Program Overview

My goal is to create a package of coaching fundamentals for individuals who want to learn, instruct and become a master in the ever evolving world of fitness. I have been associated with leading members of the fitness industry for years now and know what is a good path for success within this profession. I want to improve and distinguish between who is a coach and who instructs fitness classes. The OPT CCP™ is for individuals looking to build upon their current knowledge and take their coaching to new levels. I use the word coach as I believe in and understand the passion behind what this word means – a person who embodies and teaches from a sound knowledge base the aspects of physical wellness. My belief is that there needs to be aspects of nutrition, lifestyle consulting, physical assessment, exercise program design and business savvy as major tools that this coach should have. I also believe that coaches are more than educators but role models, life advisories and leading community members that have far reaching impacts for us all. The OPT CCP™ is designed to help individuals realize their own potential. This has been a passion of mine for some time now to share and evolve with these coaches to create change in the fitness profession; that time has come.

James FitzGerald
Owner, Director
Optimum Performance Training Inc.

OPT Coaching Certification Program (CCP™)


Level 1

  • Recommended to be Coaching for a minimum of 1 year and/OR completion of OPT Experience Course
  • Ability to proficiently instruct physical movement
  • Physical Fitness standards - Female: 3 strict chin-ups, body weight deadlift x 3 reps, 3 dips, run 1 mile under 8 minutes.
  • Physical Fitness standards – Male: 10 strict chin-ups, 1.5x body weight deadlift x 3 reps, 10 dips, run 1 mile under 7 minutes.

Level 2

  • Successful completion of all Level 1 modules and a passing score in the Level 1 case study module

Level 3

  • Successful completion of all Level 2 modules and a passing score in the Level 2 case study module

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LEVEL 1 – CCP™ Associate Coach Modules Overview

Note: Overviews are intended to be a guideline and are subjet to change

Exercise Physiology: Assessment

2 Day in person - theory
50 Question Exam-80% or higher to pass

Lead Course Conductor – James FitzGerald

Upon completion of the theory and practical hours each coach will have the ability to:

  • understand the importance of assessment and data (why, when and what)
  • perform body fat testing for males and females (norms, data, goal setting) and how to communicate the data to client
  • physically test a client by using functional movement screens and upper, torso and lower body specific muscular testing under load and non loading environments
  • effectively observe and identify overtraining /overreaching

Note: Attending the Assessment Module Theory component is required prior to attending the Program Design Module

Upon completion, participant will receive recognition of completion for the Exercise Physiology Assessment Module


Exercise Physiology: Program Design

3 Day in-person - theory
50 Question Exam-80% or higher to pass

Lead Course Conductor – James FitzGerald

Upon completion of the theory and practical hours each coach will have the ability to:

  • design effective programs based on clients needs and goals
  • understand energy systems and how they intertwine in a program and how to prioritize
  • understand different tools to accomplish energy system demands as well as skill based vs. intensity based training
  • understand the science behind sets/reps/rest
  • use assessment results and collaborate them in the program design
  • schedule frequency of training, periodization and intensity/volume
  • understand the importance of prioritization in program design
  • deliver the program design to the client in a concise, effective manner

Note: Attending the Assessment Module Theory component is mandatory prior to attending the Program Design Module

Upon completion, participant will receive recognition of completion for the Exercise Physiology Program Design Module



2 day in person - theory
50 Question Exam-80% or higher to pass

Course Conductors – James FitzGerald and Mike Kesthely (pre-video by Mat Lalonde)


Upon completion of the weekend theory and practical hours each coach will have the ability to:
  • Improve client communication strategies, remote vs. face to face
  • Create nutrition Intake & tracking documentation
  • Implement a Three Phase template for nutrition modifications
  • Understand the explanation of the Three Phase topics
  • Provide suggestions for PreWO/PWO nutrition that are individual  and client based
  • Discuss Game Day nutrition concepts
  • Increase awareness of Adrenal lab function primer/examples

Upon completion, participant will receive recognition of completion for the Nutrition Module



Life Coach

2 day in person - theory
50 Question Exam-80% or higher to pass

Course Conductors – James FitzGerald and Sharon Prete

Listen to James and Sharon discuss the Importance of Life Coaching in this recent Webinar!

Upon completion of the weekend theory and practical hours each coach will have the ability to:
  • Use the fundamentals of Higher Order Thinking (HOT) to organize and prioritze client lifestyle planning.
  • Modify behaviors using HOT techniques
  • Understand values and what drives human behavior
  • Understand how to create buy-in and communicate effectively
  • Understand gender differences as they apply to coaching
  • Understand how to read and react to different personalities
  • Understand successful goal setting
  • Gain an awareness of yourself in the role of coach

Upon completion, participant will receive recognition of completion for the Life Coach Module



Business Systems

Learn about the previous modules success stories here

Online Module: 

This webinar module will require computer access and the online access code will be provided to you prior to commencement of module.

Course Conductors – James FitzGerald and Sean Greeley

Becoming a great coach and running a successful business are two separate skill sets. If you truly want to make an impact on the world with fitness, then learning how to own and operate a business that can serve a large number of people is a requirement for success. In this module you will learn about the fundamental marketing, sales, management, finance, operation systems, environment and networks required for business success.

Upon completion of theory and practical hours each coach will have the ability to:

  • understand the importance of defining your mission, vision, and goals in business
  • understand key numbers in your business, like break even and profitability points
  • set up operations so they run efficiently for both your staff and clients
  • find, hire, train, and manage trainers to develop a winning team
  • review package and pricing models that work best in selling both private and group training services
  • understand key marketing strategies for generating leads and prospects for your programs
  • create culture for retention and referrals
  • incorporate the OPT model of experiences into your existing fitness operation

Upon completion, participant will receive recognition of completion for the Business Systems Module

Click HERE to sign up for ONLINE module.



Final Case Study - Online (Pass or Fail)


3 case studies with email submission

The final case study will be an opportunity for the coach to include all module learnings into an effective program for 3 clients. These 3 case study client examples will be given to the coach by the OPT CCP Director; there will be a time requirement and expectations for ability to complete in a timely manner. Participant must include report on 3 different clients, including all the components of the modules to monitor and maintain compliance; must be submitted within 8 weeks after competition of last Theory Module.

Note: Completing all prior modules are mandatory prior to enrolling in the Final Case Study

Upon completion of the case study review and submission, each coach will have PROVEN the ability to:

  • create a full comprehensive analysis and assessment of a client and provide them with a detailed individualized program design, schedule and nutrition plan utilizing the learnings from all the Level I modules.


LEVEL 2 – OPT Advanced Coach Modules Overview

Note: Overviews are intended to be a guideline and are subject to change

Dates TBD - Contact Kegan to be added to interest list

Nutrition Overview is forth coming

Exercise Physiology: Level 2 Assessment

2 Day in person - theory
10 comprehensive client assessments – practical homework

Course Conductor – James FitzGerald and Dr. Dick Thom

Upon completion of the weekend theory and practical hours each coach will have the ability to:

  • Through the use of various tools learn and understand how the blood response and food sensitivities play a role in overall health and longevity
  • Understand unique and effective supplement systems to correct the most common physiological imbalances
  • Read, interpret and understand basic blood panels while learning tools on educating clients with effective lifestyle and supplement solutions
  • Read, interpret and understand food sensitivity tests through understanding and exploring what resources to use during the assessment and the "why" behind assessing inflammation through foods
  • Understand physiology further through steroidal hormone pathway education
  • Use lactate balance testing through real time testing and analysis
  • Assess and analyze the top 5 movement issues and learn how to "tweak" them to change outcomes
  • Understand how to use video and pictures as coaching tools

Note: Attending the Assessment Module is highly recommended prior to attending the Program Design Module

Upon completion of all Level 2 modules, participant will receive certificate of completion for Level 2:  Advanced Coach

Dates TBD


Level 2 - Exercise Physiology: Program Design

3 Day in person - theory
30 client sessions – practical homework

Course Conductor – James FitzGerald

Upon completion of the weekend theory and practical hours each coach will have the ability to:
  • Thoroughly evaluate various weight training protocols to see universal principles within successful programs
  • Determine specific athlete needs and appropriate weight training protocols for those needs to ensure progression
  • Contrast and compare different sports' demands to determine best protocols for specific athletes in the sport
  • Analyze energy system demands of specific sports and how to train those athletes accordingly
  • Evaluate high lactate demand sports and various ways of training appropriately the various energy systems
  • Review the history of aerobic energy system models and look at underlying theories
  • Evaluate established aerobic and "lactate" training programs to determine why they work some times and why they "don't work" other times
  • Have a higher level of understanding around planning, prioritization, and periodization for all types of sports and athletic demands
  • Better understand programming for special situations clients and their training demands: ie. pregnant population, injured, diseased, obese, etc.

Note: Attending the Assessment Module is mandatory prior to attending the Program Design Module

Upon completion of all Level 2 modules, participant will receive certificate of completion for Level 2:  Advanced Coach



Level 2 Life Coaching

2 Day in person - theory
20 client sessions – practical homework
Course Conductors: James FitzGerald and Sharon Prete

Upon completion of weekend theory and practical hours each coach will have the ability to:

  • Use the fundamentals of human development in order to effectively communicate with anyone
  • Understand the progression of human development and how to coach various demographics (age, gender, etc.)
  • Understand relationship dynamics and how they affect the coach-client dyad
  • Deepen their understanding of values and influence
  • Gain an increased awareness and understanding of their identity as a coach
  • Build upon the frameworks presented in Level 1 for a greater scope of practice
Upon completion, participant will receive recognition of completion for the Lifestyle Coaching Module Level 2


Dates TBD



Level 2 Nutrition

2 Day in person - theory

Course Conductor – James FitzGerald, Dr Jeoff Drobot, Dr Dick Thom, Dr Sean Riddle

Upon completion of the weekend course, coaches will have a better understanding of these topics:

  • Temperament/constitution and appropriate food choices
  • Gastro-intestinal physiology
  • Prenatal, natal, post natal, and family nutrition
  • Food individuality
  • Food sensitivities and cross reaction
  • Loading, deloading, unloading, and detoxification diets
  • Supplementation protocols
  • Case studies in nutrition

Upon completion, participant will receive recognition of completion for the Level 2 nutrition module

Dates: TBD


LEVEL 3 – OPT Master Coach Modules Overview

To Be Announced


Coach's List






For dates and locations, visit our store or upcoming events


Now Offered!  X-Select: Weight Training 1.0
For dates and more information, visit here


The online OPT Experience course was designed to give people an introduction into the OPT. James provides an overview of the coaching certification course, the different facets of our business, the values and concerns of OPT, and provides some clinical pearls which allows people of all levels to increase their knowledge. The course is designed for everyone, including advanced level coaches looking to evaluate the CCP™ program before making the investment, to the athlete looking to gain a little more insight into their training program. There are no prerequisite levels of knowledge to take this course.

Sign up here

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I have to do the modules in a specific order?
The modules can be done in any order with exception of the Final Case Study Module, which should be completed within 8 weeks after the completion of your final module, and the Assessment Module which is a pre-requisite to attending the Program Design Module. The Program Design module builds upon content covered in the Assessment module and how to use information gathered from a client assessment to appropriately design their program.

How do I submit my Level 1 Test?
Upon completion of a course, an email is sent with a link to the test. You will have 2 hours to complete the 50 question exam. You must score 80% or higher to pass. You will receive 2 attempts to pass the exams. If you do not recieve your exam automatically, please email

Why is the certification course so extensive?
Our belief is that coaching cannot be developed by weekend courses or reading books/manuals. It takes time and effort to develop oneself as a master coach.

How do I prove I can do the standards?
Upon completion of the final case study, you will be asked to submit a video proving the standards.

Do the levels have to be done in order?
Yes, Level 1 must be completed before level 2, and level 2 must be completed before level 3.

What is the refund policy?
50% deposit is non-refundable (no exceptions). Registration is non-refundable, however can be transferred to another colleague (they will then be responsible for the additional deposit payment)

Are there discounts?
Early Bird registration (in person only):
Register 6 or more weeks in advance and receive a discount off the registration cost. (Not applicable for online modules)
When 4 or more coaches from the same gym location register into the same Module, $125 per registration is deducted. Contact Meghan for more information
In addition, we offer the OPT Coach Fellowship Program. When a fellow Coach registers in a CCP™ module you have taken, we invite you to attend with that Coach at no charge - our gift to you. Simply refer a Coach, have them sign up and then contact Kegan to sign up at no charge. We ask in return that you help and support the Coach throughout the Theory and practical component.
Repeat Attendee:
You can register again as a repeat attendee to a module you have already completed as a refresher for a 50% discount. Contact Meghan for the registration code.

What do I bring to in person modules?
Bring water, snacks, lunch, workout clothing, pen and paper.

How do I register?
Through our online store.  For in person modules, you can pay in full or 50% non refundable deposit and the remaining balance due 30 days after intial payment. Payment is due in full at time of registration for online modules.  Should you be unable to attend the course, you can find someone else to take your spot and transfer the spot to them, they are responsible for paying the deposit amount.

Can I do only 1 of the modules?
Yes. However, to get the most out of the certification program, we recommend all the modules.  You can choose to do only the theory component (i.e. in person modules or online chapters) however recognition of completion and certification in level 1 will not be awarded until the exam and case study components have been completed and reviewed.

Where is the best place to stay?
Information will be announced prior to the start of the module. Each host location will have discounted room rates coordinated at a convenient location.

What do I get after completing each module and the full certification program?
You will receive recognition of completion for each module upon completing the theory and case study component. Once we verify your full attendance in the theory component and verify the completion of your exams and case study, we will mail you a recognition of completion. After completing all the modules and passing the final case study module plus verifying the fitness standards, we will mail you your final certificate.

What if I fail the case study module?
You will be required to re-register for the final case study module. We recommend you either repeat the modules or consult with James on areas of development. The cost of each Online Case Study registration is $250.

I’ve been coaching for a long time, can I bypass one of the levels?
I am just starting out and want to learn more, can I bypass the 1 year coaching pre-requisite?
Yes.  You must register and watch the OPT Experience course.
I am attending an upcoming in-person Assessment and Program Design, can I review just the online Program Design module before I attend the in-person to get the foundations?
Yes, you definitely have the option of registering for the online modules.  You may attend a module again for 50% off list price. Therefore, if you take the online Assessment module at full price, you can then pay half price for the in person version you attend later.  The information, however, is the same in both courses and should only be used as a refresher or in order for you to better understand the concepts in person as James is teaching the course.
Is the OPT Experience course a module?
No, the OPT experience course is not a direct module for CCP™.  The OPT experience course was designed to suit all levels of experience within the fitness community.  The goal of the course is to give some direct takeaways for coaches, athletes, and general fitness enthusiasts while also giving a lower cost option to learn more about what we do at OPT.  The course gives a glimpse at all aspects of CCP™ and explains how and why we teach what we teach.
Are the online Assessment and Program design part of the certification program?
Yes, the online Assessment and Program Design modules are the same as the in-person theory component and teach the same information as the in-person counterpart.  In order to get certified after attending an in-person OR online course, a coach must take the final exam.
What's the difference between online and in-person?
The information presented in both courses is identical.  The in-person is in a class room setting with other coaches and the information is provided over the course of a couple of days (2 for assessment, 3 for program design) with time for question and answer with James.  The online versions are hosted on our website and can be completed at your own pace for the duration of 90 days per module (120 days for Program Design).  For both courses, you will need to take a test to pass.
Why is the in-person 2 days and online is 90/120 day access?
The purpose of having 90/120 days of access to the online modules was to allow full time coaches to complete the course work at their own pace.  This allows coaches to take their time to digest the information, take notes, and review something if they didn't fully understand it.  The in-person modules are given during two days, which means the material is covered at a faster pace, but you have question and answer sessions with James directly to help clarify anything that was not understood.
Can I take the in-person modules and then refresh my knowledge with
the online modules?
Yes, any time you attend a module, you have the ability to take the module a second time at half the cost of a normal module.  The online versions of the courses are the same as attending in-person, therefore if you have paid for the online assessment OR program design and you are hoping to refresh your memory, you can take either the online version again or the in-person for the first time at 50% off.  Additionally, you can also take the in-person course, then refresh with the online modules at 50% of the cost.
What operating systems and browsers are supported?
The online module should work well in any modern browser in both Mac OS and Windows. We recommend any of the following browsers: Google Chrome, Safari 4+, Firefox 8+, Internet Explorer 8+.
Do I only get to watch each chapter one time, or as much as needed in the 90/120 days?
You can view each portion of the module as many times as needed during the 90/120 day time frame.  You can pause and re-start at your convenience as well.  The 90/120 days starts from the moment the user registers for the ccp site (which is after they pay). So, one may pay for a module but wait to register until they are ready to start.
Are print outs or notes that attached to the modules?
There aren't printouts, but the course supplements/documents are displayed online for you to read/review.

"Keep up the quality work, can't wait to learn more. Thank-you OPT Team you have done an amazing job at educating and helping your peers."
Heather Gillespie, Co-Owner/Coach, CrossFit Lethbridge

"Fantastic course. Tons of useful information, all of it immediately applicable to training and coaching at my own box."
Tyler Sanden, Co-Owner/Coach, CrossFit Athlete Inside

"I can see how this coaching program will far exceed all the other 'training' courses that are out there. I learned so much this weekend - thank-you, James!"
Megan Chernesky, Calgary, AB

"It was extremely valuable. I learned more valuable info in 2 days than in full year of traditional teaching in college. The usability is key and very exciting for the future of fitness and overall health."
David Weaver, Inner Icon Fitness
Lead Coach/co-owner

"I think the directions James is going is the future of personal training."
Parker Scott Craig, Desoto CrossFit

"These seminars are going to be the new standard of excellence."
Geoff Aucoin, OPT Coach

"Scored the overall event “10 out of 10."
CJ Martin, CrossFit Invictus

"Information has real life value."
Chantal Theberge, CrossFit Calgary Coach

"Possibly the most informative seminar I’ve been to…. I came away with countless nuggets."
Scott Hagnas, CrossFit Portland Owner/Coach

"Was a very useful process for me to go through. It opened my eyes more than I thought. It is always great to come to something that challenges me both mentally and physically."
Colin Hill, High School Educator
Calgary, AB

"I love how all info covered was immediately useful and implementable."
Chad Benko, CrossFit Saskatoon Owner/Coach

"Seeing the progressions used in assessment and being able to practice and apply them to others was very helpful in learning. Can’t wait to dig into the other modules - Fantastic event."
Dutch Lowy,, Owner/Coach

"I learned more about myself in relation to the material that I will be able to apply to others. It’s a honor to be in the program."
Nancy Mansolino, Financial Coach, Calgary, AB

"I feel like this module will save me years of trial and error in coaching. The people I coach will benefit from my attendance on Monday."
Kris Hallee, CrossFit Calgary Coach

"Phenomenal stuff!! I love adding more tools to the tool box and I have a bunch more to test drive after this weekend."
Jeremy Myers, owner Projectfit,
Trainer Crossfit Littleton

"I thought the seminar was very organized and well thought out. James attention to detail and scientific approach to fitness and overall well-being sets this seminar apart from the rest. The information in the assessment module is the perfect primer for the seminars yet to come and the real-life application is key. As amazing as this seminar was, I can't wait for the remaining seminars."
Trish Davis, CrossFit San Diego Coach

"I think the most valuable aspect was the energy training and science behind it. It really opened my eyes to what “training” to get better vs. just doing random shit is all about. Learning how to individualize the program to each person was priceless."
Colin Jenkins, CrossFit Ventura Co-Owner/Coach

"Spending the time with James is broadening my growth as an athlete, coach and human being. The program is the bees knees in fitness. THANKS MATE."
Ben Kelly, CrossFit Performance Owner/Coach