Step-by-Step: What It Looks like to Be a Client of an OPEX Gym
Fear of the unknown—otherwise known as xenophobia—always ranks high on the list of the most common fears human beings experience.
This fear often prevents us from acting. We’re too scared, for example, to contact that fitness coach because we’re not sure what’s going to happen when we enter the facility.
Will we be mocked because we are out of shape and can’t do what the others can do?
Will someone weigh us publicly and then write our weight on the whiteboard for all to see?
(I can assure you, this is not going to happen if you join an OPEX Gym.)
Whether you’re terrified of what will happen if you contact us—or just terrified of once again failing to stick with a fitness program—or whether you’re training for your first marathon, or you’re an elite athlete who needs to get stronger for your sport, joining an OPEX Gym is where you should start (and continue) the process.
Not because we’re going to throw you all in a room together and pretend like we can offer a giant group workout that you can all do together because fitness is scalable.
The exact opposite, in fact.
You will be teamed up with a professional coach—someone who has been through the comprehensive OPEX Coaching Certificate Program (CCP)—to meet you exactly where you’re at in this moment of time, mentally and physically.
Even if you have never been to a gym in your life…
“Something we say a lot here is we meet clients where they’re at. So for many people, it won’t be complex (at the start) and there’s a coach on the floor for every single training session,” explained OPEX COO Carl Hardwick.
To remove the unknown aspect of this equation, here’s exactly what the client life cycle will look like if you contact one of our 60-plus OPEX Gyms around the world:
Step 1: Consultation + Body Assessment
This involves meeting your coach and sitting down for a 60-minute conversation. You’ll chat about why you’re there—the real reason you’re there, not the superficial “I want to lose weight” reason—talk about your lifestyle, and figure out where you want to go (i.e. your goals). What we ask from you is a willingness to be open and vulnerable.
So long as you're comfortable with it, you’ll also do a body composition analysis, either via calipers or an InBody machine (the majority of OPEX Gyms have an InBody machine to perform this).
Travis Anthoine, an athlete at OPEX Kura in San Mateo, California, said he noticed the difference in the service an OPEX coach would deliver right from this very first consultation session.
“The initial consultation with Josh (Bernstein) was pretty amazing for me—really eye-opening in terms of the difference in what I’d be getting as a service compared to the group classes I was used to,” said 35-year-old Anthoine. “We talked a lot about my life and what I was doing with this move. The conversation wasn’t really about training at all.”
This set the wheels in motion for Anthoine to really figure out what he wanted from his life and how fitness would fit into that life.
“Josh has become more of a mentor. He really helped me figure out a lot of decisions in my life, too,” Anthoine said. “He really got me to take a hard look at my life—to look at the things I was doing with the other 22 hours a day I’m not at the gym.”
Step 2: Move Assessment
The second session with your coach will involve a move assessment to check out basic patterning, as well as isometric strength, core strength and stability, glute strength, and various imbalances, such as left and right knee imbalances, among other things. This will help your coach determine what types of movements are appropriate for you at this stage in your journey.
“If someone fails a test for shoulder flexion, then we know we’re not going to give them any weight overhead,” Hardwick explained.
When Heather Anderson started with Coach Steve Volke at OPEX Regina in Saskatchewan, she had just given birth and felt pretty unfit.
“I was postpartum and basically just looking to recover from childbirth when I started with Steve. He really got that, and got that my main goal was just to get back to being active,” she said.
For the record, that was six years ago. Today, Anderson is still training with Volke.
“I remember in the early days being happy I could squat with 55 lb., and now I can squat 220 lb. It has been a gradual build up, but it has felt natural. I don’t feel like I’m risking hurting myself. Steve knows how to program to my strengths and knows exactly what I’m capable of,” she said.
Step 3: Work Assessment
The third session will focus on testing your work capacity relative to your function (from the body move and work assessment) and your goals.
“For some people, it can be as simple as jumping on a bike for 10 minutes,” Hardwick said. Meanwhile, well-trained athletes might be given a more complex test with more technical movements.
“This also helps us gain insights into the emotions you’re feeling,” Hardwick said. This part—the getting to know you as a person will be one of the biggest keys in helping you improve your health and fitness, and your overall life moving forward.
Step 4: Individual Program Design
After the three initial consultation sessions, you will begin your training program. Depending on your needs, goals and training history, it could be anywhere from twice a week to five days a week. Each time you come to train, there will be a coach on the floor to ensure you are moving correctly and to help you with any problems you’re having.
Your personal coach will be in contact with you, and will deliver your training program via TrueCoach, a super easy-to-use app for even the app-illiterate among us.
OPEX clients who have been following an individual program and working with an OPEX coach for years have high praise for the system.
Like 56-year-old Cindy Keisler, who managed to do her first pull-up in her 50s.
“I could tell the difference (following an individual program) right away. There was no more, ‘Ow, this hurts and that hurts. I have to skip this and that.’ I didn’t have to skip things anymore because he knows me and what I need. (My coach) sees what I can do and what I can’t do, and we have consults where I tell him about my goals, and he programs to help me get there,” she said.
Meanwhile, Yafa Elseri, who said she was a dabbler in the past who never stuck to anything, added this: “I can’t ever see myself getting bored with this. I have much better energy than before, and I feel like I’m able to give to my patients and my children all the energy they need. I’m not burnt out from running around the house chasing kids all day,” said Elseri, a client at OPEX Abbotsford in British Columbia.
“With OPEX, you’re putting your money, time and energy into something that works, and something you don’t have to stress about. I don’t worry about what I do at the gym anymore. I just show up four or five days a week. It’s direct, it has a purpose, and it gets you amazing results.”
Step 5: Monthly Consults
Don’t worry. Your coach has not abandoned you completely just because you’re independently following an individual program. You will continue to meet your coach once a month via lifestyle consults—a chance to figure out what’s working, what isn’t working, and what has changed in your life, in order to tweak your program as necessary.
Again, clients have high praise for how these lifestyle consults have contributed to their success. Like OPEX client Tiffany Wolf, who said her lifestyle consults with her coach have helped her mentally as much as her workouts have helped her physically.
“(My coach) gave me all sorts of entrepreneurial advice. …To be honest, for a long time OPEX was the only stable thing in my life, and I don’t think I could have decided to quit my job—I don’t think I could have made that decision—without it in my life,” said Wolf, who left her job to become an entrepreneur.
She added: “He helps me look at my physical health today and in my future, and my mental and emotional health and how they all tie in together, with consideration to nutrition, of course. It’s a holistic approach that works better for me than anything else out there.”