The Story of OPEX

OPEX has emerged as a global leader in Fitness Coaching and Coaching Education where did it all begin? How did it evolve into what it is today?

The story is one of can’t be told without telling the story of the owner and founder, James Fitzgerald!


The Injury- 1992

James had a soccer scholarship to a major University when a compound fracture in his leg changed his plans significantly. The injury allowed him to focus on learning his craft. He ended up head to The University of Newfoundland where he graduated with honors in Physical Education with a minor in Biology.

Publications- 1998

James’ work in school lead him to being published in “Physiology Canada”, “The Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology”, and “The Journal for Strength and Conditioning Research.” His research lead him to actually seek the truth in what he was studying in school.

Optimum Performance Training is Born- 1999

OPT was a training company that James ran from inside a number of places Including: YMCA Calgary, Fitness NW, Fitness on 5th, FitSystems, Canada Olympic Park, Privately in Homes, Poliquin Performance Center (Intern 1999-2001)

The “Dot Com” Blog- 2004

In 2005 James found CrossFit. He began to participate in their online “dot com” workouts under the virtual name “OPT”. Through the blog, the rest of the world initially discovered James and OPT.

The “Compound” – 2005

Nothing more than a small training space in Calgary. James took his experiences that he had gained in every one of his coaching roles and built a community where EVERYBODY had individual programming but they all enjoyed the greater community feeling through their own unique model of fun.

CrossFit Games at The Ranch- 2007

In 2007 CrossFit held their first Annual CrossFit Competition at the Ranch at Aromas. James took on the rest of the world and WON the first CrossFit Games ever.

Black Box Summit- 2009

James spoke at the Black Box Summit on his vision for fitness should be instructed and directed as a business with other leaders. After the summit, things changed for the better. OPEX CCP program and OPEX EC Global online training for athletes emerged.

Welcome to Arizona- 2011

Starting with 3 employees in a small facility on Raintree Place in Scottsdale, OPT opened its doors. James and his tribe began to grow and soon moved into their own 6000 sq ft facility and office building.

OPEX Is Born- 2014

OPT moves aside for OPEX and the Big Dawgs Blog transcends from a free training blog to a model of excellence for each individual coach and athlete. One Coach, One Client 1,900 CCP Coaches Worldwide - 50 CrossFit Games Competitors - Over 500 CrossFit Games Regional Athletes