Good Idea for You?

    Well, it depends. And timing is everything. There are some that can benefit. For others, at the right time. And, for some others, probably never a good idea. It has been a blessing to see various different groups of people have multiple options in the year of online leading into LIVE competitions. This has allowed a lowered focus on the “one time only” guessing game for everyone. It is a challenge to put all of your eggs into the 5 weeks of the OPENS and the unknown aspects of the dates, the movements, the standards, etc... I should not be the qualifier for the should you/shouldn’t you decision. But I will discuss THREE of the MOST IMPORTANT things you must consider. ....

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  • Don't Make Nutrition Sexy

    One of my coaches and I were discussing some lab test scores from a client. This client had presented with a few things that she and our medical team were working on, but we, too, were trying to figure out why she was presenting with these scores. There was balance in some areas and not in others. Elevated liver enzymes, high hematocrit and a few other areas of interest. The high hematocrit can sometimes be dehydration so I asked the coach their version of her lifestyle and eating patterns, life, etc. The whole point of it was...”why are we spending all of our time talking about these interesting scores and what to do, when it could be basics? ....

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  • Company Mission + Human Needs = Success

    Company Mission + Human Needs = Success By Jim Crowell
    “Offer the customer the best possible service, selection, quality and value.” The great retailer, Nordstrom, places this above all else. They aren’t just words, they are Nordstrom’s  ethos. “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” That is  Patagonia’s  mantra and you can feel it laced through their marketing, their clothing, and their entire company brand. These company’s missions sound noble but, at OPEX, we constantly are asked “but we need to make money now!” How can you, as a newer or struggling business, create a powerful mission ....

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  • CCP Level 1 Nutrition- January 24-25, 2016- Scottsdale,AZ

     Sun. January 24- Mon. January 25, 2016 Location: 
    OPEX 16573 N. 92nd. St. Ste. #135 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Schedule:
     8AM to 5PM Cost: 
    $1,000 Payment Options:
                     Nutrition                  Lifestyle  Coaching BUNDLE and SAVE!
    Save up to  $1,000
     by buying the OPEX CCP Level 1 Bundle! To learn more contact *I have read the  terms and agreement , and  privacy policy . Upon completion of the weekend Theory and Exam each coach will have the ability to:

    Improve client communication strategies, remote vs. face to face
    Create nutrition Intake & tracking documentation
    Implement a Three Phase template for nutrition modifications ....

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  • Human Behavior and Selling Fitness

    Have you ever struggled telling your clients your prices or selling your services?  I want to take a look at this piece through the lens of understanding behavior. Value is defined as: “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something”, and in this context you can catch a glimpse of this principle,  money is simply a means to exchange values.  You have something that I value, I give you money for it.  You take that money and use it towards something you value. As a coach it’s important to understand your own value so that you know exactly what it is that you are offering the people you work with. What exactly do you bring to the table?   ....

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  • Pushing The Limit

    At a recent fitness competition, one of our OPEX EC Global clients scored a number of reps less in her bench press when compared to her power clean. Both of these movements were done with a 2 min time cap and with the same load. In the sport of fitness, OPEX has observed that the 1RM ratio between the power clean and close grip bench press are quite indicative of structural balance in the sport. At the fitness competition, males were almost identical in their rep ratios while most females were significantly below in their bench press when compared to their power clean. The athlete we are discussing was a female with 35 reps for her power clean and 24 reps for her bench press in each of ....

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  • OPEX 15.4 Tester

    It's the time again! The end of the month is here and that can only mean one thing- yes another OPEX tester. This month we are paying tribute to Chief Petty Officer Nate Hardy who was killed February 4th, 2008 during combat operations in Iraq. He is survived by his wife Mindi and their son Parker. 'Nate' 20 minute AMRAP 2 Muscle-ups 4 Handstand push-ups 8 Kettlebell swings 32/24kg Check out OPEX's own Marcus Filly completing the challenge! To submit your scores please click the link here ! ....

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  • Hanging Bicep Curl or Pull-Up?

    At OPEX we believe in the upper pulling chain of action.  The argument around if or when humans should participate in upper pulling activities will go on forever depending on who you are speaking to. If one was to TRULY properly argue long term health and fitness, I am not entirely sure where Snatching, pull ups, heavy dead lifts, metallic fatigue actually fit “into” the picture of health and fitness. BUT,  if someone wishes to have upper pull and push balance AS WELL AS participate in CrossFit, Spartan Racing, American Ninja Warrior, rock climbing, bouldering, etc. then they MUST play with and create progression in upper pulling. In OPEX CCP, we assess upper pulling as one of the ....

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  • How to Deal With Clients Who "Need" Everything

    I think it’s safe to say that there are some clients out there who need more than others. You know them; they can’t make a decision without you: How much weight should I put on the bar? Am I doing this right? How should I be feeling right now? Where are the jump ropes? Can you help me set up my station? Should I eat this? What time should I eat that? Hey… (Insert lengthy conversation here because they just want someone to talk to). The topic of neediness fascinates me and when I come across a client who feels needy, I like to start by asking myself what is driving that neediness? First off, most people don’t even recognize that they are “needing” and secondly most coaches don’t ....

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  • Should Teens Train for The Sport of CrossFit?

    In evolutionary terms it makes sense that once some steam is gained in the popularity of the fitness testing, diversification of the product is a reality. This is how I see the proliferation of CrossFit testing across the board for masters and teens in particular. I mean why have Masters competitions? In reality it makes sense, as there is some truth in people getting older and not being able to “keep up” as hard as it is (speaking personally). From this comes variations in the competition to allow “these others” to play. As adults we have decisions and choices to make that we take full responsibility for as we reconcile more so with the understanding and development of a little thing ....

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  • VO2 Max and CrossFit

    Most recently, there was an  article published  [in the CrossFit Journal] about VO2 max, and the question of its validity and usage in CrossFit. There are many angles one can take on this. For one, CrossFit can never be studied.  As the definition of what it is and how its “done” is VERY loose in its description. And knowing that I too “play the game” as I enjoy discussion around what might be right or wrong in fitness prescription. Go anywhere in the world and CrossFit is different, bottom line.  So to say how it’s done, study it, dissect it for injuries, success, etc…is a waste of time for anyone. One can only hang their hat on what we have been doing at OPEX; using clients and ....

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  • What Does Group Fitness REALLY Mean?

    This is an “anytime” photo of OPEX HQ in Scottsdale; while I recover on the Watt Bike. We coach fitness to individuals. My version of community is a place where people come to exercise. There are 4 people out of photo. In this picture there are 2 clients getting private instruction from a coach. And 1 other coach instructing a client at rest b/t sets. I should add, out of 11 clients in here, 9 of them are serious about fitness and competition. More recently while instructing a Program Design seminar, I was asked at lunch while warming up with a coach from Ireland, “coach, when you watch, are you seeing things all the time in the movements, training, pacing, etc…” My answer was of ....

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  • When Does Fitness Make Sense For Health or For Competition?

    I have to begin this post with two definitions:  competitor and health. Competitor:
     someone who is trying to win or do better than all others especially in business or sports : someone who is competing. Health:
      the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially :
      freedom from physical disease or pain. One of the great things about fitness is that it attracts people from all walks of life into your facilities and you have the opportunity to help all of them in their fitness journey.  Arguably one of the bad things about fitness is that it is built on a foundation of competition with the games being the Holy Grail at the end of the chase.  Not that ....

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  • Indirect Assessment with James FitzGerald

    James FitzGerald talks strategy as well as indirect assessment while EC Client Laura Dickerson does a test of 15 second all out effort sprints on the new Stairmaster Air Bike. If you're interested in setting up a free consult and are ready to get started with your personal assessment and fitness plan you can fill out your information here . ....

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  • Reflecting on OPTathlon 7.0

    It has been almost EXACTLY 4 years since the original OPTathlon took place at Invictus in San Diego. When I first introduced it, it was met with just as much adversity and questioning as it was met with excitement. Watching the athletes first take part in what I believe to be one of the best fitness tests there are
    , was truly inspiring. This past weekend we held OPTathlon 7.0. A newer version. The idea behind the events are to promote an opportunity for people to participate in what OPEX believes in. BALANCED Fitness. A test that is created to test FITNESS must first be introduced by the manufacturers definition of fitness. OPEX believes fitness is a journey to unlock physical ....

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  • Searching for Answers

    Awareness can be a blessing and a curse. Once you gain knowledge (knowing more) then you ask more and the deeper it goes. I teach coaches all the time.  I am inspired by the ones that ask the questions in which they are NOT looking for the answer, but for where to go, and what to do to FIND that answer. Once individuals who are COMPETENT in fitness, take fitness SERIOUSLY and need direction, we all know classes are dead ends now for them. period.  Now what is next? Online coaching! Where has this come from? From a LACK of coaches in their area to take care of and train people who are serious about competition fitness. So how does one look for a great coach online? You can search ....

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  • 5 Major Programming Mistakes

    I have programmed thousands and thousands of workouts and programs over 20 years. I have made mistakes and know when they occurred. Some I see immediately.  Some have taken years to develop. I can speak from a view in the trenches or from a 20,000 foot overhead view also as I coach coaches day to day on how to fix these mistakes. Or in a better case, how to prepare not to make them in the first place or ever again, because of my journey in those mistakes. There are many things that go right in programming today for athlete, here are five mistakes coaches make when programming for their athletes. 1. Not Listening, Talking Too Much
    The relationship for an athlete and a ....

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  • Redefining An Era

    My first attempt at writing was a way to share with whoever cared about the ideas I had around fitness. It started in March of 2008 on a blog  HERE . It is kind of ironic I guess, but the first topics I wrote about were food
    , operational definitions of
    , awareness
    , happiness
    and  training
    . From that created a following. A following of like minded people who wanted to share as well in the ideas and workouts. The workouts prescribed were memorable. Who can forget the versions and the TRUE beginnings of “UNBROKEN”. WE
    started “get comfortable with uncomfortable”. WE
    started science based assessment and training in CrossFit. WE
    started online coaching in CrossFit. WE

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  • Optimal Strength

    I observed a non-trend in the male top-end data for OPEX Testing 15.3, which took place this last weekend. For instance, if you take all thruster 1RM scores above 255lbs (approximately a third of total submitted scores) and compare them to their thruster/pull-up times, you see NO trends in the data. This lack of trending is supported by an r-value of -0.12. In a practical sense, this means that neither the thruster 1RM nor the thruster/pull-up time-to-completion seemed to benefit one-another for top end scores. The ramifications of such knowledge supports concepts of 'optimal strength' taught in Level 2 CCP program design. If your goal is to compete in a fitness event such as the ....

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  • Be Mindful!

    Every time a client walks through the door or gets on a skype with me, I remind myself to keep two things in mind:
    Where we’ve been
    What’s here today Where We’ve Been
    Every client-coach relationship is an ongoing journey.  Over time you develop a relationship, an understanding, a knowing, a deep trust, and a story.  You learn what is important to your client, what drives them, their goals, desires, fears, successes and challenges.  This history is important and as a coach you collect and archive these relational pieces (whether you know it or not) and this helps you upgrade your prescriptions over time.   This is the big picture of who your client is and it evolves and ....

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  • Vary Your Proteins!

    Growing up, your mom probably encouraged you to eat a variety of foods—not just Mac & Cheese and chicken nuggets, or Goldfish crackers and Fruit Roll-ups—but maybe things like broccoli and carrots, chicken and pork, sweet potatoes and strawberries. In other words: Variety. As an adult, the same food philosophy is no different. Variety is necessary in order to get the biggest bang for your nutrition buck when it comes to fueling your body for performance and function—inside and outside the gym. And while you may know this in your head, it can be pretty darned easy to fall in a rut—a food rut, when it comes to the foods you choose (or don’t choose) to eat. After all, humans, by ....

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  • Aspirin: For Pain or For Your Heart?

    If you’ve ever had an injury, you know how much it sucks to be down and out from your life as usual. Be it a torn rotator cuff, a herniated disc, a muscle tear or stress fracture, you’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘Time heals all wounds’, but when training is a big part of your life, you don’t have time to sit around and wait. So what do you do? Heed to the sage old advice of your mom, or doctor, that told you: “Apply ice or heat and take an aspirin or ibuprofen to numb.” And you are NOT the only one: More than 70 million NSAID prescriptions are written each year, and 30 billion over-the-counter NSAID tablets are sold annually. Even though you know fitness wisdom, as of late, has ....

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  • Stop Teaching Bad Form!

    You’ve seen it before. A coach training a client or athlete—or several—and the trainees are struggling…big time. Ass-to-grass squats are not happening. The high-school football ‘studs’ are muscling up their power cleans are loading up far toooo many plates on their bench press barbells.  
    Backs are rounding and twisting and contorting as 1-rep max deadlifts are attempted. In other words: Bad form.
    And the coaches training them have either: a.)  Become complacent in their coaching of these particular clients (“They always squat like that”; or, “They always attempt that weight, or perform push jerks with horrific shoulder stability and barbell control”, etc.) b.)  Coached them up ....

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  • OPEX Testing Series 15.3

    Workout 3 as part of OPEX’s monthly tester workouts is upon us. Today’s workout may look oddly similar to another tester within CrossFit’s benchmarks: Fran. However, unlike Fran, a workout many of us have been conditioned
    to know what it ‘feels’ like, and consequently, how to ‘game’ it or what number to shoot for, you will begin with a strength-based EMOM, building to a heavy squat clean thruster, followed by a work capacity tester consisting of a descending couplet of thrusters and chin-ups. Remember, OPEX’s Testing series is meant to truly uncover fitness through a comprehensive assessment and approach—testing all aspects of your fitness. See below for workout details. You have ....

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  • Exclusive Coaching & Adrenal Fatigue

    Adrenal insufficiency (a.k.a. adrenal fatigue) is one of those commonly thrown-around terms within health and fitness circles, but what is it really? In short: Stress-overload. Jayci Cormier was on the verge of crashing—big time—when she reached out to OPEX for some guidance and support in her striving to keep her competitive edge in the gym alive, while trying to fight through the toll years of overtraining, poor sleep and an overly busy lifestyle had taken on her. A CrossFit coach for several years prior, as well as a student of the CCP course and follower of the former OPEX Big Dawgs blog back in 2012, Jayci knew how to help OTHERS improve their health and fitness, but was ....

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  • Boost Testosterone Naturally

    Testosterone has often been associated as the hormone that “makes a man a man.” Back in junior high, there was always at least one to two 12-year-olds who already had back and chest hair, an Adam’s Apple in their throat, could grow a beard overnight, and were strong as an ox. They were the kids (or ‘men’) you wanted on your dodgeball team at recess, the first string linebackers in JV football and the dudes who always seemed to have a girl on their arm—no matter what other ‘nice boys’ lined the walls at middle school dances. They had ‘high testosterone’ is what all the moms and teachers said. But what is testosterone? Testosterone is the primary anabolic and sex hormone in humans, ....

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  • True Priorities and Alignment

    In our CCP Life Coaching module we teach coaches how to help clients first identify and then align their priorities in life.  Your priorities can be identified by looking at your behavior as actions speak far louder than words.  If someone tells you their top five priorities and they are not congruent with their behavior, then you know two things:  they don’t understand their own priorities and they are not what they say they are. Once you know someone’s true priorities you can help them achieve them, and when you help someone achieve their top priorities you become an invaluable resource.  One of the biggest mistakes I see in the fitness world is the assumption that all clients should ....

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  • Pre-Workout Coffee- Do You Need It?

    If you work out first thing in the morning, chances are, at one time or another, you’ve been on the sleepy side and had to drag yourself out of bed with a little extra pep talk and motivation in your head. Ask any person, who regularly trains in the morning, what their pre-workout routine is, and more than likely, you hear one of the more popular responses: Drink coffee.
    Many claim it gives them that ‘extra edge’ for their grueling workouts; But is it really all that it’s cracked up to be? Several research articles and studies in health and fitness publications over the past several years have claimed it’s actually a great enhancement to any workout. According to a study published ....

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  • Improving Strength

    For beginners it is important to understand that 30% of all strength gains in a training program come from improvement in inter-muscular coordination. When an athlete has achieved several years of proper strength training the performance curve slows down as they climb higher to their innate potential. This is where program design, lifestyle and nutrition pay a huge role in our  EC clients  ability to achieve optimal gains needed for elite performance. If you are an athlete that has been on a strength plateau, here are five things to consider to move you onward and upward!
    NO Energy Leaks
    . First and foremost, if an athletes comes up to me and wants to “get stronger” I always ask, ....

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  • Fitness Regulations

    The fitness news has been buzzing lately with hype and word about regulations for personal trainers in DC. If you haven’t been keeping up, in short: the District of Columbia is preparing to adopt the United States' first regulations on trainers, following a law passed by the city council last year. The council wants to name the Board of Physical Therapy as the key panel for developing and determining the rules and qualifications required for persons to operate as coaches and personal trainers in the city. The main objective of the potential new ordinance on coaches is primarily to “protect clients” against unqualified trainers who may cause “problems”—such as injury, misguidance and ....

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  • 4 Ways To Get More Referrals

    You are passionate about what you do. After taking the ‘risk’ to pursue your dreams as a coach, with the selfless intent to change lives and share the gift of wellness with others that you’ve found for yourself, you know you are doing what you are meant to do. And, of course, who could turn such a great gym or personal coaching away? Everyone wants something like this in their life right? However, the floodgates just aren’t opening. You have business cards, flyers in local coffee shops and hangouts, special joining deals, an awesome action that demands ‘calls to action’, and a stack of marketing and business books lining your book shelves—and one always in your hand. What gives? Why ....

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  • Falling

    We fall at a rate of 9.8 meters/second 2 . However the rate in which we get back up often varies and is sometimes dependent on age and circumstances (SSC). When I was 16, I could throw myself down a set of 10 stairs, bail (toss my board), absorb the shock, hit the ground, get back up and repeat until success or agony. 17 years later, I hit the ground and I just lay there. Though my body is much more fit now, the cold hard concrete is just more welcoming for a nap these days. Though the rate of falling does not change, the velocity of impact can, as height of the fall changes, not the overall mass. Sure, speed/projectory can both add and subtract to this velocity, but when variables are ....

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  • OPEX At The Granite Games

    They came. They saw. They conquered. Team OPEX and athletes represented at the Granite Games last weekend in St. Cloud, Minnesota, proving that all the work they have been doing in the gym is paying off. Here is a look at the leaderboard of some of our OPEX Athletes: Ben Kelly - OPEX client 2nd place (Men 45-49) James Fitzgerald - 3rd place (Men 40-44) OPEX Fitness - 1st Place (Open RX Male) Team Opex -11th (Community Division) Swole-mates - 10th (Open RX Male) Tennil Reed- 9th (Women Pro) (EC Client of Mike Lee) Megan Mcauley- 5th (Women RX) (EC client of Mike Lee) Chelsea Nicholas- 7th (Women RX) Tyler Ogg- 8th (Men RX) And for a look at all the workouts this crew went through, you ....

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  • Know, Do, Embody!

    I have a teenage daughter and she is awesome.  I mean like AWESOME!  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love that kid and watching her grow and develop into who she has become has been one of the great joys of my life. Anyone who has a teenager (or who remembers being one themselves) will also know that teenagers know everything.  I mean like EVERYTHING!  And I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love messing with her on this particular point. A typical conversation may go like this: Me (at 9:30 pm):  Alley, you need to make sure you get a good sleep tonight so you will be on for volleyball tryouts tomorrow. Alley:  I know that mom. Me (at 11:30 pm):  Alley, ....

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  • The Deeper Level of Coaching

    As a coach, the importance of recognizing emotional as well as physical constraints cannot be overstated.  I try my best to anticipate physical and emotional challenges before a client reaches them.  Being able to anticipate a specific challenge offers the opportunity to provide support to your client as they transition through the challenge and reach success or failure on the other side.  A couple of years ago I watched as a client practiced a routine muscle up transition and moments later left the gym with tears welling in her eyes.  I was barely able to ask if she was ok before she was out the door.  At first I worried she was physically injured, but within seconds I realized she was ....

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  • Will I Ever Get a Muscle Up?

    Helping Athletes Believe and Achieve the ‘Impossible’. There are many functional movements in the fitness world, but many are not as flashy and fun as the muscle up. For most people, pull ups and ring dips are hard enough, so having to combine the pushing and pulling mechanics with the instability of the rings makes the muscle up the “holy grail” of movements. It is rare to see someone get a muscle up on their first try, or even their second or third. This is a movement that requires diligent practice, determination and lots of patience! UNDERSTANDING THE MOVEMENT
    The muscle up is a great test of all 10 general physical skills. You must have the movement strength (strength, ....

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  • Where Is This Year Going?

    September already. Summer is officially over (despite the 100-degree-plus temps in Scottsdale still), the kids are back in school, and routine is well underway. After spending the summer in Idaho with my wife Leighanne and our two girls, I’m finally back into routine—which, if I am being honest, is still not the same every day. However, there is a bit more consistency to the schedule: similar wake and sleep times, similar training time, same standing massage appointment for recovery every Wednesday afternoon, many of my client athletes back in their own sense of routines and new wind beneath their wings to train for the season ahead, and my same, heart-centered mission to train and ....

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  • Why Coaching?

    Why did you go into the business of coaching? Really think about that for a minute. Is it something you always wanted to do? You were a gym rat and thought it would be the perfect compliment to your own training? Something you fell back on when your childhood dreams of being the next Michael Jordan or Troy Aikman didn’t work out? Coach Pierre Ferreira out of CrossFit Flaming Heart in Bedfordview, Gauteng, South Africa never saw coaching in his cards until he stumbled into CrossFit during his late 20’s back in early 2008. Prior to that, however, Pierre said he was the furthest thing from being athletic . “I didn’t play any sports in school whatsoever and just so happened to get ....

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  • Who Are You?

    How would your define yourself? What are your Priorities? How do you spend your time? These are a few questions I ask my athletes and folks who attend my athlete camps right out of the gate.  I like to get down to the foundation of who I'm working with, so we can be clear on the direction we are headed.  And I’m not just talking how much you back squat and how many muscle-ups you can do. I’m asking, Who are you? Answer that question in a few words before you continue reading. I have consulted and spoke in our camps and with many athletes who have answered without hesitation, I am Competitor. Yet on the flip side they have a full-time job, play Frisbee football ....

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  • Less Is More

    Consider the idea that less is sometimes more. Where is less of something more ? Well consider less debt=the potential to earn more money sooner; Less distraction=more concentration; Less critical=more creative; Less talk=more action…you get the point. This idea can (and should) also be applied to fitness. Should training be an unorganized, disconnected experience where we throw assessments, goals, previous exposure, function and physiology out the window? Of course not! That data drives the prescription. When planning our training we need to realize that in some cases less is exactly what we need to make progress.  Whether progress is a top 10 finish at the Games, competing ....

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  • Get Comfortable With Uncomfortable

    This blows my mind and I wanted to share it.  We at OPEX say get comfortable with the uncomfortable, but there is so much depth to this statement in this story.   It’s one thing to get comfortable with the pain you experience during a workout, but imagine having to get comfortable with the notion of not being able to feel your legs while you are running. Imagine trying to get comfortable knowing you will overheat to the point that it triggers the return of symptoms of your autoimmune condition. Imagine trying to get comfortable knowing that your legs will fail you the second you stop running. And imagine getting comfortable enough with the discomfort of knowing that you will ....

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  • Fuel Yourself!

    How do you feel when you eat certain food? Food is Fuel. Have you ever gone into a training session, mentally ready to train, however within the first 10-15 minutes of just the warmup, you already realize you haven’t eaten enough that day?
    Your stomach is growling, or you feel lightheaded.
    Your energy feels low.
    You feel weak. You manage to finish the workout in your log—but mostly, just going through the motions. Ready to get it done so you can eat! Food is fuel no doubt. And we most definitely know when we haven’t eaten “right”, or rather, we know when we haven’t eaten  enough (we get hangry). However…a missing link many people fail to be aware of when it comes to their ....

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  • 20 Years Being an Athlete and Coach

    I have learned, and continually learn, that the system of new coaches is ever evolving. By this, I mean you can go to school and get certified without even seeing or working with clients, athletes, or patients. I believe this is a problem. If your sole purpose is to help others attain their goals, their dreams or even their jobs; it is imperative you learn by doing
    . How can you say for sure that a system works without actually using it?  This is where interning, job shadowing, or working under the supervision of an advanced coach comes in to play. In my 20 years of experience, I have seen many certified coaches act the part, but do not actually seem to know what they are doing.   Not ....

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  • Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail

    Perhaps you’ve heard that saying before. And there is some great truth in that—particularly when it comes to nutrition, and supporting your training and busy lifestyle with nourishing fuel throughout the week. I often get asked two questions:
    How I train
    And, how I eat As you can see, a peek into my fridge reveals many of my staple perishables to feed myself, my wife Leighanne and our two girls: TOP RIGHT: Cal/Mag supplement, maple syrup, coconut yogurt, max fiber (supplement plug!), roasted green chiles, greens powder 2ND shelf: plantains, guacamole, chocolate mint raw bar, leftover protein in tupperware, green tea, juices, almond milk 3RD shelf: hummus, leftover protein, ....

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  • How To Do An Open Gym

    As CrossFit has increased in popularity over the past decade, through the development of:
    The nearly six-month long CrossFit Games’ season (Open to the Games),
    The commercialization of the Games itself (sponsors, ‘super athletes’, ESPN coverage),
    The opportunities for athletes to compete outside the Games arena,
    And  the opening of thousands of affiliates worldwide (in some cases, seemingly on every corner of a city like Starbucks) Clients demand more time  to train and put in extra work has increased.
    That being said, the concept of an ‘Open Gym’ or availability of gym space—no formal group classes included—is still very much an under-utilized platform for many gyms ....

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  • An Inside Look at Grid Match Prep

    This past weekend the Phoenix Rise took on the Miami Surge to see who would advance to the National Professional Grid League playoffs.  The Rise won in a tight battle that came down to the last race.  Here is a short overview and an inside look of the skeleton plan that we as coaches put together while planning for the match. Here is a link to the Athletes that we get to work with on the Phoenix Rise phoenix-rise When putting a race together we look at several things before we ever get to our first practice with the athletes.  Some things we always look into are total reps athletes will be doing through the entire match and from race to race.  We are ....

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  • OPEX Testing 15.2 Results

    This past Saturday the OPEX community took part in the second event of an ongoing testing series that we will be conducting through the end of the year.  August's tester was a classic: max calories in 10-minutes on an Air Assault Bike (AB). There were 2 important purposes for this test.  The first was to begin to use this test as a prime "suspect" in readiness in the sport of fitness and the second was to collect data in order to validate a body weight correction formula, created by coach James Taylor. The idea behind creating a formula for adjusting the raw scores on the 10-minute AB test is to create a score for the test that's independent of body weight so that well developed energy ....

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  • What Do You Bring to the Relationship?

    The dynamics between people are so interesting. Friend to friend Parent to child Stranger to stranger Husband to wife Coach to client What’s interesting is that while you can’t “see” the space between people there is a lot that goes on in there that can be guide posts to our own self growth and discovery. As a behavior specialist I have clients who frequently consult with me on behavior dynamics, and one of my favorite things I get presented with is a client who claims to be a victim of a relationship.  But what people don’t often recognize is that all relationships are co-created. Every relationship is a co-creation of the two people involved.  
    For example: ....

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  • Supplements: What's Really In There?

    You take your training seriously, and do everything within your power to support the gains and performance you desire in the gym. -You sleep  at least  7-9 hours most nights -You prioritize your mobility every session—and between sessions -You’re on a program and working with a coach who individualizes your training to meet your needs -You eat lots of meat, veggies, fats, quality starches, some fruit, no sugar and lots of water -And you even take vitamins and supplements that you’ve been told will give you that extra edge in your health and performance:
    Fish oil? Check.
    Vitamin D? Check.
    BCAAs? Check.
    Whey protein? Check.
    Magnesium before bed? Check. After all,  when ....

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  • Mental Toughness at Fitness Competitions

    How can you excel at fitness competitions? Understand the difference between threats and challenges. Champions see competitions differently—as challenges. You control a challenge, threats control you. Threats, in sports and in life, are often illusions. They exist only in your imagination. If you don’t win or perform well, what happens? Just that: you don’t win or perform well. Walking onto the floor for a tough workout or a big competition involves taking a risk. But what do you risk? Bruising your ego. We pretend that losing is the end of the world. It just doesn’t work that way. If we go out there and compete to make something big happen, without fears or doubts, as if we relish ....

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  • The Pursuit of Happiness

    Happiness—or rather, the pursuit of happiness and all around fulfillment —is an ongoing life pursuit as old as time. People in the Stone Age
    sought happiness, fulfillment, in hunting, gathering, relaxing and relationships with their clans. Fulfillment was found in spearing a great bison, safety from predators, and making babies. We see celebrities
    in the news or Social Media reminding us that fulfillment (or seeming fulfillment) is found in the number of cars we own, the size of our houses, the travels we take, the pretty faces we date, and the number of accolades we acclaim. Your favorite Pee Wee football coach
    may have found personal fulfillment in the mentorship of others—3 rd ....

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  • Is Social Media Slashing Your Progress?

    We live in a social media driven world. Gone are the days when Facebook (or if you recall MySpace) was the only platform on the planet. Now, we’ve got to keep up with our tweets to keep up with on Twitter, our connections to connect with on Google+, creative pics to post Instagram, our network to build on LinkedIn, and, for the young guns, the action to catch for our SnapChat accounts—just to name a few. The fitness realm in and of itself is filled with high consumers and producers of social media content.
    PR backsquats boasted on Facebook.
    Crazy handstand feats and planche holds caught on Insta.
    Beautifully poised and posed squat snatch catches blowing up the ....

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  • OPEX Testing Series 15.2

    Great job to all those who took part in our testing series last month! We gathered a lot of good data and look forward to building upon our findings as we continue this series throughout December. OPEX Testing 15.2
    Max Assault bike calories in 10-minutes Scoring submission:
    Deadline for score submission is Sunday, August 30, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. PST . Please report results here ! Testing details:
    This test begins with the athlete sitting on their bike. At the start of the clock the athlete may begin pedaling and accumulating calories. Scoring will be reported as total calories completed in ten minutes as well as bodyweight measured in pounds. Please measure bodyweight ....

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  • Peak For Competition

    Throughout the off- season majority of athletes competing in the sport of fitness are going to be in accumulation.  Spending months and months building a wider base for the upcoming season. As we get into to the later months of the year I encourage my athletes to participate in one or two competitions that we can prep for.  This allows for small peaks within an accumulation phase.  Below are two skeletons of what an accumulation week may look like and what an intensification week may look like. Avatar: Female 5’2 125lb Goals: -       Competitive athlete, wants to make it to regionals -       Competing in the 2015 Granite Games. ACCUMULATION: This is her base training. Large volumes ....

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  • Establishing Gym Culture With Remote Coaching

    In the past few months, I’ve made a big transition after finishing the first level of the OPEX CCP. I’ve sold my gym and have transitioned to 100% remote coaching, using the principles I’ve learned during the past few years in working with OPEX. During this transition, I have noticed one really big difference between on-site coaching & remote coaching and it might not be what you think it is. While there’s many tangible aspects to making a great gym - a big hurdle that came up had to do with establishing our gym culture...but how do you do this when there is no gym! In a regular ‘box’, you hopefully have experienced members who can help newbies understand what your ....

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  • 10 Tips To Relax On Rest Days

    Stress can be brutal, heck it could even kill you. And let’s face it, we are a stressed society. Check out these facts*:
    1 in 5 Americans experience ‘extreme stress’ and 3 in 4 report experiencing at least one symptom of stress in any given month (i.e. lack of sleep, emotional stress, unhealthy foods, etc.)
    Stress is the primary cause of 60% of all human illness and disease
    3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments
    The average American gets 10 ‘vacation days’ and 8 national holidays as part of their job (The average worker in a country, like France, gets 7-weeks)
    90% of Americans are stressed over money What stressors do you face in your daily life? Even ....

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  • Corrective Exercise: An Individual Approach

    Picture this: 5:30 p.m. on a Monday evening at the gym. Energy is high and the class is full. 12-20 regular gymgoers show up to take on whatever daily workout is programmed on the whie board for the day. 3 rounds for time: 10 Clean & Jerk 3 Rounds of “Cindy” (5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups,  15 air squats) At the sound of “3, 2, 1, Beep!” the class is off to the races—and may the fastest (not necessarily the most proficient) one win. Amidst the 17-minute time-capped chaos, the coach tries to keep his cool. Pacing the floor, back and forth, to ensure safety, remind Enrique to catch the bar with ‘fast elbows’, remind Alyssa to squat “all the way down”, and assist Barbara with donning her ....

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  • Quality Strength and Conditioning versus CrossFit

    Patrick Casey is a freshman athlete of mine.  His mother hired me during 8 th grade to work with him in hopes of preparing him for his upcoming hockey season in the 9 th grade.  I’ve had a lot of success with various athletes throughout my years as a coach, and it always has derived from an individual assessment.  From there, the program I write is based on the information gathered in the assessment.  I’ve seen successful assessments take 10 minutes and some take a few sessions to conduct.  In Patrick’s case, I took a few sessions to “figure” him out. Patrick has a rectus diastasis.  In other words, the tissue that all his core muscles essentially connect to was torn. Believe ....

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  • Taking The Leap From Day Job to Full Time Coach

    So you’ve decided full-time coaching is for you—at least it’s what you want to do. You love helping others improve their own fitness. You thrive upon sharing your knowledge—what you know now that you wish you knew then. The gym is your second home—it’s the place you want to be. But when is the right time to go from part-time coach to full-time coach? That is a question with no clear answer. Some coaches find that, with a thoughtful plan of action, they are able to gradually transition from desk-jockey by day and coach by night, to: · Taking on more classes, · Building up their client load, · And making their decision to leave their current job known with an appropriate-fitting ....

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  • Deep Embodiment of The Love of Fitness

    I’ve been going through a period of deep reflection as of late.  Those coaches out there who have gone through the Life Coaching module will appreciate that I am in the “Reflection” stage of the Four Seasons of Learning.   One of the ways I spend time reflecting is through communicating with like-minded friends, colleagues and coaches who also like to play with ideas.  The art of playing with your thoughts is a concept ingrained in me by many of my mentors, most notably Bernie Novokowsky.   I recently had an email exchange with a dear friend who sent me the following quote out of the blue… "We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to ....

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  • What Do The BEST Athletes Eat?

    What is your fuel of choice when it comes to supporting or recovering from your training? Peanut butter and chocolate milk? A particular protein powder? Gatorade? Perfect Food Bars? Ice cream? Ask 10 different people, and you will get 10 different answers. The palates are vast, but there is no doubt that food does a body good and is critical for getting the most out of your workouts. However, why is it that there seems to be mixed messages when it comes to the “best” options? Why is it that some of the top athletes seem to get by (even require) inhaling whatever it is they want (i.e. Calories! Be it through burgers, milkshakes and French fries, or a pint of ice cream every night ....

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  • Getting Gymnasty

    Getting Gymnasty
    It ’ s always a challenge getting the message across to people interested in learning gymnastics. In my experience most people see and want to do gymnastics elements, but haven ’ t the vaguest conception of the work it has taken to achieve these skills. I have hosted a six week introduction to gymnastics course in the past and have had athletes disappointed that they hadn ’ t achieved a muscle up by the end, bearing in mind they didn ’ t attend all the sessions and the only gymnastics they did was during each session I taught.    Most people are in such a rush to reach their individual goals (Muscle Ups, Toes to Bar Handstand walks), but 1. aren ’ t ....

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  • CCP Life Coaching at BK Athletics

    This guy!!! – Ben Kelly and me Ben Kelly of BK Athletics hosted James and I along with an incredible group of coaches in Fairfield, Connecticut this past weekend for our Life Coaching and Nutrition modules. What struck me once again is how many coaches there are out there who want to learn and grow so they can best serve their clients.  They come to our courses and hear a lot of new thoughts, ideas, and principles.  They engaged in coaching practices, communication and brainstorming sessions in order to expand their perspectives and learn from one another.  And what they tell me at the end of the course is that they are fundamentally changed, their eyes have been opened ....

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  • Do You Really Need Carbs?

    Ketogenic diets are a hot topic right now in the realm of nutrition and training. Essentially defined as: Eating a diet primarily composed of 60% ‘healthy’ fats with moderate amounts of protein and typically, 30 grams of carbs or less per day. While you may know that ‘buzzword’, what’s so great about ketosis anyway? And moreover, if fats and proteins are so healthy for you—do you really need carbs anyway? Especially since ketogenic adherents claim they’ve never felt more energy. The short answer: Every BODY is different—thus, the ‘best diet’ for you is dependent really on what works best for you in terms of performance, energy, digestion, health and lifestyle. The long answer: Check ....

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  • Early Morning Workouts

    Routine is a part of life—particularly if your fitness and exercise regime is important to you. While a vast majority of people struggle to find the motivation to exercise consistently; Those who train regularly are typically the opposite—prioritizing fitness like brushing their teeth or going to work (it’s just what they do) even if that means waking up at  4 a.m. Anyone fall into that category? Early risers? While  4 a.m.  may sound like awful for some, for others, it is the only option. Work. Family. Kids. Commitments. In order to juggle it all,  4 a.m.  just happens. As grueling as that may sound to some, in actuality, research shows that these folks are more committed to their ....

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  • Be All In

    “When Michael Jordan was well into his career and had already won his first 4 championships, a reporter asked him one question: ‘With all these games, traveling day in and day out, leading your team, how do you perform at such a mind-bogglingly high level without fail? How is it humanly possible for you to keep dropping 30 points per game and just be such a star?” “Jordan replied and said, ‘Every game I play, I always know that there’s someone out there in the stands who’s never seen me play before. I go out and play for that guy.’” How are you seeking to give your best? In your coaching? In your own training? In your career? Your relationships? Day in and day out, we fall into ....

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  • Spotting A Coach Who Can't Get The Job Done

    According to latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics fitness trainers and instructors held about 267,000 jobs in 2012, with a projected growth rate of 13% to about 300,000 jobs over a 10-year period (2012-2022). That being said, training and coaching is still very much a niche job—this compared to occupations such as: Lawyers (759, 000 as of 2014), Registered Nurses (more than 2.7 million as of 2012), and even Auto Mechanics (701,100 as of 2012). So when it comes to being a ‘great coach’, and from a clients’ perspective,  spotting  a great coach, the pool is relatively small from which to choose. Within the fitness realm, what defines a  great  coach? Moreover, what ....

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  • A Week Onsite: Client Anthony Kopp

    Our staff is always welcoming of exclusive coaching clients traveling to train onsite. Some clients? are here for a single day, some for a week or more. Just recently, an EC client on mine, Anthony Kopp, cleared an entire week of his schedule to make the trek to Scottsdale. Below is the prescription I designed for him while he was here with my impressions of the results. The sessions are characteristic of an intensification phase; think more ‘doing’ and ‘applying’ as opposed to training. 8/7 AM A. Build to a tough 1x Squat snatch + 3x OHS + B. 7-min Amrap; Open 13.4 3,6,9,12,15…etc Clean and jerk 135# Toes to bar + C. For time; 25 Muscle-ups; atop of each minute perform 20 double ....

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  • Athlete Monitoring

    It seems as though every day we hear more and more about training plans based on the particular needs of an individual. Word is getting out on how group training might not be the best option.  Fact is, fitness gains can be maximized with proper assessment protocols and well thought out program design. However, one thing that is often overlooked by most athletes and coaches is MONITORING. Monitoring is, by definition, to observe and check the quality of something over a period of time. This is not to be confused with evaluation, as in what we look at during testing periods. When I talk about athlete monitoring, I’m referring to gauging the individual’s physiological response to training ....

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  • What's In Your Lunch Box?

    Back to school is around the corner, which means back to routine! Even though you may not be in school anymore, there’s still something about this time of year that breeds a sense of schedule, regularity and realignment of organization, goals and intentions. Along with all of these things comes preparation. Lunch prep that is. What are you packing for lunch? Are you even packing one at all? Or, are you more apt to daily, fend for yourself when hunger strikes—whatever that may mean (a run by the fast-food restaurant next door, delivery to the office, noshing on a Quest Bar on the go, etc.)? You are prepared for whatever comes your way in the gym each day, so why NOT 
    be prepared when ....

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  • Individualized Coaching Is Here To Stay

    Ask  any  Games athlete "Who is your coach? Who does your programming?" 9 times out of 10, you will get a different response. Amanda Goodman works with James FitzGerald. Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir and Matt Fraser work with Ben Bergeron. Team OPEX works with Coaches Robin Lyons and Mike Lee. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Team Invictus work with CJ Martin. Jason Khalipa has worked with Chris Hinshaw for his endurance. Noah Ohlsen works with Dusty Hyland. The list goes on. It’s safe to say that nearly  every single athlete in the competitive arena at the CrossFit Games this year is working with their own individualized coach in some capacity
    —Someone writing their daily programming; ....

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  • Subscribe/Unsubscribe

    What is it that’s most important above all other things for success in all areas of your life (business, training, goals, relationships, etc.)? You may say: -Hard work -Lots of clients, revenue, followers, supporters -Positivity True, all of these things are important pieces to the puzzle of success, however one thing underlies all of them for a lasting imprint on your personal success: Consistent and strategic attention, practiced daily. In other words: Focus, or the “less is more” mentality. One of the primary questions we teach coaches to ask clients is, “T
    here are 24 precious hours in a day. How do you spend them?
    Granted you are sleeping 7-9 of those, that leaves about 15-17 ....

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  • Let Me Tell You About a Start-Up

    “Startups” and “entrepreneurship” are buzzwords to date—particularly in my own backwoods. I live in Austin, Texas—named one of the top places in the country to start a business ( CNN ) and recently ranked #1 in the U.S. for entrepreneurship. Whether you are in the business of technology, customer service, wellness or fitness, you are in a position to thrive here in the city where everyone has a business card in their back pocket. Check out some of these cool startups I recently discovered, potentially also coming to a city near you:
    A new social network that enables college students to connect with their classmates free from the constraints of a profile, history, or ....

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  • Movement Improvement: How To Save Your Neck

    It is well known within the world of strength training that movements such as Romanian Deadlifts, Russian kettlebell swings, and hip extensions, to name a few, are exercises that primarily strengthen the posterior chain. What I would like to discuss in this post is how specific positioning of these exercises may also allow strengthening of the anterior neck as well as the benefits of a stronger anterior neck. In the general population the lower cervical spine specifically the levels of C5/C6 and C6/C7 are where individuals most commonly experience disc herniations and disc degeneration within the neck. Even mild herniations at the base of the neck can lead to symptoms from the neck into ....

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  • Amanda Goodman: What It Takes to Survive Carson

    Amanda Goodman can now add ‘three-time Games athlete’ to her resume, and each year, since she began competing at the big show in 2013, she’s finished higher and higher—proving that hard work and smart training is paying off. In 2013, she finished 35 th ; 2014, came in at 20 th ; and now, this year finally made her way into the top 10. Amanda receives her daily programming from Coach James FitzGerald—completing whatever he throws her way, knowing that OPEX’s methodology is aimed at empowering individuals to become the best version of THEMSELVES they can be. A dedicated athlete, Amanda re-located from the North East Region to the Southwest Region about a year and a half ago now, in ....

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  • Finally Summer Vacation

    Summer is my favorite time of year and we are in the dog days of it right now.  I love to sneak away from the city and out to Kelowna with my kids every year.  We live in Canada and my kids are off school for the months of July and August, but being a basketball family that means we roll with club ball right up to the end of July. August is truly our only off season and we take full advantage of it. No sports, no activities.  Just down time to connect with one another, eat dinner together, jump in the lake, eat breakfast on the patio, enjoy the heat and have fun.  It’s good for the soul of the family and everyone in it. I coach in a corporate wellness setting and the stats are ....

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  • 10 Ways Your Diet Can Crush You

    There’s no doubt you work hard. You love training and are dedicated, day in and day out, whatever your daily program entails. You put the work in. However…for every hour or two or three that you spend in the gym, there are  21-23 hours left in the day. How are you spending them? After all, what you do outside the gym impacts your results and performance just as much, if not arguably more, than the work you do in the gym. Think: Your sleep and recovery habits. Your stress levels. And, the thing you consume at least 3-6 times per day: Your food. Not to beat a dead horse. You know nutrition is vital to your health and your workouts. You’ve heard that statistic: “80% of your ....

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  • Significance

    Inside the beating of every human heart is a desire for something significant—a dream, a vision, an achievement, a goal, peace, happiness, love. What does significance mean to you today? How has that meaning evolved, changed or remained constant throughout your lifetime? Recently, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Happy Living , an organization with the mission of empowering others to improve their health and well-being—one person at a time. I fully believe in their platform and message, and was challenged to reflect deeply on the meaning of this little word (significance) in my own life. Significance means importance to me – or where my priorities lie. Honestly, values ....

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  • Back To The Beginning

    When I began coaching back in the university days, circa 1996-1997, I never imagined myself doing what I am doing today and this last week. I never imagined walking amongst the fittest CrossFitters in the world and feeling a part of it, feeling accepted and comfortable. I never imagined taking part in a one-time competition in 2007 that would turn into a world spectacle. And I definitely never thought I’d be as inspired as I am now to coach up coaches; In turn, helping them achieve “success” in their business. I have always wanted to have a large impact. My impact now comes in the form of professional coaches—teaching people the benefits of what I know to be true about fitness: ....

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  • Team Reflections

    As the coach for our FIRST Games team, I have had a couple days to reflect on the weekend as a whole, as well as some thoughts on everything in between, from athletes to events to preparation. Here’s what I observed: -- Scoring this year for teams was emphasized much more on individual’s performances and male vs. female team performances.  In addition, the ordering of how work was completed also impacted teams who had weaker players. In the past, more team-based work was prescribed, so you could hide some of those weaker players. -- To have a top team you need great CrossFitters who have great endurance. The best teams had all six athletes carrying the same essence (endurance / ....

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  • Observational Trends in Fitness Athletes

    This past weekend I had the opportunity to make a trip to California and observe athletes competing in the CF Games as a spectator while team OPEX Red competed as well. For the first time at the Games, I watched more of the team competition than the individual competition. I saw on a big stage not only the very best of the best competing this time, though those few elite were there as well. Of course, I’ve had the chance to watch athletes at the Open level completing workouts at OPEX here in Scottsdale and at the Regional level in the South Region for years, too. Over time, I’ve noticed some trends emerge in fitness athletes as my eye for movement has been refined through trial and ....

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  • Do You Have The Right Tools To Be A Coach?

    I travel often and find myself in a lot of CF boxes and gyms around the world.  Outside of OPEX informed boxes, one theme I’ve noticed lately with coaches is the coach who doesn’t meet their clients where they are at.  I know I’ve written about this in the past, but given what I’ve seen it is worth repeating. I recently saw a coach running a small group of clients through a workout.  He had them all back squatting with either a barbell or a barbell with a small amount of weight.  One of the clients was doing great… you could tell she had been there before and was likely the catalyst for the other two participants being there.  Another client was doing ok--she was struggling to learn, ....

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  • Noticing From The Games; Scoring Potential

    1          750     Tia-Clair Toomey 2          736     Katrin Davidsdottir 3          703     Kara Webb 4          689     Sara Signmundsdottir 5          681     Sam Briggs 6          661     Chyna Cho 7          636     Lindsey Valenzuela 8          620     Margaux Alvarez 9          616     Amanda Goodman 10        569     Emily Abbott The rankings above are how the 2015 CrossFit Games COULD HAVE unfolded with MINOR tweaks to scoring methods. If you watched the Sunday finale, suffice it to say, the pegboard proved difficult for the majority of female competitors. Out of the remaining 37-competitior-field, three completed all three pegboard repetitions, two completed two pegboard ....

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  • OPEX Takes 2nd for Granite Games Qualifier

    While all eyes were on the CrossFit Games, if you don’t happen to be one of the less than 1% of athletes competing in Carson, there are still plenty of opportunities to do so throughout the year. In fact, if a goal of yours is to ‘get better’ or improve in the sport of fitness, competition is not just encouraged, it is necessary. Participating in various competitions allows you to not only test your training, assessing your personal strengths and discovering any glaring weaknesses, but also allows you to simulate the necessary training strategy of phasing throughout the year: Peaking your body for competition as well as de-loading and recovering between efforts. The Kill Cliff Granite ....

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  • Interesting Individuals; Competition Thoughts From The CrossFit Games

    Another year has come and gone. After a long season, the highly anticipated 2015 CrossFit Games is now a thing of the past, and now, reflection begins. Reflection on what went wrong, what went right, mistakes made, lessons learned, victories to celebrate—and everything in between. As a coach and spectator this year, here are a few of my own reflections from this year’s competition: - There were a lot more Nike Met-con shoes than Nanos (in the audience that is). - Athletes wear weight belts for everything now (wall balls, RC’s, running, etc.)…kinda odd. - There were at least 30-40 different coaches for the individuals this year. Three years ago there were only 6-8 of us under the ....

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  • What Does “Community” Mean To You?

    Often times when we hear the word ‘community’, we instantly associate it with ‘unity’, ‘togetherness.’ Within the realm of CrossFit, ‘the community’ is most often the #1 response of every day folks who report on what keeps them coming back to their box, day in and day out. And while the CrossFit Games this weekend was about the sport of fitness—boasting the talents of some of the elite of the elite within the sport—there was no denying that a huge draw for the thousands of spectators in the crowd, on live-feeds around the world, and even the athletes themselves all stems back to the community
    . As human beings, we all have an innate desire for community
    , togetherness
    . In ....

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  • A Glimpse At The Action From Carson

    NUMBERS DON'T GET YOU ON THE PODIUM...HEART MATTERS Numbers don’t matter If you’re a competitor, winning may not be everything but it is certainly a desired outcome after all of the sweat equity that you've put in over the years, isn't it? In the sport of fitness, to win, you need to have some pretty big numbers, don't you? A 280+/170+ lb. snatch, a 320+/220+ lb. clean & jerk or 20/15+ unbroken muscle ups. Sports fanatics and competitors love numbers after all, don’t we? As the CrossFit Games is upon us, there is no doubt that of the top 1% of individuals and teams who will be competing in Carson want a podium spot…and they all have the numbers and stats to prove that they ....

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  • OPEX Testing Series

    OPEX Community Testing Event
    Have you had the opportunity to check out any of the action going on in Carson this past week? In case you live under a rock, the 2015 CrossFit Games is in full swing. There is something about watching the top 1% elite athletes of this sport give it their all that both inspires and awakens the inner competitor within all of us—from the teenage girl hoisting 175 lbs. over her head, to the 60+ Master’s putting up over 200 lbs. on their snatch, the six-man teams working in beautiful unison, and the male and female individuals fighting for those select top spots on the podium as they complete whatever tasks are thrown their way. In light of that inner drive you ....

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  • Fitness Is In The Air

    It’s a wonderful time of year for the sport enthusiast. Wimbledon, Pan Am Games, Women’s Football World Cup, Tour De France….and the CrossFit Games. Within each sport, there are “bodies” and the differences in the physical statures of varying athlete is vast, depending on the sport’s demands. For instance, it is well known that the climbers for these hills pictured above in France are not large individuals. On game day, Romain Bardet is 65 kg (143 lbs.) at 6’1”. These cats are impressive for the work done for the periods of time required over many days. Doping or not, this sport is inspiring. A few other examples: Gwen Jorgensen
    Elite female triathlete: 5’10” tall, 125 lbs., ran ....

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  • Fitness Season and Periodization

    Planning is something that we at OPEX pride ourselves on. It is what creates the pathway to success for anyone to reach there full potential and fitness goals. Why plan? Without it, you are guessing, not having a true vision as to where the client sits and how you are taking the athlete to the ultimate goal. There are several different ways to approach training periodization, two of the most prominent:
    : Attempts to develop many abilities simultaneously (which for a beginning athlete can be a great approach as the CNS can handle the amount of training).
    Block method
    : “Its general idea presupposes the use and sequencing of specialized mesocycle-blocks, where highly ....

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  • A Q&A With Jim Crowell

    This weekend, OPEX’s first-ever team to qualify for the CrossFit Games will take the stage at the StubHub Center in Carson to put a whole years’ of hard work and dedication to the test. Team OPEX’s roster includes: Jim Crowell Moses Cordova Danny Nichols Erin Carter Meghan Sweet Shanna Duvall Together they will proudly represent the #IAMOPEX motto. While all six individuals train diligently under individualized training programs (and many have even competed as individuals at the Regional level), over the past few months in preparation for the Games, they have learned, more than anything, how to work in unison
    . Together they will rise to the occasion, knowing whatever the ....

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  • Sharon Prete; Games Bound

    I'm writing this blog post as I sit on the plane headed to California for the games.  I'm going for a couple of reasons this year: 1.  First the big one. I promised Meghan Sweet that I would go if OPEX Red made it to the games and I'm making good on that promise. Truth be told, I'd go and cheer on mia familia even if I hadn't promised. 2.  The circus is always fun to observe. I'm a wall flower and tend to sit back and watch the mania from the sidelines. It's been fun to watch the games evolve over the years.  Whether I agree with some of the philosophies or not, it is what it is and there is always something to be learned in watching the tests, the athletes, the coaches and the crowds. ....

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  • Eating on the Go

    6 a.m., the alarm goes off. You’re up and at ‘em (or maybe you hit the sleep button a few times haha). Brush your teeth, wash your face, get dressed, and out the door. Off to the gym for a morning Map 10 session, on the rower or Air Dyne before hitting the office. 7:30-8:30 a.m. -Gym 8:30 a.m.- Swig a protein shake 9 a.m. - Office time 10:30 a.m. -Hunger strikes! Grab whatever you can from the breakroom (cooooookies) 1 p.m. Hunger strikes AGAIN…lunchtime. Walk across the street to Panera or Chipotle for some grub to grab and go back to your desk 1:30-5 p.m. More work, with a little snack attack in there—a protein bar or some protein powder with your evening workout in mind. ....

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  • 5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Summer

    July is definitely here in Scottsdale. The temps are in the 100s without fail, and we are more than thankful for air condition during training sessions. There’s something about summer though, that despite the hot temperature, it’s  refreshing :
    A change in pace
    Slowing down, or re-calibrating a busy go-go-go schedule
    Vacations and days off just…because That being said however, while summer  is  certainly a refreshing time [typically correlated with a laissez-faire (“let it be”) vibe]…that doesn’t mean that you have to completely put life, or your business,  on hold.
    (And, amidst everyone else’s ‘checked out’ attitudes it can be very easy to do!) The gym business in particular ....

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  • The Magic to Program Design

    What is the ‘secret’ to your clients’ success in the gym? A carefully, well-designed progressive program. Program design must be a living and breathing plan that progresses or regresses as the client moves through their journey of fitness. When your program misses the mark your client's progress stops and retention suffers but, when you hit the program spot on, results and excitement can build for a very long time. Coach James FitzGerald shares common mistakes he’s witnessed in coaches over the years, and ways to design the best program fit for various individuals. Q. What are some specific things you’ve witnessed over the years (20 years?) of programs ‘missing the mark’? What goes ....

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  • Leading Up To The Games; What Does It Take?

    With the 2015 CrossFit Games less than one week away, qualified athletes are in the final days of ‘prep-mode’ prior to the big show—typically which entails a de-load week now. In short, all the work that could have been accomplished is done—hours upon hours eating, sleeping and breathing training and preparation. And now, more than anything, mental preparation is crucial to performing—and performing well—in Carson. We at OPEX have had the opportunity and privilege to work with many Games level competitors over the years, and this year, will be coaching and watching some of our very own compete in both the individual and team divisions, including: Amanda Goodman (Individual) Wanda ....

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  • Reflecting to Master the Mind Game

    Have you ever walked away from an event or competition unsatisfied? Maybe you didn't execute the plan the way you wanted or you lost focus and made a mistake that cost you the win or finishing better than you could have… either way the feeling in your gut leaves you unfulfilled from the experience. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Amanda Goodman (OPEX onsite athlete) around reflection of past performances. We began to discuss this year’s Regional competition, and I asked her if there was an event she felt she could have done better.  Her eyes lit up and she began to share her experience of an event where she felt herself worrying about who was in front of her. Amanda ....

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  • Athlete Spotlight; Wanda Brenton

    Wanda Brenton of Grand Cayman has made a name for herself within the CrossFit world. As one of the only competitors from the Latin America Region to have made five CrossFit Games’ appearances, she has managed to hold her own against some of the more competitive regions around the world. Her secret to success? Her unwavering perseverance—particularly this year, after having incurred a shoulder injury following the Games last year that left her out of her usual training for about six months. “I’m not exactly sure how it happened. I played a lot of volleyball and had lots of shoulder issues over the years. I'm sure it was a combination of that and CrossFit,” she said. Brenton’s injury ....

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  • What's Your Perception of Success?

    What's Your Perception of Success? 
    This past three weeks has been some of the most fulfilling time I’ve ever spent as a coach.  I had a new client sign on who is the most beginner’ish of any client I’ve ever worked with.  At 50 years of age, his training age is 0.  Never even been in a gym.  Ever. As a coach, I get a lot of fulfillment in eliciting excellence in effort and improvements in performance from my clients.  I love it when they accomplish something they want… that first pull up, a deadlift PR, running a 5k.  That stuff lights me up to no end, energizes me and makes me feel truly alive because I’m in service to them and getting them to where THEY want to be. So when this ....

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  • How's Your Digestion?

    How Is Your Digestion? 
    Think about it for a moment. 9 times out of 10, people say they’ve never really thought about it before. How does it feel in your gut—before and after your meals? Constipation, bloating, nausea common? Are there particular foods that don’t settle when you consume them? Do you walk around often tired or fatigued—despite having slept 7-9 hours most nights? How much water do you drink a day? How often do you poop and what does it look like? These are all some barometers to assess when considering your digestion. Digestive disorders are estimated to affect 60–70 million people in the United States (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services)—these may ....

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  • Are You Short-Changing Your Clients’ Success? : The Truth

    Are You Short-Changing Your Clients’ Success? : The Truth
    You’re a coach or trainer. You work directly 1:1 with clients as an ‘exercise doctor’ –in essence, you are the ‘expert’ your clients (and potential clients) come to for all things physical fitness. You are in the business of transforming bodies…enhancing performance…improving health…and ultimately, helping other define  their own inspiration So when it comes to the  process
      of actually doing your job…What does that really look like?
    A.)  Jump in Head First. 
    Do you sign clients up, and get right to work; believing, you’ll screen them as they go? Your get to know how they generally move and implement exercises that you know ....

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  • Lose Weight, Feel Great

    Lose weight, feel great.
    That phrase is a dime a dozen when it comes to the topic of fat loss in today’s culture. Look at the cover of any magazine on newsstands or in the grocery checkout line and it’s a guarantee at least one of those publications will have some topic about fat and/or weight loss. Over the years, a vast majority of clients within the gym and fitness scene walk through the doors with  fat loss or weight loss being one of their primary goals. Like those who go to the doctor if they have a cold, or to the dentist when you need a teeth cleaning, who better to go then those who specialize in fitness and wellness for the body? The thing is, fat loss is really a ....

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  • What is Happiness Really?

    What Is Happiness Really?
    The pursuit of happiness has been a cry of the human heart since the beginning of time. According to Webster’s it is really ‘the state of being happy’—contentment, pleasure, satisfaction, well-being, joyfulness. From the Paleolithic era, happiness was found in:
    Living off the land, good and plentiful animal supply, nuts and berries, fire for cooking
    Health (not dying from disease at a young age, resilience)
    Family and community
    Mating and love
    Fulfillment of purpose (hunting, gathering, child-rearing)
    Personal achievement and success (building a fire, escaping a bear attack)
    Safety security (knowing they would live to see the next day) ....

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  • Cycling Training in The Off Season

    Off season training for athletes that have the skills and are ready to go to the next level with them. Muscle ups, pistols, rope climbs, HSPU in all varieties, HS walking, CTB chin-ups, TTB, barbell complexes, ring dips.  All of these things belong in the trick bag that the competitive CF athlete has to have in their arsenal to compete at the next level.  The reality of the situation is that not only do they need to have them but they also need to be able to a fuck ton of reps at each one.  Over the years we have seen workouts organized at the regional level that have a large number of repetitions.  For example this years 5 round deficit HSPU workout, the chipper workout with ONE HUNDRED ....

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  • July 9, 2015

    Traits in The Gym; Feminine & Masculine 
    Is there anything more beautiful than a vibrant and radiant woman? One of the many opportunities that the fitness world affords is the chance to express that radiance.  Let me explain... Historically the fitness industry has been somewhat divided.  On the masculine side of the spectrum were the meat heads pumping iron (think Arnold) and on the feminine side of the spectrum was aerobics classes (think Jane).  And yes... I'm being a bit silly here and stereotyping for the sake of the article.  That said though, the beauty of the emergence of "the sport of fitness" is the integration of both of those.  But it was much more than just an ....

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  • EC Spotlight; Karen Whitley

    Like many OPEX Exclusive Coaching clients, Karen Whitney is an everyday fitness fanatic with hopes of being better than she was yesterday. While she keeps busy as both a family nurse practitoner and mom to three young kids (ages 7, 5 and 3), she has always managed to make time for fitness—the only problem was, before connecting with an OPEX coach, she did not know exactly where she was going with her training. She grew up running Cross country and track, from 7th-12th grade. Dabbled in soccer during high school. Ran long distance on my own through college and after. Occasional local races. Spent most of the 10 years before she discovered CrossFit, and later OPEX, running 8-10 miles ....

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  • Eating For The Games

    Eating for the Games
    If you are going to the Games, YOU are an athlete no doubt, and it takes some serious hard work and dedication to keep you going. In order to reach an the elite level, also requires more than just training in the gym. Food choices, sleep, recovery methods, mobility, and stress all play a vital role in the supernatural abilities of many athletes. Nutrition, in particular, is said to be the cornerstone of fitness. You’ve probably heard the ‘rule of thumb’: “Nutrition is 80% of your results in the gym.” While this may not be an exact percentage, Coach James FitzGerald breaks down what it takes to eat for the Games—and how nutrition is a separator when it comes honing in ....

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  • Food Can Either Help or Hurt Your Clients

    Food Can Either Help or Hurt Your Clients
    As a coach for the physical body, you have the opportunity (and responsibility) to  empower  your clients with the knowledge and tools they need to experience optimal success. After all, what coach does not want their athletes and clients to be successful? You help your clients ‘see’ blind spots in their game—and challenge them to work on their weaknesses; not cherry pick their workouts. You give feedback freely around proper form, technique and efficiency for improving results. You tell your clients when to work hard (90-100% effort), back off (MAP 10 aerobic work), or take a break altogether. You are the eagle’s eye—seeing and guiding ....

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  • Define Your Own Success

    Defining Your Own Success
    Success equals ________. Fill in the blank. What does success mean to YOU? There is no one answer to define success. For the Donald Trumps of the world, success may mean making lots of money. The Golden State Warriors: Winning the NBA championship A law student: Passing the Bar Exam. A CrossFit athlete: Making the top 200 in the Region during the Open…earning a spot at Regionals…or going to the Games. An ‘everyday’ average Joe or Sally in the gym: Adding a 5 lbs. PR to their backsquat…or ‘getting’ a  muscle-up, or a pull-up…or actually running the whole 800-meter block without stopping. As you can see…success is 100% relative to the person and the ....

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  • Team Training For The Games

    Team Training for the Games
    What does it take to make it to the CrossFit Games as a team? Hard work, dedication, and…unity. Unity is undoubtedly the deal maker or breaker when it comes to competing at the next level, and as Team OPEX prepares for its first ever appearance at the CrossFit Games in July, the six individuals’ training regimes look completely different than any other time during the year. While individual designed programming is most definitely the method OPEX believes all athletes must have if they want to excel, push past plateaus and compete at the highest level in CrossFit, OPEX Team competition training demands a whole new dynamic of effective training practices ....

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  • Skills in the Off-Season

    Join us on our Facebook at 9AM PST/12PM EST to chat with Coach Brian Foley! I want to bring up the importance of skill work during the Off-season.  Looking at the sport of fitness, training revolves around the “unknown”; once the events are released there is a short time frame for skill refinement.  During this time the goal is to maximize the similarity between training activities and competitive conditions, BUT it ultimately comes down to how often the specific skills were trained in the off-season.  The repetitions have to be built in prior to competition. For example, this year at the 2015 Crossfit Regionals we saw the hero workout “Tommy V”… For Time: 21 Thrusters 12 Rope Climb ....

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  • EC Spotlight; Elsa Vandermus

    EC Spotlight; Elsa Vandermus
    Former dancers make excellent athletes. Dedication is a discipline highly valued as part of any dancer’s life—and one that overlaps into the gym for athletes like, Elsa Vandermus. Elsa is an Exclusive Coaching client who has been working with Coach Robin Lyons now for almost one year. Prior to training at OPEX, under Coach Robin, Elsa was doing what most CrossFitters do: participating in classes her local box, wondering  if she really was ‘any good at this sport.’ She was diligent with her workouts—(sometimes to the point of walking a line of overtraining or pushing ‘too hard’), but nevertheless, knew she loved the sport and was committed. “I wanted ....

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  • Can You List Your Priorities?

    Can You List Your Priorities? 
    If you Google the definition of “priorities” you get this: “a thing that is regarded as more important than another” People operate based on what they value and that will translate into a set of priorities that dictate their behavior.  So what happens within a coach-client relationship when you have a client who doesn’t have training as a priority, but they think they should? In a word:  inauthenticity You can’t fake priorities.  I mean, you can for a bit of time but it is exhausting it leads to what can only be explained as “weird ass shit” behaviors.  Let me explain. Let’s say you have a client who has the following priorities:  Work, socializing, ....

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  • How Do You Recover?

    How Do You Recover?
    What do YOU eat or drink post-workout to recover? This is a question that has long been debated. Supplements, powders, pills, shakes, bars, vitamins and minerals are a dime a dozen in the fitness market. Not to mention the slew of nutritional and diet philosophies around the ‘right way.’ The truth of the matter is that every BODY is different, and there is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to specific  nutritional intake. That being said, however, if you are looking to perform and recover in great stride, there is no question that your nutrition is the key that unlocks your optimal potential. Over the years, OPEX has given much time and ....

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  • Sport Specific Functional Movement

    Sport Specific Functional Movement 
    I recently had a conversation with a coach who asked me about golf.  He brought up functional training and how he liked functional fitness for training athletes and when I asked him why, he seemed a bit puzzled.  He looked at me as if I was perhaps behind the curve and with excitement he went off on all the benefits of functional fitness.  To keep a long story short, he essentially mentioned that functional fitness only used movements that were functional and that's what helps athletes perform better. I pressed the question a bit more and asked how.  His response was essentially they make people stronger, to which I replied, "What if their sport ....

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  • Performing The Consult

    Performing The Consult
    The client consult is a key component
    to the assessment process, and any ongoing work you do with your clients. It’s where the ‘magic’ happens: Life coaching, understanding, agreement, explanation of the transformation process, the establishment of goals. That being said, it is critical to ensure that you have this process refined in order to deliver a quality product and impeccable client-centered experience for each and with every individual you coach. I first began to dive into the client consultation process—and the development of my current methods I use—back in my early days as a personal trainer at the YMCA. I was spending anywhere between 60-70 ....

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  • Coaching A Coach

    You’re a coach. You specialize in helping others reach their goals, execute proper form, and stay safe. You give others hope for improvement and encourage them when they are feeling less optimistic. You understand just how valuable a coach is to a client’s personal fitness (and life) journey, and you believe others should recognize that value you provide. So…do YOU have a coach? (Cricket. Cricket.) It’s easy to talk the talk…but do you walk the walk? You talk to clients—and potential clients—all day long about the perks coaching can provide. After all, you wouldn’t be in the business of training others if you didn’t believe that now would you? So conversely…when it comes to your ....

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  • Core Control for Strength and Power in Athletics

    A lot of people come to me with rehab questions, and rightfully so.  I’ve sort of gained a reputation for being the “rehab” guy.  The truth though, is that I’m actually a performance enhancement coach.  I just happened to have been lucky enough to have a dozen or so mentors who were all experts in various fields, all of whom except one had at least one doctorate.  This gave me a wide variety of philosophies to draw upon in order to become a complete and total coach with a very deep understanding of how to enhance performance.  While I do love helping people move better, get out of pain and in general live more healthy functional lives, my biggest passion is building world class ....

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  • EC Spotlight; Andy Wright

    EC Spotlight; Andy Wright
    OPEX works with clients all over the world through our Remote Coaching program. Andy Wright of Bristol, UK is one of those clients. As a Commissioned Officer in the British Army, fitness has always been a part of Andy’s life. He played rugby from childhood through his early twenties, before signing up to serve the military in the Airborne and Special Forces units. And, while fitness has always been a part of his life, knowing how to train for steady progress was always something he was continually trying to figure out. “As much as I enjoyed group exercise I came to realize that an individual program, which targets your weaknesses, using a scientific ....

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  • The Impact of a CCP Coach

    The Impact of a CCP Coach
    On Monday, James, Mike and I spoke to a of a group of coaches outside of the world of “fitness” and what was a repeating theme of the discussion is the opportunity that coaches have to truly make an impact in someone’s life.  I mean, think about it, where else can a person go to align their health, fitness, nutrition, energy (life force) and their priorities to maximize their potential as a human being?  Stop and really think about that… the impact that a masterful coach can have is huge.  In other words… We can help our clients live a larger life. I recently received this email from a new client who is a shy but powerful man of few words who has expressed ....

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  • Program Design

    Interested in our upcoming Program Design Course? Register Here Are you looking to sign up for another class or get more information? Contact Meghan Sweet to learn more ....

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  • Mindful Eating

    Mindful Eating
    Nutrition is 80% of your results in the gym. You’ve probably heard that loose statistic, coined by body builder Vince Gironda, the ‘Iron Guru’ and former coach to even Arnold Schwarzenager himself back in the 1960’s. Whatever the exact percentage food coincides with your results, there is no getting around the fact that nutrition and food play a big role in your daily life and all the work you put into the gym. That being said…something that is rarely discussed in our fitness culture today (outside of “what is good nutrition” and “what is bad nutrition”, or hot topics such as the ‘best post-workout shake’ or ‘carb back loading’), is our relationship with our food. ....

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  • Rope Climbs; For More Than Strength and Conditioning

    Rope Climbs; For More Than Strength and Conditioning
    When working with kids I get asked a lot of questions.  One of the questions I get a lot of is why I’m a proponent of not specializing so early on in an athlete’s development.  Generally, when you develop an athlete that is younger, such as middle school or high school, you need to create an athlete, not a specialist.  There will come a time to start focusing on your main sport, but in high school, it’s been proven time and time again that early specialization reduces athletic potential for many reasons.  Some of the reasons are simple such as you run the risk of burning the athlete out.  Some are more complex though, such as reducing ....

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  • Old School CrossFit and My Work with EC

    Old School CrossFit and My Work with Exclusive Coaching
    It’s funny to me, as the sport of CrossFit continues to evolve in mainstream media and public awareness of what exactly it is all about, how I have seemingly become part of a history lesson. As you can see in this article by Box Rox , I made #12 on the list of the “18 Things Only Old School CrossFit Athletes Will Remember.” Like an ‘old timer’ (i.e. dinosaur), my claim to fame as the victor of the first ever CrossFit Games in 2007, is now included in the schooling of others joining this coming-age of fitness. Know who I am or not, there’s no denying that CrossFit in and of itself has changed and evolved tremendously over the ....

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  • CCP Coach Steve Amoroso Talks Level 2 Nutrition

    CCP Coach Steve Amoroso Talks Level 2 Nutrition
    CCP coach and CrossFit coach, Steve Amoroso, says even though he works at Level 4 CrossFit Seattle--the first-ever CrossFit affiliate in the world, and he’s been around the community for several years, he’s got a lot to learn. Steve recently attended OPEX’s Level 2 Nutrition Course last month out of his continued desire to learn and grow as a coach. “I’ve also taken the Level 2 Program Design and Assessment courses and was blown away by the level of expertise and information presented.  Once you are able to put theory into practice it gets exciting to see clients progress and you want some more tools in the toolbox,” Steve said. It’s ....

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  • 5 Practical Tips To Implement An Assessment System

    At OPEX we have the privilege of speaking to thousands of coaches every month.  We hear and see what systems work and what systems don’t work.  But, we also get to see what systems work for specific types of gyms.  If you have 20 personal training clients that you handle 1 on 1 you will likely have the ability to dig into the details with your clients.  If you have a facility of 200+ members in a group model a potential challenge may be finding the time to spend with members to have a clear understanding of what their current lifestyle may look like, or who they really are as an individuals. Before we get to the meat we have to make one thing very clear:
    If you do not perform an ....

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  • Athlete Spotlight; Cassidy Duffield

    Athlete Spotlight; Cassidy Duffield
    “I didn't have much direction with my programming. I followed a basic template that I occasionally tweaked, but I was essentially wrecking myself every single day. I had the ‘more is better’ mentality, so my volume was excessively high and I could hardly keep up,” Exclusive Coaching client Cass Duffield said on her life ‘before OPEX’. Cass, 26, of Salt Lake City, has been working with Coach Mike Lee for a little over 5-months, and said she’s experienced a life change—for the better—to say the least. A former childhood competitive gymnast (ages 5-15), Duffield said she became a self-professed globo gym rat when her gymnastics dreams and dedication ....

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  • Enjoy The Journey

    Enjoy The Journey
    When we think of the word “goal” we often have an end in mind.  In fact, one of the definitions of “goal” in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is: “the END toward which EFFORT is directed :
      aim” A question I’ve been asked by coaches is: “What can you do when a client doesn’t have a specific, measurable goal?!!!” So it’s no surprise that coaches struggle when there isn’t an END game that has been defined as to direct the path of efforts.  Some people naturally gravitate towards having a goal and live by that.  Good for them.  We aren’t going to be talking about them today.  What we are going to be talking about is those who don’t have specific and measureable goals, ....

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  • Give Your Digestive System a Break

    Give Your Digestive System a Break
    It is common knowledge that with any training program, rest and recovery is necessary in order to get the full benefits of the gains and progress you want to see in the gym. Some follow a 3-day-on, 1-day-off training plan. Others follow a 5-day ‘work week’ pattern, with weekends off. Some opt to schedule specific days as ‘off days’ or ‘active recovery’ days, such as a Thursday and Sunday split. And still others, can’t bear the thought of not being in the gym 7 days per week, but take a couple of those days in the gym to devote more time to mobility or low-intensity, MAP 10 movements. Ultimately, it’s really all about finding what works best for you, ....

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  • Meet Shanna Duvall

    June 15, 2015 Meet Shanna Duvall
    I am not sure if I really do say her name right, still to this day. Shanna Duvall has been a part of the OPT —> OPEX family since Nov 2011 officially when her and I agreed to start working together. Like all great relationships there must be a story - you know mine. For Shanna she has since 2011 been the athlete turned student turned coach - the most wonderful form of a fitness continuum story. She has endured as an athlete and took the trek to AZ most recently like a lot of the other wonderful ladies I have started coaching with and that have moved and worked here we all now know... - Erin (Jan 2013), Gabby (Aug 2013), Robin (Jan 2011), Meghan ....

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  • Vision is Necessary

    Starting something new is both exciting and nerve wracking. On one hand you are excited about the fact of “new”, but nervous about the fact of “can I do this”? Just recently, I was out in Idaho, catching up with a client of mine who is going out on her own to start a new venture—an individualized design model gym, inspired by OPEX’s CCP modules and Exclusive Coaching program. Eve Fatz of Lotus CrossFit decided it was time to create and start something that has become part of her personal belief system and training methodology over the past several years—the power of individualized programming for one’s personal development and goal attainment (something she has ....

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  • The Art of Programming

    Some say programming is an art and some say that programming is a science.  I tend to believe that it is a bit of both.  Think about how programs are created.  There must always be a sound reasoning for why you prescribe something, at least there better be!  But, within that program comes historic experiences of what has worked and what hasn't, assessment of that specific athlete, consultation with that athlete that leads you to either include or exclude volume/intensity/specific movements.  What happens if you happened to catch your client after a tough day at work and your consult with them pointed you in a direction that they were over worked?  Would you over program them with work?  Of ....

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  • Health, Performance, and Lifestyle

    This graph says a lot about health, performance, and lifestyle. There are 6 main aspects of this graph that can be outlined with significance. 1.
    For an individual to go from completely sedentary at the lowest levels of performance to making significant improvements in their health are often very significant lifestyle changes from the perspective of that individual. This point can’t be glossed over when a deconditioned and overfat individual walks into your gym. Simply telling them to eat paleo and show up at the gym 5x per week for an hour session each time will often be radical changes that won’t be sustainable, or even worse - that the individual will be so overwhelmed that they ....

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  • Connecting With Your Clients

    The other day I was approached by my son’s track and field coach and she, in the kindest way possible, asked my son to leave the team.  As she put it: “His heart doesn’t appear to be in it”.  This was odd to me, because he had previously been enthusiastic, engaged and energized by his practices which are all signs of a congruent lifestyle alignment. I put myself in the coach’s shoes to understand her experience with him.  She explained to me that he use to come to practice and would try really hard but that in the last month he was coming up with excuse after excuse as to why he couldn’t participate.  She said she tried everything to get him engaged (and I’m sure she did), but that he ....

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  • EC Spotlight; Anthony Kopp

    EC Spotlight; Anthony Kopp
    Anthony Kopp would describe himself as a ‘cherry-picker’ prior to becoming an Exclusive Coaching client with OPEX a little over 5-months ago. “For several years, I wrote (and made up) my own workouts with a few other people from my gym. Once I realized I was not hitting my weaknesses though, I then thought an online program would help me do that, so I started following CompWOD. I made progress for a while but ended up stalling out after a few months. Not knowing enough about recovery, I tried to push harder and ended up with a major back injury,” Anthony said. Anthony’s injury shook him up and challenged him to question if there was perhaps a ‘better way’ to ....

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  • Posterior Chain Load-Up

    Have you ever coached an athlete in the deadlift or squat that just couldn’t seem to figure out how to sit back and let the posterior chain load up?  A rob the forefoot drill is a drill I use with many clients ranging from extremely high-level athletes to the weekend warrior.  Here is the premise behind the movement.  First, I want to clear ankle mobility issues, which is really quite easy.  Put your athlete in half kneeling barefoot and have them lunge forward keeping their heel on the ground, if they can get their shin to be 45 degrees or greater, they don’t have a mobility problem at the ankles.  An even easier test is to do a plate squat, where you have an athlete hold a 10 pound ....

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  • Carrie Adams

    A recent Graduate of ASU, Carrie brings a fresh wave of ideas to the OPEX team. With dual degrees in Journalism and Business Management, she has always managed to stay busy while expanding her thirst for knowledge. Having been raised in Northern California with two younger brothers and playing three sports in high school, it only came natural for Carrie to be a competitive athlete. When she moved to Arizona to attend ASU she pursued a new fitness journey and entered the sport of functional fitness. It was in her new surroundings that Carrie fell in love with not only the training but the teaching and educational side of the sport as well. Her passion for athletics has driven her career ....

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  • Supporting Your Local Competitions

    If your vision is to simply compete with other fitness competitors, perhaps the single cruelest route you could opt for is aiming your sights on Regionals or the Games. The road is long, steep, and only a fraction of a percentage make it to the live stage. Those that accept this challenge are accepting a creep in deterioration of their health. Period. You have options, though. CrossFit, Inc. released a proclamation to small-scale competitions two years ago, that is in hindsight a blessing to the fitness community at large. “I know there are a bunch of companies, people and, yes, sometimes even affiliates, that call a day devoted to some workouts and beer a “CrossFit competition.” Those ....

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  • June 7, 2015

    “Coaching is a craft, and you can certainly learn by doing, but it helps to seek out mentors from time to time.” Great words spoken by Coach Troy Venuto, owner of South Baltimore CrossFit, reflecting on the impact that OPEX’s Coaches Certificate Program had upon him and his role as a coach. After undergoing the OPEX certificate modules in Assessment, Program Design, Life Coaching, Nutrition and Business Systems, he said he was inspired to restructure the way he had been coaching and running his programs, 'making a much needed change' at his affiliate for the improvement of his clients. He also began implementing principles such as testing and data collection to truly and clearly see what ....

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  • June 6, 2015

    Are You Tracking What You're Actually Doing in Your Gym? 
    When it comes to working out, most people fall into one of two camps:
    Those who log their results
    And those who do not Which camp do you fall into? And how is it working for you? Chances are…if you are not tracking the work you are doing in the gym…you are not reaping the full benefits or progress you could if you were keeping tabs. How do I know? People who write things down are, statistically, more likely to achieve the things they aspire to achieve, and accomplish the goals they wish to accomplish. Want to get stronger? Improve your fitness—not remain stagnant? Stop wishing for change and start experience it? ....

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  • Fixing The Hitch

    What the heck is a ‘hitch’ and why does it need fixing? The hitch pertains to a technical inefficiency in the snatch or clean. View the right screen in the video above and notice how EC client Paul Beltrame comes to a momentary pause mid-thigh before finishing the 2nd pull. In a practice sense, this flawed motion steals massive capacity for the snatch or clean. Please replay the video above, but now contrast the right-side to the left-side. The left-side represents over THREE MONTHS of collaborative work between Paul and myself to smooth out this hitching motion. The biggest difference I personally see when comparing the videos is how aggressive Paul now accelerates the barbell past his ....

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  • Meet Amanda Goodman

    Get to know Amanda Goodman She came. She saw. She conquered. Three-time Games athlete Amanda Goodman came to the South Super Regional this year—prepared to put her training under Coach James FitzGerald to the test with the new competitive ‘super regional’ format. She did just that—and proved she has what it takes to still be on top of the podium at the Regional, after having taken 2nd in 2013 (North East Regional) and 1st in 2014 (South West Regional). This year, she placed 3rd overall, and will return to Carson in late July for another year of elite-level competition. Just this past year alone, Amanda made the choice to uproot herself from the North East to the South West ....

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  • The Beauty of Coaching

    I’ve been back down at OPEX HQ in Scottsdale this past week working on a project and had a GREAT convo with coach Robin Lyons about the beauty of coaching (thank you Robin… more good convo’s to come). We often talk about the athlete and the flow state they get into during a peak performance.  In this state, they have low perception and they simply execute.  Low perception means that certain emotions are neutralized so that athletes aren’t lost in the “what if’s” or the “if onlys”. What if I’m not fast enough? What if I let my team down? What if I miss a rep? If only I had paced myself better. If only I had trained harder. If only I made that lift. A big part of the flow state is to be ....

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  • Meet Team OPEX

    OPEX is perhaps most well known for our individualized design training programs for clients worldwide, as well as our CCP—Coaches Certificate Program It is through these two things that we aspire to be global leaders in the fitness world. We offer scientifically-based training methodologies and sound fitness and strength principles that have withstood the test of time, while also bringing fresh new research and tested data to light for workout programs, performance nutrition, mindset training and goal attainment. This year, the six individuals who make up the 3rd place South Regional (and first-time Games-bound) Team OPEX are all clear-cut examples of  the OPEX ....

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  • Rehab vs. Training

    Being a strength and conditioning coach is not all too dissimilar to being a car mechanic.  In my eyes, an athlete is a high performance machine, just like a Ferrari.  With that being said, what if you took your Ferrari into the shop for an oil change and they came back and told you that you had a few very minor issues such as brakes wearing down, and a small tiny leak?  What would you do? Would you ignore it? I hope not, you’re driving a very high performance vehicle and it needs to run exceptionally well if you want to continue driving it.  This is where being a great coach is similar to being a great mechanic.  A great mechanic can spot problems before they arise, and a smart Ferrari ....

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  • Avatar of an OPEX Coach

    Avatar of an OPEX Coach
    OPEX specializes in delivering our exclusive coaching clients an impeccable coaching experience through a training program that is customized to their goals, needs and abilities. OPEX is the leader in building the ‘next generation’ of professional coaches whom are well-versed, knowledgeable and well-rounded in all aspects that go into training—not just guiding clients in exercise, but thoughtfully designing training programs, assessing clients, providing sound nutrition information, life coaching and business acumen. It is our hope that through the teaching and education of  both  coaches and clients that we make an imprint in the fitness community as we know ....

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  • Do You Have What it Takes?

    Regionals: Realistic Conversations-Do You Have What It Takes? 
    So you’ve been watching Regionals the past few weeks—the highs and the lows. It’s been exciting to see the hard work of many athletes pay off, knowing full and well that every single individual out there on the floor has put in some serious time and effort in the gym in order to get to that point. That being said, if you are a coach at a CrossFit affiliate, you, more than likely, have come across a number of clients who have been keeping up with the Regional events, salivating for their opportunity, next year, to make their mark in the Open and be out there on the floor. In recent years, as CrossFit the sport has ....

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  • Coach Mike Lee Discusses Olympic Lifts

    May 29, 2015
    Coach Mike Lee
    Progressing The Clean and The Snatch
    Part 1 THE BASICS FIRST: FIRST, let me start off with a simple statement that needs to be highlighted and emphasized. NOT EVERYONE should be using the dynamic lifts as part of there training. The movements are complex and require an immense amount of coordination, control and focus. Unfortunately not all men and women are made to have a perfect limb length; we all are born with different characteristics. Fitness is all encompassing; if you are simply trying to be fit then implementing the dynamic lifts are NOT a necessity. Proficiency takes time with advanced movements. Individuals will stay on a ....

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  • Athlete Spotlight; Melissa Guitron

    Athlete Spotlight; Melissa Guitron
    Exclusive Coaching client Melissa Guitron would describe herself, before finding fitness, as “The college girl who did cardio at the local gym because I thought it would counter balance my love for beer.” Today, under the Remote coaching guidance of Coach Mike Lee, the girl, who had never done a pull-up or lifted a weight in her life until her mid-20’s, can complete 50 strict pull-ups for time in under 5-minutes and can’t imagine hitting the treadmill for a monotonous cardio session. And best of all? She said she feels more confident in her own skin than ever. “I never had aspirations of being a competitive CrossFitter. My goals have always been ....

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  • Stress and Why It's Good For You

    In our CCP Life Coaching module we teach that the maximal potential for human growth occurs on the border of support and challenge.  But we live in a society conditioned to look for the quick fix and instant gratification to sustain the belief that everything should be happy all the time AND people have become addicted to support in an effort to attain nothing but pleasure.  It’s such a bull shit way to live. Now one of our biggest health issues is stress.  And stress is perceptual.  AND it’s been labelled as bad because it doesn’t fit into the above societal condition, which stresses people out even more. Oh no!  I have stress, so now I have to get rid of it or I’ll be unhealthy. ....

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  • What's Your Purpose?

    What's Your Purpose?
    As a coach and/or business (gym) owner, the  key  to leading people is to have purpose and constantly build on that purpose. Purpose gives you direction. What is your purpose? What is your businesses’ purpose? When that purpose is defined and pursued, you align your client base with people who fit into that belief you are on your way. Disclaimer: Your purpose is different than your mission, or mission statement. Your mission describes what you, your business, or your organization is committing to both now and into the future. Its aim is to provide focus for you and your team. It is also not your  vision. 
    A  vision
     says what you wish for your business ....

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  • EC Client; Jonson Tan and Mobility

    Jonson Tan flew all the way from Malaysia to meet with me. He had knee surgery in the beginning of the year and hasn't been able to squat or move much at all due to pain so he sought me out to get him back in the game. Thanks Jonson for dropping into OPEX. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and appreciate you letting me take you to lunch as well! Assessing posture is extremely important when you work with any athlete or client. In my opinion it should come first and foremost. For starters, depressed and downwardly rotated scapulae reduce many areas of performance not just in overhead barbell movements. I drew an "x" on the manubrium, and one on the front of each AC joint. Generally, I ....

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  • Where Are You Going As a Business

    Where Are You Going As a Business
    As coaches, we are often aware of the fact that we must attune to what it is our clients want out of their training—their goals, the reason they are training, their priorities, their current abilities…ultimately, their why.  Or, at the very least, we seek to understand these things. However, something I find time and time again with coaches I train, or consult, is that they themselves struggle with defining these things for themselves: What their goals and priorities are as a coach and business? Who their ideal and primary audience (client) is—the types of clients they connect best with and work with? The reason behind their work, day in and ....

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  • Paleo Nutrition and Performance Training

    Paleo Nutrition and Performance Training
    Do the two go hand in hand? Yes and no. First things first, it’s important to define what exactly ‘Paleo’ means when you ask the question, because depending on who you talk to, you may get conflicting points of view. Paleo can easily seem like it has about 15 different versions. There are varied opinions depending on whom you ask. Whatever the ‘nitty gritty’ differences are  in each, there is no getting around the primary principal of Paleolithic eating: Eat real food.
    According to Dr. Loren Cordain, one of the world’s leading experts on Paleo, “The Paleo Diet is based upon eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups our ....

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  • The Lost Art of Aerobic Endurance Training for CrossFit

    First of all let me start with saying that human beings are designed to be enduring.  The more enduring we are, the more resilient we can be in life period.  The aerobic system is one of our genetic predispositions as humans and must not be forgotten in exercise prescription in fear of “losing strength”.   The single greatest contribution a competitive fitness athlete can add to their program is CORRECTLY prescribed Aerobic Endurance Training. Most people believe that aerobic training is just simply running, rowing or cycling for 30-45 minutes.  In reality there are several levels of aerobic training and each “feel” different to the athlete and must be prescribed correctly for proper ....

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  • Be Resilient

    Resilience is how great battles are won and tough circumstances are overcome. The concept is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.”
    David, a scrawny shepherd boy defeated Goliath, a giant, with it. Butler, an underdog basketball team, defeated 2 seed Kansas State to earn their first Final Four appearance in school history. Rich Froning sprang back to the Games in 2011 to claim the title, after one year earlier, encountering the inability to climb a rope. And Team OPEX tapped into resilience at the 2015 South Super Regional, fighting their way from 7th place on Day 1, to 3rd place by Day 3, and earning their first ever trip to the CrossFit Games. ....

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  • It's Who You Are In The Moment

    It's Who You Are In The Moment
    Have you ever felt like you were going around in circles and doing the same thing? This is something I hear often from clients. People have patterns of behavior and on a surface level these patterns may look like we are going around in circles. But the more you learn about behavior the more you begin to see the little nuances. At first glance what appears to be circles winds up being an evolving spiral. Imagine a slinky sitting on a desk, and then stretch it upwards. If you start at the bottom and trace the slinky upwards you see both the circles and the upward spiral. How you perceive the pattern will depend on how I ask the question about it. If I asked ....

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  • Why Do You Do?

    Why Do You Do?
    Ernest Hemingway once said, “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” Take a minute to think about that and let it sink in. I don’t about you, but that excites me. To know there is never enough time, to understand that I can continually grow, for the time that I have on this planet. To grow as a man, a coach, a friend, a son, one day maybe a husband, perhaps even grow as a father one day. For those that know me, they know that I am constantly seeking new knowledge, but not just knowledge in the sciences, knowledge in life. My quest for knowledge takes me to many places, which I am forever grateful for. That’s the key though, maintaining ....

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  • Floor Press with Hip Bridge

    Many people have angry shoulders, or poor posture due to sitting at a desk all day long. Generally when I work with athletes with shoulder pathologies or they just have sub-optimal posture, I’ll substitute the bench press with a floor press or a variation. This week’s exercise you should be doing is called a floor press with hip bridge, which you can see here . You can do this many different ways, one leg at a time, one arm at a time, one leg two arms at a time, etc. As long as you keep to these simple principles with this exercise it’ll surely help your fitness in multiple ways. For starters, the hip bridge helps activate glutes, and most people have an issue with this as it stands. ....

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  • Regional Thoughts

    Regional Thoughts
    If I could make three changes to the 2015 Team Regional events, they would be: 1.
    Eliminating partner deadlifts and synchronized CTB chin ups in Event 1 - I have no problem with unilateral bending activity or testing team cohesion, but in both of these movements chosen, opposite sex partners are very much penalized for having different limb lengths. Further, the synchronization aspect of the CTB chin ups in my opinion will simply exacerbate judging error at the expense of fitness testing. 2.
    Placing the wall balls before the run in Event 3 - I love including running in fitness competitions, but for the teams, this event will require shorter, high effort runs on a ....

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  • Thoughts on the 2015 Regional Events

    Thoughts on the 2015 Regional Events
    Hit-and-miss may best summarize my opinions on the 2015 Individual Regional events. The weekend is central to the spectator experience. This is not an inherent problem; however, it is my opinion that testing for such as stage of competition should be focused on assessing an array of qualities in fitness. Instead, the competition is fixed around structuring 30-mintues of floor time per athlete, per day in a visually pleasing way. This ultimately aligns the majority of testing to be limited solely by muscle endurance for the competition field. If you can perform repetitions of pushing and pulling aerobically, great you’re on to the Games in Carson, ....

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  • EC Client; Gabby Andrews

    May 15, 2015
    Coach- Matt Bryant
    Exclusive Coaching Athlete- Gabrielle Andrews
    I want to talk a little about someone I have been working with over the last year and share a little bit of her story; Gabby Andrews. It is always fun to go back and take a look at designs several months back.  I wanted to talk about this one for a couple of reasons. 1st.
    Gabby is an athlete that has a large amount of potential.  She came in with good experience and a high training volume but suffered an injury that took patience and dedication to work through. 2nd.
    The journey she has been through has been for the most part a day to day design based on feel and structure to help regain ....

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  • Athlete Spotlight; Chelsea Nicholas

    Athlete Spotlight; Chelsea Nicholas
    Exclusive Coaching client Chelsea Nicholas set a goal for herself last year to qualify for the CrossFit Regionals as an individual competitor. Less than one year later, she did just that—and credits the help and guidance of her Exclusive Coaching coach Robin Lyons with helping her achieve her goal. “I wanted to make it to Regionals as an individual.  I felt like I had the potential to be there, but whatever I had been doing on my own was not getting me there.  All of the best athletes have their own coach.  If I wanted to be one of the best athletes I figured I should get a coach,” Chelsea said. Chelsea was right. She first came across OPEX last ....

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  • If by Rudyard Kipling

    This is one of my favorite poems as it reminds me of that balanced state that exists in all things, so I wanted to share it with you.  Coaching mastery involves being able to coach anyone and a key factor in that is the ability to remain balanced in your mission to coach despite challenges as they come.  And they will come. Also… I’ve spent the past week in AZ and enjoyed watching our athletes prepare for Regionals this weekend and I want to wish them well as I can’t be there in person to cheer them on. If— BY RUDYARD KIPLING If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for ....

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  • Learnings

    Nowadays I primarily consume knowledge through two outlets: audio and conversation. My podcast playlist generally gives me a least one new episode a day to listen to during commute time. And nearly every day I enter into 30-90 minutes of discussion with fellow OPEX coaches. Below is a list of topics from the past month, which I believe are pearls to share: 1) James FitzGerald; Frequency in specific litmus tests
    First, identify what areas a client needs to improve on in fitness. Second, create 1-3 days of testing battery to assess these areas. Finally, schedule these tests periodically throughout the year. A coach will then have 4-7 reoccurring data points on the most ....

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  • Michael Bann: The Bear Crawl

    The bear crawl ( demonstrated here ) is a quadruped based exercise that many coaches prescribe in programs for their athletes, yet they don’t necessarily coach it properly, or understands its function.  When done properly the bear crawl is a fantastic exercise to train the rotator cuff musculature, scapula stabilizers, and core stability. Functionally speaking the rotator cuff’s job (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis) is to create centration of the joint.  Joint centration in this case is defined as the position with the most interosseous connection.  In other words, the rotator cuff prevents your shoulder from dislocating. The rotator cuff is not only trained by ....

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  • Reflecting for the Offseason

    What to do, what to do, what to do? (Twiddling thumbs). It is that time of year for a lot of people to look back and wonder, ‘What just happened?!’ Many are licking wounds, and generally, “reflecting” on this year’s winter season of fitness. Head down and putting our training to the test, we have been doing and doing and doing. But…now what? If CrossFit is your sport, only a small handful (of the thousands who competed in the Open) will advance the Regionals in the coming week. As for the rest?...They want and need some direction! Over the years, I’ve seen many off-seasons come and go for both myself, and the hundreds of clients and athletes I’ve worked with. And something that I ....

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  • Knowing Your Purpose and Leading Your Clients

    Knowing Your Purpose and Leading Your Clients 
    If you own, operate or coach at a gym business, you more than likely have a mission statement and/or vision listed on your website. What is it? How often do you check in with it? And…are you running and operating your business by it? While mission statements are great for defining the direction and foundation of your business, their meanings can also get jumbled in a slew of words that seemingly don’t have much passion
    or purpose
    behind them. For instance, take a look at a few mission statements from some bigger businesses:
    Wendy’s: Our guiding mission is to deliver superior quality products and services for our customers and ....

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  • Coach Michael Bann and the Initial Assessment

    Join us on our Facebook page at 9AM PST/ 12PM EST to talk with Coach Matt Springer and ask any questions you may have on training.

    OPEX ONE May 7, 2015
    Coach- Michael Bann

    In this week’s installment of OPEX One I’m going to be giving insight to the art of assessing an athlete who’s been chewed up and spit out by the grinder.  If you’ve been involved in fitness for awhile you’ve likely seen the athletes who have stopped making progress, perhaps keep tweaking things such as their back or knee or even a shoulder.  I have one such client named Anthony. Anthony came to me 2 months ago with back pain; he herniated a disc and had a discectomy as a result.  He didn’t go through rehab, and ....

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  • EC Spotlight; Erin Carter

    EC Spotlight; Erin Carter
    Erin Carter would be the first to tell you she was never an athlete growing up. “I grew up near the ocean (and was pretty active, just not really an athlete). I played highschool sports but wasn’t really all that into it, I would pick surfing over any indoor sport any day of the week,” Erin said. Little did Erin know that years later, she would be competing in the sport of CrossFit as an elite-level athlete, finishing 16 th overall in the South West Region in 2015. Since discovering the sport in 2007, she hasn’t looked back since. “My husband is in the Air Force, so we move around a lot, and he was stationed in Atlanta at the time. I was just doing some ....

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  • Know Pain, Know Gain

    Know Pain, Know Gain
    A little saying we’ve had around since the OPT days is “Know Pain, Know Gain”.  Nothing good comes easy and hard work is, well… hard.  The thing about people and their behaviour is that when something is a high value to us we are willing to take the bad with the good to get the outcome we want.  If something isn’t a high value, then we will bail as soon as the going gets tough.  That’s why people fall off the wagon over time.  But those who are consistent have a high value on the outcome they seek. Not everyone comes to the gym to get fit.  Some people workout so they have enough energy to keep up with their kids or their grandkids.  Some people workout with ....

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  • Coaching Spotlight; James Taylor

    Coaching Spotlight: James Taylor
    Also known as “ JT ”, James Taylor made the trek to the desert from Georgia with one idea in mind - discovering this whole fitness thing.
    What started as an admirable indulgence into the world of fitness head on, became a superior journey of learning.  JT practices what he preaches. He fulfills what we call “reliability” in the triangle of trust in the CCP coaches learning. JT demands that from his clients and achieves it in his return to them.He is simply a shining example of what a solid coach “can be” and “can become” with honouring the premise of knowing what you are best at and maxing that characteristic to the utmost for your clients. On site ....

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  • Just Breathe

    Just Breathe
    What separates a good athlete from a great athlete? A standout performance, from an average performance? A slight edge. Slight edges come in many forms. For instance, a strategy for attacking Open Workout 15.2  (overhead squats and chest-to-bar pull-ups) could be a slight edge. For others, a slight edge may look like proper body mechanics, extra mobility work, a workout-specific warm up, a particular food they eat pre-workout, or as simple as breathing. Just breathe. Perhaps you’ve heard it before in the gym during a training session, or even in a competition, or, you’ve been reminded, “Don’t forget to breathe” during a heavy 1-rep max back squat. Breathing is ....

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  • The Black Box Summit Revisited

    The Black Box Summit Revisited
    Traveling back to Austin reminds me of a transformative moment that happened there in 2008. I was in Austin last weekend as a guest speaker at Paleo f(x) on Friday and Sunday, as well as led the C5: 5 Foundations of Coaching course at Central Athlete on Saturday . And every time I am there, I can’t help but reflect back to the Black Box Summit where a lot went down: When I met my “a ha” moment. The “a ha” moment that really spurred OPEX, and the CCP program, into being. For those who aren’t familiar with the Black Box Summit, it was a three-day summit back in 2008 for the leaders, movers and shakers in the CrossFit world at the time: Greg Everett, ....

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  • Brian Foley

    Brian Foley is not new to the fitness community.  His experience with competitive sports gave him the drive to pursue fitness and help others on their fitness journey.  First starting in the Crossfit community, he became a coach for two Southern California affiliates. His expertise allowed him to manage and program for one of those facilities. While coaching, he continued to put in work and his commitment landed him a team spot for Southern California regionals.  Brian has tested most research of fitness and diet on himself which has allowed him the experience to personally program for others.  Brian also has had the privilege and experience of having James Fitzgerald as his coach. ....

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  • Good to Great by Choice by Jim Collins

     to our newest Level 1 Coach, Tim Thackery! Below is just one piece of Tim's case study that is required in order to complete Level 1.
    Good to Great by Choice by Jim Collins
    The current fitness landscape has been described as the ‘Wild West’ recently, and on many fronts I agree with this analogy. We are currently in an era where there are huge amounts of great discoveries being researched and developed, while at the same time, this increases the market space for at best misunderstandings to be sold, and at worst, straight up charlatans. Based on the Jim Collin’s research, there are five large areas that stand out to me that current fitness business owners will ....

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  • April 27, 2015

    What separates a ‘good’ coach, or ‘average’ coach, from a GREAT coach? Inspiration? Knowledge? Experience? Patience? While all of these factors do most certainly play a role in ‘greatness’, this past weekend in Austin, Texas at OPEX’s newest course offering—the “C5 Course: The 5 Foundations of Coaching”—Coach James FitzGerald stressed two points in particular when it comes to  greatness:
    Genuinely connecting with people; and,
    Listening to what they have to say
    What is the first question you ask your clients when you first see them? Typically, “ How are you today?” right? That question (and answer) has become as common—and expected—as “Hello” or “Good morning” in our ....

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  • What are you Really Trying to Accomplish?

    What are you really trying to accomplish with your business and are you setup to give your clients the best product possible?
    Seems like simple questions most any business owner or entrepreneur  should  know off the bat. However, the more I talk to coaches, and the more I observe the fitness industry’s evolution at large, the more I find that the answers don’t come easily. In fact, if anything, it’s quite the opposite: It is a question very few coaches actually take the time to ask when it comes to running their gym or fitness business. In a world where ‘Likes’ on Facebook and Instagram can be seen as "quality," and coaches are allowing what is pop culture at that moment to define ....

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  • Litmus Test – Upper Body Pulling

    Litmus Test – Upper Body Pulling
    A litmus test is a gauge of progress in program design. If your prescription has been targeting a specific quality in fitness, a litmus test communicates honesty in the development of that quality. Litmus tests are in principle: 1) Repeatable, data driven 2) Complimentary to training Following the conclusion of 15.2, I decided to take a closer look at an OPEX litmus test, which appeared in last December’s annual online competition: For time 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 UB CTB chinups Must break btwn each set This litmus shows capacity in upper body pulling, specifically proficiency and pacing with chest-to-bar chinups. I compared all eligible male and female ....

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  • Coach James Taylor Discusses his Remote Coaching

    Don't miss out on our Facebook Q&A session , April 24, 2015 9AM MST/ 12PM EST  .  We will be answering your questions on training, programming and anything else you may have! OPEX ONE
    April 24, 2015 Remote Coaching Client- Brian Harris
    Coach James Taylor
    The Workout That Wasn’t
    This past year, I had the privilege of coaching Brian Harris, an American soldier who is the strongest willed and most resilient individual I have had the opportunity to coach. He definitely has the best overall capacity for mixed work of anyone for whom I have designed a program to this date. Considering his goals and his attitude towards his experience, Brian had a great Open this year. I feel the ....

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  • Athlete Spotlight; Daniel Sulatycky

    Athlete Spotlight; Daniel Sulatycky 
    There comes a time in many athletes’ training lives that they realize they are tired of going it alone. Daniel Sulatycky reached this point approximately a year and a half into his own fitness journey. “I had been doing CrossFit on my own ever since I started it back in 2013. I had seen some results but when I set a goal to qualify for Regionals, (I knew I needed some guidance),” Daniel said. The soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces first heard about OPEX through his friend, who currently is training under OPEX Coach and 2015 South West Regional (Team) qualifier Meghan Sweet. “I always did my own programming before and was self-taught, never had ....

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  • It's All in the Process

    It's All in the Process
    The following is an excerpt taken from Epigenetics: The Death of the Genetic Theory of Disease Transmission ; “We talk about DNA as if it’s a template (or a blue print), like a mold for a car part in a factory. In the factory, molten metal or plastic gets poured into the mold thousands of times and, unless something goes wrong in the process, out pop thousands of identical car parts. But DNA isn’t really like that. It’s more like a script. Think of Romeo and Juliet, for example. In 1936 George Cukor directed Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer in a film version. Sixty years later Baz Luhrmann directed Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in another movie version of ....

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  • April 24-26- Paleo f(x) and C5 in Austin

    April 24-26 Paleo f(x) and C5 in Austin 
    Paleo f(x) is coming this weekend—are you going? Held in Austin, Texas at the Palmer Events Center, April 24-26 , the three-day conference will bring together some of the leading minds and voices in the health and fitness world for a mix of panel discussions, lectures and seminars, workshops and showcases. Coach James Fitzgerald will be one of the guest speakers, hosting a lecture on the concept of What Defines an Athlete on Sunday. The concept of fitness and exercise design has largely been academically supported to involve ‘athletic’ bias in the prescription. There have been large shifts in what ‘functional fitness’ really is, and more ....

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  • Jen I.

    In July of 2014 Jen joined the OPEX team, filling the role of Administrative Assistant. Having served in the Air Force for 7 years as an EMT Medic, Jen was no stranger to the health field. Jen received her Associates in Applied Health Sciences through the Community College of the Air Force. In 2002 she moved to Arizona and attended ASU, graduating with her second degree, a Bachelors in Psychology. With a background in general fitness and as a bikini competitor, Jen has become an on-site exclusive training client. Continually learning and progressing with the help of the OPEX coaches, she is an excellent example of the OPEX purpose- to create awareness through fitness. ....

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  • Perceptions

    What do you see in each picture?  The frames are seconds apart but with a slight tilt in the camera for each. I was out practicing MAP 10 (#map10isthenewzone1) in North Carolina while there for CCP "program design" and “coaching" level 1. The night there was calling me to be outside.  I walk often. Its not irregular for me to walk with my Titan Vest in the AM’s for 60 min as well as hike the Gateway Loop with my wife 2-3x/week for 1:09 - ish.  (currently on track to beat Matt and Lindsay’s 1:08 ).  Anyhow, I was out for a stroll and had to stop in this field. The fence drew me near, it reminded me of the one erected on my land in Calgary back in the day. I ....

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  • Building Your Brand

    Building Your Brand
    You’re a coach. And, you genuinely love what you do. But, you want more. You don’t want to just be a coach. You want to be more than
    a coach. You, yourself, represent your own business and your own brand. That being said, advertising and ‘salesman’ is not necessarily your job description. How do you build your own brand? How do you best promote yourself as a coach? The answers are multi-folded. Coach James Fitzgerald has been in the coaching industry for nearly two decades. He recently sat down with Michal Bohumel (a CCP student and coach from Slovakia) for an interview to shed light on building your brand and promoting yourself as a coach, during the ....

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  • Define Coach vs Cheerleader

    Coaching Principles That Help Define the Difference Between Coach vs Cheerleader
    You can’t deny that coaches play a role in development of professional and/or elite athletes.  Today coaches seem to be EVERYWHERE... With a stop watch and a coach’s shirt on their back they are now qualified to count reps and push people to go harder!   The “role” of a coach, in many cases, has diluted into a cheerleader type role.  If you want to be more than a cheerleader here are 4 principles that will help to differentiate you and the rest of the crowd of coaches: # 1 Coaches Assess ALL aspects of their athlete
    .  That includes
    current health & wellness
    , fitness
    and ....

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  • Coach Matt Springer discusses Training Variations

    April 17, 2015
    Coach Matt Springer
    Scheduling Weekly Training
    In this week’s installment of OPEX ONE, I will be addressing how to schedule a weekly training split to best compliment lifestyle, answering the question: What days of the week should I train? Certainly 3-on/1-off is not conducive to a large number of individuals for scheduling. But then again, neither is a split taking  Sunday / Thursday as rest days. Such a split prioritizes training during a typical workweek, where lifestyle stresses are heightened for many. Below are three avatars I am most commonly presented with for alternative scheduling. Weekend Warriors
    For executives, laborers, educators, ....

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  • Kelsey Sherwood

    Kelsey comes to OPEX by way of New York where she grew up and began her love affair with bodybuilding. As a high school and collegiate volleyball, basketball, and softball player the passion for sports and the rush of competing came naturally. It wasn’t until after college sports ended that she was yearning for a new challenge and discovered bodybuilding. Without any prior experience she jumped at the first opportunity she had to compete in not one, but two figure competitions. Her passion for sports spilled into her education as she graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a B.S in Sports Management. She then continued her education and received her MBA in Marketing from Lynn Univeristy in ....

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  • Athlete Spotlight; Tyler Grimh

    Athlete Spotlight; Tyler Grimh
    Tyler Grimh, a CrossFit coach at CrossFit Sanctify in Madison, Wisconsin, was tired of searching for the ‘perfect program’ to improve his own athletic abilities and fitness. He was tired, that is, until he discovered OPEX’s Exclusive Coaching program about four months ago…and he hasn’t looked back since. While Tyler has not been an athlete ‘all his life’, he said he’s always been active and, since discovering CrossFit back in 2011, he said he has developed a love for training. This newfound love for training also gave him a newfound love for pushing his body to new limits, and, like many, he found himself constantly spinning his wheels to try to ‘get ....

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  • Lauryn Lax

    Dr. Lauryn Lax is an Occupational Therapist, Nutrition Therapy Practitioner, Fitness Professional and journalist, living in Austin, Texas. Lauryn earned her B.A. in journalism at the University of Texas-Austin and Doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Belmont University in Nashville. Today, she represents the 'voice of OPEX' as the contributing blog writer, and keeper of online content, but her experience as a journalist dates back to the time she was 6-years-old, when she started her first neighborhood newsletter. From then on, she has served as a regular contributor to several health and fitness publications, including Box Life Magazine, WOD Talk Magazine,, and the CrossFit ....

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  • Where Do You Feel Most Alive?

    Where Do You Feel Most Alive?
    I just spent the last week travelling in Paris on my own. I’m a fairly social creature by nature, but I looooove my alone time. Like A LOT. I enjoy the stillness that comes from being alone with your thoughts and the ability to reflect in that space. In our Life Coaching course, we ask people the question: “Where do you feel most alive and energized?” For me, one of the answers to that question is in learning, and I learn a lot when I travel. New experiences inspire me and that place of inspiration allows for clarity of thought. So needless-to-say that time in Paris was highly valuable to me. Now that the opens are over and much has been said about ....

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  • Improving Digestion

    Improving Digestion with James Fitzgerald
    Here at OPEX, we are big on education, and the continued education, of our coaches, athletes and clients. Knowledge is power when it comes to learning, and today we are talking about Basic Digestive Health and Food Hygiene practices with Coach James FitzGerald. James has been working with clients and athletes for years on finding what is best for their bodies when it comes to feeling good, performing well and fully recovering with a foundation of good nutrition. Here he breaks down some of the ‘basics’ of improving digestion, as well as clears up some common misconceptions when it comes to the ‘perfect’ diet practices for both health and ....

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  • Reflections on the Open and the 'Average Joe'

    Reflections on the Open 
    There is quite a lot of coverage about those who are at the top of the Leader Board during the CrossFit Games, but what about the  other 249,900 people ?
    The sport is growing throughout all parts of the world and among people of all ability levels. A major focus at OPEX is not only helping those who stand atop the podium, but also helping those 249,900 people find progress and fulfillment within the sport. We pay close attention to how the sport is evolving for  ALL
     athletes. Reflecting back on the 2015 Open, a few things that were very noticeable this year were: 1. 
    Regionals are now extremely demanding to achieve and it is only a short matter of time ....

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  • Eating on the Road

    Eating on the road I THINK has actually increased my resiliency. Not long ago I would have had anxiety over fillers, “fried in…” this oil, cooked “next to..” this food, etc… More and more I have learned that having a resilient mind and gut is the combination on creating health as I travel. I am asked that question a lot - "what do you eat when away”? I DO plan it out as best I can. AND I do know that I travel a lot and honestly do feel like I have increased bandwidth and health when travelling more and more now further away and on longer trips…interesting right? I set myself up for success but I do know that I cannot be perfect, THIS ALONE allows me peace of mind without going down the ....

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  • Why Your Clients Don't Need to be Snatching

    Why Your Clients Don’t Need to Be Snatching
    Snatching has become a staple movement in most affiliates and programs across the globe. However, in all honesty, how good (or safe for that matter) are your clients at snatching? In theory, practice makes perfect, but does it?  In reality, there are quite a large number of people who should NOT
     be snatching. The snatch is a technical lift that takes  years and years  of practice and progression. Even the elite of the elite in the sport of weightlifting take lifetimes to master. Let's even say that your 40-year-old soccer mom has the potential (not ability, just potential) to learn the proper technique AND gain the needed flexibility for ....

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  • Coach Mike Lee: Alex LaChance's Training

    OPT-In Episode 37 - In this episode of OPT-In James takes on a great question from a member of the OPEX community around introducing and integrating an Exclusive Coaching program offering into an existing group fitness business model. With that discussion, James reflects back on his impetus in creating and evolving the Big Dawg Blog over the last 6+ years, and how there are parallels to be drawn in both journeys. Here is a link to the original Big Dawg Blog for reference:

    April 10, 2015 Exclusive Coaching Client - Alex LaChance Coach- Mike Lee

    Are you tired?
    The beauty of coaching individuals is that we have the ability to encompass ....

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  • OPEX One Sticky

    Episode #37: 
    "Integrating Exclusive Coaching within an existing group fitness gym model"
    In this episode of OPT-In James takes on a great question from a member of the OPEX community around introducing ad integrating an Exclusive Coaching program offering into an existing group fitness business model.  With that discussion, James reflects back on his impetus in creating and evolving the Big Dawg Blog over the last 6+ years, and how there are parallels to be drawn in both journeys. You can watch Episode 37  here ! Here is a link to the original Big Dawg Blog for reference: http:// optimumperformancetraining. Attention! OPEX is hiring! Are you motivated, creative and ....

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  • Constant Variance and Testing

    (Pictured-Eric Bland, Remote Coaching Client of James Taylor ) Constant Variance and Testing
    On the tails of the Open, the majority of OPEX’s clients are preparing to move into a time of testing. After a week of programmed recovery and a week of easing back into the gym with bodyweight movements, OPEX’s coaches will be programming a series of tests to gather and assess a baseline of fitness for our clients. While the Open is typically called a ‘test of fitness’, over the years, it has evolved more and more to a test of ‘show’—who is able to complete the best show of elements and move up the leaderboard. OPEX’s testing involves a comprehensive assessment of all energy systems ....

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  • Individual Program Design- Austin O' Neal

    Austin O'Neal, 24, was a self-proclaimed ‘program hopper’ for years. A collegiate wrestler and athlete all his life, O’Neal loved working hard and was always up for a physical challenge—anything to improve his strength and fitness. In 2013, during his final year of college, he was introduced to the OPEX BIG DAWG blog, and added some of the daily workouts to his own conglomerated training routine. When his wrestling days ended last spring, O’Neal was at a loss for what was ‘next.’ Hungry to continue competing, he decided to pursue CrossFit as his main sport. However, after making an ....

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  • Global Family

    Global Family
    I wanted to send a BIG thank you to CCP coaches Martin and Bjorn of CrossFit Uppsala in Uppsala Sweden for hosting OPEX for the the fourth year in a row.  It's been a pleasure for me to watch the CCP grow over the years, and I've felt a real shift this year as OPEX has grown globally. We had coaches attend the Life Coaching module from a number of countries including: Sweden Austria Germany England Ireland Wales Czech Republic and a growing contingent from Slovakia. We strive to teach universal principles of coaching that connect the dots for all of the CCP courses. When you have coaches from around the globe come together to learn about the art of coaching, you can see ....

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  • CCP Impact

    The CCP Impact; SOL CrossFit
    As you may have noticed, the Big Dawgs Blog looks different than it has over the past several years. OPEX has been anticipating this day that we deliver our individualized training model to all of our followers—you included—with this week’s launch of OPEX One. OPEX One=One coach. One client. One prescription.
    While we have loved bringing you programming for our Function, Will, Being and She, we are digging deeper into what we value at our core:individualized programming.  It is important to us to align what we teach around the world with the exact services that we offer to our coaches and our clients. No two bodies, abilities or goals are exactly alike.  ....

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  • Finding Balance

    Finding Balance
    Work Life Balance—a term you often hear; but a term with an unclear meaning. In essence, ‘balance’ denotes the idea that the time spent between work and life is equal, 50/50. However, in order to achieve an ‘equal’, 50/50 balance, it seems as though that means living in two different extremes: 50-percent of the time, you are ‘all in’ work mode, only to swing to the opposite end of the spectrum, 50-percent of the time, you are in ‘all play’ mode (family, leisure, forget about work, etc.). Where is the happy-medium? Is it possible to live a 100% ‘balanced’ lifestyle with your work and your life, going hand in hand? I know so. How do I know? I am living it. My LIFE ....

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  • Getting Comfortable with Uncomfortable

    What a great picture this is.  It says so much but it really says whatever you believe that it says.  This could mean so many different things to so many different people.  It is tough to deny that a great phrase for this picture could be: "Get comfortable with uncomfortable" Whether you are an athlete, a business owner, or somebody looking for health and fulfillment there becomes a time when you must go through discomfort.  That discomfort can come in many forms:
    Lifestyle change
     - Perhaps you decided to quit drinking or smoking or eating garbage foods.  Perhaps you decided to end a long term relationship because it wasn't healthy for either party.  Perhaps you decided to change or ....

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  • Know Your Why- Part 2

    Know Your Why-Part 2
    Simon Sinek makes an incredibly profound statement "People don't buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it."  Take a moment to reflect on that statement.  The reason that people get on board with a product or with a company (or with a coach) is because they believe in the values and views of that company.  There are countless examples of companies who created great technology but never got a foothold and there are some great examples of companies who nailed it.  The example that Sinek uses in his book "Start with why" is Apple.  People don't buy an iphone...they buy that Apple challenges the status quo.  People buy into the reasons you do what you do.  That statement ....

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  • One Coach, One Client, One Prescription

    In the next few days, you will notice OPEX’s blog undergoing changes as it transitions into the new:  OPEX One
    . In line with our core mission, OPEX One is a program dedicated to further engage and educate you—and others—about OPEX’s philosophies on coaching and training: ONE  coach,  ONE  client,  ONE  prescription.
    Every  Friday , beginning April 10 th , OPEX One will be a consistent weekly opportunity for fitness goers to see what goes on in the design and process of an OPEX created training program. Coaches from OPEX’s team will post a weekly blog or video.  The aim of each post is to educate you about how the process of individualized design is structured.  It is also designed to ....

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  • What's Next?

    What's next?
    The weeks following the CrossFit Open are a time for reflection, recovery and celebration. No matter how you fared overall, it’s over, and after five weeks of living in a state of anticipation, excitement, nerves and intensity, it’s a time to give your CNS and mind a much-needed break. The vast majority of the quarter-million-plus who competed in the 2015 Open, will not advance to the next stage of competition. For those individuals, what’s next? With a full year ahead before the next ‘season’ (2016 Open), many are eager to already start preparing for the next year to come. After all training starts now, and after learning more about yourself as an athlete, or ....

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  • Do What Makes You Happy

    Do What Makes You Happy
    I had the best weekend—it was completely full and utterly fulfilling.  I completed phase 2 of a new corporate gym I’m setting up, packed and got ready to leave for Sweden, I trained and PR’d, made & ate really good seasonal food, hung out with a dear friend, read a book, listened to good music, slept well, supported Kent at the opens, took my daughter to volleyball, survived as she drove us home (she just got her learners), connected with old friends, had very philosophical conversations, played laser tag with my boys, went shopping, drove my kids to their activities at all hours, and had an extra teenager at my house for a grand total of 5 kids for the ....

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  • Coaching Spotlight: Michael Bann

    EC Spotlight : Michael Bann 
    Over time in any vocation you get to see things that take time to develop.In my time spent as coaching other coaches, I have come to appreciate the ABILITY to coach takes time. This is one of the reasons I love coaching as a profession; there is no quick fix to finding the mysteries behind the relationship building between coach and client, coach and process, coach and business. There are some basic rhythms that coaches MUST go through over time to properly develop long term, for sustainability for themselves as well as their clients and business. This process I believe comes in the simple form of transformation from the SCIENTIST to the ARTIST. There is ....

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  • Do It For Fun

    Do It For Fun
    I recently worked with a group of children, a troop of Girl Scout Brownies, about 8 or 9-years-old, came into OPEX to earn one of their badges. The plan for the day was nothing too intense. It included a series of basic bodyweight exercises and mobility movements, as well as education around the importance of incorporating fitness into their daily lives. And while I hope they learned a thing or two from my gym nerd speak (I can talk air squat form and clam shells all day), I think I walked away with a greater lesson, unknowingly taught by them. I love working with children. They remind me what it was like to be a kid—something I don’t think of far too often now in my ....

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  • A Change in Seasons

    A Change in Seasons
    Seasons come and seasons go, and, for now, spring is upon us. For those of you who have lived (and endured) a long cold winter of training and trudging through the elements, spring cannot come fast enough—and this change in season is often times, fully embraced. While change in temperature is far more rare here in Scottsdale at OPEX HQ, there is still a sense of newness and change in the air, which goes to show that ‘change’ involves far more than climate. Change, in fact, is an inevitable part of life and, in spite of any daily grind that you live and breathe (i.e. work, traffic, taxes, laundry, bills, deadlines, appointments, to-dos, etc.), change somehow will ....

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  • Know Your Why

    Know Your Why
    As the Open draws to a close, the time comes to take a breath and reflect on the season that you just had (assuming that you won't be moving onto regionals). A time of reflection for ALL those who decided to make the Open a priority in their training season.  What was learned about strengths, weaknesses and outright holes in their game. Did their training and commitment to ‘showing up’ over the past year pay off.  That pay off certainly doesn't have to be in the form of a trip to regionals but did competitors have a fulfilling season that showed progress over the training year? This time in the season is also a time of reflection for the coaches who coached clients at ....

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  • Supporting Your Athletes

    Supporting Your Athletes
    When you hear the phrase “support your clients”, what thoughts come to mind? Guidance? Listening? Cheerleading? Often times ‘support’ can get pinned as a ‘soft-around-the-edges’ kind of term. However, I beg to differ. Support isn't just about cheerleading.  It is about helping somebody build a stronger belief and accountability in themselves. As coaches, it is imperative that we recognize this.    Helping athletes define their own personal journeys
    is why I truly love to coach.  Supporting an athlete’s journey is rewarding as the athlete develops the confidence and awareness of their own potential to go after their highest values not only in fitness ....

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  • Initial Thoughts on 15.5

    Open Workout 15.5 Preliminary Thoughts It’s Decision Time…… Castro came out with a bit of a burner in the form of: For Time (no time cap): 27 Cal Row 27 Thruster 95#/65# 21 Cal Row 21 Thrusters 95#/65# 15 Cal Row 15 Thrusters 95#/65# 9 Cal Row 9 Thrusters 95#/65#
    The decision this week comes in the form of you, the athlete, needing to decide how much you want to hurt. For higher level athletes this workout can, and will, be done unbroken (no drops of the bar). Will it hurt? Absolutely it will hurt. But when it is a “for time” workout with simple movements the winner will be he/she who is willing to push both movements harder who will come out on top. We saw three great competitors go ....

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  • Athlete Spotlight; Sarabeth Phillips

    Athlete Spotlight; Sarabeth Phillips
    15 th place in the World during the Open is no easy task. Sarabeth Phillips currently holds that spot going into the fifth and final week of the Open, after five long years of fighting to be on top. Marching into the 2015 Games season, the five-time CrossFit Regional athlete and USAW American Open Champion Sarabeth, knew she needed something ‘different’ when it came to her training and programming for her sixth CrossFit Open this year. Hungry to qualify for the CrossFit Games, after having been around the sport since 2008, she didn’t know exactly what that ‘something different’ entailed until she met OPEX Coach Mike Lee last summer at the NPGL ....

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  • Own Your Fear

    Own Your Fear
    Jump to 17:25 of this vid and in between the lines of humor there are some great words of wisdom. Two of my mentors have taught me to embrace the struggle: “Life is hard.” No sugar coating that with flowery language, just three simple words. And this sentiment is reflected in the video: “Whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity. And with clarity comes conviction and true originality”. The point here is that regardless of what you do or don’t do, life will be hard some of the time. And sometimes that elicits fear. But if you’ve ever had the opportunity to walk through one of your greatest fears, ....

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  • CCP Coach and EC Client; Jesse O’Brien

    CCP Coach and EC Client; Jesse O’Brien
    CCP Coach and OPEX Exclusive Coaching client, Jesse O’Brien, is doing big things in Austin, Texas—starting an OPEX-inspired Remote Coaching business and facility devoted to Individual Design training with a holistic lifestyle approach this year. Jesse has had a vision of implementing the OPEX individual design model within an entire business structure ever since he completed the five modules as part of the CCP program last year. His vision has already begun unfolding.
    As of January 2015, Jesse founded Central Athlete, where he, and his small team, Amanda Martin and Lauryn Lax, focus on implementing individual training plans for people, relative ....

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  • Finishing the Fight

    Finishing the Fight
    The end is near. This week marks the final workout of the 2015 Open; and what a long 5-week process it has been. Year in and year out, as to be expected with any competition in which you give it ‘your all’, the Open puts a large amount of stress on us physically and mentally. In turn, many athletes get burnt out before “the end.” This year, in particular, has challenged some weaknesses for athletes, that may have even invoked frustration—thus, spurring on the desire for it all to ‘end’ even more so. The Open is not a problem to be solved however. In many ways, in fact, it can be seen as a natural disaster, like a unavoidable tornado, uncovering certain weaknesses ....

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  • Ideal Pre/Post Workout Nutrition

    Ideal pre/post workout nutrition
    What is the ideal pre and post-workout nutrition? There is simply no ONE ‘size-fits-all’ prescription for people out there who exercise. You know why? Everyone has variation based on:
    How the workout will feel
    What their function is for training (i.e. competition, strength or muscle gain, body composition, health and longevity, etc.)
    What their gender, training age and ability level is
    The intensity of the session
    And more... In essence: Nutrition is (and should be) completely individualized for every single person. Here are several examples representing different types of clients, and potentially, what their nutrition, around exercise ....

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  • Why Your Clients Don't Have Muscle-Ups

    Why your clients DON’T have muscle-ups
    Open workout 15.3 opened a can of worms for many athletes within the CrossFit community—you either had muscle-ups or you did not, in order to ‘get through’ the RX version of the workout. Seven muscle-ups stood between many athletes and a set of 50 wall-balls, and greatly impacted the names on the Leaderboard—particularly for those not necessarily guaranteed a spot at Regionals, or simply competing in the Open to see where they measure up against thousands of other athletes worldwide. “(This workout) will let us know who in the community who has muscle-ups (and who does not),” Dave Castro said at the 15.3 live announcement at CrossFit Chicago last ....

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  • What is OPEX One?

    What is OPEX One?
    At OPEX, our vision is to create awareness through fitness. We aim to inspire people to reach their highest potential. We do this through the medium to many on this blog. Since its inception ( http:// optimumperformancetraining. ) the method and medium was through a single workout; my workouts, or my ideas around training. OPEX has become MORE THAN training. We are now a  fitness experience
    . We have become a source for  coaches
     to become professional coaches in fitness and we have also become  a source to  individuals
     who want to excel in their path in fitness. Starting  April 6th  we will be moving away from daily training and  more  towards ....

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  • Initial Thoughts on 15.4

    This week CrossFit comes out with: 8 min amrap (cap): 3 HSPU (handstand push up), 3 clean 185/125 6 HSPU, 3 clean 185/125 9 HSPU, 3 clean 185/125 12 HSPU, 6 clean 185/125 And so on with 3 additional HSPU each round and 3 additional cleans every 3 rounds. As we like to do most weeks, let’s get the fun on the table…YES, there is a new HSPU standard that we haven’t figured out how it makes sense yet. When muscle tightens it does what? It shortens. What happens when muscle shortens in this workout? You guessed it, you can’t get to the target on the HSPU. Also, are human beings exactly the same when they stand up and when they are inverted? No they are not. This standard will slaughter many ....

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  • Strength Matters Summit

    Strength Matters in San Diego this weekend—the Summit, that is. Director of Training and Owner of OPEX, James Fitzgerald is off to Southern California for the annual Strength Matters Summit, held at The Marriott Mission Valley, to join a stacked lineup of health and fitness professionals for a three-day, jam-packed workshop of talks, workouts and networking. The weekend kicks off with Steve Maxwell, all day on Friday , leading a Mobility and Conditioning Workshop. Then, James takes the stage  Saturday at 4 pm PST with a talk on the progression of fitness for an OPEX fitness athlete.  Events, such as this, connect like minded individuals who are on a mission to change lives and ....

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  • Athlete Spotlight ; Katie Surma

    Athlete Spotlight: Katie Surma
    What a difference a year can make. Last year, had 15.3 come up in the Open, Katie Surma would tell you she would have been “out.” “A year ago, I couldn’t even do one muscle-up,” she said. This past weekend, she completed a total of 16 in the 14-minute workout (final score: 316 reps). Katie credits her coach Mike Lee for helping her attain one of the skills that has become a ‘separator’ for athletes in competition—you either have a muscle-up or you don’t. Katie started training onsite at OPEX as an Exclusive Coaching client about six months ago, near the end of 2014. While she has been an athlete her whole life (‘Growing up, I played every sport—from ....

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  • Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

    Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
    “When you are truly inspired by something you cannot fail, because you don't give up.  You might fall, maybe even several times, but you will get back up again. If you fall and do not get back up, what do you call that?  That is a gift, because your unwillingness to get up again is letting you know that what you are going after isn't really important to you.  You don't give up on the things that truly matter to you. You only give up on the things that don't". --Dr. John Demartini Three down and two to go in the opens and I had a coach approach me about a client who wanted to give up part way through.  The client wasn’t ranking where they had ....

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  • OPEX CCP Coaches Creating an Impact

    OPEX CCP Coaches Creating an Impact
    I have a friend who is writing a book about fitness training.  Awhile ago he was doing research for his book and he asked me what I believe is the most important component is when it comes to training people. Funny thing is that I've actually been thinking a lot about how much this piece has impacted my journey as a trainer. I have been involved with sports most of my life.  For more than 20 years I have in one way or another been functioning as a trainer.  Initially it was in a sport specific traditional way: most sports I’ve been involved in have been about increasing the amount of training in order to increase performance. Just do the movement you ....

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  • Big Dawg Blog New Direction

    [tabby title="Function"] Function 3/16/15
    A. Back squat - 5, 5, 5 - rest 2-3 minutes B. Push press - 4x4-5 - rest 2 minutes + For time 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 DB push press 100m Run after each round - finish on a run Notes -DB push press weight based on 10RM from last Monday [tabby title="Being"] Being 3/16/15
    15.3 redo + 20mins Z1 your choice or 20min amrap 90% effort paceing Row 500m FW 100m 70/53# / hand 5 wall walks [tabby title="Will"] Will 3/16/15
    AM Row 500m @90% rest walk 1:00 x 6 rest 6 min Row 500m @90% rest walk 1:00 x 6 - straight through, consistent and aerobic pace. PM A. Thruster; 3,3,2,2,1,1; rest 90 sec - building sets, only singles tough B. ....

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  • Mental Toughness

    Mental Toughness
    Three weeks in now, the Open is most certainly an opportunity for athletes to test their fitness level and training from year to year to see how it’s paying off. Last week’s 15.2 was, seemingly, a shining example of this. The repeat workout from (14.2) served as a new benchmark for many who participated in the 2014 Open. And, judging by many of the scores we heard about, or saw on an Instagram or Facebook post, it seems as though, for the vast majority, progression has occurred over the past year in both training and competition. In fact, several athletes improved anywhere from 10 to 79 reps (such as, Natalie Newhart’s record of 441 reps on the women’s side, to ....

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  • An Approach to Tough Clents

    An Approach to Tough Clients 
    If you’ve been in the coaching or training business for any amount of time, you've probably come to realize that clients come and clients go. People change goals, change jobs (and finances), change their minds, change locations—you name it, LIFE CHANGES . There are various reasons you may both gain and lose clients in your career as a coach. That being said, there are also times when you, the coach, may actually need to let go of a client because, at the end of the day, that particular client is not fully benefiting from the guidance you want to provide, or is not compliant with the mutual expectations you established initially. Letting a client go is a ....

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  • Strategizing for Success

    Strategizing for Success
    If you've been training and competing for quite some time, you can probably remember a time when your workouts (and your approach to workouts) were less structured. Perhaps you didn't have a personal coach or an individualized program of any sort. Maybe you did have a template that you followed but you viewed the work more as a checklist, rather than something you had to put forth a great deal of mental effort. You showed up to the gym and "checked the boxes"—with only one thought of getting through it. There was no rhyme or reason to the way you chose to break up your sets of 21-15-9 thrusters and pull-ups; or the allotted time you took to transition from box ....

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  • Initial Thoughts on 15.3

    Well they came out and did it…muscle ups first this week……. 14 min AMRAP: 7 MU 50 WB – 14# - 9’ & 20# to 10’ 100 DU OPEX is no different in terms of the client base that we work with.  Most likely you know MANY people who cannot complete a muscle up.  Unfortunately this year the workout starts with them.  For those of you who do not have muscle ups you could pack up your toys and go home or you could let this excite you and ignite you to train PROPERLY to achieve a muscle up (or multiple).  It is the sport that we have signed up for so we have to expect these things to come out.  The difficulty is that the scaled version of this isn’t even the same stimulus.  Yes, there are wall ....

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  • Athlete Spotlight; Shanna Duvall

    Athlete Spotlight; Shanna Duvall
    The Open season really gives many of OPEX’s year-round athletes a time to shine and see how their hard work and dedication to training have paid off this past year. Shanna Duvall is another powerhouse athlete who trains with Coach James Taylor. This past week, she saw a 64-rep improvement on Open workout 15.2 (260 reps) from her 14.2 score (196 reps) last year. She currently sits in 28th place as a newcomer to the South West Region. Shanna moved from the Mid-Atlantic to OPEX Headquarters in Arizona last summer in order to dedicate more time to her training with other like-minded individuals. Her   goal for this year is to be an active member of Team ....

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  • Three Pillars of Trust; Life Coaching in Charlotte NC

    Three Pillars of Trust; Life Coaching in Charlotte, NC
    This past weekend we had a great group of coaches gather in Charlotte, NC for a weekend of digging deeper into what coaching is and what it can be at its best.  One of my favorite parts of the CCP Life Coaching module is when we spend some time discussing how to build trust with clients.  This is a fairly serious subject as trust is a foundational component in the coach-client relationship.  But James and I take a different approach and we have a lot of fun with it. We get coaches into groups of four and ask them to play with the concepts of the three pillars of trust: reliability, competency and caring.  I use the word "play" here ....

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  • Athlete Spotligth ; Valerie Calhoun

    Athlete Spotlight; Valerie Calhoun
    Another week is in the books. Tons of athletes saw new PRs this past weekend after putting last year’s Open workout 14.2 back to the test in 15.2. OPEX athlete, Val Calhoun of Northern California, is one of those athletes. “My biggest goal was to improve from last year and maintain the same strategy as I had done the previous year. I did that with 321 reps (compared to 312 last year),” Calhoun said. This year marks Val’s fifth year competing in the Open (i.e. she’s competed every year since its inception in 2011), and she is hopeful to compete at the California Super Regional this year as an individual, after competing with Team Rocklin CrossFit for ....

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  • The Value of Assessment as a Coach

    The Value of Assessment as a Coach
    Assessment is arguably one of the most important aspects of the coaching process. It allows the coach to gain an understanding of where their athlete is at—and develop a plan in order to get their athlete where he or she wants to be. Assessment may entail (and should entail) a variety of tests and evaluations for a clear picture of the athlete. Some of these include:
    Basic Movement Screening
    Mobility Assessment (range of motion)
    Muscular/Strength Assessment (under both load and non-load)
    Body Composition (including body fat caliper testing)
    And, Lifestyle Assessment (inclusive to overtraining/overreaching, sleep patterns, nutrition habits, ....

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  • Training During the Open

    Training During the Open
    “One and done” is a great philosophy in theory for tackling the Open. However, if you are a competitor, and not necessarily guaranteed a spot at Regionals, the Open is everything to you. That being said,  ‘re-doing’ is a must for many. If you plan to repeat the weekly Open workout any of the five weeks, a question that often comes up is: How do I still keep up with my training each week ? A template I often suggest to my athletes who are taking the Open seriously looks something like this: Friday - Open workout Saturday - Flush work Sunday - Prep day Monday - Open repeat Tuesday - Flush Wednesday - Training day Thursday - Prep day As you see, ....

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  • Creating an Environment for Success

    Creating an Environment for Success.
    If you are the owner, head coach or leader, what kind of business environment are you creating in order to thrive? If you are an employee, a coach, a member of a team, what kind of business environment do you want to be a part of? No matter which role you play on your team, there is no doubt that in order to ‘create an environment’ for a successful business or affiliate, that you need a cohesive, collaborative and supportive team—a group of individual coaches who play to each others strengths and weaknesses; a group of employees who share a similar vision and values for what your business is all about. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. ....

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  • Quick and Effective Ways to Improve Performance

    Quick and Effective Ways to Improve Performance
    Mobility is a highly-touted word in the gym nowadays, and there is no doubt that it can be highly beneficial in moving better, getting under the bar quicker, rehabbing injuries and even preventing them from happening again. Lacrosse ball and foam rolling, band walks and squats, banded hip flexion lunges, lat and chest openers, leg swings—these are just a few of the common exercises seen before and after a workout or training session. We all know we need to mobilize in order to make these things happen—particularly in light of the 5-week Open, when many athletes are aspiring to perform at their peak. A proper warm-up, inclusive with ....

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  • Initial Thoughts on 15.2

    Here are OPEX's initial thoughts on  workout 15.2 which is a repeat of 14.2.
    Obviously “pacing” during the work times is important, but what you do during the rest time is equally important. Understand from the beginning that when you finish your final rep your breathing rate WILL increase. Don’t fight this! Instead, breath faster, but through your belly. By breathing quicker through your stomach faster, you begin creating the proper CO2/O2 exchange to help you recover faster. Obviously the deeper you go into this workout, you won’t necessarily be reaching “recovery” but this will certainly help you get the most out of your workout. If you hit a point where you barely finish round (just ....

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  • 3 Important Nutritional Points to Support Performance

    3 Important Nutritional Points to Support Performance
    Nutrition advice and wisdom is a dime a dozen. That being said, there is no doubt that being aware and informed around what you put (and don’t put) in your body, can impact your performance in both positive and negative ways. During the Open, in particular, nutrition, sleep, warm-up and recovery can add up week to week in in your favor or not....  In order to be BEST prepared each week consistency in nutrition is one of the most important components your can maintain over the next 4 weeks. Here are 3 important nutritionally focused tips to keep in mind
    Don't implement "Tip & Tricks" that are buzzing around social media.
    The ....

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  • March 4, 2015

    What’s The Story You Tell Yourself?
    We all have a running narrative about things in our life, but we place ourselves in the middle of the story so we can’t see it. But what would happen if you took the position of the “curious observer” and  became the onlooker of the story? That simple shift in thinking will provide you with a completely different perspective.  From this observational stand point, you get to see your story and make decisions based on a whole picture versus being run by your story. I just had a client who wasn’t entirely happy with his performance, so I asked him for the full narrative.  The story he was telling himself was that he wasn’t happy with his results.  When ....

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  • March 3, 2015

    The Open: Week One is Done
    Week one is in the books. Over 30 athletes participated in the Open Friday - Monday at OPEX HQ in Scottsdale. Competitors and the coaching team put in extra hours to ensure everyone was at peak performance. How did you prepare? Based on your performance, what strategies or tips helped you? Check out OPEX Athlete Amanda Goodman  putting up a score of 214 reps in 15.1 and 237 RX in 15.1a. OPEX has created a YouTube channel , specifically for this year’s Open so you can keep up with the action happening here, and perhaps take some strategies from athletes. In addition, it’s still not too late to take advantage of our 2015 Open Prep Guide . With four more ....

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  • March 2, 2015

    The Warm Up
    As we have athletes prep for the CrossFit Open and, in general, athletes prep for a competition (i.e. game, match, round), a couple consistent questions come up in terms of warm up protocols: How should I prep and warm up? Does an intense warm up tire you out and potentially reduce overall power output? Is there such thing as warming up to much? A key factor most coaches and athletes fail to recognize is the exact requirements of the sport itself dictate the warm up. For example, the actual mechanics and characteristics of a football player running the ball during a game will require a completely different prep, or warm-up, than a runner being controlled and ....

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  • March 1, 2015

    What does the word ‘athlete’ really mean?
    I think far too often, the meaning has become construed over time, particularly as  the sport of fitness grows in popularity. Today, it seems as though practically everyone can be (or thinks they can be) considered an ‘athlete’—wherein, in actuality, they are clients, trainees, students, participants, gym members. However, there is a huge difference in the average person in the gym versus an athlete, and it is an important difference to recognize. After all, just because someone once said that intensity can win and yield the best results, does not mean that anyone and everyone needs to train like an athlete in order to be better than they ....

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  • February 28, 2015

    What makes a coach a great coach? When the words “great coach” come up, many people associate winning teams, podium athletes, and underdog stories, of a fight to the top, with the subject Think: Phil Jackson during Michael Jordan’s era on the Chicago Bulls, Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell’s champion lifters, Coach K of the Duke basketball dynasty, Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers 5-time NFL Championships, and Mike Burgener of the coined ‘Burgener Warm-up’ for PRs on your snatch. All wonderful examples of great coaches, mind you. However, that being said, there are also a lot of misconceptions about what defines a ‘great coach.’ For many coaches out there, ....

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  • February 27, 2015

    Focus on Success
    “Don’t be afraid of failing.” Athlete Amanda Goodman will never forget when Coach James Fitzgerald told her that following what, she thought, had been a bad training session. “That small piece of advice has helped me concentrate more on my successes rather than creating negative energy during any competition,” she said. Amanda is no stranger to competition. This year is her fourth year competing in the Open, on the tails of two CrossFit Games appearances in 2013 and 2014. “I still get just as nervous every year about the Open. It doesn't actually get easier but you know yourself better. I’ve learned that I have to trust my training and myself to make the right ....

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  • February 26, 2015

    OPEX’s definition of fitness is: “the journey of physical potential and purpose. Using that as a starting point, we can build upon determining what it means to be “more fit” than currently, or “more fit” than another. My belief is that one of the underlying “things” that determines growth and superiority in fitness is a person’s resilience. Everyone is looking for it, and everyone wonders what exactly is needed to build it. Is it earned? Is it given? It’s both. To understand various levels of resilience, in order to determine the prescription to improve it; we must first look at the continuum: the  different levels of fitness resilience. First, there is specific

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  • February 25, 2015

    Never Let Fear Fuel Your Performance 
    “The law of detachment says that in order to acquire anything in the physical universe you have to relinquish your attachment to it.  This does not mean you give up the intention to create your desire, you don’t give up the intention and you don’t give up the desire, you give up your attachment to the result.” –Deepak Chopra, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success The reason you have attachments to outcomes is because you will think that particular outcome is better than any other option.  This will always be true in your own perception.  If you are really, really attached to that outcome, you will fear the loss of not attaining it. A basic rule of ....

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  • February 24, 2015

    Live a Larger Life
    I wake up every day. I stretch. I eat my breakfast. My wife and kids wake up. I hug each of them with purpose and meaning. I prepare my clothes and work stuff, pack my bags, kiss them all good bye and start my work day. I drive to work, drink my coffee, settle into my gym and begin the daily practice. I truly enjoy my day. Sometimes though along all persons journeys, there are tough times. These times are always larger than life, small but stingers, etc…but they hurt in some way. I have lost some of my closest mentors over the past few years - Bernie Novokowsky and (Shaman) Manfred Lukas. Both have instilled in me what took me years to recognize - “life is hard ....

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  • February 23, 2015

    Achieving “Full Effort Full Victory” Mentally
    “In slow motion, the athletes eyes close and then re-open focusing back to the barbell. There are 70 seconds left in the 10 minute workout; the athlete is trying get air back into their lungs, and as soon as the air fills the lungs a violent exhale follows to ride the C02…The cycle continues, legs are heavy and burning, something inside is telling the athlete to slow down…Within that same split second the athlete has a choice to either give up or trust their training and see what they are capable of... Without hesitation the athlete notices this familiar anxiety and discomfort and brings themselves back to the present with self-talk ... ....

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  • February 22, 2015

    EC Spotlight : Matt Springer
    When I first moved to AZ, my world actually became smaller. I transplanted myself in a desert with not a REAL idea of what I was doing, or where I was going. I had the CCP humming along, I was coaching clients individually online, but something was missing. What was missing was daily interactions with coaches and clients that wanted to be on the same journey of the exploration into fitness that I was. What was missing was a FULL TIME team dedicated to spreading the news on correct fitness design and prescription. I go back and look at my interactions with people who were following the blog at the time and the comments I made to them. One of those comments ....

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  • February 21, 2015

    Six Tips for Meal Prep Success
    “You have to eat more to perform better”—something we often tell many of our athletes; and something many are not doing prior to assessing their nutrition. OPEX Athlete Laura Dickerson was one of those athletes. “I had heard that forever, but didn’t want to believe it. I think most athletes can easily make one mistake when it comes to their nutrition and meal prep: They don't eat enough!” Laura said. Over the past six months, however, since Laura joined OPEX’s Exclusive Coaching program under the guidance of Coach Mike Lee, she said she’s feeling stronger and more efficient than ever as she prepares to tackle the 2015 CrossFit Open. Her biggest secret? ....

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  • February 20, 2015

    To Assess or Guess ; How to Build your Athletes for Long Term Success
    What is your assessment process like with your athletes and clients? New and old, alike. A questionnaire? An initial consult? A 1:1 elements session, demonstrating movements and seeing how they perform? Some air squats, push-ups and plank holds, then just dive right in? A verbal check-in to see how they are feeling in their bodies? Far too often, coaches, don’t do postural assessments. Now, there are one million and one ways to assess clients, generally speaking, but by not tapping into how your athletes are truly moving, carrying themselves (and their loads) and where there may be potential body break-down, ....

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  • February 19, 2015

    Marcus Filly and Emily Pale ; Prepping for The Open
    In T-minus one week the CrossFit Open begins (February 26 th ). Are you ready? The Open has a tendency to put our training to the test, tap into the incredible power of the mind to push through the uncomfortable, get in adrenaline, and go to that “deep dark place” through some grueling workouts. Whether this is your first year participating in the Open, or your 5 th year, we can always learn something new when it comes to preparing for and approaching a workout from one another. Here Emily Pale and Marcus Filly, two OPEX athletes who have had successful runs throughout past Opens, share their insights on ‘gaming the Open.’ Emily ....

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  • February 18, 2015

    Support for your Athletes ; Balance is Key
    Some people are completely addicted to support and they seek it out in every relationship. They look to their coaches, loved ones, colleagues and friends to tell them how far they’ve come, what a good job they are doing, or what a wonderful person they are. This received support elevates their self-esteem and gives them the confidence boost they need to get through the day. At face value, this doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. As a coach, if we just give our clients as much support as they need, they will get results right? An appropriate amount of support will be a good thing as the maximal amount of growth occurs on the border of support ....

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  • February 17, 2015

    Fuel your Performance
    Nutrition is 70-80% of your results and your performance in the gym. Ever heard this statistic? Whatever the hard evidence numbers may be, there is no denying that your nutrition can greatly alter, or impact the difference in a good to great training session; a killer workout; and your ability to give it your all throughout the next 5 weeks of the CrossFit Open. Nutrition is one of those topics that is a mixed bag to some degree in the training world. Some swear they perform just fine off of eating “whatever the hell I want”, while others are meticulous with their nutritional prescription, timing their carb intake before their training to the tee, ensuring a ....

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  • February 16, 2015

    What is “optimal brain function”?
    You’ve heard about the ‘power of positive thinking’ and perhaps have even experienced the concept of ‘mind over matter’ when it comes to getting through a tough workout, or a tough Monday at work. There’s no question that the mind is a power driver—both positive and negative. If and when we think positive thoughts, positive results can happen. The same can be true for thinking negative thoughts. For example, you glance at your training log for the day, and see a workout that looks something like this: 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 Thrusters Bar-Over-Burpees A brutal workout. You immediately have one of two thoughts: 1.)  “This is going to suck” 2.)  Or, ....

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  • February 15, 2015

    Reflecting on Experience
    Before planning for the 2015 CrossFit Open and Games’ season ahead, there is wisdom in looking back and reflecting on the experience of your past year. What have you accomplished? Where did you succeed? Where did you fail? What did you learn? In order to map out where we are going, it’s important to  first acknowledge where we’ve been.
     It is all too common to forget this valuable piece—reflecting on the progress we’ve made in our various fitness journeys and training endeavors. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about where we  want 
    to be and see  how far we have to go
    , rather than looking back on  how far we’ve come
    Perhaps you keep missing that ....

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  • February 14, 2015

    For the Love of Fitness
    Today, in light of celebrating the traditional Hallmark holiday (ie. Valentine’s Day), OPEX’s coaching team came together to discuss their love for fitness. Do you remember a time in your life when your fitness or your training shifted in your mind and in your priorities? A time when fitness went from being a ‘chore’ (something you had to do, or something you did because you were told to do it—like in sports), to something you genuinely loved to do? A time in your life when training became fun, a routine like brushing your teeth, and something that made you feel ‘off’ if or when you missed it? It could be a moment (ie. a “Fran” experience-flat on your back, ....

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  • February 13, 2014

    In the last installment of the  Recovery series  specific steps were provided on how to best manipulate sleep for enhanced recovery. Review the contents of that  article  and question what aspects of it you can immediately apply. For instance, no behavior modifications are necessary to cool your room and blackout any ambient light. These exceedingly simple manipulations will have immediate impact on mood and energy. Today’s discussion follows a similar theme in reductionism related to recovery. Are you generally fatigued heading into a training session?  If so, that hints towards a suspicion that the cumulated stresses of prior sessions are too great. Do not ask what ....

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  • February 12, 2015

    Exclusive Coaching Client; Bjork
    Bjork Odinsdottir is turning heads in the sport of fitness. After placing second in the 2014 CrossFit European Regional, next to former champion Annie Thorisdottir, and earning her first trip to the Games; followed by a stand-out season in the inaugural NPGL as part of the Phoenix Rise, Bjork said she is just getting started. “My biggest goals are to be the best CrossFit athlete in the world and in the best Grid team in the world. After I reach that I'm going to focus more on my coaching career and educate other coaches in the gymnastic movements we use in functional fitness,” Bjork said. In order to get there, Bjork has been following ....

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  • February 11, 2015

    Breaking Bad
    I recently had a client who would work out and eat well for a few weeks—perfect behavior in her eyes—only to be followed by weeks of no workouts, bad food and subsequent self-judgment.  This pendulum swing of good to bad is why she came to me.  She couldn’t understand how she could be so good for a few weeks only to fall of the wagon. The June 2014 issue of Scientific American had a great article titled The Neuroscience of Habits, which stated: “Habits seem to stand out as clear-cut actions, but neurologically, they fall along a continuum of human behavior. At the end of that continuum are behaviors that can be done automatically enough to let us free up brain space ....

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  • February 10, 2015

    Interview with CCP Trainee; Amanda Martin
    Fifty coaches traveled to Scottsdale this weekend from around the country for four intensive days spent in the classroom for the in-person completion of the CCP Certificate Programs’ Life Coaching and Nutrition Modules. Coach James FitzGerald and CCP Life Coach Sharon Prete brought the hours of learning these coaches have been doing on their own (through online videos, readings and case studies) to life. After this past weekend, CCP trainee and coach Amanda Martin of Austin, Texas has just one more module left (of 5 total; Business Systems) to go in her CCP Level I Certificate process before being able to officially call herself a CCP trained ....

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  • February 9, 2015

    Prepping Your Training Schedule
    Structuring your training around the Open workouts, having an idea of when you plan to attack the Open workouts, and knowing how your body best recovers and performs, are imperative details for optimal results throughout the 5-week Regional qualifier. Do you perform better in a workout with a little bit of targeted CNS prep and aerobic work, perhaps a longish row or Air Dyne session the day before to get your muscles flowing? Is a complete rest day your way for giving it your all through a grinder? Training “as normal” help you keep your edge? Every athlete, and every BODY, is different, so there is no time like the present to make sure you are aware of ....

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  • February 8, 2015

    Fitness Defined in Asia
    How do you define “fitness”? Depending on your goals, your lifestyle, your values, and even your culture, “fitness” means different things to different people. These two pictures above, represent ‘fitness’ defined by two different groups of people, with two different goals, and two different mentalities about what exactly the term and objective means to them. On the left, you notice elders from the Asian culture. Tai Chi, Martial Arts, meditation, dance and walking are popular modes of “fitness” and commonly accepted forms of keeping active and healthy amongst this population. Mindful, functional movement and kindness to one’s body is a norm, and older ....

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  • February 7, 2015

    Big things happening at OPEX this weekend.
    Fifty coaches from around the globe are in Scottsdale for the CCP Level I LifeCoaching and Nutrition Courses. Coach James FitzGerald and human behavior specialist Sharon Prete, kicked off the weekend co-instructing the Life Coaching course, followed by James leading the Nutrition courses on Sunday and Monday. Over the course of Friday through Monday, the crew will spend a total of 32-hours in the classroom, soaking up presentations, powerpoints, white board "avatars" and supplementary information, along with participation in small group breakout sessions, hands-on simulations, and fantastic large group discussions and Q&A. Prior to this ....

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  • February 6, 2015

    Exclusive Coaching Client: Alexandra LaChance
    Athlete Alexandra LaChance has been up to some big things this past year, she:
    Finished 1 st in the North Central Regional, qualifying her for her first-ever CrossFit Games where she finished 38 th overall;
    Made the Phoenix Rise NPGL team this past summer, for its inaugural season;
    Recently signed with Nike as a sponsored athlete and had her official photo shoot this past month;
    Decided to find a program to take her game to the next level and became an OPEX Exclusive Coaching client
    Took a leap of faith and life change—uprooting from St. Louis, Missouri to Scottsdale, Arizona, just six months ago, in order to train in-person ....

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  • February 5, 2015

    Raise Your Rates
    Why do well-qualified coaches, who invest a TON of time and money in their education and training, not to mention , actually deliver the BEST results and client experiences in town , shy away from charging what they’re worth? Because they have a broken belief system.
    It’s all too common in the fitness industry: Coaches who don’t truly believe in the value they deliver to their clients, when they have a  HIGHLY
     product to offer. You know what I am talking about:
    Coaches who have fear around the topic of money—and asking for it.
    Coaches who have poured  hours upon hours  into learning, attending seminars, reading research, shadowing other coaches, ....

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  • February 4, 2015

    James and I cooking up a little something in AZ this week.  Stay tuned… - Sharon Prete CCP Life Coaching Co-Conductor [tabby title="Function"] Function 2/4/15
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being 2/4/15
    For time Row 30cals 30 hang PC 135/95# 30 wall balls 20/14# 10' target 50 DU 20 wall balls 20/14# 10' target 50 DU 10 wall balls 20/14# 10' target 30 hang PC 135/95# Row 30cals [tabby title="Will"] Will 2/4/15
    AM RTW - "round the world" 1 min AD easy 1 min FLR on floor 1 min row easy 1 min crawl 1 min run easy 1 min jump rope x 7 - all easy pace flush PM FT: 100 WB - 20# 90 DU 80 GH sit ups 70 CTB chinups 60 ring dips 50 back extensions 40 thrusters - 95# 30 burpees 20 ....

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  • February 3, 2015

    Quality Sleep
    Perhaps the single greatest culprit of fatigue is lack of quality sleep. Normal  energy rhythm should rise and fall throughout the day – analogous to the cycles of the sun. Departure from this pattern, be it mid-morning or afternoon dips in energy, are abnormal. In an athletic context, fatigue leading into a training session can sabotage progression. So how does sleep come into play? Sleep physiologically promotes recovery. Without adequate, quality sleep one cannot hope to be optimally recovered.  The base recommendations at OPEX for sleep hygiene are as follows: 1.) Go to be bed and rise at approximately the same times  EVERYDAY
    2.) Ensure 7-9 hours of ....

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  • February 2, 2015

    The Power of the Mind.
    The mind is a powerful weapon. If training is the vehicle for helping you achieve your goals, your mindset is the gasoline, the fuel, that ultimately gets you there. That being said, the Open is less than 25 days away and if you want to do well this year, you better be preparing your mind. Over the past 4 or 5 years, OPEX has coached hundreds of athletes in preparing and navigating their way through the annual 5-week Qualifier competition. While many athletes have experienced success through OPEX's training methodology and coaching, there are several common mistakes we see athletes make year in and year out when it comes to being of the right mind. 
    Some of ....

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  • February 1, 2015

    To push or to recover...that is the question.  We hear this asked daily.  "Aren't we supposed to push more?"  "I should be doing more."  "Look at what that athlete is doing."  It can be said in a myriad of different ways but the message coming across is that many people don't believe that rest is a good thing. Many who read this can discuss why rest is helpful: 1. Muscles grow when they rest 2. Let's your body heal so that it can go hard (maybe) the next day But, what about the mind.  Your central nervous system is a key component to effective training.  If you do not give your body proper recovery you may not even realize that you're tired.  You may just miss a lift or have ....

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  • January 31, 2015

    [embed][/embed] Extension - The use of extension must be aggressive and done with intent. We use the term drive the hips down (obtained from the cue given by Greg Everett of Catalyst Athletics). This seems to click with the athletes head in terms of the need to sustain positions off the floor. Think of the spring concept, hips down forces in the foot, distributed weight throughout and it permits rapid elevation of the bar in the vertical direction (keeps the bar close). May contact with the hips and continue to DRIVE in the upward direction! “ The explosion is executed by the simultaneous action of the muscles of the legs and torso… From this position, the ....

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  • January 30, 2015

    At OPEX our purpose is to create awareness through fitness.  We aim to inspire, empower, and challenge individuals to reach their highest potential.  OPEX is ready to change the landscape of fitness coaching with the evolution and diversification of the services we offer.  We are excited to announce the launch of our new OPEX C5 Course
    in London at CrossFit Perpetua. OPEX C5
    is designed to introduce you to the coaching methodology that has made OPEX a leader in the fitness arena. This one day course will allow coaches access to a high level understanding of all modules covered in the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program led by Master Coach and course designer James FitzGerald. [table id=1 ....

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  • January 29, 2015

    "The heavy "training" single vs. the max"
    At OPEX we constantly use the term "heavy" single in programming to indicate that the individual should build to a load that is specifically tough or heavy for that him/her. BUT heavy does NOT ALWAYS mean a true max. During this time of the season, the term is used to determine a load where the CNS is "jazzed" up and is prepped for the other work being done within the training day. Every person is different, some may use a tough back squat and others may need to implement intensity as part of the warm up. Key is to know that whether it be 85% or 96% of your max, heavy simply is an indication that its "your tough weight" for the day. Mistakes are ....

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  • January 28, 2015

    Why people do what they do fascinates me.  For every action people take or don’t take there is a legitimate reason that acts either consciously or unconsciously to create the behavior.  Have you ever found yourself repeating patterns throughout the weeks, months, years and wonder why?  If you want to and you look deep enough, the answer will be there. The cool thing is that sometimes these patterns of behavior, which can seem destructive on the surface, serve a purpose and are actually a strategy to get us what we want.  And because they get us what we want, we don’t have a motive to break the cycle.  If you equate getting what you want with the cycle, you’ll paint a positive picture of ....

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  • January 27, 2015

    The countdown has begun. The Open is officially one-month away. Are you ready? This Wednesday, January 28th, Coach James FitzGerald, in conjunction with Digital AMRAP , is hosting a Webinar at 10 AM Mountain Standard Time: "Hack the CrossFit Open, Rank Best In Your Box and Live Your Fittest Year Ever!" This Webinar is aimed at arming you to tackle the 2015 CrossFit Open. During the live training, James will discuss the "How-Tos" on ensuring you are prepared for the unknown and unknowable, structuring your training and recovery for the weeks to come, understanding your personal strengths and weaknesses in order to best approach each workout, and determining an idea of your final ....

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  • January 26, 2015

    [embed][/embed] I guess my reflection and journey starts in August of 2013 in Columbia, SC when I attended an OPEX (OPT at the time) Athlete camp. I was so excited for this camp and it was my first real exposure to OPEX and I quickly found myself feeling like a fish out of water. Except I was simply surrounded by extremely fit fish that in no way could hang with! I matched my PR power clean at 225 lbs. for the CP Battery test and my best jerk at the time was 205 lbs. This was the first time OPEX opened my eyes to the breadth and depth of competitive functional fitness. While I felt like a hopeless little functional fitness-er, the knowledge gained there drove me ....

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  • January 25, 2015

    "It's time to stop listening to what everyone says about you, telling you what to do, how to act, how you should feel. Let them judge you by your results, and nothing else; it's none of their business how you get where you're going. If you're relentless, there is no halfway, no could or should or maybe. Don't tell me the glass is half full or half empty, your either have something in the glass or you don't. Decide. Commit. Act. Succeed. Repeat." Tim S. Grover - from the book "Relentless." [tabby title="Function"] Function 1/25/15
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being 1/25/15
    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will 1/25/15
    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She 1/25/15
    REST DAY ....

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  • January 24, 2015

    650,000 Prescriptions and Counting!
    Four years ago, I switched from a PC to a MacBook (by the way, best decision ever).  I remember while transferring client files, I saw over 10,000 client programs in transfer (which doesn't even include the handwritten programs I used to write for years before computers were so accessible). It dawned on me that over my 20 years of coaching, consulting with 5-10 people per day, I had developed over 300,000 individual exercise, lifestyle, and nutrition prescriptions.   Adding in our free OPEX blog programming, I'd estimate that I've programmed at least 650,000 exercise, lifestyle, and nutrition prescriptions… and still counting. OPEX has always ....

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  • January 23, 2015

    [embed][/embed] OPEX is going international. This video is a clip from our first-ever Athlete Camp in Singapore this past week. Over the course of the two-day camp, athletes tested themselves in multiple workouts focusing on strength, power and endurance. OPEX coaches provided all athletes with individualized feedback to help them upgrade their training strategies and ensure they could better identify and improve weak areas. Attending athletes walked away with a better understanding of their engine as an athlete, how to properly gauge pacing on workouts, and the best way to fuel for multiple competition scenarios.This Camp was just one of many to come this ....

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  • January 22, 2015

    James FitzGerald Competing in the 2014 CrossFit Games!
    Things to ensure prior to competition:

    Taper off, but keep a sense of readiness.
    Keep food light, early on and only as needed.
    Wear comfy gear always.
    Expect the unexpected; not only in your workouts, but also for travel, rooms, showers, water—allow room for errors.
    Always walk the course, track, area, etc. the day before competition-visualize.
    Countdown to the start of each event, minute-by-minute with checks for the bathroom, breathing, physical warm ups, etc. (ie. 60-minutes before, consume light carbs; 45-minutes before-bathroom, etc., up to the competition)
    Stay warm and active and ready before hand. ....

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  • January 21, 2015

    I love this picture.  It’s from our Life Coaching module in Puerto Rico back in December.  And there is some good stuff going on here.
    There is a coach getting the opportunity to practice the art of coaching, as it is an art to be mastered over time.  And how often do you get to practice such a thing in an open space of learning? The answer for most is rarely if ever.
     There is a coach getting the opportunity to put himself in the client’s shoes and be a client.  This is such a great way to learn—to be on the other side of the equation, see how other coaches handle certain situations and feel what the client experiences.
    And there is yet another coach who gets to observe the whole ....

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  • January 20, 2015

    OPEX is expanding internationally. This past weekend the OPEX team traveled to Singapore to host our Athlete Camp for 40 athletes ready to take their training and understanding of their athletic abilities to the next level. What’s next? Coming up, this Friday through Sunday, our team will travel to Hong Kong for our Program Design Course to educate coaches from various backgrounds how to create smart, individualized, progressive programs for both individuals and group fitness. We will be at CrossFit 852 and registration is still open. [tabby title="Function"] Function 1/20/15
    A. Segmented snatch deadlift - 5x3-4 - rest 2 min + On a running clock: EMOM 12 minutes Odd - 14 Wall ....

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  • January 19, 2015

    Function – Twelve weeks ago the group entered the first wave of an intensification build, culminating in a re-testing phase of various barbell 1RMs. Over the next twelve weeks the group will once again cycle through an intensification build – split into two, six week cycles. The first cycle will see high volume in movements you have become accustomed to, which leads into another six weeks cycle of added intensity. Following completion of this second strength-biased wave the group will shift gears to begin a peak in aerobic development through the spring and summer months. Function: 1/19 – 4/12 Mon – Squat intensive, Push/Pull #1 + CP-based EST Tues – Bending snatch development + MAP ....

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  • January 18, 2015

    Group Fitness vs. Individual Design Training Model: Which is Better?
    Discussing the pros and cons of the Group Fitness Model vs. the Individual Design Training Model
    is never complete without a wide array of opinions on the subject. Which one is ‘better’? Which one makes the most sense? Which one do athletes get the most out of? For more than a decade now, the Group Fitness Model
    has seen a surge in popularity—particularly with the rise of small box gyms and the sport of fitness in modern day. Prior to this rise, dating back to the 80’s and 90’s, Group Fitness was pretty much sequestered to Aerobics, Jazzercise, Cycling, Body Pump and a growing interest in yoga classes—uniting ....

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  • January 17, 2015

    What's Your Nutrition Protocol?
    The topic of nutrition is always an interesting one. A big reason nutrition is so interesting is because the opinions and information on the topic varies greatly. What nutrition protocol do YOU follow? I have a number of nutrition principles that I teach. I think, as in exercise prescription, that there are many ways to “skin the cat.”  I take a variety of things into consideration when I prescribe a nutrition plan. In other words: There is NOT a “one-size-fits-all” model. Ask any of my clients; there are tweaks and variations for each individual that differ from one to another. Why does this work? Because every BODY is different—plain and simple. ....

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  • January 16, 2015

    Registration for the Open launched yesterday. Will you be ready? OPEX developed the  Open Prep Guide to help athletes optimize their competition experience. Upon signing up for the guide you will receive an extra 33 min customized Open Prep discussion from James.  Check out this small clip from his video [embed][/embed] Sign up here for the 2015 OPEX Open Prep Guide today
    [tabby title="Function"] Function 1/16/15
    Deadlift - build to a 1RM Supine ring rows - set rings to hip height, feet on 20" box - 3x max repetitions + For time: 21-15-9 KBS, Russian - 55/35# Burpees [tabby title="Being"] Being 1/16/15
    PS 3, 2, 1, 1; rest as needed + ....

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  • January 15, 2015

    5 Tips for Succeeding in the Open
    So your training has started for the Open. Whether you’re working with a coach who is individually programming your training sessions or following a blog, like Big Dawgs, there’s no such thing as being “too prepared.” We’re not just talking about a quicker rotation on your double-under or faster Grace time!  Here, we share 5 Tips for Succeeding in this Year’s Open:
    There are a few things that can help you achieve the lifestyle you body need.  First and foremost, you need low stress in your life outside your of training. Stress on the body happens when you train to create adaptation. But your body is going to thrive best in your workouts ....

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  • January 14, 2015

    I’ve been hammering on the planning lately on the blog because it is that season for me personally. I become extraordinarily reflective around the start of November and that lasts through about mid-Dec when I really start conceptualizing the future. The end of December through the first week of January is when I really devise my plan for the following year. The rest of the year is action with mini reflections, conceptions and devising sessions along the way. Stick with me for a second… I’m jumping back in time. I remember the early days of CrossFit when most everyone had the same plan for the workouts: go hard and all out. Not James. He always had a strategy. Even in 2007—he will tell ....

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  • January 13, 2015

    Nutrition: Water, ah, does a body good...

    As we discussed in yesterday’s post, the time is NOW to begin preparing for the Open, nearly six weeks away—both inside and outside the gym. While building your metabolic engine up and hitting your sessions with well thought-out training is important, a huge piece of your Open prep takes place at least three to six, maybe even eight or nine, times per day—your nutrition. Your experimentation and awareness of how particular foods affect you, food timing, pre-workout energy and post-workout recovery begins now. Before we get into the nitty gritty debates over which supplements to take (and not take), timing of carbs and protein, the impact of ....

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  • January 12, 2015

    Preparing for the Unknowable
    It’s coming: The 2015 CrossFit Open. Are you going to be ready? Ultimately, the tests in the Open are to find the fittest CrossFitter, the "fittest CrossFitter's tests." Still, preparing for the ‘unknown’ and ‘unknowable’ can prove to be quite the challenge. After all, you don’t really know if you are “ready” for the unknowable until the unknowable has arrived. However, with the annual Open, there are generally a number of things we have been able to count on in the past—movements we can be sure to see, including: wall-balls, muscle ups, box jumps, snatches, double-unders, thrusters, overhead squats, burpees, toes-to-bar, cleans, deadlifts, pushups, ....

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  • January 11, 2015

    Exclusive Coaching client Adam Potrock with a PR 405# Back Squat [tabby title="Function"] Function 1/11/15
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being 1/11/15
    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  1/11/15

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  1/11/15

    REST DAY [tabbyending] ....

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  • James FitzGerald

    The guy that paints the picture, James is the founder of OPEX (Formerly OPT) and The International Center for Fitness. When not coaching, he's a full time husband, father and fitness athlete. His 20+ years of experience and service as a strength coach/technician, tireless practice on refining energy system work, nutritional and lifestyle balancing techniques and training of other coaches has made OPEX a sought after method of bringing fitness to a Higher Order. James has found a desire and passion to understanding fitness through assessment, testing, research, programming and more. He has had many years experience as an athlete from early childhood into adulthood, from playing top level ....

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  • January 10, 2015

    What's your GridScore? In today's Being workout you'll be testing elements of the GridScore - the standard test in the NPGL used to assess aspiring GRID athletes around the world. Test it just for fun or if your scores are good enough you might earn an invitation to one of their Pro days! You can learn more about the GridScore HERE . [tabby title="Function"] Function 1/10/15
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being 1/10/15
    A. Max MU in 80sec B. 20 thrusters 135/95# AFAP for time C. 4 rope climbs for time 15' + 1 sets max effort 15 G2O 135/95# 10 burpees 15 G2O 135/95# Notes: - part of the Grid Score tests - [tabby title="Will"] Will 1/10/15
    AM AD 30 sec @85% AD slow spin ....

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  • January 9, 2015

    Exclusive Coaching client Chad Michael with a Human Turkish get up PR (140#) [tabby title="Function"] Function 1/9/15
    A. Front squat - 4x6-8 - continue building loads based on last week B. Press - Every 90 seconds x8 - two repetitions, building load per set C1. Farmers walk - 3x100ft - HEAVY C2. Sorenson hold - 3xAMRAP(-) + 6 min AMRAP @90%+: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15... Wall ball shots - 20/14#, 10/9' Burpees Notes: - Recall AMRAP(-) denotes stopping shy of absolute failure/fatigue [tabby title="Being"] Being 1/9/15
    A. HSC TnG x 3 rest 60sec x 10 light weight speed focus + 5min amrap compare to dec 5th 10 PC and jerk 135/95# 10 PC and jerk 155/105# 10 PC and jerk 185/115# 10 PC and jerk ....

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  • January 8, 2015

    Exclusive Coaching client Steve Mullen with a PR 300# Push Press [tabby title="Function"] Function 1/8/15
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being 1/8/15
    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will 1/8/15
    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She 1/8/15
    REST DAY [tabbyending]
    New to the Blog? Check out our  FAQs  and  Glossary .

    Subscribe to the Blog  HERE !

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  • January 7, 2015

    Exclusive Coaching client Amanda Goodman crushing her goal last year of taking first at the SW Regional As you know from a post last week, I spend the first week of every year planning out my goals and my life.  I love the process of goal setting.  So much so that I just finished texting with a coach to help her map out some things by asking her a few simple, but important questions.  In a matter of a few minutes she went from idea to a framework of a plan.  And it was fun for me! As Jim Rohn said… “If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.” ....

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  • January 6, 2015

    Shanna Duvall with a PR snatch at the 2014 CrossFit Regionals The Open Prep Guide is Back!
    We got such great feedback from everyone last year for the Open Prep Guide that we are offering it again! Here are just a couple of insights from last year: Hello James and crew, I would just like to thank you for helping me prepare for the 2014 CrossFit Reebok open. I did most of the workouts Friday morning before you posted the prep guide. I did all of them again and improved each time and used the strategies you suggested.  I finished with a ranking of 31st in the men's masters 45-49 age group. My best finish yet! Your expertise definitely helped me get the most of my efforts. Also, being ....

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  • January 5, 2015

    Scottsdale's version of tobogganing! [tabby title="Function"] Function 1/5/15
    A1. Double KB front rack squat - 3x12-15 - rest 45 sec A2. Seated DB press - 3x12-15 - rest 2 min B1. KBS, Russian - 3x20-25 - rest 45 sec B2. Supine ring rows - 3x8-15 - rest 2 min C. Airdyne - 20 minutes - VERY easy pace - every 5 minutes hop off and perform x15-25 AbMat situps Notes Recovery-based week, training split has been modified to M/W/F - retesting coming next week, rest up! [tabby title="Being"] Being 1/5/15
    A. snatch start at 60% of 1rm add 10# every 60-90sec until max B. back squat to a tough double in 10mins C. 15 MU for time rest 3mins D. 15 bar MU for time rest 5mins + 8-10sets 90% ....

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  • January 4, 2015

    Matt Bryant coaching this weekend's OPEX Athlete Camp at CrossFit Instinct in Springfield, IL Be sure to check out our EVENTS  page if you would like to attend an upcoming camp! [tabby title="Function"] Function 1/4/15
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being 1/4/15
    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  1/4/15

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  1/4/15

    REST DAY [tabbyending]
    New to the Blog? Check out our  FAQs  and  Glossary .

    Subscribe to the Blog  HERE !

    Read more
  • January 3, 2015

    Exclusive Coaching client Austin O'Neal with a 275# PR Snatch [tabby title="Function"] Function 1/3/15
    10 min dynamic warmup + Airdyne 30 sec @70% Airdyne 30 sec @75% Airdyne 30 sec @80% Airdyne 30 sec @85% Rest off AD 60 sec x4 Rest as needed '300 FY' 10 min AMRAP @100%: Max airdyne calories [tabby title="Being"] Being 1/3/15
    For time all out: 30 thrusters 95/65# Row 500m rest 20mins 21, 15, 9 for time: PC 135/95# ring dip [tabby title="Will"] Will  1/3/15

    AM AD 30 sec @85% AD slow spin 30 sec x 26 - rest 3 min after 13 sets - KEEP this pace easyPM A. SC - build to a tough single in 10 min B. BS @20X1; 2,2,1,1; rest 3-4 min - only last single tough + 4 Rounds For ....

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  • January 2, 2015

    For 10-15% of all that participate in the opens, they find the workouts completely aerobic in nature; these are folks on the elite end of the spectrum and the very beginning end of the spectrum of fitness ability. For everyone else, you must know how to incorporate tough intervals in preparation for the opens and their demands. Not having these intervals in place and not knowing how to do them effectively can mean many places in standings. Below is an example of a client in Sweden, Benny, who is preparing as a male masters for the opens. He is performing 2 sets of mixed pieces at a prescribed effort, specifically for him. CCP coaches know that this time of year is the beginning of the ....

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  • January 1, 2015

    What's Your plan for 2015?
    CCP Life Coaching Co-Conductor Sharon Prete shared her new year's ritual with us a couple years ago and it is a great little nudge to take some time to be intentional this year: I spend the first few days of each new year creating a plan for my life. I dedicate the space and time necessary to map out my goals for the upcoming year and beyond. I set goals for myself physically, for my business and finances, my studies and travels. I start with big picture items and work my way backwards in ever finer detail until the picture in my mind is so clear that it already feels like I've achieved it. Your chances of achieving your goals increase if they are congruent ....

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  • December 31, 2014

    CCP Coach Perrin Behr recently asked me on Facebook for any book recommendations for 2015 and it got me thinking.  I figured I’d share some of my favorite books on human behavior that I read this year.  One of the things I love about the study of behavior is that it is everywhere and in everything, as you’ll see from this list. #1.  Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
    This may well be one of my favorite books of all time--so much so that I wrote a blog post about it this summer.  The topic of resiliency fascinates me and this book encompasses the journey of it.  There is so much perspective to be received from this true story. #2.  The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg
    What can I say?  As ....

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  • December 30, 2014

    The latest episode of OPT-In is available to everyone! Join us as James reflects back on 2014 as an Athlete, Coach, and Business Owner. Hope you enjoy! [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/30/14
    A. Segmented snatch deadlift - 5x3-4 - rest 2 min B. Double unders - 2 min AMRAP, rest 1 minute and repeat + 500m Row @ 2k PR pace Rest 90 seconds 500m Row @ 2 sec under 2k PR pace Rest 90 seconds 500m Row @ 4 sec under 2k PR pace Rest 3-5 mintues x3 (Reads as 9 sets of 500m) Notes: - Demo of A: - Objective is to hold positions at mid-shin, kneecap, and mid-thigh for 2 count each on all repetitions [tabby title="Being"] ....

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  • December 29, 2014

    What does it take to become a coach in fitness? 1st
    , it takes passion to learn and teach about the principles of fitness; 2nd
    , it takes experience in the prescription and execution of practices. Over my career there have been some outstanding areas that need attention in order to create a coaching “standard”. These are meeting people where they are at emotionally (life coaching) and physically (exercise assessment); giving them an exercise and nutrition prescription that helps THEM specifically (exercise program design and nutrition); and having some sense as to HOW
    to help these people and develop a business based on helping others (business systems). One can
    spend 100K and 6-8 ....

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  • December 28, 2014

    Our Early Bird price for CCP Level 1 Program Design in Hong Kong ends Dec. 29th! The course is almost full so be sure to reserve your spot ! Taking Advantage of Holiday Downtime
    Often times coaches and athletes have time to decompress and unwind a bit around the holiday season. Generally that decompression leads to great opportunities to understand how the year went, where strides were made, and where opportunities were missed. The OPEX coaches often have wonderful conversations with their clients around this time because there is so much opportunity to prepare your mind/body/business for success. Here are a few tidbits that you want to make sure that you do when you sit back and ....

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  • December 27, 2014

    James FitzGerald competing in the master's division at the 2014 CrossFit Games A look at CrossFit's article Who Makes the Cut?
    Last Friday morning James Fitzgerald requested that I apply the new qualification process to the 2014 regional results. That same night the analysis was complete and released late Sunday night to appear on Monday's blog.  Call it sheer coincidence, but HQ releases this article Monday at noon. I will spare you the details, but their analysis is better than our original. Their methods take more variables into account -- variables not available in our data. Although our data was perhaps subject to greater instances of error, the majority of their conclusions ....

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  • December 26, 2014

    OPEX blog WILL follower Dave Rabbett competing at 2014 Regionals THANK YOU OPEX COACHES I found my notebook from last year where I finished 15th in the open, and I have been crushing my numbers from this time last year. If all goes well this will be my fourth year at regionals (never finished outside of the top 20 before). It’s great to see that I’m still progressing this much! You guys are great, thanks for a great product! - Dave Rabbett [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/26/14
    A. RDL - 10, 8, 6, 4 - rest 3-4 min + B. 12 min AMRAP @80%: 9 Box jumps, step down - 24/20" 7 Push press - 75/55# 5 Pullups Rest as needed Airdyne 30 seconds - 80% Airdyne 30 seconds - 50% x10 Rest ....

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  • December 25, 2014

    Happy Holidays from OPEX!! We hope you enjoy this time with your family and friends!
    [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/25/14
    REST DAY (or yesterday's training session if you saved it for today) [tabby title="Being"] Being  12/25/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  12/25/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  12/25/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending]
    New to the Blog? Check out our  FAQs  and  Glossary .

    Subscribe to the Blog  HERE !

    Read more
  • December 24, 2014

    I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for following the blog, sharing your results with us, supporting your fellow community members, and for your feedback throughout the year.  It’s a true pleasure to contribute to the community through weekly posts and it’s always a joy when I have the opportunity to meet those who read the blog in person at various events. My gratitude for OPEX runs deep, and I will sum it up with two heartfelt words: Thank you Thank you to James and Leighanne for creating all of this, thank you to the incredible team who continues to build it, and thanks to you for being an integral part of it. Happy holidays everyone! Sharon Prete CCP Life Coaching ....

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  • December 23, 2014

    This one hits it out of the park. The author takes the “you gotta live it to speak to it” to another level. Her personal journey and approach to the subject matter is purely admirable. From the why behind the book to the 3 main areas we all get caught up on in regards to being “in or out” on vegetarianism: 1. moral 2. political 3. nutritional Keith takes them all on; head first! Another reason why i like it, possible solutions to a fix, and a desire to work for it. Keith hits it hard to give you a wake up to true long term solutions: 1. stop having children 2. stop driving a car 3. grow your own food I mean, if you want to take any of them on in relation to how she lays out her argument ....

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  • December 22, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client Danny Nichols competing at the 2014 SW Regional An In-depth look at the numbers behind the new Super Regionals
    There is currently so much discussion in the digital realm around the new regional format, and how this is going to affect athletes of all regions in 2015. So we thought we would do our very own evaluation and exploration of the data as well. This is how we formed our analysis: Before we get into it here is our Caveat. There are numerous methodological flaws to cross-comparison; there are numerous factors we cannot account for, including sheer drive and competitive nature of the athletes in a competition setting. However we did it anyways! We took ....

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  • December 21, 2014

    A great day for OPEX Exclusive Coaching clients at Kong Fest - an annual event where athletes complete the CrossFit benchmark workout King Kong and other HEAVY events! Amanda Goodman takes 1st in the Women's division Danny Nichols takes 1st in the men's division and had a blistering time of 1:32 on King Kong!! You can watch a video of his performance HERE . [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/21/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  12/21/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  12/21/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  12/21/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending]
    New to the Blog? Check out our  FAQs  and  Glossary .

    Subscribe to the Blog  HERE !

    Read more
  • December 20, 2014

    Are you interested in starting the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program  but aren't sure if it's right for you? If you have more questions about our program, or want more information on how the CCP can help you serve your clients better than you thought possible contact our CCP advisor . You can also check out our EVENTS page to find out what courses we have coming up. We look forward to hearing from you! [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/20/14
    10 min dynamic warmup + Airdyne 30 sec @70% Airdyne 30 sec @75% Airdyne 30 sec @80% Airdyne 30 sec @85% Rest off AD 60 sec x10 Notes: -Report metric you took to maintain perceived % effort [tabby title="Being"] Being  12/20/14

    7min ....

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  • December 19, 2014

    Check out OPEX Director James FitzGerald on Breaking Muscle radio talking about coaching the coaches. Enjoy! [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/19/14
    A. RDL - 12, 10, 8 - rest 3-4 min B. Strict pullups - 5x5-8 tough repetitions + 5 rounds, For total repetitions 40 sec AMRAP - Row calories Rest 20 sec 40 sec AMRAP - Pushups (vary style as needed) Rest 20 sec + D. FLR on low ring - accumulate 4 mintues total [tabby title="Being"] Being  12/19/14

    A. emom - back squat @20X0 2-3 55% of 1rm + chains or bands - 8mins + 30 SC for time 225/155# rest as needed 20mins Z1 AD [tabby title="Will"] Will  12/19/14

    AM AD 10 min @Z1 + AD 30 sec @85% AD slow spin 30 sec x 25 + AD 8 min ....

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  • December 18, 2014

    OPEX Coach Robin Lyons taking a ride through the AZ desert yesterday morning. [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/18/14
    A. Frankenstein squat - barbell only today - 4x12 - rest 90 seconds - drill correct front rack position of the barbell B1. Incline DB bench press - 3x8-10 - rest 30 sec B2. Single-arm DB high row - 3x5-6/arm - rest 30 sec + Every 5 minutes x4 9-7-5, for time: DB thrusters - 30/15# Box jump, step down - 24/20" [tabby title="Being"] Being  12/18/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  12/18/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  12/18/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending]
    New to the Blog? Check out our  FAQs  and  Glossary .

    Subscribe to the Blog  HERE !

    Read more
  • December 17, 2014

    CCP Level 1 Life Coaching module at Aggressive CrossFit in Puerto Rico “Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible.” – Virginia Satir Yesterday James and I spent the day here in Puerto Rico discussing this very idea with our most recent group of coaches who are attending the Life Coaching module. The basic premise:  every body is different and everybody is different. In assessment, program design and nutrition, you learn that every body is different and unique prescriptions are required for each for optimal results. In Life Coach, you learn that everybody is ....

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  • December 16, 2014

    Big weekend for OPEX! In addition to our Winter Classic, our coaches were spread out educating and supporting athletes across the country. Counter-clockwise from top: James FitzGerald coaching an athlete camp at Aggressive CrossFit in Puerto Rico, Exclusive Coaching client Bert Hendricx and crew doing the Winter Classic in Belgium, and James Taylor and Matt Bryant coaching a camp here at OPEX in AZ. [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/16/14
    A. Snatch-grip deadlift - 3x8-10 - build from loads last week B1. Supine ring rows - 4xAMRAP - rest 30 sec B2. Farmers walk - 4x100ft - rest 2 min C. EMOM 14 minutes: Odd - 30 sec AMRAP double unders Even - 30 sec AMRAP KBS, Russian - 55/35# D. ....

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  • December 15, 2014

    OPEX Winter Classic Male winner Ben Sturgill with the second best finish in Event 1 @ 242#! And the Official 2014 OPEX Winter Classic Winners Are.......
    1. Alexandra LaChance 2. Sammy Wood 3. Amanda Goodman Male:
    1. Ben Sturgill 2. Dave Rabbet 3. Jim Crowell A big thank you to all that participated and posted their scores. This year was our biggest event yet - we hope you had a great time! It was awesome to put faces with the names for many of our blog followers posting videos. See you back next year! [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/15/14
    A. Back squat - 5, 5, 3, [3] - rest 3-4 min B. Push press - build to heavy set of 5 + Row 1000m @2k PR pace Rest 2:30-4:00 btwn ....

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  • December 14, 2014

    OPEX Coaches Matt Bryant (left) and James Taylor leading the athlete camp here at OPEX headquarters this weekend. We had nearly 600 athletes register for the Winter Classic! Stay tuned for tomorrow's post where we officially announce the winners. [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/14/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  12/14/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  12/14/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  12/14/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending] ....

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  • December 13, 2014

    OPEX Winter Classic 2014
    Click  HERE  to view the female leaderboard and  HERE  to view the male leaderboard. IMPORTANT: Competitors, please review the events and their standards  HERE Event 1 - Powered by Hylete
    Establish a max load in the following complex, unlimited attempts: 12 Deadlifts 9 Hang power cleans 6 Shoulder-to-overhead Emily Pale performing Event 1 Event 2 - Powered by Revive-RX
    For time: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 Unbroken CTB pull-ups 10 minute time cap, must break between each set Marcus Filly performing Event 2 Event 3 - Powered by FringeSport
    For time: 40 Back squats - 75/45# 40 Row calories 30 Front squats - 75/45# 30 Row calories 20 Overhead squats - 75/45# 20 ....

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  • December 12, 2014

    OPEX Coach James Taylor with a preview of workout 1 for tomorrow's free online competition! Last Chance to Register for our Annual Winter Classic!
    Go HERE to register for this FREE online competition where you can compete with the OPEX community worldwide! The theme for this year's event is "Unbroken" - you can check out the details of all three workouts  HERE . We hope to see your name on the leaderboard and good luck! [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/12/14
    A. KBS, Russian - 30 seconds off/30 seconds rest x10 - for total repetitions B. Strict pullups - 5x5-8 - tough repetitons C1. Farmers walk - 3x100m - HEAVY - no rest C2. GH hip extension - bodyweight - 3x8-15 - no rest + ....

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  • December 11, 2014

    Here I am in beautiful California for more learning.  I’m here to learn about values and axiology on a deeper level—in other words what drives people to do what they do.  And that sounds like a golden ticket, because when we figure out what drives people we can change them!  Right? No.  But that’s a common theme amongst many so called higher level coaching courses out there, but that will only take you so far.  Because what if you change someone to fit your vision of what you think they should be, and you create an unhappy condition for them because it’s not in alignment with who they are?  Now you as the coach have a false sense of accomplishment because you have “successfully” changed ....

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  • December 10, 2014

    We frequently get asked about supplementation, and for those that know me and what OPEX is about you’ll know that I do not back many things for our athletes, clients and coaches - as I am curious in nature and ask a lot of questions before “hitting the switch” so to speak. There have been a LOT players trying to infiltrate the nutrition/fitness market with the wrong idea in mind. Their idea is about margins, marketing and popularity. We've been searching for some time, with little success, for post workout nutrition containing both high-quality ingredients and a formulation best suited for fitness athletes. Finally a product has become available that we can put our energy and our name ....

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  • December 9, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client Brian Foley hitting a PR 300# Clean and Jerk [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/9/14
    A. Snatch-grip deadlift - 3x8-10 - rest 2-3 minutes btwn B. Supine ring rows - 4x8-12 - set rings btwn hip- and sternum-height, put feet on 20" box C. EMOMx6 - 30 second AMRAP Double unders + 4 rounds, for time: 500m Row 8 DB Snatches/arm - 40/25# - Alternating arms 8 Burpees to 6" target above reach Notes: - Demo of A: [tabby title="Being"] Being  12/9/14

    A. Power clean cluster 1. 1. 1; rest 10sec/rest 3mins x 5 B. PC x 1/SJ x 2; rest 90sec x 6 moderate weight C. PC and Jerk TnG into the jerk 1 ....

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  • December 8, 2014

    Great to see some old and new faces this weekend attending  CCP Level 1 Program Design here at OPEX headquarters! [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/8/14
    A. Back squat - 5, 5, 5, [5] - rest 3-4 minutes btwn sets B. Strict press - hold overhead 2 count each rep - 3x4-6 + C. Every 5 minutes x4 - time each set 9-7-5 Push press - use heaviest weight from B Goblet squat - 55/35# + D. Side plank - 60/60/45 x3 - Right/Left/Rest Notes: - Start of 6-week intensity peak, challenge loads as technique allows [tabby title="Being"] Being  12/8/14

    A. 1 snatch every 30sec for 10min 65% of 1rm B. back squat to a tough triple in 10mins C. 30 burpee MU for time + 10-12sets 90% effort 4 pistols ....

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  • December 7, 2014

    A little taste of the ugly sweater party we had last night here at OPEX. [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/7/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  12/7/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  12/7/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  12/7/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending]
    New to the Blog? Check out our  FAQs  and  Glossary .

    Subscribe to the Blog  HERE !

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  • December 6, 2014

    OPEX coaches James Taylor and Matt Bryant at this year's OPTathlon OPEX Online Winter Classic Next Saturday!
    On December 13, 2014 OPEX will be hosting our 3rd Annual Online Winter Classic. Our annual online competition allows the OPEX International Community to come together and compete alongside Games and Phoenix Rise athletes such as Marcus Filly, Emily Pale, Alexandra LaChance, Amanda Goodman, and many more recognizable names. Registration is Free, and workouts are designed so you will be able to complete the entire event within 90 minutes.  There are some great prizes from our sponsors, for event winners and overall winners. Everyone who participates will also receive special ....

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  • December 5, 2014

    Long time Exclusive Coaching client Steve Mullen still making gains! Power snatch PR (235#) [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/5/14
    A. RDL - 8, 6, 4, 8, 6, 4 B. For time: 50 Strict pullups C. Sorenson hold - accumulate 5 minutes - each drop perform x10 AbMat situps Notes -Choose a variance for assistance on part B which will allow you to complete the piece in 5-12 minutes -Dial in the correct intensity [tabby title="Being"] Being  12/5/14

    A. SC x 1 + FS x 2 keep weight moderate focus on speed rest 60sec x 10 + 5min amrap: 10 PC and jerk 135/95# 10 PC and jerk 155/105# 10 PC and jerk 185/115# 10 PC and jerk 205/135# 10 pc and jerk 225/145# + 90% effort for total time: Row 1k ....

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  • December 4, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client Bjork Odinsdottir 1RM Back Squat PR @ 297# [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/4/14
    A. Rear-foot elevated split squat - build to an 8RM per leg B. Close-grip bench press - 5, 3, 1 - one attempt at something heavy, NOT a max + 12 minutes AMRAP 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24... Overhead walking steps - 45/25# Burpees 20yd shuttle run between rounds Notes: -Compare AMRAP to Oct 22 -OH walking lunge steps - total, not per leg -Shutte run = 20yd down and 20yd back [tabby title="Being"] Being  12/4/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  12/4/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  12/4/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending]
    New to the Blog? Check out our  FAQs ....

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  • December 3, 2014

    I love hiking and I’ve always had an affinity for snapping pictures of the paths.  The thing I like about them is that you can see where they are headed but never quite where they end up. They are a metaphor for life. And as much as you map out a path, you still never know what you will come across around the next bend or over the next hill.  There is always an unknown.  And it’s that mystery of the path that I love. Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable and I pause b/c I'm scared to take the next step. Sometimes I get excited about it and want to run towards whatever is around the bend. And other times still I find myself indifferent and I jump off the path all together and sit in the ....

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  • December 2, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client Cole Mays recently decided to pursue weightlifting instead of CrossFit and is hitting a ton of PRs. Above - 335# C&J (30# PR). He currently weighs about 185#. 255# Snatch (5# PR) 460# Back Squat double [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/2/14
    A. Every 45 seconds x10 - 1x Box jump - You jump high, don't worry about a high box B. Supine ring rows - feet on a 20" box, adjust rings so that you're horizontal to the ground at the top of the pull - cadence requires holding chest to rings for a 2 count on each repetition - 3 sets max repetitions, rest 2-4 minutes between each set + 3 minutes easy row ...Rest 3 mintues, then... On the minute x4 - Row 20 seconds ....

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  • December 1, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client Hank Carl with a 2sec PR on his 2k Row (6:17.9!!) [tabby title="Function"] Function 12/1/14
    A. Back squat - 10, 10, 10RM B. 3x Standing press + 3x Push press - x4-5 sets C. Seated DB press - build to 6RM D1. Side plank - 45/45/30 x4 - Right/Left/Rest D2. Famres walk - 4x200m - 70/55# hand [tabby title="Being"] Being  12/1/14

    A. snatch start at 60% of 1rm add 10# every 60-90sec until max B. back squat to a tough double in 10mins C. 15 MU for time rest 3mins D. 15 bar MU for time rest 5mins + 8-10sets 90% effort: 10 wall balls 20/14# 10' target 6 CTB chin ups 25 DU rest walk 1min Notes: - if you fail a rep do that weight again - if you fail twice ....

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  • November 30, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client Olly Goddard 280# snatch (15# PR!) [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/30/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  11/30/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  11/30/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  11/30/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending]
    New to the Blog? Check out our  FAQs  and  Glossary .

    Subscribe to the Blog  HERE !

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  • November 29, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client Brian Foley 5RM TnG Clean and Jerk PR at 235# OPEX is Hiring!
    We are looking for an individual to fill the role of Education and Events Coordinator 
    here at OPEX  headquarters. This role will help support the overall operation of OPEX Fitness and assist in our future growth and development through managing and coordinating all OPEX events. Click HERE  for complete details on the position and how to apply. [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/29/14
    For time: Row 800m 30 Dumbbell hang clean and jerks (35/15#) 10 AbMat situps 20 Dumbbell hang clean and jerks (35/15#) 20 AbMat situps 10 Dumbbell hang clean and jerks (35/15#) 30 AbMat situps Row 800m ....

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  • November 28, 2014

    Get Special Pricing This Weekend:
    The OPEX Experience Course T-Shirts Neera Cleanse Greens/Fiber Combo Click on the links for more details!
    [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/28/14
    A. Waiters bow - 2x10 - hug 10-25# plate against chest - warmup piece B1. RDL - 10, 8, 6, 4 B2. Accumulate x8-15 strict pullups after each set of B1, use assistance and multiple sets if needed to achieve repetition range + 2-3 sets - not for time: Accumulate 60 seconds FLR on rings Accumulate 50 seconds wall sit Accumulate 40 seconds active pullup bar hang Accumulate 30 seconds ring support holds [tabby title="Being"] Being  11/28/14

    A. back squat build to a tough triple in 12mins + ....

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  • November 27, 2014

    Happy Thanksgiving from OPEX! We hope you enjoy the day with your families and friends. [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/27/14
    A1. Weighted RFESS - load with DBs in each hand - pause 2 seconds off floor - 4x4-6/leg A2. Close-grip bench press - 4x4-6 + 5 minute AMRAP - 80 to 85% 400m Run AMRAP in remaining time: 5 Deadlifts - 60% 1RM 5 Burpees over bar Rest 3 minutes 5 minute AMRAP - 80 to 85% 400m Run AMRAP in remaining time: 10 Front squats - 45/35# 10 Supine ring rows - feet on ground, rings set to sternum height [tabby title="Being"] Being  11/27/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  11/27/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  11/27/14

    REST DAY ....

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  • November 26, 2014

    OPEX CCP Level 2 Coaches Scott Dillon and Martin Altemark Do you remember what it was like the very first time you stepped into a gym? Today I had a 50-year-old female client who came to the gym for the first time in her life.  She told me she wasn’t going to come—that she had thought about cancelling.  But then, last minute, she decided to give it a try. I watched her nervously come in and sort of look around at the other people already working out.  Of course it was all my 20-something guys in the gym doing deadlifts.  That only added to the intimidation factor. But the fact was she was here AND it was not easy for her to be here.  And I remembered what it was like the first time I ....

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  • November 25, 2014

    In case you missed it!
    You can go HERE to view a replay of the Low Testosterone webinar hosted by James FitzGerald and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition 's Reed Davis. [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/25/14
    500m row - at +2 pace Rest 2:30 x4 500m row - at pace Rest 2:30 x3 500m row - at -2 pace Rest 2:30 x2 Notes: -Examples for row - if my pace if 1:45/500m 1:47/500m at +2 seconds 1:45/500m at pace 1:43/500m at -2 seconds [tabby title="Being"] Being  11/25/14

    A. Power clean TnG cluster 2. 2. 2; rest 10sec/rest 3mins x 3 B. Split jerk from blocks 1. 1. 1 65% of 1rm - emom - 8-10mins C. 5 sets of 5 for time 155/105# PC and jerk Tng grace style + Row 500m @2k PR pace rest ....

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  • November 24, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching Client Marcus Filly completing a 1 to 10 CTB ladder in 1:41 (left) and 1:33 (right). A little over a year between attempts. "One of the marks of excellent people is that they never compare themselves with others. They only compare themselves with themselves, and with their past accomplishments and future potential." James FitzGerald Director, OPEX [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/24/14
    A1. Goblet squats - 3x10-15 - rest 30 seconds A2. Seated DB press - 3x10-12 - rest 30 seconds A3. AbMat situps - 3x18-25 - rest 2 minutes + B. 5 sets 30  seconds Kettlebell swings - 55/35# Rest 30 seconds 30 seconds Airdyne - 90% Rest 30 seconds + C. Side plank - 30/30/30x5 ....

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  • November 23, 2014

    Pumpkin Goodness!
    It's fall, it's almost Thanksgiving, and there is pumpkin to be consumed. Something relative healthy, simple and delicious is a dairy-free, gluten-free pumpkin custard (think pumpkin pie all filling no crust). It is best made with fresh winter squash - Red Kuri is my favorite if you can find it. Blue Hubbard and sugar pie pumpkins work well too. Canned pumpkin will get the job done, but the real thing is worth the extra effort. To prepare the squash, cut it in half, remove the seeds,  and place in the oven at 350 degrees cut-side down in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with raised edges. Cook until fork tender. Once cooked, scoop out the flesh from the skin and set ....

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  • November 22, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching Client Hank Carl coming in for landing on his winning triple jump (31'3"!!) at OPTathlon 6.0 Eat to Live This is no surprise. Lets focus energy on what to do about it, as opposed to reporting on it. When anyone from now on prints this, writes this, or has something to say about it, we should immediately ask, “ok, now what?…what are you attaching as a plan to do about it?” We all know it…the world is fatter, kids are obese, blah, blah, blah…. I have friends that are doing something about it HERE . I can’t reach every kid. I can’t be there for every kid. I CAN take care of my own, I CAN teach ....

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  • November 21, 2014

    Neera Kits and Syrup now 20% off in the store! Click on the above images for more information.
    Why Cleanse? Just like any muscle or system, your digestive tract is the same. It requires breaks as well. One can train over and over but within these cycles of training, they take breaks for example between the efforts of 100 pull ups. Why?…to give the arm flexors and lats a break. When we exercise (send blood and “things” around the body) and recover (eat and rest), our digestive track is working non stop. There is sometimes no chance for breaks. The Neera Cleanse allows the gut to take a break, bottom line. Ask anyone around OPEX over the last few years, it is one of the simplest ways ....

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  • November 20, 2014

    What a difference a year makes! Check out Exclusive Coaching client Chad Michael doing some touch and go work in Oct '13 (top) and Nov '14 (bottom) [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/20/14
    A. Weighted RFESS - load with DBs in each hand - pause 2 seconds off floor - 4x4-6/leg B. Close-grip bench press - 8, 8, 6, 6 + 3 minute AMRAP - 85% 10 Step-up - 5/leg 10 Push presses - 75/55# Rest 2 minutes x3 3 minute AMRAP - 85% 12 Row calories 4 Burpees over rower Rest 2 minutes x3 Notes: -Report scores separately per round on AMRAPs [tabby title="Being"] Being  11/20/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  11/20/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  11/20/14

    REST DAY ....

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  • November 19, 2014

    OPEX CCP Level 2 Program Design Attendees Surround yourself with like-minded people is an adage that is often tossed around but not always deeply appreciated.  This past week another group of like-minded coaches got together at OPEX HQ to embed themselves in learning, sharing ideas and playing with coaching concepts specifically in the assessment and program design domains.  Some came from as far away as Sweden and Australia--a distance I have developed a healthy respect for.  And they all came with open minds and a willingness to be curious. Curiosity is a characteristic that we hold dear at OPEX--the willingness to drop all pretences and just allow yourself to question and play with ....

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  • November 18, 2014

    The new OPEX unisex hoodies have arrived! Click HERE to order. Don't Miss Our FREE Webinar November 20th @ 11am PST!
    Join James FitzGerald and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition's Reed Davis on how to identify and help your clients , both male and female, suffering from low testosterone. This a frequently misunderstood condition that can contribute to a number of health issues. In tomorrow's webinar you'll learn: 1. A complete system of investigation into the underlying causes and conditions at the root of Low T instead of chasing symptoms. 2. How the chronic stress response interferes with normal function and causes hormone imbalances, leading to a wide variety of common health ....

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  • November 17, 2014

    Above: Exclusive Coaching client Adam Tabalno hitting a snatch PR of 235# at 160lb. bodyweight. Below: Adam with coach James Taylor and his tattoo we had to take a pic of when he came for a visit. "I initially heard about OPEX, formerly OPT, through a Barbell Shrugged Podcast. I had been doing CrossFit for about a year and felt that in order to get to the next level, I was going to need to receive individual programming. I called and talked with the staff and they recommended me to James Taylor (JT).  I started with James in Sept 2013 and have been with him since. After going through the programming for the past 15 months, I have been so intrigued by the transformation of my ....

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  • November 16, 2014

    Congratulations to OPEX Exclusive Coaching clients Tennil Reed for taking 1st and Amanda Goodman for taking 3rd at this weekend's Infinite Strength  Games ! [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/16/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  11/16/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  11/16/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  11/16/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending]
    New to the Blog? Check out our  FAQs  and  Glossary .

    Subscribe to the Blog  HERE !

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  • November 15, 2014

    In case you missed it click on the image above to check out the second part of the FloElite  profile on OPEX director James FitzGerald :  James Fitzgerald has always considered his fitness a full time job- whether he fills the role of athlete or coach. OPEX (Formerly OPT) personally coaches 300+ athletes participating in the sport. The athletes are priming and prepping for a Team Grid practice, where they compete against their peers before their first match. [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/15/14
    Notice: Recall Saturdays on primarily a make-up day first, recovery day second, and an optional training session third. Choose what’s most right for you given the week.
    A. Man maker ....

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  • November 14, 2014

    Morgan Chaulk and Brian Carter taking some recovery time together after testing at Sunday's athlete camp Being Avatar
    It’s finally here! Below is a summary of the data collected over testing periods along with the goals and general direction for the blog over the coming months. Please feel free to post any comments or questions – we’d love to hear from you! Goal:
    This is designed for the athlete that has not made it to the regionals but has a desire and passion to see their innate genetic potential and give their best efforts in the Open to make a regional spot.  (you first have to prove you can make it there before you can train for regionals) We will be peaking for the opens, more ....

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  • November 13, 2014

    My Weekend at The OPEX CCP Level 1 Life Coaching Seminar
    by Sara McEvoy, CCP coach I attended the Life Coaching seminar in October and gained great insights into human behavior, goal-setting, self-mastery, and relationships (especially coach/client relationships). Anyone can benefit—personally and professionally—from the information that Sharon and James provide, so I strongly recommend this course for both people who work in the fitness industry and for people who don’t. I’m neither a life coach nor an expert in life coaching material, therefore I won’t summarize all the topics covered in this course. Instead, I’d like to share a few tips and takeaways that reflect my experience. I ....

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  • November 12, 2014

    The above picture is a view from my favorite place… the OPEX classroom. I’m attending the CCP Level 2 Assessment for the second time and I appreciate the content and perspective you gain in this course. I’ve had the opportunity to apply what I learned the first time around and I can tell you that it’s invaluable as a coach—I use the knowledge I gained EVERYDAY with my clients. The second time is an opportunity to integrate the past learning and application, as well as reflect on the the clients who were along for that part of the journey. Why? Because learning is a process... When you learn something new, you know about it. When you study it, you come to know it. And when you live it, ....

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  • November 11, 2014

    Alex LaChance putting up a 220# Clean and Jerk to win Event 1 at OPTathlon 6.0 New on the Membership Site
    Training and Design for GRID : GRID is not the sport of fitness. GRID requires high, sustained power output, and implementing strategies that addressed this new focus was a major key to success. In many cases we had to train and re-train our athletes to adjust to this shift in output, intent, and the mentality with which they approached the sport. With 20 athletes training full-time in a team environment the task of designing and organizing their training presented quite the challenge.  At OPEX we’ve proposed the use of theme-based training as an effective way to approach group ....

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  • November 10, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client Nina Arezina during the last few moments of Lactic Endurance repeat tests yesterday here at OPEX. [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/10/14
    A1. Back squat - 8, 8, 8, 8 - rest 90 seconds before A2 A2. Standing strict press - 8, 8, 8, 8 B1. Overhead walking lunge steps - 3x50m - 45/25# B2. GHD hip extension, BWT - 3x12-20 + 3 minute AMRAP 3 Hang DB cleans - 45/25#/hand 6 Pushups 9 Wall ball shots - 20/14# Rest 1 minute x3 Resume each round where you last left off, report result as one cumulative score Notes: -Demo: http://www.catalystathletics. com/exercises/exercise.php? exerciseID=300 [tabby title="Being"] Being  11/10/14

    A. back squat 3, 2, 1; ....

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  • November 9, 2014

    Tennil Reed, Chelsea Nicholas, Amy Backel, James FitzGerald, Hank Carl, Matt Springer, Pete Haggenjos Congratulations to our OPTathlon 6.0 winners! 
    Women: 1. Amy Backel 2. Chelsea Nicholas 3. Tennil Reed Men: 1. Hank Carl 2. Matt Springer 3. Pete Haggenjos Click HERE to see the full results [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/9/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  11/9/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  11/9/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  11/9/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending]
    New to the Blog? Check out our  FAQs  and  Glossary .

    Subscribe to the Blog  HERE !

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  • November 8, 2014

    OPTathlon 6.0 weekend officially kicked off yesterday afternoon so it should be no surprise..... The Workout #14
    The OPTathlon  - Please read the events page for complete details on each workout For Event 4 - The "Unknown Circuit" For time: 21 PS (95/65#) 9 burpees over bar (vertical  torso) 15 PC&J 9 burpees over bar 9 thrusters 9 burpees over bar Notes: - Event Timing:
    Event 1 - Clean and jerk 1RM - 10 min time cap Rest 8-10 min Event 2 - Triple jump - 3 attempts Rest 2 min Event 3 - Row 500m Rest 90 sec in rower Row 500m -Best possible 1k score Rest 30-60 min Event 4 - The Unknown Circuit Rest 2-3 hours Event 5 - Reverse shot throw - 16/8# medball Event 6 - 3k Run - ....

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  • November 7, 2014

    Will Avatar
    It's finally here! Below is a summary of the data collected over the recent testing period along with the goals and general direction for the blog over the coming months. Please feel free to post any comments or questions - we'd love to hear from you! Goal:
    Top 20 at Regionals, no peak for opens just exposure. 1 attempt per week, progressive peak into regionals. Current template - 6 weeks. Important:
     If you need to peak for the Open's to make Regionals, then you should now move to She or Being. Data Summary:
    Height - 5'-9" Weight 183# BS - 375# Snatch - 210# Clean – 315# Jerk – 270# Press - 185# WCU - 263# w/BWT Max set of HSPU - 30 Max set of CTB pull ups - 26 MU – ....

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  • November 6, 2014

    Click on the above photo to check out this interview with James on The Mind Muscle Project . [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/6/14
    A. RFESS - 2 second lower, 2 second hold at bottom - 5x6-10/leg - rest 30 seconds btwn legs + On the minute x15 1st - 45 sec AMRAP box jumps, step down - 20/18" 2nd - 45 sec AMRAP pushups 3rd - Rest On the minute x15 1st - 45 sec AMRAP airdyne calories 2nd - 45 sec AMRAP single unders 3rd - Rest Notes: -Attempt to add more repetitions to part A this week -Regression variant for pushups if needed: v=6crpkXx0cHo [tabby title="Being"] Being  11/6/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  11/6/14

    REST DAY [tabby ....

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  • November 5, 2014

    CCP coach Andy Craig, Integrated Fitness - South Africa People don't see the world in the same way that you do. Everyone has a different lens in which their perception is filtered which is created through experiences, world views, values, essences, etc. On my way down to Australia, I read the following and it does a good job of explaining this concept and it applies to coach-client dynamics as well as any type of communication you may be engaging in. “The first criterion is to understand the worldly way of seeing things, the worldly view. Sometimes we have to use the kind of language that people speak and the way they view things. If you don’t use the language of the world, most ....

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  • November 4, 2014

    Our Coaching Certificate Program is growing! There are now over 1000 coaches
    worldwide in 27 countries covering 6 continents who've started their OPEX CCP Journey. Coaching is more than just fitness instruction, it is a passion for health, wellness, and fitness - a passion for higher learning and growth. It is a passion for clients and athletes. This passion is translated into every course we teach. Thank you to all our amazing OPEX CCP coaches out there Leading The Way. [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/4/14
    A. Scap pullup - hold contraction for 3 seconds - 5x3-5 B. Pullups negatives - 4-6 second lower on each repetition - 5x5-8 + 6 sets 500m row - at pace (+/- 1 second) 15 ....

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  • November 3, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client Cole Mays with a 400# Front Squat triple. [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/3/14
    A. Back squat - 3x10-12 - rest 2 minutes btwn sets B1. Seated DB press, hold overhead 2 seconds-  10, 8, 6, 4 - rest 30 seconds before B2 B2. Supine ring row - hold against chest for a count - 4xAMRAP(-) - rest 2 minutes before B1 + 4 sets - not for time x8-15 Scapula pushups 100m KB front rack farmers walk Notes -AMRAP(-) = stopping short of failure -Scap Pushups Demo - v=MN2X1cpFjqc [tabby title="Being"] Being  11/3/14

    Row or AD 5mins easy pace + Row or AD 1min 90% aero rest 1min x 5 all same pace + Row or AD 30sec 90% aero slightly ....

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  • November 2, 2014

    Robin Lakes trail, Washington. Get out and enjoy the day!! [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/2/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  11/2/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  11/2/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  11/2/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending]
    New to the Blog? Check out our  FAQs  and  Glossary .

    Subscribe to the Blog  HERE !

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  • November 1, 2014

    OPEX's own Meghan Sweet taking a moment to prepare for a 1RM Bench Press The Workout #13
    A. Power clean - build to 1RM B. CGBP - build to 1RM (hands no more than 16" apart) C. Powell raise @ 30X1 - AMRAP @ 10% of B per arm Notes: - Scored as ratio of A:B - Report repetitions per arm on C - Post scores to comments below [tabby title="Function"] Function 11/1/14
    For time: 1k Row + 2 rounds of Cindy 5 Pullups/10 Pushup/15 Air squats + 30 Dumbbell hang clean and jerks (35/15#) + 2 rounds of Cindy 5 Pullups/10 Pushups/15 Air squats + 1k Row Notes: -Video demo on DB hang clean - http://www.catalystathletics. com/exercises/exercise.php? exerciseID=300 [tabby title="Being"] Being ....

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  • October 31, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching Client Daniel Rector with a 230# snatch PR In my mind I have been a part of the OPT [OPEX] community since 2010. I first discovered the old blog sometime in 2009 while I was on active duty in the US Coast Guard. I never actually followed it or even did any of the workouts but I was intrigued by the complexity of it all. At the time I was training for triathlons mainly and also coaching on the side. Fast forward to 2010...I was now out of the military and working as a coach for Jason Leydon of CrossFit Milford. He was just getting into the whole CCP thing (they were brand new at the time) and had jumped in with both feet. He told me if I was looking for the best ....

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  • October 30, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching Client Jason Benade hitting a snatch PR at 200#! She Avatar
    Thanks to all of you that posted your scores to the blog during our recent round of testing - it is time to reap your reward! We can now deliver a program that is better tailored to you. Below is a summary of the testing results and the focus of the programming over the coming months. We'd love to hear from you so if you have more questions please post to the comments below! The summary for Will and Being are coming later this week. Goal - Qualify for Regionals Height - 5'-4" Weight 150# BS - 245# Snatch - 140# Jerk - 180# Press - 100# WCU - 200# w/BWT Max set of HSPU - 15 Max set of CTB pull ups - 13 MU ....

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  • October 29, 2014

    This pic may not look like much at first glance, but it's significant. It's me facing my biggest fear. I am deathly afraid of the open water and sharks and I have never swam in the ocean. But then my kid threw down a challenge that I couldn't resist. He said that if I "went snorkeling with him that I'd be more fun than dad". That's a tall order--his dad is the fun parent. So what better way to get over ones fear of sharks and open water than to get on a boat and cruise for over an hour into the ocean to the outer reef of The Great Barrier Reef in Australia? Yeah. I've snorkelled before. In swimming pools. And I've done things that I've been afraid of before. The types of things that get ....

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  • October 28, 2014

    Team OPEX taking first place at The Phoenix Throwdown this weekend. Emotional Limits
    by Robin Lyons, OPEX Coach I called an old friend / teammate of mine Derek Woodske to have a discussion around strength training (what else would we talk about ?) Anyway, the discussion ended with a psychological exploration about coaching, training, athletics and our experiences.  Is was an enlightening chat that I wanted to share with all of you in hopes to maybe resonate with some of you on your own training and coaching journeys… Reflecting back to my competitive track and field days for the Canadian National Team and University of Wyoming I was very emotionally driven.  Competing in Track ....

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  • October 27, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client Justin Tamane taking first place in the partners division at ReEvolve's Barbells and Beers this weekend in Toronto. Direction of Function
    Function is philosophically a process of discovery into fitness. This being the case, Function most resonates with the idea of balance. The group will have continued exposure to slow strength lifts as well as exposure to the aerobic, sustained end of the energy system continuum. All of this is in an effort to create a base to one day move beyond this group to a Being level of fitness. The template I have created reflects two upcoming cycles. The first cycle will build volume over six weeks, which leads into another six ....

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  • October 26, 2014

    Last Chance Sales!!!
     25% off while quantities last! Refuel is a post workout supplement for active fitness athlete; it contains a broad spectrum of proteins and carbohydrates needed for recovery; the ratio of carbs to protein is beneficial for the “hard charging” fitness athlete. Click HERE to purchase. Apparel:
     Shirts are just $15 and hoodies for $25! Sized and styles limited to quantities on hand. Click HERE to check out what is still available. [tabby title="Function"] Function 10/26/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  10/26/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  10/26/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  10/26/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending] ....

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  • October 25, 2014

    A little throwback...... Exclusive Coaching client and CrossFit Games competitor Marcus Filly at OPTathlon 1.0. The Workout #12
    For Time: 100 Thrusters (95#/65#) Notes: - Post scores to comments below!! [tabby title="Function"] Function 10/25/14
    Attention Function followers: testing week! Please post your results daily to be aggregated into the group result for better programming into the next cycle
    A1. Row - 5x60 seconds REALLY easy pace, no rest before A2 A2. Pushups - 5x6-12, rest 2 minutes before returning to A1 B.On the minute x10 Odd minutes - Row 15 seconds ALL OUT Even minutes - x6-12 Kettlebell swings, Russian - build weight per round + 2 sets - each for time - ....

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  • October 24, 2014

    A few thoughts on why I enjoy competing in the OPTathlon: First and foremost, I simply like to run, jump, and throw. Track and field was my sport for years, and I completed tests similar to the OPTathlon events in my training throughout high school and college (standing triple jump, shot tosses, max lifts). So I already had an appreciation for these tests as an indicator of athletic potential. When you improve in these events, you have improved as an athlete. I have a decade of training logs that will support this. And I’m excited to continue to test and track my performances in these events for years to come. As more individuals repeat the OPTathlon from year to year and reflect on ....

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  • October 23, 2014

    A few of my mentors have taught me that when something is really important to you, you will travel any distance and pay any price to accomplish it. If it’s not, you will find excuses. Excuses are really just masks to say “this isn’t that important to me, but I’m going to pretend like it is.” Learning and sharing are important to me, so I am willing to go the distance for it—no will power necessary to make that happen b/c it is congruent with who I am. When will power is called upon I often question why it’s needed. Bernie (one of those mentors) and I use to go round and round on this one in great philosophical debates in coffee shops around Calgary—free will vs. divine will. He would ....

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  • October 22, 2014

    "Before CrossFit exploded into a televised competitive sport, James Fitzgerald would post his workout times on the CrossFit website under the moniker OPT. He was determined to learn the moves and earn the fastest times. Then in 2007, 70 athletes -- among them names like Brett Marshall, Josh Everett, and Chris Spealler -- gathered from all over the country to compete in the inaugural CrossFit Games in Aromas, California OPT would take home the title that year as Fittest on Earth."
    In case you missed it - check out this great video on FLO Elite of James "OPT" FitzGerald's rise in CrossFit!
    [tabby title="Function"] Function 10/22/14
    Attention Function followers: testing week! ....

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  • October 21, 2014

    Danny Nichols, max cleans in 8 min @ 90% 1RM (360#) [tabby title="Function"] Function 10/21/14
    Attention Function followers: testing week! Please post your results daily to be aggregated into the group result for better programming into the next cycle
    For time: 2k Row Notes: -Compare results to Aug 9th -Report total time, weight, height, age -Can also report splits per 500m [tabby title="Being"] Being  10/21/14

    A. SC TnG x 3; rest 10sec in the front rack after third rep then SJ x 1; rest 2-3mins x 5 B1. BB on back russian step up 15-18" box; 6/leg; rest 30sec btw legs/rest 90sec B2. wtd dip @20X1; 2-3; rest 90sec x 4 C. emom - 12mins odd - PC TnG cluster 2. 2. 2 60-65% of 1rm ....

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  • October 20, 2014

    Another sold out OPEX athlete camp at CrossFit Revolver in Cancun, Mexico. Check out the Events page for all our upcoming camps! Seasonal Depression in the Sport of Fitness
    by Matt Bryant, OPEX Coach I've made a noticing over the past couple of years within seasons of the sport of fitness.  I have noticed it with athletes I work with and in myself as an athlete.  This is an interesting time in the season for the sport of fitness.  The buzz of the games is over and now people are starting to realize the work they are putting in might not get them exactly what they want.  Guess what... That is scary as shit.  "I want to go to regionals" "I might not go and I am working my ass off ....

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  • October 19, 2014

    OPT Coach Robin Lyons hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim. [tabby title="Function"] Function 10/19/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  10/19/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  10/19/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  10/19/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending] ....

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  • October 18, 2014

    Kimberley Azcarate. The Workout #11
    A. Front squat - build to 1RM - ( Catalyst athletics movement demo ) B. Good morning @ 22X1 - build to 2RM - ( Catalyst athletics movement demo ) Notes: - Scored as ratio of A:B - Make sure to watch the demo videos linked above for proper technique! - Post scores to the comments below [tabby title="Function"] Function 10/18/14
    Skill practice - two new movements upcoming in the next cycle A. Front squat - 5x10 - loading btwn 25-65# - see attached video B. Waiters bow - 3x20 - slow tempo down, hold, return to standing, not until the action of a kettle swing C. Good morning - 5x5 - load by hold a plate firm against chest with cross arms - slow ....

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  • October 17, 2104

    Blog Followers...want to maximize your training? 
    Our philosophy behind programming at OPEX is founded in assessment before prescription. The groups on the blog go through periodic phases of formal assessment – such as the Will and She groups currently, and the Function group next week. These phases allow our coaches to effectively program new cycles of training based on the abilities of the group. When tests are given and results are posted, our coaches can aggregate the data into unique avatars to best serve the audience following that group. However, the system does not operate well when results are irregularly provided. Take these two examples of a potential Will avatar: Avatar 1 ....

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  • October 16, 2014

    What sets OPEX CCP apart from other programs? [tabby title="Function"] Function 10/16/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  10/16/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  10/16/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  10/16/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending] ....

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  • October 15, 2014

    I love coaching. I mean, OH MY GOD I TRULY LOVE COACHING. I’ve just spent the weekend in Boston with some “wicked smaart” coaches from the US, Canada and Ireland--I absolutely love sharing new perspectives with coaches and helping them dial in their ability to communicate with their clients.  I’m back in Calgary today with my clients feeling completely reenergized and excited to be doing what I do.  I love being with my clients, teaching them, watching them evolve and sharing with them the gift of health and fitness. When I was a software engineer, I was at a crossroads.  I had the option of upgrading my knowledge in that profession and going forward with my career in internet ....

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  • October 14, 2014

    We had to. Exclusive Coaching client AL Eggeman, 300# thruster. Start 'Em Young
    by James FitzGerald Director, OPEX Well, this is what happened to Freddy Adu - click here . Ever since listening to Istvan Balyi in person at a conference in Banff in 2000, sport development for kids into professionals has always interested me. This past weekend at a Program Design seminar I taught the question remained in people's heads about specialization. The topic on general preparation versus specialization has always been a hot one - burned out tennis players at 13, overuse injuries in volleyball males at 14, 50% ACL injuries on field in soccer at 16 years of age for females, etc…etc… My story ....

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  • October 13, 2014

    OPTathlon Event #6 - 3K Run
    The 3k run is the 6th and final event of the OPTathlon - a fantastic way to cap off the event outdoors with what’s usually a sunny fall afternoon here in AZ. The 3k run is a great test because of its simplicity. You can’t hide from the results on this one. How fast can you travel the distance on foot I like this test in the OPTathlon because individuals who train for other single aspects of the event such as weightlifting, without training for balanced fitness, will generally have a tough time with this test. The 3k run is the most direct test of the aerobic system in the event. The aerobic system demand of the race relative to the other energy systems can ....

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  • October 12, 2014

    OPEX Level 1 CCP Coaches practicing and coaching one another on initial client consultations at this weekend's Life Coaching module in Boston. [tabby title="Function"] Function 10/12/14
    [tabby title="Being"] Being  10/12/14

    [tabby title="Will"] Will  10/12/14

    [tabby title="She"] She  10/12/14

    [tabbyending] ....

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  • October 11, 2014

    The Workout #10
    3 minutes AMRAP strict pull-ups Notes: - Standard width = thumbs in line with AC joint - Must complete eccentric (i.e. - lowering) portion each repetition - Post scores to comments below [tabby title="Function"] Function 10/11/14
    For time: 9 Burpee 400m Run 15 Burpee 600m Run 21 Burpee 800m Run + 3 minutes AMRAP strict pull-ups Rest exactly 1 minute 3 minute AMRAP double unders Notes: - Standard width for pull-ups = thumbs in line with AC joint - Must complete eccentric (i.e. - lowering) portion each repetition - Post scores to comments below [tabby title="Being"] Being  10/11/14

    3 minutes AMRAP strict pullups Notes: - Standard width for pull-ups = thumbs ....

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  • October 10, 2014

    The great group of coaches attending OPEX CCP Level 1 Program Design this weekend in Boston at CrossFit Craic [tabby title="Function"] Function 10/10/14
    A. Deadlift - 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1 B. Single-arm DB bench press - 4x6-9/arm + C. 21-15-9 of the following, not for time: Step-ups, repetitions per leg (20/18" box) Back extension [tabby title="Being"] Being  10/10/14

    A. push press TnG build to a tough 5 in 12mins B1. 10-15 T2B; rest 20sec B2. 8-10 S2O 155/95#; rest 20sec B3. amrap MU unbroken - 1; rest 20sec B4. 8-10 burpees; rest 3-4mins x 4sets C. wtd back ext @2022; 6-8; rest 90sec x 3 + Row 30sec 90% aero rest walk 30sec x 10 all rows same pace [tabby title="Will"] Will  ....

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  • October 9, 2014

    Facility Program Design
    A topic of ongoing discussion here at OPEX is how to best design a program for group classes that keeps clients moving consistently towards their goals. We know from experience individual design is often the most efficient way for a client to meet their fitness goals, AND we know that some folks just prefer training in a group. For that reason, and because so many of you requested it, we started offering Facility Program Design in addition to individual Exclusive Coaching . We take a look at how we approach this challenging topic in a case study on the membership site this week - here's a preview: Client Case Study #7 - Facility Program Design Part 1
    by ....

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  • Member Site Teaser

    New on the Membership Site This Week:
    OPT-In Episode 29  - With the OPTATHLON 6.0 coming to Scottsdale in just a handful of weeks, let's take a stroll down the "Sh***y, S**t, S**t" lane of Fatigue Repeatability, and more closely analyze the 500m Row Repeat Test. Join us as we look at the "WHY" behind this event, along with specific results from previous performances and what it all means. Client Case Study #7 Part 1 - OPT Coach Robin Lyons presents the first in a two-part case study on Facility Program Design . Not a member? Click HERE to find out more about joining our membership site. ....

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  • October 8, 2014

    “In the scientific journal, Nature, author Kerri Smith reviews the brain research regarding the importance of downtime and doing nothing. In a resting “do nothing” state, the brain is not doing nothing. It is completing the unconscious tasks of integrating and processing conscious experiences. Neuroscientists will tell you that the brain uses a massive amount of energy while active just on one task—as much as 20% of the body’s energy intake. Resting state neural networks help us process our experiences, consolidate memories, reinforce learning, regulate our attention and emotions, and keep us productive and effective in our work and judgments. Tony Schwartz, writing in the New York ....

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  • October 7, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching Client Mason Doherty Exclusive Coaching client  Amanda Goodman on Vimeo . 30 Cleans For Time - 225#/155#
    In brief - a wonderful test. Why? - Challenges the athlete for optimal strength speed for the sport; i.e. the weight chosen and power in that time is relative to the sports requirements - i.e. regional workout 2013 RC and clean as example... - Weight is enough where you can determine past a certain point what the limiters are - CNS fatigue, position strength, metabolic fatigue, knee flexion eccentric muscle endurance… - A barbell battery test can tell a whole lot about patience, consistency, movement patterns of fatigue, etc… - Knee flexion endurance is a ....

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  • October 6, 2014

    Ayo Anise and Amy Backel finishing out the second 500m during Event 3 at OPTathlon 5.0. OPTathlon Event 3: Row Repeats
    We are about 1 month out from OPTathlon 6.0 , and having the knowledge of some of the events allows us to prep specifically for the competition. The third event, the Row Repeats, is one of my all-time favorite tests. You can see so much from each athlete that completes this and does it the right way. Building to the event incorporating row repeats into your training is an obvious method to help you score better on the event - so how can we potentially supplement your training in preparation for this year's event? Here I lay two days of a simple 4-week progression ....

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  • October 5, 2014

    Last Message - Originally posted September 19, 2010
    "Today was a bit frustrating. I worked 4 hours later than normal, putting me in bed that much later. I shifted my sleep, diet, and workout to accommodate only to find myself in meetings all day and answering questions for an extra hour after another class I gave. I enjoy helping and teaching, it is a passion of mine- but as soon as I got done helping someone on the rower and was executing my first rep of MY workout, I got called away again. I tell you all this to ask if it's ok if I shift today's training to tomorrow? I'm looking at 2-3 hours before bed. Thoughts..... Thank you and here is 14 Septembers work... Push press and sup ....

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  • October 4, 2014

    Moments before the start of the 500m row repeat test at OPTathlon 5.0  The Workout #9
    Row 30 seconds ALL OUT Rest 30 seconds x4 Notes: - Score is meters per round - Program 30sec work/rest intervals into the rower - Post scores to comments below [tabby title="Function"] Function 10/4/14
    A. Row 5 minutes very easy pace + B. Row 100m - 90% Rest 2 mintues x3-5 + "The Workout" Row 30 seconds ALL OUT Rest 30 seconds x4 Notes: - Score is meters per round - Program 30sec work/rest intervals into the rower - Post scores to comments below [tabby title="Being"] Being  10/4/14

    A. snatch build to a tough single in 10min B. clean and jerk build to a tough single in 10mins C. FLR on ....

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  • October 3, 2014

    Did you know that each wednesday at 10:30am PST one of our OPEX coaches is live on Facebook answering your questions about all things health and fitness? For those of you following the training blog this can be a great opportunity to dig a little deeper into the programming and how it's working for you. Here is a sample of what we discuss: I have been following Being for over 3 months and am seeing a lot of gains. However , I was wondering if it would be advisable to switch the back squat for front squat work. Please give me your top 3 strength movements to help athletes achieve multiple strict dips.  Coach!!! Some advice on pre-competition nutrition. I'm a 36 year old ....

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  • October 2, 2014

    We asked Phoenix Rise athletes Marcus Filly, Shanna Duvall and Danny Nichols - what will your training look like now that the Grid season is over? [tabby title="Function"] Function 10/2/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  10/2/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  10/2/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  10/2/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending] ....

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  • October 1, 2014

    The Reason
    This is my 8-year-old, Owen. I love this pic because I think it’s cute that he’s reading about nerves and neurons for his homework. The best part for me is that he picked the book himself and it’s a huge indicator of how his life experience has shaped his curiosity. Interestingly enough, he is my food allergy kid—he was allergic to dozens of foods as a baby and he gave me the best education about anaphylaxis, food sensitivities and autoimmune disorders through both research and practical application in an effort to heal him. When he was a baby I was uncertain of when the next rush to the hospital would be, if he could stop scratching long enough to be allowed some much ....

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  • September 30, 2014

    OPEX Coaches Robin Lyons and Matt Springer debrief the data collected at the last Female Athlete Camp. Listen as they discuss what was tested and why, and quick thoughts on progressing these athletes in the sport of fitness moving forward. Interested in attending a camp? Check out our upcoming  events page! [tabby title="Function"] Function 9/30/14
    Peak Watts Test On the minute x5 1) Set display setting to Watts 2) Row exactly five (5) strokes AS HARD AS POSSIBLE at the top of each minute 3) Report score from 5th stroke each round to comments Rest as needed 12 minutes AMRAP - moderate pace 350m Row 8 Burpees over erg Notes -Please attempt to report the drag factor you ....

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  • September 29, 2014

    Holding down the fort at OPEX HQ this past week while the rest of the team was out supporting the Rise in Charlotte! Like the new shirts? Us too. You can order yours HERE . [tabby title="Function"] Function 9/29/14
    A. Back squat; 5, 5, 3, [3]; rest 3-5 minutes B. Seated DB press; 5x5-8; rest 2 minutes C1. Powell raise; 3x6-10; rest 60s C2. Sorenson hold; 3xAMRAP(-); rest 60s D. Accumulate 3 minutes of wall sit - thighs parallel to floor Notes -Last set tough set on A [tabby title="Being"] Being 9/29 /14

    A1. PC x 1/FS x 8; rest 20sec A2. MU cluster 2. 2. 2. 2; rest 10-20sec/rest 3mins x 3 B. emom - thruster 95/65# x 5 + 5-7 T2B - 6-8mins + 3mins max wall balls 20/14# 10/9' ....

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  • September 28, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching Clients Kelly and Nancy climbing Mt. Norquay Go out and enjoy your Sunday!! [tabby title="Function"] Function 9/28/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being 9/28 /14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will 9/28/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She 9/28/14
    REST DAY [tabbyending] ....

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  • September 27, 2014

    OPT Exclusive Coaching Client and Phoenix Rise athlete Amanda Goodman completing "Combined Jump" The Workout #8
    "Combined Jump" 10 minutes to establish 3 max distance broad jumps Rest 1 min 10 minutes to establish 3 AMRAP sets of DU's unbroken Notes: - Watch the video for how to set up for jump and score the attempts - Score for jumps is in inches - Double under score is sum of best 3 unbroken sets - Total store is combined score of 3 jumps + 3 double under sets - Post scores to comments below. Good Luck!! [tabby title="Function"] Function 9/27/14
    "Combined Jump" 10 minutes to establish 3 max distance broad jumps Rest 1 min 10 minutes to establish 3 AMRAP sets of DU's ....

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  • September 26, 2014

    "I could not have asked for a better weekend than my experience working with Robin, Erin, Megan and Shanna. Being around such a strong group of women was empowering. I wasn't sure what to expect going into the weekend or how I would do on the workouts based on my programming so far. I learned what my weaknesses were and in order to get better, I need to focus on my weaknesses. Robin, Erin, Megan and Shanna were very observant and provided insight that I could take back to my coach so that he could change my programming to get me where I want to be. I learned no matter what I am in control of my body and it will do amazing things, even when I think that it can't. OPEX has a great group of ....

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  • September 25, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client James Kusama (2nd from right) and his team the Quad Gods took first place at the Caffeine and Kilos invitational this past weekend. Congratulations! It came down to the last race and the Phoenix Rise came back to win their match against the NY Rhinos last night!!! Tonight night they face off in the Semi-Finals against the San Francisco Fire. Head over to to catch up on all the action and how you can view the upcoming matches! [tabby title="Function"] Function 9/25/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being 9/25 /14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will 9/25 /14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She 9/25 /14

    REST DAY ....

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  • September 24, 2014

    The Value of a Coach
    If I have something and you want it, you are perceiving that as a valuable addition to your life. If you see something as a valuable addition to your life, you will be willing to pay for it. In other words, you will be willing to make an exchange with me—you will either give me something that I want in return or you will pay me money. I can then use that money for something that I value. And when you look at it this way, money is no more than the exchange of values. So what is the value of a coach? When I ask this question, my brain gets flooded with answers, but as always I’ll answer it in typical OPEX fashion… It depends. And it depends on a number of factors. ....

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  • Text Post 2

    Steve Platek OPT Exclusive Coaching Client Deadlift PR #555 ....

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  • September 23, 2014

    I remember first seeing a Gym Jones pic on .com years back. Many of my brethren remember it as well. There was nothing there, only a wall, an AirDyne, some barbells. But there was more there beneath that darkness. They had taken to mixed modal training and blended it with all other principles. What attracted me most to the pic was the honouring of the gym. I joke sometimes that it's my church, my place of worship. Without creating confusion between the “perceptions” of what someones church is AND based on what my previous perception was on them, THIS IS MINE. In here, my church, people gather to explore their own physical and emotional capabilities within a structure. They come to be a ....

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  • September 22, 2014

    OPEX  Exclusive Coaching Clients Jason Hatch and  Chloie-Danielle Jonsson (right) at last weekend's Granite Games. Jason took 3rd in the men's 40-44 division! Q.
    Okay, on to my question. There is so much information out there regarding footwear for crossfit. I struggle since I have very flat feet. It seems like anything over 400 meters causes pain where my arch should be. I wear nano 3.0s and they work for all other activities. I really want to incorporate more running into my wod's and am seeing this programmed more and more. I should point out that I train at a cross fit here in AZ. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated A.
    Just so you can understand why things are ....

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  • September 21, 2014

    In life coaching Sharon and I consistently discuss values that someone possesses. In that practice with coaches Sharon and I also have back room discussions on what values are important to us. After all, we have to be authentic in that to speak of it before we create awareness to it. I give coaches a personal reminder of mine. On my phone I keep track of times in my life when I feel truly “alive”. I have a list of 39 now on a simple Notes folder on there. I have got to the point that when I “feel” that feeling, I write it down. This noticing and note taking is good practice. What it does is create some time for you for reflection on what “might” matter most to you. These pictures are ....

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  • September 20, 2014

    It's a throwback this week - click on the link below:
    OPT Does Helen @ CFHQ

    So it should come as no surprise......... The Workout #7
    "Helen" 3 rounds for time: 400m Run 21 Kettlebell swings (55/35#) 12 Pullups Notes: - Post results to comments below (also note name, height, weight) - Good luck!!! [tabby title="Function"] Function 9/20/14
    "Helen" 3 rounds for time: 400m Run 21 Kettlebell swings (55/35#) 12 Pullups Notes: - Modifiy KBS weight and pullup variation as needed to achieve a finish time in the range of 8-12 minutes - Post results to comments below (also note name, height, weight) - Good luck!! [tabby title="Being"] Being 9/20/14
    "Helen" 3 rounds for time: 400m ....

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  • September 19, 2014

    “Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.” -Denis Waitley My before and after photo’s speak a thousand words, but those are only half of the story. My life changed significantly in 2013. I changed careers, became a better husband, and gained a new hobby, the sport of CrossFit. It all started with my wife and I wanting to ‘prepare the oven’, or basically get healthy before we decided to start a family. This led us to change our diet and activity level. We signed up at a local Crossfit box and loved it. We soon found that my experience from college football and years of strength training ....

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  • The OPEX Evolution

    OPEX  (Formerly OPT) is evolving into a global leader in coaching and educating the fitness world, and it deserves a name that personifies that. The name OPEX reflects a group, a tribe, a way of thinking, a history, an energy, a higher order, a journey, and so much more. People love being stamped with the OPEX (formerly OPT) symbol because it has that meaning built in and that’s what people resonate with ->  The Experience, and The Journey
    . We have now evolved into the OPEX brand, and this just the beginning of our more about the exciting changes ahead  HERE . ....

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  • September 18, 2014

    OPEX (Formerly OPT) is evolving into a global leader in coaching and educating the fitness world, and it deserves a name that personifies that. OPEX began as a business in Calgary Alberta working to change peoples lives through fitness. It grew to so much more than the acreage off Aspen Drive, it became a name known for leadership in fitness and training. And, it was my name, the name I used personally, as it was representative of the legacy I am aiming to build. As we grew and expanded we decided to make a physical move to the US, and have been so blessed with the changes happening around us daily. We have learned so much with the growth to an international system of coaching in fitness. ....

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  • September 17, 2014

    Perpetual Learning
    This past month I participated in the Level 1 OPT CCP business systems course for the second time. I took the first ever edition of the course back in the day with James and Sean when it was live and in person, so this was a great opportunity to revisit my old notes and compare them with my new. I got a TON of value from the course the second time around. One of the things I’ve heard from coaches over the years when contemplating participating in the CCP is that they don’t own a gym, so why would they take a business systems course? If you fit into this category then this post is written for you. I don’t own a gym either, but within the coaching position that I ....

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    Why OPEX?
    Read why HERE! What does “since ‘99 mean?
    We have been coaching, educating, training and mentoring client and coaches in the fitness industry since 1999. What is OPEX’s philosphy?
    Same as what OPT’s was with a new name! Our Mission : We aim to inspire, empower and challenge individuals to reach their highest potential. Will your service offerings change?
    No.  We will continue to offer Exclusive Coaching, Coaching Education, Camps, Membership Site, Supplements/apparel, Training, Blog, OPTathlon, etc. Will you still be offering the OPTathlon?
    Yes!  Next event is Saturday, November 8, 2014.  Register HERE Where can I get a new OPEX t-shirt?
    You can PRE-ORDER your ....

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  • September 16, 2014

    Aaron Cave with the OPTathlon  5.0 winning triple jump at 29'2" OPTathlon Event 2: Standing Triple Jump
    The standing triple jump can be an intimidating event for those who haven't done it, and if you're a first time competitor at the OPTathlon the odds are decent you have little to no exposure to the movement if you weren't a track athlete. The good news, we're here to help and this article should prove valuable for everyone from the complete novice to the more experienced jumper. Hop, step then jump.........the basics of the movement: 1. The take off is with 2 feet, focusing on max jump like broad jump from the get go with the slight trail of the back leg land first. Fully extend ....

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  • September 15, 2014

    OPT Exclusive Coaching client Mizar and his dog Laika completing The Workout. Go to 19:15 of the video and watch Mizar finish this. Watch the transition into the burpees and what we like to call “THE CHOICE”
    . Everyone has the choice to suck it up and continue - EVERYONE
    does, only some will dig, it is what it is. Rowing and burpees - so much fun! These 2 elements have been a huge part of our testing for years at OPT in multiple forms. Why rowing? 1. It was cold in Calgary 6 months of the year 2. The opens and regionals have some rowing in it and sometimes longer like at Games 3. Its a largely used piece of equipment for us in testing in our lab as well as training with our clients ....

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  • September 14, 2014

    So you want to have a baby?
    In truth, there has not been many mornings where I have not waken up to seeing my girls and have not immediately been overwhelmed with gratitude. I have been a father for 8 plus years now and a husband/partner to a wonderful woman for close to 14 years. I have personally consulted with at least
    1000 different females or more in my practice to some degree. In all consultations there is most times a conversation on reproduction to some extent. Their vision, their purpose, evolution in general. We always have to have a little say on that no matter where they are in their journey - it just feels right. Most recently I had a great discussion again about ....

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  • September 13, 2014

    Phoenix Rise athlete and Exclusive Coaching client Shanna Duvall getting after some burpees. The Workout #6
    25min Time Cap: 5k Row AMRAP burpees in remaining time Notes: - B urpee standard is chest to deck, hips fully open at top and feet leave ground slightly - hands can be at side - Workout score is burpees completed - Also note 5k row time - Post results to comments below (also note name, height, weight) - Good luck!!! [tabby title="Function"] Function 9/13/14
    25min Time Cap: 5k Row AMRAP burpees in remaining time Notes: - B urpee standard is chest to deck, hips fully open at top and feet leave ground slightly - hands can be at side - Workout score is burpees completed - ....

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  • September 12, 2014

    Hi again Robin, I just want to say how great your camp was and I think all the girls were super supportive and inspirational! What a great group! OMG they are strong. 130# strict press???? 5 million pound front squat????? You and your coaching staff did a fantastic job with the organization and providing a nurturing learning atmosphere. Being vulnerable and even sometimes "failing" at something was all just part of the learning experience and not viewed as a negative. I like that. It was invaluable for me to meet you in person; this will only enhance our coaching relationship........Although I was hyper-aware that I was twice the age of many of the youngsters, I never felt judged to ....

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  • September 11, 2014

    Check out OPT Exclusive Coaching and on-site client Tennil Reed share her journey in the sport of fitness. [tabby title="Function"] Function 9/11/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being 9/11 /14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will 9/11 /14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She 9/11 /14

    REST DAY [tabbyending] ....

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  • September 10, 2014

    The other day I was on a flight home from Houston and as I sat down in my seat I noticed something on the wall near the floor. Upon closer inspection I realized it was duct tape. Needless-to-say it’s a little disconcerting knowing you have duct tape holding a part of your plane together before you take off. But it was a piece of the interior wall and they probably just put it there until they could get that part properly fixed… so no big deal right? Right. Except… the duct tape was clearly old and worn… like it had been there for a while. And if the airline was willing to put duct tape in an area where customers could see it, what else were they willing to duct tape that we ....

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  • September 9, 2014

    So many great videos came our way yesterday from Exclusive Coaching clients we had to share! A bunch of savages.....
    AL Eggeman with "How to Address the Bar" (the weight? 400#) Chad Michael with a Front Squat PR - 465#!! Hank Carl inching closer towards that 300# snatch even with all that limb!! [tabby title="Function"] Function 9/9/14
    A1. Deadlift; 5, 5, 5, 5, [5] A2. Pullups; 5x3-5 B. Row 30 seconds moderate 30 seconds easy x5, then… 90 second plank accumulation Rest 1-2 minutes x3 Notes: +Pair DL and PU today +Pullups ought to be tough for 3 to 5 repetitions +On rower 5 minutes, then plank, then rest, repeat [tabby title="Being"] Being   9/9

    A1. push press TnG 8-10; ....

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  • September 8, 2014

    800 meters
    Such an awesome run test. So simple, so beautiful. Like we say, you just can’t escape these. I have spoken about Dave Wottle and his socks and hat previously in CCP’s about understanding the aerobic system and how this race is SO aerobic, SO aerobic - for those that make running aerobic. It may not have been aerobic for you - it might have been very muscle demanding due to your tight hips, making it very calf or hamstring driven. It may have been very “shitty shit shit” like, if you have good run mechanics and some power under the hood with good hip flexibility. It may have been very aerobic if you have low power, cannot run that well and tried as hard as you could. Times ....

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  • September 7, 2014

    You could say we're coffee drinkers at OPT. In fact, you'd be more accurate to say it flows through our veins. Maybe one day we can do a time lapse near our coffee station -- yes, our coffee station. I have personally become partial to the cold brew method. It's super simple, super quick, and tastes great. Try this: 1) 64 grams of fine ground 2) 32 ounces of room temperature water 3) Combine in a beaker without the press 4) Cover and let sit inside a fridge for 12-24 hours 5) After the steeping period, press the grounds from the water and transfer into a new container This recipe is best enjoyed as a 1:1 mixture of cold brew to additional liquids -- water, cream, ect. Let me know how ....

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  • September 6, 2014

    The Workout #5
    800m Run Time Trial Notes: - 0.5 miles is approximate equivalent - Post scores and distance (800m or 0.5mi) to the comments below - Make note of track/location for future reference [tabby title="Function"] Function 9/6/14
    Jog 3-5 mintues + 5-10 minutes Dynamic warmup + 1:00 run @ projected pace Rest walk 2:00 x3-5 Rest as needed 800m Run TIME TRIAL Notes: - 0.5 miles is approximate equivalent - Post scores and distance (800m or 0.5mi) to the comments below - Make note of track/location for future reference [tabby title="Being"] Being 9/6/14
    A. Snatch build to a tough double + Run 800m TT post results to comments Notes: - 0.5 miles is approximate equivalent - ....

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  • September 5, 2014

    OPTathlon 5.0 winner Amy Backel Tips for Event 1: Clean and Jerk
    The OPTathlon is fast approaching. Over the next six-weeks our coaches will be covering each event to help attendees perform at their potential come November 8th in Scottsdale, AZ . This week is event 1, or max load clean and jerk in 10 minutes. Setting aside obvious technical and strength aspects to the lift, I want to touch on logistical considerations. Please remember this is the first event, first thing in the morning. If you typically train in the AM, this isn't much of an issue. However, if you're an evening trainee or visiting from a few time zones over, this will be very relevant for you. To express ....

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  • September 4, 2014

    "Over Deliver"
    James and I continually strive to exceed the expectations of our course participants. From the very first trial run we did on the CCP Life Coaching module to the most recent, we strive to earn nothing less than this feedback... "You blew my mind!" So how do you blow someone's mind? In the case of the Life Coaching module it's by expanding coaches perspectives in regards to what helps their clients improve their health and fitness, and ultimately their results. As coaches we all want results for our clients. Proper goal setting, building trust and client compliance are a few examples of how we get higher order results and help coaches build a sustainable business ....

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  • September 3, 2014

    "Not yet a month and already feel stronger, no pain nor injuries and 7 pounds lighter!!! Extremely happy not only for me - my staff and athletes are adapting really fast and already seeing changes!! And best of all have more time to spend with my family." - Jose Mendizabal Becoming an Exclusive Coaching client is about more than just the program design - we hope that your pursuit of fitness with us ultimately helps you achieve your goals across all areas of life. Contact an  EC advisor to learn more! [tabby title="Function"] Function 9/3/14
    A. 10:00 AMRAP Max single unders Rest as needed B. 4 sets Pushups; AMRAP(-3); rest 2m Inverted row, feet elevated; AMRAP(-3); rest 2m ....

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  • September 2, 2014

    Wednesday night, 9 pm, inside OPT. Here you see one of a few people working. They are a family actually that helps my family, as well as OPT for cleaning services. If loving your job was indicated by how precise you do things, by your willingness to adapt to new environments and persevere, then this father of this family here in the photo loves his job. Through more conversation I know that he has a busted foot as well. So as I watched him, actually for a while in a very curious state, my mind wandered. I was curious about what he thinks about his time here on this planet if at all. About his purpose. About what others think about his job, and where his values lie. I thought about ....

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  • September 1, 2014

    The women getting after it this weekend at our first open Female Athlete Camp. Hi Coach, I have a question regarding the test this week. Besides comparing myself to others who report their results, I am interested in knowing more about the purpose of the test (for example - which energy system is primarily being tasked) and what the different results mean. Is there a specific goal number (i.e., 12K) or is it not that simple. I am relatively new to this and I am trying to learn more about what my results mean instead of only focusing on what they are. Any feedback would be appreciated. As always, thank you for journey! - Mike C. The BJSD test for 10 min was one I had performed years ....

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  • August 31, 2014

    Phoenix Rise athlete Lisa Rendic racing for the finish line Phoenix Rise Grid Match #2 vs. the LA Reign today at 4pm PST!
    Watch live on . How will these two teams match up? Click HERE for the match preview. In other news..... Once again Exclusive Coaching client Hank Carl crushes this week's workout! Check out the video below with an impressive 250 reps for a total score of 14,730! [tabby title="Function"] Function 8/31/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  8/31/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  8/31/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  8/31/14

    REST DAY [tabbyending] ....

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  • Jim Crowell

    Every endeavor that Jim Crowell has tackled throughout his life has led him to his coaching role with OPEX. In school whether he was playing 5 sports in high school, competing as a member of the Big Ten Men’s Tennis at Penn State, or mentoring numerous students and athletes Jim’s reputation was built early around hard work and tremendous care for the people around him. Even though athletics were a huge part of his college life Jim’s double major in Finance and Economics led to enter the hedge fund world where he would become an energy commodities trader in Austin. It was in that fast paced environment where Jim learned how crucial continuous education is. He found a great love of ....

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  • August 30, 2014

    OPT Exclusive Coaching Client Devin Ford The Workout #4
    10 min Max Reps: Box Jump w/step down - 24" Box Notes: - Men and Women use 24" Box - Full extension of the hips at the top - Step down from top of box - Find score by multiplying BWT (kgs) by repetitions by box height (0.61 meters) - Post scores to the comments below Scores on this workout from some of our top male athletes earlier this year are presented in the far right column below: [tabby title="Function"] Function 8/30/14
    A1. Seated DB press; 4x10-12 A2. SA DB Row; 4x10-12/ea + B. 10:00 AMRAP Box jump w/step down (24”) + C. Seated DB Ext Rotation; 3x8/ea Notes: - Compare loads to Aug 13th - Men and Women use 24" Box ....

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  • August 29, 2014

    Free Membership Site Preview!
    OPT-in Episode #26 (watch the full episode above) With the 6th running of the OPTathlon coming to Scottsdale on  November 7-9th , join James and I as he talks about the history and inspiration behind the competition and the "WHY" behind the events. Unlocked for the weekend: Client Case Study #5 OPT Coach Robin Lyons presents a case study where the client's goal is to compete in the sport of CF with sights on the 2015 Regionals as an individual. She already has a solid absolute strength base and great front end power. Has trouble with breathing and pacing as she has not developed awareness in what efforts should feel like for optimal ....

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  • August 28, 2014

    What goes on your whiteboard? On Sunday , James gave us some insight into what goes on his. This week OPT Coaches Matt Bryant and Mike Lee sat down to discuss how they determine training priorities for their athletes - from how long to rest after intense competition, to off-season training focus, to when to peak based on next season's goals. Listen to a sneak peek here: [audio m4a="/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Matt-Mike-Excerpt.m4a"][/audio] Members - you'll have access to the full conversation Friday! [tabby title="Function"] Function 8/28/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  8/28/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  8/28/14

    REST DAY [tabby ....

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  • August 27, 2014

    I bought Unbroken for James years ago as the title caught my attention and I knew the topic of resilience was a shared interest. I finally just read it myself this summer and was in awe of the depth of resilience that was exhibited and the perspective it offered. Its unreal, except that is was… it’s a true story. From the description on the back… “In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air ....

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  • August 26, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client Katelyn Haynes and partner Chris taking first place at the Battle of the Boxes last week in Tennessee. Only a few spots left in the upcoming Female Only Athlete Camp August 30-31!
    Click HERE for more info. We first met Katelyn(pictured above) at an athlete camp last year. She came eager to learn and find out what it would take for her to continue to improve herself as a Regional level competitor. She's committed to the journey and it has been awesome to watch her mature as an athlete and find continued success in the time she's been working with us. The discovery of one's potential and plan for moving forward is what we like to provide all the athletes ....

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  • August 25, 2014 (Luke Practice)

    The OPTathlon has a rich history of attracting world-class athletes which grows by leaps and bounds each year.  Registration is open to all levels of competitor.  Unlike any other competition you will find, the OPTathlon conducts an after-action review on Sunday which consists of a Q & A with James Fitzgerald.  At that time, competitors have the opportunity to discuss what their score in each event should tell them about their fitness level.  If your going to be a true competitor, gathering data about your fitness is very important. The OPTathlon has also become a gathering place for some of the world's best coaches. This year at OPTathlon 6.0, we are pleased to announce a new ....

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  • August 25, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client Ben Kelly - 32 reps - battery test The battery test is one that we have all fitness athletes perform. I started performing this exact test in late 2011. Since that time we have had thousands perform it in multiple settings. The name is important as it refers to how the “battery” recharges itself b/t sub maximal lifts. To show in Ben’s case here, that each person responds to different movements better than others under fatigue due to mechanical or metabolic limiters. We chose the PC test b/c it's fairly simple and we can repeat it over and over without too much eccentric damage and get a fairly good insight into the recharging of the CP/ATP system; and whether ....

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  • August 24, 2104

    In my pursuit of mastery in my coaching there are some simple reminders on that path I must honour and keep in my day to day practices like; - planning on my board as I do daily - consistently - remaining open to knowing that my way might not be the best way, but being confident IN “my ways” - listening more than talking the more involved I get - ensuring I balance embodying fitness as well as understanding it - knowing, like Bernie would say to me, that "there are 101 ways to do things, you are intelligent enough to figure out 98 of them” I guess the saying "if you fail to plan then you’d better plan to fail” is true in the case above. It essentially ensures you pick up ....

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  • August 23, 2014

    OPT Coach Matt Springer completing today's Workout. James FitzGerald with a throwback to this workout from a year and a half ago.... The Workout #3
    For time: 50 DU 10 burpees 40 DU 10 burpees 30 DU 10 burpees 20 DU 10 burpees 10 DU 10 burpees Notes:
    - Burpee standard - chest to deck, hips open at top w/jump - feet must leave ground (see videos for expample) - Post scores to the comments below! One more thing......don't forget to watch the Phoenix Rise vs. the DC Brawlers live tonight at 6pm PDT on! Get a preview of the match and who is in the starting lineup HERE .
    [tabby title="Function"] Function 8/23/14
    5-10 minute double under drills/practice + For time ....

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  • August 22, 2014

    Check out the excerpt above from Mike Lee's conversation with Michael FitzGerald, owner of Optimum Performance Training in Calgary. Michael is a long-time Regional athlete in Canada West, two-time CF Games competitor, and coach of many high-level CrossFit athletes. Join him and Mike as they discuss this past competitive season, true tests of fitness, and what training prescriptions looks like now in the off-season. Members can get the full interview HERE . Not a member? You can find out more about joining the membership site HERE . [tabby title="Function"] Function 8/22/14
    500m Row @ 2k avg pace Rest 3:00 x6-8 Notes: +Determine average 2k pace per 500m based on Aug 9th +Attempt ....

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  • August 21, 2014

    Exclusive Coaching client and Level 2 CCP Coach David Weaver on his descent from summiting Mt. Baker. EPIC. Read about his adventure HERE . What else we're reading this week....
    Xterra is another amazing sport with knowing how to run your engine best - exciting feedback here from one of the best. These guys were at OPT last week for some documentary work on the sport ( so I was reviewing THIS , my first posted workout on .com years back with good memories. Michael Bann and I are discussing best options for waking up this little bugger on the upper back - everyone has various views; in the end, activation is key and the right dose at the right time is ....

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  • August 20, 2014

    As coaches, we're always part coach, part counsellor. In the past it took the form of simply listening between sets & reps, offering some perspective but then moving back to the training- never really knowing how to utilise that conversation towards their highest aims in life. But over time, we've learned how so many clients need guidance with their life in order to support their training aims. CCP Life Coaching kicked our coaching practice to another level, a level where we're able to help clients create true change in their lives- a factor most are really seeking through the vehicle of fitness.  The lessons and frameworks we learned in this module also set us on a ....

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  • August 19, 2014

    Don't miss this annual event containing THREE days of education, competition and community! We have a great event planned this year - check out the event page for all the details HERE . Early bird registration ends October 11th! [tabby title="Function"] Function 8/19/14
    6 rounds 6x Alternating DB snatches (40/25) 6x DB-facing burpees 6x Pullups Notes: +DB snatches are 3R/3L, 6 total +Post times to comments [tabby title="Being"] Being  8/19/14

    A. build to a tough concentric only clean grip DL in 8mins B. build to a tough single hang PC in 8mins C. emom - TnG PS x 5 95-155# males 55-95# females - 6mins + 5mins amrap 90% ....

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  • August 18, 2014

    201 reps - Hank Carl - OPT Exclusive Coaching  Client Exclusive Coaching  Client Mason Doherty - 206 reps "AMRAP Sets" 
    Testing of an AMRAP
    (like AMRAP wall balls in one set) set can help and/or hurt. AMRAP sets of a certain movement can tell us a lot about a number of things: - The balance between mechanics or muscle endurance on limitations in the specific movement used
    i.e. when performing a CTB chin up amrap - what goes first? breath rate with cycle time, co-ordination, biceps/lats/grip, hips, timing, etc…? is important to know these things for training and prioritizing; co-ordination can be built in non fatigue based settings with slow increases in volume and reps to ....

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  • August 17, 2014

    GRID starts this week!
    Going to be in Phoenix next weekend? Go HERE to get your tickets for the Phoenix Rise vs. the DC Brawlers on August 23rd. Don't forget to enter the discount code Fitzgerald40 to save 10% as an OPT community member through August 20th. A couple of great articles covering the sport leading into the matches this week: For those of you who want to geek out.... Carbon Five , the development team behind GRID's real-time scoring put out a blog post on the technical challenges and logistics of creating the system. Evolve , a publication of Again Faster, presents a behind the scenes look at the inaugural GRID season - along with some pretty sweet pics. [tabby ....

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  • August 16, 2014

    A little throwback inspiration for today's workout courtesy of Phoenix Rise athlete Nate Schrader. The Workout #2
    1 set max unbroken wall balls Men: 20# Ball, 10' target Women: 14# Ball, 9' target Note: Unbroken requires no stopping; should a rest occur terminate the set Post reps, height, weight to the comments below. Good luck! [tabby title="Function"] Function 8/16/14
    3 rounds: 21 DB thrusters (15-35#/h) 15 Supine rows, 45 degree body angle 9 Burpees Rest 10+ minutes 1 set max unbroken wall balls Men: 20# Ball, 10' target Women: 14# Ball, 9' target - OPT weekly tester. Submit scores on the OPT blog - Notes: +Great warmup for both pieces +Unbroken ....

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  • August 15, 2014

    This week OPT Coach Mike Lee talked with Scott Paltos, owner of Pump CrossFit & Performance in East Hanover, NJ. Check out this excerpt from a great conversation covering Scott's training philosophy, strength-bias in program design, the applicability of Olympic lifting, and what type of training is most effective for both CrossFit and Grid. Members - view the full interview HERE . Not a member? Click HERE to learn more about our membership site. [tabby title="Function"] Function 8/15/14
    Max distance cycle in 60 minutes Notes: +Ideally road bike, outside +Post weather conditions and route to comments, as well as distance [tabby title="Being"] Being  8/15/14

    A. close ....

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  • August 14, 2014

    Enjoy this excerpt from this week's OPT-In CrossFit Games Round Table featuring James FitzGerald, Emily Pale, Marcus Filly, and OPT Coach Mike Lee. With this trio representing years of competitive games experience in all aspects of the sport (Masters, Team, and Individual), we openly discuss their thoughts and personal highs and lows from this years competition.  Members can view the full episode HERE . Not a member? Click HERE to learn more about joining the membership site. [tabby title="Function"] Function 8/14/14
    REST DAY [tabby title="Being"] Being  8/14/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="Will"] Will  8/14/14

    REST DAY [tabby title="She"] She  8/14/14

    REST ....

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  • Level 1 CCP Courses Approved for CEUs!!

    OPEX is proud to announce that our Level 1 CCP (Coaching Certificate Program) modules have been approved as Continuing Education Credits (CEU’s) for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Our growth as a leading coaching education program is beginning to gain international recognition and we are excited to continue to bring our coaches more resources and accreditation in the near future. Click HERE to read more about Level 1 CCP. ....

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  • Grid Banner

    Special Offer for the OPT Community!
    As a thank you for all the support in helping James realize his dream of becoming an athlete, head coach, and co-owner of the Phoenix Rise we are offering a 10% discount code for tickets to our first match! Click the above image and enter the discount code Fitzgerald40
    at checkout. Thank you! ....

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  • August 13, 2014

    I’ve spent the past few weeks since the games in one of my favorite places—Kelowna. I’m living on a mountain lake and enjoying the summer heat surrounded by orchards and not much else. One of the great joys here is the locally grown food. This morning I stopped at fruit stand and had the pure joy of buying organic strawberries, peaches and apricots that had been picked that morning by the aging but robust farmer himself. As he slid the box of fruit across the table after I paid him, he said: “This food is good for your body”. Joel Salatin came to mind. The best part about it is that the fruit is the size mother nature intended it to be as opposed to what we all see in conventional ....

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  • August 12, 2014

    Secure your spot at the upcoming Female Athlete Camp August 30th-31st, 2014 right here at OPT in Scottsdale, AZ!!
    We're excited to offer our first female athlete camp open to all levels! When our female exclusive coaching clients came here for a camp earlier this year I can tell you the energy was incredible. The support and education each athlete received for both their physical and mental preparation - tailored specifically towards the female athlete - was invaluable! I knew right then I had to bring this to a broader audience. I hope you'll join me August 30-31 here at OPT in Scottsdale, AZ to elevate your knowledge of yourself as an athlete. Click HERE to find out more. See you ....

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  • August 11, 2014

    TEAM Cincinnati Strength and Conditioning taking 1st Place at the Tri-State Throwdown this weekend @ Centerville CrossFit. Stephen Flamm, CCP Coach and Exclusive Coaching client pictured bottom center. "2K Row +"
    Just like in all conversations we have about training versus testing, there is a balance needed in both for continuous improvement. One has to ask the question and assess every now and then in order to determine where they stand in testing plus what they can do about it moving forward. Lets take the 2K row scoring over this past weekend, and a few things to take from it. It's a test. What happens to each person in the test varies based upon each person and where they ....

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