Up now on the Membership Site is our OPT-In Episode #39: “Staying in Your Lane” We’re going to take on what I am seeing as a blurrier and blurrier line between Strength and Conditioning Coach and “Manual Therapist” / PT / etc.
Also don’t forget to pre-order your OPEX Resilient tank top or t-shirt! $20 limited time offer!


May 28, 2015

opex, opex fitness, formerly opt, exclusive training, remote coaching, coaching education, individualized program design

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 simple to feel and looks my absolute best. (Before working with Mike) neither of those things were happening, I was broken and unhappy with my body,” she said.

Melissa’s training journey working with OPEX dates back to 2013.

“I had discovered CrossFit back in 2009, in North Carolina. I then met a guy who was following OPEX’s old Big Dawg Blog and studying under the Coaches Certificate Program. We became friends, and throughout our friendship, and watching his personal growth under the OPEX CCP Program, I finally decided to begin following the SHE program in 2013,” she said.

Not long after, Melissa also signed up to take the Coaches Certificate Program Course, and traveled on site to OPEX in Scottsdale for the Nutrition module. It was there, that she had the opportunity to see, first-hand, what OPEX was all about.

“I had scheduled a session with Coach Mike to talk over the CCP Assessment module I had completed online. Within less than 10 minutes of our ‘mock-assessment’ though, Mike found some pretty big discrepancies in my own movements that no one had ever seen: A major imbalance between my right and left side, no glutes or hamstring development and completely over developed spinal erectors. Up until that point I had believed that my daily back pain was somehow normal!” Melissa said.

Realizing these imbalances and weaknesses in her own body prompted her with the notion that, although she was studying to become a better coach, she too could benefit from working with a coach herself.

“There was no sale, Mike was what I needed,” Melissa said.

The rest is history.

“Prior to working with Mike I had jumped from one program to another, there was no consistency or real progress happening. While I thought I was getting stronger, I was just breaking down my body for the sake of PRs.  As we come to the end of my current training cycle it feels like I am working with a completely new body, with new muscles and an awareness I didn’t have prior to our training,” she said

Adding, her body composition has also improved.

“Mike has really worked with my to get my nutrition dialed in, eliminating dairy, protein powders and bars. During our time together I’ve gone from 153 to now comfortably siting at 138. Beyond the scale, I FEEL better, my energy levels are up and I am stronger than I was 15 pounds heavier,” she said.

Now, as a busy CrossFit coach and affiliate owner to her new box CrossFit KURA, Melissa said she takes the same lessons Coach Mike and OPEX’s CCP and Exclusive Coaching programs have taught her to impact her own clients.

“As a gym owner bringing this element to my athletes has been huge. I approach each client the same way and have seen amazing results!” she said.

For more information on transforming your own training, check out OPEX’s Exclusive Coaching Program; as well as OPEX’s CCP program for transforming your own coaching of athletes.

May 27, 2015

opex, opex fitness, formerly opt, life coaching, coaching education, stress, coping mechanisms

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.  Better grab a quick fix.  Drugs, alcohol, sugar, meds!!!

“When the American Psychological Association started its annual stress survey in 2007, people perceived a moderate level of stress as ideal.  Now, survey participants perceive that same moderate level of stress as unhealthy.”

The bad news is that you will never get rid of stress.  Stress plays a vital role in the human condition.  The good news is that how you perceive stress plays a role in how it affects you.

Said another way… The way we think about stress is what affects our health.

Kelly McGonigal’s work in The Upside of Stress captures through science how our perception around stress physically affects us:

“The ratio of DHEA to cortisol is called the growth index of a stress response.  A higher growth index—meaning more DHEA—helps people thrive under stress.  It predicts academic persistence and resilience in college students, as well as higher GPAs.  During military survival training, a higher growth index is associated with greater focus, less dissociation, and superior problem-solving skills, as well as few post-traumatic stress symptoms afterward….

Crum wanted to see if changing people’s perceptions of stress could modify this measure of resilience.  Could a three-minute video about stress alter this key ratio of stress hormones?

The answer amazingly, is yes

The videos had no effect on cortisol levels.  Everyone’s cortisol went up during the mock interview, as expected.  However, participants who had watched the stress-is-enhancing video before the interview released more DHEA and had a higher growth index than participants who had watched the stress-is-debilitating video.  Viewing stress as enhancing made it so—not in some subjective, self-reported way, but in the ratio of stress hormones produced by the participants’ adrenal glands.  Viewing stress as helpful created a different biological reality.”

Stress builds resilience.  It’s like a muscle and you can build that muscle through your perception of both challenge and stress.

Sharon Prete
CCP Life Coaching Co-Conductor


May 26, 2015

opex, opex fitness, formerly opt, exclusive training, remote coaching, coaching education, ccp, coaching certificate program

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?


May 25, 2015


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! (more…)

May 24, 2015

opex, opex fitness, formerly opt, program design, ccp, coaching certificate program, coaching education, james fitzgerald

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. (more…)

May 23, 2015

opex, opex fitness, meal prep, nutrition, meal planning, formerly opt, exclusive coaching

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.


OPEX ONE May 22, 2015

opex, opex fitness, formerly opt, exclusive training, remote coaching, coaching education

May 22, 2015
Coach Robin Lyons

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. (more…)