Alex Salihin was a frustrated coach.
After serving in the Singapore military, the then 23-year-old became passionate about fitness and coaching. That was 16 years ago.
While in his 20s, he spent some time learning about coaching in Seattle. Eventually, he opened his gym Level in Singapore. Today, he owns two gyms in his native country.
Soon, Salihin realized something was missing: He didn’t feel he and his coaches were on the same page in terms of how they approached their clients, and he knew there was a better way to assess clients more effectively.
He did some digging, which led him to OPEX Fitness.
Right away, the methods he read about spoke to him, he said. So one year ago, he signed up for the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP) and is in the process of completing his final project.
One year later, Salihin said he’s a completely different coach. His biggest area of improvement has been in the way he assesses his clients.
“I learned so much about assessing people properly based on their issues. Learning this, and understanding how to put people through the consultation process, has been life-changing,” he said.
He added: “Before it was like, ‘Ok, you can’t squat well and you have pain in your back.’ Ok, cool, but I have no idea why this is the case. And I have no idea where the person is at with their aerobic endurance or if they can express power or not, because I don’t even know how to test for that.”
In short, OPEX provided him with an efficient process to follow that has allowed him to make sense of the data he collects from each individual client, ultimately making him much better at prescribing effective programming. Get an introduction to the same method of assessment here.
Salihin’s ultimate hope is for all of his coaches to go through CCP at some point in the near future, but for now he’s teaching his 16 coaches what he knows, which has made a world of difference in putting them all on the same page, he explained.
“From a business standpoint, this is crucial. I want all of my coaches to speak the same language as me—for them to understand what the gold standard of coaching—OPEX—looks like,” he said.
It’s the only way to properly help clients and the only way to become a professional coach, he added.Alex Salihin
“I keep telling my people, ‘If you want to be a professional coach, then do something about it. And you can’t be a professional coach without learning this stuff, and without learning to work with data and metrics,’” he said. “I don’t even know how I coached without it.”
Salihin is especially thankful for OPEX Coach Whitney Reese, who he personally hired to tutor him through CCP.
“I am time poor, but I was willing to pay, so she became my tutor. I get on calls with her once or twice a week,” he says.
Having a personal tutor helped him get through CCP in one year, he explained, all the while finding the time to train his 75 clients, running his two gyms in Singapore, and laying the foundation to open two more gyms in the upcoming year—one in Jakarta and one in Manilla.
In this sense, Salihin is doing his part, little by little, to help the OPEX method trickle into Asia, something he feels incredibly passionate about.
“It’s such a shame. OPEX is big in the US, but it’s not really present here yet. Some people are like, ‘Why is this OPEX thing so important to you? Why don’t you just do ACE (personal training certificate)?’” he said.
Then he usually talks the person’s ear off about OPEX and why he has invested so much, and will continue to invest so much, in doing things the OPEX way.
“I know I’m playing the long game here, and it’s the only way that makes sense,” he said.
If you’re a fitness professional or want to become one, you need an education grounded in principles. One that prepares you for a career in the ever-changing landscape of the fitness industry. Enter the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP), the gold standard of education for individualized coaching and program design.
Developed and taught by James FitzGerald, a 25-year coaching veteran, the OPEX CCP has educated over 3000 coaches. This education not only bridges the gap between the classroom and the gym floor but also gives you the opportunity to develop your own coaching flair under the mentorship of James himself. We open 50 spots for the next OPEX CCP cohort quality, so space is limited. Apply to join our next cohort today and become the coach you’ve always imagined.