OPEX is home of arguably some of the US’ most consistently great coaches. This week, on Fitness Break Room we interview Jim Crowell and Michael Bann who are a few of the men who run that operation.

They go into detail on how great coaches and trainers are born and how they themselves became leaders of this movement.

Enjoy the show,


OPEX’s mission is to bring honor back to the coaching profession. We believe that coaches are critical to the thread of a community because they strengthen, empower, challenge, and help progress people around them. Coaches have the ability to play a pivotal role in all of society, and that is a big responsibility. OPEX was built to take our beliefs of coaching and help both coaches and clients experience a more fulfilling and impactful life with fitness as the medium of their successes.


Michael has been the head coach at OPEX Fitness (formerly Optimum Performance Training) since 2014 as well as the expert consultant for The American Center for Natural Medicine, a functional medicine clinic.  Before coming to OPEX Michael had been a personal trainer and boot camp instructor, the head strength coach for a law enforcement academy, and an instructor for a strength and conditioning course at Northern Arizona University.  He eventually transferred to Arizona State University to study Kinesiology. While studying, he taught anatomy and physiology cadaver labs.  Currently, Michael is finishing a graduate degree in kinesiology which he will finish in 2018.

Throughout the years he’s traveled the world seeking deeper understanding of the human body.  Aside from his academic education, he’s a functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner.  He has completed courses ranging from FMS as well as SFMA, to PRI, DNS, CFSC, an Altis apprenticeship as well as completed all of EXOS’s performance mentorship courses.

Throughout his travels and continuing education, he’s recognized that no matter what new information that was presented, there were underlying principles that could be applied across all populations from pain to performance as well as body composition clients.  In the last decade, he has logged over 20,000 hours of coaching.  As well, he’s written thousands of programs to improve performance, get out of pain and improve or improve body composition.

Michael is not only inspired to coach his clients, but to educate other coaches as well.  He has consulted with the United States Army, worked with special forces and special operations, professional and collegiate athletes, as well as general fitness clients looking to feel and look their best.  He has a firm belief that principles transcend paradigms, and that dogma leads to the death of mastery.  With this vision of mastery in mind, he has traveled all over the world teaching coaches how to use the principles he recognized to elevate their own coaching craft to improve client results and their own businesses.

When he’s not busy traveling the globe teaching, you can find him in sunny Scottsdale Arizona, reading a book, writing about research he reads, or spending time with his family and dog Buddy.


Jim loves business and fitness, and he really loves the business of fitness. He has a deep appreciation for what it takes to start, grow, and sustain businesses. Prior to becoming the CEO of OPEX Fitness, Jim started, grew, and sold multiple successful gyms in Pittsburgh, PA. And, prior to his fitness career, he successfully traded commodities for a hedge fund in Austin, TX.


Jim has a keen sense for seeing the whole board in business settings. Constantly shifting between the forest and the trees is one of Jim’s defining qualities; it’s helped him work with thousands of coaches and gym owners where he’s helped them succeed in the fitness industry. Jim holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina, 2 Bachelor’s Degrees from Penn State University, and the Core Course Designation from Harvard University. When Jim isn’t learning about businesses, he loves to train and spend time with his wife Katie!

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