Shayan Vaghayenegar first started coaching fitness as a personal trainer. The now 35-year-old rented space from a couple different gyms in the area and grew a decent book of clients this way.
But while it worked at first, he soon found himself feeling like he was but a hand holder and rep counter for his personal training clients who were completely dependent on his presence in order to workout.
On a personal level, he was training in a group environment at a CrossFit gym at the time, which he loved, but that model had its shortcomings, as well, namely a lack of individualization.
Both models—the personal training model and the group model—had some great qualities, but they also each had their shortcomings, Vaghayenegar explained.
“I knew both the personal training and the group models weren’t perfect, but I enjoyed both,” he said. Then he stumbled across OPEX and “fell in love with the model,” he said. “OPEX took the good of both and filtered out the bad to create a system where the clients and coaches succeed.”
Feeling like he could “provide some value to my community by opening a gym,” Vaghayenegar opened OPEX North Shore in North Vancouver, British Columbia at the end of 2018.
“I had a gut feeling I could create something special,” he explained.
Unlike those who switch from the group model to the OPEX model—who have to convince people to pay twice as much as they used to for group classes—Vaghayenegar experienced the opposite challenge when he transitioned to the individual design model, he explained.
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“Coming from the personal training (model), my clients were concerned they would not receive the same attention from a coach as they would in a pt session,” he said.
What helped him earn their trust was communication, he said. And before he knew it, his personal training clients started to see “the true value of the OPEX system,” he explained.
“Not only do they get enough attention on the floor, but they are getting the coaching outside of the gym they were not getting through the personal training system,” he said.
The proof is in the pudding: When Vaghayenegar switched to the OPEX model, 17 of his then 25 personal training clients followed him, and today all 17 are still with him and have high praise for their coach and the OPEX model.
“I love the way OPEX operates, that it’s individual to each person and their needs, yet you still feel a part of a larger community,” said his client Kate Major.
Vaghayenegar credits his quick success in the last two years to the OPEX system and how it has helped him “create a space that allows every individual in the collective to succeed,” he said.
He added: “Clients have professional coaches who are dedicated to their craft and are able to guide them through their journeys. The coaches have a place they can connect with clients, grow as professionals and make a great income doing so.”
For those thinking about making the switch, Vaghayenegar’s advice is to be patient and “take the time to absorb all the knowledge you gain from your personal experiences and through OPEX to create your own facility,” he said.
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