This blog was written by OPEX Ambassador and CCP Coach, Brandon Wilton, from South Bend, Indiana. Brandon is the Founder and CEO of CrossFit South Bend, where he empowers and guides his community to lasting success in their fitness and health journey. Follow Brandon on Instagram here.
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I've been around both CrossFit and OPEX for some time now and been a part of conversations that happen in both methodologies.
A little about me.
I started doing CrossFit workouts in 2007, affiliated with CrossFit and incorporated in 2008, and opened a brick and mortar gym in 2009, where we now have 11 of us employed.
As for OPEX, I became familiar with James FitzGerald in 2007 when he became the CrossFit Games Champion. For a good amount of time I performed the (long since archived) OPT function/being/will workouts that James put out around 2012, and became a OPEX CCP Coach in 2017.
My desire to pursue becoming an OPEX CCP Coach began with questions I was having a hard time answering with the knowledge that was being presented through CrossFit.
What is the public’s perspective on CrossFit and injuries?
Does CrossFit injure people?
How can I demystify program design, design better programs, and get better results out of my clients?
What else is out there that I’m not aware of?
Is there a better way to deliver fitness?
During this pursuit of knowledge I came across OPEX Fitness, which changed my perspective on fitness altogether.
It opened my eyes to what the fitness journey is, what exists within it, and how these things that exist interact with one another. Lifestyle, nutrition, relationships, program design, business practices.
Before we get any further, I’m not here to convince you to change your business model.
But I think it’s healthy to know the pro's and con's of the model you’re in, and if you’re involved with CrossFit, how you can make improvements within your group design.
(Are you a fitness coach or want to become one? Download our curriculum guide today and learn exactly what is inside our flagship course and mentorship. Download now.)
If you say you’re giving your clients “health and longevity,” then turning around and giving them hero workouts each week, you may want to consider that you are definitely not giving your clients “health and longevity.”
Going through OPEX will help you see things that you won't be able to unsee. Things like:
Each person you have in your group class is unique, with their own individual thoughts, beliefs, history, culture, etc - which you'll take into account when designing and speaking with individual clients, but miss out on when it comes to group design.
You'll better understand the dose response you want to deliver to your clients, and you'll also notice how many people get a different response than what you intended.
You may notice how many people in your class your intended response may not be appropriate for, given the diversity in capabilities and goals.
All of the people in your group have different capabilities when it comes to ideal exercises they should be doing. You'll understand how to assess them, where they should be starting in exercise, and why simply "modifying a snatch" may not be appropriate.
Also, you’ll have a better understanding of the steps people need to achieve movement skills like kipping and handstand push ups - and that just because it exists or that marketing told you to do it, that your clients should, need, or deserve to do them.
You'll appreciate the subtleties of progression and how who a person is—training age, biological age, past experiences, gender, intent—has an effect on how they progress and adapt to your fitness prescription.
Every program/methodology has its pro's and con's. When you understand what is ideal for the individual, you'll notice the concessions you have to make when giving group programming. Like giving too much or too little volume or frequency to someone, the wrong movement or dose response, or the schedule not aligning with what would be ideal for that client.
You'll also begin to notice how injuries will begin to pop up as individuals are performing exercise/volume/frequency that isn't individualized to them.
Each individual has different nutrition and lifestyle habits that have an effect on recovery and progression. You'll understand when the basics aren't being practiced how it would change your design for that person.
How much consulting do you do with each individual in your group classes? Can you really get to know them all on a deeper level? Do you know why they train? What their ideal schedule is? Are you able to educate them on what is needed right now to get them toward their goals, or why dying on the floor after each workout isn't ideal?
You'll be enlightened to how much better design could be, rather than constantly varied movements performed at high intensity.
How a clearer path can be outlined for individuals toward the best version of themselves, and how programs can evolve with clients and give them a balance of challenge and support they need to grow.
You may change the definition, to a coach who;
- Is educated and experienced with delivering consistent success and results to their clients.
-Delivers unique value to their clients, ensuring they earn a full time wage.
-Moves the profession forward by teaching clients to be autonomous
-Is always upgrading their knowledge to better serve their clients
-Practices what they preach by moving and experiencing fitness themselves
-Creates designs with intent
If you’re looking to upgrade the service you’re delivering to your clients, and the results they’re achieving, try shifting your attention to OPEX Fitness to learn more about what it’s like to personalize fitness. You may find answers to questions you didn’t know you had.
The OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP) is an immersive education experience.
The guided video course facilitates self-directed study, while our cohorts enable rich and collaborative concept exploration.
Download our curriculum guide today and learn exactly what is inside our flagship course and mentorship.