3 Key Takeaways from OPEX’s Functional Bodybuilding Course

3 Key Takeaways from OPEX’s Functional Bodybuilding Course

After being a part of the October 2020 OPEX CCP cohort, I recently went through the new Functional Bodybuilding with the OPEX Method Course, and it was a serious game changer.

Since the pandemic especially, more and more of my clients have been expressing interest in gaining strength, and specifically in functional bodybuilding style of training, which as OPEX CEO Carl Hardwick explained in the course is basically just “simply bodybuilding.” 

This course, however, is designed to connect traditional tried and true bodybuilding principles with OPEX principles learned in the CCP.

After taking the course, I will say it delivered more than just that.

3 Takeaways from OPEX's Functional Bodybuilding Coaching Course

3 Key Takeaways:

1) Systems, systems, systems

In recent weeks, while programming for my functional bodybuilding clients, I often found myself questioning my decisions. 

This course changed this completely: It laid out various considerations to take into account, essentially creating a systematic thought process for me to go through as I’m building my training programs.

It did this by breaking athletes into five categories: novice, intermediate, advanced, master (older advanced athletes) and grand master (even older advanced athletes still).

The big picture: The course teaches you how to consider both actual age and training age, as well as the athlete’s goals to help make good decisions about sessions types, sessions per week, contraction types, rep max focus (i.e. 1 rep max versus 5 rep max versus 10 rep max focus), as well as types of metabolic workouts (i.e cyclical, gymnastics, weightlifting).

  • By putting these systems and considerations into place, the course will help you feel way more confident that you’re putting your clients on the right path for long-term success, and will save you a lot of time in the process.

2) Science, science, science

The Bodybuilding Principles module of the course goes into the science of muscle fibre types—Type I (slow twitch), Type IIa (fast twitch oxidative) and Type IIb (fast pitch glycolytic), and how they must be considered when it comes to program design for functional bodybuilding.

This was a big game changer for me: It looked at all the major muscles—quads, calves, hamstrings, glutes, chest, triceps, shoulder, biceps, back and core—and broke them down in terms of the type of muscle fibres they contain. Then it dove into the different muscles and what needs to be considered when we make decisions about intensity level, volume, rest time and frequency to train each muscle in relation to what type of training phase you’re in (accumulation versus intensification).

  • For example, since the quads are 65 percent Type II, this means they should be trained at a relatively low to medium frequency, at medium to high intensity, with low to medium volume, and rest time should be longer.

The key takeaway: You come away with a solid framework for implementing squatting, hinging, pushing, pulling and core work into your programs for novice, intermediate and advanced athletes in a way that it’s going to help them achieve that all important hypertrophy—aka muscle growth—that any good bodybuilding program should achieve.

3) Practical application

All of the above learning is for naught if you can’t figure out how to use it on real human beings...

The end of the course includes a module of three case studies that help you put all the learning into practice in a relatable way. It provides a novice, an intermediate and an advanced avatar and then challenges you to consider individual specifics—the person’s training history, goals, priorities etc. 

  • Ultimately, this gets you thinking and putting the whole course together to make various decisions, such as how often the person should train, appropriate movements for them and how to split it up each week. 

Final thought: I took on a new client last week after taking this course, put him through an assessment, and designed the first four weeks of his strength program three times faster, and with 10 times more confidence, than I would have just three weeks ago.

For a limited time, Functional Bodybuilding with the OPEX Method is FREE for coaches enrolled in the Coaching Certificate Program (CCP).

Apply to CCP today and enroll by the end of the month to access the education you need to write personalized FBB workouts for any client.


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