You Are Losing Money by Offering FREE Nutrition Challenges

Every gym owner knows the importance of nutrition in helping their clients reach their goals. The problem is they aren’t sure how to structure a program or systemize it. 

I’ve heard too many times from gym owners that they offer free nutrition challenges and it’s like nails on a chalkboard. 

Here’s why:

1. Your clients don’t value what’s free. 

How many times have you started something that was free and then stopped a couple of weeks later after the excitement was over? Your clients aren’t going to put as much effort into a program that’s given to them, which means they aren’t going to see results. 

2. Your nutrition coach doesn’t put in the effort because they aren’t valued for their time. 

Running a challenge is a lot of work. It takes time for a nutrition coach to get initial and final biometrics, preparation, kickoff, continuing engagement and ongoing support throughout the challenge. If they aren’t being paid for their time, they aren’t going to put as much effort into it. On average, it takes about 3 hours of preparation, 1-2 hours weekly, and about one additional hour per client who signs up for a challenge. For example, if you ran a 28-day nutrition challenge and had 25 participants, it would be about 36 hours of work. I don’t know many people who would be willing to work 36-hours for free. 

3. Transitioning to paying clients is very difficult.

We recommend a challenge as a kickstart for a nutrition program and explaining from day one that this challenge is going to get you started but the magic happens with ongoing coaching. Clients pay $125/challenge then the price goes down to $99/month for ongoing coaching. The initial buy-in is higher than the ongoing rate while the personalized attention goes up drastically. It is VERY tough to get a client to start paying $99/month when they just got a glimpse of what it looks like for a month at no cost. 

The truth is a challenge should be a kickstart to an on-going nutrition coaching program. Gyms using the HSN Platform and who market the challenge as the starting point, not the end point, will have 75+ percent of people continue on with ongoing coaching. 

We do not recommend running challenges throughout the year, run one maybe two then guide participants to individual coaching memberships. This is where the magic happens. 

If you are ready to invest in your business to make nutrition a core offering, I want to help.

Book a free call today. 


Nicole Aucoin, MS, RD, LD/N
Founder, Healthy Steps Nutrition
Home of CrossFit HSN and HSN Mentoring