Firass El Fateh: From Babysitting clients to OPEX Abbotsford

When Firass El Fateh left his corporate job for the fitness industry five years ago, he thought becoming a personal trainer was the route to go.

He started personal training people out of his home gym and built a viable business. At the same time, he found himself uninspired and burning out.

“After a while, it started to feel like babysitting,” said the 37-year-old, who would spend more than 30 hours a week on the floor coaching, along with his programming and administrative hours.

“All the one-on-one hours were such a grind,” he said.

When El Fateh came across OPEX and the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP), he saw a light at the end of the tunnel—a chance to make a living in the fitness industry that would be more beneficial, not just for himself as the coach, but also for his clients, he explained.

“I just think the model is a lot more efficient for clients and owners compared to personal training,” he explained.

On top of buying into the OPEX business model, El Fateh said that CCP provided him with so many other crucial tools to become a more effective coach, specifically when it came to program design, periodization, and nutrition, he explained.

“The consultations with clients also really resonated with me, and so did spending the time to find out their why. That was a big one for me that I had never really thought about before—actually finding out why people want to exercise, and then helping them create consistency and alignment around their why,” El Fateh said.

He added: “I would also say another huge takeaway for me was around the assessment system—how to assess the client in terms of lifestyle, nutrition and their actual movements—and then how to meet people where they’re at.

Fast forward a few years and El Fateh is about to open his doors at OPEX Abbotsford, about an hour from Vancouver in British Columbia. Clients who join right away will be given the Founder’s rate of CA$300 a month, but then the rate will jump to CA$325 a month, El Fateh explained.

Though he hasn’t quite opened the doors to his new, 2,300-square-foot OPEX gym, El Fateh already transitioned his 16 personal training clients into individual programming clients in 2018. (Update: OPEX Abbotsford opened May 8th, 2019.)

“Most of my clients had been long-term clients who I had good relationships with, and when I explained this system to them and how it’s more efficient, it was a no-brainer. I explained to them I wasn’t helping them a lot in personal training anymore, and it’s more cost effective for them, and more flexible. When they saw that, they really understood this would be better for them,” he said.

He admitted there were a handful of people who felt they still physically needed El Fateh in their corner 100 percent of the time, but this simply became an opportunity to talk to them about taking accountability for their own health and fitness, as opposed to relying entirely on their coach to do it for them.

“When I did consults with them, I talked about them taking control of their own journeys. It was just about coaching them through it,” he said.

Life has improved for everyone since switching to this model, El Fateh said.

“My clients are getting what they need and aren’t paying me to babysit them anymore, and it’s way more enjoyable coaching a small group of like-minded individuals working on their own programming than it was just killing time between sets,” he said.

He added: “I know what we’re doing keeps the client, coach and owner in mind. I truly believe this is the right system for everyone. It puts everyone in a place to win in the long term.”

The OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP) is the most all-encompassing coaching education on the market. From covering key business skills to designing holistic nourishment programs for clients this education is truly a one-stop shop for those looking to become a professional coach. Get an introduction to the same material taught in CCP with our newest offering The Free 7-Day OPEX Coaching Course.

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