HSN Gym Spotlight: 352 Fitness and Nutrition

Meet Owner and Nutrition Coach, Dez Muir. Dez runs 352 Fitness and Nutrition in Gainesville, Florida with her husband. Dez manages her full time career as an Zoological Medicine Vet Tech while being a nutrition to coach to more than 19 nutrition clients! Read more about how 352 Fitness and Nutrition has had success with the HSN program in less than 6 months time.

1. What led to the success of your nutrition program?

It is rooted in a simple foundation: I want people to succeed and I love seeing pictures of food! The approach my husband and I have always tried to take with our gym, is to remember that we were gym members first. We try to base the decisions we make in the gym on how the results will look to the members. I try hard to implement this perspective with my nutrition program; I was a nutrition client before I ever took my first nutrition course or started working with HSN. I remember how I felt nervous about taking and sending progress pictures, how I was afraid to ask questions, how I wasn’t sure if I was being heard. When I meet with a client, I make sure to listen to and understand their goals, and where they are in the process of achieving them. I do not want my clients to feel that I just repeat a set dialog to everyone, because this is an individual plan. I am constantly thinking about what kind of support and feedback worked best for me when I was a new client, and it always came back to feeling seen and heard. Because everyone is so different, I am constantly learning by finding solutions specific to each client’s goals.

2. You are a full-time Zoological Medicine Vet Tech and have at least 19 nutrition clients consistently, how are you able to juggle both roles?

I have always had a job in a career that I love and consider myself a perpetual student, even when I am in the roles of teacher at the vet school or coach at the gym. I have worked in Veterinary medicine since 2006, and it can be a very rewarding career but it is also notoriously stressful. When I found CrossFit in 2013, it became the cornerstone of my self care routine. When I leave work at the end of the day, I do not feel like I am going to a second job when I am on my way to meet with a nutrition client; I consider my job as a nutrition coach and important part of my self care. I have the unique opportunity of having all of my clients to keep me accountable with my own nutrition and fitness goals, so that I can try to be someone they trust to come to for guidance. There is truth in walking the walk, and there is accountability in helping others stay accountable. And I love it!

3. What advice would you give someone who has a full-time job and is also a nutrition coach?

This job is good for your well being. Helping others stay accountable with their nutrition will encourage you to stay on top of your game, and from that perspective it will not seem like you are taking on a second job, but rather using your time to help others succeed.

4. How has adding nutrition coaching to your facility affected your gym?

The majority of my clients are members of the gym, and since they have been honing in on their nutrition they are constantly establishing new performance based goals that are popping up on the PR board! There are more conversations about pre and post workout nutrition happening amongst all members; snack tips, favorite protein go-tos and recipe sharing at the gym and on Instagram. Additional revenue aside, it has improved the overall client experience, by expanding the conversation past just the strategy for the workout, to the fuel and recovery aspect of fitness.

5. If you could advise a gym owner or nutrition coach running a nutrition program what would it be?

If your client asks you a question you do not know the answer to, do not be afraid to tell them that you have to do some research and will get back to them. Do the research and report back, thanking them because you have learned something new in the process. We are here to provide them with support and accountability, not to act like we know everything. I think your clients will always appreciate your honesty during any interaction, and this will strengthen the client-coach relationship. When you have someone nervous to send you progress pictures, try to gently encourage them to still take and keep them themselves until they are ready, but to send you instead, pictures of their work they are proud of; their meal prep for the week, or a meal they prepared using the Plate Method. Progress pictures by definition are proof of progress; they are meant to provide people with motivation. The beginner’s meal prep vs a seasoned pro meal prep is also a good reminder to them of how far they have come. Likely when they look back at the past food photo, they will remember how much money they spent that grocery trip and all of the things they learned since that led to spending much less money regularly on meal prep. This is the kind of success that everyone is interested.

6. Do you feel that HSN Mentoring has provided you with a platform to have a successful program and to increase your gym revenue? If so, what 3 things provide the most benefit?

Yes! HSN had provided me with a wealth of information from the basics of the implementing good, sustainable nutrition to the specifics of catering to a client with dietary restrictions. Learning about and assigning Action Steps to both my clients and myself, has helped me tremendously in streamlining goals, keeping track of exactly how much progress is being made towards a goal, and acts as a stepping stone so that the next action step can be assigned and further progress can be made. HSN taught me to learn people’s Love Language. I will be honest, I knew this was a term people use, but I had never given it a second thought other than if someone had asked me knowing my true to myself response would be “food.” I had a very bid fear of meeting with clients who I didn’t already know from the gym. I felt imposter syndrome in a very real way. HSN taught me that getting to know someone’s love language is the first step in getting to know them. That meant that all the pressure build up I was feeling about having answers for someone as soon as they walk in the door. Lastly HSN has really driven home the importance of Accountability. In holding me accountable for check ins with my own mentor, I see first hand how important it is to always keep the conversation going, so that it never feels like you have to start over. I feel like a lot of my clients have experienced a diet or program that “worked” for them, but then they had to start over when it was over. I think HSN is making me well equipped to deliver a program that is sustainable, teaching my clients and I healthy habits that stick, and will have us avoid having to keep starting over, by staying accountable.

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About the author

Nicole Aucoin, MS, RD, LD/N

Founder, Healthy Steps Nutrition
Home of CrossFit HSN & HSN Mentoring

Author of Nourish & Healthy Kids Cookbook

Author of The Basics of Nutrition Coaching Course, CrossFit Preferred Nutrition Course

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer