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.

BlogpostNutrition Assessment: Great coaches don’t guess when they program for their clients. They watch, listen, and analyze the data that their athletes present with. Without an assessment a coach is no better than the gym next door. Learn why our system of assessment is the only method out there to actually align clients where they should be starting in exercise – not just “assessing to assess” then giving the same Rx each time; we look into anthropometric, movement, exercise selection and work capacity to deliver the proper design.
BlogPostAssesment Program Design: Coaches must design programs with long term goals in mind. They need to have tools that are tried, tested, and true over time to work with. Is a client weak? Their program should be structured to build strength over time. Is a client poor in endurance workouts? Their program should reflect a strategic, long term approach to building their clients aerobic capacity. What if a client needs to lose weight and build health? Their program shouldn’t be crushing day in and day out. Whatever the client presents with needs to be put into a well thought out plan that has specific purpose.
BlogPostAssesment2 Nutrition: This topic is talked often about but rarely put into practice effectively. In most cases a book is given or a fad diet and a one size fits all plan is prescribed. Just as assessment and program design are paramount so to is the fueling ability of the client. Are they sensitive to certain food groups? Can they tell you what they are? Do they need more or less calories? Do they need to clean their gut? Perhaps they actually need an adjustment on their macros. The nutrition protocol has to be specific to the client, their makeup, and their goals.
BlogPostLCLife Coaching: This topic scares many coaches but it is perhaps the missing piece that ties a quality coaching program together. Creating awareness is the key, both for you and your client. The coach’s goal is to create a relationship that serves to align the client in the right direction, and then support that journey as needed. In the end the investigation into what a client really wants and needs is where the magic and the art of coaching resides!
BlogPostBizSystemsBusiness Systems: Coaches and owners must recognize that coaching is a business. The only way to continue coaching and helping people is to create a strong base of support in your business. How is retention understood? Why is a sales closing rate important? Is your business growing? Once the coach uncovers the right questions he/she can begin analyzing the methods to building long term success.

This is the perfect course to kick off a powerfully strong move toward becoming a coaching leader in the community.  Learn how to create a unique and influential training environment that is sustainable over the course of time.  Spaces are limited, so reserve your spot today.


Function 1/30/15

A. RDL – slow tempo – 4×8-12 – rest 2-3 minutes
B. GH hip extension – 3×12-20 – rest 90 sec
3 rounds for time @100%
400m Run
21 KBS – 55/35#
12 Chinups



Being 1/30/15

A. emom – back squat 2-3 60% of 1rm – 8mins speed focus
B. build to a 1rm SC thruster
C. 1 SC thruster every 30sec 70% of 1rm SC thruster 8-10mins
21, 15, 9 for time
95/65# thruster
Chin up



Will 1/30/15

Run 30 min EASY, fasted out of bed
– KEEP pace easy, good breathing
Mobility 10-15 min specific

A. Clean + HC + FS + Jerk – build to a tough complex in 12 min
S2OH – 155#
RC – 15′

rest 10 min

HPC – 245#


She 1/30/15

A. BS @20X1; 3,2,1; rest 2-3 min – build from 3@85% of last weeks heavy single
B. 5 min amrap – Amrap burpee MU
Emom 12 min –
odd – PC Tng x 5 – 115# + burpee over bar x 6
even – HSPU x 8-10
rest 10-15 minFT:
Stone 2 shoulder – moderate load, work on use of hips
burpee CTB pull up


January 29, 2015

Marcus OPTathlon 1.0

“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 made when individuals think that training to maximum’s within small time frames with similar characteristics (this is key) can be done.

Now, also let me be clear that if there are different characteristics within the movements (with taking training age and other principles into account), it is possible for an individual to PB in lifts like PC, FS then row a record breaking 1k. BUT only because the characteristics are varied. KEY for athletes that accomplish this is to know and be AWARE that the PB and recognize that it will only last for a small time frame within the CNS.

“The one thing we do that most coaches can’t cop is this. If you don’t make the target times or loads on the first effort or set, you warm down and go home. You aren’t fresh enough to train at a level that will make you improve. If you do a PB, you warm down and go home. If you are on fire that much you can blow yourself to pieces in a couple of sets or efforts and it will take weeks to dig you out of the hole you put yourself in, so whatever it is, if you PB, you stop and come back next time. This philosophy takes everyone a while to accept, but it works. When we don’t follow the rules, if we let someone pump out a series of PBs in one session, they are almost invariably wrecked for weeks afterwards and we never get close to quality training during that time. Sometimes, you can see it coming, but sometimes it just comes out of the blue. When it does, warm down, go home. Sometimes, at lower levels you can get away with it, but the better you get, the more capacity you have to exceed your normal limits, the more this becomes important. Enduros don’t need to do this. Everything is submaximal.” –

“Everything is sub maximal”. Those of you who constantly want to PB (obviously those who are newbies with a low training age this may be different as simple exposure can cause a PB), remember the CNS requires recovery time. Stay sub max for a majority of your training, only PB when designed. Allow recovery and GO HOME.


Function 1/29/15

A1. KB front rack WL steps – 5×6/leg – no rest
A2. FLR on low rings – accumulate 45-90 sec per set x5
B1. Alternating DB bench – 5×4-6/arm – no rest
B2. Weighted GH hip extension – 5×8-12 – rest 2 min
C1. Strict chinups – 5×3-4 – tough variation – no rest
C2. HS hold against wall – 5×20-45 sec – rest 2 min


Being 1/29/15



Will 1/29/15



She 1/29/15



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 it inside your mind but judge it outwardly.  You’ll say you want the cycle to end and judge yourself for not being able to, but on the inside you’ll know that it gets you the outcome you desire so why would you want to break it?

E.g. Have you ever had an athlete who says he wants to make it to regionals and he has the potential to do it, but every weekend (despite his promises not to) he goes out and drinks all night with his buddies.  Then he gets frustrated in the gym that he’s not hitting the numbers he thinks he should be.

You as his coach then wonders why he keeps sabotaging his training.  He tells you one thing and his actions demonstrate another and it’s become a “vicious cycle”.  Why would he do this?

Sometimes the answer can be complex… he has a massive fear of failure so he sabotages before he can fail.  The drinking actually limits him and because he’s limited he can’t fail right on the edge of his potential.  And sometimes the answer can be simple… what he really wants in life is a good body and to pick up girls on the weekend.  He works out enough to get both, but doesn’t have to be the super athlete.

The point is that every cycle is rooted in a reason.  It’s not always chosen.  Sometimes it’s a reflex.  Sometimes we just do what we think we should.  As coaches, if we can have honest discussions with our clients about what drives them and what doesn’t, then we can minimize a lot of frustration and judgment and get really real.

-Sharon Prete



Function 1/28/15

Rest Day



Being 1/28/15

20min amrap
Row 20cals
10 box jump 30/24″
5 S2O 175/110#



Will 1/28/15

AD 40 min @LOW RPMS keep this easy

A. Clean – build to a tough single in 10 min
B. Clean DL + Clean high pull; 2.1 x 6; rest 2 min – 105% of RM, use straps
3 min amrap:
Thruster – 165#
rest 8 min
3 min amrap:
Alt FR axel bar lunge – 165#
3 sets NFT:
20 CTB chin up – done in unbroken sets of 10
1 min FLR on rings



She 1/28/15

A. Snatch DL; 4,4,4; rest 2-3 min – 95% of RM, straps ok
B1. 3 sets – Thruster x 8 – 75#; no rest
B2. burpee AFAP x 6; no rest
B3. DU x 45 AFAP; rest 3 min
In 6 min complete:
2 RFT:
15 FS – 95#
12 S2OH
9 cal row
x 2
– rest is the time left in 5 min after completing 2 rounds


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 overall standings based on the OPEX training method.

The Webinar is free, but availability is limited.

Reserve your spot here.


Function 1/27/15

A. Segmented snatch deadlift – 5×3-4 – rest 2 min
2 cycles – For total repetitions:
60 sec AMRAP – Step-ups – 24/20″
Rest 60 seconds
60 sec AMRAP – Alt. DB Snatch – 55/35# DB
Rest 60 seconds
60 sec AMRAP – KBS, Russian – 55/35# KB
Rest 60 seconds
60 sec AMRAP – Row calories @90%
Rest 60 seconds
C1. Farmers walk – 3x100ft – HEAVY – no rest
C2. Powell raise – 3×8/arm – no rest



Being 1/27/15

A. strict press build to a tough single in 10mins
B1. amrap MU; rest 30sec
B2. amrap strict HSPU; rest 30sec (kip if less than 5)
B3. amrap TTB; rest 3mins x 3
C. 30 TGU alt hands per rep you pick weight pick something you can move smoothly with
Row 1min 90% aero
rest 1min x 5
all rows same pace



Will 1/27/15

10 min amrap @80%
Row 200m
1 RC
30m lunge
rest 5 min
10 min amrap @80%
AD 10 cals
20m double KB FR carry
Run 100m
rest 5 min
10 min amrap @80%
AD 30 cals
Single under x 100
A. Tall jerk; 3,3,3,3; rest 2-3 min – LIGHT lows
B. 10 sets – every 90 sec – Jerk x 1 – building sets, low load, mechanics focus
50 strict HSPU
40 GH sit ups
30 HR push ups
20 KBS – 88#
10 wall walks


She 1/27/15

4 RFT:
4 MU
Row 250m
rest 6 min
3 RFT:
9 HSPU – attempt strict
6 KBS – 1.5pd
3 alt pistols/leg
rest 6 min
2 RFT:
25 TTB
25 cal AD



January 26, 2015

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 like a freight train when I arrived home from that weekend and digested what I had experienced.  After a few months of trying to add supplemental training to my current plan, I quickly became aware I need more structure.

November 2013: enter the Big Dawg Blog. I committed to the Will program and treated it like it was a job and if I missed a training session I might starve to death or the world might end. This along with the Open Prep Strategy Guide helped me drastically improve my performance in the 2014 Open.  Post 2014 Open, I found myself burnt out and always fighting nagging strains and soreness so I took what ended up being about 6 weeks away from the blog to do group class and lots of yoga and just mentally decompress.  I returned to the Will program with a rejuvenated, fire lit under my butt, and got back to the grind with a promise to myself to not be quite as hard on myself if a session had to be missed or shut down early. This new attitude kept me crushing my training for several months.

Fall 2014: the switch to Being. The new avatars came out on the Big Dawg Blog and it was time to switch over to Being to peak for the 2015 Open. Cutting out the morning sessions from Will was a shock at first but as time passed, my lifts started to go up…and up… and up again. Taking away a little volume unleashed a whole new burst of strength gains and they haven’t stopped yet! 

Before I put on my favorite shirt today, I happened to stop and read the back of the T shirt that I received at that athlete camp back in August 2013. I have read this shirt many times. I wear it to most all of my competitions. To be honest, it’s my favorite shirt and I am never more proud than when someone comes up to me and says, “You train OPT? I do too!” But today when I read James’ definition of “fitness”,  I really took a moment to let it sink in and realize just how power fitness is and how it’s shaped my life.

“An evolving journey and exploration of the connection between spirit, mind, and body, WHILE attempting to discover physical potential, WHILE leading to discovering purpose and producing longevity of oneself.” -OPT 

This December I took huge step in my OPEX journey and completed the Program Design and Assessment course in AZ. I look forward to continuing my journey as an athlete with a switch to my own personal program in the near future as well as improving as a coach through my OPEX training.

Sean “Mack” McAvinue
Head Coach Crossfit OTG








Function 1/26/15

A. Paused front squat – 3, 3, 3RM
5 sets – not for time
Airdyne 30 seconds @80-90%
8 DB push press – build load per set
Rest 60-120 seconds
On a running clock – EMOM 15 min:
Min 1 – 30 sec AMRAP – Pushups
Min 2 – 30 sec AMRAP – Supine ring rows
Min 3 – 30 sec AMRAP – Single unders



Being 1/26/15

A. back squat build to a tough triple in 10mins
B. PS 2, 2, 2, 2; rest 2mins
C. hang snatch build to a tough single in 12mins
20mins cap
75 PS 55/75#
60 bar facing burpees
35 CTB chin ups
60 walk lunges
75 cal row
remainder of time amrap burpee MU



Will 1/26/15

Row 500m @Slightly faster pace than previous week
rest walk 1:00
x 8

rest 3 min

Row 500m @Slightly faster pace than previous week
rest walk 1:00
x 6

rest 2 min

Row 500m @Slightly faster pace than previous week
rest walk 1:00
x 4
A. Back squat w/chains; 1,1,1,1; rest 2-3 min
B. Gauntlet – every 75 sec – 20 DU + 1 SS – build from 135#, 10#/set
C. Good morning @2111; 2-3 x 4; rest 2 min
3 RFT:
24 wall balls – 20#
8 MU

rest 3 min

3 RFT:
15 HPS – 115#
15 bupree bjo – 24″

rest 3 min

3 RFT:
12 burpee
3 SC – 245#


She 1/26/15

A. SS – build to a tough single
B. Amrap 4 min – 90% of A
5 min amrap @90%:
10 bj – 20″
10 burpees
10 cal AD
rest walk 2 min
x 2
rest 5 min5 min amrap @90%:
10 HPC – 75#
50m sprint
35 DU
rest walk 2 min
x 2

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.”


Function 1/25/15



Being 1/25/15



Will 1/25/15



She 1/25/15



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 thrived on retention and referrals. Clients often comment on the quick results they see and feel, but even more, I love the feedback that clients give on their increased energy, motivation, and understanding for a newfound journey and, of course, their long-term RESULTS.  Clients are learning that fitness should invigorate you, NOT deplete you, break you down.

I strongly believe in individualized programming.


Because every human being is different.

From our energy systems, to our day-to-day schedules, job and family demands, and more. Bottom line? Fitness and health is a journey, so it needs to evolve and change as we do.

Keeping this core value in mind, OPEX has developed Exclusive Coaching, aimed at specifically helping you “experience more than results”.

What exactly is OPEX Exclusive Coaching?

In short, it’s individualized exercise, lifestyle, and nutrition prescription, with ongoing support from one of our coaches, plus phone or Skype consultations every 4-weeks.

We offer both local and remote (virtual) Exclusive Coaching. Whether you live in Australia, Japan, Europe, California, New York, or our backyard in Scottsdale, AZ, we have a system in place that works for your location, needs, and goals.

Additionally, if you feel you just need a consultation and want to chat with a coach outside of our Exclusive Coaching program, OPEX offers that option as well. The OPEX Coaching team and I provide as-needed consultation on topics and questions, such as:

  •  Setting personal, fitness, and lifestyle goals
  • Further understanding athlete essence and performance objectives
  • Helping support and clarify direction
  • Business and Coaching mentorship
  • Supporting and guiding Coaches in further understanding foundational coaching concepts and client

Contact Erin for more information or to get started.

My ultimate goal in life is to help Coaches become better Coaches and help clients evolve on their fitness journey, one prescription at a time!





Function 1/24/15

Dynamic warmup
Time trial – 5000m Row

-Reminder: Saturday is primarily a make-up day for missed sessions in the week. If you completed all sessions you may elect to perform Saturday’s Rx or take a rest day.


Being 1/24/15

3 sets 80% 90% 100%
Row 500m
20 KBS 1.5/1pd
20 FS 115/75#
20 CTB chin ups
80 DU
rest 5mins


Will 1/24/15

AD 30 sec @85%
AD slow spin 30 sec
x 33
– rest 3 min every 11 sets
– KEEP this pace easy

A. OHS – build to a 3RM
B. Emom 8 min – Tng HPS x 3-5 – building load small from 135#
Wall ball – 30#
KBS – 88#


She 1/24/15

8 min amrap:
30 thrusters – 115#

Amrap burpee over bar in remaining time



January 23, 2015

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 next year across the globe. This coming weekend, the OPEX team is in Hong Kong for our CCP Level I: Program Design course, hosted at CrossFit 852-Causeway Bay.


Function 1/22/15

A. RDL – slow tempo – 4×8-12 – rest 2-3 minutes
B1. Sorenson hold – 3x accumulate 60 sec – tough
B2. Wall walk – 3×3 – rest 2 minutes
Airdyne 25 seconds @100% – maximal effort!
Rest walk 3-4 minutes x4-6 sets

-If you have a 2-min bodyweight Sorenson begin holding a plate tight against your chest
-Report calories or distance per interval



Being 1/22/15

A. heaving snatch balance build to a tough perfect single in 8mins
B. hang snatch build to a max in only 5 attempts in 12mins you may warmup as much as you want
C. death by clean and jerk 135/95# you may pc
12mins 80-90% effort
Row 200m
AD 20cals
10 box step ups 24/20



Will 1/22/15

Run 30 min EASY, fasted out of bed
- KEEP pace easy, good breathing
Walk 10 min
A. C&J – build to a moderate single in 10 min
10 RFT:
1 legless RC
3 S2OH – 185#
rest 10 min
DL – 315#
wall walk



She 1/22/15

A. BS – heavy single in 10 min
B. Emom 10 min – MU x 2-3
Emom 12 min -
odd – HPC Tng x 6 – building sets from 95#
even – HPS Tng x 6 – building sets from 75#
rest 10-15 min
DL – 185#
Strict HSPU
Strict CTB chin up