OPEX Portland
Commit to the Journey
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Trainers

At Opex Portland, you will always have the support of a professional trainer, one to one. Your trainer will design your fitness experience so that you enjoy sustained progress in and out of the gym, flexibility of training times so that you control your schedule, and a trainer to client relationship that is second to none.

How will your trainer do that? They will begin by getting to know you through a consultation. As they get to know you better, they will know how to help you get the best results for yourself. OPEX trainers will “teach you how to fish” so that you empower yourself to succeed and improve.

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brian ligotti

For most of 2013 I suffered from debilitating back pain due to a weightlifting injury. The pain was so bad at one point I couldn't even tie my shoes. I spent the better part of a year looking for a way to get back to the gym. I spent a ton of money and a lot of time rehabilitating my back. Spending that year away from the gym was dark. I was depressed, put on weight and thought I might be “stuck like this forever.” This is one of the reasons that I opened OPEX Portland.

I am now stronger than before I hurt my back and I only continue to improve.

An exercise program that accounts for my past injury is what keeps me healthy and able to workout the way I want now I want to bring that hope to everyone that has ever been injured and is now sidelined.  

Fitness allowed me to find the piece of myself that could face anything and push through the discomfort. It showed me that there is nothing more important than my health. The people around me benefit the most when I’m taking care of myself. I want every client to be putting their best foot forward in all aspects of their lives, and I want to help them get past anything that is holding them back from being their best selves.

 

 

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annie

"My name is Annie Melewski, and I have been a crossfit trainer since 2015 and a weightlifting coach since 2016. Prior to that, I was a youth rock climbing instructor and a softball coach for a girl’s travel team. I received my BS in Biology and Chemistry from Quinnipiac University. I also am CrossFit Level 1 certified and USA Weightlifting Level 1 Certified.

I have always been an athlete with a competitive edge. I grew up playing every sport imaginable and when I reached High School had to make decision between dedicating myself to sports or being a normal kid. I chose to put all of my efforts into softball and learned at a younger age that goals take a lot of sacrifice and dedication. I played all the way through high school and walked onto my college team. I moved on to rock climbing as my next fitness endeavor and learned an entirely different definition of strength both physical and mental. After an injury, a friend recommended CrossFit and I decided to use it as means of rehabbing my injury.That’s really the beauty of CrossFit especially with more personalized focused - everything has an appropriate scaling option to give the same intended stimulus of a movement.

Over the years, that competitive side of me has transformed from wanting to compete against others to competing against myself - always striving to become a better me. The fitness field is where I have found my confidence, my passion, and my drive.

The thing I enjoy most about training others is seeing when people understand why fitness is so important. Whether it’s a sports performance goal or just overall better movement, walking into the gym is a step in the direction of wellness and longevity. I want my clients to find a confidence within them that allows for them to try new things outside of the gym.

I think that building a trusting relationship is the most important part of training. Genuinely getting to know members on a personal level and connecting with them makes you more human. This relationship opens up an amazing opportunity to change a person’s life because you get to know them in such a vulnerable state. I believe that a trainer should be the example for the gym - what members strive for. That means focus on good movement before heavy weights, mastering foundational movement before progressing to higher level movement, and heavy focus on a balanced lifestyle, rest/active recovery/good nutrition."

 

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Evan

My name is Evan Amell, and I graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and a minor in psychology. I’ve always had an interest in how body works in general. More specifically towards how different types of exercises stimulate different reactions within the body. Along with that, I’ve actively participated in more than a handful of sports in my lifetime but played 4 sports in high school that include golf, football, basketball, and baseball.  As an athlete, I’m always doing ongoing research on the latest techniques to aid in improving sport performance. I’ve been doing this since high school because I had high expectations for myself so I wanted to try to reach my peak performance level in every sport I played. This dedication and determination paid off when I became an all conference player in baseball.

To me, one of the most important aspects of personal training is to not be afraid to challenge your client. Workouts may get tough but that doesn’t mean to stop. Potential is not reached by being comfortable 100% of the time. It’s actually the opposite. I challenge my clients everyday to ensure that they are progressing because I care deeply that I’m giving them the high quality training they deserve.

As a fitness coach, I believe that at some point in time you should have the experience at being high level of fitness so you can learn from your mistakes and find out what worked for you when you were training at an elite level. If you yourself never reached a high level of fitness how do you expect to be able to bring someone else to that level?  Can education help? Of course.  Knowing the mechanisms of how certain types of exercising affect the body are essential for exercise programming.  In reality though, you should be able to relate to what it takes to reach that high level fitness that a client is striving for.

“Fitness isn’t about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than YOU used to be”.  I’ll live and die by that quote. I want to achieve what every client wants to achieve because that’s what I’m here to do- to offer solutions to what they aspire to do physically.

 

Kayla

"My name is Kayla Cavallaro and I am a recent graduate from the University of Maine, Orono with a degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science.

When I was in high school I suffered an ankle injury that ended my athletic career. I decided to start going to the gym and learning the basics of strength training. It was the most empowered I had ever felt, so I decided to run with it. I got a personal trainer who helped show me how rewarding the health and fitness industry can truly be. She taught me that fitness had the power to build me up and challenge me in ways I never knew existed. It was then that I decided to make it my college major and a permanent part of my life.

I have loved training since the day I started.  The two parts that I enjoy most are first, the look that clients get in their eyes when they finally achieve a goal, and second, the look that immediately follows that fulfillment that shows me that they are ready and excited to achieve another one. For  me, personal training is about so much more than lifting heavy weights. It’s about building a relationship with someone built on mutual trust and understanding. You get the opportunity to learn your clients fitness dreams and desires and to be there as a support system throughout the whole journey. It's about helping people when they are at their lowest point not to take the path of least resistance.

I believe that in order to be successful in this field I have to put time and thought into every program that I design so that it is customized to meet each individual's specific needs. My number one goal in this industry is to help people who have been injured or who are looking to be better so they can get back to doing what they love. I like to push my clients to their limits. My goal for my clients is to have them feel like they have stepped outside of their comfort zone and have seen the beginnings of what their bodies are truly capable of. I want them to have a deep rooted desire to be better than they were yesterday."