Sleep: Where it all Begins

If there was one thing that could have the biggest impact on the quality of your day, either positive or negative, what would be your answer? I know for me and for many people the answer would be: sleep.

Sleep will impact your: energy levels, mood, food cravings, workout quality, brain function, blood sugar levels, and much more. But, the most important impact it will have is on your Rhythm!

Circadian Rhythm is our internal clock based on the rise and fall of the sun and moon. It’s how we operate on a daily basis determined by our wake and sleep cycles as well as other factors. It is the universal rhythm of the earth that impacts every living organism. It is imperative that we find some balance within our own circadian rhythm so that we can function to our very best abilities.

3 Tips to Optimize Circadian Rhythm and Improve your Sleep


#1. Go to bed and wake up the same time every day. Whether you sleep 7, 8 or 9 hours per night (optimal range), see if you can make it a habit of routinely going to bed the same time every night and waking up the same time every morning. You’re mind and body will like this daily rhythm.


#2. Get plenty of sunlight during the day and avoid blue light at night. As the sun rises in the morning, so should we. Additionally if we can get outside in the morning or afternoon, this will help set our internal clock for the day. Allow as much sunlight to come in through your eyes (no sunglasses) and on your skin as you can. This is even more important for us living in the Northeast this time of year as the days are getting shorter.

At night time as the sun is setting, we should start to shut down. Unwind our minds and bodies and avoid blue light at least 2-3 hours prior to bedtime. Blue light comes off of anything with a screen and tricks our bodies into thinking it’s still daylight. If you are using your phone, computer, tablet or watching TV, throw on some blue light blocking glasses to avoid the blue light at night and allow your sleep hormone, melatonin to set in so that you can get a restful nights sleep.


#3. Eat your meals at the same time every day. Just like the rhythm of your sleep, you should try and time your meals to be consumed at the same time every day. Dedicate a 30-45 min block of time where you can schedule each of your meals for the day and be consistent with eating those meals on a regular basis. If you eat 3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), maybe it would look something like this:

8am: Breakfast

1pm: Lunch

6pm: Dinner

Again, to reiterate, as human organisms, we crave rhythm and anything we can do to create rhythm on a daily basis with consistency will help us in improving our sleep which will also have a trickle down effect in all areas of our life.

Click HERE to learn more about how to optimize your health with our Basic Lifestyle Guide.

Interested in seeing what a personalized plan would look like for you? Schedule a free consultation with an OPEX South Shore coach.

Why we Assess - Building the Foundation

Program design without an assessment is just guessing. Group programming is NOT focused on the individual. Personalized programming IS focused on the individual. Our goal is to provide the very best coaching and to do so we must assess. Being a personalized fitness gym we understand the importance of the assessment and so should you. 



To progress each client correctly, we must know where you are starting from. Through baseline strength testing, movement screening, and cardiovascular insight, we will be able to gain enough information to see where your starting point is. Knowing this will allow us to make a long-term game-plan that is always progressing you towards your goals. 



Our assessment is broken down into three sessions: Body, Move and Work. 

"Body" is a comprehensive body composition scan using our InBody 270 machine to gather feedback on: body fat mass, muscle mass, water (hydration), percent body fat, segmental weight breakdown, basal metabolic rate, and more. 

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"Move" is strength testing and movement analysis. Having baseline strength numbers is a great way to track progress from the very beginning. Testing includes upper body and lower body pushing and pulling testing to show strength relative to each area. The results of this will play a big role in prioritizing the weaker areas in your program design. During the movement analysis (joint range of motion), you'll be tested based on right vs. left side differences. With any imbalances that are recognized there will be exercises placed into your program to correct it. 


"Work" is testing the aerobic system. Just like strength testing, it is important to know where your starting point is for cardiovascular system. Based on the results, we'll be able to program your aerobic work appropriately in a progressive manner. 




The assessment allows you and your coach to have 3 full sessions together fully focused on gathering as much information as possible to then put a plan in place. The assessment is the building blocks for the coach-client relationship to grow. Knowing as much about you, not only for your coach, but for yourself as well, is important so that both you and your coach are aligned and have a clear vision of a longterm plan. Having clear and honest expectations upfront and seeing the steps necessary to reach your goals allows that trust to build. A strong coach-client relationship is a top priority for us as we believe it to play a key role in you seeing results over the lifespan of your personal fitness journey. 



This is where the magic happens! Taking what we've learned in the assessment and knowing what your goals are, we can now align everything into a plan that is personalized for you. Your fitness program is an expression of you, your lifestyle and goals. Our mission is for all of our clients to look and feel their very best and to do so, it all must start with the assessment. The program design is an evolution over time. As you evolve and progress, so does your fitness plan.


Know where you sit, make a plan, progress forever...


Onwards and Upwards,

Bobby Scott 

Owner/Head Coach

Client Spotlight: Matt Bryer - Family Man/Firefighter

Matt is a husband, father and firefighter. His goals are to: build functional strength, decrease body fat and stay healthy and fit for life. His WHY is because he understands the importance of this to perform highly at his job, be a good husband and have the energy and longevity to be the best father he can be.


Matt has a solid background in fitness from playing sports at a young age and through high school. He’s been lifting weights since his early twenties, has 8 years of CrossFit experience and has tried various group style strength and conditioning gyms. 


However, within the last few years, Matt has been injured several times when in the CrossFit/Group model which has taken him away from fitness and forcing him to take time off from work. He wants to stay healthy so that he can have consistency around his training long-term and not have to take time off work anymore due to his injuries. 


When sitting down and talking to Matt initially, we spoke about how we will provide a plan for him specifically that meets him where he is at and progress him properly so that he stays healthy and to re-program him to think long-term. He admittedly said that he’s always looked for the fast-track plan as he tends to fall out of training (due to being hurt) and wants to get back to where he was quickly. We talked about the importance of allowing change to happen naturally and to trust the process. We also spoke about his job being a high stress job, having a young child (and another on the way) and how we need to match his intensity in training to his life. He enjoyed that conversation and understood a plan that is low(er) intensity with progressive weight training and easy aerobic will serve him well. 


We have now laid out a long-term plan for Matt that he can get behind and trust as he visualizes his future moving forward as a plan that will fit perfectly into his life so that he can achieve life-long fulfillment. 



Since training at OPEX South Shore, Matt has dropped nearly 3 percent body fat in 6 months, put on muscle and hasn't missed a day of work from being injured. He's enjoying life during the summertime at the beach with his family and friends and feeling fulfilled through his personalized fitness plan and the results he is seeing. 


Matt is a big part of the OPEX Family that is growing here in the South Shore and we are so excited to be a part of his personal growth in fitness and life. 



If you are like Matt and want to find that balance between looking your very best and finding true fulfillment in your life through health and fitness, then start your journey and become a part of the OPEX Family.

Onwards and Upwards!


Owner/Head Coach,

Bobby Scott

What Is OPEX?

OPEX is how we deliver fitness to all of our clients. OPEX is customized fitness in a team environment. Every client has the full support a coach off the floor, but they have the guidance of a coach on the floor as they train with the rest of the gym community each day.

Instead of just telling you what it is, it’s more impactful to show you!

One Client

You are our top priority, and we are here to ensure you not only have a great experience, but that you enjoy life more in AND out of the gym.

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One Coach

You deserve to have a coach who knows exactly where you “sit” with your training in the gym as well as your enjoyment and progress out of the gym. OPEX Coaches are professionals who help guide your health and fitness journey for the long-run. 


One Community

Just because you have the full support of a coach off the gym floor and the guidance of a coach on the gym floor doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy your time in the gym with your friends and community. In an OPEX Gym, you’ll enjoy each day while you continue progressing for years!


Your OWN Experience

OPEX Coaches help guide your experience, they don’t force you into theirs. Everybody is unique; they have different wants and needs. The beauty of the OPEX Experience is that your coach designs your fitness experience to make sure that you are aligned to enhance your life in and out of the gym.



How Does OPEX Help You Get There?


Monthly Consultations

For us to give you an outstanding experience where you progress for years, we need to connect with you off the gym floor each month so that we can make sure that we are continuing to work toward YOUR goals given where life is at this moment for you.


Full Assessments

You will hear us say “Assess, don’t guess.” Until we understand where you are physically, we will NEVER design a training program for you. It’s through the assessment that we go through OPEX’s BMW System of – Body, Move, and Work. We will get a 360-degree view of where your program should begin. After you complete each training phase, we will reassess you so that we are always in alignment with you.

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Your OWN Fitness Program Customized Exclusively For You

OPEX is globally recognized as a leader in fitness program design. Your program needs to ensure that you progress properly. If poorly done, you would face injury or stagnancy. OPEX Coaches are Professionals who will see to it that your program helps you achieve your goals ongoing year round.


Nourishment For A Lifetime

It would be foolish to give you a complex nutrition plan before you master the basics. Not only will we you find the perfect basics, we will also help you progress how you take care of yourself in and out of the gym so that you reduce stress, and improve the results you get in and out of the gym.


OPEX is more than just fitness to us.

It’s a constant evolution to live a larger life through fitness.


your coach,

Bobby Scott



OPEX Fitness South Shore

"Professional Fitness Coaching Customized to YOUR Success!"

Tracking Mary's Success: Part 2

Mary FLR

Mary had a great first month and a tough second month. As a mother with a full-time job, life can get challenging at times. Things can start to pile up and get you out of your rhythm but it's important to know that health and fitness is a long game and you must always keep working at it even when life gets busy. Two vacations followed by getting knocked out for a week with a bad cold will throw you off course a bit, which is what happened to Mary. 

Our 1 month consultation showed that Mary had gained about 2lbs of muscle and lost almost 3lbs of fat which brought her body fat percentage down by over 1 percentage point. Pretty good for just 4 weeks with a beginner strength plan!

The second month check-in revealed exactly what she and I both thought it would. The lack of consistency because of all the things mentioned above lead to loss in muscle by about 2lbs, increase in fat by about 2lbs and body fat percentage back up to where it started. It's good to see and a good motivating factor to know that consistency really matters and getting back into the groove is top priority. 

This was actually great for Mary to experience because its TRUTH and REAL LIFE. Things happen whether we want them to or not. I'm sure many moms and busy adults can totally relate to this! The good news is, with the OPEX model of fitness, we have monthly one-on-one consults with coach and client. This is where we are able to discuss what happened in the previous month and make new goals for the upcoming month. 

A couple pieces of homework I gave Mary outside of just making an effort to be more consistent is to:

1. increase protein in her diet through natural sources of quality foods.

2. no added sugar for a full month until next consultation for our monthly check-in.

Simple and achievable pieces of homework are important. These will be the top two focus points for the next month and I'm sure we'll be seeing some great results. 

Onwards and upwards for Mary as she continues to work towards her goals of running her first 100k race, being a great Mom and finding consistency within her work/life balance.

your coach,

Bobby Scott



OPEX Fitness South Shore

"Professional Fitness Coaching Customized to YOUR Success!"

Tracking Mary's Success - Part 1: Her Story


Mary is a very busy 36 year old mother and wife as well as a full-time manager of a running apparel store and is looking to improve her fitness and health.

How does she do it? ----> Her first step: Hire a professional coach to write her programming for her...

Mary has been kind enough to allow us to provide insight into her training plan from the beginning and track her progress along the way.

This will be the first time Mary will work with a personal coach that aligns her goals to her life and fitness plan. She has followed some basic workout/running programs in the past, but nothing specific to her needs or goals. 

We found some good information in her initial consultation. She's ultimately training to run and finish her first 100k trail race along with getting stronger, losing fat, and improve her energy levels and sleep patterns.

Mary's personal assessment revealed some weaknesses between right leg and left leg which could ultimately be an issue for running patterns and staying injury free. Corrective exercises in her program will allow her to address these discrepancies. She also showed to be much stronger in front loaded/knee bending exercises in comparison to hip hinging/posterior exercises. Making sure her hamstrings and glutes develop will be a priority within her strength program. 

Predictably, Mary is much stronger aerobically than anaerobically. Her background in distance running proves to be much more developed than her high energy output aerobic system. Getting her stronger will allow her to produce more power which will help when running the hills on her trail runs. 

We've mapped out Mary's training plan over the course of the next month. We'll be sharing Mary's results to her training plan on a monthly basis. You'll be able to get insight into her body fat percentage, strength gains, and how she is feeling during the course of her training plan as she approaches running her first ever 100k race!

We'll check back in soon... See you then!

your coach,

Bobby Scott



OPEX Fitness South Shore

"Professional Coaching Customized to YOUR Success!"

Wellness and Stress Management Part 2

Last week we went over why it was so important to look at the big picture when trying to live optimally and manage stress. It’s not just one area of your life that you need to manage, it’s the entire system that has to be in balance in order to work, play and feel at your best. In the last post, we talked about the importance of Water and Circadian Rhythm/Sleep Patterns. Today, I will complete the picture with how important Nutrition/Digestion and Exercise are.



To start, we need to think about what happens when we eat certain foods. What were we, as humans, meant to consume? Around the end of WWII, we saw an enormous growth in manufacturing of items in our country, including the food industry. Things were becoming mass produced and the food companies jumped on board. “How can we make more food, faster and cheaper”? The answer was to create shortcuts. Create foods that didn’t have “real” ingredients because it was cheaper that way. Fast forward to today and what have we seen? We’ve seen a huge increase in fat gain and many new “modern day” diseases. We have to look at food and what is in it as a huge part of the problem.

So, what can we do to make sure we stay healthy, fit and reduce stress within our bodies? We need to start by eating REAL foods. Vegetables that come from our soil, fruit that grows on trees, animals that roam the land, swim in the sea and fly through the air. We want to consume highly nutritious foods so that we can function to the best of our abilities.

We can all probably agree that protein is good for us. It helps aid in recovery and promotes lean muscle mass which increases metabolism and burns fat. All good things! Try and stick to clean sources or protein. Local is best and then organic. Eat wild game, fish, and poultry.

Fats come with some confusion. For a while there ALL fat were considered bad due to unknowledgeable and powerful voices. Unfortunate for us, as just about the entire food industry started making fat free/low fat versions of everything. This just made us even more unhealthy as those foods were sucking out nutritious fat and injecting fillers and chemicals. We became even more sick and overweight. I think we are finally coming around to see that there is a lot of good that comes from many sources of fat. For healthy fats, stick to the OMEGA 3’s like fish, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, grass fed butter, nut butters, etc… And AVOID these types of fats: OMEGA 6’s like hydrogenated oils (canola oil, palm oil, safflower oil). These oils are in almost everything packaged or canned so look at ingredient list when purchasing.

Carbohydrates (sugar) can really affect your digestive health in a negative way. The carbs that come from anything that is not natural, things that are packaged will most likely have added, processed sugar. This creates inflammation in your gut which creates stress. This is just another way stress can impact your body. For carbs, focus on veggies and some fruit for a healthy balance.



Stress comes in many ways, and if you are not taking care of your gut and not breaking down your food and/or eating the right foods then your gut will become inflamed which will cause stress and increased fat gain. First, you must really focus on the breakdown of your food. That starts in the process of actually preparing and cooking your meals. Your digestion starts with saliva in your mouth from just smelling the foods (think Thanksgiving food prep and watering mouths as you smell the delicious foods cooking). That’s where it begins and it’s a great start so prepare and cook your meals as often as possible. Next, you want to make sure when you actual go to eat your meal that you chew and CHEW and CHEW a lot. Chew 30-40 times per bite to really breakdown your foods before it enters your gut. This is huge for the health of your digestion and gut. How many of you actually chew 30-40 times per bite? Not many. And finally, put yourself in an environment that is quiet and relaxed. Eating should be enjoyable with family and friends or a peaceful setting. Try to avoid high stressful environments when eating – no TV, or phone. Put those away and be aware and be in the moment when you eat and enjoy!



The biggest thing with exercise is we want it to enhance your life. We don’t want exercise to be another stressor. In order to do this, we need to take each individual at their own starting point and progressing them with a customized workout plan. This is why we believe each person requires their own plan. This way we can insure that you are not overdoing it or creating additional stress in your life and that we can align all other factors of your life into your workouts so that you find the perfect balance.

Move daily for blood flow. Very important to move blood through your body. Ways to do this are to lift weights, walk, run, hike, swim, bike, etc… or a combination of these is a great prescription for managing stress. The benefits of this is to elevate endorphins which give you that “high” after a good training session which will also help calm the nervous system and leave you feeling full of vigor! It’s important to have a consistent approach with exercise and to seek some guidance for where to start and how to progress. You really want to avoid pushing too hard with too much intensity which could add extra stress and a breakdown of your body and nervous system over time. Most training sessions should fall in the 70% range of overall effort. This will leave you feeling energized after a workout, not tired or deflated.

How We Can Help

OPEX South Shore is a gym that provides not only a complete fitness plan but also nutrition and life coaching on an individual basis. We want to know what you are made of, where your strengths and weaknesses are and align all of this with what your own unique goals are.

Step 1. Consultation – a conversation around your background, where you currently sit, your goals and why those goals are important to you. We believe for long term growth of our clients there needs to be a solid foundational relationship built between client and coach and this is the perfect start for that relationship to begin and grow.

Step 2. Three Part Assessment: BODY, MOVE, WORK

  • Session 1. Body fat analysis on the InBody machine: what are you made of?
  • Session 2. Movement Analysis for proper mechanics, strength testing, proper alignment and joint mobility and balance.
  • Session 3. Aerobic/Cardiovascular testing and comparison between Anaerobic and Aerobic systems.

Step 3. You receive your comprehensive, customized plan and execute that plan at our facility or at the convenience of your own gym if we are not in traveling distance.

Step 4. Monthly consultations are consistent once every month and are ongoing. These consults are to check in, re-test or go over food logs, lifestyle changes, etc…

Please reach out to us for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you!


Wellness and Stress Management

I recently gave a presentation on this topic to a local accounting firm just south of Boston. I really enjoyed engaging with the participants there who all seemed very interested and had many questions. To start with how to incorporate overall health and wellness to managing stress, you have to look at the big picture. So many things can cause stress: lack of sleep, relationships, work, bad eating habits, poor digestion, over exercising, not exercising, and the list goes on. Because I received such wonderful feedback I wanted to share some of the main points here so everyone can get an idea on where a starting point is for overall wellness and how it can help manage day to day stressors.

For today’s blog post, I’d like to go over the first two topics: Water and Circadian Rhythm/Sleep. Stay tuned for next week as I will finish up with the topics of: Nutrition/Digestion and Exercise.

Basic Rules to Live by to Help Manage Stress


Water is ESSENTIAL – you need to consume ½ your bodyweight in ounces at MINIMUM. Do you drink that much? How much do you drink? Good to know these things so you can figure out how much more you need to drink and plan for it. For those that are active and sweat – you need to consume even more. We are made of about 55-65% Water!

Quality of water is important – start with the cleanest source:

  1. Natural Spring Water – constant flow = higher charge. Think of yourself as a battery and the water is the charge – the higher the charge the better the battery runs. Water that is flowing holds a more positive charge than water that is sitting still. So, the natural spring water is a great choice to hold that higher charge.
  2. Glass Bottled Water – always try to drink from glass, not plastic. Plastic, especially if heated can release many toxic chemicals harmful to our health. Glass is a much better choice and is more environmentally friendly.
  3. Bottled Water – Essentia, Fuji, Smart Water are some good choices as they hold an optimal PH level. Essentia has a PH of 9.5.


If you are physically active, try to consume electrolytes daily. Electrolytes essentially are salts and they carry an electrical charge to aid in muscle contractions. Coconut Water is an excellent natural source of electrolytes (Harmless Harvest my favorite). Also, Nuun Electrolyte Tablets are easy and a good source to get some quick electrolytes after a workout.

Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Patterns


Circadian Rhythm defined: A 24 hour cycle of all living beings on earth that is determined by the rise of the sun.

Balance is essential in managing stress and there is no better balance than the balance of the earth. Circadian rhythm has many influences on the human body including: sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, body temperature and other important bodily functions. Not being in touch with the rhythm on the earth can have many negative side effects including various sleep disorders and insomnia. It is very important to be in touch with the rhythm of the earth’s cycle – rise with the sun and go to bed with the moon. An excellent daily practice is to get morning sun exposure not only on your skin but more importantly through your eyes (so leave the sunglasses at home) – go for a walk, hike, run outside or just spend about 10 minutes outside first thing every morning as close to sunrise as possible. This will set your clock for the day.

Optimizing sleep patterns will have a huge impact on recovery and relieving stress – one of the best things you can do! Tips for optimizing consistent sleep:

  • Get early morning sun exposure.
  • Avoid technology after sun goes down. Blue light (all screens) will trick your body into thinking it’s still daytime which will mess with melatonin, the hormone that controls sleep and wake cycles.
  • If you have to use technology after sunset, you can wear blue light blocking glasses or use a filter to block blue light from your eyes. Also, red light or amber light is a GOOD color for tapping into melatonin and creates the opposite affect that blue light does. It is very relaxing and will allow you to fall into a deeper sleep. Build a fire or have a candle near-by before bedtime.

To be continued...Next week: Nutrition/Digestion and Exercise