How do you know all this stuff?

That was the question posed to me last Thursday on the walk back from our hill sprints on Olive Av.

A member had asked me about helping reach some of her weight loss goals for an upcoming event on a short time frame. We discussed the pros & cons of some various methods, but most were a means to and end, and not a long term solution.

This of course sent me into a flurry of excitement and an avalanche of speaking as I am apt to do, as I laid out many of the factors involved in a long term plan for realistic nutrition.  Not always the answers that one would like to hear, but the truth involves facing some realities!

Things like food hygiene, sleep, stress levels, cultivating healthy stomach enzymes, digestion procedures, and a myriad of other items were discussed.  We went pretty deep, and that’s when she looked at me and earnestly asked, “how do you know all this stuff?”

I realized there is something I’ve never really discussed in a blog, and don’t even really bring up that often in person.  I suppose there are a number of reasons, but I thought now might be a good time to share something personal with all of you.

I have always valued my education as a coach, but many of the certificates I’ve earned are from 1 or 2 day seminars that often involve no formal test or way to show you have comprehended what you’ve learned or are able to apply in in a meaningful manner.

Really it’s up to each individual to “use it or lose it”, make sure they are practically applying that knowledge to get the most from it.

…but today I want to discuss something a little different than that.

A little over a year ago in early Spring 2016 I began the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program.  It is a program started and cultivated by James Fitzgerald- not just a world class coach, but also the winner of the very first CrossFit Games in 2007.

It is by far the most comprehensive coach training available.  Not just for CrossFit (although it does favor functional fitness principles) but it is a program to be one of the best coaches in the athletic field- no matter the sport.

What does that require?  It is a program that cover five modules: Assessment, Program Design, Lifestyle Coaching, Nutrition, & Business Systems.  Each of these require massive amounts of research & study, as well as many hours of lecture education.

They all also each require that you complete a practical application case study to demonstrate that you understand and can also apply the knowledge you have learned.  These projects have many pieces within them that test every part of the knowledge contained therein.

Once all of the modules are done, you then must compile those into a final project case study- basically like a thesis paper.  It’s taking each module and showing the symbiotic relationship between them all that factor into the complete picture of coaching an individual.

Essentially OPEX is the graduate school of coaching, and it’s no joke!

What commitment is required? For each quiz or test, a passing grade is 80% or better.  Fail any of them more than twice, and you’re out.  Fall behind the schedule?  You’re out.  Don’t complete the modules in the designated time?  You’re out.  Format anything incorrectly?  You guessed it…you’re out.

Excellence is demanded at every single point, because a single point of failure wouldn’t deserve the stamp of approval that comes with passing this program.  How you do anything is how you do everything.

So how many people have passed?

Well…There are a little over 3,000 in the world who have begun the program, and on average it takes around 3 years.

Out of that, there are currently just under 100 (97 last I checked) that have earned their certificate…that’s only about 3%.

On June 4 I turned in my final project…exactly 1 year and 4 days after I started.

…then I waited…and waited…

I did finally get the news, and I am proud to say that I am now one of the prestigious few to have earned this distinction!

I’m particularly proud of this achievement in the accelerated fashion I did it in.  This was all the while working my day job in film (often times 60 hours a week or more), running CFHV & coaching.  I also planned a wedding, got married, bought a house, and even curated an art show in that time!

I’m not saying this to gloat or brag.  I tell you this so you can understand my dedication to each of you, and making CFHV the very best CrossFit gym it can be.

Not all gyms focus on the programming, movements, & techniques the same.  Not all gyms believe in continued coaching development.  Certainly not all gyms would consider factors like someone’s nutrition, unique genetics, physiology, & lifestyle to be necessary in a member’s development.

I’m not interested in just what is necessary, or just getting by for each of you.  Every member of CFHV has unique needs, dreams, & goals, and that is what I want to fulfill.

You all made a choice to trust CFHV not just with your money, but with your well-being.  I don’t take that fact for granted, and I appreciate it every day.

I’d love to talk to you about your goals, discuss your challenges, and work on adjustments to fulfill your unique needs, so send me an email or come by the office.

Let’s have a great week of training and make sure each day at High Voltage is the best hour of your day!