Blending the best of both worlds at OPEX North Shore with Shayan Vaghayenegar

In 2012, Shayan Vaghayenegar’s life involved a lot of group exercise classes and personal training.

On a personal level, he attended a CrossFit facility as an athlete and joined in on group training regularly. Career-wise, he was building a personal training business. He rented space at two local gyms to train his growing book of clients.

Vaghayenegar soon realized group classes weren’t really working for his own personal fitness, nor was personal training providing his clients with the best bang for their buck.

“I found personal training was more babysitting than anything else,” said the 34-year-old Vaghayenegar, now the owner of OPEX North Shore in North Vancouver, British Columbia, a facility he opened at the end of 2018.

Frustrated, Vaghayenegar knew there had to be a more effective system for long-term health and fitness, both for himself and his clients. He turned to OPEX Fitness for answers. This led him to sign up for both the OPEX Coach Certificate Program (CCP) and OPEX’s Gym License Program. He was immediately drawn in, he said.

“From the way you assess the client to the program design, it just made sense. Coming from the group model, where everyone was just doing the same thing, I always knew there was a better way. My client who’s 45 and wants to look good naked and move well doesn’t need to be doing 50 cleans for time,” he said.

As he worked his way through CCP, Vaghayenegar started implementing some of the OPEX systems with his clients, namely the monthly lifestyle consults.

“I implemented the consults within three months of getting into the CCP, and they made a big difference,” he admitted. Suddenly, he found himself able to help his clients not only with their fitness and movements, but also with their sleep and nutrition.

“In a PT session, they’re working out so you don’t really get the chance to dig into other things with them. And if you try to talk to them about their diet, they don’t really process it during a training session,” he said.

He added: “During the lifestyle consults, I’m able to chat about what’s going on outside the gym, and to be honest 99 percent of people aren’t doing most things well. People think they’re eating healthy because they have fruit and a protein bar, so educating them on things like glycemic index and going into details about sleep and biorhythms are things we can actually get into now.”

Vaghayenegar also transitioned his clients away from personal training three days a week to individual programs. He noticed a difference right away, he said.

“The biggest thing is how they have become more consistent with their workouts. Before, they trained twice, maybe three times a week tops, and now lots of them are in here five or six days a week,” said Vaghayenegar of his 39 clients, who pay anywhere between CA$299 and $379 a month.

He added: “They are much better served now.”

Another big key to his growing success has been the business mentorship he has received from OPEX coach Carl Hardwick, Vaghayenegar said.

“Any little questions I have—even things like what hours should I be open—Carl knows the answer to, and he’s so good at getting back to me right away,” he said. Having a mentor who understands the system so well, and a proven business model, provide Vaghayenegar the confidence he needs as a business owner, he explained.

“For me, it has been a calculated risk that I took. Having this business model really helps because nobody around here is doing what we’re doing. People are either doing the group model or personal training, so this sets us apart,” he said.  

More than anything, though, it’s a business model he believes in.

“The drive home message coming from a PT background and loving certain aspects of CrossFit is that this system really finds a way to blend them both and lays it out in a way that makes sense. From the assessment, to the consults, to the on and off floor coaching and program—that’s the value I see in OPEX,” he said.

The OPEX method referred to by Vaghayenegar is called the OPEX System of Coaching, our Personalized Fitness methodology. Get an introduction to the OPEX System of Coaching, the same model taught in CCP, with The Free 7-Day OPEX Coaching Course. Sign up and take the first step in your professional coaching career, today.

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CrossFit® is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. OPEX Fitness’s uses of the CrossFit® mark are not endorsed by nor approved by CrossFit, Inc., and OPEX Fitness is in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by CrossFit, Inc.

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