How to Ace the Assessment

How to Ace the Assessment

How to Up-Level Your Programming With The OPEX Assessment

The assessment of a client’s fitness is what separates professional coaches from amateurs. A coach needs the concrete data collected from an assessment to construct a fitness program bespoke to their client. Without a personalized fitness program, a client cannot reach their full athletic potential. Assessment and programming are obviously interconnected, but what defines a quality assessment?

The fitness industry has many different physical screening tests but very few that offer a comprehensive assessment. Most popular amongst them is The Functional Movement Screen (FMS). Assessing seven basic movement patterns, the screen only shows which movements a client is incapable of performing. Given its limitations, OPEX Fitness has devised a definitive assessment model that builds on the FMS to also take into account someone’s body composition and how efficiently the client performs an assigned work capacity test.

The OPEX Assessment model is broken into three parts:

  1. OPEX Body: Here we look at height and weight, plus where and how much fat is stored in the client’s body using either a caliper scoring system or, preferably, an InBody machine. While controversial body fat is a useful biomarker of health.
  2. OPEX Move: Here we look at how the client moves across four categories: stability, relative strength, absolute strength, and balance strength. The latter categories are only important if your client has an intermediate or higher training age.
  3. OPEX Work: Here we take a client through a work capacity test relative to where we think they currently sit in fitness. For example, a suitable test for a beginner would be a 10-minute max calories test on the AirBike.

(Coaching Education: Learn the 3-part OPEX Assessment for free here.)

OPEX Coach, Michael Bann offers a few words of insight into why our assessment model is critical to delivering an individualized program that best serves the client.

“The OPEX Assessment puts the focus 100% on the individual. This is important. Basketball, baseball and functional fitness all have different adaptations, so how is it anyone can say you ‘must move this way,’ in order to be considered fit. Only through a comprehensive assessment and an understanding of the client’s goals can you craft a program that minimizes risks to the client and develops them physically for whatever function they have in mind.”

Michael Bann

How to Ace the Assessment

Now that you have an understanding of what areas we assess and the importance of the assessment it is time to talk about implementation. Even with the right knowledge, a poorly delivered assessment can yield unusable results. Here are three implementation tips to keep in mind during your next assessment to ensure you get the most accurate representation of your client.


1) Control the Variables – When you initially assess your client keep track of the conditions and replicate them to the best or your abilities for each additional assessment. If you assessed your client’s work capacity Monday morning after two rest days make sure to replicate that. Don’t reassess at the end of a long week of training.

2) Set Them Up For Success – Inform your clients that you will be assessing them especially before the OPEX Work assessment. You do not need to explain all your reasoning behind it but mention the purpose of the assessment. Coach “I want to let you know that Monday we will be doing an assessment to see your current levels of fitness, this will involve a 10-minute max effort so prepare accordingly.”

3) Create A System – Similar to number 1 create a system for however you assess your clients. Whether it is all three parts of the assessment on one day or each part spread over three days develop a consistent execution.


Having a systematic approach to assessing clients is what differentiates a professional coach from the amateurs. But, it can be tough to develop your own systematic assessment. Learn the 3-part OPEX Assessment with our latest free Coach’s Toolkit. Sign up today and get our assessment method delivered to your inbox.

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