April 27, 2015

opex, opex fitness, formerly opt, c5, coaching education, ccp, coaching certificate program

What separates a ‘good’ coach, or ‘average’ coach, from a GREAT coach?


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:

1.)  Genuinely connecting with people; and,
2.)  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 culture.

“Fine, how are you?” is the typical return response, right?

What if instead of just asking that one question—and leaving the response of “Fine” or “Good” as just that—you instead asked a more specific question, such as:

“How are you feeling today?”
“How did you sleep?” Or, “How has nutrition been going?”
“What’s work been like this week? And how are you coping with stress?”

“Where are you right now?”

Ask a connecting question.

By simply connecting and listening to your clients, you have already upped your expertise in the field of coaching.

I recently had the opportunity to witness this first-hand.

Working with a new client, a tech desk-jockey guy in his late 30’s, who came to me with the simple desire of: “Being healthier.”

“I am almost 40, and I’ve known several guys who have had heart attacks. My dad died in his early 50’s. I don’t want that to be me—and I am realizing I am not my healthiest,” he said.

As we proceeded throughout our initial interview, and he described his current lifestyle, for a vast majority of ‘signs and symptoms’ in his current health status, I couldn’t help but hear the words ‘adrenal insufficiency’ roll off of his tongue.

“I’ve been to doctors lately, just haven’t been feeling myself…but they tell me nothing is wrong. My blood work came back fine, my physical exams, fine. I just can’t seem to sleep right—I get wired at night, but can’t wake up in the morning. I constantly feel stressed and anxious. I don’t have as much energy as I used to. I’ve been experiencing weird chest pains and shortness of breath—but the doctors say it’s nothing to worry about, but I feel off,” he said.

I then asked him about fitness and his diet.

“Not good. I don’t remember the last time I worked out. And food? I eat whatever is convenient.”

Lastly, I asked him his top goals and priorities.

“I want to live a long life. I want to learn how to move again—do a proper push-up, squat. I want to stop feeling like crap,” he said.

And, as I took ALL of this in…as I listened…I looked past more than just writing this guy an exercise prescription, or immediately jumping into training.

Taking his words, goals and health status to heart, I told him, before diving into the gym, he needed to begin implementing a few lifestyle modifications during week one. This ‘prescription’ included: the basic building blocks of his nutrition (protein, veggies, fats with his main meals), aiming to sleep 7-8 hours per night (lights off), and hydration (drinking at least half his bodyweight in ounces), and to add a pinch of sea salt to his morning glass.  We set up a time to follow-up, as well as commence training the following week, and low and behold, not even 48-hours later, the client emailed me:

I went out right away and bought some sea salt and as recommended. I have been putting it in my morning water and… wow!  What a difference even a couple days can make!  I think the biggest noticeable difference is the ‘rattling’ in my chest has gone away, something I’ve had consistently for the past few months. Thank you so much already! See you next week!”

Simply connecting and listening to your clients will get them further on their journey to feeling better—inside and out.

On a side note, check out this video, shown on the blog before.

“It’s Not About the Nail”…it’s about being all ears.

What are your clients saying? What do they need?

This is just ONE of the lessons, CCP will coach you around doing.

If you are looking to attend OPEX’s “C5 Course: The 5 Foundations of Coaching” with James FitzGerald, (like the one in Austin this past weekend), the next C5 course is scheduled for May 9th at BK Athletics in Fairfield, CT. The 8-hour course jam packs a year’s worth of CCP education into a nicely consolidated day, for coaches, clients and athletes alike to learn more about OPEX’s methodology around lifestyle, assessment, program design, nutrition and business systems.

In addition, the CCP (Coaches Certificate Program) is enrolling ‘students’ on an ongoing basis, and available at your fingertips in the form of online education year round.

-Dr. Lauryn Lax
Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Nutrition Therapy Practitioner & Coach

CCP Student

April 26, 2015

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

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.


April 25, 2015

opex, opex fitness, formerly opt, coaching education, remote coaching, coaching education, litmus testing, 15.2 , crossfit  open

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


OPEX ONE April 24, 2015

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

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 Open this year had an especially large focus on strength endurance for those who did well competitively, which was really not unexpected. If you believe that as a coach you need to train your athletes to excel in strength endurance based on their goals, then that creates the question of how to improve strength endurance.


April 23, 2015

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

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.


April 22, 2015


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.


April 21, 2015

opex, opex fitness, formerly opt, coaching certificate program, ccp, coaching education, james fitzgerald, c5, become a coach

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.


April 20, 2015

opex, opex fitness, formerly opt, paleo fx, james fitzgerald, coaching education, c5,

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.