The Perfect Combination

Proper nutrition is a regular concept that you follow on your fitness journey. On your Affiliate journey, it’s something you have to convey to your members, both beginner and experienced, to ensure they achieve the best possible results at your Box.

“We talk about nutrition in our On-Board Foundations Series,” explained Sarah Welch, a co-owner and head trainer at CrossFit Five Plus in Beverly, Massachusetts. “I talk to our members about how your food not only will increase performance, but also will help to heal your immune system, gut and hormone health. That all these things together will help you to avoid disease and move towards greater health. We also introduce the idea of a Whole30 Challenge at this meeting, which we hold once a quarter.”

The Whole30 Challenge is an hour-long workshop hosted by Welch to discuss why CrossFit Five Plus follows certain nutrition guidelines. “They are always really well attended,” she said. “We utilize a lot of the free resources that has in getting people started on this 30-day journey. I provide email support and in-Box support to these members as they start their journey, and we utilize Facebook so they can talk to each other and share how they are doing.”

This point of entry helps members to build a CrossFit lifestyle from day one. “You can’t give a person who works 80 hours a week the same advice as a college student or a stay-at-home parent,” said Welch. “The general guidelines are the same: eat more fruits and vegetables, add in healthy fat, eat a good source of protein at every meal. That’s the basic. But how they do that will vary from person to person.

“I can’t tell the 80-hour-a-week CEO to make most of their meals from scratch — they would say, when? Or, if an athlete who wants to lose 50 plus pounds, we will have a more general lifestyle conversation. Where, if it is an athlete who wants to put on more muscle, well the goals are completely different, so we will talk about upping their fat intake, like avocados.”

In the end, what Welch tries to convey to athletes is the importance of maintaining both principles, fitness and nutrition — success in one doesn’t come without the other. “I think the saying goes 80 percent of abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym,” she said. “We find that our athletes who only change their exercise patterns eventually hit a wall in their training, and that is where nutrition comes into play.”

Tyler is a former editor of Box Pro Magazine.