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We either do or don’t, want to or not. The idea of doing something substantial enough to have an impact keeps me moving forward.” – Carl Hardwick


For OPEX CEO Carl Hardwick, movement is life. This 3-time All-Conference college football player and former U.S. Army medic has dedicated his career to helping those around him find their ideal version of fitness. Now, even off the gridiron and the battlefields, Carl tirelessly gives his all to helping those around him thrive.

We sat down with Carl to uncover his vision for the coaching profession and learn more about how he is leading OPEX Fitness in the direction of that vision.

A three-time All-Conference football player at Saint Mary’s University, Carl has long been fascinated by sport, performance and coaching. 

After earning his B.S. in Exercise Physiology, Carl furthered his education with world-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin and completed the PICP and his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) qualification. 

A U.S Army Veteran, it was while running the Army fitness program for his battalion that Carl was introduced to OPEX Founder James FitzGerald. Sold by the OPEX individual program design approach, Carl went on to complete CCP and then to open multiple OPEX-licensed gyms before accepting a position as OPEX CEO.




Q: What is your long-term vision for the coaching profession?

A: To see the professional coach defined as someone who is educated and experienced in delivering consistent success to their clients. Someone who is valued enough to earn a thriving wage and is able to coach full-time. Someone who moves the profession forward by teaching their clients how to be autonomous in and out of the gym.


Q: How has your leadership evolved the focus, products and services of OPEX?

A: Not sure if this has anything to do with my leadership, but we are always looking at what is going to continue to add value to the coach. What can help coaches do what they do best while removing barriers in technology and education.


Q: What differentiates OPEX from other players in the fitness and coaching space?

A: It’s tough to speak for other companies, but we are driven by proving value to the coach and teaching them how to make an impact in their communities through simple, sustainable, and impactful exercise, lifestyle, and behavior practices.


Q: What concerns you most about the current fitness industry landscape?

A: The race to the bottom and devaluing game that a lot of coaches are playing and the idea that technology will fix all of our societal health problems.


Q: What key principles have stood the test of time as you have transitioned from athlete, to student, to military professional, to coach- coach of coaches, and now CEO of a forward thinking company in the industry? 


Have moral values that hold you accountable

Always have clear intentions

Learn every day

Practice what you preach, while only preaching what you practice

Move every day


Q: What was your inspiration for developing CoachRx and what was the process like?

A: We built CoachRx to solve a lot of problems we’ve had with delivering prescriptions, communicating, and coaching clients in other platforms, as well as to provide an all-in-one coaching business solution to limit the amount of platforms coaches have to be beholden to. We have come a long way over the past few years and still have a long way to go, but it has been a fulfilling challenge building the platform.


Q: What keeps you motivated?

A: I am not a huge proponent of the idea of ‘motivation’. We either do or don’t, want to or not. The idea of doing something substantial enough to have an impact keeps me moving forward.





Enjoy these clips of Carl in action, teaching, speaking, and sharing his knowledge with coaches worldwide. If you are interested in having Carl speak at an event, join a podcast, or contribute in any way please contact



Watch OPEX CEO & Coach Carl Hardwick in action with this highlight list of free educational videos or learn with him on OPEX LearnRx and Professional Coaching Courses.

LearnRx Courses by Carl Hardwick

Program Design Essentials: Tempo, Reps, Sets, Rest

What is Energy System Training?

Understanding Movement Pairing and Their Intentions

Hey Coach Try This: Fixing the Pull Up

Fitness Q+A | Live a Larger Life



Read some of OPEX CEO & Coach Carl Hardwick’s articles and gain insight into all things program design and business of coaching. 

Recession-Proof Your Coaching Practice

Finding Balance Through Systems 

The Principles Of Concurrent Training



Carl is one of the most accessible leaders in the industry, always willing to connect with another coach to raise the standard of the coaching profession.

Email Carl directly

Follow Carl on Instagram 

Learn from Carl in LearnRx and OPEX CCP


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