James’ fitness journey began while playing competitive soccer in his teens. During his collegiate years, James spent a great deal of time training, studying, and researching fitness. His investigations led to the publishing of multiple studies in “Physiology Canada” and “The Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology”. After University, James proceeded to apply his knowledge coaching general population clients and competitive athletes. After years in the trenches, James built a thriving coaching business and launched Optimum Performance Training (OPT) in 1999. James became widely known as “OPT”. His astute commentary around fitness and training led him to create the “Big Dawgs Blog” in 2005. The Big Dawgs Blog was a haven for coaches and athletes who loved investigating fitness and it gained huge momentum around the world because of James’ educational training methodologies.James stepped further into the public spotlight through the personal application of his methodologies as he was crowned The Fittest Man on Earth, winning the inaugural Crossfit games in 2007.
Looking to spread his knowledge and create a system around his methodologies, James began coaching athletes remotely and spearheading the individual design programming movement. James believes that individual design programs are the only way that a coach and client can build the relationship and trust necessary to progress a client’s fitness for a lifetime.
Through the rapid growth of OPT and the Big Dawgs Blog, James realized that he needed to share his coaching methodologies on a larger scale. In 2009 in freezing cold Calgary, James kicked off the first live CCP Courses (Coaching Certificate Program). In 2011 James moved to sunny Scottsdale, Arizona to build the next phase of OPT, and OPEX Fitnesswas born. James continues to teach his methodologies through the various courses offered by OPEX Fitness along with keeping a watchful eye on the reincarnation of theBig Dawgs, an athlete specific remote coaching resource.
Ultimate Training Session: Anything that challenges me physically
Favorite Nourishing Meal: Warm meats and vegetables
Carl has dedicated his life to health and fitness. From his teen years, Carl lived at the gym. A 3-time All-Conference football player at Saint Mary’s University where he earned a B.S., Carl was driven by his passion to become the most effective coach possible. This led the former U.S. Army veteran to buddy up with world-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin to complete the PICP and then to complete his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
While running the Army fitness program for his battalion and a stint in Afghanistan, Carl was introduced to OPEX Founder James FitzGerald. Sold by the OPEX individual program design approach, Carl went on to open multiple OPEX-licensed gyms before accepting his position as CEO. Today, Carl is an integral part of the growing OPEX engine that is using the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP) to change the face of fitness by professionalizing the fitness coach.
Health and fitness has always intrigued Meghan. Growing up she danced and played soccer. In high school, while working at Gold’s Gym, she fell in love with fitness, often spending 2+ hours, 6 days a week lifting weights and doing cardio. In 2010 she began coaching and competing in Crossfit.
Meghan also has a passion for business, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. She went on to be a Product Marketing Manager for a publicly-traded healthcare IT company, where she worked closely with small business owners reselling the software. Later she opened a retail showroom for Lululemon as their Store Manager.
With this background, Meghan also became the manager and head coach of her Crossfit gym. Feeling inadequate when it came to the science of personalized coaching, she enrolled in the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP). After regionals 2012, James asked her to move to Arizona as an onsite athlete and offered her a job.
When Meghan arrived, only three people worked for OPT (now OPEX). Working with James as a coach and athlete, she knew more coaches needed CCP and offered her skills in marketing. She launched the first coach’s toolkit download and interest in CCP grew, and from that point forward she began advising coaches on OPEX Education. After competing in 5 regionals and the 2015 Crossfit Games, she retired as an OPEX athlete and now fully dedicates her time getting OPEX Education into the hands of every coach and gym owner on the planet.
Ultimate Training Session: Volume, 2-3 hours. Volume of resistance training + mixed map 7 with low rest or long slow hike in the sun
Favorite Nourishing Meal: Anything seasonal and locally grown with fish and nice presentation
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Tough call between relaxing at the ocean or lake, or Hiking/Walking in nature
Coffee Order: Single source, light or medium roast, pour-over, no hotter than 195 degrees ideally
10 Minute Airbike Score: Prefer to keep my testers under 3 minutes! It’s probably 4 year since I’ve done it (with Jim), 125ish?
Georgia moved from Australia to the United States in 2014 after completing her degree in International Studies. Uprooting her life gave her the confidence to pursue her passion for fitness, and she quickly found herself coaching and managing a CrossFit gym. In the search for further education she discovered OPEX, and within a few months of undertaking the CCP program knew it was a movement that she needed to be a part of.
Georgia is humbled to now have the opportunity to help other coaches find fulfilling careers through OPEX. Between coaching at OPEX North Scottsdale, connecting with new CCP candidates, and helping spread the OPEX mission, she is committed to restoring honor to the fitness industry, one coach at a time.
Ultimate Training Session: BJJ and some heavy deadlifts
Favorite Nourishing Meal: Mum’s roast lamb and veggies
There isn’t a sport that Henry hasn’t played, from football and volleyball to triathlons and ironmans, he’s done it all. But he quickly learned that to gain an edge on the field, there would have to be even more commitment, off the field. So Henry started hitting the gym and that’s when he found functional fitness. In 2014, Henry qualified for the Latin American CrossFit Regionals and again in 2015 as part of Team Aggressive.
Henry has transitioned to the role of coach and pursues further education in every aspect of fitness possible. Henry is the OPEX Gyms Coaching Instructor, responsible for making sure that every coach inside of an OPEX Gym is giving each client the best experience possible. Henry also coaches numerous high-level athletes online in his role as a Big Dawgs Coach and in person at his gym, Aggressive Fitness in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Ultimate Training Session: Anything with Power Cleans and Bench Press
Favorite Nourishing Meal: Beef chili, veggies, brown rice
Emma Robertson is OPEX’s Content Specialist. Originally from Scotland Emma has lived in five different countries, but now resides full time in Phoenix, Arizona. As a former BBC Producer/Director she is responsible for the production of OPEX’s digital courses. With a history of running marathons, Emma still enjoys tapping into the runner’s high through mixed aerobic circuits. In her free time, Emma can be found either moonlighting as a Life Coach or happily turning the pages of a new book.
Kiva Meulenbeek was born in raised in Phoenix Arizona. As the OPEX Production Coordinator, Kiva brings her knowledge of film and television production to OPEX’s digital courses, ensuring the brand’s education and presentation are top-notch. She works out daily with the goal of getting ‘bigger muscles to hold bigger cameras’. Outside of the gym, Kiva can be found pursuing her passion for photography and sampling Arizona’s finest Mexican food establishments.
Janice Hardwick was born in Illinois and raised in Wisconsin. Growing up she was a competitive ice skater as well as a Latin ballroom dancer for more than 12 years. She has lived in six states and is now proud to call Arizona home. Janice is an integral part of the OPEX family and brings her bilingual talents to the role of Coach Advocate. In her free time, she enjoys baking, putting a clean spin on traditional comfort foods, and spending time with her family.
Ultimate Training Session: D.A.N ; Dance As Needed
Favorite Nourishing Meal: Poke
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Evening walks with my family.
Leah Putz was born in Florida but has spent most of her life in Arizona between Prescott and Phoenix. By the age of 11, Leah was a black belt in karate and competed frequently alongside her two other black belt holding sisters. Her life now revolves around health and fitness. Before joining OPEX Leah was a nutritional coach and personal trainer. She now is our Customer Coordinator, ensuring all OPEX coaches receive the quality education that OPEX has become known for. Her free time is spent with her family and her two furry friends.
Ultimate Training Session: Leg day baby!
Favorite Nourishing Meal: Toss up between tacos and sushi
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Hiking with husband and dogs
Coffee Order: Decaf iced tea (boring I know)
10 Minute Airbike Score: N/A (Don’t get any ideas @ Sam Smith)
Scott Logan, originally from Texas by way of Alaska joins the OPEX team in Scottsdale Arizona as a Digital Strategist. He brings with him a double major in English and Political Science from SMU along with an obsession for politics and learning new things. In his free time, he can be found cooking, reading, playing video games, and investing. Hubscott once ate an entire pan of enchiladas but justifies his indulgences with a consistent exercise routine.
Ultimate Training Session: Carrying/picking up heavy things. Gotta get those big traps
Favorite Nourishing Meal: Chicken, jasmine rice, broccoli. But really, it’s about the sauces
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Hiking new natl parks. If it’s Arizona in summer, I don’t have one
Coffee Order: Medium roast with creamer and like 4 sugars
10 Minute Airbike Score: 107 (after an 80 min workout!)
Jack Spicer was born and raised in Phoenix Arizona. He attended Northern Arizona University where he studied Psychological Science and English. As a Marketing Copywriter, he ensures the quality and consistency of OPEX’s written words while spreading the message as far as possible. In his free time, he can be found scaring himself on bikes and using his fitness to become more resilient for the next time he runs out of talent.
Ultimate Training Session: Full body resistance
Favorite Nourishing Meal: 85-15% Kobe burgers and primal kitchen mayo
Steve Sizer is OPEX’s Full Stack Web Developer and is responsible for building and maintaining the OPEX Membership Site, our digital education platform. He currently lives and works in the United Kingdom and balances his off-hour work schedule with a strong appreciation for coffee. When Steve is not connecting with the OPEX Team he can be found out traveling and walking his cockapoo named Rory.
Ultimate Training Session: The 90 Minute OPEX Test
Favorite Nourishing Meal: Steak with roasted sprouts and sweet potato
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Hiking with his dog and golf