After five years of running nutrition challenges, Jake Maslin was fed-up with the trends he continually saw at CrossFit Code Red.
According to Maslin, many of the Box’s members would sign-up for the challenges, but he noticed some athletes would drop off in the middle, and others who finished the challenge would go right back to their old eating habits.
In recent years, he saw less and less members signing up for new challenges. He knew he needed to provide some sort of nutrition advice to his members. Nutrition challenges, while having the added benefit of keeping members not burnt out from the same diet plan, was not working for his Box.
So, as soon as the ball dropped in January 2016, Maslin implemented a year-long nutrition program, not challenge, for his members. “I’ve noticed with the challenges over the years, they’re fun and they do a great job at getting people engaged — whether it’s a five-week challenge or an eight-week challenge — but I don’t think it really creates a lifestyle change afterwards,” said Maslin. “That’s why we’re trying to focus more, this year, on implementing something that will hopefully be a full change in their nutrition.”
Maslin also says the program allows athletes to join anytime throughout the year. With challenges, he saw members not signing up if they knew they would be missing a portion of it due to vacations or other life events. Or, members would leave the challenge before it was over if they did not follow the plan for a week or two.
As for new members, the idea of the nutrition program allows for them to participate no matter what time of year they join CrossFit Code Red. It also means all members can jump back on the program even if they drop off for a week.
CrossFit Code Red began this program with a nutrition workshop that explained what the program will entail, and the Box plans to host nutrition workshops throughout the year to ensure that everyone is still following the whole foods plan.
And the members are holding themselves accountable. Maslin broke his members up into groups, making sure to include a member in each group who is experienced in nutrition challenges. That member would serve as a resource to those who have questions throughout the year about accountability or recipes. “Trying to get them to adapt their lifestyle with the plan that they’re on and then having them continually help each other throughout the process seems to help really well holding each other more accountable, so the Coach doesn’t have to try to hold 150 athletes accountable individually. It’s pretty hard to track everybody,” said Maslin.
Before the program began in January, morning announcements and one-on-one conversations between members and Coaches before class helped ensure his members knew about the program. He plans to use the same method to ensure they know about the workshops. Maslin said he is looking forward to seeing how his members react to his program. Ultimately, he encouraged Affiliates to listen to their members before implementing a nutrition challenge or program.