Georgia Smith was tired of feeling like an actor each time she stepped on the floor to coach a group class.
“I do love being in front of a group, but I felt like I was just putting on a show and engaging in crowd control when I was coaching instead of actually coaching and helping people,” said the 26-year-old, a native of Australia, who completed the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP) in 2017.
Smith’s desire to actually make a difference in people’s lives led her to abandon her gym in Michigan and accept a role at OPEX HQ in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2018. She currently works as an education advisor to new coaches looking to enroll in the CCP, and is also the personal coach for a handful of clients in Scottsdale.
Her experience working in a one-on-one environment with clients, and providing them an individual design program, has allowed Smith to help her clients more than she ever could in the group environment, she explained.
“I eventually reached a point in the group environment where I had all these tools but, wasn’t able to use them because I was stretched so thin coaching a group of 20 people. How could I dig into their sleep, lifestyle, and nutrition? There just wasn’t the time or the resources to do that in a group, she said. “It was frustrating because I knew I could do so much more to serve these people, but didn’t have the time in the group model.”
Today, Smith is able to do just that: With the help of monthly meetings with all of her clients and connecting frequently through the TrueCoach app, she’s able to dig into what’s really going on in people’s lives.
“This is why the OPEX model is so powerful. It allows you to create alignment in people’s lives that goes beyond just training. We talk about nutrition, lifestyle, sleep, their purpose—why they walk on this earth—and we help them keep everything aligned toward one goal so there aren’t any contradictions in their actions,” Smith said.
One other important piece of the puzzle for Smith, however, is to do this in a way that empowers the client, as opposed to making them totally dependent on having a personal trainer by their side every time they lift a weight.
The personalized fitness and open gym aspect of the OPEX model takes care of this.
“It creates independence with the client. When you’re a personal trainer only, I find sometimes I felt I was standing there just counting reps, but the individual design program lets you create a useful program but also creates independence, and then people feel more empowered. We give them the tools and they execute,” Smith said. This also makes it the perfect model for people who travel a lot for work and train on the road like one of her clients, she explained.
She added: “So we have that one-on-one connection, but not in a hand-holding sense.”
Despite her love for working with clients, Smith is currently spending most of her time on-boarding new prospective coaches into the CCP.
Smith is the first to admit becoming a fitness professional wasn’t her original intention. She studied International Relations in school and planned to go to law school. But when she found fitness at the age of 18, she never looked back, she explained.
“When I got into fitness, I felt this pressure to look a certain way, so it allowed me to let go a bit and see my body as something more than a thing to be looked at. Being around people who valued what you can do physically with your body was a great opportunity to have as a young girl,” she said.
Today, Smith feels blessed that she gets to continue to impact people the way she was impacted through fitness. And the fact that she gets to impact both her own clients and coaches means her reach is even more extensive than it otherwise could be, she explained.
“I love working on both the coach and the client side. Being on the (OPEX) HQ team means I have this trickle-down effect: I get to help coaches, who then go out there and help clients,” she said.
Learn more about the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP), the same program that got Georgia into the world of personalized fitness coaching, and take the next step in your coaching career.