In 2013, Craig Massey spent a weekend with OPEX Founder James FitzGerald and had his aha moment.
“I spent three days sitting there listening to James talk about program design and it was pretty mind-blowing. That was absolutely the turning point for me,” said 38-year-old Massey. Learn about James’ mind-blowing method here.
It was a turning point because Massey realized he was working with a broken business model coaching group classes, which weren’t working all that well in terms of giving the clients what they needed to get fit, stay fit and remain injury-free, nor did the group model work for the coach, he explained.
“At first I loved the group. I was really into CrossFit. And I thought it was great that all these different types of people could come work out together, but then I started to see that working with people on an individual basis was a way higher level of things,” Massey said.
At the time, he owned a CrossFit gym in Manchester, England that relied entirely on group classes. Learning what he learned from FitzGerald, though, led Massey to return home to the UK and start offering individual program design as well as the group class. (Learn from FitzGerald, Innagural CrossFit Games winner, yourself in the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP).)
He continued doing both group and individual program design for a while, but eventually came to terms with what he needed to do: Eliminate group fitness.
“More and more I realized how big the disconnect was between my beliefs and the group model, and it would have been inauthentic for me to continue coaching in that model anymore,” he said.
Massey added: “It was just so obvious how different everyone was, and how they’re not all there for the same reason, and the more you learn about the individual and their reason for being there, the less the group makes sense.”
Learning how to connect with people in greater depth beyond just administering a workout was also something he learned going through the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP).
“The lifestyle (coaching) modules were invaluable for helping create structure around conversations with clients instead of just shooting in the dark,” he explained. “And it gave me confidence knowing that you know what you’re talking about and that you know where to take the conversation with the client.”
In 2017, Massey opened OPEX Manchester in the UK.
Today, he has 27 of his own clients who each pay 250 pounds a month ($US315) for individual programming and monthly lifestyle consults.
He’s in the process of trying to open up a new space—as he runs his OPEX business out of another gym—at which point he’ll also move forward hiring a second coach.
Massey said he now finally has job fulfillment because he feels he’s actually able to help his clients.
“The primary goal of most coaches is to help people, and the individual design enables me to upgrade the level of help I can give,” he said.
Massey added: “I can get to know people better, develop better relationships, and that helps with both their fulfillment and mine.”
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