During the 2022 CrossFit Games, Nicole Aucoin, Founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition, sat down with Mike Giardina to discuss how gym owners integrate nutrition coaching and wellness services into their CrossFit Affiliates.
By adding nutrition and accountability coaching, clients see better results, they stay longer, and the business adds a revenue stream.
Ultimately, the gym owner and CrossFit trainers can have a greater impact on their community to prioritize health.
As a Registered Dietitian working in the hospital, Nicole found herself on the opposite side of the sickness-wellness-fitness continuum. Instead of helping people prevent chronic disease, she found herself in a revolving door of patients who weren’t making meaningful change to take control of their health.
Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, said it best, “We sit collectively in unique possession … of a uniquely elegant solution to chronic disease. Each gym is a lifeboat in what is a tsunami of chronic disease, and it’s coming.”
With sixty percent of the population having at least one chronic disease and forty percent having two or more chronic diseases, CrossFit affiliates, gym owners, trainers, dietitians, mental health therapists, and other healthcare professionals are needed more than ever.
In this interview, Nicole talks about what she is doing to help fight the tsunami of chronic disease to help clients take control of their health.
What Can Gym Owners Do?
If you want your members to prioritize nutrition, you and your staff need to prioritize.
Here are a few ideas to help you prioritize nutrition inside your gym:
Share healthy recipes with your members in email and social media (Find healthy recipes HERE)
Share simple tips on your social media
Incorporate nutrition into your new member onboarding experience
If you offer 1:1 personal training sessions, incorporate nutrition education as part of the warm-up
If you offer group sessions, include nutrition education in your warm-up or cool down
If you do not offer a foundations program, add nutrition emails to a new member onboarding sequence
Prioritize nutrition during classes for existing members
How Have Gym Owners Partnered With Fellow Health Care Professionals?
At Healthy Steps Nutrition Mentoring, we recommend starting with the people who already know, like and trust you.
Do you have any members who are healthcare professionals?
Do you have any relationships with healthcare professionals in your community who would benefit from your services?
Here are two examples of how CrossFit gym owners have prioritized health inside their gyms:
Dr. Christina Migliara, a CrossFit Affiliate Owner in Jacksonville (CrossFit Tailwinds) and mental health therapist has combined fitness, mental health, and nutrition inside her gym to offer the total package.
Beth and Rob Young are longtime CrossFit Affiliate Owners (CrossFit Rockland) and have combined mental health, nutrition and exercise to provide their clients with a holistic coaching program.
Mary Cook, Co-Owner of CrossFit Swarm, lost 200 pounds. Listen to her story on Episode 11 of the Nutrition Made Simple Podcast HERE. She understand the power of nutrition and fitness first-hand. She left her corporate job to focus on support the nutrition and health coaching initiatives at her affiliate to help her gym get healthy.
Here are a few ideas of how you might partner with local healthcare professionals:
Offer a free virtual nutrition seminar for the staff at a local pediatrician’s office
Allow doctor’s offices to have patients book a free discovery call to learn more about your nutrition coaching program
Invite the staff of a local doctor’s office into your gym for a workout
Maybe you have a coach or member who is a healthcare professional and might be interested in collaborating with you.
What Is The Impact On Prioritizing Health Inside Your Gym Through Nutrition & Fitness Coaching?
Typically, your target audience for a gym is within 5-15 miles of the physical location. This limits the number of people who are your potential customers.
With nutrition coaching, you can expand your reach to much greater because clients are only coming into your facility for monthly follow-up visits. By offering nutrition-only services, you are able to support people outside of the walls of your gym.
Here are a few ways that we’ve had the opportunity to impact lives outside of gym members at Healthy Steps Nutrition & CrossFit HSN:
Employee Wellness (At Healthy Steps Nutrition, we work with many construction companies and their employees to provide 6-week challenges and ongoing nutrition/wellness programs)
Bridging the gap between Faith & Health: In 2022, Healthy Steps Nutrition partnered with Coastal Community Church to host a challenge with over 300 people focused on four healthy habits (nutrition, sleep, daily movement, and daily bible reading)
Nutrition Seminars at local businesses