OPEX ONE September 4, 2015

phx rise

September 4, 2015
Coach Matt Bryant

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

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 lucky to train most of our athletes in the off season and know their capabilities inside and out.  We know how each of them individually handle work loads and how they recover.  We will put a rough draft together then if we have time between matches we test and re-evaluate the plan multiple times.  This specific plan for the Miami Match evolved into what is shown below.  If you have any questions post to comments or e-mail me at

To look further into the Grid League check out

Race 1- Partner Forward
5-4-5-2 Reps of:
Box jump-over

Male Weights
155 / 185 / 215 / 245
Female Weights
105 / 115 / 135 / 145
Male Heights
30 / 30 / 36 / 36
Female Heights
24 / 24 / 30 / 30

Race 1 Line Up:
Marcus – 5 snatch
Emily – 5 snatch
Marcus – 5 box jump overs – start from far side
Emily – 5 box jump overs – start from far side

Marcus – 4 snatch
Emily – 4 snatch
Marcus – 4 box jump overs
Emily – 4 box jump overs
Tag Danny and Jess

Danny – 3 snatch
Jess – 3 snatch
Danny – 3 box overs – start from far side
Jess – 3 box overs – start from far side

Danny – 2 snatch
Jess – 2 snatch
Danny – 2 box overs
Jess – 2 box overs

Race 2 – Mirror
40 Thrusters at 235 / 145

Race 2 Line Up:
Jess – Jamie – AG  – Em
Danny – Blaine – Craig – Danny – Blaine finishes if Danny doesn’t go 10

Race 3/4 – Women’s Echo
40 Deadlift at 205 lb
40 Chest-to-bar pull-up
4 Rope Climb
40 Ground-to-overhead at 105

Race 3 Line Up:
DL – Tracy 15 tag Jess – Jamie 12 tag AG – Jess 13 tag Em

CTB – AG 20 tag Jamie – Em 10 stay on – Jamie 10 tag Tracy

RC – Emily 1 tag Tracy- Jamie 1 stay on – Tracy 2 tag Jess

GTO – Jamie 8-10 tag AG – Jess 10-15 tag Em – AG deep stay on – Em finish

Race 4 Line Up:
DL – Tracy 15 tag Jess – AG 12 tag stay on – Jess 13 tag Em

CTB – AG 20 tag Jamie – Em 10 stay on – Jamie 10 tag Tracy

RC – Emily 1 tag Tracy – Jamie 1 stay on – Tracy 2 tag Jess

GTO – Jamie 8-10 tag AG – Jess 10-15 tag Em – AG deep stay on – Em finish

Race 5/6  – Men’s Echo
40 Deadlift at 305 lb
40 Chest-to-bar pull-up
4 Rope Climb
40 Ground-to-overhead at 165

Race 5 Line Up:
DL – Blaine 14 tag Danny – Craig 13 tag Marcus – Danny 13 tag Vic

CTB – Marcus 10 Tag Craig – Vic 30 tag Marcus

RC –  Craig 2 Tag Blaine – Marcus 2 tag Danny

GTO – Blaine 10-15 tag Craig – Danny 10-15 tag Marcus – Craig 10-12 stay – Marcus finish

Race 6 Line Up:
DL – Blaine 14 tag Danny – Marcus 13 stay on – Craig 13 tag Vic

CTB – Marcus 10 tag Craig – Vic 30 Tag Marcus

RC – Craig 2 Tag Danny – Marcus 2 tag Blaine

GTO – Danny deep tag Craig – Blaine deep tag Marcus – Craig deep – Marcus finish

Race 7 – Ladder
Clean Ladder 16 Barbells
115, 130, 145, 160, 175, 190, 205, 220, 235, 250, 265, 280, 295, 310, 325, 340

Race 7 (specific time splits and weights on final plan) Line Up:

Race 8 – Jack and Jill
60 HSPU 5″ deficit
30 HSPU 10″ deficit
10 Freestanding HSPU

Race 8 – Subs and Line Up – (Val in for Em) – (Bjork in for Jamie ) (Braden in for Blaine)

HSPU 5” deficit – Val 18-20 tag Bjork –  Braden 20-25 Tag Danny – Bjork finish tag AG

HSPU 10” deficit – Danny 10-15 tag Craig – AG 8-10 tag Val – Craig finish stay on

Freestanding HSPU – Val 10 finish – Craig finish

Race 9 – Women’s Triad
12 OHS 105 lb
25 Toes-to-bar
10 DB pistol (30lb)
10 Muscle-up
20 Burpee over the box, 24″

Race 9 Line Up:
OHS –  Bjork 12 stay on – Jess 12 stay on – AG 12 tag Tracy

TTB – Bjork bar 1 15 go to Jess bar – Jess bar 2 15 tag Val bar 1  – Tracy furthest bar 25 tag AG

DBP – Bjork 10 tag Tracy – Val 10 stay on – AG 10 stay on

MU – Tracy ring 1 amrap tag Bjork – AG ring 2 10 tag Jess  – Val ring 3 grind 10
Bjork finish Tracy’s – Jess watch for bjork

BOB – Bjork 20 switch with Jess when she gets 15- Jess 20 switch with Bjork at 15 – Val 20

Race 10 – Men’s Triad
12 OHS 165 lb
25 Toes-to-bar
10 DB pistol (50lb)
10 Muscle-up
20 Burpee over the box, 30″

Race 10 Subs (Miller for Craig) Line Up:
OHS – Miller 12 stay on – Danny 12 tag Braden – Marcus 12 tag Vic

TTB – Miller 25 stay on – Braden 25 stay on – Vic 25 tag Marcus

DB pistol –  Miller amrap Tag Danny – Braden 10 stay on – Marcus 10 finish Miller’s stay on

MU – Braden 10 stay on – Marcus 10 stay on – Danny 10 tag Miller

BOB – Marcus 20 switch Braden at 15 – Braden 20 switch Marcus when he gets 15 – Miller 20

Race 11 – Sprint Relay & Line Up:
Jess – 18 Wallball at 18lb
Marcus – 15 Overhead squats at 185lb
Braden – 12 DB Hang snatch at 2x45lb
Val – Handstand walk
AG – 9 Bar muscle-up
Bjork – 90 Double-under
Miller – 9 Burpee to 10′ ring
Danny – 9 Clean and jerk at 225lb


September 3, 2015

sep 3
OPEX Testing 15.2 Results
James Taylor and Matt Springer

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 systems shine in the scoring. The adjustment allows the capacity of one’s energy systems, as expressed by 10-minutes on the AB, to be the determining factor for scoring. The energy that an individual is able to output is standardized by their weight so that athletes who are heavier but are less efficient in producing energy to create output with that weight don’t score as well. As a corollary, this means that athletes with less mass but who are more efficient at using that weight to create output can score well if their energy systems are well developed. Just because you have a lower weight doesn’t mean you score well, and just because you have a higher weight doesn’t mean that you score poorly, as the adjusted score is just as equally a function of your raw score.

For example, a coach can input the raw scores of OPEX coach Shanna Duvall (129 calories at 127lbs) to exclusive coaching client Matt Clark (205 calories at 199lbs) and compare their corrected scores of 357 and 350, respectfully. For those who enjoy a challenge, 350-adjusted calories actually represents the 90th percentile in our dataset. It would be a true feat to obtain this number, which makes the overall all-time high score of onsite Katie Surma (401 adjusted) incredibly impressive.

Results can be viewed by following this link. Please look forward to our next testing event Saturday, September 26th

September 2, 2015

sept 2

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:

When a business owner tells me that one of his coaches always gets defensive with him, I ask him what he is bringing to the dynamic that is helping that coach get defensive?

On one side of the equation, you’ll have the coach who will have his own reasons for being defensive—he may be insecure and counter balance that with needing to prove himself verbally, he may need to brag about what he is doing and what others don’t in order to feel good, he may be covering the fact that the job he is doing isn’t really what he wants to be doing, or he may have some ego at play and likes everyone to know that he’s the shit.

On the other side of the equation, you’ll have the boss who will be acting in a way that is eliciting or inviting that response from the coach.  The boss may be approaching the coach in a condescending way that will elicit a defensive response.  He may be an alpha dog and his nature is to bark orders rather than inspire excellence.  Or he may have some ego at play and likes everyone to know he is the shit and he’s just receiving a really good reflection back.

The lists of possibilities are endless here.

The key takeaway is the fact that every relationship is in fact a dynamic, a dyad, and both parts have equal contributions to what is created in between them.

When you know this to be true and you’ve spent enough time embodying this lesson, it causes you to pause before jumping to conclusions or judgements.  This is especially powerful when you have a client dynamic that you find frustrating.  

When a coach tells me she has a client who is constantly challenging her authority, I ask her what conditions she’s creating to make that happen?

When another coach tells me he’s having a difficult time with his coworkers and their inability to listen to him, I ask him what he’s doing to cause them to not want to listen?

In any case, when someone is complaining about someone else I almost inevitably invite them to look at their part of the equation as all relationship dynamics are created equally by both parties.  It’s not always fun to own your part… blaming is the easy way out.  But true growth occurs here.

SharonPreteSharon Prete,
CCP Life CoachingCo-Conductor

September 1, 2015

sept 1

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 your lifestyle factors are all in check, supplements within the fitness and competition world are the magic ingredients to honing in on that ‘slight edge’ right?

Sure, ANYONE can sleep more, stretch more and eat clean…but when it comes to deciding what to take, when to take it, and how much to take of it (and we are talking legal supps here people), the supplement industry has us believing that we become stronger, faster and harder to kill.

For example: Even things as simple as fish oil and Vitamin D help us fight the inflammation that training invokes and maximize all the essential fatty acids we consume in our diets on a daily basis. Whey protein helps us repair our muscles. Magnesium helps us sleep like a baby (to maximize our recovery).

However, what if I told you that you may not be getting the most out of your daily supplement routine to support your training?

Moreover, how do you really know if you are you getting everything your supplements claim on the labels?

After all, just like the quality of similar foods vary (Think: a Whataburger vs. a grass-fed organic home prepared bison burger; strawberry-flavored fruit leathers vs. fresh juicy strawberries straight from the farm; or chicken and vegetables in a frozen Lean Cuisine vs. baked free-range chicken thighs and fresh steamed broccoli), so does the quality of your supplements.

In other words: NOT all supplements are created equal. 

Perhaps you caught wind of this article several months ago in the New York Times highlighting an investigation and claims against four major retailers for selling fraudulent supplements on their shelves—products with labels that did not match up to the actual nutrition quality or content they were supposed to contain.

In fact, four out of five of the products investigated did not contain any of the herbs on their labels.

I suppose we somewhat know this on the front end—as the majority of our supplements, found in the aisles of GNC, NutriShop, Target, Whole Foods’ Whole Body shelves and the slew of companies we find on the internet, come with the disclaimer: These claims have not been approved by the FDA.

Dietary supplement manufacturers and distributors are not required to obtain approval from FDA before marketing dietary supplements.

While this is not necessarily the end of the world (heck, the FDA does approve some other foods that should NOT be on the shelves or considered good for any human to consume—Twinkies, Cheetohs, artificial sweeteners, Grade-D hamburger meat, etc.) it just goes to show that what you see, or believe you are getting, is not always what you get. 

And just because a label ‘says so’ does not mean the “1200 mg” of Omega-3’s you are taking through one brand is the same as the “1200 mg” you may get from another.

So herein lies several questions:

  • How do you know what supplements are good to take, and which ones are just a marketing scheme or placebo effect (making you think you are getting what you need)?
  • How do you know if you are actually absorbing your supplements and getting the most out of them?
  • How do you know what supplements YOU individually need to take to take your training to the next level?
  • And, lastly, and perhaps most importantly…do you really even need supplements(or a lot of supplements) IF your lifestyle factors really are in check (sleep, nutrition, rest, lifestyle, etc.)?

While the answers to these questions are broad for this article at best, and it is ultimately best to consult with an individual nutrition therapist to get to the root of what YOU need, here are a few general rules of thumb to consider in the supplement world:

  • Lifestyle. Lifestyle. Lifestyle. Most of the time, the people that we work with can help a lot in the recovery and training process by simply adhering to the basic lifestyle guidelines. It is wise to ensure that all bases are covered before we stem into areas around supplementation.
  • Stick to the Basics. OPEX teaches basics in terms of supplementation. We do this based on empirical data on what actually works vs. what is largely en vogue based on the newest trend in supplementation marketing vs. remaining in our lane for the prescription. There ARE other supplementsthat might be appropriate in some cases.  OPEX suggests a consultation with Dr Jeoff Drobot (ACBM) for the client for areas pertaining outside of basic food supplements presented here.

function – detox, base builders

(Probiotic, b complex, fish oil, multi = basics)

– The focus here is on building a base of support for challenging the person physically in training


being – longevity, basics

(Basics + whey isolate)

The focus here is on recovery around training sessions and continued recovery and energy in daily living 


will – performance

(Basics + pre and/or pwo shakes, glutamine, coQ10, zinc/mag, greens, creatine)

The focus here is on recovery between sessions, maintaining solid gut balance and possible increases in output in training sessions

  • You get what you pay for. This applies to cars, houses, jeans, meat and yes, supplements. Generally if you are comparing the $12 probiotic to the $40 probiotic on the shelves, there is a reason for the difference. It doesn’t mean you have to pay gold for every single supplement you buy, but it also means you may be wasting your pennies in lots of cheap products that are actually doing nothing for you. 

  • Put it to the test. In my practice, when it comes to determining the best supplement(s) for my clients, I conduct a functional evaluation, which often includes lingual neuro testing–a valuable biofeedback tool that enables a health care provider to determine the usefulness of a nutritional supplement before it is dispensed to the client. During this clinical test, I may evaluate several different brands or types of similar supplementsto determine which ones work best for that person’s body and goals based on positive test indicators. If you don’t have the opportunity to sit down with a nutrition therapist, you can still do some pseudo testing with yourself. Take fish oil for instance: Say you bought one brand because it’s what everyone else in your gym is taking, but you haven’t really seemed to notice much of a difference (except those fish burps you may get). Consider doing a bit of research and trying out another brand or two to compare the effects you experience (positive and/or negative). You may find that one brand brings your energy, your brain power and recovery to life—while another was doing nothing for you. One brand I’ve seen work great with lots of people (due to the nature of its quality) is Cod Liver Oil capsules by Green Pastures.
  • Beware of flashy labels and marketing schemes. Face it, the supplement industry is first and foremost in the business of making MONEY, not necessarily making you healthy. In fact, they could give a rat’s rear tail really if you are getting all of your Omegas’ or probiotics or amino acids from the product, so as long as you remain a loyal customer, think you are benefiting from it and like the idea that the product promotes. “Grass-fed whey” for instance is actually a marketing claim that sounds really, really good, but in actuality, it doesn’t really mean much. Why? Whey protein is about the protein – the amino acid profile. And the amino acid profile of grass-fed whey protein is actually identical to that of grain-fed whey protein. So why do we eat grass-fed meat and milk? Grass-feeding affects the fatty acid profile, vitamins and micronutrient content of meat and dairy in a favorable way, BUT it does not affect the amino acid profile. If you are looking strictly to nutritional content, grassfed whey and non grass-fed whey are indistinguishable. WHAT YOU MAY GET WITH A GRASS-FED WHEY though? LESS processing. Often times the companies marketing grass-fed whey proteins are keen and actively aware about eliminating artificial sweeteners, soy and/or harmful metals/toxins in their ingredients.
  • Signs & Symptoms. Look for some of these signs and symptoms, which may indicate you are not properly absorbing your nutrients, vitamins OR minerals properly (even in your foods, not just your supplements):

o   B-Vitamins. Inspect your tongue and gums. Canker sores or a sore tongue can indicate low levels of vitamin B2, vitamin B3 or vitamin B12.

o   Magnesium. Check out your nails. Thin brittle nails that easily split indicate low magnesium and/or copper. Additionally, muscle cramps (outside of your typical DOMs) may be a sign of deficiencies in magnesium, calcium, and potassium, especially if it happens frequently.

o   Iodine. Bloating, weight gain, fatigue and low energy levels are linked to low iodine levels (seafood, sea-salt) and thyroid function.

o   Iron. Observe the inner lining of your eye; gently pull your lower lid down. If the lining looks pale and white (rather than pink), you may have an iron deficiency; the same test can be conducted with your hands. Hold your hands out, palm-side up. Spread your fingers wide. Check the creases of your skin for any paleness. No matter what the color of your skin is naturally, if you notice any paleness in the palm’s creases, it may reveal reduced circulation within the small blood vessels that are housed close to your skin’s surface due to low levels of iron.

o   Vitamin D. Red or white acne-like bumps (on your cheeks, arms, thighs or buttocks can indicate a deficiency in this fat soluble vitamin. Get more sunshine and consider taking Vitamin D in order to better absorb your Omega-3’s.

  • Improve your gut health. A couple easy steps you can take to heighten your ability to absorb your nutrients? Fix your gut. Your gut flora (the microorganisms living in your intestines) continually and dynamically impact your health and body’s assimilation of the foods and supplementsyou take daily. These beneficial bacteria secrete essential enzymes for us to help our bodies process and break down everything they encounter. If you are not already, consider taking a quality probiotic or adding more probiotic foods to your diet. Good bacteria (that you consume either from fermented foods or in supplement form) prevents the growth of less desirable bacteria by competing for both nutrition and attachment sites in the tissues of your alimentary canal. This good bacteria also aids in digestion and nutrient absorption so that you’re able to get more benefit from the foods you eat. Probiotic-friendly foods include: fermented vegetables (like sauerkraut or fermented beets), full fat raw organic yogurt, kombucha, Kefir and even bone broth. A probiotic to look into in supplement form: Prescript Assist’s soil-based formula. In addition to probiotics, coconut oil has also been linked to enhanced nutrient absorption in your gut due to its Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). MCTs found in coconut oil (unlike their counterparts LCTs-Long Chain Triglycerides) are broken down almost immediately by enzymes in the saliva and gastric juices so that pancreatic fat-digesting enzymes are not even essential. Therefore, there is less strain on the pancreas and digestive system in general to digest and absorb them and when coconut oil is a regular part of your diet, it can help with the process of digesting and absorbing other nutrients in your gut. Cook your veggies with coconut oil, or even add a tablespoon to a shake during the day.


  • Eat real food.Looping back to point one up top. Thankfully, we have yet to evolve into the Jetsons and just eat pills for all of our meals. We have the pleasure and luxury of enjoying really good food, and the opportunity to fuel our bodies with real whole foods at least 3-6 times per day. Take advantage of this gift. Take your nutrition seriously. For the vast majority of us, it is directly attributed to your results and efforts in the gym, and over time, quality fuel always wins out (the football player who subsists off of Big Macs and milkshakes will eventually deplete in the 90-degree scorching sun during a 3-hour practice vs. the player who fueled his machine with rice or potatoes, lots of quality protein, some veggies for good measure, and plenty of essential fats (coconut oil, avocado, nuts/seed, olive oil, etc.). (If anything the Big-Maccer will be hurling lunch up if he’s not careful as to when he consumed that double cheese burger). Let supplements enhance and build upon the fuel you are already putting into the fire.

August 31, 2015

aug 31

Mental Toughness at Fitness Competitions
By Jim Afremow, Ph.D.

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 the opportunity, we can leave our egos on the sideline. You can always learn and improve from one competition to the next.

So show up to each fitness competition with a clean slate and be ready to excel. You have all the tools and techniques. You’re training is completed. Now do what you know how to do. This is no more difficult than what you’ve already done. Immerse yourself. Compete! The world is at your fingertips. Grab it. Use your love of the sport and competition as your motivational fuel. Embrace the challenge of the moment, whatever it might be.

Let yourself revel in the whole experience more. Include some family, friends, and have fun seeing other competitors in a competition. Say to yourself, “I’m just here to do my best and cherish the challenge. I don’t feel pressure because I apply it.” At the end of the day, sports is for most of us about staying healthy and enjoying what our bodies can do. When you are at peak performance, it feels wonderful. Take some moments to savor that.

jim afrewmowDr. Jim Afremow is a sports psychology expert and the author of The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive (Rodale, 2014). He helps athletes to think gold and never settle for silver in the quest to be the best they can be. His Twitter handle is @goldmedalmind and his website is


August 30, 2015

aug 30

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—3rd and 4th grade boys; serving as the father figure he never had; or ‘paying it forward’—being a teacher and a guide to others, like the teacher or guide in his life that was most impactful for him.

The guy on Wall-Street is fulfilled when he sees the market is hot; his leads were spot on; and he’s banking it—bringing in the big bucks, making deals, playing his cards just right.

A loving mother knows she’s attained fulfillment in the rearing of her three children—witnessing them flourish in their own lives; make good decisions for themselves in the midst of peer pressure; complete their chores without being asked.

A competitive athlete uncovers her fulfillment in the rush she gets during competition—knowing all of the hard work she’s put into her training in the gym; the hundreds of meals she’s prepared with food quality and high energy consumption a priority; and the unwavering dedication and perseverance she’s had throughout her athletic career, dating back to her elementary days when she began playing sports.

Experts say something like 40-percent of our own happiness, our personal fulfillment, is up to us—in spite of genes, behaviors and life circumstances—a big chunk of our own happiness, our fulfillment, is fully in our control.

If this is the case— ultimately the primary question comes down to you: What defines “fulfillment”, or happiness to you? What do you want in your life to feel complete?

Take a moment to really reflect on that.

As a coach, similar to my Pee Wee football example above, I know I personally find a great majority of my personal fulfillment, my personal mission, ‘fulfilled’ or met through the coaching, leadership and mentorship of others—inspiring and creating those “a ha” moments for my own clients, and for other coaches who are seeking to really be a “better coach.”

Chances are, your role, your job, as a coach plays a big part in your life—that is, if you truly like what you do.

You got into this profession for a reason, and it is VITAL to understand for yourself what fulfillment really means to you in order then to HELP others, help your own clients, discover and realize what fulfillment means to them. (After all, it’s like the oxygen mask in the airplane analogy—you must first help yourself in order to help others).

In the spectrum of our lives, I like to view the way we run this race, the way we live our days, as revolving around a curve that I have coined the ‘Fulfillment Curve.’

If the pursuit of happiness, fulfillment, is truly a desire of the human heart (which it is—we want homeostasis, success, joy, peace, love, contentment) then we are constantly living our days with our eyes and hearts aligned with that prize.

And that prize can be attained in multiple ways. It is not confined by age. Or by financial status. Or social class. Or a particular destination. Or a cookie cutter version of happiness. Or even the length of our lives.

-For instance: Say an athlete passes at age 65. He was a 65-year old Master’s competitor by that time, who did what he loved and loved what he did every single day. He passed from natural causes, but after spending 40 years competing in sport, he still never felt more fulfilled than he did competing—doing what he loved, loving what he did.

-Or another example:  Take a yogi, a meditator—completely devout to her practice and in touch with her inner self. At age 93, she defines the definition of “living long and prospering”, having attained a maximal potential; a psychological peace.

-A 5-year-old is 100% completely satisfied and fulfilled on his fulfillment curve on Christmas morning: a stocking full of goodies, the Hot Wheels set he’s been begging for, the pure joy and rush and excitement of seeing what Santa has in store for him (although he knows he’s kind of underserving after punching his sister the day before).

-And one more: Maybe someone who sounds more familiar to you: a fitness enthusiast. Day in, day out you hit the gym and words cannot explain the amazing sense of high you get from a training session. Perhaps “endorphins” is one term for it, but you absolutely love the feeling, the grind, the challenge of training, gaining, losing—and working to win back—whatever that is. Fitness is a lifestyle, and while the majority of the free world may not ‘get it’—you do, and that is fulfillment for you.

As you can see, “fulfillment” on the Fulfillment Curve can be reached in multiple ways, at varying times and ages, in our lives.

So now that you understand a bit.

As a coach, if you truly want to impact others’ lives (The reason you got into this biz right? Because it was not for the big bucks!), seek to understand what is driving your clients.

What defines happiness for them? What are their goals really? And are they themselves even really in touch with those goals right now?

When you have clients come into the gym from the get-go, get to know them—their whys in their lives—behind ‘just coming to get fit’, or ‘ripped’, or ‘more toned.’

Before losing them to the sea of group training classes, where one person can become 1 out of 200 or 300 individuals, if being a great coach is a value of your own, a total coach, then take the time to see your clients through the lens of the FULFILLMENT CURVE.

For when you are aware of what is underlying the drives of your clients, that is when you can truly make an impact, an imprint, on their lives—for longer than perhaps that 9-24 months their feet walk through your gym’s doors.

OPEX Testing Series 15.2


bw testing

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 immediately prior to this event for accuracy in results interpretation.

An Assault bike is NOT required to participate in this event. If you have an alternative air bike model you may perform this 10-minute max calorie test. The specific model of your chosen bike will be asked in reporting. HOWEVER, we highly encourage individuals to utilize an Assault bike for standardization if possible.


**Post up:

In addition to completing your challenge, we are asking all participants submit a picture of themselves next to, or sitting on, their bike. Please send your best assault bike pictures to !

Comprehensive results will be posted shortly after all scores are received.


August 29, 2015


aug 29 sm2

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 news feed.
  • Rantings and reviews on everything, from the best pre-workout supps to take to thoughts on new workout standards, recovery techniques and the shoe of the moment
  • And, of course, our daily food log in photos.

No it’s not just you.

It’s many of us.

After all, the more Likes, followers, shares or re-posts we get, the better right?

The better for What!?

Sometimes, less is more.

In other words:

How often do you see super stud athletes—Rich Froning, Tiger Woods, Katrin Davidsdottier, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, Lebron or Arnold himself, getting the camera ‘just right’ to post and boast their latest feat in the gym to their 5,000 closest friends every single day, or even two to three to five times daily?

Rarely—if ever.


They are busy actually focusing on their progress and training in the gym.

(Sure, you can argue they still do post frequently. After all, many of them do have a social media team or sponsors behind them that expect frequent posts—but, still, even with some professionals aboard, they aren’t ‘Boo-yeahing’ the camera day in and day out with their personal success. If anything, they are sharing more about what’s going on in their lives and inspiration from outside the gym as well).

As you scroll through your never-ending daily news feed, filled with work cubicle updates, re-posted inspiration and shirtless selfies of others living their lives, it can be uber easy to get caught up with the want (and need) to post more frequently about your own amazing life. (Considering Facebook is the “US Weekly” for us average Joes and if we want to be known, heard or seen we’ve gotta stay in the ‘game’).

However, a great question to ask yourself, before hitting the ‘Share’ button on your social media channel is:

Am I focusing on getting more attention, or actually making gains—and perhaps celebrating those gains with others?

In other words: What is my why behind this post?

NO, your posts do not need to be philosophical or works of art in order to make it ‘feed worthy.’

But instead, by simply asking yourself:


  • Am I posting or thinking of a PR I need or want to hit, because I am dependent on recognition or needing approval?
  • Or, am I sharing a remarkable gain or feat I’ve worked hard to accomplish, something that is inspirational or intended to help others?

…You begin to cultivate genuine, connected content.

You may have heard this saying on integrity: “Integrity is doing the right thing—even when no one is watching.”

When it comes to training (and posting on the worldwide web): “Training (that yields progress) is working hard, head down, and remaining focused—even when no one is watching.”