EP. 072

Fitness Program Design – Carl Hardwick


OPEX COO Carl Hardwick has dedicated his life to health and fitness. Already as a teenager, Hardwick lived at the gym. A 3-time All-Conference football player at Saint Mary’s University, Hardwick became passionate about becoming the most effective coach. This led the former U.S. Army veteran to buddy up with world-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin to complete the PICP and then to complete his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). While running the Army fitness program for his Battalion and a stint in Afghanistan, Hardwick was introduced to OPEX Founder James FitzGerald. Sold by the OPEX individual program design approach, Carl went on to open multiple OPEX-licensed gyms before accepting his position as COO. Today, Hardwick is an integral part of the growing OPEX engine that is using the Coach Certificate Program (CCP) to change the face of fitness by professionalizing the fitness coach.

Show Notes:

Websites and Social Media Links:

Website – OPEXfit.com 

Website – OPEXgyms.com

Website – TheBigdawgs.com

Facebook – OPEX Fitness

Twitter – @OPEXFitness

Instagram – opexfitness

YouTube – OPEX Fitness

Books Mentioned:

Scientific Principles of Strength Training

Rock, Iron, Steel: The Book of Strength 

Podcasts Mentioned:

OPEX Podcast #Ep 49 – Jim Crowell & Carl Hardwick 


People and Resources mentioned:

Charles Poliquin

OPEX Principles of Program Design Course

OPEX Mixed Model Course

OPEX Programming Strength Course

OPEX CCP Level 1

James Fitzgerald 

Mat Fraser

Dan John 

Steve Justa

Paul Anderson 

Kevin Don

Keegan Martin

Eric Helms

Chad Wesley Smith

Mike Israetel

James Hoffman 



0:00 – 5:43 – Robbie intro’s the show and asks Carl what biggest mistakes he regularly see’s with some program designs?

5:44 – 10:21 – Robbie asks Carl about long-term programming for a client

10:22 – 18:57 – Robbie asks Carl to share with us his process of working with clients

18:58 – 27:10 – Robbie asks Carl about de-load weeks

27:11 – 31:31 – Robbie asks Carl about how he designs a weekly training cycle for his clients

31:32 – 35:16 – Robbie asks Carl about specificity, motor learning and variation 

35:17 – 36:30 – Robbie asks Carl about total body and upper/lower body splits 

36:31 – 49:23 – Robbie asks Carl about tempo and rest interval prescription in program design

49:24 – 52:40 – Robbie asks Carl about OPEX’s upcoming educational courses?

52:41 – 54:49 – Robbie asks Carl for his thoughts on the use of RPE

54:50 – 55:36 – Robbie wraps up the show!