5 Ways to Simplify your Challenge while Maximizing Engagement



It’s challenge season! Most gyms are planning one for the new year.


While they are exciting for your members, they can be overwhelming for nutrition coaches. It is important  to remember that the purpose of a challenge is to offer a FUN and ENGAGING experience for our members to start their health and wellness journey by working on simple habits.

 If we are overwhelmed, then they might be too! 

From that perspective, how can we, as owners and coaches, simplify the challenge process even more so our purpose is clear?

Here are 5 ways to simplify your challenge while still maximizing engagement!

#1 Use the plate method instead of the meal plan

Have you ever distributed the challenge meal plan and then seen participants eyes grow wide from all the options? If you’re giving the meal plan, it’s crucial to explain that the intent is NOT to follow the days and weeks perfectly, but to use the plan as recipe ideas, to give structure to their day, and to show them what an appropriate serving size is based on their goals.


 Another option would be to omit the meal plan and instead emphasize the plate method – making small and sustainable changes to what they are currently doing. At times, these suggestions are accepted easier and you can avoid the numerous questions that come from meal plan distribution. 


These small changes translate well to individual nutrition coaching post-challenge, where the recommendations become personalized to the client and are no longer general in nature.

#2 Focus on ONE habit each week instead of many

A weekly tracker is a physical resource that challenge members use for personal accountability, but for some clients, tracking more than one habit at a time can be overwhelming. It can also be a lot of work collecting those results! 


Looking at trends of past nutrition clients, what four or six habits can you identify as the most common – the ones that take top priority and would work in a group setting? This may look like:

  • Hydration 
  • Adding 2 handfuls of veggies with lunch and/or dinner
  • Pairing carbs with protein for snacks
  • Adding stress relief to their day



Just remember to focus on ONE per week instead of many. When they nail those simple habits, this will have them feeling confident and excited to take those habits to the next level in individual coaching!

#3 Weekly nutrition talks or Q&As


It can be difficult to differentiate communication and accountability between challenge groups and individual nutrition clients. If this is your first challenge, or you have a number of first time “challengers” in an existing program, they may have a lot of questions to ensure they are on track with challenge expectations. 


One option is to batch those questions, comments, feedback points and address during a weekly nutrition talk (hosted via zoom) or doing a FaceBook live in your members group. Not only will the latter satisfy your challenge members’ questions, but it will also give some awesome free help to gym members that did not join the challenge – it could even entice them to continue the conversation about nutrition with you in a FREE nutrition consultation.


If the questions you are getting have a specific theme, it would be wise to organize that content into a 15-20 minute nutrition talk hosted via zoom – there are many presentations already offered to you in the Nutrition Talk module for HSN Mentoring Clients!

#4 Goal meetings with a virtual option

In today’s world, it’s clear that we need to offer in person AND virtual options to our clients. The same goes for pre and post challenge goal setting meetings. 


Offering a virtual option omits the added responsibility of taking biometrics – instead, we are steering members towards self-measurement and identifying another tangible way of tracking success —> like a goal outfit or performance in a standardized workout? 


Virtual meeting also means more flexibility in your schedule as you can host these from home when it’s convenient for you and your client. Offering virtual goal setting appointments ALSO means that you are saving on printing costs by emailing all challenge information to your member. 


That’s a huge time and money saver!

#5 Set a clear path to what happens post-challenge

Most coaches agree that the hardest part about a challenge are the conversion conversations that happen at the end. 


Make it easier on yourself! Start laying the framework of next expectations from day 1! 


The more you talk about the expectations post-challenge, the easier it will be to have those conversations and the higher your conversion rate will be! Talk about next steps a minimum of three times in your nutrition kick off seminar, highlight next steps in goal setting meetings and continuously draw attention to results on going coaching clients have seen over the months/years.

FREE Help Related To
Building A Nutrition Program In A Gym

  • READ: How To Recoup Cost Of Your Initial Investment With HSN Mentoring In Under 30-Days HERE
  • LISTEN: How To Build A Nutrition Program Into A CrossFit Gym HERE
  • LISTEN: Nutrition Made Simple Podcast – CrossFit, Nutrition & Your Health HERE
  • HSN Mentoring Gym Owner Highlight: Meet Barry & Jocelyn, Owners Of CrossFit Generation, a 14-year affiliate owner HERE

Are You Looking For A Template To Run A Nutrition Challenge In Your Gym?

This may sound like a lot of work, but at HSN Mentoring, we do the work for you so that you can focus on helping your clients! 

See how it works with HSN Mentoring HERE.


Save Time & Don't Reinvent The Wheel When Building A Nutrition Program From Scratch