Finding Balance Through Systems - Carl Hardwick

Finding Balance Through Systems - Carl Hardwick

A letter from OPEX Fitness CEO and CCP Instructor Carl Hardwick.

The word “balance” gets thrown around a lot in both fitness and career advice as essential for longevity and growth, but it’s something that many coaches struggle to implement.

In an accompanying blog, OPEX Founder James FitzGerald shared with you the concept of Teach, Learn, Move, Create—the four roles that a coach must include to find balance in their coaching career.

Carl Hardwick - Finding Time

One common question I hear from new CCP coaches is, “But how do I make time to do it all: writing programs, consultations with clients, growing my business, ongoing education, my own training and healthy meals, sleep, etc…?”

Well, here at OPEX, I’m known for being the systems guy, and I want to come in with some advice on how you can take action on making time for these four areas in your coaching practice.

If I could give you one piece of advice on finding balance it would be this:


Learn to love routine.


Too often people confuse routine with being in a rut. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Establishing a daily routine is one of the best ways to make time for all of the things that matter the most, including coaching, your personal fitness, education, and family. 

By creating boundaries in your days and weeks, you open up space for creativity, passion, and fulfillment and remove the sense that you’re always trying to accomplish everything at once.

So what does a typical day in the life of a CCP coach who practices Teach, Learn, Move and Create look like?


Hone your coaching systems with CCP


While your perfect day will differ from the coach next to you, here’s an example of how I built out my day when I was running 2 gyms, coaching 80 clients, and looking after my young family: 


  • 5:30 AM: Wake & Morning Sync

Rising at the same time each day and with the sun is a way to honor your circadian rhythm and create great daily energy patterns, which is essential for mental acuity. My morning routine has always included water & coffee, preparing breakfast for my kids and wife, organizing my calendar and tasks for the day, and spending 30 minutes reading or listening to an audiobook. (Learn)

  • 6:30 AM: Morning Workout

To teach others the value of fitness you must lead by example. I’ve always scheduled my workouts, as I encourage my clients to do the same. On days I’m not in the gym, I make this a long walk outdoors. (Move)

  • 8:00 AM: Breakfast

Eaten with good food hygiene practices, including sitting down and chewing. Again, if I want my clients to create consistency in their meals, I’ve got to do it myself. 

  • 8:30 - 11:30 AM: Program Design

Program design has always been an avenue for creative expression. I schedule it in the morning when my mind is clear and eliminate distractions by turning off notifications. (Create)

  • 11:30 - 12:00 PM: Study

Before I was mentoring coaches, I was a CCP student learning with James FitzGerald myself. To this day, I still block off time on my calendar to study and encourage all CCP coaches to do the same. Imagine what 30 minutes per day dedicated to study (and not scrolling social media) could do for you over a year! (Learn)

  • 12:00 - 1:00 PM: Lunch & Walk

After an unplugged lunch with the team, a short walk is a great way to get some sun and encourage blood flow and recovery. (Move)

  • 1:00 - 2:00 PM: Business Management 

Whether you run a gym or are a sole proprietor of your own coaching business, you want to set up regular time to work on your marketing, financials, and operations so you can grow for years to come.

  • 2:00 - 6:00 PM: Consultations & Floor Coaching

Coaching on the gym floor and meeting for 1-to-1 consultations are incredible opportunities to build relationships and teach clients about building healthy habits for life. There’s also so much to learn through the experience of coaching itself. (Teach & Learn) 

  • 6:00 - 9:00 PM: Family Time & Evening Routine


By sticking to a routine during the work day, I’m left with time at the end of the day to spend with the people that matter the most.


Hone your systems with CCP


Having a schedule isn’t boring. It gives you the freedom to include your highest priorities in your day and structure your time to find balance.

Becoming a great coach doesn’t require you to spend hours every day reading textbooks or studying. If you can find just 30 minutes in your work day to dedicate to education, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a true fitness professional who stands out from the rest.

While some traditional education is important, you’ll also find that the Teach, Learn, Move, Create approach to building your day will open up so many more opportunities to learn through doing.

That’s why in the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP), James and I take a dual approach to education—you’ll increase your knowledge, but you’ll also get the hands-on coaching experience you need to build your confidence and improve your client success rate.

All it takes to move towards coaching mastery is half an hour a day. With a little scheduling, I know you can make it work.

It’s time to get started. Click the button below and apply to begin your CCP studies today.

Apply to CCP Today

Fitness Assessments for New Clients