In this podcast, Breaking Muscle Radio speaks with world-class strength and conditioning coach James Fitzgerald - many of you know him as OPT winner of the 2007 CrossFit Games.


James is also the owner and director of training at OPEX Fitness in Scottsdale, Arizona. At this facility, he and his team perform lactate balance point tests, neuromuscular efficiency tests, VO2 max testing, and a variety of other tests to help top fitness athletes obtain insight into their training and what will improve their performance.  


In this discussion, James shares his perspectives on fitness with Managing Editor Becca Borawski Jenkins, Coach Chet Morjaria, and you.


Press play to dive into the mind of James Fitzgerald.



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James is devoted to continuing his own education and approaches all new scientific research with an open mind. He has worked hand-in-hand with a variety of doctors, researching the measurable impact that training protocols have on the human body. 


As a coach for many top-level athletes, James is continually seeking to upgrade the current industry knowledge for both coaches and athletes. This culminates in his cutting edge outlook on the strength and conditioning industry.


  • 00:38 - From OPT to OPEX: What OPEX represents
  • 04:39 - The CrossFit connection
  • 05:24 - James's pre-CrossFit accomplishments and achievements
  • 07:43 - Planning and periodization within CrossFit
  • 12:08 - The truth about the training plans of top athletes
  • 13:45 - The early days of the CrossFit Games
  • 14:51 - The evolution of the CrossFit Games and top-level CrossFitters
  • 17:55 - Thought on long-term CrossFit athletes (e.g. Spealler and Sakamoto)
  • 20:39 - Who can realistically get to the CrossFit Games?
  • 22:11 - An athlete's battery – definition, importance, and measurability
  • 25:43 - Using a scientific approach with normal athletes
  • 26:23 - How clients want to be coached versus how they need to be coached
  • 27:57 - How an athlete can find the best coach for his- or herself
  • 30:30 - The OPEX philosophy and what makes it different
  • 33:24 - The different between a coach and someone who instructs fitness classes
  • 36:00 - The new CrossFit certification system
  • 37:00 - How to get started as a coach
  • 38:40 - The journey and the process. The future of OPEX and James
  • 43:42 - Thoughts on the sport of GRID
  • 46:44 – James’s details and upcoming projects


James first was drawn to strength and conditioning as a young competitive athlete. His athletic pursuits in national level soccer in high school, collegiate basketball, and junior hockey led him to a career in strength and conditioning. He graduated with honors from the University of Newfoundland with a bachelors degree in physical education and a minor in biology. 


James's business, OPEX Fitness, is run through a variety of capacities. He writes a free training program which is categorized into multiple levels of fitness. He has also developed a coaching certificate program at OPEX, which offers both online and in-person courses. OPEX also features an onsite testing facility and a remote coaching program that enables people to receive nutritional prescriptions and program designs via the Internet. 


Click here for James's Free Four Week Training Plan