Q&A on a Nutrition Challenge

nutrition challenge

Coach Don Gilbert dives into the nutrition challenge offering they have at CrossFit Cypher in Richmond, California.

BP: First, describe your nutrition challenge. How is it set up?

DG: Our nutrition challenge is a 28-day, behavior-based nutrition program that emphasizes building positive habits over the course of time. Our challenge begins with each member doing an initial weigh-in and biometric scan. From there we host a kick-off seminar during which members learn about the foundations of nutrition, the scope of the challenge and what it takes to see results.

BP: What specific tools do you use in your challenge? Why do you use them?

DG: The tools we use for our challenge include an Inbody scanner, The Healthy Steps Nutrition app and social media. The Inbody scan gives challenge participants a more in-depth look at their physical makeup. We measure things like body fat percentage, BMI and skeletal muscle mass — all things an ordinary scale wouldn’t tell you. The Healthy Steps Nutrition app increases the level of accountability and access to coaching for the participants. Participants have access to challenge resources like the meal plan, ongoing coaching videos and a community message board. Finally, we use social media to celebrate each individual by making the broader CrossFit/nutrition community aware of their successes.

BP: Why are tools like the above important to use?

DG: These tools are important because they increase the level of accountability and provide real-time ways to track the success of challenge participants. 

BP: How do you recommend other nutrition Coaches go about deciding what tools to use?

DG: First, when it comes to nutrition tools, make sure they work for you. If you are spending valuable time figuring out the ins and outs of any tech tool, then you need to find a better way. Great technology, like apps, should amplify your presence to members, not subtract from it. Don’t be afraid to find a better way. Secondly, don’t discount the importance of user-friendliness. In the same way, technology should work for you, it should also work for your members. If only your digital natives can effectively use the tool, then you need to find a way that allows the digital immigrants to join in as well.

BP: What advice can you give on nutrition challenges?

DG: With nutrition challenges, it is important to remember there is value in scarcity. Hosting too many challenges is not only a surefire way to burn out your Coaches, but it also subtracts from the novelty of the program. I know a gym that does only one challenge a year and almost all of their members participate. Aim for two to three challenges a year, max. Try to be intentional about when you set the dates for the challenge. Bookend your challenges between holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. Finally, put people first. Nutrition challenges have so many moving parts it’s easy to forget the people involved. Listen to their stories, learn about their lives and leave them feeling validated and successful.  

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.