EP. 006

Mike Lee OPEX Director of Coaching


Mike graduated with a degree from California State University at Chico, where he earned his Bachelors of Science in Construction Management.  After over 5 years of success as an engineer and Project Manager for Rudolph and Sletten, Inc, a few Life Coaching calls with James, founder of OPEX (Formerly OPT), highlighted his true values. Then his vision became clear.  It was helping others fulfill their lives through fitness.

He found his true passion in health and fitness becoming an OPEX certified coach.  In 2013, he transitioned from his engineering role and started coaching athletes all over the world with various levels of fitness. Most notably, co-coaching Valerie Voboril who won third place winner at the 2013 CrossFit Games.

Here’s what Val has to say of working with Mike,

“He is an amazing coach because of his dedication and investment in his athletes as a whole; not just the techniques, conditioning, and programming, but the caring, knowledge, compassion, and thoughtfulness he brings to every single one of my workout/training sessions and competitions. I have been truly blessed to have him in my life.”

Growing up a water polo player and swimmer, fitness has always been an enormous part of Mike’s life. With his engineering background, he utilizes a scientific approach to fitness for proven results. He enjoys being a guinea pig, testing performance variables, pushing health to new extremes and coming up with innovative ways to sustain performance, wellness and longevity with any individual.

Mike believes in continuing education and constant learning. He has completed all 5 modules of OPEX CCP Level 1. He spent years training under USAW certification Coach Sean Waxman. Current aspirations in 2013 have him becoming an OPEX Level 2 Coach, Catalyst Athletics certified Weightlifting Coach, obtaining the American Council of Exercise – Functional, Nutrition and Sport Specialist certification and completing his USAW coaching certification.


Show Notes:

Websites and Social Media Links:

OPEX Facebook
OPEX Instagram


Books Mentioned:

Mike’s Book Recommendations

Periodization 6th Edition

Maps of Meaning

Being Mortal


Skill Acquisition in Sport

Non-Linear Pedagogy in Skill Acquisition  

The Values Factor

How Good do you Want to Be?


Books Mentioned by Robbie

The Celestine Prophecy

The 4 Agreements

7 Habits of Highly Effective People




Movies Mentioned:

Good Will Hunting


Podcasts Mentioned:

Waking Up with Sam Harris



0:00 – 0:12 – Robbie’s Intro

0:12 – 2:01 – Mike gives us his background

2:02 – 3:33 – Robbie asks Mike – How he got involved with OPEX

3:34 – 5:22 – Robbie tells the story of how he met Mike for the first time and how James’ mission
with OPEX is one they both knew they wanted to be a part of

5:23 – 6:19 – Mike discusses the atmosphere that James has instilled at OPEX – which is seeing
everything opportunity as one to learn and grow

6:20 – 7:40 – Robbie speaks about how we can always learn something from every interaction we
have in our lives

7:41 – 8:19 – Mike talks about why trying to understand your athletes’ perceptions are vital when it
comes to communicating optimally with them on a moment to moment basis

8:20 –10:03 – Robbie shares a great example taken from CCP’s consultation module, delivered by
Sharon Prete, that demonstrates the power of perceptions and why clear communication between
the coach-athlete/ client is critical in building trust

10:04 – 12:18 – Robbie asks Mike to tell us more about his role at OPEX, and how he builds
relationships with his athletes and clients

12:18 – 13:14 – Robbie mentions how Marc Strickland (Sports Psychologist for the Oakland Raiders
and ALTIS) had stated that trust is the most important factor in success when it comes to everything
involving relationships

13:14 – 14:21 – Mike mentions that he loves the book Legacy by James Kerr (no dickheads ), and
goes on to discuss why getting to know your athletes/ clients ‘why’ is crucial in relationship building

14:22 – 15:03 – Robbie and Mike discuss – that with time and maturity coaches begin to appreciate
how important building relationships with their athletes/ clients is, and that this aspect of coaching
is just as important as knowing the science behind training prescription. They both recommend why
studying the fields of pedagogy and self-awareness can be big facilitators in this process

15:04 – 15:55 – Mike talks about why it is critical for coaches to know their ‘WHY’!

15:56 – 24:03 – Robbie expands on the importance of Mikes previous point on coaches finding their
‘why’, and both Robbie and Mike elude to that fact that peoples ‘why’ is dynamic and ever-changing
and that it is okay to change your ‘why’ along the journey with no judgments

24:04 – 27:28 – Robbie asks Mike for his current and top book recommendations

27:29 – 29:02 – Robbie asks Mike – if he had one year left to live – how would he spend that year?

29:03 – 31:08 – Robbie and Mike talk about priorities and life perspective

31:09 – 34:29 -Robbie ask Mike the BIG QUESTION – If Mike could invite 5 people to dinner, dead or
alive, who would he invite and why?

34:30 – 36:27 – Robbie Wraps Up the Show!