When your members describe your gym, what do they talk about? What services would they tell someone that you offer? Here’s a test: ask 10 clients to describe your business/the services you provide you in 20 seconds. If they don’t mention nutrition, you need to assess where nutrition is on your priority list in your business.
Over the past 4 years, I’ve been doing free calls with gym owners. I do about 15 free calls per week. When you do the math, it’s a LOT of free calls! 😉 Talking to gyms about how they can make nutrition a bigger priority in their business during these calls is one of my favorite parts of the business.
Through these calls, I have discovered the same foundational problem is occurring with almost every one of these gyms. They say, “I know nutrition is important but I don’t know how to talk about it beyond what’s worked well for me.” Or, “We run nutrition challenges 1-2 times per year. Nutrition falls to the wayside after the challenge is over.”
If CrossFit is based on the fitness pyramid and nutrition is the foundation of the fitness pyramid, why isn’t it a pillar in their business?
Nutrition will never be seen as a priority if you don’t make it one. I wrote an article last year for the CrossFit Journal, Building Clients Upside Down. It was translated into eight different languages. It talked about building hybrid memberships and starting the nutrition conversation on day 1.
The fact is, within your business, the nutrition conversation needs to start well before a hybrid OnRamp.
One of the gyms running our nutrition program came to visit us over the holidays and I had the opportunity to sit with him and talk about the nutrition program training he just finished and how we make nutrition a pillar within our company. The first question he asked was, “How do I make nutrition part of the culture?” Then he said, part of that was answered while I was taking your class this morning.
You see, the question of the day that day was “How many calories do you consume on a daily basis?” Everyone went around the room and answered. Most people at our gym know the answer to that because they log their food (or have in the past). It sparked a conversation about MyFitnessPal and what people were surprised about when they started logging their food. The coach knows little facts they can talk about after the question is answered by everyone (the facts are written in the coach’s notes to ensure consistency).
A few days later, I was coaching a class and the question of the day was “What is one thing you are leaving behind in 2018?” EVERYONE in the class answered the weight they lost/bad eating habits they gave up throughout the course of the year. I joked that they only said that because I was coaching and I’m always preaching about nutrition, but it was the truth. They know nutrition is important because we talk about it weekly, if not daily.
Nutrition is at the core of our box. When people walk into our facility, they see a giant nutrition board with success stories, recipes, a nutrition athlete of the month and a fun fact. We post nutrition tips through our social media. We have a recipe page which is the most visited page on our website. Everyone on our email list receives a nutrition email weekly – helping not selling. When someone goes to our website, you will see nutrition programs and services immediately.
The message is clear: nutrition is important and we are here to help. When they are ready, they KNOW to come to us.
Changing the culture takes time. The first thing you can start with is incorporating nutrition into the conversation. Invite your existing members in to sit down for goal setting sessions. Ask them about their short and long-term goals then get to their WHY. You should test their biometrics and help them understand how nutrition will play a role in achieving their goals. They need to understand WHY nutrition is important and it is your job to explain that to them.
If you are like the hundreds of gyms who have asked us for help and want a system without reinventing the wheel, book a free call >> HERE.
Make nutrition a pillar in your business in 2019!
Nicole Aucoin, MS, RD
Founder, Healthy Steps Nutrition
Home of CrossFit HSN and HSN Mentoring